Panzerschreck Restoration

In mid-2013 I obtained a rough, but mostly complete Panzerschreck or Raketenpanzerbüchse (abbreviated to RPzB) tube from Germany. According to the seller it was claimed to be a barn find from the Seelowe Heights area of former East Germany. It was missing a few pieces, the shield and accessories, the cocking lever being the most important.

After getting it back here in Canada I started looking for the bits that had disappeared from it. It was apparent immediately that it was no barn find but rather had spent a considerable amount of time under water. The owner prior to me had used filler and put a faux-Normandy camouflage pattern on it.

I found a shield in Latvia, which in turn was missing the latch. The latch I managed to source from a guy in Belgium who had gathered two of them when he did his own restoration. I found a couple of the sight glasses from EBay.

Raketenpanzerbüchse 54 in use by a cabbage eater

Raketenpanzerbüchse 54 in use by a cabbage eater

In order to get it into Canada at a useful price I had to have it cut in half. At it’s original length it would have cost over 500$ for shipping. Chopping it up reduced that cost to $150.

Now the only bit I am short on is the cocking lever. My choices are to either get one fabricated or to continue to scour the tubes for this part.

I will be posting a progress report here on how the restoration is going.

Update:February 2014

Okay, here are some photos of what I have in hand now for parts…

rsz_pzs1

The forward part of the tube including the front sight

rsz_pzs2

The blast shield including the always missing catch

rsz_pzs3

The remainder of the tube including the trigger assembly and bakelite charge box.

I have recently been able to get a ground dug cocking lever off the EBay as well as the barrel rest so I am waiting on those parts before I find a panel shop to work their magic.

Update May 2014: It’s been a slow process getting this thing back together. The cable guard was pretty rotten under all the paint and filler so it had to be replaced. And it seems the charge box wasn’t bakelite as I assumed but rather a mild steel construction. Still, it’s getting there, now back to its full length. It’s pretty clear that this was ground dug since there is some minor pitting to most of the steel surfaces.

The point where the tube has been rejoined

The point where the tube has been rejoined

The front barrel rest still needs to find its final placement

The front barrel rest still needs to find its final placement

The paint stripped off the cable guard

The paint stripped off the cable guard

The tube now back to its full length.

The tube now back to its full length.

Update January 2014: Okay, here it is back from the body shop and all together finally. These things are rare as hens teeth up here in Canada. The final paintjob was done using a paint chip from the example in the Ottawa War Museum of Canada.

And the newest small detail was the front sight that I got from Bergflak. It’s a repro but it fits well and there is no real alternative.

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2 Responses to “Panzerschreck Restoration”

  1. Looking forward to seeing the finished unit.

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