Tag Archive for 'hollow charge'

Panzerfaust: Recoilless Antitank Bomb and Launcher

Panzerfaust: Recoilless Antitank Bomb and Launcher

The German rocket grenade (Faustpatrone—literally “fist cartridge”) is a new close-range Nazi weapon used against tanks and other armored targets. It comprises a tube and a head which contains the explosive charge. The weapon weighs 11 1/4 pounds, has a muzzle velocity of 145 f/s, and a sight range of 33 yards.

The head, which is closed at the front end by a sheet-metal cover, includes a semispherical hollow charge. Toward the rear, the head merges into a rod which includes the small detonating charge 34 and the fuze. The rear of the rod is screwed to a shaft containing four bomb-fins for flight stabilization of the rocket grenade. When not in use, the fins are rolled around the shaft and held together by the tube which is slid over it. The propelling charge is contained in the tube. A sighting rail, fixed to the front end of the tube, when folded down serves as the safety against involuntary cocking of the striker. The sighting rail itself is in turn secured to the rear by the Fuze Safety Pin, which holds it in folded-down position. The lock is located on a line extending from the sighting rail to the rear. It includes and carries the firing-pin (striker), release button, and safety catch.

For firing, the weapon is taken under the right arm, the left hand supporting the grenade two inches behind the front end of the tube. The fuze safety-pin is pulled out, and the sighting rail is snapped up, forming an approximate right angle with the tube. The striker is cocked by pushing the lock forward until the striker is set and the release button emerges. The lock then slides back into its original position, and the release button is pressed, discharging the projectile. Discharge is recoilless, and caution must be taken, as a stream of fire from one to two yards long is ejected from the rear of the tube. The launcher tube is expendable.

A smaller model is known as the Faustpatrone.

German: p. 218

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

This projectile, which is fired from the German 10.5 cm L.F.H. 18 and L.F.H. 18M, has a steel case with a 1/8 inch cement liner built up on the wall of the filler chamber. This liner extends from the base to about one-half the length of the chamber. The ogive is composed of a metal resembling an aluminum alloy or German light metal. It screws into the projectile, holding all components of the filler in place.

The fuze, AZ 38, is made of aluminum and carries the primer detonator. It is armed by centrifugal force, and contains no other safety features. There are no delay adjustments, all functioning being instantaneous on percussion.

The explosive filler, composed of cyclonite with 5% of montan wax, is pressed into two pellets and enclosed in a waxed paper carton. A central hole is bored through both pellets for the full length of the charge. The forward pellet is hollowed out to accommodate a hemispherical metal liner. The aluminum flash tube, which passes through the hole in the center of the explosive pellets, is attached to the liner by means of a pressed collar. A heavy metal collar or baffle is attached to a washer on the rim of the liner. The purpose of the baffle may be to direct the flame of the primer detonator down through the flash tube, or it may have a use in developing the jet effect of the hollow charge.

A booster pellet of PETN and montan wax is contained in a cylindrical metal cup at the base of the rear pellet; a detonator in an aluminum case is located in the upper portion of this explosive in direct alinement with a flash hole in the bottom of the booster cup. This booster is ignited by the combined flame and blast of the fuze detonator which passes through the flash tube.


Cartridge case, length         6.10 ins.
     diameter at mouth 4.48 ins.
     diameter of rim 4.91 ins.
Projectile as fired 26 lb., 14 oz.
Explosive filler w/o booster 3 lb., 4.58 oz.
Primer detonator .07 oz.
Booster explosive w/o detonator .18 oz.
Detonator (in booster pellet) .03 oz.
Wt. of normal propelling charge         5 lb., 3.43 oz.

German: p. 310

3.7 Stielgranate 41: 3.7 cm Stick Grenade

3.7 Stielgranate 41: 3.7 cm Stick Grenade Hollow-Charge Antitank

This deadly device is a hollow charge finned bomb for use on the 37 mm German Pak. It is believed that this type of ammunition was developed for the purpose of making this obsolescent gun more effective for antitank use.

