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AFV Club- NATO 155mm Howitzer Ammo Set (Brass)

Kit Number:
Monday, June 13, 2022
AFV Club
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NATO 155mm Howitzer Ammo Set (Brass)

By AFV Club


History of the 155mm projectile types

Considered a standard NATO deployed round, the 155 mm round is a two piece round, with a projectile and a propellant charge.  The 155mm size equates to a round diameter size of 6.1 inches.  For a frame of reference, the Cleveland Class Cruisers of WWII fired a 6 inch round as it's main armament.  The round is potent and deadly with unbelievable stabilization allowing for great accuracy.  It is defined in AOP-29 part 1 with reference to STANAG 4425. This round is commonly used in field guns, howitzers and gun-howitzers.

Covered in this set are the following round types:

M110 Chemical Round- Officially designated Projectile, 155mm howitzer, M110, the original round was a 26.8-inch (68.1 cm), steel shell with a rotating band near its base and a burster rod down its center.  The original shell typically contained 9.7 pounds (4.4 kg) of sulfur mustard (h) or distilled sulfur mustard (hd), which would fill the hollow space in the shell. As early as the 1960s, a white phosphorus version was created under the same designation with 14.6 pounds (6.6 kg) of white phosphorus filler. Both versions were designed for employment by the M114 Howitzer and the M44 Self-propelled Howitzer for use as terrain denial (in the case of the mustard-filled versions), target-marking, and obscuration (in the case of the white phosphorus versions.

XM631 TAC CS Round- This projectile is fired from 155mm howitzers and is used to harass personnel by emitting CS irritant fumes.  The base-ejecting type projectile is a hollow steel shell containing five stacked canisters. Each canister is filled with approximately two pounds of CS- pyrotechnic mix and 0.81 ounce of starter mix. An expelling charge of 3.36 ounces of black powder in a plastic container is located in the nose of the projectile below the fuse cavity. A baffle plate with a central hole separates the expelling charge from the top canister. A central perforated tube runs through each canister to form a flash tube extending the length of the stack from the expelling charge to the base of the projectile. The base is a steel plug secured by three shear pins. An MTSQ fuse is used with this projectile. For shipment and handling, a lifting plug is installed in the fuse cavity. A gilding metal rotating band and a plastic obturating band encircle the projectile near the base, and are protected by a grommet for shipment and handling.

DM121 Round- The U.S. Army standardized the DM121 shell in 1954 as an artillery shell capable of delivering Sarin Gas via a 155mm howitzer.  Shortly after the discovery of VX in 1952, the US Army Chemical Corps began experimenting with employment systems for the newly discovered nerve agent. The M121A1 was standardized in 1961 as a modified version of the original projectile with the additional capability of transporting VX as well as Sarin.  The DM121 and DM121A1 have never been used in combat and remaining stockpiles are currently being disposed of in accordance with the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.

M483 DPICM and M483A1 DPICM series Round- The 155mm M483A1 Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) is an early technology cargo round. It delivers 88 dual-purpose grenades to defeat armor and personnel targets. The M483A1 is a separate loading munition constructed of either 1340 or 4190 alloy steel, an aluminum ogive and a short hollow boat tailed aluminum plug. A metal rotating band and a plastic obturating band are located close to the base of the projectile. The M483A1 has been manufactured in significant numbers.

These are Army, howitzer-fired projectiles which carry a payload of 88 dual-purpose (armor defecting and antipersonnel) grenades. When the dual-purpose projectile has an expulsion charge assembled, the payload is expelled; with a spotting charge assembled, the payload is detonated. The projectiles are painted olive drab with yellow markings. A row of yellow diamonds is stenciled approximately 89 millimeters (3.50 inches) to the rear of the nose of the projectile. Markings include nomenclature, lot numbers, and loading data. The body is steel with fiberglass wrapping, the ogive and base plug aluminum, the rotating band copper alloy, and the obturator plastic.

The M483A1 delivers 88 dual purpose anti-material and anti-personnel grenades - the M42 (quantity 64/projo) and M46 (quantity 24/projo). The M46s are located at the base of the projectile and are heavier/thicker and have a smooth interior surface that enables it to withstand the shock of firing and set back. The M42 grenades are scored for greater fragmentation and are place to the front of the M46 grenades. The submissions have a shaped charge warhead that penetrates 2.75 inches of homogeneous armor. Antipersonnel effects are obtained by fragmentation of the submissions body. This projectile introduces a different family of projectiles, the ICM Family. The ICM family is approximately 3 1/2 inches longer and has a standard square weight of 13.5 lbs. This projectile has a self-registration mode with projectile spotting charge M125. The M577 fuse is the only authorized fuse.

