📘 Tank Shells Guide [War Thunder ammo types explained]


hello tankers in this guide I will
explain working principles advantages and disadvantages of all shell types
that can currently be find in the game all these shells I could separate into
four main categories armor-piercing armor-piercing high-explosive
armor-piercing subcaliber and chemical energy shells see the timestamps in the
description armour-piercing shells are the most
basic shell time the penetration effect is very simple shell penetrates armor
creating some spalling that slightly deviates from the shells path and then
travels inside the tank shell creates more spalling after it hits internal
modules if it still has enough kinetic energy left there are four different
types of AP shells in the game armor-piercing a solid round
armor-piercing capped solid round with additional soft a metal cap that
increases penetration on sloped armor but decreases aerodynamics
armor-piercing ballistic and makes projectile more aerodynamic decreasing
loss of kinetic energy over distance and the best of them all armor-piercing
capped ballistic capped combining both penetration and sloped armor and
aerodynamic improvements quantity of spalling depends on shell size and
thickness of armor penetrated lotia tank shells waiting up to 1 kilogram great
minimums poland and hardly can kill a crew member so direct hit with a
projectile is required while higher tier tanks shooting projectiles of 20 or more
kilograms create a huge cloud of additional metal pieces that can
reliably knock out crew member that is not located directly on shells path you
will encounter these projectiles from tier 1 to tier 6 but most likely will be
using different more effective type of armor as soon as you unlock such option armor-piercing high-explosive probably
the most deadly shell type in the game despite having slightly less penetration
than solid ap shells it has a dirty gift inside that fully compensates that upon
penetrating armor which creates spalling a delayed fuse activates that destroys
projectile inside enemy’s tank sending a sphere of projectiles fragments in all
directions it also has four variations armor-piercing high-explosive
armor-piercing high-explosive capped more penetration on sloped armor
armor-piercing high-explosive ballistic apt to decrease air resistance and
armor-piercing high-explosive capped ballistic cap the combined effect of
both gaps it’s important to notice three things about this type of ammunition for
activating delayed views shell is required to pass a minimum thickness of
armor shown in shells information tab as views sensitivity if projectile Pierce’s
less ammo for example when shooting trucks it will not explode and will only
create some spalling another important information is fuse delay it shows you
where after penetrating minimum armor thickness shot will explode some of the
project does detonate early and some can travel over a meter inside a middle of a
crew compartment to create maximum damage in all directions last thing is
explosive mass as different explosive types are used in different shells we
can get general idea by comparing dnt equivalent obviously more explosive
better for you and worse for enemy anything more than 100 grams will most
likely lead to one shot for the sake of completeness I’d like to mention
shrapnel shells which act very much like abig shells will have small penetration
and should be replaced by a phe as soon as you can
armor-piercing subcaliber shells use full advantage of huge load of
explosives that can fit in big diameter gun and focuses all its energy on
smaller diameter projectile this type of ammunition has very high penetration but
because of smaller projectile mass does not create much spoiling and must be
shot at the exact place where enemy crew member is there are three types of sub
caliber shells armor-piercing composite rigid armor-piercing discarding Sabo and
armor-piercing discarding Sabo fin-stabilised let’s take close a look
at each of them composite rigid sometimes called high-velocity
armour-piercing consists of high density core surrounded by a shell of lighter
metal because projectile becomes lighter higher velocities are achieved leading
to more penetration upon penetration only smaller dense metal core gets
inside has poor aerodynamics so quickly loses speed over distance armor-piercing
discarding sable is a lot like a PCR just at the light casing is discard that
as soon as shell leaves the barrel and only dense core flies towards the target
this way less irresistible effective over longer ranges armor-piercing
discarding Sabo film stabilized is modern projectile widely used until
these days compared to all the discarding sable this type of projectile
is stabilized by fins and is much longer compared to diameter this lets the shell
to concentrate even more kinetic energy on a small area when penetrating armor
these three projectiles has two characteristics in common muzzle
velocity is higher especially of most modern APD SF s shells making it easier
to aim at moving targets over longest as you don’t need to compensate that
much for gravity and leading the target and ricochette start happening at much
bigger slopes if full caliber shells start to have a chance of ricochette at
about 47 40 degrees sub-caliber composite rigid shells will not do that
until angle is bigger than 66 degrees and discarding sable projectiles do not
wreckage until they hit Armour at more than 75 degrees chemical energy shells
unlike all listed before do not depend on kinetic energy when penetrating
Armour so do not lose penetration over distance instead they use explosives in
a different ways because they all explode upon contact with fuse
sensitivity less than a millimeter you cannot shoot them through buildings or
trees there are three types of chemical energy shells a high explosive a high
explosive squash head and two high explosive anti-tank variants let’s have
a closer look at them common high-explosive shell has very simple
principle upon contact explosives inside detonate sending shells fragments in a
sphere around the explosion very effective against targets with little to
no armor large enough projectile can damage soft targets without direct hit
by sending deadly fragments few meters away this way it’s possible to damage or
even kill a vehicle hiding around the corner it is also possible to use this
type of ammunition against heavy armor if the shells caliber is big enough even
then only the weakest armor plates of roof and bottom can be penetrated
detonating near the roof can be achieved by shooting cupola or machine guns and
penetration from the bottom by shooting directly below the enemy
high explosive squash head I designed to be more effective on thicker armor just
like name suggests upon contact has shell deforms sticking to the outside
armor and after detonation shockwave travels through the arm
knocking metal in another side and sending spall at high speed inside the
tank despite penetrating more than HD show
it’s still not reliable against heavy armor unless very big calibers used
high-explosive anti-tank also known as shaped-charge has very unique way of
penetrating armor the shell consists of copper cone surrounded by explosives in
a such way that after detonation cone is shaped into a jet that is directed
forward at hypersonic speed explosion itself can damage soft targets or
external modules but because stream is quite small the effect inside is
comparable to tiny suit caliber shells the penetration usually is slightly more
than 100 millimetres this little penetration is because shell is
stabilized and fired by spinning a lot of streams energy is dispersed by the
centrifugal force this was an issue until high-explosive anti-tank
fin-stabilised shells were developed this led to drastic increase in
penetration in game heat fin stabilized penetration starts from 200 millimetres
and increase with caliber same principle of weaponry installed on a bigger rocket
can reach 800 millimetres for some top-tier vehicles because of explosions
all these shells can also damage external modules like optics machine gun
and main gun or track if detonation is close enough there are also smoke rounds
some of them are shot by smoke launchers and are used mainly defensively
but some will load into your main gun and can be shot at longer distances this
can be used to make someone and sniping position across the map useless for some
time while you can relatively safely cross the open field but smoke shell
will use your gun making you unable to use anti-tank rounds until next reload
and taking space in your ammo rack increasing risk of its explosion what
shells do you prefer and why tell me in the comments as soon as you subscribe

