Rare transferable anti-tank gun likely headed to the scrappers
The L39 was designed by Aimo Lahti, the Thomas Edison of Finnish gun engineers, and is a109-pound semi-automatic rifle built around the largest 20mm shell the in existence in 1939. Using the Swiss 20x138mmB Solothurn Long cartridge, the gun was readily capable of piercing 20mm of armor at 100-meters and 16mm out to 500 meters with enough energy to put most of the Soviet tanks of the era on the menu. While Russian tanks became more heavily armored as the war progressed, the L39 was still valuable as an anti-material gun and used much as the Barrett .50 cal is employed today.
Just 1,850 production version L39s were built in Jyaskyla at Valtion Kivaaritehdas, the state rifle factory, and about 1,000 were surplus in the 1960s, many arriving in the U.S.
And last week a Federal Firearms Licensee who wrote some hot checks to get tranferrable one from a collector in Michigan, then tried to resell it without the proper NFA paperwork, was found guilty of illegal possession of a destructive device, meaning the gun, now confiscated, will likely get hacked up.