Tag Archive for 'recoilless'

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

7.5 cm L.G. 40: Recoilless Airborne Gun

7.5 cm L. G. 40: Recoilless Airborne Gun German

The “Recoilless Gun” is a short rifled howitzer containing a tube of monobloc steel construction, a breech ring, breech mechanism and block, and a venturi tube. Intended for airborne operations, the weight of the L.G. 40 has been kept to a minimum by the use of hollow machine parts, plastic washers, tubular platform, and aluminum alloy body. It is used for antitank and antipersonnel purposes.

Interrupted collars on the breech end of the tube are used to attach it to the breech rings. The tube is also machined to seat the extractor and the barrel lock. The breech, which is of the horizontal sliding block type, is operated by a lever. This lever, when depressed, also cocks the piece.

The gun has no recoil or counterrecoil system. A funneled tube (venturi) attached to the rear of the bored breechblock allows the gases to escape to the rear, thus eliminating recoil.

The sighting equipment consists of a base bracket, oscillating bracket, cross-leveling gear, range gear, telescope carrier, and telescopes.

The carriage has a circular base to which three tripod legs are pivoted in lugs. The wheels, which can be detached for transport, are light-weight metal disks fitted with solid rubber tires.

The gun can be traversed 360° by locking the elevating mechanisms, but its ordinary traverse is 60°. Elevation is limited to 42° by stops, but the rack can be locked at 20°.


Caliber        7.5 cm (2.95 ins.)
Length of tube
Weight (travelling position) 325 lb.
Weight (firing position) 321 lb.
Length (travelling position) 45 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position)
Height (firing position)
Width (overall)
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 17.5 ins.
No. of grooves 28
Width of grooves .2 in.
Depth of grooves .03 in.
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 1,197 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 7,400 yds.
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire
Traverse 30° x 2—360°
Elevation -15 +42°
Depression -15°
Length of recoil
Ammunition 3 types
Wt. of projectileH.E. 12 lb., 9 oz.; A.P.C.B.C. 15 lb.; hollow charge 10 lb., 2 oz.

German: p. 119

10.5 cm L.G. 40: Recoilless Gun

10.5 cm L.G. 40: Recoilless Gun

There are two known types of 10.5 cm recoilless guns in use by the German Army. The L.G. 40, formerly known as the L.G. 2 Kp., appears to be the type most frequently used. To prevent casualties, special precaution must be taken by the gun crew when firing the recoilless gun.

The barrel is screwed into the breech ring. This ring, with attachments, is composed of three parts : the breech ring proper, cylindrical in shape and approximately 43.5 cm in length; the rear portion which is hinged to the breech ring proper and swings to the right to permit loading; and the cone, approximately 41.2 cm in length, which is in one piece with the swiveling rear portion of the breech ring. At the right side of the breech ring is a boring which houses the striker mechanism. The upper surface of the breech ring is prepared for a clinometer.

The carriage consists of a crosshead and axle bar with torsion springs. Two spades under the crosshead, and a rectangular girder trail fitted with a spade, serve to give the carriage proper balance for firing. A tool box is located in the center portion of the trail. The shield, which is mounted on brackets just below the trunnion bearings, is in two parts and is fitted with sliding securing bars at top and bottom.

Both elevating and traversing mechanisms are situated on the lower left-hand side of the carriage. Two boxes, apparently for sighting gear, are also attached to the left of the carriage, but no sights were captured with the gun.

The 10.5 cm L.G. 42, previously known as the L.G. 2 Rh., is probably a later model of the L.G. 40, but none has been captured as yet.


L.G. 40
Caliber       10.5 cm
Weight in action854 lb.
Length of piece (including cone)1,902 mm
Muzzle velocity1,105 f/s—H.E. rd.
1,224 f/s—hollow charge rd.
Range (max.)6,600 yds.
Range, effective (max.)1,660 yds.—hollow charge rd.
Elevation-15° to 40°
Traverse40° either way
L.G. 42
Muzzle velocity1,099 f/s—H.E. rd.
 1,236 f/s—hollow charge rd.
Range (max.)8,695 yds.
AmmunitionH.E. — F.H. Gr. 41 fuzed with either A.Z. 23 v (0.15) or Dopp. Z. s/60
  Hollow charge — 10 cm Gr. 39 fuzed with A.Z. 38 and using the same charge as for the F.H. Gr. 41

German: p. 110

10.5 cm L.G. 42 and 42/1: Recoilless Gun

German 10.5 cm L.G. 42 and 42/1: Recoilless Gun

This weapon represents modifications of the 10.5 cm L.G. 40 described on page 110. It is a product of Rheinmetall, and was introduced into the German Army in 1943.

The principal changes are as follows: the venturi tube has three steel strips spirally welded to the inner lip presumably to offset torque; elevation of the equipment examined was limited to approximately 30° by a fixed stop; the carriage has been completely changed—it now consists of a single tubular axle to which wheel spindles and three folding trail legs are fitted; a horizontal sliding type breechblock (resembling that of the 7.5 cm L.G. 40) has been installed; the weight has been increased by approximately one-third; the design of the shield differs from the earlier model; the percussion firing mechanism has been retained on top of the breech ring necessitating the use of a cartridge case with a side primer.

Maximum range is approximately the same as the 10.5 cm L.G. 40 and both models use the same range table. The equipment has been designed to break down into five loads for use as pack or airborne artillery. The two models, 10.5 cm L.G. 42 and L.G. 42/1, differ principally in weight.

As in the case of the 7.5 cm L.G. 40 and 10.5 cm L.G. 40, the characteristic feature of this weapon is the lack of recoil attained by allowing part of the propellant gases to escape to the rear through a venturi tube. The resulting blast creates a danger zone approximately 20 yards wide and 50 yards long to the sides and rear of the gun. The sharp sound of the discharge through the venturi tube makes it necessary for the gun crew to use ear plugs.


Length of piece (including breech ring and venturi)     72.28 ins.
Length of rifling31.41 ins.
Twist of rifling10°
No. of grooves32
Length of venturi tube18.18 ins.
Length of chamber18.93 ins.
Capacity of chamber9.5 pints
Weight in action (L.G. 42)1,217 lbs.
       (L.G. 42/1)1,191 lbs.
Elevation15° to 42°
at elevations up to 12°360°
at elevations over 12°71°
AmmunitionH.E., H.E.I., Hollow Charge, Smoke.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. Shell)1,099 f/s
Maximum range8,694

German: p. 110.3 (May 1, 1945)