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black1
04-20-2012, 03:49 PM
Is there any info on the ammo for the machine guns and cannons, I dont know what any of it means when I read it in the guns convergence area.

5./JG27.Farber
04-20-2012, 05:26 PM
Taken from somewhere I cant remember. No credit for me.


Ammunition Belt Composition for German Fighters

These are the belt compositions for fighters, used against air targets, as given given in a German manual, published in in 1944. (Ref. 204.) Note that these were more or less advisory: Local commanders were encouraged to determine the armament mix that suited them.


7.92 mm (MG 17)

5 SmK-v
4 PmK-v
1 B-Patrone-v

SmK ammunition was AP with a hard steel core and a lead sleeve. The probable explanation of the acronym is Spitzgeschoss mit Kern, pointed ball with core. PmK also had a steel core, but the core was surrounded by phosphorus, which ignited when the round was fired. Finally B-Geschoß was a Beobachtungs or observation round: It had a small HE charge and some incendiary material, and exploded on contact with the target. In this way the pilot was able to verify that he was hitting the target. During the Battle of Britain, the British used the Dixon-De Wilde round for similar purposes, and pilots generally felt that this was extremely useful.


13 mm (MG 131)

1 Panzergranatpatrone L'spur o. Zerl
2 Brandsprenggranatpatronen L'spur o. Zerl

The 13mm Panzergranatpatrone was a solid AP round. The Brandsprenggranatpatrone was a conventional HE/I round, a bored-out projectile filled with an explosive mixture. German armourers were warned that the first round fired had to be an AP round: The cap over the muzzle had to be destroyed first, and there was the possibility that the HE/I round would go off when it hit this. Note that for both rounds, tracer was chosen (L'spur, or Leuchtspur) but that there was no selfdestruction (o. Zerl, or ohne Zerlegerung).


15 mm (MG 151)

4 Brandsprenggranatpatronen L'spur m. Zerl
1 Panzergranatpatrone L'spur o. Zerl

Rather similar to the 13mm, except that the HE/I rounds now do have self-destruction mechanisms. It was common to use a combined self-destruction fuse and tracer: The projectile exploded when the tracer was burnt out. On some projectiles, special self-destruction fuses were used. They were set to 3 seconds, except before April 1941 when they were set to 1.7 seconds.

The MG 151 was a high-velocity weapon, and for ground attack missions Hartkernmunition, AP with a tungsten core, was loaded.


20 mm (MG-FF, MG 151/20)

2 Minengeschoß m. Zerl.
2 Brandsprenggranatpatronen L'spur m. Zerl
oder Brandgranatpatronen
1 Panzersprenggranatpatrone o. Zerl
oder Panzerbrandgranatpatrone (Phospor) o. Zerl.

Here the Minengeschoß appears for the first time. A version of the 20mm M-Geschoß with tracer did not exist, so tracer was used on HE/I (Brandsprenggranatpatrone) or pure incendiary (Brandgranatpatrone) rounds. The latter was apparently a new development in 1944, intended to replace the less effective HE/I. The fifth round was a semi-AP projectile, explosive or incendiary. Apparently the main reason this was used instead of a solid AP round was that a solid projectile would have been too heavy.

It was recommended that more AP or semi-AP ammunition would be loaded when the probable targets were well-armoured attack aircraft such as the Il-2. On the other hand, against the four-engined bombers of the RAF and USAAF the high explosive types were more effective.
30 mm low-velocity (MK 108)

Minengeschoß 108 El o. Zerl.

Only the Minengeschoß was fired by the MK 108, also in versions with day or night tracer. The ammunition was not interchangeable with that of the much more powerful MK 101 and MK 103, hence the addition 108. The letters El probably indicate the presence of Elektron, an incendiary compound, in the projectiles. Surprisingly, self-destruction fuses were not used, although German fighters were operating over the home country at this time in the war. Probably it was felt that this reduced the effective range too much.


30 mm high-velocity (MK 101, MK 103)

1 Sprenggranatpatrone L'Spur o. Zerl
1 Minengeschoß L'Spur o. Zerl
1 Panzersprenggranatpatrone L'Spur o. Zerl
oder Panzerbrandsprenggranatpatrone L'Spur o. Zerl

The MK 103 was a high-velocity weapon with a much better armour penetration than the MK 108. Hence the addition of the older type of HE round and semi-AP ammunition to the mix. The exception were the nightfighters, which used only the Minengeschoß with a glowing trace (Gl'spur).

For anti-tank missions, Hartkernmunition with tungsten cores was used, but it would be wasteful to use this scarce ammunition against aircraft.
Ammunition Belt Composition for Bombers

For bomber defensive guns of 7.92mm and 13mm calibre, the following combinations were recommended:

7.92 mm (MG 15, MG 17, MG 81)

2 SmK
2 SmK L'spur
oder SmK Gl'spur
2 PmK
2 SmK
2 SmK L'spur
oder SmK Gl'spur
1 PmK
1 B-Geschoß

The main difference with the ammunitions mix for fighters is in the use of tracer, avoided for fighters except to mark the end of the belt. On the other hand, only one in twelve rounds is the B-Geschoß.


13 mm (MG 131)

1 Panzergranatpatrone L'spur o. Zerl
1 Brandsprenggranatpatrone o. Zerl
1 Sprenggranatpatrone L'Spur Üb m. Zerl

This load is a mixture of AP and HE/I with training ammunition (Übung) with self-destruct fuses! This was used in the MG 131 because it detonated after about 700m, and the flashes had a deterrent effect on attacking fighters. The relatively generous use of tracer and phosphorus ammunition in the MG 17 probably had a similar background.