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ZiS-3 Trials

"To the Chair of the Committee of Defense, comrade I.V. Stalin

According to your instructions, proving grounds trials of the 76 mm ZiS-3 divisional gun designed by factory #92 were performed at the GAU ANIOP from January 15th to February 5th, 1942.

The commission which performed the trials gave the following conclusions.
  1. The 76 mm ZiS-3 divisional gun produced by factory #92 has tactical-technical characteristics equal to that of the 76 mm divisional gun mod. 1939 (USV), and has some advantages:
    1. The divisional gun is lighter than the USV by 420 kg.
    2. The clearance of the ZiS-3 is 360 mm, the USV is 330 mm.
    3. The overall shape of the ZiS-3 is more "squat", making it easier to conceal than the USV gun.
    4. Shooting directly at tanks with the ZiS-3 is easier due to both aiming flywheels being on the same side.
    5. The ZiS-3 gun consists of fewer parts and is simpler to produce.
  2. The 76 mm ZiS-3 divisional gun produced by factory #92 passed trials and can be recommended as a replacement for the mod. 1939 USV gun after:
    1. The leak in the return mechanism is resolved.
    2. The recoil length is fixed at 750 mm +/- 50 mm.
    3. The sight carrier on the upper mount should be reinforced, same with the level and perpendicular sight rail.
The comparative characteristics of the USV and ZiS-3 are as follows:

Ballistic parameter


Muzzle velocity

680 m/s

Maximum barrel pressure

2314 kg/cm2

Shell mass

6.23 kg

Propelant mass

1.070 kg

Chamber volume

1.4837 L

Number of rifling grooves


Length of rifled barrel

2570 mm

Muzzle energy

147.6 ton-meters

Metal use coefficient



Maximum range

12900 m

13290 m

Mass and Design Parameter



Combat weight

1116 kg

1536 kg

Maximum elevation

37 degrees

45 degrees

Minimum depression

-5 degrees

-5 degrees

Horizontal range

54 degrees

57 degrees

Effort on the turning flywheel

5 kg

5-8 kg

Effort on the elevation flywheel

7 kg

5-8 kg

Bore axis height

900 mm

1027 mm


360 mm

330 mm

Maximum height of the gun shield

1375 mm

1580 mm

Height of the sight

1060 mm

1210 mm

In addition, the ZiS-3 gun has a significant advantage over the USV gun in respect to production and economy:



Use of ferrous metals

3300 kg

4700 kg

Use of non-ferrous metals

30 kg

140 kg


650 hours

1070 hours

Based on the results of proving grounds trials and comparative data, I present the draft decree on the acceptance of the 76 mm ZiS-3 divisional gun designed by factory #92.

The decree was drafted in cooperation with the People's Commissariat of Defense (comrades Voronov and Yakovlev), People's Commissariat of Armament (comrade Vannikov) and factory #92 director comrade Yelyan.

I ask for your decision.

L. Beria
February 11th, 1942"

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