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Mortar, 60mm M19


Light Infantry Mortar (1942)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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Front left side view of an M19 60mm mortar; complete system with bipod and baseplate
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Detailed view of the base handheld M19 60mm system; sans bipod and heavy baseplate
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Labeled diagram view of the M19 60mm launch tube barrel assembly
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Detailed labeled diagram of the M19 60mm mortar M5 bipod mount

Jump-to: Specifications

The handy M19 60mm mortar was intended to replace the M2 60mm but suffered from weak range and accuracy issues.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/17/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com; the following text is exclusive to this site.
The M19 60mm mortar (the US equivalent to the British 2-inch) was developed during World War 2 for infantry-level support actions to provide for a reusable, lightweight, high-angle of fire weapon system to replace the M2 mortars then in use. The M19 could be called upon to lay down "fire from above" and utilize a variety of conventional high-explosive and specialty munitions as the situation required. However, the light M19 suffered from being highly inaccurate when not fitted to a standard baseplate and, when fitted as such, became heavier than the M2 it was intending to replace - suffering shorter effective ranges as a result. Despite the intent, the M19 failed to live up to expectations and was ultimately replaced in the US Army inventory by the M224 system. The few M19s in use were mostly delivered to airborne elements that could make use of such a light weapon system and many were further exported to American-friendly nations of the time.

The M19, unveiled in 1942, was of a conventional mortar design by most respects and closely resembled the British 2-inch mortar family. The launch tube could accept projectiles of 60mm caliber with warheads to include high-explosive (HE), illumination and smoke rounds. The mortar crew was often charged with engaging dug-in enemies by raining munitions on or around them in an attempt to kill or dislodge. Beyond its lethal intent, the M19 could be called upon to "light up" the immediate battlefield at night or deliver protective "walls" of moving smoke to help conceal allied movements during the day. The crew actuated the M19 by dropping an armed projectile down the smoothbore muzzle (the M19 was a "muzzle loaded" weapon). The projectile's base would then contact the awaiting firing pin and enact the projectile's propellant, sending it across a pre-determined trajectory based on the elevation angle and traverse set by the mortar crew, eventually impacting in the target area. Muzzle velocity was rated at 550 feet per second while effective range was out to 5,870 feet (1,790 meters).
To help keep the system lightweight, a simplified spade baseplate was fitted as part of the M1 mount. This allowed the operating crew complete freedom when addressing elevation and traverse angles. While well-intentioned, this made the M19 inaccurate for the needs of experienced mortar crews and a general dislike of the new weapon was made known. Thusly, a more conventional mount - the M5 - was developed to compensate and help improve accuracy though at the expense of lesser range and additional weight. The elevation arc - when using the M5 mount - were set between +40 and +85 degrees while traverse was limited to 14 degrees.

Due to the inherent limitations with and without the M5 mount, the M19 was replaced by the longer-range M224 series mortar (this also replacing the aged M2 series) beginning in 1982 while stocks of M19s were exported to the armies of Belgium, Canada, Lithuania and Turkey. As of this writing, it is believed that the Canadian Army still makes use of the M19 mortar.

It is of note that the M19 did live a long enough life within the American inventory to see some use in both the Korean and the Vietnam wars by the Army and Marine Corps.

Specifications



Service Year
1942

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Classification


Light Infantry Mortar


State Factories - USA / South Korea
National flag of Belgium National flag of Canada National flag of Greece National flag of modern Japan National flag of the Philippines National flag of South Korea National flag of Thailand National flag of Turkey National flag of the United States Belgium; Canada; Greece; Japan; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Philippines; South Korea; Thailand; Turkey; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.


Overall Length
819 mm
32.24 in
Barrel Length
819 mm
32.24 in
Empty Wgt
65.70 lb
29.80 kg
Sights


None.


Action


Muzzle Loading; Primer Impact

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


60mm

Rounds / Feed


Single-Shot, Repeating
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
5,872 ft
(1,790 m | 1,957 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
18
rds/min
Muzzle Velocity
550 ft/sec
(168 m/sec)


Mortar, 60mm M19 - Base Series Designation
KM-19 - South Korean Army designation


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