Military Review

Anti-tank gun systems L.V. Kurchevsky

30
Engineer L.V. Kurchevsky occupies a special place in stories Soviet weapons. He created a whole line of so-called. dynamo-reactive systems with ambiguous characteristics and potential, and received the support of the Red Army command, but later all these developments were abandoned. One of the promising systems proposed by Kurchevsky was a dynamo anti-tank gun.


Anti-tank gun systems L.V. Kurchevsky
General view of the PTR


Small caliber


At the turn of the twenties and thirties, L.V. Kurchevsky developed several projects of dynamo-active guns (DRP) of different calibers and different purposes at once. A characteristic feature of all these systems was the use of the same solutions, made in different scales and for different caliber. The least powerful PDDs had an 37 mm caliber and were positioned as anti-tank guns.

At the beginning of the 1930s, Kurchevsky introduced two 37-mm systems that were proposed for use as a light anti-tank weapon. The rifles were almost the same in design, but the “low-power” product had a shorter barrel length. PTR "high power", respectively, was slightly heavier.

Both guns were typical for Kurchevsky muzzle-loading recoilless guns with nozzles in the breech, designed for a special unitary shot. In 1932, two systems came out to be tested and received a good rating. The high-power ATGM / DRP also received a recommendation for adoption. In the series, it received the designation "K". In some sources, it also appears as "14-K".

Design features


The main and largest element of the Kurchevsky PTR was the barrel caliber 37 mm. PTR "high power" had 1250-mm barrel, small - 1220-mm. The barrel bore had 12 right-sided rifling. The rear half of the trunk received a developed fins. On the breech provided a thread to install a conical Laval nozzle for the formation of thrust.


37-mm sectional shot


On the muzzle of the trunk was attached tray used when loading. On top of the trunk consistently placed the store with the system of milling and bracket for the sight. Bottom under the barrel there were attachments for installation on a tripod, a frame with a trigger mechanism and control handles. After the installation of all these systems, the PTR Kurchevsky acquired a distinctive and recognizable appearance.

PDD new type received a special ammunition. The shot included an 37-mm armor-piercing grenade of mass 600 g with a 10-g charge of black powder. At the bottom of the projectile there was a special swelling leading belt. The projectile was placed in a burning sleeve of nitrotechny containing 190 g of smokeless powder. The bottom of the sleeve formed a destructible disc-obturator. The primer on the projectile was missing; ignition was external. The total mass of such a shot reached 900.

Due to the presence of the back of the funnel-nozzle loading with the treasury was excluded. In this regard, the gun received a characteristic system of ammunition. Over the barrel placed a tubular store for three shots. At the store there was a system of pushers for moving ammunition and dismounting into the barrel. Also provided a safety system, eliminating double loading. As part of the firing mechanism, there was a proprietary system for working with slats, containing 10 blasting caps.

A specially developed optical sight was mounted on the barrel near the breech. The product with an increase in 2x allowed to shoot at a distance from 100 to 500 m. The maximum shot range for the system itself reached 1 km. The eyepiece of the sight was moved for greater convenience of the gunner.


Controls, view from the gunner


PTR "K" was completed with a light machine-tripod, ensuring its installation on a suitable surface. Guidance was carried out manually. The machine had nuts for fixing the weapon in the desired position.

The calculation of the gun / gun consisted of two people - the gunner and loader. The first was responsible for finding targets, pointing guns and firing a shot. The task of the loader was to deliver shells to the magazine and perform reloading between shots. During the shooting, the crew was asked to sit on the sides of the gun. Shooting from a prone position was difficult or excluded. The lack of recoil allowed the theory to shoot from the shoulder.

The total length of the more powerful MFR with the front tray and the rear nozzle exceeded 2 m. The weight of the product in the combat position is 32 kg. The “low power” shotgun was slightly shorter and weighed 28 kg. Due to the existing recharge system, the maximum rate of fire, according to calculations, reached 15 rounds per minute.

Application specifics


The tool of a non-standard design differed the unusual principles of work. After deploying the PTR at the position, the loader had to consistently place shots in the tubular magazine, with a projectile ahead. Simultaneously, the installation of the bracket-cage with 10 capsules in the trigger was carried out. With the help of reciprocating motion of the corresponding handle, the front projectile was pushed out of the magazine onto a tray in front of the barrel and then sent inside the latter. The diameter of the shot did not exceed 37 mm, which allowed him to freely push through the bore into the desired position.


