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TDs & Boys ATR Hist. Chan. Mail Call 11 p.m. PST

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There's some good footage of the M-10, M-18, Achilles and a few others in one segment of Mail Call tonight at the above time (check local listings). The segment is after the R. Lee races the Army dragster. Also, he talks about, shows and shoots the Boys ATR, which, I was fascinated to learn, served in the Pacific with the Marine Raiders and Marines when it couldn't hack the Panzers any more. Never knew that, and definitely had never seen footage of a U.S. Boys in the Pacific.


John Kettler

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Hello one and all...

Boys .55 cal (14mm) Anti-Tank Rifle

Barrel Length: 36" (915mm)

Weight: 36lb (16.3kg) unloaded

Muzzle Velocity: 3250 fps (990m/s)

Penetration: 21mm (.83") @ 300m (328yds)


The British decided on a straight forward approach for their anti-tank rifle solution with a magazine fed (5-round) bolt action rifle, firing a high velocity steel core AP round.

It was adopted in 1937 and issued to troops in the Pacific and later U.S. Marines and Army, where it was effective against Japanese tanks, but of limited practical use.

The Boys was also provided to the Finns for the "Winter War" of 1939 in Europe. It was reported that it was "adequately effective" against the Russian T-26, provided the "soft" points of the tank were hit.

By 1942 the Boys was ineffective and of no practical value and was replaced by the P.I.A.T..

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Unfortunately, I don't remember where, but somewhere I read that US Marines and Rangers in the PTO used the Boys a lot to destroy equipment from range in raids on Japanese installations.

I specificially remember something about disabling airplanes by putting 1-2 rounds through the engine block.

Given the kind of hit and fade action that was fairly common in the PTO, I imagine the Boys came in very handy for this kind of thing.



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Am afraid that was something of an inside joke. In his Boys segment R. Lee Ermey forsook his customary

watermelon target and instead did unspeakable things to a stack of full Spam cans.


Nice distilled look at a weapon many don't know very well.


The use you describe is quite similar to the way the U.S. Special Forces used/use .50 cal. sniper rifles.


John Kettler

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I saw a photo not so long ago purported to having been taken during the Guadalcanal battle of a Marine patrol, one of whose members is unmistakably carrying a Boys. Since it would have been a most unhandy weapon to lug around in a tropical jungle, they must have been confident of its usefulness.


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