76-mm Regimental Gun Model Details
Already in the mid-1920s, the leadership of the Red Army came to the conclusion that it was necessary to have light guns in service to accompany and support the advancing infantry with fire, quickly suppress enemy firing points that survived after artillery training.
The Design Bureau of the Weapons and Artillery Trust (OAT) under the leadership of S. P. Shukalov was assigned to create a modernized version of the 76-mm short gun of the 1913 model. The first prototype of the regimental cannon was made at the end of 1926. In the following year, 1927, several variants of this gun were tested on the field. The best option was recognized with a sprung carriage and a barrel chamber, bored out for a 2-inch (51 mm) shorter sleeve of a 3-inch (76 mm) field gun of the 1902 model. The new 76-mm regimental gun consisted of a bolted barrel with a piston bolt and a sprung two-wheeled single-bar carriage with large wooden wheels, spokes and narrow monolithic rubber tires.
Two coulters were attached to the hobot part of the machine – a non-folding one for hard soils and a folding one for soft ones. A cradle was mounted in the trunnion part of the machine. Vertical guidance of the barrel was carried out by a lifting mechanism consisting of two toothed sectors, and horizontal guidance was carried out using a worm mechanism. The shield cover consisted of a fixed middle shield, to which folding shields of a movable shield mounted on a machine were attached on hinges from above and below. It overlapped the embrasure of a fixed shield and had a window with a door for firing direct fire at the sight tube. The thickness of the shields was 3.5 and 4 mm (respectively). The vertical guidance mechanism of the gun allowed firing at elevation angles from -6° to +25°, while the horizontal firing angle without moving the trunk was only 5.5°. The gun had a relatively low weight in the firing position (about 900 kg) and low pressure on the trunk, which made it possible to move it on the battlefield by the calculation forces.
The small dimensions of the gun and low shield cover allowed it to be well camouflaged. The height of the firing line was 945 mm. For the gun, a unitary shot was adopted from a 76-mm field gun of the 1902 model, which greatly simplified its supply of ammunition. The regimental gun was transported, as a rule, by horse traction, but the presence of springing allowed it to be transported by mechanical traction at speeds up to 15-20 km/h. For its transportation, gun fronts of the 1930 model of the year, the 1938 model of the year and the 1942 model of the year were used, and charging boxes were used to transport part of the ammunition.
The gun’s ammunition load (which was 80 rounds) included unitary shots with armor-piercing and cumulative shells, high-explosive fragmentation grenades, as well as unitary shots with buckshot and shrapnel. In 1928, the new gun was adopted by the Red Army under the name “76-mm regimental gun of the 1927 model of the year”, but its refinement continued. All further work on its improvement and serial production was assigned to the Artillery Technical Office (ATK) of the Leningrad plant “Krasny Putilovets”. Before the start of serial production of ATK under the leadership of F. F. Lender made some improvements to the gun. From 1929 to 1934, the design of the gun was constantly refined to simplify the design and increase the manufacturability of production, as well as improve its tactical and technical characteristics.
Work on the modernization of the gun was carried out in the ATK of the Putilovsky plant under the leadership of A. A. Monakov and I. A. Makhanov, so already in 1929 some changes and simplifications were introduced to the design of the bolt, in 1930 the bonded barrel, consisting of a pipe and casing, was replaced by a more technological monoblock barrel. Monakov developed a new sight equipped with a remote drum with scales, which allowed direct and indirect fire.
Instead of the old heavy wheels, automobile-type metal wheels with bullet-resistant tires filled with sponge rubber (KPM-76-27) were used, which made it possible to bring the maximum speed of transportation of the gun to 25 km/h. The regimental cannon of the 1927 model was successfully used in battles during conflicts on the CER, near Lake Khasan, on the Khalkhin Gol River, during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army already had 4708 guns of the 1927 model in service. In the pre-war states, rifle regiments of the Red Army consisted of an artillery battery of 76-mm regimental guns of the 1927 model of 4 guns, and in horse-artillery divisions of cavalry divisions they were armed with two of the four batteries. They were used in the initial period of the war to perform a wide range of tasks of direct support and escort of infantry and cavalry with fire and wheels and direct fire. During the offensive, the regimental guns were moved by calculation in the battle formations of the advancing infantry and quickly suppressed the enemy’s manpower and firepower.; they destroyed light field shelters, made passages in wire fences and hollows for their tanks.
In defense, the guns were also in infantry battle formations, firing at the advancing enemy infantry, and if necessary, at tanks and armored vehicles.
The 1927 model guns played an important role during the Battle of Moscow, when 452 regimental guns were manufactured in besieged Leningrad and flown to Moscow. At the initial stage of the war, when it became clear that the bulk of German tanks had weak armor, regimental guns of the 1927 model of the year began to enter service with anti-tank divisions of rifle divisions. The armor-piercing projectile of this gun with a muzzle velocity of 370 m/s at a meeting angle of 30° at a range of 500 m penetrated armor with a thickness of 25 mm, and at a range of 1000 m – 23 mm. One of these divisions, which was part of the 596th Artillery fighter-anti-tank Regiment, distinguished itself on January 13, 1943 on the Leningrad Front during the defense of the Dubrovskaya power plant. The division was commanded by Captain N. I. Rodionov. He himself was killed in this battle, and his division destroyed 10 tanks and more than 100 Germans.
The specifics of the actions of the regimental guns led to heavy losses, both in material parts and in their calculations; at the same time, along with the battalion artillery (45-mm guns) and mortars, the regimental guns were the only Soviet artillery systems that were located directly in the battle formations and were able to hit the identified targets as quickly as possible. In 1943, the gun was discontinued, but until the end of the war it continued to be one of the main artillery systems of the Red Army. Serial production of the 76-mm regimental gun of the 1927 model was carried out from 1928 to 1943, while from 1928 to 1941 the guns were produced at the Leningrad “Kirov Plant”, and in 1942 – 1943 – at the Motovilikhinsky plant No. 172 in Perm. The total number of manufactured 76-mm regimental guns of the 1927 model exceeds 18,000 pieces.
76-mm Regimental Gun technical details
Total issued-more than 18,000 units.
Weight in combat position-920 kg
Barrel length-1250 mm
Rifled part length-1165 mm
Driving speed-25 km / h
Rate of fire-10-12 rounds/min
Maximum firing range-7200 m
Direct firing range-440 m
Horizontal – 5.5°
Vertical – 6° +25°