The stick bomb which is made of pressed steel has a steel rod which fits into the bore and a perforated sleeve which fits around the barrel of the gun. The hollow charge is at the rear of the steel cup (or cone) and consists of two blocks of TNT with cyclonite. A nose fuze of the instantaneous percussion type and an instantaneous tail fuze are used. The nose fuze is used for impact against armor and the tail fuze is for graze action. Both fuzes arm on setback. The propelling cartridge consists of a steel case and is charged with tubular stick powder, an igniting charge of granular powder, and a percussion type primer.

Twenty-nine of these grenades were tested at Aberdeen. One was statically detonated against the face of 7-inch homogeneous armor plate. It penetrated completely, leaving a hole 2 1/8 inches wide at the face and 1 1/8 inches at the rear. The other rounds were fired from a German 37 mm A.T. gun for which they were designed. Range was found to be 203 yards at 5° elevation and 857 yards at 25° elevation. Accuracy was hard to determine because of the inexperienced gun crew.


Caliber of rod       37 mm
Weight of grenade as fired18 lb., 12 oz.
Weight of burster5 lb., 5 oz.
Weight of propelling cartridge1 lb., 6 oz.
Overall length of round 29 1/8 ins.
Diameter of projectile body6 1/4 ins.
Types of fuze 1—P. D. Instantaneous
2—B. D. Instantaneous
Average velocity350 f/s
Average pressure18,600 p.s.i.
     5° elevation203 yds.
     25° elevation857 yds.

German: p. 306

Antitank “Lunge” Mine

WWII Japanese Antitank Suicide Lunge Mine

Japanese Antitank Suicide Lunge MineThis suicide mine, an antitank device used by Japanese Close-quarter Combat Units, consists of a conical-shaped hollow charge encased in a steel container, and a wooden handle. Three legs equally spaced around the base of the charge provide proper stand-off distance. A well in the apex of the charge contains the detonator.

The firing mechanism, quite simple in construction, consisting of a needle type striker, a shear pin, and a safety pin, is housed in a metal sleeve. This sleeve, which holds the mine” and the handle 2.4 inches apart, slips over the end of the handle and is held in place by the shear pin and safety pin; it is attached to the body of the mine by a threaded connecting ring.

To operate the mine, the soldier must first remove the safety pin, and then, using bayonet tactics, lunge forward striking the mine squarely against the tank. When the legs of the mine strike the target, the handle is driven forward breaking the shear pin, and the striker is driven into the detonator, initiating explosion of the mine.

Reports indicate that when head-on contact is made, the mine will penetrate 6 inches of steel plate; with contact at a 60° angle, steel plates of approximately 4 inches can be penetrated.


Length of mine body (approx.)        12 ins.
Diameter of base of body (approx.) 8 ins.
Length of handle59 ins.
Diameter of handle1 1/4 ins.
Weight of explosive charge6 1/2 lbs.
Length of legs5 1/4 ins.
Weight of mine (total)14.3 lbs.

Japanese: p. 308.3 (May 1, 1945)

Conical Antitank Hollow Charge Hand Grenade

Japanese Conical Antitank Hollow-Charge Hand Grenade

This Japanese antitank grenade consists of a Pentalite (50/50 TNT & PETN) explosive charge cast around a thin aluminum cone, a wooden stand-off head, a fuze, and a tail attachment.

The explosive charge, which is shaped in the form of a hollow truncated cone, has a covering of thin waxed paper and a well in the upper end to receive the booster of the fuze. A cast ring pellet surrounds the cyclonite booster. The fuze, an all-ways impact type, is constructed in two parts which are threaded together. It will not function unless the mine has attained a velocity of approximately forty feet per second, and strikes a hard surface. The wooden base provides proper stand-off distance and has a central hole of slightly smaller diameter than that of the cone.

The grenade is encased in a silk bag, either white or olive drab in color, and closed by a draw-string at the bottom. A tail made of hemp is tied around the top of the grenade to provide stability in flight. The device, which will penetrate about 2 inches of armor plate, should be thrown from a distance of approximately ten meters.

