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« on: June 10, 2012, 09:43:15 pm »

As written for a local game I'm running next weekend.  A 4 man Mortar Team (Loader, Spotter, Aimer, Mortar Team Leader) and a 4 man security element (The previous Mortar Team) have an hour to drop footballs on 3 objectives.  At the end of the hour, everything is reset, and a new mortar team is selected.  The last mortar team becomes the next security team, and the security team rotates back into the pool of defenders.  So, some of the text might not be EW Relevant.

Bear with me, it's picture heavy.  It's simple to operate, but there's a lot of little steps that need to be remembered, and I'd appreciate it if nobody broke my one-of-a-kind toy!

I'll try and keep words to a minimum so pictures get the point across, as we all know how wordy I am!

Welcome to the 40mm "60mm Mortar" weapon system instruction manual.  This guide will teach you how to Transport, Deploy, Fire, Render Safe, and Pack the Weapon Package.  It will also outline the important tasks to be handled by each of the 4 personnel on the Mortar Team.  We must remember that everyone on the Mortar Team is Firing the weapon.  It doesn't fall onto the guy dropping projectiles down the barrel, or the guy aiming the weapon, the guy looking at the target through binoculars, or the guy pulling security.  All 4 people are needed to successfully fire the mortar.  Teamwork and mutual cooperation is essential to the success of your fire mission.

From Left to Right, Baseplate and Legs on Pack Frame.  Binoculars.  Barrel Assembly on Pack Frame.  Ammunition Crate.



The first pack frame contains the Base Plate, and the Legs with Traverse and Elevation Mechanism.  The Base plate holds the legs to the frame, and everything is secured with two crossing leather straps.  The person transporting the baseplate and legs is responsible for aiming and ensuring the accuracy of the weapon, and coordinating information from the spotter and the loader to ensure projectiles are successfully dropped on target.  Their position is behind the mortar, so they can use the barrel to "bore sight" the weapon on target.



The lightest part of the entire setup is the Binoculars.  The Spotter will sit, kneel, or go prone to the left of the mortar tube and keep visual on the target.  He is to alert the group to incoming threats, hits/misses of Mortar rounds, or other pertinent tactical information.



The heaviest part of the entire setup is the Main Barrel.  Just over 40mm Internal Diameter, Grenades smoothly slide down to the firing mechanism, and Nerf Footballs can be pushed in with a little force.  Also a part of this set up is a Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip.  This is a small and essential piece needed to secure the Barrel to both the transport pack, and the legs.  DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!  The person transporting the Barrel is the Mortar Team Leader, and is responsible for providing security to the team, healing any wounded members of the Mortar Team, and taking over for any deceased member of the team.  Familiarize yourself with all of the steps involved in setting up the Mortar, as you may have to step up and take over if necessary!



This 7.62x39 Russian Ammo Crate is perfect for transporting Mortar Ammunition in.  The person transporting the ammo has the disadvantage of being unable to operate a weapon while carrying ammo, due to the need to keep everything from shifting around (Carry the box with both hands).  However, to make up for this disadvantage, the loader is the person that makes things go BOOM!  The loader sits to the right of the mortar, with the ammo box deployed, and will load and fire projectiles on the order of the Mortar Team Leader, once he is in agreement with the Spotter and Aimer.



When a target is identified, and the team agrees they are in range to engage the target, the first person to act is the person transporting the baseplate and legs (The Aimer).  Pick a clear and flat position to begin setting up your mortar.  Remember to keep in mind the positions of the loader (right) and spotter (left) of the Mortar.  Avoid Trees and other objects between your setup location and the target, but remember, it is a mortar, and is intended to shoot over obstacles.

Begin by removing the pack from your back.  Place it down on the ground or shag carpet.  You will see two leather "Belt buckles" up top.  Undo them.





Grab the base plate by the central protrusion, and place it down in the spot selected, with the protrusion "pointing" toward the enemy.  The goal is to not smash your fingers under the heavy base plate!





With the baseplate down, the Loader places his ammo box forward and to the right of the base plate.  This will allow him to access projectiles and the muzzle of the Mortar when appropriate.



