4.2/2.8 cm Pak 41: Tapered Bore A.T. Gun

4.2/2.8 cm Pak 41: Tapered Bore A.T. Gun

The Pak 41 first appeared in the European Theater of Operations in 1942. It is the second of the German tapered-bore antitank guns. The monobloc barrel is long, with marked external as well as internal taper. There is no muzzle brake. The breechblock is of the horizontal sliding wedge type opening to the left. There is no provision for automatic opening; it is manually opened by means of the operating handle situated on top of the breech ring. The firing mechanism is a combination percussion inertia type.

The recoil mechanism of the hydro-spring constant type is similar in construction to the 3.7 cm Pak. It is housed in the cradle. The recoil cylinder moves with the barrel; the piston rod, secured to the front of the cradle, remains stationary. The buffer rod is centrally fixed to the rear of the recoil cylinder and slides in the hollow piston rod.

The elevation and traverse mechanisms are both fitted to the left side of the upper carriage.

The piece is mounted on the 3.7 Pak carriage fitted with sheet-metal, pneumatic-tired wheels, with tubular trails approximately 7 feet, 3 inches long. A light, steeply sloping, spaced armor shield is also provided.

A curved arm, riveted to the left side of the upper carriage, houses at its upper end the sight bracket trunnion from which the telescope carrier is hung.

Gerlich type ammunition, both H.E. and A.P., is used with the piece.


Caliber         42/28 mm
Weight 1,360 lb.
Rate of fire 10-12 rds./min.
Muzzle velocity 4,101 f/s
Weight of projectile (A.P.)* .80 lb.
Elevation 19°
Depression -14°
Traverse 44°

          30°         Normal
500 yds. 77 mm 94 mm
1,000 yds. 55 mm 68 mm
*This is a lightweight projectile consisting of a small tungsten carbide core embodied in a lightweight metal jacket. The jacket is so constructed that it is swaged to a smaller diameter as it moves through the tapered bore. This design permits a high muzzle velocity, but can be used for short ranges only as the velocity falls off rapidly. Penetration is accomplished by the core only, and because of its relatively small size very little damage is effected by it.

German: p. 128

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