Original U.S. Vietnam War INERT 81mm Mortar M301A3 Illumination Round With Deactivated Fuse - Dated 1972

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a totally inert/deactivated example of the 81mm M301A3 Illumination Mortar Round. The device has no explosive filling or charges and cannot be converted to be an explosive device. This is completely inert and in compliance with BATF guidelines on inert ordnance. Not Available For Export.

The 81 mm Mortar Illumination Round is used for the illumination of target areas during night missions or low-visibility conditions. The round functions by way of a time fuse, at a height of 400 m wherein the front and rear body are split, ejecting the parachute and illumination kit. The round is delivered as a ready-to-fire in 2-round containers, equipped with a fuse and charge system.

The complete round consists of a body tube and tail cone assembly, an illuminant candle, and parachute assembly, a time fuse with a built in expelling charge, a fin assembly with propellant charge, and an ignition cartridge with percussion primer. The nose of the thin walled steel tubing body is fitted with a steel adapter and internally threaded to accept the fuze. The tail cone is internally threaded to accept the tin assembly, and is attached to the body tube with four equally spaced shear pins. The illuminant assembly consisting of a first fire charge and an illuminant charge, is contained in a box board case and attached to the parachute with a 30-inch suspension line.

Cartridge has a cylindrical body that contains an illuminating candle and parachute assembly. The round has a burst height of 400 - 600 meters and provides illumination for about 60 seconds for an area of about 1,200 meters. It is painted white with black markings. It uses the M185 propelling charge that consists of eight increments fitted into the spaces between the fins and held by a propellant holder. The increments are individually wrapped with waterproof bags that are not removed.

This example is an earlier version of the modern 81mm Illumination Round and is NOT painted white, after all, that wouldn’t be very tactical in a combat environment such as Vietnam.

The round measures a total length of 25” and is completely OD green with what appears to have been a white band painted at the top, just beneath the fuse. The tail fin assembly is aluminum and unpainted, and appears to have been on a mortar round that was already fired, as there are nicks and chips present. The tail fin assembly is still able to be removed and the fuse assembly appears to be affixed to the shell body and not removable.

There is minor surface rust present on the tube body, making the markings somewhat obscured. We are however able to read the year and round designation:

1972 - 81MM M301A3

The fuse also appears to be dated 1972 with the tail fin assembly being dated 1970.

Comes ready to display!

  • This product is not available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles