76-mm Divisional Gun ZIS-3,Technical Specifications – The USSR

76-mm Divisional Gun ZIS-3 Technical Details

  • Years of issue – 1941 – 1945
  • In total, 49,217 units were produced.
  • Caliber – 76 mm
  • Weight in firing position – 1200 kg
  • Barrel length – 3490 mm
  • The length of the threaded part – 2587 mm
  • Calculation – 6 people
  • Travel speed – up to 50 km / h
  • Rate of fire – up to 25 rds / min
  • The greatest firing range – 13 290 m
  • Direct fire range – up to 940 m
  • Shooting angles:
  • Horizontal – 54 °
  • Vertical – 5 ° + 37 °

76-mm Divisional Gun ZIS-3 Details

The 76-mm USV divisional gun (F-22USV) proved to be quite good in the Red Army in the initial period of the Great Patriotic War. But the design of the gun was difficult to manufacture and, moreover, it was too heavy. Therefore, despite the positive combat and production qualities of the F-22, in the design bureau of plant No. 92 under the leadership of V.G. Grabin, it was considered a transitional model to a lighter and more technologically advanced divisional gun, which would also use a unitary shot from a 76-mm cannon sample 1902/1930.

In May 1941 V.G. Grabin, on an initiative basis, began work on a new weapon. Having rich experience in design, qualified specialists A.E. Khvorostin, E.A. Sankin, A.P. Shishkin, F.F. Kaleganov, V.S. Ivanov, B.G. Lasman,
V.G. Ernest Pogosyants and others with direct involvement of KK Rennes, VD Meschaninova,
DI Schaeffer, under the general guidance of V.G. Grabin, created a new original sample of the 76-mm ZIS-3 divisional gun, which was lighter than the USV gun, less laborious to manufacture and much cheaper.

The impetus for the idea of ​​its creation was the testing of the 57-mm ZIS-2 anti-tank gun, which had been conducted since September 1940. The design of the ZIS-2 has become typical for the ZIS-3. In fact, it was the imposition of the barrel with the ballistics of the 76-mm USV divisional gun, which had excellent ballistic characteristics and manufacturability, on a light carriage from the ZIS-2.

The design of the new weapon was carried out in close cooperation with technologists, the design itself was immediately created for mass production. Operations were simplified and reduced (in particular, high-quality casting of large parts, stamping, welding was actively introduced), technological equipment and requirements for the machine park were thought out, requirements for materials were reduced, their savings were introduced, unification and in-line production of units were envisaged. All this made it possible to obtain a weapon that, in terms of labor costs, was almost three times cheaper than an IVDS, but no less effective.In parallel with the design of the ZIS-3, issues of the technology of its production were being addressed. Its mass in the combat position was only 1200 kg, that is, 400 kg less than the USV, which made it possible to roll it onto the battlefield by the crew, and most importantly, it was simpler and cheaper to manufacture.

Work on the creation of a prototype ZIS-3 was completed in June 1941, and in July it passed field tests. A number of ZIS-3 cannons were manufactured back in 1941 – these were experimental guns and materiel for two artillery divisions aimed at military trials, which ended only at the beginning of February of the following year, 1942. According to their results, the ZIS-3 gun was adopted on February 12, 1942 by the Red Army under the designation
“76-mm divisional gun, model 1942”.

76-mm divisional gun ZIS-3, model 1942, was intended to destroy enemy manpower; suppression and destruction of fire weapons of enemy infantry and his artillery, as well as tanks and other mechanized enemy weapons; destruction of obstacles and embrasures of long-term firing points.

The new divisional gun was a classic artillery gun with sliding beds, with a semi-automatic vertical wedge breech and semi-automatic mechanical (copy) type, as well as a sprung wheel drive. The barrel of the gun is a monoblock, with a two-chamber muzzle brake and a breech. The descent is push-button or lever (on implements of various production series). The rate of fire of the new cannon, thanks to the unified wedge breech, on which the designer Pyotr Fedorovich Muraviev worked hard, managed to bring it up to 25-30 rounds per minute. To absorb about 30 – 35% of the recoil energy, a muzzle brake was mounted on the muzzle of the barrel. The recoil devices, when fired, were rolled back with the barrel, and consisted of a hydraulic recoil brake and a hydropneumatic knurler.

Initially, the prototype of the ZIS-3 carriage had a variable recoil length mechanism, but tests revealed poor operation of the recoil devices, and it was decided to make the recoil permanent. The lifting mechanism has two sectors. Rotary screw type. The balancing mechanism is spring, pulling type, consists of two columns. Unlike the F-22 / USV cannons, the vertical and horizontal guidance mechanisms of the ZIS-3 cannon are mounted on the left, which was important, first of all, when firing at tanks.The gunner now aimed the gun at the moving tank on his own, without taking his eyes off the panoramic eyepiece, without the help of the lock, as was required when firing from the F-22 / USV, and fired a shot. This significantly increased accuracy, rate of fire and correction. Thus, creating the ZIS-3 cannon, the designers thought not only about its tactical, technical and ballistic data, but also about the ease of operation and combat use.

The gun was equipped with a panoramic sight, and the ZIS-3 guns aimed at anti-tank artillery – with direct-fire sights PP1-2 or OP2-1). Carriage with sliding tubular beds. The combat axis of the gun carriage is straight. Springs – spring in columns. To protect the crew, the gun had a 5 mm thick shield.

