The F-22 could fire 76.2 mm shells at a distance of up to 13,000 meters. In order to operate at maximum efficiency, the weapon required at least a crew of five men and it was designed in such a way that older more common ammunition could still be used. However, newer ammunition could also be used creating an array of ammunition types allowing the weapon the switch from indirect fire to anti-tank gun if necessary.
With full crew, a maximum rate of fire of fifteen rounds per minute could be achieved. The gun itself was mounted onto a split tail carriage featuring two metal wheels with rubber tires, themselves taken from the ZiS-5 truck. The elevation range of the M1939 was from -6 to 45 degrees while the traverse was 60 degrees.
The total weight of the weapon was nearly 1,500 kilograms while its length was 5.9 meters. It could easily be towed by motor vehicle and was fairly mobile. Reliability in the field was very good and it was quite effective in its role. Though, parts of the M1939 could be more complicated to manufacture than others leading to its eventual replacement by the ZiS-3 which was a simpler design.
The first variant of the M1939 series was the USV-BR model[N 1]which was the name for examples produced at the Barrikady Production Plant. These models featured modified suspension systems as well as modifications made to the barrel assembly.
Although not a Soviet variant of the system, captured examples were heavily modified, often receiving muzzle breaks and new ammunition so that they could be used as even more effective anti-tank guns. These models were also redesignated by the Germans as PaK 39(r)s.
The M1939 was initially developed in the late 1930s to replace the quickly aging M1936 Divisional Gun, and was adopted into Red Army service in 1939. Few models were produced early on but once the need became dire for new weapon at the start of Operation Barbarossa, the weapons began full-scale production. From that point on, the weapon saw combat all along the Eastern Front in an array of battles and conflicts. In total, around 9,800 examples were produced during the war.
Being a weapon that was deployed all along the front, it was natural for numerous pieces to be captured but in the case of the M1939, hundreds were indeed secured by Axis forces and in fact modified and put into service in other locations such as in the deserts of North Africa with German soldiers as more anti-tank guns were needed to combat British and American vehicles.
- ↑ Though some models previously were also given updated sighting systems yet were not designated as separated variants
- ↑ http://www.timemoneyandblood.com/HTML/weapons/russian/usvArtillery.html
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=388