Russian RG-6 Grenade Launcher and German Repair Depot Footage

Something new and something old today…

RG-6 40mm grenade launcher
RG-6 40mm grenade launcher

From long-time contributor Hrachya, we have a Russian manual for the RG-6 grenade launcher. This is a pretty recent design, having gone into production in the 1990s. It fires the same 40mm caseless grenades used by the older GP-25 underbarrel unit found mounted on AK rifles, and has a 6-round rotary cylinder. The cylinder is manually wound up during loading, like the Manville gas gun or the modern US/South African Milkor grenade launcher. In fact, the RG-6 appears to be largely (although not entirely) copied from the Milkor. I had a chance to visit the factory where those are manufactured, and you can see the tour here:

At any rate, this RG-6 manual is all in Russia, with a handful of diagrams and photos towards the back for those of us who can’t read it. Thanks, Hrachya!

RG-6 Manual (Russian)
RG-6 Manual (Russian)

For folks who aren’t interested in something that new, I also have a neat piece of video showing artillery being repaired in a German WWI arms repair depot in 1916. Posted by the Bundesarchiv (a fantastic collection of wartime photography), it comes to us form Keith, via a post at



  1. This surely is slick unit with clear advantage of case-less round use; nothing to dispose of. The only thing I hold against this and similar designs is the bulk and also to some degree the weight. Interestingly, the weight of shot, its range and even launching velocity are very similar to 40x46LV Nato grenade.

    Russians did lots of pioneering work in grenade launchers and the latest call seen to be GM94. Seen video with it – very impressive:

    It uses thermo-baric and air-fuel mixture ammunition – I would not want to be hit with that, yuck!

    • “The only thing I hold against this and similar designs is the bulk and also to some degree the weight.”
      The revolver design make this design bulk but short, there is probably no more effective way to make short 6-shot grenade launcher other than revolver-design or drum-magazine.
      If we use pump-action with tube-magazine (or any other action with this magazine) considering that VOG-25 has overall length of 106.7mm the length of magazine will be over 640.2mm (approx. 25.2″) and the overall length of whole firearm will be bigger. For box magazine (single stack) the minimal length is 6 x 40mm = 240mm (approx. 9.45″)

      • True enough. What I had in mind is material ‘wrapped around’ 5 inactive shells. I still consider pump type easier to maneuver with. After all in this regard some sort of simple (probably break-open) design may be the best. I found that sometimes 2 operators couple to create team for this purpose.

        • For example American China Lake Grenade Launcher has magazine for 3 round and loaded weight 10.21 lb and has o/a length 34.4″ with 14″ barrel.
          The American top-break M79 Grenade Launcher is used to our times and can fire wide variety of round – due to single-shot design it is not prone to smaller powder charger (which could jam automatic weapon) or other grenade shape which could jam automatic launcher during inserting the round to chamber.

  2. Regarding video – that’s what one would expect to see have it done in German way. Those lieutenants – give me a break! As one comment in Machinist page says – looks absolutely comical.

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