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Granatbuchse GrB-39 Antitank Rifle


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian, I’m here today at the Rock Island
Auction House taking a look at some of the guns, and also anti-tank grenade launchers, that are coming up for sale in their upcoming
September of 2015 Premier auction. The last time I was here, they
happened to have a Panzerbüchse 39, which was the German anti-tank rifle
from the very beginning of World War Two. At the beginning of that war pretty
much every country had an anti-tank rifle. They’d mostly been developed during the 1930s. And there was this idea that, at the
beginning of the war, tanks were light enough that it was actually feasible to
have a single-man portable rifle that could penetrate the armour of a typical tank. Now as World War Two got going, that
concept disintegrated very quickly. Tanks became much more heavily armoured very
quickly, and the anti-tank rifle concept became obsolete. So the Boys anti-tank rifle was obsolete,
the Panzerbüchse 39 became obsolete. The 20mm guns lasted a little bit
longer than the .30 and .50 calibre ones, but even those were not useful for
very long, against tanks at least. So what the Germans did (which is kind of
interesting because most of the other countries just abandoned the guns entirely), well the Germans
had a lot of these things in production at this point. And their solution was to take the existing
rifles, which were in an 8x94mm case (so a huge cartridge, but
actually a fairly small bore size), they cut the barrels down to about 24 inches
and they attached grenade launcher cups to them. The idea was they could develop a very
heavy rifle grenade to use against tanks, something that was frankly too heavy to
be effectively used with a 98k Mauser. But a gun like this was substantial enough and
had all the hardware already kind of built into it, to be a much more effective
anti-tank grenade launching rifle. So specifically the grenades used,
they don’t fit inside this tube. They actually have a stem
that fits in here for rifling, and then the head of the grenade
is even larger on the outside. And they use a shaped charge warhead which allows
you to actually penetrate a significant amount of armour. So the original grenades were 40mm,
then they also came up with some 46mm and even 61mm grenades by the end of the war. These were powered by a wooden bullet
blank cartridge of this 8x94mm case. And these actually served with reasonable
effectiveness to the end of the war. So why don’t I go ahead and
bring the camera back here and let me take a look at some of the interesting
grenade launcher features to this gun. The changes, beyond just the barrel length
and the grenade cup, the changes that were made when they converted the anti-tank
rifles into these anti-tank grenade launchers. The first thing I should probably show
you, for those folks who haven’t seen the video on … the original
version of this gun, is the action. This is a single-shot falling-block design.
And the falling-block is activated by the pistol grip. So the grip itself
pivots forward, in fact you can see (if I get the sling out of the way), you can
see the locking lug here that holds the grip up in position. When I push the grip
forward that locking lug is disengaged. So what I would do is pull this down, that will
engage the ejector, pop out the empty round, I then drop a live round in it, pop that up, that lifts up our breech
block, seals the gun, and it’s ready to fire. There is a safety right back here, that’s safe,
that is fire. So pretty simple gun to actually use. Now the original PzB 39 rifles had an
under-folding stock, and you can still see the mechanics of that here, however when they
converted these to grenade launchers they fixed the stocks in position
so that they will no longer fold. The reason for that is the recoil from firing a rifle
grenade is substantially greater than a rifle cartridge, and I think it was decided that the stock folding
mechanism wasn’t necessarily strong enough to withstand a lot of rifle grenade use. And, frankly,
it was only moderately helpful in the first place. By cutting down the barrel to 24 inches … they’ve
made the gun significantly shorter already, and made up for some of the compactness
that you could get by folding the stock. Now one of the more minor changes,
but it is an interesting one that they made, was to lengthen the bipod. So these
guns still use the same bipod as the PzB, but they cut them right here and added this
U-shaped piece of metal to the bipod legs to give them about two inches more length. The reason
for that was grenades have a lot more drop, and there is potential when you’re shooting
to need to fire at higher angles than with a rifle. And that requires elevating
the front of the gun more. So one of the the really cool, visually
interesting changes that was involved in the grenade launching version
of these guns was the sights. The original PzB 39 had fairly typical rifle style sights, whereas the Granatbüchse has
sights specifically for launching grenades. A grenade has a … much steeper trajectory, and adjusting for range in very short distance
increments is important. The point of impact of … a 40mm rifle grenade at 50 yards is going to be
quite substantially different from, say, 75 or 100 yards. So what they did on this sight is they have a series of wires to give you a series of crosshairs. You can see that they only go out to 150 [metres], that
was considered the maximum effective range of the gun. And we have a rear sight. The rear sight is frankly rifle-
like right there. You’d line up the notch in your rear sight with that centre wire and whichever range
wire was appropriate for the particular shot. Thanks for watching guys,
I hope you enjoyed the video. I’m really happy to have been able now to take
a close look for you at both the rifle version and the grenade launcher version of these guns.
They’re pretty cool. They’re fairly rare. Happily, based on US law, these are
not considered destructive devices because the actual bore diameter is
only 8mm, less than .50 calibre, so these transfer as just standard typical rifles. If you’d like to transfer this one to yourself you will
have the opportunity, if you’ve got the money for it. Check the link in the description text below,
that will take you to Rock Island’s catalogue page. Of course this is selling in this
coming September Premier auction. You can look at their pictures, and their
description, and create an account on-line, or come down here to the Rock Island
Auction House and bid on it in person. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Granatbuchse GrB-39 Antitank Rifle

  1. I feel like if you necked it out to 10MM, and then had a cartoon-ishly long bullet sort of like the APS, with the tip, and the heel of the bullet at 10MM and the shaft at 8MM then this would have been a good long range rifle or light anti tank gun

  2. I would love to see a video on the 2.8 cm sPzB 41 "heavy anti-tank rifle" (Its more of a light cannon.)
    I find the idea of a conical bore rather interesting. Sadly though I don't think there are many of the 3000 odd guns they produced left to look at.

