Military Review

With a gun against the tank

After the end of the First World War, which gave a start to the widespread use of special pistols for launching signal and lighting rockets, in Germany for some time did not develop such means, considering the 1915-1918 samples that were in service. quite suitable, but at the end of 20-ies in the framework of the broad modernization of the Reichswehr’s weapons, manufacturers weapons technical assignments were issued for the new signal pistols. Of the samples proposed by various firms for adoption, they chose a signal pistol made by the Walter Company; 1928

With a gun against the tank
Kamplpistole loaded with a Wurlkorper 361 grenade before firing

During the search operation of this pistol, in 1929-30. it was suggested that it could be used not only as a “thrower illuminating the terrain of balls”, but also for firing more serious ammunition. So that a thin-walled pistol with a diameter of 26,7-mm (hunting 4 caliber) could withstand a solid charge of gunpowder necessary to eject any serious ammunition, it was equipped with an additional supplementary stem, made in the form of a metal sleeve, the length from breech to muzzle.

The first ammunition for throwing a pistol was a fragmentation grenade arr. 1924 g., Which instead of the characteristic wooden handle was attached to a special shank, containing an expelling charge and a remote device. Such a converted grenade was called Wurfkorper 358 LP. However, the life of this ammunition was short. The great resistance in flight and the relatively low efficiency in the explosion forced the German gunsmiths to look for other solutions. One solution was proposed after the fighting in Poland and was to replace the grenade arr. 1924 on ovoid grenade arr. 1939 g. New throwing mine called Wurlkorper 361 LP. At the same time, taking into account the increase in the propellant charge, the firing range of the grenade launcher increased, and thanks to the best aerodynamic qualities of the mine, its accuracy of hit was also improved. Subsequently, the design of the shank was slightly reworked, which allowed the use of a grenade without a stalk at a distance of up to 100 m. (Wurlkorper 361 LP nA).

Another interesting combat in stockpile used by a signal pistol was a special cartridge containing a grenade with Wiiifgranatpatrone 32b LP stabilizers. The advantages of this cartridge were that for its use it was not necessary to somehow prepare the pistol for a shot. It was enough to insert the cartridge in the chamber and make a shot in the right direction. After a shot, a grenade rose on a platoon and in its tail section four lamellar stabilizers were straightened. The explosive charge contained in the grenade, despite its low mass, was quite powerful - 12 of the heating element. The small diameter of the grenade improved its aerodynamic quality and, flying at a speed of more than 70 m / s, the grenade, unlike the previous ones, was not visible in flight. The range of the grenade was up to 400 m. Based on the design of the fragmentation ammunition thrower, the anti-tank cartridge Wiirigranatpatrone 326 HL / LP with a cumulative mine, which could hit armor with a thickness up to 50-mm at a distance of up to 300 m, was developed, but the accuracy with such ammunition hit XNUMX-mm at a distance of up to XNUMX m, but the accuracy with such ammunition was as high as XNUMX-mm at a distance of up to XNUMX m, but the firing rate with such ammunition with a thickness up to XNUMX-mm at a distance up to XNUMX m, but firing accuracy with such ammunition with a thickness up to XNUMX-mm at a distance up to XNUMX m, and it is not widely used.

A pistol grenade with a Wurlkorper 358 LP rod (left). A pistol grenade with a Wurlkorper 361 LP rod (center) and a Wurfkorper 361 LP pa (new design) (right)

The next attempt to use pistols against tanks In 1943, the Walter company developed a high-strength combat pistol and developed a round with a cumulative PWM 1 grenade. This grenade was mass-produced for infantry units and was successfully used against tanks, penetrating armor up to 150 mm thick. Made for use in pistols, its version was called Wurfmine N 62 LP, but despite the promising results obtained in the tests, it was not accepted for service. The reason for this was the exact lack of accuracy of hits at a distance further than 30 m, since with an increase in the propellant charge the grenade began to tumble.

Taking into account the errors obtained in the manufacture of experienced grenades, at the end of 1941, a design recognized as successful was developed. It was the Panzerwnrfkorper 42 LP Grenade, which had a streamlined body, an extended shank and intended for use in rifled barrels. Stabilization by rotation normalized the trajectory of the grenade, and the accuracy of its hits at a distance of 75 m was found to be good. A new grenade could pierce armor with a thickness of up to 80-mm and was actively used for firing from Walter assault pistols weighing 2,45 kg using a shoulder rest.

