Military Review

Draft easy assault gun M-392

Local conflicts in recent decades have had a noticeable effect on the development of weapons and military equipment. For use in specific conditions and on different landscapes, systems with characteristic features that facilitate the performance of combat missions are required. Thus, according to the results of the analysis of recent conflicts, the concept of a so-called was formed in the nineties. assault artillery guns. Soon, a new model of such a system appeared - the M-392 light assault rifle.

The M-392 gun project was proactively created in the OKB-9 (Yekaterinburg), now known as Plant No. 9 and part of the Uralvagonzavod corporation. The project development was supervised by Valery Nasedkin. The aim of the M-392 project was to create a tool of the smallest possible dimensions and weight with a caliber 122 mm. Such systems have some advantages over other artillery weapons and therefore can be used to solve combat missions in difficult conditions, where the operation of other guns is difficult or impossible.

At the heart of the M-392 project lay the need for the greatest possible reduction in the size and weight of the gun. Due to this, it was planned to provide the possibility of towing the gun by various vehicles, including light-duty cars, which allowed to significantly improve the mobility of the system, including on rough and mountainous areas. Also, low weight allows you to transport guns by helicopters, both in the cargo hold and on the external load. With a relatively short firing range (up to 5-6 km), the prospective 122-mm gun was supposed to be an effective means of reinforcing troops at the company or battalion level.

Draft easy assault gun M-392
General view of the gun M-392. Photo

The M-392 light assault rifle project was developed in the late nineties. OKB-9 and the entire domestic defense industry at that time faced serious financial, political and administrative problems, but the designers from Yekaterinburg managed to cope with new tasks and successfully complete the design. By the end of the decade, the project was completed and brought to the assembly of the first prototype.

The prospective M-392 light gun was decided to be made on the basis of the existing sample. In this case, the basic system had to undergo a number of major changes related to the simplified design. In addition, some technological innovations were introduced, which made it possible to significantly update the design of the base sample, created a few decades ago and quite long out of production.

The 392-mm howitzer M-122 of model 30 was selected as the base for the M-1938. This gun was originally produced in towed version, but later several projects of self-propelled carriers of such weapons appeared. According to the experience of combat use during the Great Patriotic War, the M-30 howitzer is considered one of the best Soviet barrel systems of its class. Production howitzers arr. 1938 continued until the mid-fifties, more than 19 thousand guns were fired. A number of such systems are still in service with Russia. In addition, howitzers were delivered to foreign countries and in some cases are also used to this day.

The lightweight M-392 assault rifle retains the overall layout of the base howitzer. The carriage has a pair of sliding beds and a lowered base plate. Also provides for wheel travel, providing transportation tools. In the transport position of the bed and the trunk are directed in different directions, which allowed to simplify the design of the hinges and thereby further reduce the weight. Also, the carriage is equipped with a new form of armor and guidance systems with manual drives. A curious feature of the design of the gun carriage was the use of parts of the smallest possible size with a corresponding low mass.

Initially, the project M-392 implied the assembly of the main elements of the mast of high-alloy steels with the necessary strength parameters. Also worked out options for the manufacture of structural elements of titanium or aluminum alloys. As follows from recent reports, the authors of the project have successfully managed to improve the design of the mast at the expense of similar materials of light weight and sufficient strength.

It was proposed to carry out the transfer of the gun carriage from traveling to combat by carrying out several operations. At the same time, the bedding was made with the coulters placed in the ground, the lowering of the base plate and the lifting of the wheels placed on the swinging balancers. Firing from the wheels, without the use of a base plate, is not provided.

The barrel and associated units are placed on a U-shaped support connected to the pick-up mechanisms and a variety of different devices, including those holding the receiver group. The design of the guidance systems allows the barrel to be deflected from the neutral position on 25 ° to the right and left. Vertical pickup angles range from -7 ° to + 70 °. This allows you to use a weapon for shooting direct fire, and when firing from closed positions.

M-30 howitzer. Wikimedia Commons Photos

In order to improve and facilitate the design of the barrel and the associated units were re-configured. Thus, in the base howitzer M-30, the recoil devices and the nakatnik were placed above and below the barrel. In the case of the M-392, it was decided to combine all these systems into a single unit and install it above the barrel. In addition, the barrel received a new casing with a perforator to improve ventilation and cooling. Despite the use of recoil devices of a new design, which included a hydraulic spun recoil brake and a pneumatic knurler, the general characteristics of these systems remained at the required level.

