Friday 15 October 2021

Tips for an Anti-Tank Rifleman

 Advice for anti-tank riflemen penned by Degtyaryev himself published in the Boyevoy Put' newspaper on May 13th, 1944.


  1. The anti-tank rifle gives the best effect at a range no more than 250-400 meters.
  2. The rifle works flawlessly with normal care and lubrication.
  3. The barrel is long lasting given proper cleaning and wiping down after firing. Even after 500 shots the muzzle velocity only decreases a small amount. The precision drops by a negligible amount and at 200-300 meters is no different than for a new gun.
  4. The shock absorber will dampen the recoil well if the breech and shoulder stock tubes are well lubricated and free of large grain dust or sand. Sand can be easily removed by compressing the shock absorber spring several times.
  5. The PTRD is an accurate weapon, but this accuracy is achieved by correctly setting the sight, correctly setting down the bipod, and shouldering it properly. This is important, considering that the gun will recoil when fired and if the bipod is not deployed the gun is significantly lower to the ground and pushes against the shoulder harder."
The advice is accompanied by a diagram of a German tank (looks like a mix of a Panzer II and early Panzer III) with directions for knocking it out. Snipers are taught to fire at the vision slits and the main gun, grenade bundles can be used to break through the roof or destroy the tracks and drive sprockets. Molotov cocktails can be used to set the engine on fire.


  1. I wonder about the attrition rates of anti-tank riflemen and grenadiers, given the distance they had to close to. My respect to those men.

    "Industrialization, that's how we're winning this war. And my *big* balls."

  2. I read your article about the Soviet Union rejecting the bazooka and piat. I understand the limitations of those weapon systems, but if you're using PTRD's in 1944 you're doing something wrong.

    1. Front line reports definitely call the effectiveness of anti-tank rifles into question starting at around 1943 or so.

    2. Also the time when Schürzen started to be applied, seriously degrading the effectiveness of AT rifles.