57 mm QF 6 Pdr. Anti-Tank Gun

British 6 Pdr. Anti-Tank Gun, 57 mm L.50

The first procurement order for the more powerful QF 6 pdr. anti-tank gun was placed in the summer of 1940, but the gun could not be produced until 1941, and the first issue did not reach the troops in the desert until mid-1942. The 6 pdr. anti-tank gun had the armour penetration capability to defeat any German tank encountered in the desert war, including the Tiger tank which could be penetrated by shooting at the side armour. In US and Canadian service the 6 pdr. anti-tank gun was known as the 57 mm M1 anti-tank gun. Airfix offers a very attractive little model of the 6 pdr. anti-tank gun which may be used to represent British, Canadian or US equipment.

The 6 pdr. anti-tank gun and the tank gun did not have H.E. shells issued for them, and they could not be used for close defence against infantry or to provide fire support during assaults. There are accounts of British anti-tank gun crews making their own case shells for close defence against infantry assault. This was done by removing the A.P. shell head, filling the cartridge with a suitable piece of cloth, filling the shell case with stones and gravel, and sealing it with another piece of cloth or encasing the shrapnel content in thick axle grease. This tactic was quickly improvised in the North African campaign, and there is some indication that tank crews employed it with the 6 pdr. L.45 as well.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun, 1:32 Mountford Miniatures MM126
  • 57 mm Anti-Tank Gun, 1:32 Imrie/Risley 9060
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun, 1:35 Tamiya 35005
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.I, 1:35 ZVEZDA 3518
  • 57 mm M1 Anti-Tank Gun, 1:35 Italeri 323
  • 6 Pdr Anti Tank Gun & Crew, 1:64 Westwind Productions WVGB05
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.II, 20 mm SHQ FBG40
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.II, 20 mm Raventhorpe BR-042
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.4 (Airborne), 20 mm Raventhorpe
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.4 (Airborne), 20 mm SHQ FBG45
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun, 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/72
    • 6 pdr Ammunition Boxes (wood/metal), 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/SP/A14
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun, 1:76 Airfix 01309
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.I (early, Desert War), 1:76 AB Figures AP17
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.II, 1:76 AB Figures AP8
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.4 (Airborne), 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/252
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.4 (Airborne), 1:76 AB Figures AP14
  • 57 mm M1 Anti-Tank Gun (USA), 1:76 AB Figures AP16
  • 57 mm M1 Anti-Tank Gun (Canadian), 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/56
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.1 (8th Army), 15 mm Flames of War BR510
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.1 (early, Desert War), 15 mm Quick Reaction Force BAT6
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.II with 3 Crew, 15 mm Quick Reaction Force BAT5
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk.4 (Airborne) with 3 Crew, 15 mm Quick Reaction Force BAT1
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun, 15 mm Flames of War BR511
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun, 15 mm Quality Castings 2014
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun & Crew, 15 mm Minifigs BV-84
  • 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun & Crew, 1:300 HEROICS & ROS B37

Technical Specifications

  • Calibre: 57 mm
  • Barrel Length: L.50 (2850 mm)
  • Weight: 1.144 kg
  • Elevation: -5° to +15°
  • Traverse: 90°
  • Rate of Fire:
  • Ammunition Weight: 2.720 g per AP round
  • Muzzle Velocity: 821 m/sec AP
  • Effective Range: 1.500 m
  • Armour Penetration at 0-100 m:
    • A.P./T. (Armour Piercing Tracer, 1941) 94 mm
    • A.P.C.B.C. (Capped Ballistic Capped, 1942) 118 mm
    • A.P.D.S. (A.P. Discarding Sabot, 1944),

Bibliography

Historical Employment

  • British & Commonwealth anti-tank gun, 1942–1950s
  • British & Commonwealth tank gun, 1942–1943
    • A.16 Crusader III, Cruiser Tank Mk.VI, 1:72 Hasegawa MT26
    • Churchill III, Infantry Tank Mk.IV
    • Churchill IV, Infantry Tank Mk.IV

Self-Propelled Mountings

  • Truck, 4×4, AT Portee (6 pdr.), Bedford QL

When the more powerful A.P.D.S. shells were introduced in 1944, the armour penetration of the 6 pdr. anti-tank gun was improved yet again, and the gun remained in British service until the late 1950s.

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information and updates, please join us on facebook or in the Miniatures Forum.

British Miniatures of World War Two