A modified version of this grenade, referred to as the Type B, has been recovered. It differs from the grenade previously encountered in the Philippines in the following respects: it is smaller, the cover is yellow silk instead of canvas, the fuze is screwed into a metal seat on top of the mine, the fuze body is metal with a single-pronged safety pin, and the detonator tube is larger.

According to reports, there is also a larger grenade of the same type which has a Type 94 explosive charge.


           Large Grenade          Small Grenade
Length of grenade 6 3/4 ins. 5 7/8 ins.
Length of tail 14 ins.  
Diameter at base 4 3/8 ins. 4 ins.
Length of fuze 1 7/8 ins. 1 7/8 ins.
Length of cone 3 3/4 ins. 2 3/8 ins.
Diameter of cone 2 3/8 ins. 2 ins.
Cone angle, apex 30° 38°
Weight complete 1.25 kg. .84 kg
Weight of grenade 1.14 kg. .76 kg.
Weight of fuze 42.3 grams 42.3 grams
Weight of explosive .87 kg. .60 kg
Weight of cone 141.7 grams 42.5 grams
Weight of base 56.7 grams 50.0 grams
Weight of booster 5.1 grams 5.1 grams

Japanese: p. 304.1 (April 1, 1945)

Gross Panzergranate 61 and 46: H.E.A.T. (Hollow Charge) Rifle Grenade

Gross Panzergranate 61 and 46: H.E.A.T. (Hollow Charge) Rifle GrenadeTwo additional H.E.A.T. (hollow charge) armor piercing rifle grenades have recently been recovered and are illustrated herewith. They bear the designations G. Pz. Gr. 61 and G. Pz. Gr. 46. The numerals “61” and “46” refer to the diameter of the explosive head in millimeters. The maximum range of the “61” is 218 yards. Static fired at normal, the “61” is reported to penetrate to 4.96 inches of homogeneous armor plate; the “46” is reported to penetrate 3.54 inches of the same plate.


Total weight         1 lb., 4.25 ozs.
Weight of H.E. filling 8.69 ozs.
Weight of booster explosive .24 oz.
Weight of propelling cartridge powder 27 grains


Total weight         14.65 ozs.
Weight of H.E. filling 5.16 ozs.
Weight of booster explosive .24 oz.
Weight of propelling cartridge powder 27 grains

German: p. 319

Schuss Gr. P-40: H.E.A.T. (Hollow Charge) Grenade

Schuss Gr. P-40: H.E.A.T. (Hollow Charge) GrenadeThis grenade consists of a bell-shaped body of thin steel with a slightly convex aluminum closing disc, a graze fuze which screws into a cylindrical projection welded to the base of the body, and a finned tail unit. The bursting charge of cyclonite wax is cast around an aluminum hollow charge liner which is hemispherical in shape. A detonator and intermediary exploder are contained in an aluminum magazine which fits into the base of the main explosive cavity. The tail unit screws onto the base of the fuze housing and consists of a drawn-steel tube with six vanes formed in pairs. The cartridge is of the 7.92 mm small arm type with an undyed hollow wooden bullet.

Overall length         9.3 ins.
Maximum diameter 2.4 ins.
Color Olive green
Markings Blue band round projection at base of body
Length of body 3.1 ins.
Filler Cyclonite/Wax

German: p. 319

Gross Gewehr Panzergranate: H.E.A.T. (Hollow Charge) Rifle Grenade

Gross Gewehr Panzergranate: H.E.A.T. (Hollow Charge) Rifle GrenadeThis grenade, while larger and of slightly different contour than that described on the preceding page, is basically the same in construction and operation. The body of pressed steel contains a steel cone around which the T.N.T. filler is cast, and at the bottom of the filler is an exploder pellet of penthrite wax. Two types of stem may be used, one entirely of light alloy and the other of plastic with a steel shank by which it is screwed onto the body. The booster assembly and the percussion type fuze are both located in the stem divided by a perforated septum which contains a small flash pellet. At the base of the stem is a rifled band which corresponds to the rifling on the discharger. The assembly is closed by a base plug.

Overall length       7 ins.
Maximum diameter1 3/4 ins.
ColorBlack overall
Total weight13 1/2 ozs.
Weight of filler4 1/2 ozs.
Range (maximum)100 yds.

