Thanks to Milkor USA, I have a chance today to do some shooting with both the M32 and M32A1 rotary grenade launchers they make for the US military. I’m using 40mm chalk training ammunition, with some steel targets at about 75-85 meters. In live fire, it’s quite clear how much of an improvement the M32A1 trigger is over its predecessor!
I would have traded my M16A2/M203 for one of those in a second!! Such a massive improvement for a grenadier’s firepower. The chalk rounds definitely have less felt recoil than the HE rounds do, but even the HE recoil is not bad.
“Say hello to my little friend!” POP! BANG!
The tech for making cartridge-based grenades and launchers to go with them was already available during the 1930’s, and a fictional counterpart to the M32 showed up in “Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2,” set in 1944 (the weapon is found on the beaches of Normandy, for no particularly good reason aside from giving the player a wonderful toy with which to kill Nazis by the dozen). The grenade launcher in question has the receiver unit of the Milkor M32, the buttstock of a Sturmgewehr, the fore-grip of the Thompson M1921, and iron-sights as opposed to a scope. Operation is pretty straightforward in the game’s interface: line up the grenade’s trajectory with a foe or a group of foes (alternatively, target the area around just to use the grenade’s splash damage to do the killing), pull trigger, and then… “Hey, look, it’s Napoleon Blown-apart! Heh, heh, heh!”
Yes, this is just a joke post if you haven’t guessed already.
“(…)tech for making cartridge-based grenades and launchers to go with them was already available during the 1930’s(…)”
Not hand-held, but full-filling that requirements is Taubin automatic grenade launcher:
The Taubin design was not as hopeless as it seemed at the time, it needed more development namely by reduction of weight. In time designers could have even arrived to hi-low pressure case solution, similar to that in use with current 40x46mm type.
Weight reduction wouldn’t be the only requirement. How about fixing the cartridge design?
Taubin’s design was overly complex, underpowered, and too messy for grunts to handle. No wonder he got shot. Let’s set down some basic traits/requirements for such an item so we don’t get shot:
1. Simple firing action
2. Easy ammunition feed, preferably by magazine or easily-loaded clip
3. Well-crafted ammunition (mass production in mind)
4. Must be able to deliver desired payload to specified range
5. Must be easy to maintain
6. Must be easily carried around by one person
Did I miss anything?
“(…)No wonder he got shot.(…)”
Did you read linked query in Modern Firearms?
Their ‘crimes’ were their failure to provide the Soviet Air Force with the automatic cannons and machine guns they promised and got advances for.
The whole history is more convoluted and sadly I can only link Russian-language article: https://masterok.livejournal.com/610269.html
Very cool Ian.
How does this compare to other self-loading grenade projectors you’ve handled, like the PAW-20?
One of previous G/L models implemented in U.S. service
This was not truly semi-automatic design, also its magazine capacity was limited to 3 rounds. But is was light and handy in use weapon.
Interestingly mentioned Grenade Launcher, 40-mm, T148E1 was self-loading and was “harmonica”, see 1st photo from top:
which lead to some problems with balance (as point of center-of-gravity shifted sideways) and there were other issues. Very small number was produced, nonetheless it was used during Second Indochina War, see 3rd photo from top:
Having watched a few of the shooting videos you have I wonder why you have not brought out a folding table or such so you do not have to bend over so often to reload or change firearms.