In 2155, the ASC Department of Defense created a modernized variant of the PTRS-41 dubbed the 41/55 (as in 1941/2155) complete with attachment rails and vast improvements in reliability, plus improvements in internal and external ballistics. The 41/55 entered very limited preliminary production and ultimately failed to reach mass production due to a number of factors and issues, most issues of which were ergonomics complaints. Nowadays, with the relatively new establishment, success, and efficiency of the DoD's Research and Development Division, the PTRS-41/55 in hindsight is often regarded as a product of impatient and poor judgement and management on the designers' parts.
Rise & Fall of the 41/55
Early into the year of 2153, multiple units within the Antarctic State Military had altogether decided that they needed a particularly high-velocity, heavy-bulleted rifle for use as an anti-vehicle weapon against soft-skinned targets, namely civilian vehicles. The Department of Defense quickly scrounged together the original designs of a large number of previously existing anti-tank and anti-materiel rifles of their own, as well as those of foreign origin, through a combination of pictures, documentation, and physical preserved specimens.
The first phase involved the collection of guns being narrowed down by analyzing their specifications, and speculating on how much they could hope to improve each one through current means and knowledge. Each one was closely inspected, first rethinking the materials that were used to construct each and every part of an original, then the methods that were used to manufacture it. The PTRS was ultimately chosen out of the lot due to its initially impressive muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s (3,281 ft/s). A very close second to the PTRS would have been the Solothurn S-18/1000 for its much higher muzzle energy ceiling, however it was rejected due to its projected weight being beyond that which could be considered reliably serviceable by a single soldier, as opposed to a team.
Now that they had settled upon an old design to modernize, the second phase of process saw to it that the parts of the rifle themselves were assigned different metals than were originally used, in the pursuit of increased reliability and longevity through the use of modern materials science. This resulted in overall lower weight, increased rigidity, smoothness of action, and resistance to corrosion and other fouling. At the same time, the ammunition was also subjected to modern materials science mostly at the propellant level, leading to an almost perfect burn for the original barrel length, as well as the burn being much cleaner.
The third phase was a mishmash of both altering the original shape of the rifle, adding things to it, and working out better ways to manufacture it to modern standards. This resulted in:
- The addition of a barrel shroud mostly for the purpose of adding accessory rails,
- The changing of the buttstock for shouldering comfort,
- The addition of a more modern safety lever,
- The changing from a fixed 5-round internal magazine to a detachable 10-round box magazine, and
- The use of a PTRD muzzle brake due to its simpler construction.
The fourth phase was the time in which very limited production of the 41/55 was seen. Only seven were completely made, even less of which made it into the hands of any servicemen. Those servicemen were highly approving of the smooth action and the powerful might behind the 14.5mm cartridge, however they also complained of ergonomic issues, namely issues with eye relief, and the inability to get a good cheek weld on the buttstock with the vast majority of optics. Those issues, coupled with the realization that a 14.5mm "elephant gun" was ultimately unnecessary in comparison to various other, lighter loadouts, led to the demise of the 41/55, going out with a whimper.
What remained of the seven 41/55's is unknown at this point, however given the AS government's tendency to scrap excess materiel back into raw resources, it may potentially be safe to say that they no longer exist in physical form.
Usage of the 41/55
The PTRS-41/55, is known to have been used in exactly one small conflict on June 27th, 2160.
This conflict involved a civilian named Ron Coppernick having stolen a Section 1 police car, and attempting to ram through West Freight Gate B to Ramiel Military Base at upwards of 120 mph (193 km/h). At the time, a Security Forces PFC (E-2) by the name of Bérenger J. Eversnow was the on-duty gate guardsman set up atop the gate's entrance, and the gate security had been alerted to Coppernick's nearby actions three minutes prior.
At exactly 20:50, Eversnow fired a shot from roughly 225 meters (246 yd) [738 ft], clean through the otherwise bullet-resistant windshield of the police car, and further through Coppernick's chest. Coppernick died instantly due to shock and destruction of the heart, thus immediately ending the conflict.
Coppernick's motives were later determined to be suicide by cop.