Weapons of War - PTRS-41 Anti Tank Rifle

Weapons of War - PTRS-41 Anti Tank Rifle

In the years between the two World Wars, the Soviet Union began experimenting with different types of armor-piercing antitank cartridges. Finding the .50 cal insufficient, they began development of what would become the 14.5x115(.57) mm armor piercing round. Designed in 1938, the 14.5 mm armor-piercing bullet had a muzzle velocity of 1012 m/s and could penetrate an armor plate up to 40 mm thick at a distance of 100 meters.

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Above: PTRS-41 Anti-Tank Rifle

The most useful model, and interesting from a technical point of view, was the PTRS-41. It came into mass production in 1941 and represents the evolution of the previous model and is based on semi-automatic 14.5 x 114 mm caliber operation, more powerful than the 12.7x108 mm model. In fact, from the technical data, it is learned that the model, most interesting from a military point of view, is definitely the PTRS-41 series with a 14.5 mm caliber and a total length of 2.02 meters with the 1.35-meter barrel. The weight was slightly lower than the previous model, at about 17.3 kg (38 lbs), which could facilitate its transport to enemy lines in order to ensure rapid intervention force. The bullets used were steel core bullets or, alternatively, tungsten. The charger, which consisted of a 5-cartridge clip, was inserted from below into the receiver. By shooting the last shot, the shutter just a few inches before the barrel locked open, and only at this time was it possible to open the receiver to insert a new clip. The gas-operated PTRS-41 had a tendency to jam when it was dirty, and the 14.5 mm gauge bullets produced a lot of dust residues that would lie on the gas recovery aperture, blocking it by it's complex mechanism. According to the specifications, the Soviet rifle was also fitted with a mouthpiece and a bipod under the barrel that added weapon stability. In order to try to stem the weapon's success, the German army decided to mount metal plates called "Schurzen" at points where the armor was not very robust on tanks.

Soon the Red Army used the counter-shot rifle for other military operations. The PTRS-41 was also used against mortars and especially against stationary machine guns. The rifle was often used to take out snipers in a tricky method: a helmet or an officer's cap supported by a stick was placed behind a shelter, when the sniper fired at the bait, the shot revealed his position to the PTRS operators and was then targeted by the anti-tank weapon. Uncertain sources speak of a soldier who killed a German soldier in the course of 1650 meters (5413 feet) during the Kursk battle, but this is likely just a trench story.

The PTRS-41 is a very accurate weapon which also outputs small amounts of splash damage, making it effective against infantry. It has very low mobility, comparable to that of a light-machine gun or launcher, and the sights take up more space than on other weapons. This weapon is used often within the 29th in Rising Storm, and can be seen during the Red Army campaign missions. It is extremely powerful, being the only weapon that takes only one shot to kill a soldier at any range.

Written by PFC Valitutto.
Edited by WO1 Brewer.
Formatted by PFC Laird.


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