A new type of gun gets a rifled barrel caliber 122 mm with a constant pitch of the rifling. Muzzle brake is not provided. Significant changes in comparison with the base howitzer underwent breech. Instead of a piston valve in the M-392, a system with a vertically moving wedge is used. The breech of the gun is also equipped with a trigger mechanism controlled by a lever, as well as by means of ejecting a spent cartridge when recoiling.

To the left of the barrel and recoil devices on one swinging system with them mounted panoramic sight, similar to that used with the howitzer M-30. This device allows you to fire both direct fire and from closed positions. Under the gun are flywheels manual drive pickup.

To protect the calculation in firing gun M-392 has an armor shield of the required size. In view of the need to reduce the overall weight of the structure, the shield is divided into two halves of characteristic outlines. The shield is attached to the support structure of the instrument and can move with it. On the upper edges of the shield there are small boxes for the installation of lighting equipment. On the back of the right half of the shield is a box for storing the necessary property. In the right part of the shield provides a window for the use of the sight when shooting.

As an additional protection for the gunner, a small shield mounted on the cannon support is used. His task is to prevent possible injury to the gunner when the barrel rolls back.

Light assault gun M-392 uses separate-sleeve loading. Ammunition of various types can be used. Compatibility is ensured both with old shells produced for the M-30 howitzer and with new ammunition of the corresponding caliber. Loading is done manually. After firing, the gun automatically ejects an empty cartridge case, allowing you to start preparing for a new shot.

All the new ideas proposed in the course of the M-392 project allowed us to slightly reduce the size of the gun compared to the base system. At the same time, a significant reduction in weight was achieved. A new type of gun without ammunition weighs only 1300 kg. For comparison, the mass of the M-30 howitzer in a combat position reached 2,5 t.

Initially it was reported that a promising light assault gun can fire at a distance of 6 km. Subsequently, after some modifications of the design, the maximum firing range was increased to 8,6 km. The initial velocity of the projectile reaches 270 m / s. A trained calculation can fire at a rate of up to a minute per minute 6-8. It takes about one minute to prepare the gun for firing after arriving at the position.

Car towing tools. Photo /

According to the developers, the low weight and the availability of the wheel travel significantly increase the mobility of the M-392 gun in comparison with other systems of this class. The possibility of towing guns with various machines, both specialized tractors and automotive vehicles, including light classes, is declared. For example, at one of the exhibitions of the past years, an assault gun was shown at an exhibition site in a transport position with a UAZ-469 automobile. Thus, a wide variety of vehicles can now be used as artillery towers.

The first prototype of the M-392 gun was first shown to the public in 1999 at the 3rd International Exhibition of Armaments of Military Equipment and Conversion Products in Omsk. Subsequently, this system was repeatedly demonstrated at other similar events. Interestingly, in the course of preparing for one of the last salons, the prototype tool changed its appearance. Initially, this product had a camouflage color in black and green. After the entry of “Plant No. 9” into the structure of the corporation “Uralvagonzavod”, the gun received a brand demonstration “desert” color of this organization.

Back in the late nineties and early 2000s, shortly after the first demonstration, the M-392 light assault rifle was the subject of active discussion. The weapon was predicted for a great future and active use in the troops. For example, the new development could find a place in the weapons system of the airborne troops in need of light artillery guns with high firepower. In addition, M-392 could be used as a mountain tool for arming relevant units.

However, even a decade and a half after the first show, the light assault gun M-392 could not go beyond the landfills and exhibition grounds. For one reason or another, the domestic military department showed no interest in this development and did not order new weapons. Probably, such a fate of a promising project was due to the difficult economic situation of the army, which prevented the purchase of new weapons and equipment in significant quantities.

Despite all the efforts of the development organization, the M-392 lightweight assault rifle, based on the M-30 howitzer, still exists only in the form of exhibition samples. Apparently, when an order appears, the industry is ready to begin production of such systems, but so far no one has expressed a desire to acquire new tools. As a result, the prospects for an interesting project remain a big question. Moreover, there is every reason to doubt the possibility of transition of the project M-392 to a new stage. A promising and interesting tool risks remaining just another development with no real future.