Opening up a Russian ammo box can be a bit fiddly, so here's some quick guidelines.  Here is the locking latch.



Slide it to the left to unlock the box lid.





Wiggle and pry the box lid open.  Do not rip it open or fling it open.  It's a simple piece of metal holding it closed, not a hinge.



Once inside, behold it's golden colorful goodness.



Baseplate and Ammo Crate in position.



While all this is going on, the Mortar Team Leader is removing the Barrel from his pack frame.



Undo the central belt buckle.





This is the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip.  DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!

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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 09:44:31 pm »

This is how it is installed on both the Pack Frame and the Mortar Legs.  The pin goes through the hole, and the retaining clip goes over the end of the pin, like so:



To remove the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip  (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!) Begin by lifting the Safety Retaining Clip off of the Cotter Pin.



Pivot the Safety Retaining Clip out of the way.



Pull the pin out of the hole it is in.



Lift the Barrel out of the pack frame, first by lifting toward the top of the pack frame (so the ball joint clears the retaining bracket).



Then lift the barrel clear from the pack frame.



While this is going on, the Aimer is preparing the legs.



With the Base Plate out of the way, grab and lift the legs off of the pack frame.





Place the legs in front of the base plate, so that the Traverse Mechanism (left/right movement control) is on the right side (By the Loader).



The Aimer may now place the barrel onto the baseplate.  Locate the bottom of the barrel assembly.



Lift the locking clamps approximately 90 degrees away from the body.  They will move easier the further away from the body they are, but if they are over extended, the inner workings of the mortar barrel assembly will fall out, so make sure the clamp arms are not over extended.



Overextended and falling apart:



Locate Post A on the bottom of the Barrel Assembly, and stick it in Hole B, like we were taught in grade school.





Once seated, push the clamp arms back down, to ensure the barrel assembly remains attached to the baseplate.  The Aimer should continue holding the barrel while the Mortar Team Leader attaches the legs.



Stand the legs up and attempt to line up the ball joint on the Mortar Barrel into the Retaining Bracket on the Leg Assembly.  The Ball Joint may shift during transit, rotate it so it is flat and will slide into the bracket with ease.





Once lined up, insert the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip  (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!) into the retaining bracket of the legs, and the ball joint of the barrel assembly.



Rotate the Retaining Clip over the end of the Cotter Pin.



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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 09:45:31 pm »

Remove the vintage handmade leather barrel protector.  It is dummy corded to the Mortar Barrel Assembly.





Unclip the chain from the split ring on the leg assembly.





Clip the chain to the front loop on the base plate.  This prevents people from knocking over your mortar when they trip on it's legs.  It also keeps you from leveling the mortar at targets for direct fire.





Congratulations!  Your Mortar is now Assembled and Ready.  The Spotter is to the left.  The Loader is to the right.  Which seat can I take?



Here's a closeup of the Traverse Mechanism.  It is currently zeroed.



I have added 10 to the display.  Positive movement pushes the mortar barrel left.  Negative movement (999.9 and decreasing) pulls the mortar barrel right.  For large movements it is easier to simply pick up the legs and re-position them.



This is the Elevation Mechanism.  It's display is down low.  It is already set to Positive 56, a good starting height for a Mortar.  Remember, if you crank the barrel too high, shots will start falling closer.  If you crank the barrel too low, you might not clear buildings, sandbag walls, or trees.



Loading and Firing Buckshot Rounds.

Select a loaded buckshot round from your ammo crate.  These are M922a1 120rd Madbull shells.  The Mortar will accept a large variety of projectiles, but will not work with longer, higher capacity shells.



Hold the shell in such a way that your fingers will not get in the way of the resulting storm of BB's about to launch from the barrel.  You may use an underhanded grip (as pictured) or an overhand grip, so long as you remember you have half a second to move your hands clear of the muzzle prior to the shot.  Also, this is the last possible step to abort a shot.  If you continue, there's no coming back.  Continue? Y/N



Gas Plume on my first try!  Note the position of my hand.  Once I let go of the shot and it was traveling down the barrel, my open palmed hand continued moving downward to ensure it was clear of the blast.



