Antitank Guns for the Man who Has Everything

We had a birthday in the family recently, and gave some thought to presenting one of these to a 16 year old. They’re all WWII vintage AT guns, and most of them are live. We’ve listed them based on asking price, from most expensive to most economical (for some values of the word “economical.”)

#1: M-1 57mm Anti-Tank Rifle 1943 Carriage Buy it Now: $65K

m1-57mm-01The American 57mm AT gun served throughout World War II, and was the main AT gun used in the peak years of the war. Effective against Japanese armor, it struggled to be relevant in Europe against better-armed and more-mobile German tanks. The US could, however, field a lot of them, and at close range they could make life miserable (if short) for Panzer crews.

m1-57mm-02

#2: British Six Pounder (57mm) Buy it Now: $35k

british-six-pounder-57mm-02The six pounder was the kissin’ cousin of the American 57mm AT gun and served throughout World War II. This one has been modified for movie duty, but is legally convertible to a registered destructive device (given ATF approval of manufacturing in advance. Unlike MGs, DDs can still be made by and for private owners). Don’t tell Governor Moonbeam, but it’s in California, and it’s actually CA-legal.

british-six-pounder-57mm-04

 #3: Swedish Bofors AT (37mm) Opening Bid: $33.5k

bofors-37mm-05Thanks to the annoying Swedish habit of neutrality, the next gun lacks the combat cachet of the combatants’ pieces, but it’s, live, intact, and in beautiful condition. Of necessity, you become a reloader with any gun like this — this one comes with 15 cases. For loading data? KMAGYOYO!

bofors-37mm-04

bofors-37mm-03While the mount is unique, and the muzzle brake follows midcentury Swedish practice, the gun itself seems to owe a lot to Krupp design. The Wehrmacht 37mm and the Red Army 45mm were both Krupp designs, and clearly cousins — as were the social systems the two armies fought for.

Same seller also has a carriage (no breech or barrel) available as well.

#4: WWII 25mm SA.L 1937 ANTI-TANK GUN. Opening bid $25k, Buy it now $30k

If a 37mm gun was already trending obsolescent at the outbreak of World War II, and it was, imagine how weak a 25mm gun is. Plus, this one has to wear the stigma of being from a nation defeated rather thoroughly by the Nazis in cut time: France. Still, it works, and it looks cool:

puteaux-25mm-gun

It also has an extremely thorough description, and lots of pictures:

25mmputeaux-5

Museum quality, live-firing, French WWII 25mm SA.L Mle 1937 anti-tank gun, serial number 566. This anti-tank gun was built in 1939 by the French design & manufacturing company, Atelier Puteaux, and is marked accordingly: “A.PX 1939”. These guns were manufactured and used by the French, but they were also captured and used by the Nazis, who gave them the designation: 2,5cm PaK 113(f). A quantity of the captured guns were sold by the Germans to Finland, who gave them the designation: 25 PstK/37. The gun has a muzzle velocity of 3150 feet per second, and is a very accurate weapon. We spent 165 hours performing a complete restoration on this anti-tank gun. The restoration work included: sandblasting, complete disassembly, painting, parkerizing, bluing, polishing, lubricating, new tires, reworking the recoil mechanism, and reassembly. This cannon is live firing, and has been fired several times. The gun performed flawlessly when fired…..please take a look at the video below, where we fired upon, and disabled a Ford F-150’s running engine, at a distance of 340 yards.

The chamber and rifling are in very good condition. Weighing only 618 pounds, this gun can easily be moved and fired by one adult male. The actual weight at the lunette when the gun is picked up is only 84 pounds. The gun is also very compact: 152″ in length (139″ with muzzle brake removed), 40.5″ in width, and 41.5″ in height. The cannon is equipped with iron sights, as well as an optical 3x M69C telescopic sight (very clear optics). All traversing, elevating, and depressing adjustments work completely and smoothly (see photos below).

25mmputeaux-19

For the travel configuration, the cannon’s muzzle brake / flash hider unscrews from the end of the barrel, and stows above the recoil mechanism. The armor also folds up, which is also shown in the photos below. This is an all-matching numbers gun (#566). The gun includes 22 live, arsenal-loaded, rounds of 25mm ammunition. Once fired, the brass cartridge cases can be reloaded several times for additional firings. This weapon is an ATF/NFA registered destructive device, so it will be transferred on a $200 tax paid Form 4, or on a tax-exempt Form 3 to a destructive device dealer in your state. We will crate and ship this gun anywhere in the continental United States. Crating, shipping, insurance, and transfer taxes are all the buyer’s responsibility. Residents within Tennessee will be assessed state sales tax. Please take a look at all 70 photos that are included in the auction description below. This is a great opportunity to get a museum-quality piece of history, that displays as good as it shoots! Would make for a stunning display piece in any museum, gun store, shooting range, or office.

