USMC to get more grenade six-shooters

I’ve posted about the M-32 40mm grenade launcher, the MGL-140 by Milkor, several times over the past few years.

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. James C. Sanchez aims in with the M-32 multiple-shot grenade launcher, an experimental six-barreled weapon that can deliver six 40 mm grenades in under three seconds. Marines are fielding the new rapid-fire weapon to troops to boost small-team capabilities to deliver greater indirect firepower. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. James C. Sanchez aims in with the M-32 multiple-shot grenade launcher, an experimental six-barreled weapon that can deliver six 40 mm grenades in under three seconds. Marines are fielding the new rapid-fire weapon to troops to boost small-team capabilities to deliver greater indirect firepower. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva

Here’s the latest: Use of multishot grenade launchers to grow

Prompted by its success in defending against convoy attacks and ambushes, the Corps will vastly expand the availability of a 40mm, six-shot rotational grenade launcher first fielded in Iraq on an experimental basis in 2006.

For the first time, the launchers will be fielded “across the board,” said Patrick Cantwell, a former captain who now works as the Corps’ small arms capability integration officer. The weapons will be assigned to headquarters units and distributed upon the request of individual unit commanders, going to everyone from military police to infantry and logistics units.

The Marines are planning to purchase over 2,100 of the units, but there will be an open competition. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the M-32s already in use.

Comments

  1. Interesting. Having used the M32 (or more accurately, the pre-M32 Milikor version), I’m surprised the Marines made that decision. I’ve never felt the weight of carrying the additional stand-alone weapon was justified by its performance (especially since at the same time the Marines are trying to replace the SAW with a lighter “Infantry Automatic Rifle” to enhance mobility — take 7 lbs off the AR guy, but add 7 lbs to the grenadier? Huh?). But then, a 13-man squad does give you a few more tactical options …

    As to the weapon itself: on the one hand, if you are on target, you can get rounds down range at six times the speed. On the other hand, if you’re off target, you waste ammo six times as fast, and the grenadier’s not carrying that many rounds to begin with. The 40mm ammo has notoriously bad ballistics regardless of what you shoot it from, so the M32 really doesn’t improve things in that arena. There’s a lot of room for improvement in the warhead design, too (it’s only lethal at 5m if you happen to be standing in the right spot, despite what the manuals say). Better investment in terms of actual effects on target would be a rangefinder for the M203 and an ammunition improvement, but that sort of thinking tends to be a bit too sophisticated for my Marine bretheren.

  2. I agree with the rangfinder cmment; and I suggest adding an inclinometer as well. The range finder sets the inclinometer, the operator raises the muzzle to the indicated level = rounds on target! Less amoo wasted!

  3. They already have that. Its the EGLM system for the FN F2000. The GL has already been adapted to the SCAR, and could probably be used on an AR easily, and the laser range finder/inclinometer site is a rail mounted unit that could be mounted on the same rifle.
    Hell, add the sight to the M-32 as well. Laze the target, raise the barrel till the lights go green and “thump thump thump”
    All the hardware is there and could be combined off the shelf…the military just likes new toys.

Comments are closed