90 mm Gun M3

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Summary

The 90 mm gun was a large tank gun that succeeded the 76 mm Gun M1 as the US tank armament in the late stages of World War II. The 90 mm gun started out as an anti-aircraft gun, then in a fashion like Germany's 88 mm gun, was converted into an anti-tank gun at first as a multi-purpose mode on an emplacement, then into a dedicated weaponry on tanks. Throughout its service life, it was adapted and upgraded multiple times to improve its firepower over the enemy, even an elongated version known as the T15 for extra firepower. It was replaced in the 1960s by the 105 mm Gun M68 once it is seen as inferior to newly developed Soviet tanks such as the T-54.

Game Usage

The 90 mm gun is the main tank armament for the American branch for their medium and heavy tanks from Rank IV onwards. As the vehicle progresses, the gun gets more capable of fighting the tanks at its rank. The gun starts with the simple 90 mm Gun M3 on the T25, M26 Pershing, and M36 Jackson before progressing to the 90 mm Gun M3A1 on the M46 Patton, then to the superior 90 mm Gun M36 in the M47 Patton and the 90 mm M41 on the M48A1 Patton. These guns have a variety of ammunition to use from, especially as you head to Rank V, one of the most important shells for the matches will be the HEAT and HEATFS rounds unlockable in the Patton tanks.

Guns of comparable performance

M3

M36/M41

Users

M3

M3A1

M36

M41

M54

Ammunition

M3

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
T33 shot 189 188 163 137 115 96 AP 822 11 N/A N/A N/A +4° 43° 30° 25°
M71 shell 13 13 13 13 13 13 HE 823 11 0.1 0.5 925 +0° 11° 10°
M82 shot 165 164 150 137 125 114 APCBC 807 11 1.2 20 137.2 +4° 42° 27° 19°
M304 shot 264 260 245 226 210 191 APCR 1021 7.6 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°

M3A1

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M318 shot 192 191 179 165 152 139 AP 853 11 N/A N/A N/A +4° 43° 30° 25°
M71 shell 13 13 13 13 13 13 HE 823 11 0.1 0.5 925 +0° 11° 10°
M82 shot 170 169 164 151 138 127 APCBC 853 11 1.2 20 137.2 +4° 42° 27° 19°
M304 shot 264 260 245 226 210 191 APCR 1021 7.6 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
M332 shot 271 270 245 217 192 170 APCR 1178 5.6 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
M348 shell 305 305 305 305 305 305 HEATFS 853 6.5 0.0 0.1 926.17 +0° 25° 18° 15°

M36

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M318A1 shot 207 206 193 178 164 150 AP 912 11 N/A N/A N/A +4° 43° 30° 25°
M71A1 shell 13 13 13 13 13 13 HE 732 11 0.1 0.5 925 +0° 11° 10°
M82 shot 170 169 164 151 138 127 APCBC 853 11 1.2 20 137.2 +4° 42° 27° 19°
M304 shot 264 260 245 226 210 191 APCR 1021 7.6 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
M332A1 shot 325 323 294 260 230 203 APCR 1249 5.6 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
M431 shell 320 320 320 320 320 320 HEATFS 1216 5.8 0.0 0.1 712.64 +0° 25° 18° 15°

M41/M54

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M332 shot 271 270 245 217 192 170 APCR 1178 5.6 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
M82 shot 170 169 164 151 138 127 APCBC 853 11 1.2 20 137.2 +4° 42° 27° 19°
M431 shell 320 320 320 320 320 320 HEATFS 1216 5.8 0.0 0.1 712.64 +0° 25° 18° 15°
M71 shell 13 13 13 13 13 13 HE 823 11 0.1 0.5 925 +0° 11° 10°

History of creation and combat usage

The 90 mm gun started as the American primary anti-aircraft gun in World War II. It was made with the pretext of having a more effective range than the 3-inch M1918 gun, but still easy to load unassisted. The first anti-aircraft variant was the 90 mm Gun M1. This was improved over time to the 90 mm Gun M2, which added an anti-tank purpose into the design, as like the Germans experienced with their 88 mm FlaK cannons, the anti-aircraft crew of the 90 mm gun were having to deal with tanks that broke through Allied lines and reached their positions.

Then, it was decided to attach the 90 mm gun onto a tank. The tank armament version was called the 90 mm Gun M3. The first vehicle to use the 90 mm as its armament was the M36 Jackson tank destroyer. The next one, and the most famous of World War II, was the M26 Pershing. The 90 mm gun in the war was comparable to the German's 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun on the Tiger I, and can even compete with the 8.8 cm KwK 43 on the Tiger II with the use of HVAP rounds. The 90 mm served very well throughout the rest of the war as one of the Allies' most potent anti-tank weapon. Though, the presence of the 8.8 cm KwK 43 on the Tiger II's provoked Ordnance to develop a weapon similar to it for additional firepower. This would become the 90 mm Gun T15.

Another development on the 90 mm M3 cannon was the 90 mm Gun M3A1, which was an upgraded variant that has new features on the gun such as a bore evacuator and a redesigned muzzle brake. The M3A1 would serve on the M46 Patton after replacing the M26 Pershings. Then there was also the 90 mm T119 gun that introduced an increased chamber pressure into the design and was suppose to be for the cancelled T42 tank project. The gun, redesignated the 90 mm Gun M36, was taken along with the turret from the T42 and installed onto the M47 Patton to improve on the design.

Overall, the 90 mm gun came a long way from a simple anti-aircraft gun to one of the most extensively developed armament in American tanks, with many variants built to improve on its specifications and its ability to destroy the enemy. However, the introduction of the Soviet T-54 tank rendered the 90 mm gun as inferior. The T-54 featured a well sloped armor that could resist the 90 mm shells that it fires, and also had a 100 mm gun that has better ballistics than anything NATO has. This causes the 90 mm gun to be issued out in favor of a better anti-tank gun, which would soon be developed by the British as the Royal Ordnance L7.

Images

Additional information (links)