M483-series HE projectiles are designed to deliver M42 and M46 grenades. They have a forged-steel and aluminum body with a base plug, an ogive, and a fusible lifting plug in the nose. The lifting plug may be of the yellow fusible type or the universal type. These are base-ejection projectiles that carry 88 DP grenades (64 M42 grenades and 24 M46 grenades). The grenades themselves provide the projectiles' dual capability. However, a third effect can be achieved by replacing the original expelling charge with a spotting charge designed to detonate the entire projectile as if it were a bulk-loaded HE item. The grenades are normally expelled at a predetermined time in flight. They are armed while falling, and function upon impact.

M898 SADARM Round- The M898 155 mm SADARM shell is fired from a normal 155 mm artillery gun, with a nose-mounted M762/M767 fuse set to burst at 1,000 m above the target to release two SADARM submunitions. Once the submunition is ejected from the projectile, an initial ram-air parachute opens to de-spin and slow the submunition. A second "vortex ring" parachute then deploys to slowly spin the submunition, suspending it at approximately 30° from the vertical. As it spins, its sensors sweep a decreasing spiral track beneath the submunition to scan an area about 150 m in diameter. The sensors consist of a millimeter-wave radar, a passive millimeter-wave radiometer and an infrared telescope. A magnetometer is used as an aid in arming and aiming. When the submunition detects a target, its 1.5 kg LX-14 explosive charge is detonated to project an explosively formed penetrator that has enough energy to penetrate the thin top armor of most main battle tanks up to a range of around 152 m. If the submunition reaches the ground before it finds a target it self-destructs. However, exact penetration power is not listed, being classified in nature.  The submunition was also intended to be used in MLRS rockets, with four or six being carried.

M549 Hera Round- The M549 is a High-Explosive Rocket Assisted (HERA) 155mm howitzer round developed for use by the US Military in order to add additional range to standard howitzers, with a maximum range 30.1 km from a M198 howitzer. The projectile has two distinctive pre-assembled components—the high explosive warhead and the rocket motor, making it a form of rocket-assisted projectile. The warhead is fabricated from high fragmentation steel for increased effectiveness in terms of damage caused to target and contains a bulk-filled explosive (Either TNT or Composition B)

M692/731 ADAM Round- Area Denial Anti-personnel Mine (ADAM) mines are delivered by 155mm howitzer. ADAM should not be planned on hard surface roads or airfields as the mines will shatter or break when hitting asphalt or concrete.

ADAM is an antipersonnel mine activated by deployed trip lines. There are 36 wedge-shaped mines contained in the 155-mm projectile. Minefield density can be selectively determined by altering the number of rounds applied. There are currently three densities: low, medium, and high. The mines are expelled from the projectile (approximately 600 meters) over the designated target. Shortly after ground impact, up to seven trip line sensors are released out to a maximum length of 20 feet. The detonators are armed to fiction in the event of any small disturbance. The ADAM mine has lethality out to 15 feet. Self-destruct times are 4 hours for short self-destruct (M731) and 48 hours for long self-destruct (M692).

The Area Denial Artillery Munitions (ADAM) is used for rapid, remote emplacement of point or tactical minefields used to restrict personnel movement. ADAM is a wedge shaped mine that fits efficiently into a 155mm projectile. When the projectile reaches the target area, 36 mines are expelled and shortly after impact with the ground they release trip lines and arm themselves. If not triggered by one of the trip lines, the mines will detonate at a predesignated self-destruct interval or if the battery reaches a level that impairs their proper functioning. When the mine detonates, a small charge propels the kill mechanism upward and then the kill mechanism detonates to optimize its effect against personnel.

The ADAM and PDM are not of the kinetic energy "penetrator" type design. These munitions contain an extremely small amount of DU and not categorized as "DU ammunition". The resin which forms the body of the ADAM mine wedge contains a small amount of DU in the "hardener" portion of the resin. The DU is less than 0.15% (0.024 oz) of the total resin and is present only as a chemical agent that allows the resin to cure at less then 160°F in less then 12 hours. These cure characteristics are required to efficiently produce the mine and to protect the electronic components during manufacture.

The kit consists of:

The brass shells have to be parsed out for the types that they are as represented in the painting and decal guide.  The brass rounds are very nice and the detail on them is exquisite.  The decals are very thin and in registry.  The rounds have to be roughed up with medium grit sand paper before priming so the primer will stick.  Then, it's onto painting and sealing with a gloss coat and applying the appropriate decals.  A simple sounding procedure, but tough to execute and get right.  Patience has to be used in this process.


Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.  This set will add a nice touch to those wanting to pose a vehicle or cannon with 155mm rounds.  The brass rounds are very nicely detailed.  I think this is a product that is well worth using.  I would be careful as I stated in the above paragraph about roughing up the rounds prior to sanding and painting, just to make sure that anything you use to paint will stick to the brass.

Thanks goes out to AFV Club/Hobby Fan for this review kit.

Reviewed by Glen Martin


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