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M252, 81mm Mortar


Medium Weight Extended Range Mortar


The M252, 81mm mortar replaced the aging M29 series of 81mm mortars in service with the US Army and USMC.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 10/19/2017
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Specifications


Year: 1987
Manufacturer(s): Watervliet Arsenals among others - USA
Roles: In-Direct Fire/Siege/Area Effect;
Action: Smooth Bore, Muzzle Loading, High-Angle-of-Fire Weapon
Caliber(s): 81mm
Sights: M64A1 Sight Unit
Overall Length: 1,270 mm (50.00 in)
Barrel Length: 838 mm (32.99 in)
Weight (Unloaded): 90.83 lb (41.20 kg)
Rate-of-Fire: 30 rounds-per-minute
Effective Range: 18,618 ft (5,675 m; 6,206 yd)
Operators: Canada; Egypt; Estonia; Iraq; United Kingdom; United States
The smoothbore, muzzle-loading M252 medium weight mortar system offers up accurate long-range indirect fire support to American ground forces. It is an 81mm high-angle-of-fire system that is crew-served, entering US Army service in 1987. The American M252 is based on the standard British L16 81mm mortar.

The M252 consists of several key components making up the whole. These include the M253 Cannon (firing tube), the M177 Mortar Mount, the M3A1 Baseplate and the M64A1 Sight Unit. The M253 Cannon is 50 inches long and accepts a variety of munitions type for fire including high-explosive (HE), red phosphorous and smoke, illumination and other NATO-accepted rounds. The barrel is capped with the Blast Attenuation Device (BAD) for crew protection. Elevation is accomplished through the use of a screw-type elevation and traverse system. A crew of three is recommended for maximum firing efficiency.

The M252 has capable ranges of 83 meters minimum and 5,935 meters maximum. The entire unit weighs 91lbs. A maximum rate-of-fire of 30 rounds-per-minute is attainable for up to 2 minutes. Sustained firing falls between eight and sixteen rounds-per-minute. The M252 replaced the aged M29 81mm mortar and is in service with the United States Army and United States Marine Corps.






Variants / Models



• M252, 81mm - Base Series Designation
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