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81mm M1



Overview


81mm M1

US forces firing their 81mm M1 mortar at German position circa November 1944.
Source: US DoD - © Public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Medium mortar
Entered service
Late 1930's
Status
Obsolete
Development
Early 1930's
Developer
United States
Production
Late 1930's - Early 1950's
Producer
United States - Watervliet Arsenal
United States - AB Farquhar
United States - Pullman Car Manufacture
Belgium
Number produced
Produced in large quantities
Notable users
United States
Israel
South Vietnam

Description


Introduction

The M1 is a World War 2 era 81mm mortar of US origin. It is a slightly modified Brandt mortar and was adopted before World War 2. The M1 was used until the 1950's until it was replaced in US service with the newer M29.

Design

The M1 is a conventional muzzle loaded smoothbore 81mm mortar. It is a slightly modified Brandt Mle 27/31 mortar. It can be disassembled in three pieces, being the barrel, the baseplate and the bipod with sight assembly.

Firepower

The M1 fires a variety of 81mm shells. The maximum range is 3 km. The maximum rate of fire is 30 rounds per minute, with 18 rounds per minute being the normal rate of fire.

Mobility

The M1 can be disassembled in three pieces that can be transported by infantry over short distances. Over longer distance the M1 and its associated ammunition and crew are transported by utility vehicle or light truck.

The M1 mortar has also been mounted on the M4 and M21 halftracks. The mortar is fired from the rear compartment of these open roof vehicles.

Users

The main user of the M1 was the United States. It has been exported to many nations around the world, mostly in Europe, South America and Asia. With most nations it has been replaced by newer designs. Still, the M1 still remains in use today and from time to time pops up in armed conflicts.

Details


Facts 81mm M1
General
Origin
United States
Type
Mortar
Crew
3 - 5
Dimensions
Weight
61.5 kg in firing position
20 kg tube assembly
21 kg mount
20 kg baseplate
Length
About 1.3 m
Ordnance
Type
81mm smoothbore mortar
Barrel length
1.21 m
Muzzle velocity
210 m/s for M43A1 shell
Elevation
+45 to +59°
Traverse
Several degrees either side
Fire control
Sights
M4 indirect fire sight
Firepower
Rate of fire
30 - 35 rpm maximum
18 rpm normal
Range
3.0 km for M43A1 light shell
2.1 km for M45 heavy shell
180 m minimum

Media


Related articles


81mm M29

The 81mm M29 mortar replaced the M1 in US military service.