I used to be a gunblogger – so, here, a gunnie-post

The business end of a PIAT. One cocked (on the left) one uncocked (on the right

, d-uh).

On the end of the spigot you can see a little nib. That, essentially, is the firing pin. This particular PIAT has the tray installed for shooting the sub-caliber training round.
I guess this is technically a striker-fired weapon…
This one is cocked, and here you can see the cork that was a subject of interest yesterday. Its purpose is to keep water, dirt, bugs, and faeries out of the spring housing, and to prevent damage to the bushing for the spigot as it flies out of the housing under the impetus of a 220lbs-of-thrust spring, and we don’t need any burrs or crap impeding it.
And, here is that bushing, showing just how far back the rod goes.
Here is the back end of a PIAT round. The item clipped to the fin is the fuze. That particular fuze carrier was picked up by me in Arnhem, during the TAA Phase of Operation Atlantic Lion (REFORGER 84) which coincided with the 40th Anniversary of Market Garden. I got to meet MG John Frost on the bridge he only had half of. What a great day.
While it’s hard to tell, the end of the tube is flared. It fits into the bracket on the rear face of the tray, holding the round in front of the hole. What is less obvious is that whole tube is pretty stout. It has to be. It is essentially a cannon barrel.
Here we see the round seated in the flange. It is *not* resting on the tray. The tray’s sole purpose is to protect the round while attached if the gunner needs to change position.
That is a sub-caliber training round on the spigot. This particular PIAT’s tray is bent such that while you could still shoot a regular round, with the sub-caliber tray installed, it won’t let the sub-cal round all the way back to fit in the flange. This shot does show the flange to better effect, though.
The piece most people don’t know about. The cartridge. That fits into the tube, pushed up against the warhead. Essentially, the spigot slams forward, the nibs hits the primer, the cartridge ignites, and because the round provides less resistance than the spigot, launcher, and gunner, the round launches off the spigot. It acts just like any cartridge firearm, yet… doesn’t. Physics! But that spring’s major purpose is to absorb the Newtonian impulse of that round as it lofts up, up, and away. In the flatter trajectory, that cartridge would head back at the gunner when the round initiated. Irony. Pull the trigger, survive the launch, kill the tank, take the cartridge to the forehead…
Just some scale for you.
The flip-up sight was for direct fire. The rear sight had three holes for three different ranges, out to 150m. This was essentialyl the anti-tank, window, or bunker embrasure sight. Gunners had to interpolate on the tweens. The quadrant site, marked HA for High Angle, and LA for Low Angle, was for attacking area targets. The round would carry 370 yards. Imagine the recoil impulse… and the spring takes on a different meaning.
That big trigger is for leverage – you’re working a sear holding back a very powerful spring.

Published by The Armorer

A grumpy old Cincinnatus who feeds goats, dogs, cats, ducks, peafowl, a horse, and sundry avians, especially in the winter. From time to time you will see guns. Until such time as the Progressives repeal the 2nd Amendment, everything you see is legal, Federal, State, Local, where I live. Your progressive paradise may have different rules. Don't project them onto me. Federalism still exists, even if it is but a shadow of what the Framers intended.

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6 Comments

  1. I remember reading about them. I think it was in “Secret Weapons of World War II.” Either my reading comprehension, my memory, or the writer’s ability to describe projects he’d worked on closely from a fresh point of view were really off because it wasn’t until I ran across another source (likely Ian’s Forgotten Weapon’s YouTube channel) that I learned that it works off a spring. Yeah, the whole rest of that tube is, apparently, a spring. “Reloading” is re-cocking that 20-mule’s worth of spring.

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