Solothurn S-18/100

The Solothurn S-18/100 20 mm Anti-Tank Cannon was a Swiss and German anti-tank rifle used during the Second World War. It had a semi-automatic action in a bullpup configuration. As a result of its large, powerful ammunition, the gun had a tremendous recoil, and its size made portability difficult. The feed was either from a five or (more usually) ten-round magazine that was attached horizontally to the left side of the gun. The gun used 20×105mm belted-case ammunition which it shared with the S 18-350 aircraft cannon that was developed from the rifle. A Finnish source gives armour penetration of the gun (probably achieved with the Hungarian APHE-T round, since it was the only type used in Finland) as 20mm at a 60-degree angle at 100-metre distance, decreasing to 16mm at 500 metres. A variant of this design, the Solothurn-Arsenal, was manufactured without license in Estonia before WW2, however only ten were produced prior to Soviet occupation.

In March 1940, with funds collected in Switzerland to help the Finnish war effort in the Winter War, Finland bought twelve S 18-154 anti-tank rifles from Solothurn, though the purchaser was nominally the Swiss army. The weapons arrived into Finland during the spring after the war had ended, but they were later used in the Continuation War. However, the guns were soon found to be obsolete in their intended role. Various models of the S-18 series, including the Solothurn S-18/1000 and the Solothurn S-18/1100 were also used by Switzerland, the Kingdom of Hungary, Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy, and the Netherlands.

The Solothurn firearms company was owned by the German firm Rheinmetall, and used the Swiss company to manufacture arms which were prohibited for manufacture by any German firm, to get around arms limitations imposed upon them at the end of the First World War.

Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1940
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Bulgaria View
Finland View
Germany View
Hungary View
Italy View
Netherlands View
Switzerland View

Type Large caliber rifle, anti-materiel rifle
Place of origin Germany
Service history
Used by Finland
Wars Slovak-Hungarian War, World War II
Production history
Variants Solothurn S-18/1000, Solothurn S-18/1100, Solothurn-Arsenal
Weight 45 kg without magazine
Length 1760 mm
Cartridge 20×105 mmB
Caliber 20 mm
Action Semi-automatic
Muzzle velocity 735 m/s with a Hungarian APHE-Tround
Feed system 10-round detachable box magazine
Sights None

End notes