The XM174 Grenade-Launcher Was Too Fragile for Vietnam
In the early 1960s, American advisers in Vietnam asked the U.S. Army to supply them an automatic grenade launcher. In September 1963, the Army asked industry to submit designs for a low-velocity 40-millimeter automatic grenade launcher. The new launcher had to weight less than 12 pounds — half the... Read more
With the M203, the U.S. Finally Got a Decent Grenade-Launcher
In May 1963, the U.S. military asked industry to supply an underslung grenade launcher to complement the new AR-15 assault rifle that was then in early testing. The grenade-launcher program had its roots in the ultimately unsuccessful Special Purpose Individual Weapon program that had begun in 1951. In May... Read more
Maxwell Atchisson Invented a Disposable Grenade-Launcher
Maxwell Atchisson was a prolific inventor who experimented with everything from rifles and shotguns to sound suppressors and light machine guns. He was best known for his AA-12 automatic shotgun. One of Atchisson’s most interesting designs was a disposable, 40-millimeter grenade launcher. The launcher is arguably more like a... Read more
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