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Polish Army soldiers with PTRDs in Siedlce, 1944
Type Anti-tank rifle
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1941–1960s (Retired USSR)
Used by Soviet Union, North Korea, China
Wars World War II
Korean War
Chinese Civil War
Syrian Civil War[1]
War in Donbass[2][3][4][5]
Production history
Designer Vasily Degtyaryov
Designed 1941
Manufacturer Degtyaryov plant
Produced 1941–45
No. built About 5,000[6]
Weight 17.3 kg (38.1 lbs)
Length 2,020 mm (79.5 in.)
Barrel length 1,350 mm (53.1 in.)
Crew 2

Cartridge 14.5×114mm (B-32, BS-41[7])
Action bolt-action
Rate of fire Single shot,user dependent
Muzzle velocity 1,114 m/s (3,655 ft/s)
Effective firing range 300 m (on personnel targets, dispersion of bullets on 300 meters 0,36 m[7])
Maximum firing range 1,000 m[7] (mostly with scope)
Feed system Single shot, no magazine
Sights Front post, rear notch

The PTRD-41 (Shortened from Russian, ProtivoTankovoye Ruzhyo Degtyaryova;Противотанковое однозарядное ружьё системы Дегтярёва образца 1941 года;"Degtyaryov Anti-Tank Rifle") was an anti-tank rifle produced and used from early 1941 by the Soviet Red Army during World War II. It was a single-shot weapon which fired a 14.5×114mm round. Although unable to penetrate the frontal armor of German tanks, it could penetrate the thinner sides of early-war German tanks as well as thinly armored self-propelled guns.


In 1939 the USSR captured several hundred Polish Model 35 anti-tank rifles, which had proved effective in the September Campaign when Poland was invaded by Germany. Vasily Degtyaryov copied its lock and several features of the German Panzerbüchse 38 when hasty construction of an anti-tank rifle was ordered in July 1941.[citation needed]

The PTRD and the similar but semi-automatic PTRS-41 were the only individual anti-tank weapon available to the Red Army in numbers upon the outbreak of the war with Germany. The 14.5 mm armor-piercing bullet had a muzzle velocity of 1,012 m/s (3,320 ft/s). It could penetrate an armor plate up to 35 to 40mm (40mm with tungsten ammunition) thick at a distance of 100 meters at 0 degrees. During the initial invasion, and indeed throughout the war, most German tanks had side armor thinner than 40mm (Panzer I and Panzer II: 13-20mm, Panzer III and Panzer IV series: 30mm, Panzer V Panther (combat debut mid-1943): 40-50mm). However, due to the high velocity and small size of the round, it had a very high chance of shattering or utterly failing against armor it should have penetrated, especially if the target was struck at an oblique angle.

Due to the obsolescence and inadequate ability against tanks, PTRD users were instructed to attempt to shoot view ports rather than actually try to penetrate the vehicles' armour. Despite the good range of fire, this tactic was quickly found ineffective due to the absence of telescopic sights: the simple mechanical iron sights did not allow for proper aiming at the required distances. The muzzle brake, however effective, kicked up a very visible cloud of dust or snow and debris and served to give away the position of the PTRD team. After poor results against the enemy tanks the PTRD and PTRS were finally relegated to anti-materiel duty in 1943[citation needed] as they were still effective against lesser armored vehicles such as armored half-tracks, armored cars and unarmored vehicles. Guns captured by the Germans were given the designation 14.5 mm PaB 783(r).[8]

German soldier loading a captured PTRD rifle

The PTRD suffered from numerous flaws; the most notable are the lack of penetration versus enemy vehicles and inability to aim accurately with a telescopic sight, which frustrated PTRD teams, its size and weight which hampered its mobility and deployment, and its immense muzzle blast which gave away the unit's firing position. The PTRD also would occasionally jam during shell ejection, leading to a practice of dipping shells in oil before loading. The PTRD was eventually replaced by the RPG series of anti-tank rocket launchers.

After World War II the PTRD was also used extensively by North Korean and Chinese armed forces in the Korean War. During this war, William Brophy, an American Army Ordnance officer, mounted a .50 BMG barrel to a captured PTRD to examine the effectiveness of long-range shooting. The weapon proved effective out to 2,000 yards.[9]



  •  Bulgaria: Equipped with 300 items (both PTRD & PTRS) by Soviet Union between 1944 - 1945, seen in combat operations.
  •  CCCP: Largely used in Eastern Front.
  •  China: Used in Chinese Civil War, later by People's Volunteer Army during Korean War.
  •  Czech Republic: Used by 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps in the USSR.
  •  Donetsk People's Republic: Reportedly used by pro-Russian militas in 2014.
  •  Nazi Germany: Captured and used by Wehrmacht under the title Panzerbüchse 783(r).
  •  North Korea: Equipped by Soviet, saw extensive combat in Korean War.
  •  Poland: Used by Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division in 1943 then by other Polish divisions.
  •  Ukraine: Used by Ukrainian forces, mounted with optical scope to take down armoured vehicles.
  •  Vietnam: In stockpile.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ a b c Manual on Small Arms (NSD-42) Military Publishing House Moscow 1942
  8. ^ Chamberlain, Peter (1974). Anti-tank weapons. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. p. 57. ISBN 0668036079. OCLC 1299755. 
  9. ^ "Hard Target Interdiction" (PDF). Remington Arms. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 

External links[edit]