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The Panzerbüchse 39 (German: Tank Rifle) was a single-shot anti-tank rifle developed in Germany that was first produced in 1939. Developed from the earlier PzB 38, the weapon was the Wehrmacht's standard infantry anti-tank weapon during the early portion of World War II. The weapon used a relatively narrow cartridge, a lengthened version of the standard 7.92mm rifle bullet, that could achieve a velocity high enough to penetrate up to 25mm of armor out to 300m distance. While this was sufficient for disabling light vehicles, the increasing effectiveness of armor on Allied tanks throughout the war rendered the weapon mostly obsolete, leading to its official removal from service in 1944.
— In-Game Description
The rifle functions as an anti-armor rifle, featuring a one round magazine and reload time of 3.8 seconds. The weapon provides moderate to significant damage to enemy vehicles. It can deal between 25 and 40 damage to tanks, 40 damage to planes, 30 damage to jeeps, and consistently 40 damage to infantry.
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— In-game description
The Panzerbüchse 39 is a weapon featured in Battlefield V, introduced in the fourth chapter of Tides of War, Defying the Odds. It is the second Anti-Materiel Rifle to be added for the Recon class, and is the reward for the completion of Week 11 challenges.
Statistically, the Panzerbüchse acts as a more precise, slower and lower damage alternative to the Boys AT Rifle. Like its counterpart, the weapon is capable of a one-shot kill to the torso out to medium distance. However as its maximum damage is lower than the Boys', even at minimum range a hit to the arm or legs will fail to kill a full health opponent. The weapon also inflicts less damage to vehicles in general, although its potential for dealing systemic damage against vulnerable areas is still high. These deficiencies are made up for by the much improved muzzle velocity and reduced drop of the Panzerbüchse, which assists accuracy at range and against moving targets. A benefit of this is that users may engage infantry and especially vehicles at a greater distance, thus reducing the risk of being spotted and hit by incoming fire.
Despite requiring the user to set up on its bipod to aim using the sights, the Panzerbüchse 39 has relatively low hip-fire spread, similar to the S2-200, which allows the weapon to be employed against close range targets to a limited degree even when mobile. Despite its lower damage, the loud sounds and distinctive effects produced by firing and projectile impacts are similarly noticeable to that of the Boys, making it a comparably conspicuous weapon to use.
One unique aspect of the Panzerbüchse 39 is its dynamic reloading characteristics. Aesthetically it is a single-shot weapon operating similarly to the Martini-Henry of Battlefield 1, but with a side-mounted magazine for holding ten spare rounds. Functionally though, the weapon is identical to a bolt-action rifle - after firing a round, the player must "cycle" the weapon by ejecting the spent round and replacing it with a round taken from the magazine. After successive firing when either one or no bullets remain in the magazine, the entire empty magazine is removed and a fresh one is attached to the weapon. In the event of a full reload, the player also places a loose eleventh round directly into the chamber. During a partial reload the magazine is instead topped up with individual rounds, functioning the same as a manually-loaded, fixed magazine primary.
The hybrid nature of its reloading mechanics combined with its single-shot operation impacts greatly on the handling speed of the Panzerbüchse 39. Default rate of fire is at an unimpressive 18 RPM, beating only the Liberator for rapidity amongst small arms. Reloading is also relatively slow, although refilling the magazine during partial reloads can be interrupted in an emergency, and the magazine replacement once expended during an empty reload is much faster. Overall, the Panzerbüchse operates slower than the five-shot, detachable mag, dedicated bolt-action Boys AT Rifle, as well as possessing greater individual magazine capacity and marginally lower ammunition carrying capacity.
The Panzerbüchse 39 continues its similarities with the Boys with an identical Weapon Specialization tree, with Slings and Swivels, Flashless Propellant, Variable Zeroing and APCR Bullets on the left path, and Recoil Buffer, Variable Zeroing, Quick Reload and High Velocity Bullets on the right path. It should be noted that, although visually not a bolt-action weapon, it receives uniform benefits from the Machined Bolt specialization, which increases rate of fire to 21 RPM. In a similar vein, the Quick Reload option only increases the speed at which the magazine is replaced during an empty/near empty reload, and not when refilling the magazine or "cycling" the weapon between shots. Furthermore, recoil reset between shots and the agonisingly low rate of fire of the weapon work together to negate any benefits of the Recoil Buffer specialization, making it a poor rank 1 choice.