Solothurn 20mm S18-1000 Wheeled Carriage

This Solothurn with its carriage is being sold by Morphys on October 30, 2018.

Before they became obsolete, antitank rifles were a way to bring substantial firepower to small infantry teams – but they were never light weight. As with some of the early water cooled heavy machine guns, designers looked for ways to make the weapons more easily transported, and the solution arrived at for the Solothurn S18-1000 20mm cannon was a small wheeled mount. Complete with elevation adjustment to raise the gun just above the available cover and trail arms to secure it against recoil movement, the carriage allowed the gun to be early pulled by its crew or by a draft animal, bicycle, or light motorized vehicle. Most buyers of the guns did not opt to purchase these carriages, however, and they are quite scarce today.


  1. Really, the best use for one of these monsters, then as now, would be as a long range anti-materiel’ weapon. And as such, mounting it on a vehicle would be the most sensible way to lug it around.



    • The introductory part is a bit boring for anyone who already knows the history of the Lebel rifle. It also touts the Kropatschek style tubular magazine as an innovation, which it really wasn’t in 1886 any more. But of course it was a new thing in French service… The actual shooting comparison is pretty funny, though. Not terribly informative, but entertaining.

  2. While it strains credulity and beggars belief, some years ago the Cuban armed forces–such as they are–unveiled the smooth-bore, low-pressure 73mm 2A28 Grom cannon from the old Soviet-era armored personnel carriers mounted on the wheeled mounting that resembled nothing so much as the old SG-43 Goryunov machine gun mounting. Jumps around a bit when fired, to say the least!

    • The Grom is more like a rocket launching tube with a closed breech to protect the turret crew of the BMP-1 from the backblast than a low pressure gun. The rocket projectile reaches its maximum velocity well after it has left the tube, so most of the accelerating force does not affect the launcher. The actual recoil force is probably similar to heavy recoilless guns, which have been successfully mounted on light trucks since the 1950s.

      • Query in English wikipedia has following data regarding 2A28’s ammunition:
        PG-9 (HEAT) shell is 2,6 kg heavy and has muzzle velocity 400 m/s and maximal velocity 700 m/s
        OG-9 (HE-FRAG) shell mass is not given directly, but linked SPG-9 query states mass as 5,35 kg and muzzle velocity 290 m/s.
        In first case momentum is 1040 in second 1551,5.
        For comparison WW2-era 5 cm PaK 38 with Panzergranate 39 (2,25 kg @ 823 m/s) gives momentum 1851,75.
        Ammunition for 2A28 was developed from SPG-9 ammunition, which itself is today sometimes encountered in conflicts:

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