Building a Lahti L-39 Anti-Tank Rifle

    Sons of Guns have blogged about rebuilding a Lahti L-39 Anti-Tank Rifle from a deactivated parts kit.

    It was developed in Finland by Aimo Lahti around 1939 in response to the many doubts of the original idea of the 13 mm anti-tank machine gun. After testing, those boys found that the 20 mm offered better penetration than its anti-tank counterparts. It was put into action in several wars including World War II and the Winter War.

    Nowadays, the de-militarized version of this big boy are pretty rare. When you are able to reactivate one, like we did, the value skyrockets. Which is why Flem’s welding was key to this project.

    … Most of the ammo was from World War II–it was at least 60 years old–which meant we had a lot of problems with the cases breaking and sticking. The crew polished them as much as we could, but some of the odd ball manufactured cartridges didn’t cycle at all. We just used it as a single shot at that point.

    The only way to make a 20mm cannon rifle more cool is to mount it on a truck, and thats just what they did 🙂

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!