45-mm M-5 Anti-tank Gun Details
The use of new tanks and self-propelled artillery systems with reinforced armor (especially frontal) by the German Wehrmacht at the final stage of World War II led to a sharp decrease in the effectiveness of Soviet 45-mm and 57-mm anti-tank guns. The Red Army needed a more powerful anti-tank gun, which was the main reason for continuing development work on creating new samples of such small-caliber anti-tank guns.
In 1944, the Design Bureau of the Motovilikhinsky Artillery Plant No. 172 (Perm) created the 76-mm regimental gun M-3-1 (designed according to the scheme of the captured German anti-tank gun 75/55-mm RAK.41), and had a load-bearing shield that replaced the lower carriage. Field tests of the prototype M-3-1 gun were conducted in November 1944. And soon, in 1945, a new 45-mm M-5 anti-tank gun was built on its basis. It was created by superimposing a monoblock barrel with a semi-automatic horizontal vertical bolt from the M-42 gun on a light two-wheeled shield-carriage with box-shaped frames, on which it was mounted.
The most important design difference between the M-5 and other small-caliber anti-tank guns was the presence of a load-bearing shielded shield consisting of two sheets – the front, 4 mm thick, and the rear, 3 mm thick . All the main parts of the gun were mounted on the shield: the upper machine with guidance mechanisms and a sight, sliding frames, torsion springing with semi-axles and disk wheels with spikes. The upper machine was a ball mask and was mounted in the shield with vertical trunnions. Anti-recoil devices-a hydraulic recoil brake and a spring knurler-were similar to the 45-mm M-42 anti-tank gun. Lifting and turning mechanisms of screw type. The frames are sliding, welded, box-shaped, attached to the shield. The gun had a very small height of the line of fire – 570 mm . The weight of the gun in the firing position was only 491 kg . The ballistics of the M-5 cannon were similar to those of the M-42 cannon.
The gun’s ammunition package included unitary shots with armor-piercing, armor-piercing tracer and subcalibre shells, fragmentation grenades,as well as unitary shots with buckshot. Such a design of the shield-carriage of the 45-mm M-5 anti-tank gun had numerous advantages over anti-tank guns with “classic” carriages, both because of the greater compactness and simplicity of the device, and because of the lower weight and greater manufacturability in production. However, the gun still remained heavy for a battalion gun, which included 45-mm anti-tank guns. In addition, due to the low height of the gun axis and the significant removal of the long barrel during testing, the gun was often stuck in the ground on uneven terrain during transportation.
Strengthening the armor protection of enemy tanks, and on the other hand, the development of domestic rocket-propelled grenade launchers and recoilless guns deprived such 45-mm guns of prospects. The
M-5 45-mm anti-tank gun was not adopted by the Red Army.