M26E1 reload rate

I had a discussion in the forums about the M26E1 recently and this topic has kept bugging my mind for a while. All the values I use in this topic are using a fully upgraded crew with ace qualification.

Why does the M26E1 have a reload of 11.11 seconds (5.4 RPM)?
I don’t think that it should have the 7.5 second reload that the normal 90 mm M3 cannons do, as the full rounds of the T54 are still heavier than those of the M3. However, Hunnicutt lists the reload rate of the M26E1 at 6 RPM in “Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series”, which would lead to 10 seconds.

M26E1 reload rate from Hunnicutt

I know reload rates are used as a soft balancing factor, but I don’t think giving the M26E1 a slightly faster reload would break the current balance, even though the M26E1 is already, at least in my eyes, a good vehicle. At it currently stands, it reloads about 1.4 seconds faster faster than the T26E1-1, which does 12.5 seconds. The Super Pershing is pretty much its “main competitor” inside the US tech tree, effectively being the same tank but with a lot of additional armor leading to additional weight, lower top speeds and a slightly slower reload because of the 90 mm T15E1 cannon instead of the 90 mm T54 mounted on the M26E1, as the T15E1 used much longer and thinner casings that made it harder to handle inside the turret.

One thing to consider is that the M26E1 has only 5 rounds in its ready rack compared to 10 rounds on the Super Pershing, with each tank having a reload multiplier for non ready rounds of 1.16 and 1.6 respectively. Once the ready rack of the M26E1 is emptied, it reloads in 12.89 seconds, and while the T26E1-1 does go to 20 seconds without a ready rack, this is much less problematic as it has twice as many ready rounds. Effectively the M26E1 can only have the reload advantage for so long.

There are other tanks I will mention, such as the now “removed” 6.7 Panther II and the 7.0 T-44-100. Both of these fire APCBC rounds that can be considered more powerful than those fired by the T54 cannon and sit at the same BR or extremely close to it.

The Panther II reloads in 8.55 seconds. It has a 10 round ready rack, and a 1.17 reload multiplier for non-ready rounds, effectively the same as the M26E1, leading to exactly a 10 second reload without ready rounds. Even without a ready rack, the Panther II reloads over a second faster than the M26E1.

The T-44-100 has a more similar reload to that of the M26E1, at 10.53 seconds. It has a reload multiplier of 1.5 for non-ready rounds, so 15.79 seconds without a ready rack. However, this is once again a tank that has 10 ready rounds.

Rambling about how the M26E1 would reload faster than both in real life, ignoring in-game balancing decisions.

The Panther II would be extremely hard to reload if not outright impossible, as it uses the long 88 mm cannon on an schmalturm turret that has not received the modifications that would be made for it to utilize said cannon in the first place.

The T-44-100 uses a cannon that is physically larger than the 90 mm T54, fires rounds that are heavier and uses casings that quite a bit longer (casings for the T54 are roughly 24 inches, or 609 mm, and the casings for the 100 mm are 695 mm long), and roughly the same width (5.8 inches, 147.32 mm), leading to the overall round being slightly longer (M82 projectile is very long). It can be assumed that the overall weight of a round for the 100 mm D-10T is higher than one for the 90 mm T54.

Another thing to consider is that, in both the Panther II and T-44-100, the loader sits on the right side of the turret, meaning that he uses his left arm to load rounds into the breech. This is the opposite for the M26E1, meaning that the loader uses his right arm. A majority of people on Earth are right handed, so this would improve the reload of the M26E1 over the Panther II and T-44-100 further.

For me, the main focus of the M26E1 ends up not being the reload, which is weird given that it really should be the main focus of this tank. The 90 mm T54 had the purpose of basically fixing the reload shortcomings of the T15E1 and E2, but in-game the advantage in reload just isn’t that meaningful, at least not when compared to the T15E1 that sits at the same BR of 6.7. Really, what I’ve found to be the reason why I think the M26E1 is good is simply that you get better mobility than the T26E1-1, while having the firepower of the long 90 mm cannon.

However, there are medium tanks at this BR that have similar or nearly objectively better power in the rounds they fire, yet still reload faster than the M26E1.

With all that said, I don’t see how a reload of 10 seconds, 11.6 seconds without ready rack would be unbalanced, and I do think this should be the reload of the M26E1.


