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WORLD WAR 2

M1940 50mm (50-RM 40)


Light Infantry Mortar (1940)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Jump-to: Specifications

The 50mm Model 1940 light infantry mortar succeeded the limited model of 1939 though it was itself surpassed by the all-new Model 1941.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/23/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The Soviet 50mm light infantry mortar of World War 2 (1939-1945) evolved along a singular line beginning with the 50-RM 38 model of 1938 which, itself, was influenced by the British Stokes 3-inch mortar design. While serviceable, the system relied on an inefficient manual gas management system to define precise engagement ranges and the 50mm projectile was limited in its reach and shock value. While the projectile was left unaltered, the RM-38 was developed into the slightly improved model of 1939 as the 50-RM 39 / RM-39. The RM-39 showcased a barrel length of 775mm and a weight between 14- and 17-kilograms depending on production. The original RM-38 measured with a 780mm barrel and a 12-kilogram weight.

In 1940 there proved yet another evolution in the 50mm light mortar line and this became the 50-RM 40 (M1940 or "Model 1940"). The weapon was consistent with previous offerings in being conventional in its form and function. There was a launch tube, baseplate and bipod comprising the entire system with included optics, as crude as they were. The bipod was manufactured of pressed steel. The basic accepted operation was retained - at least two crew, one to manage the launch tube and aiming and the other to feed projectiles into the muzzle. An awaiting firing pin ignited the propellant of each charge and sent it along its defined path.

As with the RM-38, the RM-40 proved no better in practice. The 50mm was still a limited projectile and the RM-40 held a limited range. It was, perhaps for the best, that the Soviet attention began turning to larger-caliber instruments with siege mentality in mind such as the massive 160mm mortar system of 1943. To that end, stocks of RM-40 and similar light mortars were used when available and in some number. As such, captured stocks then fell to the Germans who pressed them into action against their former owners under the army designation of 5cm Granatwerfer 205(r) - "r" to indicate their Russian origins.

As the RM-40 superseded the RM-39, it was itself surpassed by the all-new RM-41. Instead of it being based on the RM-38 and, therefore the British Stokes design, it was developed from study of captured German 50mm mortars.

Specifications



Service Year
1940

Origin
Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union

Classification


Light Infantry Mortar


State Arsenals - Soviet Union
National flag of Finland National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of the Soviet Union Finland; Nazi Germany; Soviet Union
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.


Overall Length
630 mm
24.80 in
Barrel Length
630 mm
24.80 in
Empty Wgt
20.50 lb
9.30 kg
Sights


Included sighting device


Action


Manual Operation; Reusable

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


50mm

Sample Visuals**


Graphical image of an infantry mortar projectile / shell
Rounds / Feed


Single-Shot; Reusable
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
2,624 ft
(800 m | 875 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
15
rds/min
Muzzle Velocity
310 ft/sec
(94 m/sec)


RM-40 - Base Model Designation; improved form of the Model 1939.
RM-41 - All-New design based on captured German 50mm specimens.


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