With the shot fired, locate the Clearing Lever on the right side of the Mortar Barrel Assembly.



You won't be required to go under the Mortar except to clear a jammed 40mm shell, but that rarely happens, especially if you follow my directions.  These photos will demonstrate the unloading mechanism.  Here is the underside of the Mortar.  All of the following steps are for the Loader, on the Right Side of the Mortar.



With the shot fired, pull the Clearing Lever toward the baseplate.  The round will not fall out with the lever pulled back 50%.



Continue pulling the Clearing Lever toward the baseplate.  The round will not fall out with the lever pulled back 90%.  It must be pulled all the way to allow Gravity to unload the shell.



The shell will fall free when the Clearing Lever is pulled all the way down.



Spent 40mm Shells will continue to pile up on the Shag Carpet below.  Please police them up during "quiet times" in combat.



The Main Spring will return the Firing Mechanism (and by method of it's action, the Clearing Lever) to it's resting position.

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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 09:46:26 pm »

How to fire a Nerf Football.  A majority of the shots you take will use the following method.  Do not use a loaded Buckshot type round to fire a Nerf Football!

Select a Nerf Football from the Ammo Crate.



Line the Projectile up with the Barrel.



Begin a Clockwise twist of the projectile so the fins fit inside the barrel.



Continue Twisting until the main part of the projectile reaches the barrel.  This is the last point at which you can abort firing.  There is no way to remove the projectile from the barrel without firing after this point.



Use two fingers to shove the projectile all the way into the barrel.  Do not use a ram rod or anything longer than your fingers, as there won't be any room for the 40mm firing charge.



Select a 40mm Firing Charge (The Firing Charge grenades do not have any BB's inside them).  Begin to pull the Clearing Lever all the way to the baseplate.



While holding the Clearing Lever all the way back with your left hand, load your Firing Charge up into the barrel with your right hand.



You want the Clearing Lever all the way back, and the 40mm Grenade as far up into the barrel as possible.



CAREFULLY LET GO OF BOTH THE 40MM GRENADE AND THE CLEARING LEVER.  AVOID SMASHING YOUR FINGERS BETWEEN THE TWO!  The goal is to have the Clearing Lever/Firing Assembly activate the 40mm Firing Charge, which will dump all of it's gas up the barrel and into the Nerf Football, propelling it toward it's target.  It will hurt if your fingers get caught in here!





With the projectile successfully fired, pull the Clearing Lever all the way toward the baseplate to clear the spent 40mm Firing Charge from the Mortar.  40mm Shells may begin to pile up at the base of your Mortar.  Police them up during lulls in combat.



Packing up to Relocate the Mortar.

Police up all 40mm Shells and Foam Footballs.  Keep them stacked neat for the next Mortar Team.  If Propane and a Valve Reset Tool are available, reset the grenade valves on the spent grenades, and fill them with "10 seconds" of Propane.



The lid Can and Will shift around on the box.  It is held on with 2 flimsy pieces of metal.  Make sure they are lined up before closing the lid so the container doesn't break.





Once the lid is closed, ensure the Screw is sticking up through the hole in the lid and latch.



Push the latch to the Right to secure the lid.  The Ammo Crate is now ready for transport.



Ensure the Mortar is Clear before disassembling the Mortar.  Pull the Clearing Lever to the Rear, and sweep up into the barrel with your fingers to ensure no rounds are in the chamber.



With the Chamber clear, NOW IS THE ONLY TIME IT IS SAFE TO LOOK DOWN THE BARREL.  Ensure the Barrel is Clear of Nerf Footballs before dissembling the Mortar.



Place the Protective Cover back over the Barrel.  The Mortar is now Safe for Disassembly and Transit.



Unhook the Chain from the Baseplate.



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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 09:47:13 pm »

Attach the chain to the split ring on the Mortar Leg Assembly.



Unhook the Safety Retaining Clip from the Cotter Pin.



Remove the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP) from the Mortar Leg and Barrel Assembly.





Allow the legs to fall away from the Barrel Assembly.



