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BGM-71 TOW missile refurb.... pic heavy


SubgunFun
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SubgunFun

I had this in my collection for quite some time. It is a fired BGM-71 TOW missile. It appears to have been fired past it's maximum range and then ended up with minor damage... a dent on the blue inert warhead and it lost all the rear fins.  The front fins pivot forward when deployed so when they hit something the lock gives and they fold back into the body. The rear fins pivot out towards the back, so when they hit something they get ripped off.  I had a 1st stage motor remnant that had a good fin on it, so I hand produced three more fins trying to match them as close as I could. I also removed all the missile rivets in order to straighten the body as best I could. It was fun getting inside the missile and getting a close up view of how it worked.  It's now one of my main display pieces.  I did this work about 5 years ago.

Also, disregard my mismatched 90mm recoilless HEAT warhead on a 90mm gun casing. I'm still looking for a 90mmRR casing.

 

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SubgunFun

Here's a couple pics of the gyroscope from a TOW. These make a great fidget spinner. I also have one from a Dragon missile. I'm not sure why I don't have any photos of the gyroscope housing or the thermal/salt battery in the above post. There's quite a bit I didn't actually get photos of.

 

 

 

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mohawkALSE

That is really freakin cool,  nice find and nice work restoring it.   Cant be many of those around.

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kfields

Wow! That is really super cool! 

I remember being a spectator, watching a dragon and then a TOW being fired at targets down range while I was a Ft Polk. Fascinating to watch! 

Did you find your TOW somewhere on a range?

Kim

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opus5150

Nice work!  I remember driving past parts and pieces of those things while in 29 Palms.  As stated above, its rare to find them very intact.  

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Being an Ordnance collector, I admit I am jealous. One notch above some of my “ unobtainables”. I do know where a Cobra TOW pylon launcher is located. 

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Latewatch

Very nice. I was a 90mm RR Gunner back in the day. I've got a 90mm RR HE training round and I'm pretty sure that I've got a 90mm RR case somewhere. I mainly collect US Rifle Grenade items, got anything interesting to trade?

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SubgunFun
14 hours ago, Latewatch said:

Very nice. I was a 90mm RR Gunner back in the day. I've got a 90mm RR HE training round and I'm pretty sure that I've got a 90mm RR case somewhere. I mainly collect US Rifle Grenade items, got anything interesting to trade?

I don't have very much as it comes to rifle grenades. I metal detect and picked up some old spent smokes that were buried. I had one (streamer) that was in pretty good shape so I restored it a few years back and used it for a tap handle on the kegerator. However, I realize that I painted the top green when it should have been grey. I think my smoke grenade adapter (dated 1944 with spring clip) might be hard to find... I had two but I think I sold one. I'm lacking in this area~!

rifle grenades.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
Crap Game

Those "hand-carved" tail fins came out amazing!

 

I have a similar "project" BTM-71A, mine is reclaimed range dunnage, an 11H student must have been watching the missile instead of the target, nosed it into the dirt, mine has the nosecone crushed in on one side, even has a bunch of wire left on the spools.   I found an extra booster motor stage with an intact tail fin, sent it to a foundry to try to have the fin sand cast but they said it was too thin, I've been trying to get it back since, try to build up the trailing edge enough to where they can sandcast it.  Then use a Sharkwheel on angle grinder to thin it out.  I  even got a shipping/launch tube for it. 

 

The shipping/launch tube I bought off somebody on ArmsList, found doing a Google search.   I has fiberboard end caps and was weighted to match the shipping weight of a live projo.  

 

 Last one that sold on eBay, a TOW-2 type with the spring-loaded stand off fuse, went for over $6000, over 10 years ago, the auction doesn't even come up on Google anymore.

 

One of those "winter projects" I'll never get to.  The nosecone, although aluminum, can't be made to look like new, so I though about buying an aluminum 5" OD half round sphere , drill a hole in the center then make the extended BGM-71B type extended fuse, considering the shipping tube is the longer one for the TOW2B.   Somebody with an M151A2 TOW Jeep had asked me about it a couple years ago but no deal was made.    Matter of fact I should call the foundry again tomorrow, I was waiting on the answer if I could just build up the trailing edge to about 0.125" using duct tape, then at my leisure, use the shark wheel to taper it down to the original thickness.    Or get somebody talented to make a CAD to have the tail fins 3D printed in burnable string, for casting.      

 

A Brother from 10SFG was wanting several yards of the tracker wire to use as a field expedient antenna.

 

I've got 2x 84mm HEAT and a fired casing for Charlie G here, I passed on a demil Izzy Carl G M2 at the FLMVPA meet in Jacksonville last month. The firing spring housing tube was rusted to heck, both the grips were gone, no bipod mount, shoulder pad or even shoulder stop, for the bargain price of $1500!   Got to fly in the UH-1H Huey though......with the doors open!

 

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SubgunFun

Crap Game... Yeah, that tube looks great. You need to pick up a surplus Humvee and get that mounted!

Seriously, it's nice. Your TOW does need some work... My nose want damaged as bad as yours. Still, you could do a lot by straightening and bondo. Those rear fins are not easy though.  I'm glad I had one good one to go on. If you could get a good casting that would be sweet. 

Nice to see there's another one out there. Certainly a neat item. Thanks for posting!

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Crap Game
5 hours ago, SubgunFun said:

Crap Game... Yeah, that tube looks great. You need to pick up a surplus Humvee and get that mounted!

Seriously, it's nice. Your TOW does need some work... My nose want damaged as bad as yours. Still, you could do a lot by straightening and bondo. Those rear fins are not easy though.  I'm glad I had one good one to go on. If you could get a good casting that would be sweet. 

Nice to see there's another one out there. Certainly a neat item. Thanks for posting!

I've already got two former 1SFG and 5SFG Ground Mobility Vehicle GMV HMMWV variants that are taking up all my time and money scrounging then bolting the demil parts back on and technical inspections on the mechanicals.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
lilfry14
On 2/28/2021 at 11:45 AM, SubgunFun said:

 

Also, disregard my mismatched 90mm recoilless HEAT warhead on a 90mm gun casing. I'm still looking for a 90mmRR casing.

 


Great work on the missile. I've been working on a tow setup for years. I don't have a case, but I do have an entire round.

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 10.25.12 PM.png

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SubgunFun
18 hours ago, lilfry14 said:


Great work on the missile. I've been working on a tow setup for years. I don't have a case, but I do have an entire round.

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Nice! I need one! Ya know, i just realized that the 90mm recoiless cases aren't perforated, like the Carl Gustaf ammo. So there must be a  different way of venting gasses. Hmmmm... I'm thinking there's another rabbit hole for me to dive into here....

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lilfry14
14 minutes ago, SubgunFun said:

 

Nice! I need one! Ya know, i just realized that the 90mm recoiless cases aren't perforated, like the Carl Gustaf ammo. So there must be a  different way of venting gasses. Hmmmm... I'm thinking there's another rabbit hole for me to dive into here....


The bottom of the case is plastic or not connected to the main case and blows out the back, like a bazooka. I'll take a picture when I get a chance to dig it out.

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lilfry14
On 4/22/2021 at 5:13 PM, SubgunFun said:

 

Nice! I need one! Ya know, i just realized that the 90mm recoiless cases aren't perforated, like the Carl Gustaf ammo. So there must be a  different way of venting gasses. Hmmmm... I'm thinking there's another rabbit hole for me to dive into here....

Here's the bottom.

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