100 thoughts on “📘 Tank Shells Guide [War Thunder ammo types explained]

  • I don't know how many people know but America has developed a apfsds shot that explodes after it pens an amount of armour.

  • Why do some ammo pictures have thin armour and some have thick armour does that indicate what type of armour the shell is used for?

  • In reality HEAT shells are more devastating. They have good penetration and large explosive mass. The enormous pressure generated by the detonation of the explosive drives the liner in the hollow cavity inward to collapse upon its central axis. The resulting collision forms and projects a high-velocity jet of metal particles forward along the axis. Most of the jet material originates from the innermost part of the liner, a layer of about 10% to 20% of the thickness. The rest of the liner forms a slower-moving slug of material, which, because of its appearance, is sometimes called a "carrot". Most of the jet travels at hypersonic speed.
    The tip moves at 7 to 14 km/s, the jet tail at a lower velocity (1 to 3 km/s), and the slug at a still lower velocity (less than 1 km/s).
    The key to the effectiveness of the hollow charge is its diameter. As the penetration continues through the target, the width of the hole decreases leading to a characteristic "fist to finger" action, where the size of the eventual "finger" is based on the size of the original "fist". In general, shaped charges can penetrate a steel plate as thick as 150% to 700% of their diameter, depending on the charge quality. The figure is for basic steel plate, not for the composite armor, reactive armor, or other types of modern armor.