Fighter recharging


Pressing the trigger led to a strike on the primer; through the pilot hole in the barrel of the force of the flame hit the cloth sleeve and set fire to the propellant charge. The pressure of the powder gases inflated the leading belt of the projectile, as a result of which it entered the grooves. After that, the gases could carry the projectile in the direction of the muzzle. The disc disc obturator collapsed and flew through the nozzle along with some of the gases. The initial velocity of the projectile reached 525 m / s. The jet of gases from the nozzle compensated for the recoil, but did not allow it to approach the gun during firing.

On the ground and in the army


Experienced PTR / DRP L.V. Kurchevsky were made by the middle of 1932, and soon passed all the necessary tests. According to the results of field and military tests, the “high power” gun was considered more successful. It was distinguished by better ballistics and slightly greater penetrability. At the beginning of 1933, an order was issued to put the PTR into service and launch mass production.

During the tests, the PTR “K” pierced 25 mm of armor at a distance of 500 m. Such characteristics were considered sufficient for an effective fight against modern light and medium tanks. Also, successful use against heavy tanks was not ruled out - it was proposed to attack the chassis or vulnerable structural elements.

The production of new weapons was entrusted to the Leningrad plants No.7 (now Arsenal) and Bolshevik (now Obukhovsky Plant), as well as the Moscow Region Plant No. XXUMX to them. M.I. Kalinin. In just a few years, only about a hundred of Kurchevsky’s serial guns were manufactured. They were distributed between different parts of the Red Army and were used at the company level. Shortly after the start of implementation, complaints began to be received from the combatant units.

The fighters complained about the complexity of the application and the unreliability of the design. In particular, the propellant feed mechanism was regularly broken. The risk of double loading could not be ruled out, threatening to damage the tool and calculating injuries. Cases of nitrotex had a tendency to break through, and when fired, they did not always burn completely, hammering the barrel. A lot of problems were delivered by a jet stream from a nozzle, which was dangerous for people and unmasked a firing position.


PTR "K" in the Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Communications


Nevertheless, the operation of the first domestic serial anti-tank gun continued. The situation changed only in 1937, after the arrest of the People's Commissar of Defense M.N. Tukhachevsky and other military leaders. In November, new tests took place, showing the real possibilities of the serial K / 14-K.

Two similar products performed 80 shots on the T-26 tank from a distance of 100 meters. 11 misfires occurred. One of the PTR / DRP failed due to skewed shot while reloading. Several dozen shots did not lead to the desired result. 37-mm shells left dents on the armor of the tank, but could not pierce it. For DRP "K" claimed penetration at the level of 25 mm at a distance of 500 m, but it could not overcome even 15 mm with 100 m.

These tests were followed by obvious conclusions. Anti-tank guns L.V. Kurchevsky was declared useless and detrimental to the re-equipment of the Red Army. They should be removed from service. Probably, the investigation of the sabotage case already begun has taken into account the results of the November firing.

Project results


The first Soviet anti-tank gun, which had come down to the adoption of weapons, was frankly unsuccessful. It had all the same problems and shortcomings as the other systems of L.V. Kurchevsky. Thus, the Red Army was able to get a light anti-tank tool, but it was not reliable enough, and besides, it was too quickly outdated. As a result, at the end of the thirties, almost all of the P / KP / K / 14-K PTR were written off and disposed of. Only a few remained, which became museum exhibits.

In 1938, the project “K” was finalized in the light of experience. Plant No.8 introduced into the design a full-fledged wedge bolt and unitary 37-mm shot with a metal sleeve. Such an MFR had some advantages over the initial design, but did not interest the army. Work on recoil-free systems stopped, and in the field of anti-tank guns, traditional designs came to the fore.
Author:
Photos used:
Modernfirearms.net, Weaponland.ru
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  1. Sergey M. Karasev
    Sergey M. Karasev 23 June 2019 05: 38
    +3
    With cumulative power supplies, it would look much better.
    But, in general, Kurchevsky was still that amateur and searchlight.
    1. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 23 June 2019 06: 19
      +8
      Quote: Sergey Mikhailovich Karasev
      With cumulative power supplies, it would look much better.

