Recoilless Gun

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recoilless gun

[ri′kȯi·ləs ′gən]
A smooth-bore, open-breech, launcher-type artillery weapon constructed of lightweight metals and employing a muzzle-inserted propellant; it is designed with a firing mechanism activated electrically or mechanically by remote control.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Recoilless Gun


a rifled or smooth-bore gun which does not recoil. The gun does not recoil upon firing because a portion of the powder gases is drawn back through the nozzle, which thereby gives rise to a reactive force that equalizes the recoil force. The first recoilless guns that were developed in the USSR appeared in the 1920’s and were adopted as armament in the Red Army in the 1930’s (the L. V. Kurchevskii cannon). During World War II and in the postwar period recoilless guns began to be widespread in the armies of other states. Modern recoilless guns (calibers of from 57 to 120 mm) are designed to destroy armored targets, personnel, and means of fire. They fire shaped-charge projectiles and high-explosive fragmentation projectiles or mortar shells. The point-blank range against tanks is 400–800 m, its armor-piercing capability is up to 400 mm, and the mass of the gun ranges from 50 to 310 kg. Recoilless guns may be either single-barreled or multibarreled, self-propelled, towable, or truck-mounted. [3_244–3]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now they've captured government arms, and we're also seeing arms from former Yugoslavia, including anti-tank rocket launchers and recoilless guns."
The Francop was escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where 36 containers were unloaded to reveal 3,000 Katyusha rockets, 3,000 shells for recoilless guns, 20,000 grenades, half a million rounds of assorted ammunition and 9,000 mortar shells--enough, the Israelis maintained, to sustain Hizbullah for a month of combat against the Jewish state.
In the 1950s, lower-echelon anti-tank units, such as those of infantry battalions, received 107mm and later 82mm recoilless guns and RPG-2 (and later RPG-7) unguided anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers to replace the 57mm ZIS-2 guns they had been using since WWII.
The Pakistani troops have been using mortars, heavy automatics, recoilless guns, and small weapons in the recent attacks.
Every direct-fire weapon, from the rifle to the tank gun, by way of anti-tank missile launchers, recoilless guns and cannon mounted on IFVs, has its own laser device and a suitable receptor to make it, or its carrier, vulnerable.