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Q&A 36: All About Tanks, with Nicolas Moran (the Chieftain)

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I recently had the chance to do some collaborative filming with Nicolas Moran (, and figured it would be a good chance to do a Q&A specifically on issues related to tanks. Nicolas is a Major in the US Army Reserve, who deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in Abrams tanks and Bradley APCs, and is a wealth of information of armored vehicles both past and present. I learned a ton speaking with him, and I think many of you will also in today’s Q&A (which, I will note, is my longest such one to date!).

The questions provided by Patrons are:

0:01:10 – The M85 machine gun and M231 port-firing weapon
0:05:44 – Which machine gun position is best, coaxial, hull mount, or top mount?
0:18:02 – Is the 25mm gun on the Bradley still viable, and do its TOW missiles need to be replaced?
0:23:28 – Do modern tanks have bird’s-eye type camera systems?
0:26:49 – Given the headspace problems on HMMVW M2s, how bad were your secondary weapons in the Abrams and Bradley?
0:30:57 – What happens to spent casings in tanks?
0:33:58 – Given the effectiveness of AT rifles in the 1930s, was the “cult of the machine gun” really a bad thing?
0:37:25 – Thoughts on the Swedish S-Tank?
0:42:00 – Will the current Army competition for a light vehicle lead to anything?
0:45:08 – Differences between the Sherman 75mm and 76mm in AP and HE
0:47:12 – What about a 20mm-30mm auto cannon as secondary tank armament?
0:52:48 – Will man-portable anti-armor weapons remain viable in the future with unmanned vehicles?
0:56:50 – What are tank crew small arms like?
1:03:16 – What is the oldest tank that is still “not obsolete”, given a good crew and modern updates?
1:06:48 – Did AFV coaxial guns get special ammunition?
1:09:48 – How effective were antitank rifles in WWII on armor?
1:14:00 – How significant were optics and fire control systems in WWII tanks?
1:21:48 – Do other countries have the same bureaucratic procurement issues as the US?
1:29:31 – In WWI, was the machine gun or light cannon more practical on tanks?
1:33:24 – Thoughts on the XM913 50mm chain gun?
1:37:23 – Modern application of the tank destroyer concept?
1:39:06 – What is the strangest way someone has defeated a tank?
1:43:30 – What is the “Forgotten Weapon” of tanks?

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions! I am sorry that we couldn’t cover all of them. If you are interested in this sort of subject matter, I would highly recommend checking out The Chieftain channel on YouTube, and supporting Nicolas on Patreon as well.

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