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World War Two anti-tank rifles


By Sakhal

World War Two anti-tank rifles


Panzerbuchse 39

As other several anti-tank rifles of that time, the Panzerbuchse was, theoretically, of the same caliber than the German reglamentary rifle, 7.92 millimeters; but the cartridge that it used was larger and it had been developed from a 13 millimeters weapon, so it had the necessary power to achieve the required muzzle speed. The PzB 39 was a single-shot weapon; the sliding breechblock opened vertically, pressing forward and downwards the pistol grip. To reload faster, it could be inserted a clip with five cartridges in the right side of the breech closure mechanism. The bullet had a core of hardened steel and a tiny capsule of irritant gas, which should penetrate inside the tank and force the crew to exit. But it did not work: the core of the bullet was able to penetrate, but the capsule stayed almost always outside the armor.

Country: Germany

Caliber: 7.92 millimeters

Length: 1580 millimeters

Weight: 12.36 kilograms

Length of the barrel: 1085 millimeters, with four dextro-rotatory grooves

Muzzle velocity: 1212 meters/second

Penetration: 25 millimeters at 60 degrees at 300 meters



Granatbuchse 39

When finally it was retired the anti-tank rifle PzB 39, someone had the logical idea that it was a too good weapon to be totally thrown away, so in the late 1941 it was made the reconversion of a certain number of those rifles. The barrel was shortened and a thread was added to the muzzle, to attach the standard adapter for rifle grenades (the Schiessbecher). They were built special blank cartridges with wooden bullets, converting so the old anti-tank rifles in new grenade launchers.

Country: Germany

Caliber: 7.92 millimeters

Length: 1232 millimeters

Weight: 10.43 kilograms

Length of the barrel: 612 millimeters, with four dextro-rotatory grooves

Effective range: 150 meters

Type of grenade: High explosive, shaped charge or flare with parachute



Boys

The development of this weapon - whose codename was "Stanchion" - was finished in 1936. When it was to be started its production one of the projectists, Captain Boys, died. As tribute, the rifle was named after him, entering service in November 1937 as the "rifle Boys". It fired a bullet with steel core with a muzzle speed of 990 meters/second which could perforate 15 millimeters of armor from a distance of 230 meters. The cartridge was powerful and the recoil very strong, so the rifle was fitted with a muzzle brake and a cradle mounting, to effectuate the recoil against a powerful shock absorber spring. For support it had only a foot and the buttstock was padded with rubber. Feeding was supplied by a box magazine with five cartridges attached in the upper face. This rifle saw action in France, Norway and the Far East, but as armor was made thicker, its production was discontinued.

Country: United Kingdom

Caliber: 13.9 millimeters

Length: 1612 millimeters

Weight: 16.32 kilograms

Length of the barrel: 914 millimeters, with seven dextro-rotatory grooves

Muzzle velocity: 990 meters/second

Penetration: 15 millimeters at 90 degrees at 230 meters



PTRS

The rifle PTRS was designed by Russian projectist Simonov in 1941. It was a very advanced weapon of semiautomatic cycle, which used a gas cylinder and a piston to move the bolt of the weapon. This one moved the bolt downward and then pulled it backward to extract and expulse the case, in the classical cycle of ejection and reload. The breech opened forward, as in other designs by Simonov, and it admitted a special clip with five cartridges. Albeit the PTRS was a more advanced model than the PTRD, it was much less solid to use, apart from being larger and heavier. Albeit this rifle continued in service until the late 1940s, it is believed that few were produced, because the PTRD had the same characteristics (for it used the same ammunition) and it was easier to produce and operate.

Country: Soviet Union

Caliber: 14.5 millimeters

Length: 2133 millimeters

Weight: 20.96 kilograms

Length of the barrel: 1219 millimeters, with eight dextro-rotatory grooves

Muzzle velocity: 1012 meters/second

Penetration: 25 millimeters at 90 degrees at 500 meters



PTRD

This weapon was designed by Degtyaryov in 1941, being built for it a new cartridge of caliber 14.5 millimeters. The barrel receded along a slide, pushing the lever of the bolt against a cam and making it to rotate to open the breechblock; the bolt was held while the barrel returned to its firing position, and during this stroke it was extracted and expulsed the empty case. In this moment the operator introduced a new cartridge and closed the bolt manually. The bullet had a steel core and a small incendiary charge, which when hitting the target produced a sparkle to indicate the point of impact. In 1941 it was introduced a bullet with a core of carbonated tungsten, which improved velocity and penetration at short distances.

Country: Soviet Union

Caliber: 14.5 millimeters

Length: 2008 millimeters

Weight: 17.24 kilograms

Length of the barrel: 1227 millimeters, with eight dextro-rotatory grooves

Muzzle velocity: 1012 meters/second

Penetration: 25 millimeters at 90 degrees at 500 meters



Type 97

Put into service in 1937, this complex rifle had the capability to face the light tanks that the Japanese expected to find in their campaigns in China and Manchuria. It worked with a combination of mechanism operated by gas and direct recoil. The bolt was opened by a piston moved by gas and then it moved backward impulsed by the recoil from the fired cartridge. The barrel and the mechanisms box effectuated the recoil in a cradle mounting with bipod, which included the pistol grip, the rear foot and the buttstock. The weapon had a regenerative brake with an oil shock absorber to reduce the kickback. Feeding was supplied by a box magazine with seven cartridges attached in the upper face. There were hitches under the buttstock and the cradle, in which transport handles could be inserted, allowing the rifle to be carried by four soldiers.

Country: Japan

Caliber: 20 millimeters

Length: 2089 millimeters

Weight: 52.18 kilograms

Length of the barrel: 1064 millimeters, with eight dextro-rotatory grooves

Muzzle velocity: 805 meters/second

Penetration: 30 millimeters at 90 degrees at 250 meters



Type 2

The anti-tank grenade launcher Type 2 was put into service in 1942. It was a copy of the German launcher adaptable to the rifles Gewehr 98 and Kar 98k, albeit somewhat modified to fit in the bore of the Japanese reglamentary rifle Arisaka, of caliber 6.5 millimeters. The launcher consisted of a hollow tube of caliber 30 millimeters, rifled with eight wide grooves. The diameter was lesser in the rear part, to fit the bore of the rifle; a hinge and a tab allowed to attach or detach it easily. The grenade had a wide head and a narrower tail fitted with angled striations that fitted with the ones in the launcher. The ignition was made by means of a blank cartridge.

Country: Japan

Caliber: 6.5 millimeters the rifle, 30 millimeters the launcher

Length: 203 millimeters

Weight: 450 grams

Type of grenade: High explosive or shaped charge

Muzzle velocity: 45 meters/second

Penetration: 40 millimeters at 90 degrees at 100 meters



Categories: Infantry - World War Two - 20th Century - [General] - [General]

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Website: Military History

Article submitted: 2015-06-17


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