The MK 103 was a German 30 mm autocannon developed for aircraft mounts, used as a dual-purpose role of a ground attack and anti-aircraft weapon.
History and development
In War Thunder
The Mk. 103 autocannon is a very powerful omni-use weapon, able to destroy most units on the map. When used against aircraft, the Mk. 103 carries a highly effective loadout, even when using stock belts. Air target belts allow for even more destructive power against aircraft, with each Minengeschoß having roughly the same power as a 37mm round. Ground belts give excellent anti-armor capability utilizing the HVAP-T ammunition, giving the Mk. 103 the ability to destroy nearly any ground unit; including heavy tanks when hit in less armored areas, as well as light pillboxes. Stealth belts severely limit the multipurpose ability of the Mk. 103. Utilizing only AP-I rounds limiting armor penetration, kills against armored targets are neigh impossible; at the same time, you loose the destructive capability of HE rounds against air targets. The obvious benefit gained from stealth belts are the lack of tracer fire to alert enemy units. While giving the possibility of taking an enemy by surprise, you are trading the multipurpose power against both ground and air targets for a much less potent ammunition. Stealth rounds are therefore much more limited in their usefulness and play-style dependent.
Due to the relative lower ammo count of your autocannon compared to your paired lower caliber weaponry, it is recommended to fire the Mk. 103 separately from your other armaments. Mixed tracer fire from differing calibers and differing velocities can result in confusion while firing. Firing your autocannon separately eliminates other tracer rounds that could be confused with other ammunition, allowing you to better compensate for more efficient fire.
Using your smaller caliber weapons with larger ammunition pools to range out your target first, as well as short controlled bursts and careful aim allow for more efficient use of the Mk. 103, and therefore more air/ground kills before running the guns dry. Careful aim, controlled bursts, and maintaining awareness of ammo levels will help you go further with less. The 'Spray N Pray' isn't the best use of the Mk. 103 autocannon, as ammunition is not only wasted but the risk of jamming increases, potentially leaving your autocannons combat ineffective even with ammunition still available.
|Default||HE-T(M) - HE(M) - IT||Okay against planes.|
|Ground||HVAP-T||Composite rigid rounds for destroying hard targets like tanks (from the rear/side/top) and light pillboxes.|
|Air||HE-T(M) - HE(M) - HE(M) - IT||Each Minengeschoß (mine-shell) has the same HE power as a 37mm round, wonderful against anything that flies.|
|Stealth||AP-I||Useless, cannot destroy tanks/pillboxes, lacks the destructive force of HE against planes.|
Available on on the following aircraft
|Fw 190F-8||Two, 1 in gun pod under each wing 35 round (70 total).|
|Hs 129B-2||One in pod under the fuselage in the front part 100 round.|
|Me 410B-6/R3||Pair in the nose 120 rounds each (240 total).|
|Ho 229 V3||Pair in the nose 170 rounds each (340 total).|
|Do.335 A-1||Single centre-mounted cannon through the prop hub, 70 rounds.|
|Do.335 A-0||Single centre-mounted cannon through the prop hub, 70 rounds.|
|Type||single-barrel automatic cannon|
|Caliber||30 mm (1.2 in)|
|Length||2,350 mm (92.52 in) (with muzzle brake)|
|Barrel length||1,340 mm (52.76 in, L/44.7 ratio)|
|Weight||141 kg (311 lb)|
|Cartridge weight||800 g (28.22 oz) HE/M|
|HE/M||330 g (11.64 oz)|
|APCR||355 g (12.52 oz)|
|HE/M||860 m/s (2,822 ft/s)|
|APCR||940 m/s (3,084 ft/s)|
|Penetration 60°||HVAP 42-52mm (1.65-2 in) @ 300m (656ft)|
|Penetration 90°||HVAP 75-95mm (3-3.7 in) @ 300m (656ft)|
|Rate of fire||380 (HE/M) to 420 (APCR) rounds/min|