Not to be confused with modern 57mm guns such as the Bofors 57 mm L/70 Naval Gun, the 57mm parts you will find on this page are associated with the US M18 Recoilless Rifle which saw service in the hands of United States troops throughout the Second World War, Korean War, and Vietnam War, among other conflicts.
Designed in 1942 and first produced in 1944, the M18 was designed as a shoulder-fired platform capable of firing 57mm anti-tank, anti-personnel shells at significantly reduced recoils. It could be fired either from the shoulder or from a prone position and featured a T3 front grip that could be used as a makeshift monopod for additional stability in a pinch. However, it was also compatible with, and most stable when fired from, the tripod developed for the M1917.
Chambered for 57x303mmR, the M18 was capable of firing high-explosive (HE) high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and white phosphorus (WP) incendiary rounds. In service in World War II, the M18 was used with varying success at incapacitating or destroying German tanks; while the rounds fired from this weapon system afforded less effective penetration than bazooka rounds, with shot placement to seams, joints, or treads, it was possible to cripple the enemy tanks.
After World War II, the M18 continued to see service in the hands of U.S. troops through several subsequent conflicts and was adopted by several other militaries across the globe. In all, factions in over 20 sovereign nations have adopted the use of the M18 at one point or other in relatively recent history.
Parts for the M18 are becoming increasingly hard to come by; even a search for 57mm will often yield of several other results or gun systems, such as the Bofors 57mm or the Ordnance Quick-Firing 6 Pound Gun, which latter entry also was used as an anti-tank gun by both American and English troops in World War 2.
Here at Sarco Inc., we still carry a variety of parts and accessories for the M18 Recoilless Rifle. Check out our selection below and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us at 610-250-3960!