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Russian APCR at Close Range

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Reviewing Russian penetration figures at close range, we found that the effectiveness of the rounds drops off as the range decreases and the impact velocity increases.

For the 76.2mm L41.5 APCR, vertical penetration is:

60mm at 1000m

92mm at 500m

98mm at 300m

102mm at 100m

A 32mm difference in penetration from 500m-1000m but 10mm from 100m-500m, which suggests that the round is failing structurally as the impact velocity increases. Normally, the change in penetration per given interval increases as the range decreases, which it does in American, British and German data for tungsten core ammo.

Results similar to Russian 76.2mm APCR were found for 45mm M37 and M42 APCR, where the penetration effectiveness appears to be blunted and reduced as the range decreases.

Using the available data the following vertical penetration figures were generated:

76.2mm 41.5 APCR


104mm at 0m

102mm at 100m

100mm at 200m

98mm at 300m

95mm at 400m

92mm at 500m

88mm at 600m

83mm at 700m

76mm at 800m

69mm at 900m

60mm at 1000m

45mm L46 M37 APCR


96mm at 0m

89mm at 100m

82mm at 200m

75mm at 300m

69mm at 400m

64mm at 500m

57mm at 600m

50mm at 700m

45mm at 800m

40mm at 900m

35mm at 1000m

45mm L66 M42 APCR


111mm at 0m

101mm at 100m

93mm at 200m

85mm at 300m

79mm at 400m

72mm at 500m

67mm at 600m

60mm at 700m

53mm at 800m

47mm at 900m

42mm at 1000m


1. Russian April 1943 firing tests vs Tiger


45mm M37 APCR penetrates side at 200m

45mm M42 APCR penetrates side at 350m

76.2mm L41.5 APCR penetrates front at 500m on some hits

2. Russian "Instruction on fighting German tank T-VI", April 20, 1943


45mm M37 APCR penetrates side at 200m

45mm M42 APCR penetrates side at 500m and front at 100m

76.2mm L41.5 APCR penetrates front at 100m

Above results appear to be based on calculations from published penetration data and the report predates actual firing tests against Tiger.

3. British A.R.D. Sketch "Penetration Curves of Russian Weapons, 30 Degree Attack (According to Russian Data)", Nov. 1946


45mm M37 APCR at ranges from 100m to 491m.

4. Russian Battlefield table on "The Armor Penetration of the Soviet Tank Guns"


76.2mm L41.5 APCR defeats 102mm at 100m, 98mm at 300m and 92mm at 500m

The Russian penetration figures for 45mm M42 APCR of 80mm at 500m and 52mm at 1000m appear to be questionable, since they are not consistent with 350m penetration range during April trials and are not consistent with 45mm M37 APCR penetrating 80mm at 200m (which is consistent with trials against Tiger).

The penetration estimates for 45mm M37 and M42 APCR were adjusted to equal 82mm penetration at 200m and 350m range to be consistent with the April firing test results against Tiger.

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Lorrin Said: “Using the available data the following vertical penetration figures were generated:”

You say BR-350P – from trials -- perforates a Tiger-1 frontally at 100m. None of the Tiger-1’s frontal hull plates are vertical. Assuming we are talking about the upper hull plate, I would presume that 102mm penetration by BR-350P at 100m implies performance against a ~9-degree inclination.

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