Gun with tapered shafts

As for centuries has been the best anti-tank ammunition is rapidly moving scrap. A key issue over which the fighting weapon makers — how to disperse it quickly

This is only in movies about WWII tanks explode after being hit by a projectile — a movie after all. In real life, most of the tanks are killed as Marines, the word on the full run its bullet. Piercing shells in the large body makes a small hole, killing the crew of the tank's armor shards. However, in contrast to the infantry, most of these tanks within a few days or even hours just vorachivayutsya to life. However, with other crew members.

The modern reconstruction of the gun with a tapered barrel perfectly visible to the corresponding part: the shield is made up of 2-armor plates

In fact, prior to the second world war, the speed of conventional field artillery projectiles with supplies enough to break through all the armor of tanks, and of reservations were mostly bulletproof. Traditional armor-piercing shell is a big metal blunt (not to slide off the armor and not to break off the tip of the projectile) punch, often with an aerodynamic fairing copper-cap and small amounts of explosives at the bottom — the supplies of his armor in the pre-war tanks for a decent oskolkoobrazovaniya lacked.

That changed December 18, 1939, when, by supporting the coming Russian infantry to attack the Finnish position went very experienced tank KV-1. In the tank were 43 artillery shells, but neither one of them is not broke armor. But this debut for unknown reasons, was not seen spices.

Because the emergence of Russian tanks at the front with protivosnaryadnym reservations — HF languid and medium T-34 — was a nasty surprise for the Wehrmacht generals. In the first days of the war as it became clear that all the anti-tank guns and thousands of captured Wehrmacht — British, French, Polish, Czech — worthless against tanks KV.

It is seen that the German generals have responded fairly quickly. HF was thrown against the hull artillery — 10.5 cm guns and 15-cm howitzers languid. More as effective tools to deal with them were anti-aircraft gun, 8.8 and 10.5 cm for several months have been made and a fundamentally new armor-piercing projectiles — piercing and cumulative (on what was then the Russian terminology — broneprozhigayuschie).

The German anti-tank gun 20/28-mm sPzB 41. Due to the conical bore, which gave a huge initial speed of the projectile, it pierced the armor of tanks T-34 and KV

Mass and velocity

Let's leave aside the cumulative ammunition — we were in charge of them in previous issues of "PM". Penetration traditional kinetic projectiles depends on the causes of 3 — impact force, the material and shape of the projectile. Increment strike force can increase the mass of the projectile and its velocity. Increasing the mass of maintaining the caliber permitted in very small limits, the speed can be increased to increase the mass of propellant and increased the length of the barrel. Practically for the first months of the war wall thickened stems anti-tank guns, and the guns themselves were lengthened.

Average increase in size is also no panacea. Massive anti-tank guns start the second world did in the main as follows: take the swinging of the anti-aircraft guns and put on a languid carriages. Thus, in the Soviet Union on the basis of a swinging ship anti-aircraft gun of the B-34 was created by a 100-mm antitank gun BS-3 with a warhead weighing 3.65 tons (For comparison: the German 3.7 cm anti-tank gun weighed 480 kg). BS-3, we even hesitate to call the anti-gun and christened Field, formerly of field guns in the Red Army was not, it's pre-revolutionary term.

The Germans on the basis of 8.8-cm anti-aircraft gun "41" made two types of anti-tank guns weighing 4,4-5 so on the basis of 12.8-cm anti-aircraft guns were made a few samples of anti-tank guns with a completely transcendent weight 8,3-12 , 2 volumes required for their massive trucks and camouflage was difficult because of the huge size.

These guns are very expensive and are not produced tyschami and weaves and in Germany, and the Soviet Union. So, by May 1, 1945 in the Red Army comprised 403 units of 100-mm guns, BS-3: 58 — in the corps artillery, 111 — in the Army artillery and 234 — in RVGK. And in their divisional artillery was not quite.

The design of shells allow them to shrink in the barrel

Forced gun

Even more interesting was another way of solving the problem — while maintaining the caliber of the projectile mass and disperse it quickly. It was invented by a lot of different options, but the real masterpiece of engineering were anti-tank guns with a tapered bore of the barrel. Their trunks were composed of several alternating conical and cylindrical sections, and the shells had a special design of a leading part, allowing reduction of its width as you move the projectile through the channel. So makarom provides a more complete implementation of the pressure of powder gases at the bottom of the projectile by the reduction of the area of its cross-section.

