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Panzerbüchse 39 German Anti-Tank 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 cool, and huge guns, that they have for sale
coming up in their April 2015 Premier auction. This one, of course, is huge. This is a German
Panzerbüchse 39. It’s a light anti-tank rifle. This was the German version of the anti-tank
rifle in the beginning of World War Two. Almost every country out there
had something in this sort of class. … At the end of World War One it was actually
feasible for a large single-shot high-velocity rifle to perforate the armour of a tank and
disable it. And those rifles remained just barely practical and usable right at the
very beginning of World War Two, but frankly by the end of the Battle of
France these things were obsolete. Tanks started evolving very quickly, and they
took almost no time at all to become immune to the capabilities of something like this. So, of course, the British had the Boys anti-tank rifle, the Finns had the Lahti 20mm, the
… Swiss had a Solothurn S-18/1000 20mm, the Japanese had a 20mm anti-tank gun,
the Russians had the PTRS and the PTRD. Everyone kind of had … something like this. Now what they ended up generally being used for
was more of an anti-materiel rifle because, as I said, very quickly these couldn’t perforate tank armour,
but they’d still be great for shooting at trucks, shooting at small buildings, maybe
shooting at fortified positions or pill boxes. A lot of stuff like that, so they did get used. Now at the beginning, you know, during the
late 1930s, the German company Rheinmetall actually took an existing Polish anti-tank rifle
design and cartridge, and they started tweaking it and improving it. And what they came
up with was the PzB 318 cartridge. It’s a huge, almost an inch in diameter, brass case
that necks all the way down to an 8mm projectile. It fires approximately a 224 grain armour-piercing
projectile at about 3,800 feet per second. So really, really fast. At 100 metres that
allowed it to penetrate about 30mm of armour. So a solid inch of hardened
armour plate, that’s not too bad. But again, it didn’t take long before that
was woefully inadequate for disabling a tank. At the same time, it could penetrate 20mm of that armour (this is 90 degree vertical armour), at
300 metres. So that’s roughly its capability. At the the beginning of the invasion
of Poland, the German army had a little over 550 of these guns, but
they really ramped up production. And by the time they invaded the Soviet
Union they had more than 25,000 of them. I should back up a moment and
say this is a model of 39, a PzB 39. There was also a PzB 38, which was a
very similar gun, used the same cartridge, but it had an auto-ejecting system. And it
actually had a recoil mechanism, so that the ejection mechanism would
eat up some of the recoil of firing, and it would spit the empty case out
for you. Kind of like a small artillery piece. That was expensive and complex, and actually the
Gustloff company took that design from Rheinmetall and they simplified it into this design,
which is the one that really saw mass production. It’s a falling block action. We’ll take a look at exactly
how that looks when we can get up close a little bit. It has a folding stock to make it a little bit more
portable. It’s about five foot three inches long in its firing configuration, when you fold the
stock you can drop it to about four feet long. The thing weighs about 27 pounds, so it’s
more or less portable. But yeah, it’s heavy. We have a 10 round ammunition box
on the side, which is kind of a clever idea. We’ll take a close-up look at that as well. So why don’t we… Frankly, let’s go ahead
right now and bring the camera back here and get a closer look at some
of these interesting elements. Alright, so this is a falling block action. You have your breech
right here, and the way this operates is rather clever. We just take the pistol grip,
rotate it forward, and drop it down. There’s a big old latch right here
that locks this into the receiver. Once the pistol grip has been dropped down you see
you have a nice clear opening into the chamber here. There is an automatic extractor there that will pop
the round out after you fire and open the breech. You put a new one in, and then
you lock the pistol grip back up. This does also have a dust cover on it. There’s
a little bit of exposed area right here that … Clearly this is something that was added after
the fact, and it would appear that people realised they were getting gunk and well, frankly, probably
Russian mud, stuck in there and causing problems. So they added these little dust covers. We do also have a selector switch down here.
That is simply fire and safe, not much else to that. On the right side of the gun and in fact, there’s
one of these on each side of the gun, right and left, we have an ammunition magazine, or box. Because this is a single-shot rifle, there’s no way
to have a, you know, feed of multiple cartridges. So what they did instead was they
provided these with a couple of storage boxes. This one holds 10 rounds, one in each of these
little spring clips, and then has a spring-loaded cover on it. And then it’s got this lug on
the side which fits into this spring-loaded rail on the side of the gun. So this
allows me to keep ten rounds at the ready to use as I’m shooting. To use this, we just pop the
door open, pull a round out, drop it into the breech of the gun, close the breech, fire and repeat. There’s a second lug on this side of the gun that would
fit a matching, but mirror imaged, ammunition box. So you could carry 20 rounds on
the gun, kind of cool and convenient. I mentioned the stock collapsed to make this a little bit
easier to transport. That is done with this button right here, push that in and then also… push that in, the stock folds underneath the gun, this bottom part of the buttstock folds down,
and then we have a little spring catch here that snaps up into the bottom of the receiver. The bipod … does a similar thing with this catch.
This is basically just an MG42 bipod. Properly goes together, and there we have the bipod stored. Thankfully, they included a carry handle with this
thing. Because it is rather bulky and heavy to carry. The whole thing weighs about 27 pounds. No-one would object carrying
that if it would actually defeat a tank, but when it doesn’t, this thing gets to be a
lot of weight without a whole lot of purpose. So, of course, at the invasion of Russia there
are 25,000 of these guns ready, and ready to go. The Germans anticipated that the Russians
would have really pretty poor armoured vehicles. Well, the Russians turned out to have some really good
armoured vehicles and developed some really good ones. This became obsolete. What they
ended up doing was actually rather clever. The Gustloff company did some
experimenting, and they figured out a way to convert this into a grenade launching
rifle. So they cut the barrel way down, put an end of barrel grenade launcher on, very
similar in style to the grenade launchers that the Germans used on Mauser rifles, and
they used blank cartridges of the same type as as this normal AP, same cartridge case.
They used blank firing cartridges as propellant for armour-piercing anti-tank grenades. In that guise the guns got a
lot of their practical use back. They were of course shorter, lighter, handier, and they were actually once again able to defeat armour,
much better than an armour-piercing bullet could. So in that configuration the gun saw
use clear to the very end of the war. One side effect of that was they
were taking these existing PzB 39s and converting them into grenade launchers,
or GrB, Granatbüchse Model 39 guns. So it’s fairly uncommon to be able to find one of these
guns in its actual bullet firing configuration any more, because most of them were converted,
… this couldn’t be used for very much, the grenade launching ones were useful,
so off to the conversions they went. At any rate, it’s very cool to be able to
find this one for sale. I should point out it is not a destructive device despite being an anti-
tank rifle, because the bullet is only 8mm in diameter. So it falls well under the .50 calibre threshold,
and this is just a plain old curio and relic firearm. If you’d like to buy it, add it to
your own collection, maybe start on an epic quest to find yourself
some PzB 318 ammunition to try out in it, you can buy it here at Rock Island
in the April of 2015 auction. If you click the link below in the description text,
that’ll take you to Rock Island’s catalogue page. You can take a look at their high res
pictures and their description, and create an account, place a bid on-line and do
your best to add this to your own collection. Thanks for watching,
I hope you enjoyed the video.