25mmputeaux-6

There’s even pictures of this type of gun in German, Finnish, and what looks like Soviet(!) service at the link (Finns below):

Pst. Tykki miehistöineen

Pst. Tykki miehistöineen

Some less awesomely restored examples of this gun are also available right now, one at $15k Opening, No Reserve, and a deactivated one at $10k Opening, no reserve.

#5 106mm RCL (demilled) with Prime Mover: Opening Bid, $30k

106-w-mule06

This is one of the things that replaced AT guns, a recoilless rifle, a US weapon of the 1950s-70s. Complete with a M-274 Mule, an offroad vehicle used by airborne forces of the period. An unusual feature was the semi-auto spotting rifle using a special .50 marking round (smaller than a .50 BMG casing.

106-w-mule04The spotting rig was a necessity because the firing signature of a 106 is tremendous, which means, a first round hit on the enemy tank is a life-or-death enterprise with this weapon. It was replaced by the TOW AT missile.

This is the most gun you can have and not need heavy truck and trailer, also one of the more fun toys we had in Nam. Comes with: 4 rds in tubes 2 more in displa manuels tripod (rare) breech cover muzzle cover optics battery pack< elec start This runs and drives as it should, not concourse cond. because we use and enjoy it. If you’ve seen one of these at Fl. MVPA events or the Melbourne Vets reunion in the last decade or so it’s this one This is one of the best equipted in the country. I also have a 25′ closed trailer for sale if this sells. will haul this and any Jeep type vehicle.

106-w-mule03

Cool, but not live, alas.

#6 20 mm Lahti w/Spares. Opening bid $15k, Buy it Now $18k

lahti01

Here’e we’re down out of anti-tank guns into the high end of antitank rifles. This, the similar Solothurn, and a Czechoslovak weapon that was OBE and not produced in large numbers were the high-water mark of the infantry antitank rifle.

lahti03

This lot consists of 1 complete M1939 20MM lahti, w ski, 2 registered lahti receivers, 1 coffin 1 box of spare gun parts, 3 boxes of spare springs, 1 amorer box of tools, 6 boxes w 2 each magazines and 60 rounds of live 20 MM ammo. ALL NFA RULES APPLY!! $50% down and the balance upon transfer to your FFL dealer, buyer pays all shipping costs. and the ammunition MUST BE SHIPPED SEPERATLEY!!

This is live, but ammunition is extremely precious any more.

#7 D44 AT Gun 85mm Opening Bid $8,495.

d44-01

This World War II Russian AT gun is a postwar Polish clone. It is rather roughly demilled, but if not for that would be the clear bang-for-the-buck leader. These guns were widely used in Vietnam and the Arab-Israeli wars, among other 20th Century conflicts.

The shield on this cannon has been cut and re-welded (at Arsenal in Europe), a 12″ metal shaft is missing off of the breech block (replacement easy to create) and we recently repainted it so it looks good. We have discounted this cannon $500 in consideration. Otherwise in good condition. No obvious damage, little evidence of any major use. Working T & E, solid tires. Dem-illed to ATF specs, breech cut [easy weld], 85mm hole in bottom of chamber [donut whole included], hole is NOT visible from exterior of cannon.

d44-02

All demilled pieces [uncut breech block and cut ring] are included, a good ATF form 1 project, subcal to 30-50 BMG [no ATF reg needed], or oxy-propane conversion. We converted ours to a combination 30 cal, diesel fuel, and oxy-propane, sounds better than a real field piece, at a fraction of the price.

We will have INERT 85mm TRAINING rounds here in [about] 3 months.

Light enough to tow behind a jeep or a deuce.

d44-03

When you absolutely, positively have to get those damned kids off your lawn.

That’s about it for cannon right now. But if you’re feeling mortarous, other sellers can hook you up,

32 thoughts on “Antitank Guns for the Man who Has Everything

  1. Tierlieb

    At this point, I blame Mike_C and Boat Guy for recommending that I read Ross’ “Unintended Consequences”. Now I think every American should own one of these.

    As a traditional German, I’ll have to look for an 8,8cm instead. But first, let’s find a shell holder for 88×571R that fits my Dillon 650.

    1. Hognose Post author

      You just missed a beautiful 8.8 at the Caen Tank Museum auctions, I think. Does a Waffenbesitzkarte cover that?

      I think that requires the Dillon 6500.

    2. Boat Guy

      While Henry Bowman did have a Lahti, he did his best “work” with the Solothurn … IIRC.
      But, yeah … COOL.

      1. Hillbilly

        I guess I’m not the only one who wanted a 20mm AT rifle after reading that book.
        Dragon Mans in Colorado Springs used to to have one hanging on the wall 15 or so years ago. I remember seeing it when we used his range one day. I can’t remember whether it was a Lahti or Solothurn mostly I remember thinking “That thing is cool”..

