Twin 40mm Self-Propelled Guns M42 Duster

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

M42 Duster in the Garage.

The M42 Duster is a Rank V American self-propelled anti-aicraft gun with a battle rating of 6.7. The M42 was released in Update 1.47 "Big Guns". It is currently the third to last tank on the American SPAA line up, preceding the M163 Vulcan and M247 Sergeant York. While armed with the same turret and cannons from its predecessor the M19, it has enhanced mobility by using the chassis of the M41A1 Walker Bulldog light tank.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The M42 "Duster" is a self propelled anti-air vehicle. Not much more to say. Stay behind and close to allies, but outside the enemies view-range and with clear line of sight to the horizon for low aircraft.

Vehicle characteristics

Compared to certain other SPAAs (ZSU-37, Wirbelwind, Multiple Gun Motor Carriage M13, etc.) the M42 cannot be used effectively in an anti-vehicle role. The average battle-rating is too high and the penetration value of the AP shells too low. The armour is not strong enough against the devastating tank HE shells. However the armour performs okay versus machine gun fire from aircraft, but auto-cannon fire is a problem. Thankfully the fuses of most tank APHE shells are not very sensitive, rendering the HE content useless and the entire shell into a mere AP solid shot. But, the machine is tiny and damage still very likely.

Tactics

With the dual 40mm Bofors the Duster has an excellent tool versus bombers and armoured attackers. Reserve the fire for certain hits. Against fighters the same tactic should be applied. There is no reason to spam the fire, unless sitting on cap-point for rearming.

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 40mm cannons are devastating to planes.
  • AP rounds able to penetrate roughly 60 mm can be used against most medium tank side armour it could face.
  • Unsynchronized firing helps improve overall fire rate to double that listed.
  • Outside from default belts, the other belt options are made of a single type of shell that can be relied on.
  • Relatively fast vehicle with good mobility due to the M41A1 light tank basis.
  • Fast turret traverse rate helps track aircraft.

Cons:

  • Despite 40 mm cannons and the unsynchronized firing, the overall fire rate is still lower than its contemporaries.
  • 40 mm AP rounds are not the best AP rounds to use overall due to relatively low penetration.
  • Open turret allows aerial attacks and machine guns to decimate the exposed crew.
  • Very thin armour hull.
  • Is hull-breakable.
  • Careless driving can damage the vehicle.
  • Ammo can be used up rather quickly due to the dual-gun firing, prolonged combat can find the ammo stowage run empty.
  • Easily ammo-racked due to racks scattered all around turret, aerial autocannons could set it off if hit.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

2 x 40 mm M2 Cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 480 Shells (8 rounds magazine each gun)
  • Fire Rate: 120 rounds per minute
  • Gun Depression: -3°
  • Gun Elevation: 85°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 23.8°/s (Stock), 32.9°/s (Upgraded), 40°/s (Prior + Full Crew), 44.2°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 47°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 0.65s (Stock), 0.58s (Full Crew), 0.53s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 0.5s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
2 x 40 mm M2 Cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 480 Shells (8 rounds magazine each gun)
  • Gun Depression: -3°
  • Gun Elevation: 85°
  • Fire Rate: 120 rounds per minute
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 23.8°/s (Stock), 28°/s (Upgraded), 34°/s (Prior + Full Crew), 37.6°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 40°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 0.65s (Stock), 0.58s (Full Crew), 0.53s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 0.5s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
2 x 40 mm M2 Cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 480 Shells (8 rounds magazine each gun)
  • Gun Depression: -3°
  • Gun Elevation: 85°
  • Fire Rate: 120 rounds per minute
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 23.8°/s (Stock), 28°/s (Upgraded), 34°/s (Prior + Full Crew), 37.6°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 40°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 0.65s (Stock), 0.58s (Full Crew), 0.53s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 0.5s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)

Ammunition

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%
Mk.II 3 3 3 3 3 3 HEFI-T* 874 0.86 0.2 0.1 63 +0° 79° 80° 81°
M81A1 76 74 62 45 33 24 AP-T 874 0.88 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°

Belt types

Belts Shell composition Combat usage
Default AP-T / HEFI-T* These work fine, a hit on an aircraft means certain death for it and still is able to hurt ground vehicles, especially if it is side into the side of a enemy tank. These seem like a good I don't know what i will run into belt.
Mk.II HEFI-T* These mean certain death for aircraft, what should be used for AA work.
M81A1 AP-T These are the worst belts against airplanes. however, they are able to hurt ground vehicles especially if it is side into the side of a enemy tank. If you plan on killing tanks load this and flank, since side shots are almost a necessity.