100 thoughts on “Panzerbüchse 39 German Anti-Tank Rifle

  1. Arent government mandated gun laws great? An anti tank rifle that shoots a cucumber sized case with an 8mm bullet going nearly 4x the speed of sound able to penetrate armor isnt considered a destructive device, but a USAS 12 gage shotgun is, because it has a shotgun bore…..didnt joe biden say a shotgun was all you needed???

  2. So the Germans commandeered a Polish weapon just in time to invade Poland with it! No wonder they were glad of the weapons we left behind at Dunkirk! Luckily,we didn't end up facing them!

  3. Looks like it could be useful as an ultra-long range sniper rifle…maybe with a ultra heavy for caliber bullet. Be fun to try.

  4. Besides some of the large plane mounted cannons, the Germans really lost out by not incorporating any .50 diameter cartridges. Who in their right mind would expect a rifle bullet to penetrate anything, no matter the velocity. People like to play up German engineering but they consistently came up short when facing .50 cal MGs of the Americans and the Russians, which revealed a gap between their 8mm GPMG and basically the Flak 38.

  5. Betrug Pik 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡

  6. to jest polski karabin przeciwpancerny ur zdobyty przez zbrodniarzy niemieckich w czasie agresji na Polske

  7. I wonder how effective these anti material rifles would be as a kinda old school sniper with a good scope

  8. This is a german what? Panserbiusch? Hell man, why does every single american fail so hard in pronouncing german Words?? It`s disrespectful. It is still a Panzerbüchse.

  9. These things could still damage a tank while maybe not destroy it. Often they targeted turret rings or the main gun which would essentially disable the tank.

  10. it called Panzer Book-tze! if so… even if the "Ü" cant be pronounced by english People… "bushe"! is way to off pronounced.

  11. First time I'll ever say your wrong. The Soviet anti tank rifle was useable against panzer 4s quite late in the war. The reason Germany started using skirts on the panzer 4 was Soviet anti tank rounds going threw the side armor behind the road wheels.

  12. Battlefield V brought me here. In fact literally every Battlefield game brings me here. 👍
    Gotta feel sorry for the Soldiers who used these weapons effectively on tanks earlier in the war, then tried it on new and improved tanks and realised oh shit this doesn’t work anymore. Danke.😁

  13. I just know there will be Battlefield 5 players recommended this because they just added this to the game.

    I remember seeing this a few years, but I just got recommended it again lol

  14. Learning that this was converted into grenade launcher makes me wish dice would've added this as that because most people use this rilfe for killing soilders instead using it for vehicles

  15. So the new weapon is released on bfv and all of a sudden YouTube suggests this video. Weird. Stop watching me you fucking creeps.

  16. I like how in BFV this and the Boyz can't pierce a tank just like the real weapons. I always refer people to this and the Boyz video when people complain how the video game versions can't pierce a tank.

  17. Why is it everytime battlefield V brings out a new weapon, i somehow get here 😂
    Oh yeah, people in bfv don't use these on vehicles js 🤣

  18. Twenty years ago i used such gun To hunt dears and hogs
    27 pounds is nothing my wife weighs 160 pounds and i have No Problem Handling her every night

  19. BFV brung me gear and I just wanna say whoever uses this gun in the game are annoying noobs who don’t do anything for there teams and never on objectives. Get good from me and the *300 clan.

  20. Pls consider that fact, that USSR consisted of 15 states. And first two nations, who encountered german's invasion in USSR were Ukrainians and Belarusians, not Russians. Don't forget USSR was not Russia, and all people, who lived there are not all russians.

  21. Wouldn't the entire action being exposed each time you reload when you open up the handle have serious potential for dirt getting in?

  22. "I should point out this is not a destructive device"
    My brain just melted. It's now sloshing about inside a bucket I hastily held under it to prevent it flowing straight out the front door.

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