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From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank (PIAT) - 3.25 in
Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank (PIAT) with loaded bomb - 3.25 in

The Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank (PIAT) is an unusual anti-tank launcher designed by British Major Millis Jeffries in 1941 as a replacement for the obsolete Boys anti-tank rifle, and issued to field units in 1943. The weapon was essentially a scaled-down version of the carriage-mounted Blacker Bombard: Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Blacker had planned a smaller version, but the large high explosive charges the Bombard used proved ineffective when scaled down. Jeffries, having had the "Baby Bombard" handed over to him, heard about hollow charge technology and decided it would be perfect for the weapon. The result was a a shoulder-fired launcher using an adapted spigot mortar system to fire a shaped-charge warhead on a relatively flat trajectory. Thus, while the PIAT used a mortar mechanism, it was not a mortar per se and was closer to a grenade launcher in terms of application. Commonwealth forces in Italy did successfully employ the PIAT as a crude mortar by bracing the stock against the ground, though this was not an intended feature of the weapon and there are no figures available for its range when used this way.

The weapon used a large coil spring fired spigot cocked by rotating and pulling back on the padded buttplate and then rotating it back and sliding it forward, which was used to ignite the bomb's primer and thus the propellant charge. This generally required the user to brace the buttplate with both feet and pull the rest of the weapon upwards. On firing, the force of the recoiling spigot was supposed to re-cock the spring; however, under battle conditions this mechanism frequently failed to function, forcing the weapon to be manually cocked after each shot. Practical rate of fire in combat was roughly 2-5 rounds per minute for a two-man crew.

While difficult to use due to the vicious recoil and sheer amount of force required to cock the action, the weapon was capable of throwing a two-and-a-half pound bomb with a HEAT warhead up to 330 yards. The weapon could be used effectively by an experienced crew, but was heavy (the 32-pound weight meant the average gunner did not even carry ammunition for his own weapon), inaccurate due to the lack of a barrel or spin stabilization and the issue of the 12-pound spigot shooting forward one-tenth of a second before the weapon fired which threw the gunner's aim off, had a progressively shorter effective range as German tank technology improved, and rushed wartime production resulted in many defective projectiles which failed to fire or detonate (with a failure rate of around 25%), or more dangerously would blow off their own tailfin when the propelling charge detonated and fire it with lethal force at the PIAT team: sometimes the bombs even did this on hitting their target.



  • Type: Spigot mortar
  • Length: 39 inches
  • Weight: 31.70 pounds
  • Muzzle Velocity: 450 feet per second
  • Effective range: 109 yards (actual effective range typically less than 40 yards versus armour)
  • Maximum range: 330 yards
  • Calibre: 3.25 inch
  • Capacity: 1 round
  • Fire modes: Safe / Fire
  • Crew: 2

The PIAT and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Title Actor Character Notation Date
Canal (Kanal) Polish insurgents 1957
The Longest Day French Commandos 1962
Paper Tiger David Niven Mr Bradbury 1975
A Bridge Too Far British Paratroopers 1977
Never Say Never Again Q Branch 1983
Half a Chance Seen in Léo's arsenal 1998
The Pianist Polish resistance fighter 2006
City 44 Michal Meyer "Pajak" 2014


Title Actor Character Notation Date
Blott on the Landscape David Suchet Blott 1985


Title Character Note Date
Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Pierrette-Henriette Clostermann "Projector, Infantry, Armoured-Thing" 2014-2015

Video Games

Title Referred As Notes Release Date
Commandos 2: Men of Courage "Bazooka" 2001
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault "PIAT" 2002
Commandos 3: Destination Berlin "Bazooka" 2003
Darkest Hour: Europe '44-'45 Can be reloaded by teammate 2006
Company of Heroes 2006
World War II Online: Battleground Europe 2011
Karma Online 2011
Dino D-Day 2011
Company of Heroes 2 2013
Squad 44: Letters From The Front 2018
Battlefield V "PIAT" 2018
Enlisted PIAT 2021

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