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PIAT

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
I thought that the shoulder pad was pushed forward by the firer and then used as a shoulder recoil pad during firing. Otherwise how did it have such a reputation for recoil? This needs looking intoo as there is definetly no way that looks right!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
The idea is to keep it in your shoulder and the recoil is supposed to recock the launcher. That is if you absorb the recoil!
From the 1943 British Army manual Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank:

'Lie on the back and rest the projector on the chest, with the bomb support pointing over one shoulder and the shoulder piece flat on the ground. Keep the front support clear of the body and arms. Place the insteps on the shoulder piece, one foot on each side of the outer casing. Grasp the trigger guard firmly with one hand from underneath; with the other grasp any part of the projector that will give good leverage. Sit up or bend the knees if necessary, according to cover. Pull the outer casing away from the shoulder piece and turn it anticlockwise as far as it will go. Pulling with the hands and pushing with the feet, continue to pull on the outer casing until a click is heard. Considerable effort is required to overcome the resistance of the mainspring. The click denotes the action is cocked.
That issy had it the wrong way around!
 
#5
The idea is to keep it in your shoulder and the recoil is supposed to recock the launcher. That is if you absorb the recoil!


STILL LOOKS BLOODY PAINFULL..
 
#6
By the book, (could also be done from a standing position)


The feckless pratt in the video is just that.

A problem with the PIAT was sometimes your firing position. Ideally (as former operators have told me), you need your body line directly behind the axis of the weapon for two reasons. First, in this way with the weapon pulled tight into your shoulder, you minimise the pain of recoil. Second, the weapon needs as much resistance behind it as possible to give the ‘auto recock’ a chance of working. Also re the recock working, the moving parts need be well maintained. Spring draw weight up to 200lbs.


Problem with body-line in operation, it wasn’t always possible to use the optimum due to your position and the angle at which the weapon was fired to hit the target.
__________Poor line__________________________________________Good line__________


No.9
 
#8
Waithbrate said:
Looks cheap to produce, The thing is basically a 'spring loaded' grenade launcher.

Any still used today?
As with many of the weapon systems of WWII it was very cheap, easy and quick to produce in large numbers. It was also a dodgy peace of kit safety wise.

There are none used in service today. They would not be allowed.
 
#13
There was someone from Bury? who won a VC for knocking out a Stug with one in Italy I think the story is that he fired it whilst standing up ...sadley the mans VC got stolen during a break in when he was an old man
 
#14
Guys,

You have all fallen in to the usual trap with the PIAT....

The PIAT is a form of spigot mortar like the Hedgehog and the Blacker Bombard. Instead of a barrel the bomb rides on a steel spike or spigot. The bomb is similar to a modern rifle grenade with a hollow tail, however as Ugly says the PIAT has a small charge in the bottom of the tail pipe. This is actually a 20 bore shotgun cart with no rim...

To reduce the felt recoil (a bit!) the spigot is spring loaded and starts the firing cycle in the rear position. When you pull the trigger the spigot shoots forward down the tailpipe of the bomb abd hits the prop cart. This fires, blowing the bomb off the front AND RECOCKING THE SPIGOT!

YOU ONLY HAVE TO DO THE RECOCK FOR THE FIRST ROUND!!!!

afterwards you just bung in another bomb (unless you have a misfire!)

(And yes, the shoulder pad and cocking rod is pushed forward after pulling back the spigot)

Duh!
 
#15
The PIAT? The 1944 version? A suicide weapon. That's if you ever got close enough?????

While in Holland near Weert? 246 Field Company RE had, as often happens, got ahead of everyone.
I was sent out to a dugout way ahead of the main of the company, as an outpost armed with a loaded PIAT.
Fortunately although we could hear Panzer's engines they did not come our way.

WE were sometimes described as "Those bloody Sappers again" In some circumstances ordered to stop, and let the infantry deal.

