All the Guns on a T-62 Tank (with Nicholas Moran, the Chieftain)

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Today Nicholas Moran (the Chieftain) and I are at Battlefield Vegas courtesy of, to show you around a Soviet T-62 and all its various armaments. This particular T-62 was built in 1971 or 1972 and initially sold to Syria. It saw combat in the Valley of Tears in 1973, but survived as was eventually transferred to Lebanese ownership. From there is was captured by Israel and eventually imported into the United States via the UK. The T-62 was the last of the “simple” WW2-style Soviet tanks, and equipped with and extremely effective 115mm smoothbore main gun. In addition to that cannon, we will discuss and shoot the coaxial PKT machine gun and the loader’s antiaircraft DShKM heavy machine gun.

If you enjoy this video, check out World of Tanks – and maybe they will send Nicholas and I back again to do the same thing yet again on a third tank!

For videos on the detail of tanks like this one, check out The Chieftain on YouTube:


  1. I very much enjoy the crossovers you and nick,nick and lloyd, lloyd and bloke, you and bloke, the whole Project Lighting, in range and Indy it is all in all a real hoot. Not to say your solo work is anything less the great in closing thank you Ian

  2. Back in the 1970’s I worked at Simulations Publications, Inc. and one of the other staff there (I forget who…) told me about a friend of his (I know this is a 3rd hand story …) who was an M-60 tanker in the New Jersey National Guard and had gotten an opportunity to fire a T-62 main gun with the Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discard Sabot (APFSDS) round in some kind of familiarization experience (this would have been not long after the ’73 war).

    The tanker had become accustom to seeing his M-60 main gun rounds travel downrange – they looked like a brief pencil line – he said it’s visible if you watch almost exactly along the line of travel because the HEAT ammunition M456 had a velocity of ~1170 meters/second a 1500 meter shot so is in flight for over a full second.

    Anyway, when he fired the T-62 gun with the APFSDS round the round was so fast it was invisible to him.

    Now I will also note that Wikipedia lists the muzzle velocity of the APFSDS round as only 1,600 meters per second (I know Chieftain said over 2,000 in the video…) so maybe the story is exaggerated …

  3. Thoughts from an old (74-99) tanker

    When I went through Armor Officer Basic in 74, the newest Russian tank that was discussed was the T-62. We didn’t hear about the T64 and T72 until 1976 or so and there was some confusion about their differences and roles (one theory was that the T-64 which was obviously fielded in smaller numbers was the replacement for the T-10 in the Tank Divisions’ Independent Tank Battalions, while the T-72 was meant to replace the T-62’s in the two Tank Regiments and the Infantry Regiments’ tank battalions. Motor Rifle Divisions were presumed to be transitioning to T-62’s from

    T-64 – Wikipedia

    “Cunning plan” Et tu, Baldrick?

    I have a cunning plan – A History of Cunning Plans in Blackadder (

    PKT gas block and fume extraction. The fumes from the propellant can be toxic and if they build up to a high enough concentration in a closed space can cause asphyxiation. That’s the reason when our recoil operated M73/M219 coaxes were replaced by the gas operated interim M60E2, it had a gas tube extension to vent outside the turret

    Us m60e2 01 – M60 machine gun – Wikipedia

    That’s also the reason the main gun has a bore evacuator (fume extractor} about two-thirds down its length (on a T-62)

    (1) bore evacuator – Bing images

    Bore evacuator – Wikipedia

    PKT heavier barrel. I have worked with US Army, Marine, Canadian, British, German and Israeli tankers. All of them fired long bursts from the coax, often using the whole belt (Hey, you’ve got 6000 rounds). Looks like Russian tankers don’t break the mold.

    Dispersion. When I did my first tank gunnery, my gunner told me to only worry about elevation (range) on fifty caliber engagements – he would rock the turret from side to side so I wouldn’t have to worry about traversing the cupola of our M60A1. It worked

    IR system. As far back as the Korean War, the US had handheld IR Metascopes to detect enemy IR emissions (and the old Sniperscope of 1945 vintage M3 carbines could be switched to “Receive Only”)

    The Metascopes (

    M18 IR Binocular (

    I agree with Chieftain, the idea of making myself an IR beacon, shouting “I’M OVER HERE!!” never made sense to me.

    “Springs” on DSHKM. They’re called “Equilabrators” and are common on tank guns and artillery to overcome muzzle heaviness so you can elevate and depress the weapon easily. Perhaps the most obvious example are the “horns” on this British 5.5 inch howitzer

    Photo: 5.5 inch Howitzer (

    For some reason the Russian 12.7 X 108 mm round became known as the “Fifty-One Caliber” in Vietnam

    Smoothbore gun – The US trialed the smoothbore T208 90mm on the T95 prototype in the 1950’s

    T95E1 Medium Tank – Implemented Suggestions – War Thunder – Official Forum

    (the T95E4 was planned to have the T210 195mm smoothbore) but went with the British rifled 105mm L7A1 (M68). The T95 also had composite armor.