This is the Smartest decision was invented before the First World War — the first patent for a gun with a tapered bore of the barrel was Teuton Charles Ruff in 1903. Experiments were conducted with a conical bore of the barrel, and in Russia. In 1905, engineer M. Druganov and Gen. N. Rogovtsev offered a patent for a gun with a tapered bore of the barrel. And in 1940, the design bureau of artillery factory number 92 in Gorky were tested standards seasoned barrels with a tapered channel. During the tests managed to get the original speed 965 m / s. But VG Grabin unable to cope with the next-but-as environmental problems associated with the deformation of the projectile during passage bore, and to achieve suitable processing properties channel. Because even before the war majestically Russian Main Artillery Administration issued an order to end the experiments with barrel with a tapered channel.

Grim genius

The Germans continued their experiments, and in the first half of 1940, it was decided to adopt a heavy anti-tank gun s.Pz.B.41, whose trunk had first channel caliber of 28 mm, while the barrel — 20 mm. Gun system was called for bureaucratic judgments, but in fact it was the traditional anti- gun with a recoil mechanism and wheel speed, and we'll call it a gun. With its anti-tank gun to pull together just the absence of pointing devices. The trunk is induced by hand gunner. The gun could be disassembled into parts. Fire could be driven with wheels and a bipod. For airborne troops made up to 118 kg lighter version of the gun. It was out of this gun shield, and used in the construction of the mast light alloys. Established wheel was changed to smaller rinks without any suspension. Weight gun in firing position was only 229 kg, and the rate of fire — up to 30 shots per minute.

In ammunition were piercing projectiles with a tungsten core and fragmentation. Instead of copper belts used in traditional shells, both the projectile had two centering ring lug from Myagenko iron that crushes the shot and crashed into the rifling of the barrel. During the passage of the entire path of the projectile channel width decreasing from the annular projections 28 to 20 mm.

Fragmentation projectile had a very damaging effect rather weak and only intended for the calculation of self-defense. But the initial velocity armor-piercing projectile was 1430 m / s (compared to 762 m / s in the traditional 3.7-cm anti-tank guns), which puts s.Pz.B.41 a par with the best of modern guns. For comparison, the best in the world 120-mm tank gun German Rh120, standing on a Leopard-2 tanks and the Abrams M1, accelerates piercing projectiles up to 1650 m / s.

By 1 June 1941 the troops were 183 guns s.Pz.B.41, that summer they received their baptism of fire on the eastern front. In September 1943, was commissioned last gun s.Pz.B.41. Price 1st gun was 4520 Reichsmarks.

At close range 2,8 / 2-cm guns just hit any medium tanks, and a successful hit taken out of the system and the type of languid tanks KV and IS.

Russian 76/57-mm gun S-40 with a cylindrical-conical bore of the barrel

Caliber greater speeds below

In 1941 he was accepted into service a 4.2 cm anti-tank gun mod. 41 (4,2 cm Pak 41) Office "Rheinmetall" with a tapered bore of the barrel. Its original diameter was 40.3 mm, the end — 29 mm. In 1941 he was made 27 4.2-cm guns mod. 41, and in 1942 — 286 else. The initial velocity armor-piercing projectile was 1265 m / s, and at a distance of 500 meters, he punched 72-mm armor at an angle of 30 °, and the normal — 87-mm armor. Weight was 560 kg cannon.

The strongest anti-gun series with a tapered channel was 7.5 sm Pak 41. Designing it was started by Krupp in 1939. In April-May 1942, the company Krupp produced a batch of 150 products on and then it would end. The initial velocity armor-piercing projectile was 1260 m / s at a distance of 1 km, he punched the 145 mm armor at an angle of 30 ° and 177 mm along the normal, in other words, gun could beat all types of languid tanks.

A short life

But if the tapered trunks and not widely available means of these guns were severe shortcomings. The main of them considered experts at our low survivability conical barrel (on average about 500 rounds), in other words almost 10 times less than that of a 3.7-cm anti-tank gun Pak 35/36. (Reason, by the way, unconvincing — the ability to survive for a light anti-tank gun, which made 100 shots at the tanks, does not exceed 20%. And up to 500 shots are not living out none.) Second claim — the weakness of shrapnel shells. But after gun — anti.