      But where did they get them ... cumulative (!) In the thirties? Then this was not fully understood novelty ... But the Swedes, easily figured out the "recoilless"! Only a little late! In 1942, they created a 20-mm dynamo-jet "gun" with 40-mm armor penetration at a distance of 100 m ... For 1942. this was already not enough, but if Kurchevsky had “riveted” such a “ruzho” in the thirties ... (and there were, in principle, opportunities for this ...), then the Red Army would have been able to get a fairly effective and light anti-tank weapon!
      The Swedish 20-mm ATGM Pansarvärnsgevär fm / 42 Carl Gustav (the first, by the way, actually put into service with a "normal" recoilless gun) is a typical example of the strange thinking of Swedish designers. In general, they implemented the reasonable idea of ​​a recoilless gun in a 20-mm caliber, which required them to "bungle" the high-pressure system. Cartridge 20x180R with a huge powder case. The recoilless gun fired a 108-gram 20-mm projectile at a speed of 950 m / s (and this is very cool!) - and made it possible to penetrate 40 mm armor from 100 m, while the Swedish product itself weighed only 11,7 kilograms ... by the way , 40 mm penetration is an indicator that was not achieved by many of the best "traditional" anti-tank missile systems of that time ... It should be mentioned that on the "base" of this gun, the Swedes subsequently created the famous 84-mm grenade launcher "Karl Gustav"
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 23 June 2019 08: 19
        +4
        Quote: Nikolaevich I
        the first, by the way, actually put into service "normal" recoilless gun

        But what about the German 75 and 105-mm recoilless, adopted, respectively, in 1940 and 1942-m
        1. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 23 June 2019 12: 24
          +4
          Quote: Spade
          But what about the German 75 and 105-mm recoilless, adopted, respectively, in 1940 and 1942-m

          You are confusing a "fork with a bottle"! The Germans (like Kurchevsky in the USSR) did "recoilless" in the sense of "artillery" (!) ... the Swedes, on the other hand, made a normal hand-held weapon - ATR (anti-tank rifle)! PTR Kurchevsky possessed such a "bouquet" of negative qualities that he can be called "sabotage" ...
      2. Svateev
        Svateev 23 June 2019 12: 05
        +2
        Quote: Nikolaevich I
        projectile with a speed of 950 m / s (and it is very cool!)

        At our PTR, the initial speed was 1000m / s, and this is without exhaust from the breech ...
        Reducing the return by the exhaust from the breech makes sense when the return becomes intolerant. For example, to achieve an initial projectile speed of 1200-1300m / s and with a corresponding increase in penetration. And 950m / s - the meaning of the city fence?
        1. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 23 June 2019 12: 34
          +1
          Well, about the "950 m / s" characteristic, I got excited "in a hurry"! But the Swedish M42 had armor-piercing in the "line of the best anti-tank missile systems with a caliber of 20 mm ... and not only 20 mm." At the same time, there was devoid of such qualities inherent in many other state-of-the-art PTRscumbersome and large mass, considerable return ...
          1. Svateev
            Svateev 27 June 2019 15: 47
            0
            Quote: Nikolaevich I
            about the characteristic "950 m / s" I got excited "in a hurry"!

            So what is the initial speed managed to get?
            1. Nikolaevich I
              Nikolaevich I 27 June 2019 16: 59
              0
              Quote: Svateev
              So what is the initial speed managed to get?

              Yes, the same ... 950 m / s! In the previous commentary, I said "not so" when I said that I was "excited", that is, I wanted to say that the initial velocity of the armor-piercing shell of the "Swede" was not "the steepest" ... it did not exceed the initial velocity of the shells (bullets) " similar "20-mm PTR. But it was at the level of the best anti-tank missiles of that time, which is confirmed by the armor penetration of the Swedish "gun"! At the same time, there were no "qualities" inherent in "traditional" PTR: heavy weight, bulkiness, strong recoil ...
        2. The comment was deleted.
        3. Bormanxnumx
          Bormanxnumx 23 June 2019 13: 12
          +2
          Quote: Svateev
          At our PTR, the initial speed was 1000m / s, and this is without exhaust from the breech ...
          Reducing the return by the exhaust from the breech makes sense when the return becomes intolerant. For example, to achieve an initial projectile speed of 1200-1300m / s and with a corresponding increase in penetration. And 950m / s - the meaning of the city fence?

          For example, to reduce the weight of weapons: PTRD 17kg., PTRS 21kg., And the Swede has 11.3kg. The armor effect of a 20mm solid ballistic missile projectile is clearly more than that of a 14.5mm bullet core, and a 20mm caliber PTR built according to the "classical" scheme generally gained 50kg.
      3. Sergey M. Karasev
        Sergey M. Karasev 23 June 2019 15: 04
        0
        But where did they get ... cumulative (!) In the thirties?

