RWGŁ-2: An AK/Mosin Hybrid Gas Launcher

When Polish workers held massive protests in Poznań against the communist Polish government in 1956, the Army was sent in to quell the unrest. In the aftermath of these events, the government decided to create a riot police squad to handle any future such situations. When this unit was put to use in the 1968 Student March, they found that hand-thrown tear gas could be thrown back into police ranks – and development began of tear gas launchers that would have a much longer range.

The second of these designs was the RWGŁ-2, made using a Mosin-Nagant action on a new frame, with a pair of Polish AK grips and a gas launching cup. It fed from a 10-round AK magazine blocked to fit only (well, mostly only) blank 7.62x39mm cartridges. The result was a launcher that would heave a tear gas grenade substantially farther than it could be thrown by hand. However, this was still an experimental development, and only a small number were made before it was replaced by the RWGŁ-3 (which is a subject for a later video).

Many thanks to Works 11 for giving me access to film this very cool rare item for you!


  1. It must be nice to be able to walk into a gun factory on the other side of the world and have all the cool stuff brought out of storage for you to look at. I am still amazed at how much respect Ian has gotten from being just another internet blogger putting up a few passion videos.

    • Pardon me if I deducted wrong, but I’m amazed at stupidity of somebody seeing Ian as “just another internet blogger with few videos”,
      knowing him being literally decade at gun research work and thousands of videos he made, and still does, in day to day job.

      • There are thousands of bloggers who put up their passion research. And even if their knowledge is deep, there are so many of them out there, few achieve the reputation and following that Ian has. Hard to tell when a person starts to blog whether they will get a huge following. This was not a dig at Ian. I greatly respect his knowledge. But when he started out, he was just one of a huge number of bloggers, trying to get a bit of attention. He does have something special in both the material he presents and his presentation style that has lead to his success. I seriously doubt that he thought he would achieve the level of success he has. From what he has said about why he started ForgottenWeapons, his expectations seemed very modest. Just get some historical information out there so it would be lost. Now he is blessed with the ability to make a living, and have a whole lot of fun, from his hobby.

        • Exactly. It’s really quite impressive. Ian’s success reminds me of Brad Carter of the PLA, who has made his passion project of making prank calls to people into a career.

        • Actually, when he started out (still in SD time), youtube existed but there was nowhere near such numbers of firearms related channels as few years later, when it all exploded (before many being demonetized), but at that time he already was established in his work.
          If we talk about firearms blogs, that was a time of various blog popularity but there certainly wasnt “huge amount of historical guns bloggers”, also not everybody who writes a blog wants to get in front of the camera.
          Also, worth pointing out, in comparison to today when they are the norm, so called smartphones only started penetrating the market – many, if not most people watches videos today on them.

          He’s got something special that crowd likes, as some people are surely more experienced and knowledgeable (truth to be told, he is not perfect, as data he presents sometimes is sloppily researched),
          but their faces and personas are not so likeable, or even some are repulsive (nerdy types),
          so in effect do not/could not have same popularity result as Ian.
          So, to conclude, he hit a golden window of opportunity and filled a void on the market; if he was only few years late, that place would already be taken, and maybe he would get popular near some other contenders, but never to household name level.
          Question is, how many more years its all gonna fly, 4,5 years probably, but is it even possible to squeeze out so long as another decade?

          • Good question about longevity. ForgottenWeapons is lately showing more about the path of firearm development than some old weird gun. Which means more modern guns are discussed. That might be a fruitful path for a number of years. The question may be more about what do his fans want to see? Are there other areas of firearm lore that would keep them watching and thus extend the lifetime of the channel?

  2. I believe Ian has the access he has because:
    He is not political.
    He is respectful toward the people and the firearms.
    His goal is to educate and celebrate the art work, the engineering, the work involved.
    He is knowledgeable.
    These are the same attributes that attracts his audience.

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