Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
    Rep Power

    Default Italian 45mm Brixia Mortar

    I've got mortars on my mind these days. I went from zero experience with mortars, never saw one fired in person, didn't know much about them, to owning multiple. It has been very interesting learning how they work and learning how the average person can enjoy shooting them recreationally. Mortars are considered a destructive device and regulated by the NFA, just like a suppressor or machinegun. The rounds I'm shooting are all inert, so they are NOT destructive devices, but they would be if they contained more than a 1/4 oz of explosives.

    Finally, after an NFA transfer that took almost 16 months start to finish, I have my very rare 45mm Italian Brixia Model 35 Mortar. These were a light mortar that folds up to be carried like a backpack. It uses a blank cartridge fed from a magazine to propel the mortar round similar to how an AR can cannon upper works. Your chest rests on the attached pad when firing it. I have learned of only a handful in US collector hands. This one was brought back from Europe by a GI at the end of WW2, he sold it to an antique dealer in the 60s, who amnesty registered it in 1968, and that is who I got it from. A really lucky find. Here is a video that shows how it functions:

    Original blanks and projectiles are too expensive to use, so I'm working on using 7.62x39 to launch solid rubber or 3D printed projectiles, or anything at Walmart that is 45mm in diameter.

    I took the chest pad part of the tripod off to protect it. It's in too good of a condition to take out into the field, and I don't really need it anyways.

    7.62x39 blanks work really well. I have some solid rubber but slightly undersized inert projectiles I launched 100 yards with ease. I just wrap them in electrical tape to fit the bore better. I randomly found these online. The seller said they were made to be movie props.

    After firing, the 7.62x39 blanks are formed to the brixia chamber, and they use a boxer primer so I can shorten, reload, and re-crimp them. They are currently too long to feed from the Brixia's magazine so I have to single feed them, no big deal.

    I set to work designing a 3D printed two piece chalk round. First version couldn't handle the launch force, so I need to redesign it.

    I really like how this mortar can be fired in typical mortar fashion, at a steep to near vertical angle, or it can be fired horizontally more like a little cannon. Very versatile!

    Chalk round video that looks like a gender reveal party:

    Shooting the solid rubber projectiles:

    To do:
    - revise chalk round design, thicker walls, make base flatter with shorter fins
    - a friend is going to make a silicone mold and pour me some glow in the dark solid projectiles
    - get some 14.5mm artillery spotters (PD and air burst) and make a 3d printed round to hold those
    In America arms are free merchandise such that anyone who has the capital may make their houses into armories and their gardens into parks of artillery. - Ira Allen, 1796

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    somewhere, Pennsylvania
    Rep Power

    Default Re: Italian 45mm Brixia Mortar

    Wow. Awesome piece. It's so cool seeing these rare models being brought back to life and out to the field. Jealous puts it mildly.

    After seeing your posts, I'd love to get my hands on some kind of mortar to play with.

    (Need to spread the rep.)
    I am not a lawyer.

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