You are forgetting the obvious, if US hardware got to perform at realistic design levels the communist block entries would be disadvantaged, sometimes badly. Ain’t gonna happen, US ground tree will always be under performing in some manner in the name of balance, cough cough…

I agree. The reload really doesn’t make any sense. For comparison, the complete PzGr 39/43 round weighs roughly 51 lbs and is 44 inches long. The complete M82 round for the M26E1 is 53 pounds and 37 inches long. The complete M82 round for the M26 is 43 pounds and 38 inches long. The Tiger II reloads in 7.5 seconds, same as the M26, so why is the M26E1 reload so much longer?

May I ask how you got this 53 pound weight?

I’m on a discord that used to do a lot of War Thunder bug reports. We share information and someone had a document showing a lot of late and post war ammunition. They asked the document not be shared publicly, so I can’t post it here.

Well, at least it does show that my assumption was correct, even if it is a very basic assumption. The Russian 100 mm fires heavier and slightly longer rounds yet even in the T-44-100 it still reloads faster than the M26E1.

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Especially with the size difference between the M26 and T-44. Maybe I’m wrong but the M26 would likely have more turret space than the T-44 for handling a slightly smaller and lighter round.

Well that is one thing I can’t really argue with because I don’t quite know exactly the space inside the turret of each vehicle.

I will argue, however, that if one compares the T-44 to the T-44-100 much like comparing the M26 to the M26E1, the slower reload of the M26E1 makes even less sense.

The T-44-100 has a slightly extended turret on the rear to accommodate for the 100 mm cannon. Still, the complete rounds for the 100 mm are longer, wider and substantially heavier than those of the 85 mm used on the T-44, which reloads only 0.1 seconds faster than the M26.

The M26E1 does also fire heavier and wider rounds than the M26 (however the difference in weight is not nearly as large), but unlike the T-44-100, it uses a cannon that actually takes up less internal space (due to concentric recoil system), and the complete rounds are shorter than those fired by the M26.

Still, the M26E1 gets a larger reload increase than the one the T-44-100 gets, compared to their respective “downgrades”.

And while this is a bit off-topic, it just rubs more salt into the wounds that now the T-54 tanks reload at the exact same rate as the M48, when the M48 has a significantly larger turret, smaller and lighter ammunition, a smaller cannon, and on top of all that, the loader uses his right arm, likely being the dominant arm, to load the cannon unlike the Russian T-54. It should absolutely not be the case that the T-54 would get close to the M48 in terms of reload, but here we are.


So the 100mm rounds aren’t longer than the rounds for the T54 90mm but they are heavier. The complete BR-412 AP is 67 pounds.

Yeah, the 90mm reloads don’t make any sense. They are far too consistent across very different vehicles.

That’s only BR-412, which is uncapped APHE.

I used other references to get a length for BR-412D APCBC and while I don’t remember the exact value now, it was a bit longer than 37 inches.

Edit: Checked the measurements again, BR-412D came to roughly 40 inches. It’s BR-412B APHEBC, specifically UBR-412B, that comes to slightly longer than 37 inches.

Round measurements

UBR-412B and UBR-412D

Doing pixel measurements of this exact image, UBR-412B comes to around 397 pixels, for 37.87 inches. UBR-412D goes to about 420 pixels. Math says it is almost exactly 40 inches, corroborating the other pixel measurements I’ve made.


The overall size of the rounds themselves, between BR-412B and BR-412D, is the same. However BR-412B goes much deeper into the casing compared to BR-412D, hence the overall complete round ends up being longer.

Ok. That makes sense.

Either way, I think it’s fair to say 11+ seconds is too slow for the M26E1. Especially with the other vehicles loading comparable rounds much quicker.


I was almost about to make a suggestion to rework RoF in vehicles in general, but I think there’s not much point in trying.

There are a ton of vehicles that should have different RoF than in-game and it wouldn’t cause any balance issues to give them RoF that resembles their RL performance.

Of course for a lot of vehicles that will be based on comparison.

Like ok, the Sherman has a a very spacious turret with ready racks, while the Chi-Nu with a similiar 75mm gun is more cramped so it has a worse reload rate.

But why doesn’t the same apply to the M26E1, T-44-100 and Panther II or M48, Centurion Mk. 3 and T-54?

A lot of vehicles with big guns should have a faster RoF then they have in-game atm.

Why would a T34 reload in 15s with two loaders when a Tiger II (H) needs half the time with one loader?

The T34 would easily reload faster than the T32 with it’s two piece 90mm inside the small Pershing turret. Putting these tanks more on the level of a T32 and IS-3 than a Tiger II.

The only reason there are now 3 US heavy tanks at 6.7 is because Gaijin at one point wanted the T34 and T29 to be the Tiger II equivalent.