Wednesday 17 August 2022

First Anti-Tank Rifles

"To the Chairman of the State Committee of Defense, I.V. Stalin
August 9th, 1941

Trials of the German 7.92 mm Pz.B.39 rifle conducted by the Scientific Research Small Arms Proving Grounds of the Red Army showed the following results:
  • Muzzle velocity: 1189 m/s
  • Weight: 12.12 kg
  • Bullet weight: 14.8 grams
  • Chamber size: 17.06 cm³
The rifle penetrates a 20 mm surface hardened plate at 20 degrees at a range up to 500 m inclusive, a 30 mm surface hardened plate at 20 degrees from up to 300 meters inclusive.

Further trials were not conducted since there were only 7 rounds to test with.

The 7.62 mm Pz.B.39 rifle is a powerful weapon against vehicles with up to 20 mm of armour at ranges of up to 500 meters and vehicles with 30 mm of armour at up to 300 meters.

Since the army is in need of anti-tank rifles, we consider it necessary to put a German type anti-tank rifle into production and produce 30,000 of these rifles in 1941.

Since it is not possible to complete this task with the resources of the People's Commissariat of Armaments without impact on production of other systems, we ask to transfer the Avtotraktordetal factory in Saratov from the People's Commissariat of Medium Machinebuilding to the NKV.

We ask you to approve this in a decree.
People's Commissar of Armament, D. Ustinov".

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