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Original US World War Two M1 57mm Anti-Tank Gun and Carriage
The 57 mm anti tank gun was the main anti-tank gun of Allied Forces during the middle part of WWII and it was also used as the main armament in a number of tanks. Originally developed by the British as a replacement for the under-powered 2-pounder (37mm), the 57mm, or 6-pounder, was completed in 1940, and the gun's carriage design was completed in 1941. The British turned to American factories to produce the gun under Lend Lease. The US Army soon adopted the 57mm as its own anti-tank gun, designated as the "M1". Production of the U.S. M1 anti-tank gun began in May 1941, but they did not enter service until May 1942. Approximately 16,000 were made through 1945. The gun was light, easy to maneuver on the battlefield, and fired both armor-piercing ammunition and a high-explosive shell.
With the introduction of heavier frontal armor on German tanks, the 57MM was found to be ineffective in frontal attack, but it was effective from other angles and remained in service until the end of the war. Improvements in the projectiles during the war also increased its effectiveness. Its use continued in the US Army into the Korean War and much later in foreign armies. These guns were generally towed on the battlefield by half tracks or military tractors and could be quickly put into action due to their light weight and ease of handling.
The gun offered is an early production piece made at the International Harvester St. Paul Works in Minnesota. The original oval brass data plate, mounted on the right trunnion, reads "No. 1404/CARRIAGE,GUN,57MM./M1/INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER CO./CHICAGO, ILL./1942". The gun has been lovingly restored by a retired US Army Master Sergeant and repainted with US Army olive drab paint. It has been made unserviceable by having the breech plugged and welded shut. This avoids it requiring registration and regulation by the ATF as a Class III explosive device. Gun currently located in Kentucky and owner will deliver it within a reasonable distance, as negotiated.
Very few of these WWII era anti-tank guns survive in private hands, as the vast majority were scrapped and most surviving examples ended up in museums or on display in towns or VFW and American Legion posts. With the ever increasing interest in WWII memorabilia and the dwindling supply, the prices will only increase and opportunities to own such a piece become more rare. This piece especially desirable because its early production date virtually guarantees that it saw action during the war.
Range: 10,260 yards
Muzzle Velocity: 2700 FPS (depending on projectile type)
Penetration: 2.7" @1000 yards (depending on projectile)
Projectile Weight (AP): 6.28 pounds
Barrel Length: 117"
Elevation: -5 to +15 degrees
Weight: 2,520 pounds, including carriage
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The above two photos are of a similar gun on display at the Camp Beauregard Military Museum in Pineville, LA