Watch: British Boys Anti-Tank Rifle
Russ Chastain 10.12.17
This tank-killer went into production in 1938 and after a run of more than 50,000 was replaced in late 1943 by the PIAT, which was pretty much a grenade launcher meant for tank slaying. And although it sounds cool for us gun guys to think of a boy having his very own shoulder-fired anti-tank rifle (cue the angelic choir), the “Boys” name is just that: the name of the gun’s designer, Captain H.C. Boys.
Design work began in 1934, but didn’t set any speed records. They started out with a .50-caliber cartridge, but later increased it to .55. The receiver and barrel lie in a chassis which allows them to slide rearward to theoretically absorb some recoil, but it apparently doesn’t work too well. Those who fire this gun liken the experience to being hit in the face with a 2×4, which makes sense when you consider the wooden cheek rest built onto the side of the stock.
The butt has an oil tank built in, and I think I would want that sucker full all the time, just to add a little more weight to this behemoth.
The sights are offset to the left of center, and the rear peep sight (which I don’t consider a “ghost ring” as Ian called it) surely made aiming fast and easy. This one was sold at auction along with a scope (sans mounting hardware) and some extra magazines for $4312.50.
He says the weirdly-angled pistol grip actually works fairly well.
All in all, it sounds like a rather terrible thing to fire. Who wants to join me in burning some ammo in this big old bolt-action?