Lift the Clamp Arms from the base of the Mortar Barrel to approximately 90 degrees from the base of the Mortar Barrel Assembly.



Lift the Barrel Assembly from the Baseplate.



If you mess up, this is what the guts look like, and the order in which they go in.  (That ain't your daddy's non-bushing spring guide!)



Press the Clamp Arms down to keep everything from falling out.



Place the Legs onto the Pack Frame.  The Elevation Mechanism should be against the bottom of the pack frame.



Place the Base Plate on top of the legs, ensuring the base plate hooks into the slot on the base of the pack frame.  Ensure the chain hook loop is at the top of the pack frame.



Cross the bottom straps above the base plate protrusion and below the chain hook loop.



Tighten down the belts to secure the legs and base plate.  These belts are secured at maximum tightness to prevent shifting.  Adjust items accordingly to ensure items are secure during transit.  The Legs and Baseplate are ready for transport.



Insert the Round Peg into the Square Hole (Disregard everything you learned in kindergarten)



Align the ball joint so it slips into the retaining bracket.



You may have to lift the clamp arms to get the post to seat properly.  Ensure you close the clamp arms once fully secured.



The Post and the Ball Joint will both slip into place at the same time.  The ball joint will not fit into the bracket if the post is fully seated in the pack frame.



Once properly seated, insert the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!).



Secure the Retaining Clip onto the Cotter Pin.



The Barrel Assembly is now ready for transit.

And there you have it!
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 07:03:21 am »

Man, that thing has aged just perfectly. 

I think run probably about one more year the way it is then brush paint it with some alkylid enamel paint doing just enough surface prep to knock the big rusty spots back.  That should keep it looking good as well as obviously protect it from any actual corrosion. 

Clean the threads on the T&E mechanism with some kite string dampened with light oil then put a few drops on there and traverse it fully each way about once a year to keep all of that stuff looking and moving well.  I think* I built the T&E threaded rods out of stainless stock so they shouldn’t have many problems but better safe than sorry. 

Eject lever is getting a little janky looking.  Mail that to me and I’ll see if I can make up a better looking one like the strikers on the commando mortars. 

You could probably safety wire the levers on the breech, just get some decent wire and use actual aviation safety wire pliers so it looks good perhaps finishing it with a lead disc. 

Also, look for another Swede backpack to steal a frame from so you can give your ammo bearer a pack too. 





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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 07:39:45 am »

I think I have some of those packs still  - Can send you one when I send your other goodies later this summer.
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 09:52:15 am »

Man, that thing has aged just perfectly.

I think run probably about one more year the way it is then brush paint it with some alkylid enamel paint doing just enough surface prep to knock the big rusty spots back.  That should keep it looking good as well as obviously protect it from any actual corrosion. 

I googled alkyd enamel paint.  Found a can of Rustoleum brand in "Safety Blue".  LOL, I can probably find something a bit more OD.  Would be sweet to get it in Soviet Canteen Green.

Clean the threads on the T&E mechanism with some kite string dampened with light oil then put a few drops on there and traverse it fully each way about once a year to keep all of that stuff looking and moving well.  I think* I built the T&E threaded rods out of stainless stock so they shouldn’t have many problems but better safe than sorry. 

Copy that!  Thanks for the cleaning tips!

Eject lever is getting a little janky looking.  Mail that to me and I’ll see if I can make up a better looking one like the strikers on the commando mortars. 

Do you just want the lever itself, or the lever plus the striker mechanism?  I'll need your address.  I can probably ship it after this weekend.

You could probably safety wire the levers on the breech, just get some decent wire and use actual aviation safety wire pliers so it looks good perhaps finishing it with a lead disc. 

Found these guys: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/to/safetywiretools.html

I think I'm tracking.  Use high quality wire to keep the levers from extending beyond 80-90ish degrees from their closed position to prevent the guts from spilling out?  There are holes in the ends of the levers, so I'd carefully tie the wire through it, I assume using this fancy tool?  Ya lost me at the "perhaps finishing it with a lead disc."

Also, look for another Swede backpack to steal a frame from so you can give your ammo bearer a pack too. 

