This is a scarce example of an original WWII British "PIAT" anti-tank grenade launcher. The term PIAT was the acronym for "Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank" with the first models being initially designed in 1942 and designated as the Mk I. These fired a heavy 2.5 lbs grenade/bomb, with an effective range of approximately 110 meters in a direct anti-tank role with maximum range of 350 meters in an indirect role. They were based on the British Army's requirement of a heavier more effective man-portable infantry anti-tank weapon than the standard boys anti-tank rifle. They physically entered service in 1943 and were used throughout WWII, Korea on a limited basis and again by the Israelis in the 1950s/60s during the various Arab-Israeli wars. Eventually being replaced my more modern and up to date anti-tank weapons. They are fairly unique in that they employed a spigot mortar system, that launched the bomb using a cartridge in the tail of the projectile. The PIAT had several advantages over other infantry anti-tank weapons of the period that included the lack of muzzle smoke to reveal the position of the user and an inexpensive barrel. They also had several disadvantages: the weight at 32 lbs, they were difficult to cock (initially), the fragility of the barrel, powerful recoil, and problems with ammunition reliability. The PIAT was first used during the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, and remained in use with British and Commonwealth forces until the early 1950s. PIATs were supplied to or obtained by other nations and forces, including the Soviet Union (through Lend Lease), the French resistance, the Polish Underground, and the Israeli Haganah (which used PIATs during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War). This fine example has a British OD green painted exterior with a light brown over paint typical of late WWII. The front collar or barrel ring is marked "IC/A12412". It has a basic front sight post and a folding rear sight graduated for 60, 80 and 110 meters and is fitted with a monopod on the front end with a heavy recoil pad on the rear of the launcher tube. It still retains its original canvas recoil pad and launcher tube cover.
Fine condition with 90% of a green/brown painted exterior finish overall, with light chipping and flaking of the painted finish. A very unique and scarce original WWII British PIAT launcher. NOTE: This Destructive Device (also listed as a C&R) is a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.
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