The German antitank rifle, Pz. B 39, 7.92 mm, is a weapon of opportunity which is used by the German Army against vehicles having light and medium armor. It fires a cartridge similar to that used in the Polish Mascerzek antitank rifle. This cartridge also resembles the American .50/.30 which has been under development in this country since 1931.
The projectile has a tungsten carbide core and is known to have a small pellet of a lachrymator as well as a tracer mixture. Penetrating power of the bullet at 300 yards’ range is 3/4 inch at 20°, and 1 inch at normal against face-hardened plate. At 100 yards’ range, penetration is 1 1/4 inches at normal.
The weapon has proved to be a simple and reliable gun. The recoil is comparatively light. The rifle is manually loaded and fired single shot from the shoulder with the aid of a bipod. It is equipped with a circular turbine muzzle brake.
The Germans also have an earlier version of this weapon known as the Pz. B 38 which is 7 pounds heavier, has a self-ejecting action, and is more elaborate than the hand-operated Pz. B 39. It fires the same ammunition as the more recent rifle.
The Pz. B 39 uses ammunition boxes holding 10 rounds each, mounted on brackets on each side of the wood stock. These are not magazines but serve to hold the ammunition so that it can be quickly and easily removed for hand loading.
|Caliber||7.92 mm (.312 in.)|
|Length (with shoulder stock extended)||62.25 ins.|
|Ammunition||13 mm case necked down to 7.92 mm. Bullet has tungsten carbide core with tracer and lachrymotor mixture.|
|Sights||Rear, fixed with open U notch. Front covered blade.|
|Muzzle velocity||3,540 f/s|
German: p. 211