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An M1 Abrams firing.

A tank gun is the main armament of a tank. Modern tank guns are large-caliber high-velocity guns, capable of firing kinetic energy penetrators, high explosive anti-tank rounds, and in some cases guided missiles. Anti-aircraft guns can also be mounted to tanks.

As the tank's primary armament, they are almost always employed in a direct fire mode to defeat a variety of ground targets at all ranges, including dug-in infantry, lightly armored vehicles, and especially other heavily armored tanks. They must provide accuracy, range, penetration, and rapid fire in a package that is as compact and lightweight as possible, to allow mounting in the cramped confines of an armored gun turret. Tank guns generally use self-contained ammunition, allowing rapid loading (or use of an autoloader). They often display a bulge in the barrel, which is a bore evacuator, or a device on the muzzle, which is a muzzle brake.


Tank gun sections
Intro  History  Smoothbore   See also    External links   

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