On the materials of the sites:

Photo review of the exhibition sample M-392:
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Mik13
    Mik13 23 June 2016 07: 15
    However, even a decade and a half after the first show, the light assault gun M-392 could not go beyond the landfills and exhibition grounds. For one reason or another, the domestic military department showed no interest in this development and did not order new weapons. Probably, such a fate of a promising project was due to the difficult economic situation of the army, which prevented the purchase of new weapons and equipment in significant quantities.
    Something tells me that the military department could not make out why this weapon was fundamentally better than the 120 mm mortar 2Б11. TTX which, at least, is not worse. Only it weighs in 5 times less:
    Weight, kg: 210
    Barrel length, mm: 1740
    Crew (calculation), people: 5
    Caliber, mm: 120
    Recoil device: base plate
    Elevation: + 45 .. + 80
    Angle of rotation: -5 .. + 5
    Rate of fire, rounds / min: 15
    starting speed
    projectile, m / s 325
    Sighting range, m: 480..7100
    Maximum range, m: 9000 (KM-8 "Edge")

    Not to mention the fact that the mortar is much easier to manufacture than a remake of the M-30 with "structural elements made of titanium or aluminum alloys" ...

    I would not buy such a product in their place either.
    1. self-propelled
      self-propelled 23 June 2016 07: 58
      Quote: Mik13
      Something tells me that the military department could not make out why this weapon is fundamentally better than the 120 mm mortar 2Б11

      absolutely agree. or, as an option, the universal gun 2B16 "Nona-K", combining the properties of a mortar and a light howitzer. and which (gun) has a wide range of ammunition, including NATO
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 23 June 2016 08: 55
        This "broad nomenclature" is painfully expensive. The projectile is only special, with ready-made projections for grooves. "Nona-K" cannot shoot with standard 122 mm
      2. qwert
        qwert 23 June 2016 10: 56
        Transfer time from combat to marching and vice versa, min 1,5
        Ammunition load, min 226
        Cornflower was not bad for these purposes.
        The caliber is smaller, but the rate of fire. Sorry recently removed from service
        Rate of fire, rds / min 170
        Practical rate of fire, rds / min 100 — 120
        Weight of mine, kg: 3,1
        Type of mines: fragmentation, smoke, lighting
        The radius of the actual defeat: 18 m
        When a mine breaks, it gives from 400 to 600 fragments
        Minimum mounted shooting range, m: 800
        Maximum firing range 4270 m
        fire is conducted with elevation angles from −1 ° to + 78 ° or from + 7 ° to + 85 °
        1. Forever so
          Forever so 23 June 2016 11: 35
          From the language removed, so "Cornflower" as a light assault weapon without any competitors at all. I support your opinion.
          1. Lopatov
            Lopatov 23 June 2016 13: 28
            He is out of competition in his unreliability. Honorable first place in "glitchiness" among the systems in service.
      3. NIKNN
        NIKNN 23 June 2016 21: 17
        All problems with adopting weapons come from the fact that the gun was created in an INITIATIVE routine ... It’s hard to guess what the troops need without TK ... But altruism in our time is a piece.
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 23 June 2016 21: 47
          Yes, it’s not really what the troops need ...
          It is heavy for those functions that they wanted to hang on it.
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov 23 June 2016 08: 52
      2B11 is a mortar. With all the ensuing problems. Starting with the restrictions on the ammunition used, the complexity of changing the shooting sector (sometimes the plate has to be pulled out by a machine). And ending with restrictions on the trajectories and the general idiocy of the complex (the mortar can only be transported in the back of a car, the wheel life is only 500 km)
      1. gladcu2
        gladcu2 23 June 2016 16: 19

        Apparently "Cornflower" does not pull. A lot of 122 mm shells have accumulated in the warehouse. Taking into account that the M-30 has separate loading, then on the first charge the above gun can "spit" 6 km. But with the second charge I would not dare to spit. Since the weight of the gun is small.

        Well, it makes no sense to lighten the gun using titanium. The game is not worth the candle.
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 23 June 2016 18: 03
          Quote: gladcu2
          A lot of 122 mm shells accumulated in the warehouse.

          D-30 will shoot. In the Airborne Forces there is no replacement for them and is not expected.

          Just against the background of big problems with battalion artillery, it’s not worth it to indiscriminately soothe the work of those who are trying to do something.