  • But in fact, cumulative rounds should increase temperature and pressure increase tank, so all crew will die not because of direct hit, but because of conditions inside the tank, especially if all hatches and exits are closed

  • world of tanks shell logic:
    aP dOeS bAsIc dAmAgE aNd pEn hE dOeS xTrA dAmAgE tO cLaP tHeM cHeEcK lOl aPcR iS fOr tHiCc tAnKs oR nUbS xD aNd hEsH fUcKiNg oP

  • you should mention that smoke sheels are really usefull and powerfull in RB and simulation battles when you upgrade this guide. besides i would also not include hesh and heat ammo as explosives.

  • There are some "hidden" features in this game's broken shell mechanics, when you shoot a fin-stabilized Sabot and penetrates a target, it makes smaller spalling just like a regular APDS/APCR, but, if the shell goes through a module and penetrates it (the game has hidden module armor, this can be noticed when inspecting Gun Breaches in open top vehicles or tracks/wheels), it will make even more shrapnel, sometimes making even more spalling than your regular Solid Shot can do, although RNG affects the secondary shrapnel, so it's really spread out, and the primary spalling caused by the shell, can pierce a crew member and hit another behind him, causing smaller damage.

    Now the HEAT-FS shell has some mechanics aswell, it works kinda like a Solid Shot, when it hits and explodes, it will make shrapnel and this shrapnel will penetrate the tank's armor, the stream of heat will go on, carrying with it the previous spalling it made until it hits a module, again, like the FS Sabot, if it penetrates the module and not lose energy, it will make multiple clouds of shrapnel inside the vehicle, the HEAT-FS shell is more effective against a tank's turret because there's ammo and/or smaller modules, this is exactly why almost every vehicle with ERA is almost only on the turret, the second spalling can also be noted if you shoot a turret ring, it will always go through it and create a secondary cloud, making almost the same damage (76mm HEAT-FS) as a 120mm Solid Shot will do.

  • At 10:10 you mention how the "centrifugal" force disperses the shells energy. I believe you meant Centripetal Force, for that centrifugal force is actually a made up force and is not real.

  • Very Nice video, but after the last update I think shell doesn t work like that🤔😂 everytime ricochet or it do nothing 😂

  • Personally I don't like HEAT shells (for the Russians at least) because you have to aim miles above your target to shoot far enough

  • Shout out to the 105mm Obus G shell used by the French AMX-30. It solves the centrifugal dissipation of the penetrator by using ball bearings in the shell to keep the warhead stable while the outside case (that interacts with the rifling) spins.

  • Гайд понятный, качественный, но рисунки похоже делали в paint)
    А так все замечательно, наглядно. I understand my language where I come from syka blyat pizdec)) good guide

  • Just started playing a couple of months ago. And I have more fun with the tanks. This was by far the most informative regarding tank ammo!!!

  • Pe-8 5000kg shell is my favorite, you don't even have to aim – just point out general direction you don't like. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • 2:50 "in all directions "
    Technically no, the momentum of the shell is retained by the explosion, and most of the fragments created by the explosion will go in the same iriginal direction of the shell.

  • nice but u forgot dissapearing shell. This type of shell dissapear when u are in crucial situation leading in ragequiting…

  • Well, in my experience this is how I use my shells:

