C&Rsenal Primer 022: The Mighty T-Gewehr, First Anti-Tank Rifle Ever (Shooting Video!)

The most recent episode of C&Rsenal is one you will not want to miss. In it, Othais and Mae take a look at the gargantuan Mauser Tankgewehr 1918, also known as the T-Gewehr:

Now, in the video Othais notes that the 13.2x92mmR Tank und Flieger cartridge influenced a great deal of other more familiar cartridges of that type, such as the Soviet 12.7x108mm and American .50 BMG (12.7×99), which is true. However, it’s worth noting that American work on what eventually resulted in the .50 BMG began as early as April of 1918, when Winchester was contracted to design a large-caliber round for use against aircraft. After the war, when T-Gewehrs and their ammunition were dispersed around the world for examination, Frankford Arsenal did receive 13.2x92mmR ammunition, and actually redesigned the Winchester round around the German cartridge, resulting in the 12.7x96mmSR experimental round in 1919! That cartridge, though, apparently was a dead-end, as what was eventually called “.50 BMG” was a clean-sheet design derived from scaling up the .30 M1906 Ball round.

The T-Gewehr really wasn’t the most elegant solution to the problem of tanks, but it was such a simple design that development and fielding were reduced to a minimum, which was exactly what Germany needed at the time. However, the onslaught of Entente tanks was really overwhelming (though not the only factor in Germany’s loss in the war), and the T-Gewehr was still too little too late.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Jacob

    Do they sell holsters for this or do i need one custom made if i want to open carry it?

    • They do, but the cost of the kydex alone is nuts.

  • Patrick M.

    Really becoming one of my favorite channels. Don’t know if it has anything to do with moving to a ban state but I’ve become a lot more interested in milsurp weapons

  • jng1226

    Thanks for the link. I love their presentation, very informative.

  • lolwut


    • Roger V. Tranfaglia


    • iksnilol

      We all like them :3

    • Giolli Joker

      She’s holding an anti-tank rifle, be careful not to sound rude to her. 🙂

    • Zebra Dun

      Her ammo holder was nice as well.

  • RicoSuave

    The original BFG.

  • ostiariusalpha

    I can’t keep a straight face when Mae says all those (I assume) unintentional innuendos. Nonetheless, I really appreciate C&Rsenal and their Primer videos in both content and presentation, these old guns get the attention they deserve because of their dedication.

  • MBV

    Was this particular gun converted to 50 cal? The bore in the first picture looks much larger in diameter than 7.92.

    • Southpaw89

      The T-gewehr was chambered in a 13.2×92 from the start, the round is credited with inspiring the 50BMG. Its all in the video, though its long its well worth watching just to see the thing fire.

  • Anonymoose

    When we finally get around to cloning T-rexes, I will hunt them with one of these (mounted on a jeep). What does one do for reloading? Are there .525 bullet molds around? What about saboting a .50cal or smaller bullet?

  • Kelly Jackson

    Anyone notice that bolt has lugs at both the front and the rear?

    • ostiariusalpha

      Othais points it out. And I believe the bolt handle acts as a fifth lug.

  • jay

    Loved it. Blah, blah, blah. Then Mae. Mae, do you like older men who also like shooting big guns? Ahhh?!?

  • Bob

    I want one chambered in .50 BMG, just because. ;D

  • Larry Notton

    Bound to kick up a little ,dust along with some derriere!

  • DIR911911 .

    @19:23 that laugh means fun

  • MPWS

    C&R proves to be over and again first class history / tech team. My admiration belongs namely to lady Mae, as she supplements Othais in her own right.
    Ironically, Germans received same treatment 22 years later in hands of Russian anti-tank teams. What goes around, comes around.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    I want one!