A discussion about Tungsten Cored Ammunition (APCR/HVAP, and APDS)

Oh wow, that would be nice.

How do you apply the hardness curve to the penetration calculator?

At the moment, I have found no straightforward way to apply it to the calculation of full caliber shells. It’s better to just use the NPL formula for those cases.

While for subcaliber projectiles at low obliquity, making the K coefficient proportional to the cubic root of the ratio of BHN values of two plates, seems to produce the best results.

Well, the armor penetration depends on the hardness, so you can’t really give one specific armor penetration value. How would you know when you change from one plate hardness to the next?
At best it would be something linear. Like 100mm pen = 260 BHN, 101mm pen = 259 BHN.

But that’s kinda pointless.

In the end you want to know whether a shell is going to pen X armor of Y hardness and Z angle.
Like the T-34s armor is going to give wildly different results than a Shermans.

So at best the penetration formula can take those already known factors into account to calculate a more or less accurate result.

For example, the IS-2 HHA would be much more resistant to the APCR round, afaik.
So the penetration graph that takes that specific range of hardness into account, wouldn’t work for accurate estimations against the 100mm HHA.

The USA supplied pretty much all of the molybdenum in the world during the WW2 years, which meant we could substitute it for both tungsten and nickel in steel alloys no problem. We also had access to sizeable vanadium reserves, which had similar applications. Since our machine tooling and other alloys needed less tungsten, we were free to use it elsewhere. We also had access to all of Latin America’s tungsten reserves to import from, on top of the fact that we were also right behind Portugal in tungsten production. The only strategic resource the USA really struggled to procure in abundance was chromium, at least once we started the production of synthetic rubber.

Doing my part to keep this thread alive.

For the sake of gameplay, IMHO no round should deal so little postpen that you wonder if it is even worth bringing, much less loading into your gun barrel.

Now has APCR postpen improved a little over the years? Yes. But it won’t truly be worthwhile until it deals postpen comparable to solid AP from the same gun.

The same is true with APDS, as well as ammunition types this thread is not about (HEAT, HEATFS, HESH, APFSDS).

Even if the penetration values get corrected for all the APCR rounds like they very much should, those numbers will mean very little if the round does almost no postpen damage. If you can’t depend on it to save you in an emergency, why bring it at all?

I made these tables comparing how the tungsten cored 20x139mm ammunition performs in-game vs. what we can tell from historical documentation.

Here is DM43, a well documented round (a.k.a. M601 in US service)

DM43 comparison

DM63 is somewhat more enigmatic, only information I could find is at 1000m

dm63 comparison

This reinforces what many of us already know, that low-caliber tungsten core is under-performing in Gaijin’s ballistic calculator.



rh202 pen
20mm comparison ARES


DM63 uses a gen 2 APDS calculator in game. Which comes with better slope modifiers (divide the flat pen by the respective 60 deg pen, you get aroudn 2.62, which means 2nd generation).

However the penetration values shown match much more what would be expected from a gen 1 APDS design, that is, a sharp uncapped core of tungsten carbide, which makes sense.

So DM63 likely uses the wrong calculator in the first place.

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Good observation!

The difference is definitely lesser as the angle increases.

0° = 39 mm
30° = 24 mm
60° = 5 mm

One thing to note: even if the IRL DM63 is a gen 1, it still beats the in-game penetration at all angles by some margin.

According to the table, pen at 1000m is 70mm. That’s 4mm greater than the 66mm point blank pen we have in-game…

So would one be wrong to assume that the “base” penetration is off by some millimeters, while the penetration drop-off is way too pronounced?

Or is the drop-off correct, but the “base” penetration should be much higher?

So one quick crash-course in Blender and here I am. This is my first model, so I hope it will serve.

Volume of DM63 core: 5435.56mm^3 = 5.43556cm^3

If we assume the density of Tungsten Carbide is 15,63g/cm^3, then it weighs 84.9578g or ≈ 85g

So now 85 out of 108 grams is accounted for.

dm63 core measurement

The remaining 23g of projectile weight is probably the aluminum nose cone and/or base plate? I will try to model these later.

I’d be grateful if anyone could use this data and/or model for simulations.


Phew! I finally modeled all the major parts:

Aluminum “Base” Cap - 16.83g
Tungsten Carbide Core - 84.95g
Aluminum Nose Cone - 1.17g
Plastic Sabot - 6.47

It all adds up to 109.4g, only 1.4g over the specified weight of 108g

This difference may be due to modeling errors, different densities, and/or missing tracer cavity (in the core)

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