        This is another question. In 1942, with the appearance of our cumulative tanks, it was possible to recall the PTR "K" and develop an appropriate projectile for it. In this form, to combat armored vehicles, the PTR "K" would look clearly better than the PTRS and PTRD. Only by that time Kurchevsky had long been an enemy of the people and a deceased, so even if someone remembered about his development, he did not want to get it out of the archives and continue.
        1. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 24 June 2019 00: 52
          +1
          Quote: Sergey Mikhailovich Karasev
          In 1942, with the appearance of our cumulative tanks, it was possible to recall the PTR "K" and develop an appropriate projectile for it. In this form, for the fight against armored vehicles, the PTR "K" would have looked clearly better than the PTRS and PTRD.

          You are wrong ... the Germans tested 37-mm HEAT shells during the Spanish Civil War ... the very low effectiveness of HEAT shells of small caliber was revealed! They pierced the bulletproof armor of T-26 tanks, but made a "hole" in the armor, similar to a rifle ... The armor effect was the same ... and even worse!
    2. serg.shishkov2015
      serg.shishkov2015 23 June 2019 07: 23
      +2
      You are right, a lot of projects, and only a BOD was brought to a small series, They wanted to come up with a remedy for * all the sorrows *, and as a result, they discredited the very idea of ​​the recoilless gun for many years, As a result, the Kondakov-Tolochkov non-recoil made completely on another scheme, and the DRP is quite viable, but as a special purpose weapon, an example is the longevity of RPG-7 and SPG-9,
      The article is interesting, I heard about this sample more than once, but there were few details
    3. Saxahorse
      Saxahorse 23 June 2019 17: 12
      0
      Quote: Sergey Mikhailovich Karasev
      With cumulative power supplies, it would look much better.

      A cumulative 37 mm caliber is about nothing. Penetration at the same 30-40 mm maximum. Something decent godfather gives from 75 mm and above.
    4. Horse, people and soul
      Horse, people and soul 23 June 2019 18: 07
      +1
      The designer did not think that you can charge from the treasury, making the nozzle reclining on the hinge.

  2. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 23 June 2019 07: 02
    +8
    In this searchlight, as in a mirror, all the shortcomings of the "proletarian science" of that time were reflected ... The low level of education of officials and the military who make decisions and a holy belief in miracles ... Which they were promised en masse by crazy inventors and just crooks .. Who in droves besieged the ministries and threw in their projects! The same thing happened in aviation, artillery, naval shipbuilding ...
    1. Gray brother
      Gray brother 23 June 2019 09: 44
      +6
      Quote: Mountain Shooter
      Low level of education of decision-makers and military men and holy faith in miracles ...

      I do not think so.
      I believe that they took any project, promoted it - dragged along the entire chain from testing to production, and if the operation was successful, they received new posts, ranks and awards for this.
      Naturally, this cannot be done without interested persons at various levels of the process.

      And then oops and "Stalinist repressions" - the direct beneficiaries stand against the wall, and those who knew and kept silent go to engage in useful creative work.
      1. Mountain shooter
        Mountain shooter 23 June 2019 10: 05
        +5
        Quote: Gray Brother
        And then oops and "Stalinist repressions" - the direct beneficiaries stand up against the wall, and those who knew and were silent go to engage in useful creative work

        No, we mostly went to the "sharagi", and there the projectors were instantly separated!
        He gave out a useful development - he was released and became the general designer!
        But you don’t know how - then to the camp, to drag a wheelbarrow ...
        1. Gray brother
          Gray brother 23 June 2019 10: 15
          +1
          Quote: Mountain Shooter
          mostly went to "sharagi"

          This only concerned designers and other valuable specialists.
          1. Mountain shooter
            Mountain shooter 23 June 2019 10: 16
            +1
            And who are we discussing?
            1. Gray brother
              Gray brother 23 June 2019 10: 22
              +3
              Quote: Mountain Shooter
              And who are we discussing?

