This formidable cartridge was developed in USSR shortly before WW2 for use in antitant rifles. While those rifles became obsolete by the 1942, it was decided to develop a machine gun firing this ammunition, to use it against low-flying combat aircrafts and variuos lightly armored ground targets. Such weapon was developed in USSR by 1944 but it sook several more years to finalize its design, and it was adopted by Soviet army shortly after WW2. It was (and still is) used as infantry support weapon, AA weapon and also a primary armament of many armored vehicles and personnel carriers (BTR-70, BTR-80). Standard loading for this cartridge is an AP-I (Armor Piercing Incendiary) bullet, with steel or tungsten carbide core. Penetration for such cartridge is usually quoted as 20mm or rolled steel armor at 800 meters at 90 degrees. Other types of bullets also exist, including API-T (tracer), MDZ (Instaneous Incendiary / Explosive, to be used against unarmored aircrafts). For many decates the Vladimirov KPVT was the only weapon in use to fire this cartridge (it was manufactured in USSR and China, and widely used throughout Warsaw pacdt countries and elsewhere). Today this old but formidable weapon is also accompanied by few anti-materiel rifles in this caliber, and a new indegenous Chinese AA machine gun.


Designation Bullet weight, g Muzzle velocity, m/s Muzzle energy, J Comments
B-32 63.5 990 31 120 AP-I bullet with hardened steel core
BS-41 66 990 32 340 AP-I bullet with tungsten carbide core
BZT 62 990 30 380 AP-I-T bullet