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M42 Duster.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
60 50 (+10) 38 (+22) 14 (+46) (+58) Keep Full Yes

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader 1
  • Loader 2
  • Machine gunner
  • Driver

Total: 6 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 12.7 mm (33°) Front glacis
25.7 mm (39°) Bottom glacis
12.7 mm 12.7 mm Top
19 mm Bottom
12.7 mm
Turret 12.7 mm 8 mm 8 mm N/A

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 22.6 ton

Max Speed: 79 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 710 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 31.41 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 29°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 22.6 ton

Max Speed: 72 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 442 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 19.56 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 31°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 22.6 ton

Max Speed: 72 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 442 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 19.56 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 31°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°

Modules and improvements

The 40mm Bofors come with a very annoying stock belt a mix of AP and HE. Always vasting 50% of the clip in anti-vehicle, or anti-aircraft role. "Mk.II" ammo should be the first stop. The next important unlocks are "Parts", "Turret Drive" and "FPE". Mobility upgrades are not really necessary for a stationary AA. The rest can be unlocked at your leisure.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

During late World War II and the Korean War, the US Army were using the Twin Gun Motor Carriage M19 as their main armoured forces anti-aircraft gun. However, during the Korean War, the US Army decides to phase out their M24 Chaffees and its variants, M19 included, in order to implement newer designs made in the time period. One of these newer designs was the development of the M41 Walker Bulldog light tank. The 40 mm armament on the M19 was deemed effective enough to continue usage past the M19, so the turret of the M19 with the twin 40 mm cannons were taken off the chassis and modified to fit the chassis of the M41 light tank, which had a larger turret ring than the M24 Chaffee. This installment of the anti-aircraft armament onto the M41 light tank was designated as the M42. The production of the vehicle began in early 1952 at the General Motors Cleveland Tank Plant and entered service in 1953, replacing the many other self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles the army was fielding. Production continued from 1952 to December 1959, ending with a total number of 3,700 units. During the production, the M42 was upgraded in 1956 with a new engine and other upgrades common with the M41 light tank, this upgraded variant was the M42A1.

Combat usage

The M42 was kept in US inventory past the Korean War, however it was sometime between then and the 1960s that the US Army came to the conclusion that ordinary anti-aircraft guns are unable to engage the new aircraft age of jets. Thus, the M42 was to be retired in 1963 and replaced by the HAWK surface-to-air missile. Though, even after their retirement, the units stationed at the Panama Canal Zone kept their M42s until the 1970s.

Then in the 1960s, with the intensity of the Vietnam War brewing up, more American soldiers get stationed in the country. Experiences with the missile showed that the HAWK missile system suppose to engage the new jet planes preformed badly in low-altitude defense. In order to ensure a tight grip on the airspace, the Army began to reissue the M42s to the Army in the air defense artillery battalions which contains four M42 batteries and one headquarter battery. These M42s start arriving in the fall of 1966 in three battalions, 1/44th, 5/2nd, and the 4/60th battalions. Though, despite their role, no dire air threat was presented from the North Vietnamese to the South, so the M42s were relegated to ground support duties in a tradition shared by its past predecessors. The M42s in this role was deployed as on-point security, convoy escorts, or a perimeter defense; it was in these roles that the M42 earned its nickname "Duster" for its lethality and effectiveness in ground support roles against the infantry.

After Vietnam, the M42 Dusters-equipped battalions were deactivated in late December 1971. These Dusters still in Vietnam were given to the ARVN forces. Training dusters at Fort Bliss were given back to the National Guard it was originally issued to, and multiple National Guard units were stationed with the M42 until it was officially retired in 1988, with the last unit retiring it be 2nd Battalion, 263 Air Defense Artillery.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the M42 Duster from live.warthunder.com.

Images

A M42 Duster at the American Military Museum.

Additional information (links)

[Devblog] La-5FN and M42 Duster

References


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us_m42_duster.png

Icon-country-usa.png M42 Duster
Nation USA
Type SPAA
Rank 5
Battle Rating
6.3
6.7
6.7

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
22,600 kg
49,824 lb
Number of Crew 6
Hull armour thickness
12.7/12.7/19/12.7 mm
0.5/0.5/0.75/0.5 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
710 hp
442 hp
442 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
___ hp
500 hp
500 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
31.41
31.92
19.56
19.87
19.56
19.87
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
__.__
__.__
22.12
22.48
22.12
22.48
Max speed
79 km/h
49 mph
72 km/h
45 mph
72 km/h
45 mph
Main Weapon
2 x 40 mm Bofors Autocannon
Ammo stowage 480 rounds
Vertical guidance -3°/85°
Economy
Required RP 95,000 RP
Vehicle cost 260,000 SL
Crew training cost 75,000 SL
Max repair cost*
6,850 SL
930 SL
4,040 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
6d 23h
6d 23h
10d
Free repair time (Upgraded)
2d 07h
2d 07h
3d 09h
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.77.2.170.