Ammoracks subtilities

From time to time we hear questions about ammunition racks, usually called ammoracks.

So let’s take a closer look. Follow the guide.

!! Detail !! that tutorial are a traduction with Deepl of my work in french section. Images are in french, copy/past form the original topic.

First of all, what is an ammorack?

An ammorack is the place where ammunition is stored. The common expressions “take an ammorack” or “has been ammoracked” mean that the ammunition stockpile has been hit and exploded, disabling the vehicle.

!!! WARNING !!! ammunition racks are emptied as the ammunition is used. Some are emptied block by block, others, particularly on modern tanks, shell by shell. An empty rack won’t explode, so I’d advise you to carry only as much ammunition as you feel you need. Personally, I only take 1/3 of the total possible stock or as much as I can fit in the secure rack.

For gameplay simplicity, the graphical representation in the tank does not correspond with the different types of shells on board, in fact ALL ammunition can explode. This includes projectiles from two-part ammunition as well as powder charges.

!! Detail !! Explosion of external ammunition (especially missiles mounted outside of turrets) generates a HE and Overpressure effect that can neutralise the crew in the same way as a HE shell.
Click Here: Ammoracks status

Now that that introduction is out of the way, here’s the major part:

There are several types of racks, which I’ll describe below.

Here are the various subtilities of ammoracks:

-1) The First Stage Ammo Rack

The main ammo rack used as a priority for reloading the weapon. This “First Stage Ammo” can be a barrel (like many FR tanks, for example) or certain racks placed near the magazine and gun (generally at the rear, as on Tiger IIs, or in the turret, as on Chieftains).
These racks have a limited capacity. When these racks are empty, the reloading rate is reduced (to simulate the more complicated access to the other racks). However, if no shots are fired for a certain period of time, the crew transfers the ammunition in the tank to the “primary” rack.

Click Here: Primary racks

-2) The secure racks

These are protected racks which, most of the time, prevent your tank from exploding when the ammunition is hit. The principle is simple: a fairly thick plate inside the tank and “fusible” armour on the outside to deflect the energy of the explosion away from the tank (thanks to the Monroe effect). However, this protection is not infallible: in some cases, if the protection is heavily damaged by a shot, the explosion of the ammunition can destroy the tank.

When the ammunition in this rack explodes, all the ammunition in the rack are destroyed and the fire is extinguished ITSELF, in principle, in a few seconds. As a special case, the fire can spread to the rest of the tank (engine in particular) if the fire remains above the tank’s components (basically, turn your turret on its side to avoid these problems). A vehicle fire resulting from an ammunition fire is a standard fire and can be extinguished with fire extinguishers.

Click Here: Secure racks

-3) Automatic and semi-automatic loaders

Automatic loaders fire faster (and in reality more evenly) than a human loader. The advantage is that if a crew member or the gun is damaged, loading continues. However, this deprives the tank of a crew member, reducing its survivability somewhat.
Semi-automatic loaders (like the AMX-13, M4 or 50 for example) are mechanical loaders but require an action on the part of the loader. Although loading is interrupted when the magazine is hit, they still provide a very good rate of fire.

Click Here: Automatic/semi-auto loader

-4) Mechanized racks
Some (mostly recent) tanks have a mechanized rack. These racks improve the rate of fire by providing the loader with the next shell to be fired. These mechanized racks are generally secured. Note that this is not an automatic loader: if the human loader is hit, loading is interrupted (and starts again from zero) and/or the rate of fire is reduced.

Click Here: Mechanized racks

-5) Particular protected racks
Some racks are placed in fuel tanks (notably on Soviet tanks) or water or sand tanks (as on Shermans, but not modelled).
These racks were the forerunners of secure racks, which protected the crew from exploding shells by surrounding them with a mass that absorbed the shrapnel and some of the blast. Although less effective than secure racks, they were still more survivable than unprotected racks.
A small detail about shells in fuel tanks: these tanks contain diesel fuel. This fuel does not ignite immediately on contact with a flame as petrol does. It’s the liquid mass of the fuel that acts as a ‘shock absorber’.

Click Here: Particular racks

-6) Ammunition selection

-A) Selection in battle :

Just before spawn, you can choose the type, number and priority of ammunition you wish to take on board. Don’t be afraid to pack all your available ammo, as this significantly increases your chances of exploding in the event of a piercing shot.

Click Here: Selection in battle

-B) Hangar selection :

To see the distribution of shells in your vehicle BEFORE discovering it in battle, you can select the type, order and number of shells loaded during a vehicle test. Same rules as in battle: 4 types of shells maximum, selection of shells not displayed …

!! Detail !! You don't need to run the test drive once you've made your selection, it will be saved for the next battle.
Click Here: Selection in hangar

This is the end of the guide. Feel free to give your opinion and ask any questions you may have.