Original Polish Cold War Issue Soviet RPG-43 Inert HEAT Grenade - High Explosive Anti-Tank

Item Description

Original Item: Only one Available. This is a genuine very good condition inert example of a Soviet Manufactured RPG-43 (Short for ruchnaya protivotankovaya granata obraztca 1943, goda meaning "hand-held anti-tank grenade type 1943, year"). It has been deactivated per BATF specifications, and is not available for export. This example has a label in Polish, indicating that it was issued there during the cold war period. The handle still unscrews from the warhead, and the blue cloth straps to hole the stabilization cone are still present. A great addition to any WWII / Cold war ordnance collection!

The RPG-43 a high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) hand grenade used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War and into the Cold War Period. It entered service in 1943, replacing the earlier models RPG-40 and RPG-41. The RPG-43 used a shaped charge HEAT warhead, whereas the RPG-40 used the simpler HE (high explosive) warhead. The RPG-43 had a penetration of around 75 mm of rolled homogeneous armor at a 90 degree angle. Later in the war, it was improved and became the RPG.

During the early days of Operation Barbarossa, the USSR's only infantry anti-armor weapons were anti-tank rifles, anti-tank guns, and anti-tank hand grenades. These were adequate against early German tanks such as the Panzer I and Panzer II but, as the war progressed, they were found to be nearly useless against the heavier Panthers and Tigers. The RPG-43 was developed as a result, and it was produced in large numbers until the end of the war. After the war it was passed on extensively to Soviet client states, and was used in the numerous Arab–Israeli conflicts. Despite being thoroughly outdated, it can still be encountered in many third world nations, mainly due to its reliability and low cost.

The RPG-43 externally was shaped like an oversized stick grenade with a 95 mm HEAT warhead on the end. It weighed 1.247 kg of which 612 g was high explosive. When thrown, a cylindrical metal cone was released from the rear of the grenade and held by fabric strips to stabilize flight and increase the likelihood of a 90 degree hit. Its range was limited by how far the user could throw it, and was obviously shorter than the contemporary rocket-propelled US Bazooka and recoilless German Panzerfaust, so that the user had to get closer and was in more danger of being seen. However, it was much smaller than rocket weapons and produced no sound, smoke, or light when launched, and therefore did not betray the thrower's position. Despite its limitations, it was cheap and quick to manufacture, allowing it to become the main Soviet infantry anti-tank weapon of World War II.

Overall the RPG-43 was an awkward and difficult weapon to use effectively. To use it, the user had to get within throwing range of an enemy tank, which was often dangerous. Despite having a powerful warhead, it took a skilled user to make the most of it as, like all shaped-charge weapons, it was effective only if the striking angle was close to 90 degrees. It also had to hit hard enough to detonate the impact fuse, or it would bounce harmlessly off the tank.

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