          As for the ranges, the M-392 became a continuation of the Pat-B ideology - relief by limiting the power of the charges used.
          1. gladcu2
            gladcu2 24 June 2016 01: 12

            I do not obgazhivaet someone else's work. I criticize the concept. I just don’t see the point of making the gun too technological for the sake of cost. The life of such tools may not be long. By the way, and in this their value is the same.
    3. Aleksandr72
      Aleksandr72 23 June 2016 08: 59
      The M-392 light assault gun, created on the basis of the M-30 howitzer, still exists only in the form of exhibition samples. Apparently, when the order appears, the industry is ready to begin production of such systems, but so far no one has expressed a desire to acquire new tools. As a result, the prospects of an interesting project remain a big question.

      If 120-mm mortars and Nona-K are in service, one more gun of the same caliber and purpose is not needed. Therefore, there is no order from the military for its production. If it were necessary, the Russian army would probably have adopted the M-392 long ago.
      According to the official report of the Ministry of Defense on the state of the Russian armed forces in 2014, it was in service (in the troops and in storage) only in the Russian ground forces:
      Mortars: 50 - 120 mm 2B23, 920 - 120 mm 2C12. (storage: 900 - 120 mm 2C12, 900 - 120 mm PM-38).
      Towed mortar guns: 100 - 120 mm 2B16 "Nona" -K.
      In addition, 3750 M-30 howitzers were still in storage.
      I was interested in something else - the M-392 gun was created on the basis of the M-30 - what a margin of modernization and strength did Soviet designers put into this howitzer in the 30s, that even at the end of the 392th century a new artillery system was created on its basis. On the other hand, it is interesting how much more technological the M-392 is than the same "Nona-K", so that if something happens, you can quickly launch the M-XNUMX into large-scale production as a mobilization sample of the gun. Although it is torn.
      Thanks to the author for an interesting article.
    4. Mister X
      Mister X 23 June 2016 13: 13
      After the entry of “Plant No. 9” into the structure of the corporation “Uralvagonzavod”, the gun received a brand demonstration “desert” color of this organization.
      Posted by Ryabov Kiril

      Several photos in addition to the article, in the desert camouflage.
      The exhibition Russia Arms Expo 2015 (Nizhny Tagil, from 9-12 September 2015).
      Photo by Denis Peredrienko

      1. Mister X
        Mister X 23 June 2016 13: 29
        All photos are clickable
  2. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 23 June 2016 08: 08
    An alternative to "Nona"? And for what? The "stillborn" child will obviously not stand the competition. Let it be in the museum.
  3. fa2998
    fa2998 23 June 2016 08: 24
    Of course, a 120 mm mortar in terms of ammunition weight and firing range, etc., is equal to this gun. But there is a possibility of direct and flat shooting. The gun is excellent, as far as I remember in such scales there was a 76,2 mm gun. And here such a caliber and towing by any "jeep". Let there be a mortar and "Nona" and this weapon - everyone will find work! Good is not buried. good hi
  4. alex56
    alex56 23 June 2016 09: 01
    I don’t know how anyone, but I like it))) Especially weight pays off.
    Yes, there are mortars and Nona, but there is a place for the M-392 as well. For example, in DShB.
  5. chunga-changa
    chunga-changa 23 June 2016 10: 31
    For Africa-Asia, just right, especially if they exploited the M-30, only it will probably be a little expensive. Our army needs a 152mm light gun. A couple of years ago, plans were voiced for the rejection of 122mm and the transition to a single 152mm caliber of the entire army artillery, d-30s were transferred to the airborne forces and marines. In my opinion it is quite reasonable. A light assault gun in this caliber would greatly enhance the firepower of the army. Recently, there was a series of articles on the VO about the German 150mm self-propelled assault gun of the times of the Second World War, everywhere it was written about its high efficiency with relatively small losses.
  6. Konstantin Yu
    Konstantin Yu 23 June 2016 10: 36
    It is known that the American artillery in Vietnam acted effectively, breaking off counterattacks and clearing the enemy’s defenses .... this is not observed in the Syrian army. It’s one thing about hailstones, another is fast and accurate artillery support at the forefront.
    Mobility is also important, cling to a pickup truck or truck and catch up with infantry. In Syria, it’s clear that the distance to the bandits is about 2-4 km, you can visually observe it, it’s difficult and dangerous to get direct fire, then a mobile quick-firing howitzer would help ...
  7. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 23 June 2016 11: 04
    Light indeed - 1300 kg, but only shoots for 8 km.
    Not enough? Try to pull up in tow for 8 km ...

