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M546 APERS-T 105-mm

M546 APERS-T rounds are intended primarily for antipersonnel use at close range. The round comes fuzed and set for muzzle action; however, it can be set for up to 100 seconds. The round is loaded with 8,000 8-grain steel flechettes. The APERS-T round is devastatingly effective against exposed infantry. There are two important cautions when using the M546 (APERS-T). First, the round may not be used over the heads of exposed friendly troops, even in combat emergencies. Second, the aluminum casing of the round is thin and easily damaged. Damaged rounds are unpredictable and should not be fired. The APERS-T round is available in only 105-mm caliber.

Flechettes are fin stabilized steel projectiles similar in appearance to arrows. During the Korean War the Chinese army tactic of human wave attacks against US lines of defence prompted interest in flechette projectiles in single and multiple projectile systems for small arms and antipersonnel (APERS) use. Flechettes have a performance criteria very different from the conventional rifle bullet. Typical modern flechettes are small light weight steel projectiles, and the velocity lost to air resistance is generally 375 fps. per 100 Meters of flight. Unlike rifle bullets, flechettes are not spin stabilized, but use fins to achieve level flight. The flechette's long body looses rigidity on target impact and bends into a hook, often breaking off the fin portion creating an additional wound.


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