Yet the memory of the German guns fired on the Russian military, and immediately after the war in TsAKB (KB Grabina) and OKB-172 ("sharashka", where prisoners worked) began work on the Russian anti-tank guns with a tapered bore of the barrel. On the basis of captured guns 7,5 cm PAK 41 with a cylindrical-conical barrel in TsAKB in 1946, work began on 76/57-mm regimental anti-tank gun S-40 with cylindrical-conical barrel. The barrel had a C-40 caliber breech at 76.2 mm, while the muzzle — 57 mm. Full length of the barrel was about 5.4 m Cumorah was borrowed from the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun reference 1939. Over the chamber was tapered threaded portion of the caliber of 76.2 mm length 3264 mm with a constant slope of 32 rifling in 22 caliber. At the muzzle of the tube is threaded nozzle with cylindrical-conical channel. System weight was 1,824 kg, rate — up to 20 rds / min, and the initial rate of 2.45-pound armor-piercing projectile was 1332 m / s. According to the normal distance of 1 km projectiles penetrated the 230-mm armor for such caliber and weight of the gun it was a magnificent record!

Experienced standard gun S-40 was factory and range tests in 1947. Accuracy of battle armor and armor-piercing shells at the C-40 was significantly better than that of parallel passes the test and most experienced full-shells 57 mm gun ZIS-2, but adopted the C-40 has not arrived. Arguments former opponents: the technological complexity of the production bore, low vitality, and low efficiency of the projectile fragmentation. But in addition, the then minister of armaments, DF Ustinov fiercely could not tolerate Grabin and opposed adopting at least some of its artillery systems.

Conical Tip

Interestingly, the tapered stem applied not only to the anti-tank guns, and in the anti-aircraft artillery, artillery and special power.

For example, for a 24-cm long-range guns K.3, mass production from ordinary bore of the barrel in 1942-1945 was created a few samples tapered shafts, on the creation of the office which worked together Krupp and "Rheinmetall". To fire a conical bore was created special Subcaliber 24/21-sm projectile weighing 126.5 kg, equipped with 15 kg of explosives.

The persistence of the first tapered barrel was low, and the change stems after a few shots of the 10-s was a very expensive pleasure. For this reason it was decided to change the tapered cylindrical-conical barrel. They took the staff with little rifling the barrel and stocked it with a conical nozzle weighing one ton, which is simply screwed onto the regular gun barrel.

During firing survivability conical nozzle was about 150 shots in other words, higher than 180 mm Russian naval guns B-1 (with a small notch). In the process of shooting in July 1944 was received initial speed 1130 m / s and a range of 50 km. In subsequent tests also revealed that the shells, initially passed a cylindrical part, are more stable in flight. These guns together with their creators were captured by Russian troops in May 1945. Further development of the system K.3 with cylindrical-conical barrel was conducted in 1945-1946 in the town of Sommerda (Thuringia) by a group of German designers running Assman.

By August 1943, "Rheinmetall" made the 15-cm anti-aircraft gun GerKt 65F with a tapered barrel and a shell swept plumage. Projectile at a speed of 1200 m / s allowed to get goals at an altitude of 18,000 km, where he flew 25 seconds. But the persistence of the trunk in 86 shots put an end to the career of this wonder-gun — consumption of anti-aircraft artillery shells in just terrible.

Documentation on the anti-aircraft gun with a tapered barrel hit the artillery and mortar weapons of the USSR Ministry of the group, and in 1947, the plant number 8 in Sverdlovsk were made seasoned Russian standards of anti-aircraft guns with a tapered channel. 85/57-mm projectile gun KS-29 had an initial speed of 1500 m / s and the projectile 103/76-mm gun KS-24 — 1300 m / s. For their unique ammunition were made (by the way, top-secret until now).

Tests confirmed the German guns shortcomings — namely, low vitality, which put an end to the final of the instruments. On the other hand, a system with a tapered barrel caliber 152-220 mm before the emergence in 1957 of anti-aircraft missiles S-75 would be the only way to defeat high-altitude reconnaissance and single jet bombers — the carriers of nuclear weapons. Unless, of course, we would be able to get them.

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