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"Russian 76.2-mm Gun" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. military report on the WWII Russian 76.2-mm gun was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 8, Sept. 24, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


It has now been established that the Germans are using the Russian 76.2-mm field gun, model 36, as an antitank weapon in Egypt.

It has also been reliably reported that there is a self-propelled mounting for the weapon, although prisoners state that the first mount has not proved satisfactory.

German AP projectiles with Russian cases have been used, but in the case of HE, the complete Russian round is used.

The muzzle velocity, with a 14.33-lb. shell, is estimated at 2,316 feet per second. The estimated penetration of AP shot against homo plate is shown in the following table:

Range (yds)     Penetration at 90° (in)     Penetration at 60° (in)

Penetration at 90° may be slightly over-estimated.

Higher-velocity ammunition is provided in the AP-40 projectile, which weighs 9.25 lbs. This is a converted HE projectile with a tungsten carbide core weighing 902.5 grams (1.9 lbs). It has not been found possible to deduce an exact muzzle velocity owing to the exceptionally high density of loading, and the low temperature of the propellant. It is believed, however, that it is probably between 2,800 and 3,000 feet per second. It may be has high as an unconfirmed figure of 3,428 feet per second. The following figures give estimated penetration for the 3,000-feet-per-second muzzle velocity, firing against homo plate at a 60° angle.

Range (yds)      Penetration (in)

The weapon itself is a field gun of split-trail design; it can also be used for antiaircraft barrage fire. The vertical sliding breech block is semi-automatic. Metal wheels with solid rubber tires are used.

Other characteristics of the gun are:

Maximum range     15,260 yds
Caliber76.2 mm (3.00 in)
Length of barrel50 calibers
Trunnion height40.75 in
Track64.57 in
Elevation-50° to +75°
Traverse30° each way
Length of recoil (controlled)38.19 to 21.65 in
Buffer liquid5 quarts
Recuperator liquid5.9 - 6.1 quarts
Compressed air27 - 30 atmospheres
Shield thickness.157 in
Weight of piece (with breech block)990 lbs
Weight in action1.78 tons

The gun is equipped with rocking-bar reciprocating sights. The elevation indicator is graduated in meters for the three types of projectile, and in mils up to 800 (45°). The range indicator fitted to the gun examined was German. Clinometers would presumably be necessary for antiaircraft barrage fire.

Ammunition is of the following three types:

          AP 39; range 6,000 meters ( 6,540 yds)

          AP 40; range 2,000 meters ( 2,180 yds)

          HE;    range 1,400 meters (15,260 yds)


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