The M59 and M59A RCLs are identical, except that the M59A has fins around the chamber. These fins are supposedly to help cooling, although it is doubtful that the firing rate would ever be so high that overheating would present a problem.
The M59 RCL and the M59A RCL gun can each fire 13.2 pound (96kg,) 3.22 inch (82mm) caliber HE rounds and HEAT rounds. Their maximum range is 7,272 yards (6,650m), but the effective range of a HEAT round is 1,312 yards (1200m).
These weapons are 5 yards long (4.6m) and weigh 848lbs (385kg). Using HEAT rounds, the M59 and M59A have a muzzle velocity of 2444ft/s (745m/s) and can penetrate 9.8 inches (250mm) of armor.
Both the M59 RCL and the M59A RCL can be towed on two-wheeled carriages, mounted on top of APCs, or if necessary, hauled by their five man crews using a special harness.
The M59s are no longer effective tank busters against targets with more modern defensive technology.