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.


  • Doug

    Very nice. I’ve always wanted to try one of those.

  • J.T.

    All I know is that I want one.

  • Greetings from Texas,
    The closest I have gotten to any of these were a couple of DWATs mounted on M274 Mules. I wasn’t aware of the subcaliber training devices in .22 and 6.5 Carcano. I saw the .30-06 version for sale at a gun show, I think in the 80’s.

    I thought it was neat, but since I didn’t have the recoilless rifle it seemed pointless. I didn’t see the point of MP-40 parts kits either. Live and learn.

  • Laftrick

    I worked with a guy who used these for avalanche control in a ski area. He said they were very accurate and fun to shoot. He said it was no problem to hit within a foot of aiming point from almost a mile.

  • Shootin’ Buddy

    Did someone go into the time machine to Operation Varsity?

  • Lance

    The M-84 Carl Gustav is far more effective being solder fired rather than from a tripod.

  • Thanks for the linky love! The M18A1 is an absolute *hoot* to fire – although with the .30-06 insert, it’s really somewhat of a let-down.

    Thanks so much to Wally for sharing her story, and especially for letting me shoot this piece of history!

  • Brad


    The M-18a1 could be shoulder fired by one man, or fired from a bipod, or from a tripod. Using the tripod the M-18a1 could also be used for very long range indirect fire, though I am unaware of that ever being done in combat. During the Korean War they were typically issued at Company level in U.S. Army Infantry Battalions, three five-man gun teams in each Heavy Weapons Platoon, just as 60mm mortars were issued.

    During some mountain warfare in Korea the 57mm was the most powerful direct fire weapon that could still be manhandled up the mountain while still carrying a useful load of ammunition. In such a role they were invaluable in knocking out enemy fortifications which indirect fire support couldn’t hit.

    The Carl Gustav, particularly in it’s latest incarnation with composite carbon fiber barrel with steel liner, is not very comparable to the M-18a1. The Carl Gustav was always intended as a man portable anti-tank weapon whereas the 57mm was more of a light-artillery general-purpose weapon.

    As such the 57mm has longer range and greater accuracy while firing a projectile of equal weight to the Carl Gustav. The larger caliber of the Carl Gustav though makes HEAT type anti-tank warheads give better penetration of armor plate than the 57mm. The lighter construction of the Carl also means it overheats much faster than the all-steel M-18a1, but overheating isn’t an issue in the anti-tank role of the Carl Gustav because of the limited ammunition load used in that role.

    I can’t help but think the M-18a1 would be very useful today in the Afghan combat theater, especially if given the benefit of modern laser rangefinders and ballistic computer. It certainly seems better suited to a Company level support weapon than the SMAW which the USMC currently uses in that role. I’ve even heard it said that in the field SMAW personnel frequently get farmed out to support other jobs rather than use the SMAW they were trained for.