McDonnell Douglas Scorpion

A reader email in a scan of McDonnell Douglas advertising material that promoted the McDonnell Douglas Scorpion. The scorpion was one of the entries in the US Army’s Multi-Purpose Individual Munition (MPIM) competition in the 80s. This (in my opinion) ridiculous weapon weighed more than the gun it was attached to!

Click to enlarge image.

It was obviously not designed by a rifleman.

[ Many thanks to Rufus for emailing me the photo. ]

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.


  • Richie

    Dang, that thing makes the OICW look pretty.
    Not to mention more comfortable lol.

  • Huan

    It’s McDonnell Douglas not McDonald
    They make planes IIRC. and should stick to them….

    • Huan, thanks for the correction.

  • Burst

    A few pics of KAC’s aircraft designs, and my amusement would be complete.

  • zincorium

    I can’t imagine what made them think that was a marketable product. The ergonomics had to have been terrible, it adds a bunch of length to the front of the gun, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks to be a single shot weapon.

  • Sian

    to be fair, it looks like a system that is not on the gun until it is to be used, and is carried like a M-72 LAW until then. Doesn’t do much for the speed of deployment, but it looks like it simply attaches to the bayonet lug and slots back against the magwell.

  • Jim

    Also annoyingly fails to explain just how the munition is fired. Gas launched grenade?

    • Jim, I think its a rocket. Think RPG.

  • thekirk

    When the geniuses who write the solicitations ask for the physically impossible, abortions like this result. No doubt, the original solicitation that this was designed to satisfy read something like “…the weapon will be attachable to the standard rifle…”, and this nightmare is what resulted.

    Anyone who has familiarity with the process that the US military goes through designing Infantry weapons will understand how and why this thing was produced. Hell, look at the history of some of the other “initiatives” that they’ve come up with: My favorite was the “EXFOD”, or EXplosive FOxhole Digger program. The parameters? To safely dig an instant foxhole for a single Infantryman in any soil, and within the same packaging restraints as a Claymore mine, in terms of weight and overall size.

    The Engineer School played with that fantasy for decades, and despite abject failure at it, they’ve never come even close to those parameters, and never will, until someone figures out a new class of energetic materials that are exponentially more powerful than anything we’ve got access to today.

    Crap like this weapon are just indicators that the idiots coming up with these ideas don’t have a friggin’ clue about the real world. The solicitation should have read something like “Get us through a wall relatively safely, and with something easily carried in combat. Oh, and it would be nice if it were multi-purpose…”.

    I think this thing may have resulted from someone trying to respond to a solicitation that was actually designed to procure only the Brunswick RAAWs system, now that I think about it–Which explains a lot. I don’t know why McDonnell-Douglas even tried, though.

  • Chris

    Looks like an under-barrel LAW…

  • Ivan

    Huh, at first look I thought it’s M72…

  • Tyrone Alfonso

    @ Huan

    Actually they USED to make planes. They went under and were eventually bought out. Wonder why…

  • Clodboy

    “Gee, that M203 turned out be a pretty good idea. Now a single soldier can provide all the explosive firepower of an M79 while being able to almost instantly switch to the role of a fully fledged rifleman. We oughta do the same for the M72 LAW.”
    “No problem. Here, we stuck this RPG-thingie to the forend of this M16. It’s got all the firepower of a LAW in a… possibly even bulkier and heavier package. But we’re pretty sure all the weight in front of the barrel might help offset muzzle climb. And just wait till you see our version of the M134 gatling gun for the M16!”

  • Jim

    kirk, how does the EXFOD work (or not)? Just an explosive that sits on the ground?

  • Alan

    “..Sponsored by the US Army Missile Command.”
    Ok that explains it.

  • Alan
  • DJ

    Oh to think, if only Chuck Norris had this in Delta Force…

  • jdun1911

    It’s a long time since I heard the name McDonnell Douglas.