Now PIATs? I have fired that bloody awful creature. For a start anyone trying to carry out the illustrated way of using it was in deep trouble.
The ones we had did not reload ready for the next round. The recoil was staggering.... Fire and roll! as the fin often came back at you.. close legs tight.... No tree behind you, and pray.

I could not load it on my own it took two of us. Fired from the hip? Stone me! In my opinion? Cloud Cuckoo land ...the recoil would break your neck.
It was a good way of bring down a sheer cliff of rock, fired at the rock surface it would bore a deep hole that could be used to tamp explosives in, to form an internal "Cavern" then pack it with "Amanol"???? and blow.

Some of the tales that are spread around about what happened sometimes border on the ridiculous.

The effect of a PIAT is a round hole an inch or so in size, rather like an acetylene torch burn. Then the hot gases follow through and spread the occupants around in a horrible mess

Out there all alone with a PIAT? Determined! but scared seven different colours out of me.

All my opinion of course
Swordman.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
brettarider said:
There was someone from Bury? who won a VC for knocking out a Stug with one in Italy I think the story is that he fired it whilst standing up ...sadley the mans VC got stolen during a break in when he was an old man
I met the mans CSM who was dissapointed that the Fusilier who stood up with the Piat operator and supported him like a No2 onthe 84 got no recognition at all. Him and his wife used to stay on a caravan site we looked after in Cornwall in the 1970's and when he knew I was joining up gave me some sound words of advice which I wish I had followed!
 
#18
What I cannot understand is this "Why in heavens name would anyone stand up to fire one of the worst and heaviest weapons ever invented"

But there you go, We old Veterans live and learn from the younger generation. Amazing! I would love to see a picture of one being fired stood up, even better, I would like to see tha horrible mess that came after it was fired. For in a prone position the recoil took you back 6 to7 feet. So how far back did the standing recoil take them????
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
Probably more uncomfortable recoil wise than the 84 but the noise was horrendous when you let fly with Charlie G. I remember my nuts feeling like theyve been kicked in as you cant close yor legs as well when standing as you could in other fire postions. That pig weighed 36lbs.
 
#20
swordman said:
What I cannot understand is this "Why in heavens name would anyone stand up to fire one of the worst and heaviest weapons ever invented"

But there you go, We old Veterans live and learn from the younger generation. Amazing! I would love to see a picture of one being fired stood up, even better, I would like to see tha horrible mess that came after it was fired. For in a prone position the recoil took you back 6 to7 feet. So how far back did the standing recoil take them????
Not so much as you would think Swordman...

Firing standing allows you to take far more recoil than prone. If you don't believe me, then try firing a 12 bore prone! (Don't try this unless you are wearing a boom suit BTW!)

Felt recoil is a function of energy transfer. If the firing energy is transferred to your upper body by allowing it to move backwards, then the peak pressure on your shoulder is reduced. In other words the shock is taken up accelerating you, rather than compressing your shoulder against an immovable body, which would be the case if you were prone.

This is why (in case you were wondering) you should not attempt to shoot elephant from a prone position... Anything above a .338 Magnum needs to have a recoil mech like a Barrett (or be very large and heavy) to be shot prone. All big game rifles like .375 Mag etc are shot standing or off a rest.

If you watch hunters shooting big game, the technique is to "roll" the shot by letting the muzze climb and burn off the recoil. Not a great technique for long range accuracy but saves your collar bone for the next shot.

By the way, the other way to feel recoil is to let the gun accelerate before it hits your shoulder. This is why beginners tend to feel recoil more than the old sweats. The tighter you hold the gun the lesser the recoil.

Finally m'thinks your memory is playing tricks with you... I don't think a 5 ft recoil would be survivable! Remember the PIAT cartridge is only a 20 Bore shotgun cart. I've seen film of a PIAT firing, and although the firer is obviously taking a whack, he stays in the aim...

I'd fire one (particularly if there was a tank bearing down on me!) :thumleft:
 

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