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Rank 2, Sweden
"The Swedish revolver": SAV 20.12.48
Twin 40 mm Self-Propelled Gun M42 Duster
General characteristics
6 peopleCrew
109 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
12 / 12 / 12Hull
12 / 8 / 8Turret
22.5 tWeight
954 hp500 hpEngine power
43 hp/t22 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
78 km/h forward
11 km/h back
72 km/h forward
10 km/h back
2 x 40 mm Bofors cannonMain weapon
480 roundsAmmunition
0.5 / 0.6 sReload
8 roundsBelt capacity
120 shots/minFire rate
-3° / 85°Vertical guidance
95 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
260 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png3 370 / 4 694/1 570 / 2 187/5 300 / 7 382Repair
75 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
260 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
1 100 Ge icon.pngAces
190 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
180 % Sl icon.png100 % Sl icon.png120 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American SPAA M42. For the version in the Japanese tree, see M42 (Japan). For the Italian SPAA with a similar name, see M42 (Italy).


GarageImage M42.jpg

The Twin 40 mm Self-Propelled Gun M42 Duster is a Rank IV American Self-Propelled Anti-Aicraft (SPAA) gun with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB/RB/SB). 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 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 a clear line of sight to the horizon for low aircraft.

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.

General info

Survivability and 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


  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.


Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
22.6 N/A 79 (AB)
72 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 710 874
Realistic/Simulator 442 500
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 31.42 38.67
Realistic/Simulator 19.56 22.12


Main article: Bofors (40 mm)
40 mm Bofors (x2)
Capacity (Belt capacity each) Fire rate
480 (8) 120 -3°/+85° ±180°
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 23.8 32.9 40.0 44.2 47.0
Realistic 23.8 28.0 34.0 37.6 40.0
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
0.65 0.58 0.53 0.50


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
Mk.II HEFI-T* 3 3 3 3 3 3
M81A1 AP-T 76 74 62 45 33 24
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
Mk.II HEFI-T* 874 0.86 0.2 0.1 63 +0° 79° 80° 81°
M81A1 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 instant disassembly 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 bad news 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 penetrating tanks, load this and flank, since side shots are almost a necessity.

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M42 Duster.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
60 50 (+10) 38 (+22) 14 (+46) (+58) Keep Full Yes

Usage in the battles

With the dual 40 mm 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.

Pros and cons


  • 40 mm 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 list
  • 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


  • 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 the turret, aerial autocannons could set it off if hit



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 was 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 instalment 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 performed badly in low-altitude defence. In order to ensure a tight grip on the airspace, the Army began to reissue the M42s to the Army in the air defence artillery battalions which contain four M42 batteries and one headquarters 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 defence; 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.

In-game description

The M42 self-propelled 40mm anti-air mount built by General Motors (GM). It was based on the M41 light tank and was intended to replace the M19 self-propelled anti-air mount. The unofficial name “Duster” was also used for this installation. A total of 3,700 M42’s were produced between 1951 and 1959.


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

Read also

[Devblog] La-5FN and M42 Duster


Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

USA anti-aircraft vehicles
Based on M3  M13 MGMC · M16 MGMC · M15A1 CGMC
Based on M24  M19
Post-war  M42 · M163 · M247