45 mm anti-tank gun M1942 (M-42)

The M-42 was a 45-mm Soviet light semi-automatic anti-tank gun. Its full official name is 45-mm anti-tank gun model 1942 (M-42) (Russian: 45-мм противотанковая пушка образца 1942 года (М-42)). These guns were used from 1942 until the end of World War II.

45-mm anti-tank gun model 1942 года (М-42)
45 mm anti-tank gun M1942 (M-42) Museum on Sapun Mountain Sevastopol 1.jpg
M-42 in Museum on Sapun Mountain, Sevastopol.
TypeAnti-tank gun
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
Used bySoviet Union
Warsaw Pact
North Korea[1]
WarsWorld War II
Korean War[1]
Production history
DesignerNo. 172 Plant
ManufacturerArtillery Plant #172, at Perm
No. built10,843
Masscombat: 625 kg (1,378 lbs)
travel: 1,250 kg (2,756 lbs)
Barrel length2.985 m (9 ft 9.5 in) 66.3 calibers
overall: 3.087 m (10 ft 1.5 in) 68.6 calibers[1]
Width1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)[1]
Height1.2 m (3 ft 11 in)[1]

ShellFixed QF 45x310 mmR[1]
Caliber45 mm/ 68 (1.77 in)
BreechSemi-automatic vertical sliding wedge[1]
CarriageSplit trail
Elevation-8° to 25°
Rate of fire15-20 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity870 m/s (2,854 ft/s)
Maximum firing range4.55 km (2.84 mi)


M-42 45 mm anti-tank gun in Finnish Tank Museum in Parola

The M-42 was developed by the No. 172 Plant in Motovilikha as an upgrade of the 45 mm anti-tank gun M1937 (53-K). The gun received a longer barrel (20 calibers more than the previous one, so it was a 45 mm/L66), shells with more powerful cartridges, and a thicker shield (7 mm instead of 4.5 mm), but of hinged construction as a need for reduced profile, requiring crews to kneel while serving the weapon. Some minor changes were also introduced in order to speed up production.

These guns were used from 1942 until the end of World War II. In 1943, due to its insufficient anti-armor capabilities against new German tanks such as the Tiger, Panther and Panzer IV Ausf H, the M-42 was partially replaced in mass production by the more powerful 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun. The M-42 remained in production however, as it was quite effective against lighter vehicles and could pierce the side armour of the Panther and Panzer IV Ausf H. Fragmentation shells and canister shot gave the gun some anti-personnel capability.

Mass production of the M-42 ceased in mid-1945. The total number of guns produced is 10,843.


  • Ammunition types:
    • Armor-piercing
    • Fragmentation
    • Canister
    • Smoke
  • Projectile weight:
    • AP: 1.43 kg (3.15 lbs)
    • APCR: 0.85 kg (1.87 lbs)
    • Fragmentation: 2.14 kg (4.71 lbs)


Type 100 m (110 yd) 500 m (550 yd) 1,000 m (1,100 yd) 1,500 m (1,600 yd) 2,000 m (2,200 yd)
APBC-HE 71 mm (2.8 in) 54 mm (2.1 in) 40 mm (1.6 in) 32 mm (1.3 in) 28 mm (1.1 in)
APCR 108 mm (4.3 in) 74 mm (2.9 in) 46 mm (1.8 in) - -


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Foss, Christopher (1977). Jane's pocket book of towed artillery. New York: Collier. p. 13. ISBN 0020806000. OCLC 911907988.
  2. ^ Bird, Lorrin; Lingston, Robert (2001). World War II Ballistics: Armor and Gunnery. Albany, NY USA: Overmatch Press. OCLC 71143143.


External linksEdit

  Media related to M-42 45 mm anti-tank gun at Wikimedia Commons