APFSDS (105mm and 30mm) questions...


The fire is everything
Staff member
I have a couple of questions regarding the APFSDS tank ammo.
Is there any tankers out there who knows, or could redirect me to someone/somewhere I could find the answers?

APFSDS = Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot.
(for the ones of you who didn't know)
And I'm also talking about the Tungsten version here, not DU.. (We don't use DU of several reasons....)

Question 1:
Anyone here who has used the APFSDS (105mm) in woodland terrain?
I just wonder how vegetation affects the SABOT?
How thick can trees/bushes be without affecting the projectile?
I know it will be affected in some way, and the distance from the obstacle to the target is also important..
The SABOT (DU) was shot through sand dunes in Desert Storm, at targets 10-30m behind the dune, and it still knocked out the target.
But what I wonder about is if it's possible to hide behind trees/bushes (Norwegian terrain), and shoot through them at targets 1-2000 meters away, with a good chance of hitting?

Question 2:
How well do you hear impacts of 30mm (or below) projectiles on main battle tanks (in a combat situation)?
I'm talking about harmless impacts here...
We use 30mm APFSDS ammo on our CV90's, would you hear every single (harmless) impact from that one on a MBT??

Any answer, or source to where I could find some answers are appreciated.
Please PM me if you don't want to post here.

These are job related questions, I have some information about this already, but I want some personal opinions on this as well.

I can only answer your question #1, and only from a Master Gunner's perspective.

APFSDS has such a high muzzle velocity that shooting through foilage isn't a huge concern. Even if you punched through an oak tree, there would still be enough kinetic energy remaining to do significant damage to a target. Now, this is DU I'm talking about. Tungsten should have the same properties.

If you can shoot 105mm through a berm, a few trees and leaves shouldn't matter much, as long as you still shoot "center of visible mass".
It's not the kinetic energy that worries me, the SABOT is one mean SOB when it comes to muzzel velocity..
An obstacle near the target (0-40m) shouldn't be any problem at all, as the sand dunes example says.
But if the obstacle is too close to you, is it possible that the SABOT can get out of course and miss it's target?
I know that high velocity small arms bullets have that problem.
As soon as it hits an obstacle it can change it's course to (almost) any direction..

The SABOT doesn't spin, so it should not get much out of course, but with a target range of 2000+ meters...????
Any ideas?
Actually, SABOT spins, depending on whether or not you're firing smooth or rifled bore. And at VERy close range, like you are talking about, it would have no effect.
dragon_master_gunner said:
Actually, SABOT spins, depending on whether or not you're firing smooth or rifled bore. And at VERy close range, like you are talking about, it would have no effect.

Not really, as all modern APFSDS rounds are unspun, rifled guns use driving bands to prevent spin. Older APDS where spun though.
I ment to say that the fin stabilized SABOT doesn't spin (much).....

Obstacles at close range to the target shouldn't be any problem, but I'm just wondering if you hit an obstacle near you when you fire, could the SABOT get a bit out of course?
How thick/big could a (wooden) obstacle be before the projectile (eventually) would get out of course??

1/10 degree (about 2 mils) wrong at a target 2km away could mean that you'll miss it with 2-4 meters...

I'm just curious about this because I wonder how effective a SABOT would be in Norwegian terrain... (lots of trees...)

And the second question (in the first post) is for a combat simulation system we have in my camp.
I just wondered if you would hear every single (harmless) hit on a MBT (from 30mm and below)...
Sorry about the missive on 105mm SABOT. I'm a 120mm Master Gunner. All I know is that on the US M60A3 tank (105mm) sabot had a spin to it.

As for the 30mm and below question, I had a buddy that took small arms fire in Desert Storm, 7.62mm, nothing spectacular, and he said they could hear it on the side of the tank, like somebody hitting the side of the tank with a very small ball peen hammer.