The PTRD was a single-shot weapon which fired a 14.5x114mm round. Although unable to penetrate the frontal armor of German tanks, it could penetrate the thinner sides of early-war German tanks as well as thinly armored self-propelled guns. The 14.5 mm armor-piercing bullet had a muzzle velocity of 1012 m/s.
It could penetrate an armor plate up to 35 to 40mm (40mm with tungsten ammunition) thick at a distance of 100 meters at 0 degrees. During the initial invasion, and indeed throughout the war, most German tanks had side armor thinner than 40mm (PzKpfw I & II: 13-20mm, III & IV series: 30mm, PzKpfw V Panther (combat debut mid-1943): 40-50mm), which meant that the PTRD teams need to be close to very close–sometimes point blank distances–to have a chance of penetrating the sides of these tanks.
However due to the high velocity and small size of the round, it had a very high chance of shattering or utterly failing against armor it should have penetrated, which was aggravated if the target was not at a perpendicular angle.
|The Strelkovy HQ|