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The Model SS41 – A Czech Bullpup Anti-Tank Rifle for the SS

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The SS41 was a bullpup, bolt action antitank rifle manufactured in small numbers by CZ for the SS. contrary to common assumption, the SS were not a part of the standard German military arms procurement system, and were forced to scrounge for their weapons from other sources. Czech factories were one of the more popular sources, as smaller production lines could escape being integrated into Wehrmacht oversight and were able to contract privately with groups like the SS (the ZK383 as used by the SS is another example of this).

The Model 41 had been in development by the Czech military when the Germans occupied, and it was adapted to the German Patrone 318 cartridge for this production run. That cartridge was also used in the PzB-39, and fired a 220 grain tungsten-cored bullet at 4000 fps – although even this extremely high velocity only allowed it to defeat 30mm of vertical armor at 100m. As with the other antitank rifles of WW2, it would obsolete almost as soon as it was introduced, although it did remain useful for attacking emplaced positions and light armored vehicles (much like the Soviet PTRD and PTRS rifles).

Only a few thousand of the SS41 were manufactured, and they served primarily on the Eastern Front. As a result very few exist in American collections, and this is a particularly excellent example. Thanks to the Institute of Military Technology for allowing me to have access to this very cool AT rifle and bring it to you! Check them out at:

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