Firing port

A firing port, sometimes called a pistol port, is a small opening in armored vehicles, fortified structures,[2] or other armored equipment that allows small arms to be safely fired out of the vehicle at enemy infantry, often to cover vehicle or building blindspots. Examples of this can be seen in the Crusader tank,[3] Sherman tank,[4] Tiger I,[5] T-34-85,[6][1] and even modern armored vehicles today such as the Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle (MICV) program, its successor the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) featuring the M231 Firing Port Weapon, and Russian armored personnel carriers.[7] Some firing ports are improvised for such use. For example a late production Tiger I manual shows the Nahverteidigungswaffe being used as a firing port.[8]

Some pistol ports, such as on the Sherman, included vision slits such as "protectoscopes" increasing visibility around the tank.[9]:51[10]

The welded over firing port of a Sherman tank and a Tiger I with the loader escape hatch on the rear of the turret and the absent 2nd firing port.

Ballistic weakspot

Being a ballistic weak spot,[11] firing ports are often reinforced with additional armor,[12] and in subsequent designs reduced in number (BFV), or deleted (Sherman and Tiger I [January 1944]).[4][8][13] Other armor is improvised such as slat armor to stop shaped charges or chicken wire to stop grenades.[2]

However due to strong tanker demand[9] they are sometimes brought back as happened with the Sherman.[4] This was in part due to its use during ammo resupply in the Sherman, eliminating the need for an additional crew member to pass ammo through the loader hatch, instead being able to simply pass the ammo from the ground through the firing port.[9]

One of the Tiger I firing ports (right) was converted into a loader escape hatch and the other covered with an armor plug and eventually deleted from the design to improve production time and reduce costs.[5]

See also


  1. Nicholas Moran. "Inside the Chieftain's Hatch: T-34-85, Episode 1". World of Tanks North America. Youtube.
  2. McWilliams, Bill (2015). On Hallowed Ground: The Last Battle for Pork Chop Hill. Open Road Media. ISBN 9781504021517.
  3. Nicholas Moran. "Inside the Chieftain's Hatch: Crusader Pt. 1". World of Tanks North America. Youtube. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. Nicholas Moran. "World of Tanks PC - Inside the Chieftain's Hatch: M4A1 Sherman part 2". World of Tanks North America. Youtube. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. Green, Michael; Brown, James D. (15 February 2008). Tiger Tanks at War. Google Books. Voyageur Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780760331125. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. David.B (30 June 2014). "T-34/85". Tank Encyclopedia.
  7. Tyler Rogoway. "This Funky But Innovative M16 Machine Pistol Was Made For The Bradley Fighting Vehicle". TheDrive. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  8. "Die Nahverteidigungswaffe". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  9. Green, Michael (2014). American Tanks & AFVs of World War II. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 9781782009795.
  10. Yeide, Harry; Witkowska, Dagmara K.; Gryncewicz, Wojciech; Ober, Jan K. (2016). Weapons of the Tankers. Zenith Imprint. ISBN 9781610607780.
  11. Robeson, Westin Ellis (5 March 2018). Buttoned Up: American Armor and the 781st Tank Battalion in World War II. Texas A&M University Press. p. 124. ISBN 9781623495671. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  12. "The T-34-85 in detail" (PDF). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  13. David Byrden. "Pistol port | TIGER1.INFO".
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.