Excellent Idea!

I think I have some of those packs still  - Can send you one when I send your other goodies later this summer.

I love it when a plan comes together!
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 10:33:41 am »

http://www.rapcoparts.com/manuals.html

PM sent with address.  Just need the lever itself although if you could mark the point where it clears the barrel assembly with a sharpie before you take it apart it will help a bit. 

The kit you found is excessivly fancy.  Just get these and some decent wire: http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-SAFETY-WIRE-TWIST-TWISTER-LOCK-PLIERS-/261019258601?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc5f5cee9

Sometimes, safety wire is witnessed with a lead disc that has an identifying mark on it so you can tell if someone monkeyed with it.  Often times you'll see this on you gas or electric meter. 



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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2012, 07:28:50 pm »

Coop, I have a question.

Would it be possible to dummy cord the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip  (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!) at the hinge of the Cotter Pin, to the vintage handmade leather barrel protector metal O ring (small), thereby lessening the chances of losing the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip  (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!) ? It appears from the photos that the vintage handmade leather barrel cover O ring (small) is movable on the vintage handmade leather barrel protector retaining strap, and could remain in the vicinity of the ball joint during the assembly and dis-assembly of the mortar.

I only have pictures to go on of course, and you've probably already thought of that, but cannot hurt to ask.
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2012, 07:39:53 pm »

I don't see why not.  Hell, the clip end of the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!) could very well have the paracord threaded through it.

I will say, for running it for a weekend long game, nobody lost the Cotter Pin with Safety Retaining Clip (DO NOT LOSE THE COTTER PIN WITH SAFETY RETAINING CLIP!), but there were heated moments under fire where those assembling the mortar frantically searched for the pin placed right next to them.  It was fun to watch!

This reminds me, I need to snap a photo of where the charging handle sits, and ship Swayze the broken parts.
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 06:44:04 pm »

Coop, I'm giving a name to your mortar- Поднос (podnos- tray) this is a name for the soviet 2B14 , 82mm mortar. One of the most popular in Army.
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 06:55:42 pm »

Coop, I'm giving a name to your mortar- Поднос (podnos- tray) this is a name for the soviet 2B14 , 82mm mortar. One of the most popular in Army.

Works for me!  I've been wanting to de-Americanize it for a while!

Pics of the Real Deal:







It needs a BITCHIN muzzle break!
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2013, 03:55:22 pm »

Necrobump.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present to you, the Mortar Ammo Pack portion of the 2Б14 «Поднос» or 2B14 "Podnos" or "Tray" Russian 82mm (40mm) Mortar.

Should be completing the pack frame this weekend.  Most of the parts are here.  Mounting hardware arrives tomorrow.  Here's where we're at so far, mocked up:

Mounting points 1-4, where the frame meets the strips of wood on the bottom of the pack.



Bottom center mounting point, and serves as a good shelf to support the weight.  Those two loops just fit, and if I find I'm having an issue with retention, I could run straps through here over the top.  The straps will cause an extra step or two in deploying the box, but the ammo carrier should still be ready before the rest of the mortar is deployed and sighted in.



Ready to deploy, the opening latch is at the top, while the hinges I installed are at the bottom.  I trust my hinges more than the soviet locking hasp, but you never know.



Opened and ready to be loaded with ammo, next to the rest of the packed mortar.



Ready for transit.





Thinking of putting a black stencil on that big OD surface of the ammo pack:

2Б14
МИНОМЕТ
БОЕПРИПАСЫ

2B14
Mortar
Ammunition

The really cool part, per the Russian Wiki page on the 2B14, despite ours not being an 82mm mortar system, it will now be carried via 3 packs, just like the real 2B14!  However, their setup divides the Legs, Tube, and Base into 3 packs.  Meh, we're gettin' there!

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/2%D0%9114

Once it is permanently attached, I'll take the photos of the new charging handle and Mortar Ammo Pack and update the above instructions.  Again, it all pretty much works the same, except now the Ammo guy has a backpack for carrying his ammo, and a bigger handle to grab on to when loading/ejecting shells.  Also, going to lanyard in a cotter pin to reset shells with.  Got the lanyard, cotter pin, and wood screws on hand already, so that will get done this weekend as well.