German: p. 318

10.5 cm HL, HL/A, HL/B, HL/C: Hollow Charge Ammunition

10.5 cm HL, HL/A, HL/B, HL/C: Hollow Charge Ammunition

There are four known variations of the 10.5 cm (105 mm) hollow charge ammunition fired from the German 10.5 cm le. F. H. 18 series:

Type Hl has a deep conical cavity, a short ogive, and flash tube extending through the shaped cavity to the fuze booster. All types have an additional detonator booster combination at the base of the flash tube.

Type Hl/A has the same shaped cavity but has a larger diameter flash tube that is attached to the apex of cavity liner by a pressed collar, and does not extend into the cavity. This type has a long ogive.

The principal difference between types Hl/A and Hl/B is in a shallower, hemispherical-shaped cavity. The principal difference between types Hl/B and Hl/C is the addition of a funnel-like steel washer inverted over the cavity. This funnel is supposed to counteract the effects of centrifugal force on the hollow charge jet.

The explosive filler is pressed into two pellets in types Hl/A, Hl/B, and type Hl/C. Explosive fillers in all rounds are inclosed in waxed paper cartons. The metal ogive screws into the projectile, holding all components of the filler in place.

The aluminum fuze (AZ 38) carries the primer detonator. It is armed by centrifugal force and contains no other safety features. It functions by a “spit” from the booster, which travels down the central tube and initiates the base booster, and hence the main bursting charge.


Type Hl/A: (a) Lengthened nose-piece (ogive), giving greater standoff. (b) Elimination of flash tube between fuze and apex of cavity and larger diameter of flash tube.

Type Hl/B: (a) Further increase of standoff obtained by shortening the HE filler. Nose piece is identical with that of Type Hl/A. (b) Hemispherical cavity instead of rounded cone. (c) HE filling RDX/WAX, instead of RDX/WAX/TNT.

Type Hl/C: Introduction of a washer, shaped like an inverted funnel in front of the cavity. Otherwise, types B and C are essentially identical.


        Hl       Hl/A       Hl/B       Hl/C
Weight of projectile as fired:25.8 lb.27.1 lb.26.6 lb.27.2 lb.
H.E. filling, carton, wax: 4.6875 lb.3.5 lb.3.255 lb.
Empty shell: 22.55 lb.22.937 lb.22.315 lb.
Collar (“funnel”)   .5195 lb.
Muzzle velocity f/s*1375136013601360

Estimated performance at normal against Homogeneous armor.
     Type Hl/A—170 mm (static) 105 mm (dynamic)
     Type Hl/B—155 mm (static) 100 mm (dynamic)
     Type Hl/C—155 mm (static) 100 mm (dynamic)
                       (From German claims)

*Firing with charge five which is normally used.

German: p. 310 (August 1, 1945)

Haft-Hohlladung 3 Kg.: Magnetic Hollow Charge Antitank Mine

Haft-Hohlladung 3 Kg.: Magnetic Hollow Charge Antitank Mine

The German magnetic, hollow-charge, antitank mine, designed for use by tank-hunting squads, consists of a main filling of TNT in a pressed metal container of conical shape. The conical container has an elongated apex threaded externally at its upper end to receive a closing cap. The closing cap is fitted with a detonator well, and threaded internally to receive a standard (B.Z.E.) friction igniter which has a 4.5 second delay.

The base of the cone is attached to a plywood framework. Three horseshoe type magnets, sufficiently powerful to cause the mine to adhere to a vertical surface, are fixed to the bottom of the frame. During transit, the magnets are fitted with a keeper. A brass chain terminating in a hook is also attached to the frame.


Weight of live charge       7 lbs., 12 1/2 oz.
Weight of explosive (TNT) 1 lb., 15 1/2 oz.
Weight of booster (Pentrite) 3 oz.
Height of charge 10 3/4 ins.
Height of bursting charge container 7 3/4 ins.
Height of magnets 2 3/4 ins.
Height of apex of hollow cone 6 7/16 ins.
Diameter of base of hollow cone 4 3/16 ins.

German: p. 304.5 (March 1, 1945)