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Great American Outdoors

Historical

Long Before The Barrett .50 Cal…There Was The Mauser “T-Gewehr”

Settle back and watch as this young woman in the video below fires the 1918 Mauser “T-Gewehr”, but before you do that, let me give you a little history lesson about this monster rifle.  The T-Gewehr was originally made to shoot at tanks, translated “T- Gewehr” means- “Tank Rifle”. During WWI, it was the allies that introduced tanks onto the battlefield and it literally made the German troops crap their pants in fear.

Imagine for a moment, that out of the smoke after an artillery barrage, you see a giant monster of a machine slowly advancing on your line of trenches, you’d be scared too, since a massive machine like that had never been seen on any battlefield before.

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But, after the initial shock of the tank being introduced onto the battle field, the German High Command stepped-up to try and find a way to take them out…enter the “T-Gewehr”. This rifle truly is as much of a monster then the machines it was shooting at.

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In a way, the T-Gewehr is very similar to our own Barrett .50 Caliber rifle, you could almost say, the T-Gewehr was the Barrett’s Great-Grandfather . The Germans have always been masters of engineering and were always ahead of the curve when it came to weapons development.

Wikipedia had this to say about the T-Gewehr:

The Mauser 13 mm anti-tank rifle (German: Tankgewehr M1918, usually abbreviated T-Gewehr) was the world’s first anti-tank rifle,i.e. the first rifle designed for the sole purpose of destroying armored targets and the only anti-tank rifle to see service in World War I. Approximately 15,800 were produced.

Comparison of a standard British rifle bullet and a 13mm T-Gewehr cartridge.

The armor-piercing hardened steel cored 13.2 x 92mm (.525-inch) semi-rimmed cartridge, often simply called “13 mm”, was originally planned for a new, heavy Maxim MG.18 water-cooled machine gun, the Tank und Flieger (TuF) meaning for use against “tank and flier”, which was under development and to be fielded in 1919. The rounds weighed 51.5 g (795 gn) with an initial velocity of 785 m/s (2,580 ft/s). At 100 m an armor plate 22 mm thick could be pierced.

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