Wheels from a GAZ-AA truck were used as a wheel drive, but with a modified hub. During the tests, it turned out that when firing at an angle of 45 °, it was required to tear off a ditch in the ground between the beds. To solve this problem, the barrel elevation angle was reduced from + 45 ° to + 37 °, the declination angle – to 5 °, horizontal shelling – to 54 °, and the height of the line of fire was increased by 50 mm to – 875 mm.

The presence of cushioning made it possible to tow the gun with the most common trucks in the Red Army – ZIS-5, GAZ-AA, as well as three-axle all-wheel drive vehicles supplied under Lend-Lease – “Studebaker” US-6 at a speed: on the highway – up to 50 km / h, on country roads – up to 30 km / h, off-road – up to 10 km / h .. In addition, the gun could be towed by light two-axle all-wheel drive vehicles Dodge WC-51 (better known in the USSR as “Dodge 3/4”) – a standard vehicle thrust in anti-tank fighter units. The designers did not forget the horse traction, for this the gun was equipped with a unified front end of the 1942 model for regimental and divisional guns.

The relatively small mass of the gun made it possible to roll it onto the battlefield only by means of calculation and accompany the supported infantry with “fire and wheels” “, thus the ZIS-3 divisional gun also performed the functions of direct support of the advancing rifle units.

As a result, the high mobility characteristics made it possible to use this weapon in a very wide range of road and climatic conditions, and the speed of transferring the gun from the traveling to the combat position, in 30 – 40 seconds and the high rate of fire made it very maneuverable, both in fire and in operational relationship.

The greatest firing range reached 13290 m, and the direct firing range was 940 m. Greater flexibility of fire was provided by the use of various types of unitary rounds with shells: armor-piercing caliber; armor-piercing sub-caliber; cumulative; incendiary; high-explosive fragmentation grenade and shrapnel. The greatest firing range of the OF-350 high-explosive fragmentation grenade was 13,290 m. The range of a direct shot of an armor-piercing projectile was 820 meters (with a target height of 2 meters).

When a high-explosive fragmentation projectile burst, 870 lethal fragments with a radius of 15 m were formed. At a distance of 500 m at a meeting angle of 90 °, an armor-piercing projectile penetrated 70 mm of armor, and at a distance of 1000 m – 60 mm. In terms of armor-piercing action, until the beginning of 1943, the ZIS-3 cannon hit almost all samples of German armored vehicles at a range of fire up to 500 – 700 meters in the forehead. But the massive appearance in 1943 of new models of German tanks and self-propelled guns with more powerful armor led to the fact that the armor penetration of the ZIS-3 became insufficient.In particular, 80-mm armor with a low probability (below 50%) penetrated only at distances less than 300 m, and 100-mm armor did not penetrate at all. Therefore, in 1943, the reservation of the heavy tank Pz. Kpfw. VI “Tiger” was invulnerable to the ZIS-3 in frontal projection and weakly vulnerable at distances closer than 300 m in side projection. The new German tank Pz. Kpfw. V “Panther”, and modernized medium tanks Pz. Kpfw. IV models H; M and N; however, all these machines were confidently hit from the ZIS-3 cannon to the side.The introduction of sub-caliber (since 1943) and cumulative (since the end of 1944) shells dramatically improved the anti-tank capabilities of the ZIS-3 divisional gun, allowing it to confidently hit vertical 80-mm armor at distances closer than 500 m. The insufficient armor penetration of these guns was partially compensated by the tactics of use, focused on the defeat of the vulnerable spots of armored vehicles. In addition, against most samples of German armored vehicles, the armor penetration capabilities of the ZIS-3 cannon remained adequate until the end of the war.

The 76-mm divisional guns ZIS-3 of the 1942 model were in service in the artillery regiments of rifle and mechanized divisions, in light artillery, anti-tank artillery regiments and brigades of army artillery and artillery of the RVGK.

During the war years, the troops received three types of 76-mm divisional guns ZIS-3 of the 1942 model:

– a sample with riveted (box-shaped) or tubular beds and a bolt from a 57-mm anti-tank gun, with a push-button release (the button is mounted in the flywheel of the rotary mechanism);

– sample with a simplified shutter and lever release, with an elevation angle of 27 °;

– sample with a simplified shutter and lever release, with an elevation angle of 37 °.

Used by V.G. Grabin, technical solutions in the design of this weapon made it possible to produce the ZIS-3 cannon by a low-skilled workforce using the conveyor method, put into continuous production, and in the absence of high-quality materials, but only using their cheap substitutes, without critical loss of combat and operational properties. This made it possible in the shortest possible time to saturate the active army with guns, replenishing significant losses of material and restoring their combat effectiveness after heavy battles.

Mass production of the ZIS-3 guns was launched in 1942 and was carried out at the plant No. 92 “Novoe Sormovo” (Gorky); in 1943, plant No. 235 (Votkinsk) joined in their production, and in 1944, plant No. 7 (Leningrad) produced 14 more guns. The ZIS-3 cannon is the most massive weapon of the Great Patriotic War.

In total, in the period from 1941 to 1945, the domestic defense industry gave the front 49,217 76-mm ZIS-3 divisional guns of the 1942 model. The ZIS-3 cannon became the most famous Soviet weapon during the Great Patriotic War.

Due to its outstanding combat, operational and technological qualities, this weapon was recognized by experts as one of the best weapons of the Second World War. In the post-war period, the 76-mm ZIS-3 cannons were in service with the Soviet army until the 1980s.

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