While watching a video of the MetalStorm 3GL 40mm Grenade Launcher I was blown away by the incredible technology1 that these Australians have developed. I have blogged about the 3GL before, but I had not imagined it worked so well in practice. The video is worth 1000 words …
The MetalStorm technology allows multiple rounds to be loaded into, and fired from, a single barrel. This makes a much more compact weapon than competing MGL2 systems such as the Milkor. The weapon has been designed to be within the same tolerances as the M203/M320 and so achieves similar range, velocity & accuracy. It makes use of standard 40x46mm grenade warheads which are inserted into the MetalStorm ‘tail assembly’. This would make the system much more attractive to nations which currently use the standard 40x46mm rounds.
The grenades are fired electronically as fast as the trigger can be pull and the barrel is capable of 720 rounds per minute! I asked Mark, MetalStorm’s armorer, about battery life and he told me that the 2xAA batteries is uses will last as long as the barrel does.
What really impressed me was how fast it could be reloaded. In the video you see the operator remove the rifle’s magazine when reloading – this was for safety and it not required in the field.
In its stand-alone configuration (not attached to a rifle and with its own stock) it weighs 5 lbs – less than half the weight of the 11 lb Milkor MGL!
MetalStorm have also been working on a bullpup version of the 3GL. Aside from the shorter overall length, it allows the system to be used with rifles, such as the AK variants, which require the magazines to be rocked into place. The pistol grip of the non-bullpup version would get in the way during magazine changes,
As I said before, I am very impressed with this weapon. It offers a lot of power in a very small package.
Many thanks to David for answering my questions and providing photos and videos for the blog.