          1. Hillbilly

            I hadn’t been at Ft Carson very long at that point and asked guys in my troop about a place to shoot. I think I used his range 3-4 times in total. I haven’t been there since 98 or so.

          2. Ben

            He will let sof guys have the instructor range away from the yahoos. More importantly, his museum of working guns and vehicles is better than almost anything I have ever seen and they are all functional. Well worth checking out despite how strange Mel (dragon man) is.

          3. Ben

            He also let us do some team training out there a few times with things we could not get approved in a resonable timeline, or possibly at all, on Carson.

          4. Hillbilly

            Good deal on him letting 10th Grp use it. I hadn’t heard about the instructor range when I was still in.
            I retired a few years ago now so it doesn’t help me anymore, but I can shoot on my property so I’m good.

  2. Aesop

    Sigh
    “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a Heaven for?”

    As a random thought, the first guy who tests those on current MRAPs and posts the video would sell the lot in a week’s time.

  3. Jim Scrummy

    Actually, I am kinda in the market for a “gently used” ZSU-23-4, you know for “Predator” control. I’m sure we find a few of these lying around Libya, of course some of the troglodyte mohammedans (aka ISIS) may already have dibs on them? Every problem does have a solution…

  4. Boat Guy

    If the 106 wasn’t demilled I’d be tempted to submit to Bride for “Early Christmas” consideration since I’m “school-trained” on one. I have rarely seen a “mule” run for long – or when REALLY needed p’raps this one is “different”. I would personally be more comfortable using the tripod to shoot it – since that’s the only way I’ve seen them used.
    But, I’m really looking for indirect-fire capability.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Ah, so you remember adjusting those fiddly spacers or whatever they were called so that it actually wasrecoil-less. If you had ’em wrong, it could recoil, or even “reverse recoil” when fired. That was entertaining to see. (If you screwed it up on the heavy weapons range, the instructors would let you go ahead and fire it, for the lesson delivered).

      1. Boat Guy

        “Adjusting the vents” is what I remember that task to have been. Yup.
        The demo we got was the tube held in a two-line sling with a cinder block wall behind it. The tube didn’t move when the round left it and the bloack wall was demolished.

    2. Loren

      I used to watch them knock down avalanches up near Loveland pass in Colorado with some type of recoiless rifle. Maybe one like this? The guys tried not to grin too much while doing it. I suppose DHS has put a stop to it by now. Never know when it might get pointed in a more productive direction.

      1. Boat Guy

        It was (is, I’m pretty sure) a 106. They used to use M101A2 105 howitzers. Now THERE’s something that could be “pointed in a more productive direction”; there’s even a golden dome at target-center.

  5. Mike

    I’m pretty sure there are still recoilless rifles still being used for avalanche control in Colorado, and probably elsewhere.

    IIRC, I saw an M20 75mm RR being used for just that purpose a few years back at a ski resort in Colorado.

    If you live in the backcountry, that could be an angle to justify the purchase to HH6…

      1. Tierlieb

        No need to use assault weapons on those! Just ban avalanches.

        Avalanches – those snow things that go down, right?

        SCNR. Too much stress, too much coffee.

  6. DSM

    That 25mm or a 37mm would be a hoot to have if for no other reason that they’re not so ginormous to be impractical. It’d still do a number on an old junker car or truck and not break the bank in doing so. You could turn projectiles on a hobby lathe easily enough and even a sabot to take a smaller slug like a .50 cal. How flat would a .50 cal AMax shoot at something like 3500fps I wonder? There has to be load data somewhere!

    1. Hognose Post author

      Plus, a lot of these guys have insert barrels in .50 BMG so they can “economically” shoot their AT guns. For some values of “economical.”

      1. John M.

        Are each of the rounds for one of these deals considered Destructive Devices in and of themselves the way a grenade for a grenade launcher is? Or would it vary based on whether the round in question is HE or just a solid chunk of metal?

        -John M.

        1. Hognose Post author

          Kinetic round == not a DD. Round containing any kind of explosive charge == DD. Unless someone in firearms technology branch sneezes or otherwise feels like changing it.

  7. Andrew E.

    Huh. I recognize the “saluting gun conversion” 6pdr. Seller is sort of a friend-of-a-friend connection, not that I expect he’d knock anything off the price for me.

    It works, and I’d strongly advise any buyer to ask the owner what his blanks recipe is, because the fireballs I’ve witnessed were truly spectacular.

    Shame it’s in California, else the guy might have “re-milled” it as a DD and live fired it from time to time.

  8. emdfl

    I remember the days when this was a free country(late ’50’s -early ’60’s). The back pages of Ye Olde Hunter’s Lodge catalog had 37 and 47 mm anti-tank guns in firing condition for $495-$595, and of course the Lahti was $99.95 while the Solothurn was $189.95. And don’t get me started about the dewats in the front pages of the catalog, oh my.
    My problem was I couldn’t figure out how to get those eight-foot crates into the garage without the Old Man asking what was in it.

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