Unimog 421 4x4 light truck seen with 105mm M1968 or M1974 recoilless rifle.
Source: www.comandomalvinas.blogspot.com - © Copyright lies with original owner
The M1968 is a recoilless rifle of Argentine origin. It was developed in the 1960's and is reportedly inspired by the American M40, but features various differences. It was produced in quantity and saw service with several nations in South America.
The design of the M1968 is said to be derived from the American 106mm M40 Recoilless Rifle, which actually has a similar caliber of 105mm. The Argentine model is about twice as heavy, which comes from its redesigned and heavier breech and its two wheel carriage. The design goal was to provide a higher sustained rate of fire for several minutes, making the M1968 more suitable in an anti-tank engagement or indirect shelling of an enemy position. A 7.62mm FAP (FN FAL) spotting rifle is fitted, which fires tracer rounds that burst on impact. A 4x optical sight is fitted. The wheeled carriage allows for three height settings and allows for immediate repositioning in the field after firing. A 40 m backblast area should be kept clear when firing the weapon.
The M1968 started out with two ballistically matched shells, a HEAT shell and high explosive shell. The latter can also be fired indirectly out to 9.2 km. Practical direct fire range is 1.2 km with the spotting rifle, although the sight has markings for up to 1.8 km. The original HEAT shell had a mediocre armor penetration of 200mm RHA. For the updated M1974 model a heavier and higher velocity FMK-1 shell was introduced, which doubled the penetration at 400mm RHA.
The wheeled chassis allows the M1968 to be manhandled in the field by its crew of four over short distances. It can be towed by light utility vehicles such as the Unimog 4x4 truck. The M1968 can also be removed from its two wheel carriage and pintle mounted on vehicles. A set of puncture proof tires was developed, which increase the weight. However, all photos show the M1968 and M1974 with regular pressurized tires.
The M1968 was adopted by Argentina and also exported to Peru. Both nations updated their M1968 to M1974 over time. The M1974 was also exported to Bolivia and Guatemala. The M1974 remains in service in reduced numbers.
Source: Joaquín Alvarez Riera
Copyright: Public domain
Source: José Turcios
Copyright: Copyright lies with original owner
The design of the M1968 was based on the American M40 Recoilless Rifle, but differs in various areas and is much heavier.
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