14.5 mm PTRS-41 [Heavy Weapons]:

In the years between the World Wars, the Soviet Union began experimenting with different types of armour-piercing antitank cartridges. Finding the .50 cal insufficient, they began development of what would become the 14.5X115 mm armour piercing round.

Designed in 1938, the 14.5mm armour-piercing bullet had a muzzle velocity of 1012 m/s. It could penetrate an armour plate up to 40mm thick at a distance of 100 metres. It also had good ballistics.

Famous Soviet weapons designers such as Degtyarev and Simonov designed rifles to accomodate this cartridge, the latter designing the PTRS, which was a magazine fed, semiautomatic anti-tank rifle with a five-round magazine. (A scaled down version of it became the SKS rifle.)

The rifle entered mass production in 1941 and was widely used on the Eastern front. While it was heavy and had a terrible muzzle flash, it was a cheap and simple weapon, thus ensuring its place in the Soviet arsenal. It performed well against early German tanks, but was more useful in attacking supply trucks and other soft-skinned vehicles once the armour thickened on the German tanks.

The 14.5 mm antitank rifles were put to a variety of other uses. Besides tanks and armoured vehicles, they were used to destroy mortars, gun, and machine gun emplacements. Some ambitious gunners even shot at planes, and at least one aircraft was reputably downed with this rifle type.

During World War II, a number of these rifle were captured by the Germans and used by them. The Germans used the designation Panzerbüchse 784(r) or PzB 784(r).

The PTRS and rifles like it were given to the Chinese and North Koreans during the Korean War, where they were used as long range sniper rifles. Recently, private collectors have acquired 14.5mm antitank rifles legally, as being under 20mm, they are classified as "small arms."

Weight: 44.7 lbs (20.3 kg)
Caliber:14.5 x 114 bloc.
Barrel Length:47.8 inches (121.5 cm).
Overall Length:83.1 inch (211 cm).
Action:Gas operated.
Mode of Fire: Semi-automatic (15 rounds per minute).
Range:5,000 feet (1,500 meters).
Magazine:5 round fixed box magazine.
Cost: $ 8,000 ?.
Made in: Soviet Union.
Special: Cheap, simple rifle capable of blowing through light armour. "The modest dimensions, ease of carry and camouflage, and precision and accuracy of firing all impart high combat qualities to the rifle." (According to field manual)

[ Degtyarev, Simonov, and PTRS-41 are copyright of their respective owners. ]

Data from Sergei Simonov (sks_45@hotmail.com ).

Formatting and Additional Data by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa ) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2001, Sergei Simonov, Mischa, & Kitsune. All rights reserved.