20 pounder APDS historical performance

I’ve read that the 20 pounder had (at least) 4 APDS shells developed for it: Shot Mk. 1 through to Mk. 4. However, the only one I can find data on is the Mk. 3 (the one present in game);

  • 330 mm RHA at 1,000 yards (910 m) at 0 degrees
  • 290 mm at 2,000 yards (1,800 m) at 0 degrees
  • 87 mm at 1,000 yards at 60 degrees
  • 77 mm at 2,000 yards at 60 degrees

There are weights and MVs for the Shot Mk. 1 on wikipedia but I don’t know if they’re accurate – it says Mk. 1 had a velocity of 1,325 m/s compared to Mk.3’s 1430 m/s.

What I’m asking is, does anyone have any data on the other shells? How much weaker (or better) were they in terms of penetration values? Were only Mk. 1 and Mk. 3 fielded, not 2 and 4? Etc.

Thank you :)

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I have a question, what ammunition would the Australian Centurion MkV carry in Vietnam?

Ehmmm… the British ammunition, I guess? I don’t think they had facilities for it’s production in Australia. But I’m not sure, you should wait for an expert on British AFV to answer, which I’m not.

Yes, I was referring to British ammunition, I say this because around the 70s I don’t know what ammunition would be available for the 20pdr, since the Mk3 is from the 50s, and not much is known about the Mk4.

More info is in the documents linked in this thread.


I believe the tanks in Vietnam carried a bit of everything depending on what they were expected to do. Not a lot of enemy armour about, so probably a majority HE and Canister, photos show HE, Canister, APCBC, Smoke, and APDS.


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Thank you! This is much closer to what I was looking for. Guess I’ll have to look deeper for more Swiss/Swedish/Israeli trials (any country that used the 20pdr. Centurion really).