Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Soviet Anti-Tank Rifles

Discussion in 'Russian Light Weapons' started by Jim, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    via War44
    The Red Army used two types of antitank rifle during World War II, both of them very distinctive for they were long and powerful rifles that both fired the same 14.5-mm (0.57-in) ammunition. For some reason the Soviet armed forces had neglected the anti-tank rifle when other nations were just adopting the weapon, and only introduced the type into use at a time when other nations were busy discarding theirs, Set against this it must be said that the Soviet rifles were much more viable weapons than most in use at the time.

    The Soviet 14.5-mm (0.57-in) PTRS 1941 anti-tank rifle was a rather complex weapon with a semi automatic gas-operated mechanism. It used a five-round magazine and was rather prone to jamming, so it was not as widely used as the simpler PTRD 1941.


    The more numerous of the Soviet anti-tank rifles were the PTRD 1941, a weapon produced by the Degtyarov design burea and introduced in mid-1941, just in time for the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The PTRD-41 (as it was often known) was a very long weapon that was nearly all barrel and equipped with a semi-automatic breech mechanism, It could penetrate

    (547 yards) and fired either steel or tungsten-cored projectiles. A large muzzle brake was fitted and a bipod under the barrel steadied the rifle in use.
    The second anti-tank rifle was the PTRS 1941 or PTRS-41, a product of the Simonov design bureau. Compared with the PTRD-41 it was a heavier and more complex weapon, but it fired the same ammunition and had an identical performance. The main change with the PTRS-41 was the use of a gasoperated mechanism and the addition of a five-round magazine. At the time these combined to make the PTRS-41 a more trouble-prone weapon than the simpler and lighter PTRD-41. Further complexity was added by a feature that allowed the barrel to be removed from the weapon for ease in carrying.

    The Soviet PTRD 1941 fired the same steel-cored ammunition as the more complex PTRS194 LI t fired single shots only, but used a semiautomatic breech. It was widely used by the Red Army and partisans, and even the Germans used captured examples to arm garrison units. It was used for many years after 1945.


    Despite the fact that these two antitank rifles arrived in Red Army service at a time when their anti-armour capabilities were being reduced by a rapid increase in German tank armour thicknesses, they remained in service until well after 1945; indeed, some were encountered in use by the Communist Chinese during the Korean War. For several reasons the Red Army found the PTRD-41 and PTRS-41 to be very useful all-round weapons: they were still useful against soft-skin targets such as trucks, and in house-to-house fighting they were unhandy but very powerful weapons; despite their length and weight they were very useful partisan weapons that could be easily carried by two men; and when opportunity arose the Red Army even used these rifles against low-flying aircraft, Some light armoured cars carried these rifles as their main armament and Lend-Lease vehicles such as Universal Carriers often mounted one.

    The Soviet 14.5-mm (0.57-in) PTRD 1941 anti-tank rifle has had a round loaded into the breech with the loader's left hand; a subsequent tap on the firer's helmet would then indicate that the rifle is ready to fire.


    The Red Army was not the only World War II operator of these antitank rifles, for the Germans pressed into their own use any that they could capture during the early stages of their campaign against the Soviet Union: they knew the PTRD-41 as the 14.5-mm Panzerabwehrbuchse 783® and the PTRS-41 as the 14.5-mm Panzerabwehrbuchse 784®. Few of them remained in German front-line use after 1943.

    Specification: [​IMG]

    Calibre: 14.5 mm (0,57 in).
    Lengths: overall 2.02 m (6 ft 7,5 in)
    Barrel: 1,35 m (4 ft 5.1 in)
    Weight: 17,3 kg (38.14 lb)
    Muzzle velocity: 1010 m (3,314 ft) per second
    Armour penetration: 25 mm (0.98 in) at 500 m (547 yards)

    PTRS-41 [​IMG]
    Calibre: 14,5 mm (0.57 in)
    Lengths: overall 2.108 m (6 ft 11 in);
    Barrel: 1,216 m (3 ft 11.9 in)
    Weight: 20.9 kg (46. lib)
    Muzzle velocity: 1010 m (3,314 ft) per second
    Armour penetration: 25 mm (0.98 in) at 500 m (547 yards)

Share This Page