  3. Cool! Thanks for all your videos, they're great!

    Summary:

    A Sharps Benchrest Carbine, chambered for a wildcat spigot mortar (40mm Improved), with an analogue heads-up targeting display, and a CA-legal folding stock! Besides the G3, this has to be the most stereo typically German gun ever made.

    Joking aside, this was a pretty smart answer to "we need, immediately, a couple thousand free weapons, made out of garbage, that can stop the latest Russian tanks head on, from half a city block away. Also it should be heavy enough to jam up the undercarriage, for when the gunner immediately runs out of its weirdo caliber ammo. The winning design so far is a Molotov Cocktail with a water balloon slingshot."

    drum roll…….we proudly present the GeratBuchse!!!

  4. what a piece of history. i enjoy your series, thank you for making this videos for us gun enthusiast who also appresiate history

  5. A bit late to the party but if you ever manage to see a Wz. 35 anti-tank rifle is it possible for you to show it ? Because that was a real can opener.

  6. I know I'm late to the party, but I'll ask regardless.
    Was this deactivated? Looking closely, it sure looks like the front left hand side of the breech block has been cut. Is that the case, or is it just a strange angle that makes it look that way? I don't recall having seen anything like that on your video about the standard PzB.39.
    Regardless, thanks for the fantastic videos.

  7. …now I notice that you actually adopted a much more correct pronunciation für "Büchse". So…never mind my comment on the Panzerbüchse-video. ;-). Good job!

  8. As a random question, if someone was able to get a hold of a live 7.92x95mm round could it still be safely and accurately fired from this weapons platform despite it's having been shortened?

  9. I am intrigued by the box with wire and notch site. Could that be reversed and used as a rifle site for longer range shooting without the use of fragile and over precise (EXPENSIVE) glass tubes so more troops could be more precise more of the time at more distance ?
    SORRY couldn't resist any MORE .

  10. And to think, we had that Winchester .50 BMG anti tank rifle that could have had a similar grenade cup and then have been useful both as a heavy sniper weapon and an anti-tank weapon. Looks like no one bothered to examine that German weapon with an eye towards making our own weapons more effective

  11. War at that time was just horrible. look at how shitty and thrown together this thing is. Its like they gave didn't care back then.

  12. I wish you could fire these weapons that would make it more interesting to watch or add a link to a different video where someone is shooting them?? just thought thank you though for this great channel.

  13. The umlaut makes quiete the difference here. Büchse means "can" and refers to a gun, but Buchse means pants or underpants in some German dialects ^^

  14. It is called Granatbüchse or Granatbuechse not Granatbuchse, a "Buchse" is not the same as a "Büchse" in German.

    A "Büchse" is by definition translated as "A small metal can"

    A "Buchse" is by definition translated as "A connection point for a plug (for electrical devices)

    But it is as always a Great Video.

  15. are you seriously telling me that under american law an anti tank grenade launcher doesnt count as a `destructive device`?

  16. Looking at the grip, were they designed to unlock under firing? I know the earlier 38 models had a system like that, but it looks possible with this one…

  17. Guy at range: Cool gun, does it shoot 50bmg.
    Me: No it shoots HEAT and it can mess up your life.
    Guy at range: 🖕🏽

  18. German Anti tank weapons : Make it complex and high quality.

    Russian (Slavic Way) : Nah fuck it lets just make a tube that fires rockets.

  19. The pistol grip design is clever, it would make it more difficult to fire the gun if you're not pulling it in tight to your shoulder, and generally give you a good reaon to hold it tight. I wd imagine the recoil is massive.

  20. This will not be Politically Correct or even polite to say, But it is true nonetheless. German's make the BEST STUFF period when they are PiSSED OFF! Thank them for putting satellite's into space via the V2 rocket's America copied for you're nice cellphone coverage. Just wish they did not have to be so darn evil when they do it. And that whole conquering the World bit with a splash of Genocide sort of tarnish the Silver lining. Still pock a German with a stick and they will invent something that will blow you to the MOON!

  21. That sight is like something the hacks at Infinity Ward would come up with as a WWII stand-in for a tacti-derp scope to sell in their lootboxes.

  22. Don't think I've ever seen one of those before, I will have to chase down a model PzB39 to convert into the GrB39!

  23. I believe that the vertical wire in the sight is known as a 'stadia'. It's possible that I'm wrong and it's is practically certain that I'm wrong in deutchesgesprechen.

  24. This would be a very interesting Gadget for the Assault or Support Class. An AT rifle that is also a grenade rifle would be amazing to have!

  25. Germans might have lost the war investing in all this technology and wunderwaffe, but they really did come up with some neat stuff for the time.

  26. Granede launcher… Not destructive apparently…
    So… Do americans sell rocket launchers in gun shops?
    Can't possibly be more destructive than simple rifle.

  27. Now imagine using this apparatus to take on an active enemy tank that is 50-100 meters away. That is approximately an arm length.

  28. What kind of range we talking about here. Is this more of a medium range 100 to 300 meter sort of thing, or is it more like a piat (never mind he answered it)

  29. A tip: If you can't add the umlaut, write it with the basic vowel and an added "e" behind it. So in this case it would be "Granatbuechse" instead of "Granatbüchse." Just using the basic vowel is just wrong, and in this case "Buchse" is a real word with a different meaning, namely "socket." And don't believe google translate, it's wrong exactly like this videos title 🙂

  30. How strange it is that only the Russian 14.5 mm rifles have withstood the tests of time and are still used today against armoured vehicles with surprising success even though they were built in like 2 months or less. Who said that "Haste makes waste"?

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