    “The T95 was an American prototype medium tank developed from 1955 to 1959. These tanks used many advanced or unusual features, such as siliceous-cored armor, a new transmission, and the OPTAR fire-control system. The OPTAR incorporated an electro-optical rangefinder and was mounted on the right side of the turret, and was used in conjunction with the APFSDS-firing 90 mm T208 smoothbore gun, which had a rigid mount without a recoil system. In addition, although the tanks were designed with a torsion beam suspension, a hydropneumatic suspension was fitted, and one of the tanks was fitted with a Solar Saturn gas turbine for demonstration purposes.

    Darned advanced for the Eisenhower era!

    A major drawback with Russian tanks was that the loader was to the right of the gun and had to load left handed. Fortunately, Ian is a southpaw!

    Firing main gun – It’s louder outside the tank and when you’re in the tank with the hatches open, the noise from the tank next to you is louder than your gun. The combination of blast and flash is like a slap across the face if you are in helmet defilade to spot the round and it also uncages your eyeballs.


    • “(…)We didn’t hear about the T64 and T72 until 1976 or so(…)”
      Interestingly Komrad Ivan from 1979 year did not mention any tank other than T-62 and T-55/54

      “(…)For some reason the Russian 12.7 X 108 mm round became known as the “Fifty-One Caliber” in Vietnam(…)”
      I can think about two possible reasons: to avoid confusion with U.S. .50 round or effect of measuring actual bullet diameter (Russian understanding of caliber is barrel diameter in fields)

      “(…)idea of making myself an IR beacon, shouting “I’M OVER HERE!!” never made sense to me.(…)”
      This might me sense against enemy with lower technical level. At least until he acquire suitable detector

      • Early infra-red sight systems were near-IR (2,500-800 nm), and were not very sensitive by modern standards. On “passive” (no illumination from an active IR source such as an attached IR spotlight) they had a maximum detection range at night of roughly 150 meters (i.e., detecting the heat of a human body).

        This was one reason (other than weight) that early individual IR “night sights” were attached to such weapons as the U.S. M3 “sniperscope” carbine (.30 carbine) or the German “Vampir” sniper weapon (modified MP 43 7.9 x 33mm). There would have been little point in attaching such a sight to a weapon with an effective range greater than the detection range of the sight system.

        Later “far infrared” systems (70 nm-1 mm WL) have considerably greater detection range on passive. Most modern “IR sensor” systems, such as military IR sights or commercial motion detector alarm systems, use far-IR for this reason.



        • “a maximum detection range at night of roughly 150 meters (i.e., detecting the heat of a human body)”

          Which is fine, except that we’re not talking about a human body. The 2.2 kilowatt AN/VSS1 Xenon searchlight mounted on M60’s, M60A1’s and M60A2’s was capable of white light or IR and had an output of 100 million candlepower (150 for 15 to 20 seconds). Once you lit that off, even the crudest equipment was showing where you were.

  4. Stupid question: If I were to pit 10 T-62’s against 4 M60A1 tanks and 8 M3 Bradley’s in a nighttime urban brawl, who would come out on top? Assume three supporting infantry platoons with anti-armor weapons are available for both sides, but not long-range artillery nor air support. I suspect someone’s going to say “everyone dies an embarrassing death.”

    • Anecdote time…

      A platoon of Bradleys (four vehicles) was sent out during the opening phases of OIF to scout and clear a section of forest in the Tigris-Euphrates River valley. Upon entering the woodline, they discovered a company-plus of Iraqi T-62 tanks concealed in hull-down positions and the company preparing to engage the US tank company they were screening for. What ensued was a “surprise knife fight” as the four Bradleys engaged a running battle with the tanks in their positions. End of it all, there were a company’s worth of dead T-62s, four very highly stressed Bradley crews, and a bunch of really banged-around and extremely confused infantry “Guys in Back” who’d no idea what had just transpired ‘cos everybody who knew was too busy to tell them. Per the guys involved, the Bradley 25mm APFSDS depleted uranium rounds ripped through the T-62 armor with ease, turning the tanks into Swiss cheese. Due to the close range and the inability of the T-62s to traverse and engage (hemmed in by tree trunks…), the Bradleys pretty much had it all their way, and the angles of engagement being mostly “shoot down into tanks”, they were able to inflict really disproportionate damage.

      I saw the pictures they took from after the battle. I did not think, up until that moment, that the Bradley could take on tanks with the Bushmaster and win. I was wrong. So long as they get a good aspect, there’s a lot of damage that 25mm can do, especially at what amounts to knife-fighting range.

      Frankly, with two platoons of Bradleys? I am not even sure that the M60A1s would need to get involved–Provided that this wasn’t some idiot running the Brads who played to the T-62’s strengths.

      • Whereas in the Gulf War, before depleted Uranium 25mm, a Brad was bouncing 25 mm rounds off the turret of a T-72 @ point blank range. So a response to Cherndog depends enormously on the time frame.

    • It is difficult to say how it would have developed in an urban battle (LOL), but in a night battle near the Chinese M60A1 farm, about 150 Egyptian tanks were knocked out / having lost 70 of our own.
      And during the next day 160/80.

  5. The main gun round actually reminds me of a crazy steroid build of the 8mm Lebel more than the 7.62x54r. Fascinating stuff. Can you cover the Swedish S tank?

  6. Excellent video. ironically, I am drinking Russian vodka as I watch…pure cooicendence I am sure. I would love to see more collaboration videos, really entertaining and informative. Cheers from central Virginia, USA.

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