              Besides them, there are many others - party leaders, representatives of commissions, military, directors of enterprises. The big pyramid is like that.
              And on top, for example, Tukhachevsky sits - moves his people up the ranks and does not forget himself.
  3. riwas
    riwas 23 June 2019 07: 47
    +3
    This project was patronized by M.N. Tukhachevsky.
    "In February 1933, he reported to the Labor and Defense Council, the 37-mm anti-tank rifle was introduced into the armament system of the Red Army and, starting from the second quarter of this year, the first domestic anti-tank rifles are on gross production with 325 pieces being manufactured by the end of the year."
    - Materials of the Military History Museum of Artillery, Engineering and Signal Corps (VIMAIVS), d.632, l.22-25.
  4. Djusha
    Djusha 23 June 2019 09: 00
    +4
    In my opinion, the Kurchevsky guns ruined two things - a combustible sleeve, which has not yet been implemented in real combat systems. And automatic loading using canvas tape. Make a metal sleeve and refuse automatic reloading, a working system would be done. And the fact that he moved one scheme into all projects confirms that Kurchevsky was not a designer, but stole an idea from someone, as it seems to me.
    1. PPD
      PPD 23 June 2019 11: 15
      +8
      This is generally a time of sometimes very strange decisions! To put it mildly.
      There were submarine aircraft designs. He flew up, saw the convoy plunged and out of the water.
      Round tanks invented. They also tried to patent.
      They tried to build a Kurchevsky gun on the destroyer. It wasn’t immediately visible that she was there ........

      These photos on the network a lot, there are more threatening views.
      How did they get together to recharge and serve it in battle?
      Nobody even thought about it there.
      And in vain fool
      1. Gleb-Kiev
        Gleb-Kiev 23 June 2019 14: 55
        +1
        And the Germans on the bomber tried 380mm (it seems) to hang the recoilless.
        When testing an unfortunate aircraft with an exhaust, its tail was damaged - it’s good that they did not experience flight.
      2. DimerVladimer
        DimerVladimer 25 June 2019 15: 45
        +1
        Quote: PPD
        This is generally a time of sometimes very strange decisions! To put it mildly.


        Oh - there were many such decisions before and after, and even now - especially with the advent of nuclear power - nuclear planes, nuclear tanks ... cruise missiles with nuclear weapons ...

        Quote: PPD
        How did they get together to recharge and serve it in battle?


        Yes - and how are they going to serve the KR with the nuclear engine? The notorious Petrel is flying Chernobyl.
  5. Operator
    Operator 23 June 2019 13: 59
    +2
    The world's first projects of recoilless jet systems were developed at the beginning of the 1910s in the Russian Empire by the designer DP Ryabushinsky. On the basis of his projects, the Soviet designer B.Petropavlovsky in 1931 created a single-shot 65-mm hand-held jet rifle with a kinetic armor-piercing projectile, which had an initial speed of 500 m / s.

    The 20-mm Swedish shabby copy of the 1942 sample of the year was not suitable for Russian / Soviet designs.

    Due to the closure of the topic of manual rocket systems in the USSR in the 1930s, the leaders in their development were the Americans, who were the first in the world to put into service the M1 RPG "Bazooka" with a cumulative armor-piercing grenade, which was widely used since North Africa in 1942.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 23 June 2019 15: 13
      +3
      The world's first recoilless jet systems designs were developed in the early 1910s in the Russian Empire by designer D.P. Ryabushinsky.
      In 1910, the U.S. Navy commander Cleland Davis invented a recoilless gun designed to arm aircraft.
  6. Avior
    Avior 24 June 2019 00: 56
    -1
    much of what Kurchevsky did, like sea guns, made no sense.
    but he was engaged in dynamo-reactive guns, and his execution in the Tukhachevsky case markedly complicated the creation of recoilless anti-tank guns and grenade launchers during the war - what happened to the Germans and the Americans both in the form of a Bazooka or Ofenoror with Panzer Shrek, and in the form of recoilless 7,5 cm Leichtgeschütz 40 or M18, and this is not good.
    Light anti-tank weapons would not be superfluous in any infantry unit, and the PTR was already an openly weak weapon against tanks.
    1. abc_alex
      abc_alex 25 June 2019 17: 46
      +1
      Quote: Avior
      Light anti-tank weapons would not be superfluous in any infantry unit, and the PTR was already an openly weak weapon against tanks.

      But the Kurchevsky system was extremely far from the very concept of "light anti-tank weapons". By itself, he "weighed" the principle of a recoilless weapon with so much engineering nonsense that not a single sample really worked.
      1. Avior
        Avior 27 June 2019 08: 56
        0
        But the Kurchevsky system was extremely far from the very concept of "light anti-tank weapons". By itself, he "weighed" the principle of a recoilless weapon with so much engineering nonsense that not a single sample really worked.

        before you minus, you would figure it out first.
        at that time he didn’t work for anyone, there were no suitable ammunition in use.
        and during the war they appeared, and the opportunity arose to create real models of light dynamo-weapon, they were created both in the States and the Germans.
        And we did it only after the war. negative negative