    In the popular caliber 155 mm, the lightest is the American
    M-777. It weighs a lot more - 4700, but it shoots at 24 km,
    and Escaliburas - as much as 40.
    1. Verdun
      Verdun 23 June 2016 17: 30
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Light indeed - 1300 kg, but only shoots for 8 km.
      Not enough? Try to pull up in tow for 8 km ...

      This is not entirely clear. Why, when using the D-30 trunk, which had a range of 11,2 km, after so many years they got a range of 8 km? If, thanks to the weakening of the gun carriage and the recoiler, the sheepskin is hardly worth the candle.
  8. NyeMoNik70
    NyeMoNik70 23 June 2016 12: 43
    For urban battles it is the most. A powerful replacement for the ZiS-3 and regimental 76.2 mm cannons. But ... "Firing from wheels, without using a base plate, is not provided.", This characteristic makes it impossible to use it in maneuverable urban combat. Yes, our engineers and designers will sculpt an interesting design from what.
    1. code54
      code54 23 June 2016 22: 34
      As I understand it, this option (M-392) had an important delivery with turntables, and this is a lot, and if 8 km, it is naughty. Essno will not climb with them to the positions which are shot by all sorts of Ikskalibur.
  9. berezin1987
    berezin1987 23 June 2016 16: 49
    Why the army is another weapon, because the nomenclature of weapons and so exceeds all conceivable and unimaginable proportions. Towed howitzers are needed in a siege of an entrenched enemy, but against a serious enemy with counter-battery radars, they will become an easy target. It would be better to make a self-propelled howitzer based on the Coalition-SV gun. Self-propelled guns can quickly change position, their mass and cost are several times less than self-propelled guns. A coalition-based weapon would replace hyacinth-b and msta-b.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 23 June 2016 18: 15
      Quote: berezin1987
      Why is the army another weapon

      The mountains.
      In 2000, Shamanov had to create consolidated subdivisions of the Fagot anti-tank missile system in order to enhance the firepower of the subunits that held the border with Georgia. Operators were collected from the entire grouping.

      Mortars proved to be naturally insufficient due to the peculiarities of their use in mountain conditions. A 76-mm mountain gun 2A2 (M-99) was removed from service for a long time ...
    DJDJ GORA 23 June 2016 21: 45
    Yes, they are too smart!
  11. podgornovea
    podgornovea 23 June 2016 22: 43
    Unfortunately put the article minus recourse

    For one simple reason - there is no comparison table by characteristics with the nearest competitors.
    (By the way, not only ours, but also foreign ones.)
    The same Nona-K, for example, (mortars do not count - another weight category in terms of capabilities and price / weight)
    In addition, before the Second World War, we had an 152-mm mortar of NM model 1931g. gun-howitzer-mortar from the same roughly category - weight in combat position 1150 kg, firing range of about 5 km BUT 152-mm!

    And so the conclusion is needed and mortars, and station wagons, and specialized "openers" such as 152-mm mortars NM.
    Only a different amount of them is needed.
    No wonder in the Second World War there were 76-mm and 203-mm (even 305 on the railway) - for different categories of "recipients of nishtyaks"
    Only 76-122 mm was like peas, and 203, especially 305 mm piece goods!
  12. czes
    czes 24 June 2016 22: 28
    In my opinion, the following design flaws are obvious:
    1. A tall center of gravity. And it’s not clear why - judging by the knurl, the rollback is short and far from the ground when shooting mortar. On the first bumpy road, the gun will roll over.
    2. Flimsy little wheels.
    3. An unconvincing base plate — too small a diameter — on loose soil, the plate will burrow deep into the ground when fired. And, in general, is it needed for a company gun?
    4. Pay attention - for some reason the breech is located in the depth of the gun carriage, but the shell is not 45mm! I would like to see how the chief designer will charge a 122mm gun on outstretched arms! If only the tray was provided and, better, with a rammer! Oh, what, what, and loading a gun should be convenient!
    5. The axis of the barrel mounting is located exactly in the middle of the welding site of the carriage parts. What, a whole piece of metal was not found ?! And another mysterious destination vertical seam! In the photos from
    ie-m392 / these bloopers are perfectly visible!
    5. Very annoying boorish welding. Well, at least for the exhibition sample cleaned the seams. Tea Germans not near Moscow ?!

    And they want to sell it ?!