Form 1 DIY Panzerfaust

    The niche market for legally registered disposable anti-tank weapons may soon experience a well overdue boom with the introduction of a historically accurate Panzerfaust 60 copy you can make at home. Jonathan Wild started the project last year which will eventually culminate in a book detailing how to build one yourself from scratch.

    Capable of firing over 100 yards, the warhead (in this case is a practice dummy) uses a propelling charge of Goex cannon black powder housed in a cardboard tube attached to the rear of the fins. Like the original Panzerfaust design, initiation is provided by means of a primer (in this case commercial muzzleloading primers) fitted into an external nipple that is struck via the sheet metal trigger mechanism. The launching tube is simply a length of commercially available steel tube onto which the trigger mechanism is welded.

    The simple folded sheet metal trigger unit of Panzerfaust 60 is pictured below:

    The trigger unit welded to the launch tube and fitted with a reproduction dummy warhead:

    The weapon during its early stages of development can be seen test fired below. The fin-stabilized projectile can reach 100 to 120 yards.

    The Panzerfaust (which translated means ‘Tank fist’ or ‘Armor fist’) was developed by Germany in 1942 as a light, cheap and disposable recoilless anti-tank weapon. The Panzerfaust 60 was first issued in 1943 and as many as 8.3 million were produced for the remainder of the war. The total length of the weapon was 3.43 ft and it weighed 6.5kg. The warhead utilized a shaped charge and was capable of penetrating 200mm of steel plate. The number at the end designated the range, in this case, the Panzerfaust 60 having an effective range of around 60 meters. The previous model, the Panzerfaust 30 had an effective range of half. A Panzerfaust 100 and 150 were also produced in much smaller numbers.

    Finnish soldiers armed with the Panzerfaust 30 fighting against Russian forces in 1944. (Finnish Armed Forces Photograph archive)