M72 LAW making a comeback

usaf-m72-law-tm.jpg

Defense Industry daily reports that the Marines have procured 7750 LAWs (M72A7) from Nammo Talley Defense for a total of $15.5 million (which works out to be $2000/unit).

Nammo Talley Defense, Inc. in Mesa, AZ received a $15.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for 7,750 LAW M72A7 portable rockets from Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA, in order to replenish stockpiles.

The short (unextended length of 0.67 m) low cost and low weight (5.5 lbs) 66mm one-shot rocket system is useful in urban environments against buildings and lightly armored vehicles, such as those found in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Usaf M72 Law
M72 LAW


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • http://thebronzeblog.blogspot.com/ thebronze

    SWEET!!!!! I don’t know why the DOD ever got rid of it in the first place…

  • jdun

    They got rid of it because the SMAW and AT4 do a better job on all category except weight and length.

    The Marines probably want it because they won’t be facing tanks in Afghanistan. It’s much lighter then the SMAW and can be ditched once fired. I bet the primary use for it is to take down fortification.

  • AC434

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    I believe the Marines are thinking that the LAW cost less and is lighter than that AT4 (2 kg vs 6 kg).

  • Dino

    This is the same weapon that earned the nickname “Ranger Key” in Panama? Kind of like giving our guys a one-shot RPG capability. Any mods to warhead or fusing to improve effectiveness vs. fortifications rather than armored vehicles?

  • Lance

    The AT-4, and Carl Gustov are better in anti-armor use. But in Afghanistain theres no armor threat so a light M-72 will do the job well aginst infantry or shall I say terrorist targets.

  • Infidel Tababa

    Good to see this excellent piece of kit making a comeback. I agree with Dino. The LAW was never the best anti tank weapon to begin with. Since they are building them from scratch, versus pulling them from war stockpiles, they should consider a simple re-purposing of the round to focus on obstacle reduction/anti materiel/anti personnel. It should be easy enough to trade the shaped charge for a bit of HE and an incendiary frag sleeve without too much impact on the overall profile. The US arsenal has the disposable AT4, it’s reusable parent, the Carl Gustav in some SpecOps weapons lockers, and the Marine Corps has the SMAW all with highly effective anti-armor capabilities. There is no reason an infantry squad facing no armor threat should be without a few of these LAW rockets to fill the gap rather than carrying the heavier much more expensive AT4. Interestingly, I just read an article that hundreds of these rockets, serial traced back to Vietnam stocks, and early South American “unofficial activities” have been making their way onto the market and are the current popular choice for initiating ambushes among the mexican drug cartel.

  • http://facebook.com/tom.stedham Tom Stedham

    Geez, for 2 grand a pop, why not use CAPTURED RPGs??? You get a great weapon for much less cost.

    You shoot a LAW and you have to hump the empty. I’d rather have a longer range, bigger warhead RPG.

    Just my opinion…

  • Jeff from CA

    Using captured ordinance is risky. US Special Forces slipped in some over-powdered ammunition into enemy ammo stocks during the Vietnam War. It would be hard to do quality control over something where the source, production, and quality are unknown.

    Also, someone carrying an RPG looks like an enemy combatant through thermal sights.

  • http://facebook.com/tom.stedham Tom Stedham

    Jeff…

    It’s pretty easy to tell who’s who in thermal sights nowadays… Between the distinctive MICH, and all that glint-tape, American troops are very recognizable.

    And NOBODY gets to fire without notifying higher, doing a friendly check, etc. You shoot the guy pointing a weapon AT YOU, not away from you, which is presumably where the RPG would be pointed…

    Plus we pretty much know where all our guys are. Anybody outside the wire is on a designated patrol, and everybody know it…

    And anybody firing an RPG at a building has already notified the chain-of-command all up the wazoo… Nobody goes “holy shit, an RPG! Go light that guy up!!!”

    Or maybe I was just in a very well-trained infantry unit…

  • Lance

    @Tom

    AHem yes its happend befor in the rantic acts of battle a grun useing a AKM or RPG in a sound or flash of his weapon can get some not so friendly fire from others.

  • Andy

    My Marine unit had LAWs in Iraq, I liked the weight and size compared to the AT4 but I wasn’t too impressed with the build quality when I shot one. When I yanked the tube back to arm it and release the spring loaded front and rear sights, the front sight fell off. I aimed high so it wouldn’t hit to close to me and hoped for the best.

  • http://hotmail Greg

    I don’t have any problems with bringing back the LAW, although I have to wonder what modifications there are to bring it up to the A7 configuration. The problem I have with it is the $2,000 a shot cost. How much is an AT-4 costing nowadays. Wonder what the cost is of a SMAW nowadays also. Just seems pretty steep. I thought 25 years ago when I was an Army Ammo Officer, they were less than a hundred bucks. But then, maybe my memory is just getting old.

  • jim

    This is just the thing to carry around in a country that is hot, and filled none too friendly’s that fight from mud huts with walls 4 ft thick that a ma duce wont poke through and think a Toyota Hilux filled with RPG gunners in the back is the best “assault” vehicle there is.
    At 5.5 Lbs, it’s like carrying an extra combat load of 5.56 ammo weight wise, but can open up a mud wall, a technical, or a mortar position very quickly.
    The M72 had to be fired in salvos to be effective against anything that resembled real armor even back in the 80s, so it’s like a paint ball gun to anything modern – why waste the time and money-update it and move on. We actually should update the warhead to strait HE (for instances where real friendly’s might wind up with a frag warheads pieces stuck in themselves or their children) and a frag warhead (for instances where we want everybody in a 30 ft radius to be riddled with holes and to attain instant hamburger-like consistency).