Edit: Also expect pages like this to make it to the new Training Page!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 03:59:05 pm by Coop » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2013, 12:24:30 pm »

Updates on the Ammo carrier's pack.  I've been home sick today, but I'm not too sick to run a drill or impact driver.

My proper fitting clamps arrived.  So glad I went with these.  They are a hair smaller than 1cm being 3/8", but being malleable metal, they actually cinch down real tight when secured around the pack frame, so the end result is a very snug, non moving grip on the pack frame... exactly what I was looking for!



Doing a bit of measuring and test fitting.  Here you can see them squeezed down and still very usable, without slipping.  I'm going to use the existing supports on the ammo box, since they're thick and I won't have to drill into the actual storage area.



The left and right support arms each get 2 clamps.  The top center is getting 4, 1 on each arm, and 2 in the center.  So far, for eyeballing this, it is working out beautifully!



1/8" Drill bit, pre drill the holes, for 3/4" #10 phillips screws with countersink... used more as a gripping surface for the 13/16" holes advertised on the clamps.  Right side secure.



Left side secure.



Top center secure.  I was hauling ass, thus, it's a blur!



I wanted to do 4 screws in the bottom of the pack as well, however, I ran out of phillips, and I'd have to remove the original carry handle from the crate if I wanted to fit 2 more in there in the opposite direction.  I may still do so at a later date.  I'm really not expecting the box to just fall off now.  But, if needed after this weekend, I'll crowbar off the handle and the risers, and pop in 2 more clamps to the left and right of what's pictured, to spread the load around, since these screws are pretty close to the edge.



Along with a past order, I know I wanted to secure some kind of pin reset tool inside the crate.  While ordering 6" lanyards to replace the twine holding the RPG-26 safety pins, I also ordered a 12" lanyard, not quite sure where I was going to go with it.  It all fell in to place today.

Secure the mounting point of the lanyard to one side of the 40mm grenades.



Carefully bend one more of the clamps (I got a bag of 50 of 'em, why the fuck not?) to the size of the old RPG-26 firing pin, the kind without the ball detent to prevent it from falling out.  Secure this clamp to the opposite side.  Attach the pin to the lanyard, and voila: A retention system for the 40mm grenades.  It also keeps the reset pin from rattling around while you're trying to quietly hump a mortar ammo crate around.  This really makes me feel good, as I was concerned about the weight of the 40mm's pressing on the door, which, while secure with 8 screws and hinges, may not be able to take the weight for long duration.



Bam.  Beautiful.  The crate is barely wide enough to fit 8 shells wide, stacked 2 deep.  One shell on the end will always pop out a little higher, so it's a very snug fit, but the cotter pin will wedge right in and keep everything solid, and if through moving around, the grenades shift, the plastic coated steel cable lanyard will retain them quietly.  I really am patting myself on the back for this one!



So, this is how it should all go once you're ready to move locations.  I bet you can spot a potential new problem if you look close enough...



Closed up the pack, locked the latch (standard AK ammo crate latch, seems solid enough, not going to worry about replacing it until it breaks).  Held the pack at arms length to avoid my toes, and gave her a good shake, with full weight.



I then put the pack on, realized the bottom corners of the frames were bent as they sharply dug into my kidneys, unbent the frame as best as I could (much better now!) and did a little jogging and stair climbing, until my stomach protested.  After a bathroom break, went back down stairs, and opened the pack, to find exactly what I expected: Grenades slightly shifted, but for the most part, in place, and footballs in all the available space.



Some quick work with a box cutter, and a temporary solution is available:



The cardboard shelf helps, but is not a foolproof solution, and footballs can still push the shelf down if shaken enough, but the game is this weekend, so this will have to do.  In the future, I'll find some kind of sheet metal, nothing thick or heavy, but something I could bend to fit and secure with screws.  May even put in a 2nd lanyard, since I just love how it's keeping the 40mm's so well organized.

I'm going to try and update the instruction manual this weekend.
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