    Shrapnel shells for pre BR 3.0 tanks and side shots for pre 4.0 tanks. Great for destroying trucks and other light AA vehicles, because fuse sensitivity is like 10mm or less. And they make the biggest boom for caliber.
    HESH to russian pre 8.0 mediums & All AA. (They still aren't that reliable) Centurion AVRE & FV4005 kill their targets with any direct hit.
    APHE to do most of the dirty work (One shots, especially from the side.) Some lighter more special weapons have bad APHE for tier. (PT-76 is a good example, 110mm of pen and can tackle targets from the side at close range. HEAT works better. At least for me, because I know ammo rack positions of most of the medium BR tanks.)
    HEAT if good enough APHE isn't available. (Knowing ammo rack positions help a lot with heat.) Not so usable after 9.0, because everything has HEAT protection. (used to have like 1000 silver cost per HEAT-FS shell, so APDS/APHE was cheaper option.)
    Solid AP If APHE isn't available or if you need more pen to tackle heavy targets. (When APCR isn't available)
    APCR/HVAP I carry a few if I have to rumble with heavy tanks in CQC and can't flank. Need multiple shots to kill heavy tank with them and I use them mainly to disable gunner/cannon breech and retreat out of danger.
    APDS/APDSFS If good enough APHE or HEAT isn't available and if going over 9.0. APDS is notably inaccurate. IE: King Tiger vs Any British tank at over 1,8km away. Keep your aim at center of the KT's hull and your shots land around commanders cupola and lower frontal plate. High velocity makes it easier to aim at long distances. (More of the aim lines cover the target so miscalculating distance has less effect, because you can have around 4-7 lines at your target.)
    Guided rockets Same effect as with HEAT shells, but they have enough BOOM to penetrate most targets frontally. Even after 9.0. Aim at their ammo racks and watch the fireworks. BR 10.0 tanks have the best HEAT protection and knowing weakspots helps a lot.
    Smoke Shells Self explanatory. Hinders enemies & YOUR ability to see through. Some nasty sniper sitting in a good covered position? Shoot a smoke shell in front of him and he can't see, but you can drive past him or push yourself closer. Shooting smoke closer to you hinders your ability to see possible enemies advancing to your position.

    And lastly: ordinary HE. Usually good for light AA vehicles, because they will detonate on impact with anything hard. Not worth to carry around, because HEAT has same effect with light AA trucks and if enemy tank comes around, you'll be left pretty much defenseless with HE loaded. (Even the low tier German HEAT can buy you enough time to reload APHE shell) Big cannons (KV-2, SU/ISU 152, HO-RO, Sturmpanzer II, brumbär & other over 120mm cannons) Have deadly HE shells, because they have enough pen to go through hull and turret roof armor. Just hit lower part of gun mantlet or any cupola and you'll kill or cripple your target.

    Everything in this comment is debatable and your personal preference/skill and other factors might make other shell better than mentioned in this list.
    Happy hunting!

  • dont matter this still is a russian bias simulator any shell fired by russian tanks can pen even 2.0+ rated tanks than the tank they are up against if ur america ur fucked cuz apparently its cool to "hate" on USA so its ok to nerf the guns/armor to the point of the faction being unplayable. nothing beats bias

  • AP- big boi bullet
    APC- big boi bullet with trick
    APBC- ballistic big boi bullet
    APCBC- ballistic big boi bullet with trick
    APHE- (get ready for that repetition) big boi bullet that go boom
    APCHE- big boi bullet with trick that go boom
    APBCHE- ballistic big boi bullet that go boom
    APCBCHE- ballistic big boi bullet with trick that go boom
    APCR- sabot without the sabot
    APDS- APFSDS's retarded little brother
    APFSDS- the shell to end all shells
    HE- someone please love the unloved
    HESH- British bois bff
    HEAT- close but not quite there yet
    HEATFS- that's it, this is wha- oh wait no I mean CANCER
    Smoke- blindy boi
    Shrapnel- APHE's retarded little brother

    I hope you enjoyed my quick what's what shell guide that you probably won't even see if you disagree with some of my word choices well to bad and if I missed a shell type well then also to bad I couldn't be bothered to watch the video again and record all the types listed

  • I only use APCBC, mainly because of the shrapnel it creates to kill the crew or detonating the ammo, it is also useful to hit bigger oponents, like lets say you are in a T34 American heavy tank fighting the MAUS from the front, you can easily defeat it by shooting its turret, because APCBC can actually go through that much armor, and create enough shrapnel to kill the turret crew, so the MAUS is left with the driver and the radio operator

  • APFSDSFPSDSADFAPFSPSFPDPAPAPPFSPAPFPSPAPFPFPASPFSPAPFPPSSPPFPSPAPFPSPAPAPFPDPAPPSDPFPSPAPSPFPFPPAPAPDPDFPAPPAPFPSPSPFPFPAPASDAPFSDS

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