A pistol grenade with the Wurfkorper 326 LP plumage (left) and a pistol grenade with ready-made Sprengpatrone rifling. Anti-tank anti-tank pistol grenade Panzerwurfkorper 42 LP (right)

Test anti-tank pistol grenade Wnrfmine And 62 LP

The last known ammunition for assault pistols was a grenade in the cartridge with ready-made cuts. It was a fragmentation shock grenade, equipped with a very strong explosive - an alloy of trotyl with hexogen. Due to the spiral protrusions on the hull, the grenade received a rotational movement around its own axis when fired, and thus the problem of its stabilization in flight was solved. Despite its small size, the grenade contained a sufficiently powerful bursting charge named 22 of the alloy of trotyl and hexogen. The blaster of an instant-action grenade was very sensitive and, protruding from its body forward into a thin cylindrical, was given the nickname “cigarette”. The grenade was not recommended to use pa distance less than 50 m from the intended purpose, due to the danger to the shooter.

TTX Wehrmacht pistol grenades
indexgrenade weight, kgexplosive charge weight, kgmaximum firing range, mdamage radius, m
Pistol grenade with plumage
WK 326 LP0,140,01225030
Pistol grenade with a rod
WK361 LP0,30,17020
Pistol grenade with a rod
WK361 LP pas0,340,110020
Pistol grenade cumulative
Pz.WK 42 LP0,60,18550


Rifled pistol grenade
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  1. Vital 33
    Vital 33 April 4 2013 08: 46 New
    Damn ... It seems to be interested in weapons, but I have not heard of such a thing. Thanks to the author.
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn April 4 2013 10: 18 New
      What's wrong with that? same rifle grenade, only complete with gun
  2. omsbon
    omsbon April 4 2013 09: 00 New
    Thanks to the author. Very interesting. But in general, that it’s just not invented to send his neighbor to the forefathers!
  3. svp67
    svp67 April 4 2013 09: 15 New
    Here they are "progenitors" of grenade launchers ...
    1. bazilio
      bazilio April 4 2013 12: 08 New
      Yes, I had the same thought; screw this gun to a rifle and get a grenade launcher. Thanks to the author. interesting stuff!
  4. avt
    avt April 4 2013 09: 18 New
    Hmm. If you want to live, you will not be so heated. laughing And the article is good, I have not heard about rocket launchers. Thanks to the author. +
  5. Nagaibak
    Nagaibak April 4 2013 10: 05 New
    Give such short-barrels for free sale !!! Thanks to the author!
  6. vovich
    vovich April 4 2013 10: 25 New
    For general development, the article is undoubtedly useful, although the information was published several years ago on various resources. Including emnip from Shunkov in the book "Wehrmacht Weapons". 1999
    But. Missing certain statistics. The number of weapons produced. Saturation of parts of the Wehrmacht by him. The effectiveness of the application.
    This grenade was mass-produced for infantry units and successfully used against tanks, penetrating armor up to 150 mm thick

    And this is already very doubtful. The "Fauspatron 30" with a caliber of 100 mm, declared penetration of 140 mm armor. Despite the fact that the Germans constantly increased the caliber of the grenade and changed the shape of the head due to the frequent rebounds from the T-34 armor.
    And then from a signal pistol, yes, 150mm. It’s like a child prodigy. If this device is so cool, why is there so little data about it?
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver April 4 2013 18: 10 New
      Quote: vovich
      And this is already very doubtful. The "Fauspatron 30" with a caliber of 100 mm, declared penetration of 140 mm armor.

      There is some kind of confusion. Mass ammunition for Sturmpistol, breaking through 150 me not bulo.
      There was 42LP, according to German data, breaking through 80 mm. Our effectiveness was tested and received .., 50 mm :)))) Normal! That is, in order to hit the T-34, you need to stand towards it strictly perpendicular to the frontal projection and shoot under the tracks, between the rollers. In battle, this is hmm: (((
      In general, the Germans loved this business :)) The tabular and real parameters for them, at times, were very different.
      1. Prohor
        Prohor April 6 2013 11: 08 New
        The people, and does anyone know - when they talk about armor penetration, what about the penetration of which particular material is it? Steel 3, cast iron, stainless steel? The properties of steels can vary significantly.
  7. biglow
    biglow April 4 2013 15: 25 New
    The effectiveness of the grenade is clearly overestimated
  8. sergey261180
    sergey261180 April 4 2013 18: 49 New
    Is it a gun? Here is the gun! laughing
  9. mithridate
    mithridate 16 June 2013 13: 45 New
    with such a stick against our tanks?
  10. Alex
    Alex 1 October 2013 22: 36 New
    An interesting development and an interesting article - "+". As for the toys, as for me, to develop such a "pocket grenade launcher" is sheer stupidity. You won’t get the accuracy that you don’t invent; the range is also not the best, and the power and armor penetration limit is also very close. But the infantry in mass production and use could be dangerous.