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The T-Gewehr's Roar Again!

By P. Lazarides and H. Montgomery

The German T-Gewehr

The Tank Abwehr Gewehr Mod 18 (usually abbreviated to T-Gewehr) was the world’s first anti-tank rifle and was developed by Mauser. Development of the rifle and its ammunition started in November 1917 in response to the British use of tanks in the autumn of 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. The first of these rifles rolled of the production line only 3 months later in January 1918. At this time the steel-cored armor-piercing ammunition was also ready (the ammunition was jointly developed by Mauser and Polte Werke and could penetrate 25mm of face-hardened steel at a range of 250m). It is claimed that around 15,800 T-Gewehr rifles were produced. The T-Gewehr itself has been described adequately in many previous articles and will not be repeated here. The purpose of this article is to describe how suitable “range ammunition” was fabricated at low cost for use in the T-Gewehr.

The Collector’s Dilemma

The authors are both collectors of firearms in South Africa, and each of them possesses an original T-Gewehr. They were faced with a dilemma that is quite common amongst collectors:

You have a very collectable firearm in your collection that you would like to shoot, but it is chambered for an obscure and obsolete cartridge.

This is exactly the case with these T-Gewehrs. They are both fully original and hence most collectable. However, the owners also wanted to shoot these rifles. Unfortunately original 13.2x92R ammunition is obsolete and unobtainable, in fact original ammunition is eagerly sought after by ammunition collectors.

In the past some T-Gewehr’s were converted to .50 BMG caliber by their owners to enable them to be fired, but this was considered too drastic a step as it would destroy the value of the firearm. So the logical next step was to manufacture suitable 13.2x92Rmm “range ammunition” on a small scale and at a cheap cost.

Making the bullets

Monolithic bullets can nowadays be easily turned on a lathe, using brass or copper. After finding an original 13.2x92Rmm round and measuring up the original bullet, we settled on a new lathe-turned solid copper...

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