Howitzer Replica
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Downsized World War II Howitzer Replica Still Packs a Punch

This mini-howitzer functions much like the real deal.

When it comes to famous military hardware, the M101 howitzer has always flown a bit under the radar. This 105mm piece of artillery saw extensive use in World War II and dozens of other conflicts afterwards thanks to its impressive range and accuracy.

The real howitzer weighs in at about 5,000 pounds and has a barrel a little over seven feet in length. This version, which appears to be handcrafted, is much smaller.

However, just like the real thing, it appears to pack quite a punch and have incredible accuracy. The only difference is that it appears to use black powder and golf balls instead of high explosive shells.

If you have ever seen a video of the real M101 howitzer in action, it operates in a very similar manner. Especially the way the barrel and breech move to soak up the recoil of each shot. The sound it makes even sounds the same, just on a much smaller scale here. Of course, the real thing did not use black powder and fuses.

Instead, the real thing fired huge, 105mm explosive shells at up to 1,500 feet per second. This howitzer had some extreme long-range capabilities, up to 12,000 yards, or a little over seven miles. This kept the crews operating the gun safe while still providing much needed troop support. The guns were so effective, they continued to be used into the Korean War and Vietnam War. The U.S. eventually replaced it, but many other militaries around the world still use the gun due to its range and effectiveness.

In an interesting twist, new uses for the gun beyond combat have since been found too. In areas susceptible to avalanches, the howitzer is now often used to stop deadly slides of snow before they can happen. As you saw in this video, this replica howitzer is a nifty little design. And from what we saw, a highly effective and accurate one too.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels