M67 90mm recoilless rifle back in use

MJM has blogged about the return of the M67 90mm recoilless rifle to active duty

Fans of the 9mm: multiply the caliber by 10. If you like the Judge, and are intrigued by the .338 Lapua Magnum and 50 BMG, ponder the diameter difference. The 90mm recoilless rifle is fired from any ordinary rifle position, man-portable, and truly without recoil. It has been around for about 50 years, was phased out in favor of the disposable weapons of similar mission (mostly anti-tank, anti bunker) some with advanced aiming and control. The M72 LAW, the Dragon, the AT4 came afterward, for example.

I learn today that MJM’s old unit, the 1st of the 506th Infantry (101st Airborne Division) is bringing back the 90mm recoilless rifle.

Being the armchair-Lieutenant that I am, it has been amusing to watch how many obsolete weapons have been brought back into action during the past decade. The M14 is one notable example. Another is the M72 LAW. The Marines should be receiving their first batch of newly manufactured M72A7 LAWs in April.

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.


  • Kevin

    Very interesting. Sometimes the KISS priciple comes into effect. Interesting to me that they are using Flechette rounds. I’d like to know what the effective range of the flechettes are….

  • charles222

    My platoon had LAWs last deployment; the AT4 is just too bulky for dismounting light-infantry, while you can damn near get a LAW into your cargo pocket if you work at it. :p

    Any specific reason why the 101st is reintroducing it? The article didn’t seem to have a particular reason besides ambushes.

  • Chris

    Nice. I too am a former Currahee.

  • jdun1911

    If I remember correctly the M67 is almost 40lbs unloaded. The AT4 comes in about 15lbs loaded. It’s maned by 3 people while AT4 1 person. I guess they want a mobile reusable infantry platform to take out harden bunker/caves. This probably a reaction due to the fact that Close Air Support have been for a lack of better term nerfed in Afghanistan.

  • You’ve just made my day brighter, thanks! =)
    I’ve handled a LAW, once, during my Corporal’s Training, on the Portuguese once-mandatory recruit period.

    Not fired one though, the Portuguese Army hadn’t enough money to spend on that…

    I see Nandy-Pamby Gadgetry is no longer favored in lieu of material that, hum, WORKS!

  • …And take one of these, I’ve read somewhere it detonates on a interrupted thread, add a laser range finder, and a looong thread that’s tailored to the obtained distance, you’ve just replaced that sci-fi, wi-fi, filled with electronics rifle costing N times more…

  • Michael Pham

    Why use a $200000 Javelin missile to destroy a mud brick structure?

    A sensible decision- though I think some effort should be made to lighten it, what with the more modern materials and advancements in metallurgy in the past half century.

  • Juergen

    While the gun doesn’t have recoil, a lot of people recoil from the mere thought of having such a beast go off right next to their ear 😉

    I know a couple of NCOs who said in no uncertain terms they’d refuse any order to fire a Carl Gustaf ever again – and that had “only” 84mm…

  • Aurelien

    I guess portable artillery is a plus when fighting people entrenched behind rocks and in mud houses. The French army was very fond of those recoilless rifles, and made a heavy use of 57mm and 90mm pieces in counter insurrection for a number of years.
    I wonder if the performance is better with modern optics.

    It is not that surprinsing, after all many countries around the world (including SOCOM) still use the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle.

  • Brad

    Interesting news. I’m surprised the DOD still had some these 90mm RR squirreled away. I had assumed they had all been destroyed or given away by now.

    The 90mm M67 was the US Army weapon most comparable to the 84mm Carl Gustav. Both are two-man-team man-portable anti-tank weapons best employed at platoon level. Though I imagine both weapons in actual service were mostly used against non-tank targets.

    I read that the last US Army unit to use this weapon was in Alaska, because the batteries used in the Dragon ATGM (which replaced the M67) weren’t reliable in the cold Alaskan environment.

    When the USMC first decided they needed a weapon like the SMAW, I wonder if they ever considered just using some surplus ex-Army M67 RR for the job. It probably would have been a lot cheaper, and almost as effective. (Though I think an updated M-18a1 57mm would make an even better company level support weapon than either the SMAW or the M67.)

  • Completely unrelated, but good news for any wounded Combatant, soon, you will get a lost ear or a nose…
    3D printed!

  • Thomas

    It is my understanding that the M67 is being deployed largely in response to attacks from bunkered positions. Because of the thick wall mud and stone building techniques used in Afghanistan, and much of the Middle East, rifle rounds, and grenades are ineffective. Wide-spread use of RPGs coupled with the open areas surrounding many buildings in-country make it difficult to assault the position on foot. And, the ruggedness of the terrain precludes the use of armored assault vehicles. Modern anti-tank weapons have proven to be too light to cause significant damage or too heavy, bulky and expensive to carry and use to reduce hardened structures. Air strikes have largely been discontinued and when authorization is obtained, it is usually too late to be of any use.

    Enter the M67 90mm recoilless rifle. It can fire a variety of rounds and packs a sufficient punch to rapidly breech hardened targets from a relatively long range with few rounds. It is man-portable and low-tech. And, it was available.

  • Snackeater

    The Ranger Battallions used the M67 till 1991 when it was replaced by the M3 Carl Gustav, and the M3 is still in their TO&E. They’re ideal for light infantry–plenty of firepower and versatility in a man-portable package. We used to jump with them (not me–the Weapons Platoon mules did–I was a rifleman). And everyone carried two extra rounds for the 90mm (or 60mm for the mortars). And two 200-rd belts of 7.62. In addition to your own basic load. Bullets, water and socks–the rest is optional.

  • Martin (M)

    Being a former nuke trooper, I had to find some very creative ways to get my hands on infantry equipment. You’d be surprised how much ordinance gets squirreled away into the most unusual locations, and is virtually forgotten in lieu of fancier gear. That being said, I always had an appreciation for older/simpler/functional equipment. Dumb equipment that relied on the operator to be smart and versatile.

    Bringing back the 90mmRR makes perfect sense. It’s relatively cheap to use, and gets the job done. I’m hoping this is a turning point that puts a lot of functional weapons back in the hands of capable infantrymen, and leaves the wonder-weapons ready for their unique purpose.

    Just wait and see, though. Some daft bastard will find a way to mount rails, optics, and loads of other silly junk on the M67 and ruin it.

  • anonymous

    M14 is obsolete??? Was not aware of that.

  • TalbotFarwell

    Now for the Brits to bring back the L1A1 SLR!

  • Aurelien

    I guess next move will be the rebirth of the Ontos M50 concept.

  • charles222

    The M14 has alot of design compromises mostly due to the old requirement for it to be capable of full-automatic fire-the Garand receiver that it was based on had to be considerably beefed up, and this made it ungainly and heavier than it honestly had to be.

    Furthermore, battle rifles as a class have been if not obsolete, than obsolescent since the second World War and the German studies that proved that the vast majority of battlefield engagements were at -400 meters and that therefore infantry weapons did not require 1000-m range. Afghanistan does not invalidate that; the majority of the planet is not Afghanistan nor does it feature it’s unique geography.

  • El Duderino

    Looks like the Army re-learned what the USMC never forgot. The USMC SMAW is about half the weight of the much older 90mm recoilless rifle with about the same warhead weight and effective range. Optics for the SMAW are definitely more modern. Although I’m not aware of a flechette round, the SMAW is more geared to anti-fortification and anti-tank. It’s great to see the Army “get simple” and leave some of the more exotic stuff in the armory.

    Army likes complex toys sold by retired generals to current generals.
    Marines like weapons that destroy targets, period, even if cheap and/or ugly.

  • Theodoric

    The M14 was certainly obsolete in its role as a main infantry rifle, which probably is what Steve means. Mind you, all of these formerly obsolete weapons are used in roles quite dissimilar to their originally intended purpose; I personally love that kind of battlefield ingenuity.

  • Lance

    Steve old doesn’t mean its obsolete. The M-14 isn’t obsolete its been used for small niches since the Vietnam war and since Afghanistan bee upgraded and now is a vital part of infantry weapon. Recoiless rifles are needed since they are light weight and can be portable artillery in areas where artillery is too distant to provide support for troops.

    I hope they bring back M-60A1 tanks as well. LOL

    Steve I think too the reason we are bringing back older systems is that with the pentagon budget broke and slashed they relies on older weapons to fill in areas where there no funds to make new weapons, agree?

  • Spiros G.

    M 67 is really heavy…I handled a couple of these a year ago during my military service.We had hundreds of surplus training rounds but I never had the chance to fire this weapon .It’s an unsophisticated weapon system that can take a lot abuse .

  • Snackeater

    Not sure why they’re reissuing the M67 when they’ve got the M3–which in my opinion is far superior to the SMAW–unless there aren’t enough M3’s to go around right now. Whic may be the case because SOCOM uses them exclusively.

  • Rohan

    Back to the future!

    Big Army is so in love with bullshit, camo that doesn’t work (UCP), RAH-66 Comanche and gold plated FCS crap. They have forgotten the basics.

    M67 is one of the heaviest systems around (37.5 lbs) and rapidly over-heats after a few rounds!

    The USMC except for the EFV has shown to be the only practical infantry force in the US. It adopted the SRAW (an Israeli B-300), which beat the old heavy 1964 M2 Carl Gustav in the original competition. The M2 also weights 35 lbs.

    After losing the SRAW comp’, SAAB was pissed and designed a new weapon, the M3. The M3 has a carbon fiber reinforced barrel and weights 20 lbs. Half the weight of a M67.

    Rangers grabbed it (their not BIG Army) and developed their own ammo.

    Multi-purpose (MT 756)
    Flechette (ADM 401)
    Thermobaric (ASM 509)
    Airburst (HE 441D)
    Penetrator (HEDP 502),
    Tandem (HEAT 751)
    Smoke (SMOKE 469C)


    Every infantry platoon needs a M3 with a thermal sight, and move the Javelins up to company level. Forget the XM-25.

  • Some Guy

    “If you get ambushed, here is this nuclear 10 megaton atom bomb for back-up”.

    Looks like the military is catching on to what the soldiers want.

  • Sean Ingram

    I was with the 1/75th Ranger Battalion and the weapons platoon carried those things. The back-blast dug a trench behind them when they were fired. A truly awesome and timeless weapon that served effectively in Grenada and Iraq.

  • ik

    The reason for some many ‘discarded’ weapons coming back is that Iraq and Astan are static wars. Resupply for niche capabilities/weapons is much easier.

    Presumably the M67 are replacing TOWs and Javelins. Article says purely defensive weapon for FOBs.

  • kml

    Airburst 84mm M3 recoilless would be very useful.

  • pro

    I am with Rohan 100% about the use of 1 (such a) weapon in every infantry platoon -operated by a 3 man crue (more ammo)- but my favorite would be the RPG32 .

    The older weapons (M67 or M2 carl gustafs ) , could be caried by light/medium/heavy vehicles and deployed if/when they are needed .

    2-3 M72 LAWs could be carried around by every fire-team .

    I dont agree about ditching the XM25s , but i dont know about the level (or number of systems per level) they should be deployed . I guess experience from active deployment will answer that question .

    ps. In my mind i have enhanced platoons of 40-50 warriors and not old NATO standard platoons of 30 or so .

  • Bill Lester

    If FB regular “Andy in CT” is who I think he may be, I’d like to get his opinion on this. To me it appears to be a very good idea considering the ROE for airstrikes and indirect artillery.

    One thing immediately came to mind when I read this article. I bet a couple of M67’s with the flechette canister rounds would’ve been VERY welcome at Wanat.

  • aeronathan

    “Big Army is so in love with bullshit, camo that doesn’t work (UCP), RAH-66 Comanche and gold plated FCS crap. They have forgotten the basics.”

    Having a little first hand knowledge, Comanche would have worked had it not been for mission requirements creep.

    For the light armed scout role it was originally intended for, it would have been fantastic.

    When the brass decided that light armed scout wasn’t good enough and that they needed “stealthy Apache.” Suddenly you go from needed a very limited amount of “low tech” weaponry like 2.75″ rockets, to needing a dozen plus hellfires and the associated support equipment. The end result was a beast of a machine that was ridiculously overweight.

    Just to give you an idea, I’ve seen one of the access panels on a Comanche opened up before. So much wiring and other crap was crammed in so tight, that when you opened the panel, a big wad of wiring spaghetti popped out like something in a cartoon…..

  • Komander M

    It has always been my belief that there was place for RR’s and saw them used in various ways in the conflict in former Yugoslavia. They are an excellent light direct fire artillery weapon. Only drawback to their mobility is the size and weight of the shells, but for use in areas that are hard to access for heavy guns they are great and can be transported and supplied by light vehicles or choppers. Nice to see the Marines thinking out side of the box.

  • Rohan

    @ aeronathan

    Is “mission requirements creep” code for gold plating?

    Ever heard of KISS.

    Why use a $1000 shell when you can use a $100,000 Javelin.

  • charles222

    Because the Javelin will actually self-guide to the target and is virtually impossible to miss with?

    The Comanche’s mission requirement creep was basically due to the Army feeling that their entire attack-aviation fleet was getting obsolete in the face of modern air defense. At the time of the original proposal, the Air Land Battle doctrine called for use of Army attack aviation in a deep-strike role. Against well, basically anybody with decent SAMs or fighters, the Apache would be dog meat. The Comanche was designed to address this problem.

  • Jeff88

    Why not using the lighter Carl Gustav?

  • Rohan

    @ Charles222

    With a Carl you can fire 1000 times for one Javelin.

    A single Javelin maybe smart, but it only has a single (tandem) warhead. That might kill 2-3 in a cluster, but against a group of 20 that’s still 4-5 Javelins.

    Remember one javelin missile weights 26lb, 35lbs in the tube and 14lbs for the CLU.
    3 soldiers with 3 missiles is 119 lbs.

    M3 Carl weights 19lbs + 3 for a FLIR / laser ranger (22lbs).
    HE441D Airburst weights 8lbs, 9lbs in its case.
    For 121lbs you get 11 rounds.

    With Airburst you could of had a defilade weapon 20 years ago. IE during Gulf war 1.

    Also the Isrealis now has “mini-spike”, a mini-me Javelin like weapon.
    Cheaper, lighter, maybe not as smart as spike. But you get more kills for your buck!

    As for Comanche,
    Shealth on a helo is a joke,
    It grew to nearly the size of an Apache,
    The technology ended up in the Apache,

    Just buy upgraded Apache!

    “In one engagement on 24 March 2003, 31 Apaches were damaged, and one Apache was shot down and captured by Iraqi troops near Karbala”.

    That was by small arms only!!!!! Your Comanche would fair no better.

  • Lance


    The Cal Gustov is only used by Army units. The M-67 is US A and USMC standerd. Its cheaper and more destructive than a Javelin or AT4 or M-72 LAW. Unlike modern missiles snad and dust dosnt make a M-67 malfuntion or misjetision a rocket. The M-67 also has a larger warhead than a Gustove 90mm vs 84mm. Alot more effective aginst soft targets than tanks the Carl Gustov and its rocket counter parts are ment fore.

  • Rohan

    @ Lance.

    Is there really a insignificant difference?

    M67 (M371A1) HEAT projectile is 3.06 kg, 0.78 kg charge Comp B at 213m/s to 400 meters. It penetrates 350mm.

    The old 70’s Carl HEAT 551C had a 2.7 kg projectile 0.5 kg charge, but also includes 0.3 kg of rocket fuel to push the round to 330m/s and 700 meters. It penetrates 400mm.

    Carl projectile is lighter (12% approx) but with 50% higher speed and 75% greater range.

    The newer Carl HEAT 751 is 2.9 kg, tandem, has 551C speed and 500mm penetration behind ERA.

    Has the 90mm really has a better warhead Lance?

    The M67 can one round every 6 seconds for 5 rounds only. Then you have to wait 15 minutes for it to cool down.

    The 84mm 3.1 kg 441D Airburst has a range of 1200 meters, around since the 70’s.

    The XM-25 throws 0.2 kg 700 meters, maybe in service by 2014.


    Can your Javelin fire flechette? Carl can and is in production now.

    Can your Javelin fire Thermobaric? Carl can and is in production now.
    The Australian Army has ASM 509.

    Is Javelin smarter than Carl, Hell yes.

    But with Javelin you need 15 seconds to cool the missile and the you need to acquire a good contrast to lock on to (fun at thermal cross-over or enemy hiding in rocks with little contrast). Also remember Javelin even in direct mode flies up to 10 meters attacking at the minimum 65 meter range, up to 20 meters for 500 meter targets. Prey that they aren’t under trees. (FM 3.22×37).

    Under 500 meters and non-armoured targets, Carl is street wise!

    Big Army “borrowed” SRAWs during Gulf War 1.
    Rangers use M3, why not big army?

    19 lbs vs 37.5 lbs, it’s your back.




  • Rohan

    And before everybody jumps down my throat.

    Carl’s rate of fire from the Canadian Army Manual states;

    Rate of Fire.The maximum rate of fire is five rounds per minute with the high explosive dual purpose (HEDP) ammo and six rounds per minute
    with the high explosive antitank rocket-assisted projectile (HEAT RAP) and target practice rocket-assisted projectile (TP RAP) round.


    Carl uses Octol. The M-67 uses WW2 Comp-B


    “The applications of Octol are generally military e.g. shaped charges and warheads used in guided missiles and submunitions. Octol is somewhat more expensive than RDX-based explosives, such as Composition B and Cyclotol. The advantage of Octol is that it significantly reduces the size and weight of the explosive charge required. These are important considerations where smart weapons such as guided missiles are concerned. A light (but effective) warhead means a superior power to weight ratio. This in turn results in a higher velocity missile with a longer range and shorter flight time. As a result, the target has less opportunity to recognise and evade the attack”.

  • Martin (M)

    As others have said, simpler is better. The drive for more wonder weapons has pushed too many traditional weapons to the margins, and seriously hurt doctrine.

    Bring back the Ontos! How many decades is the US military going to fool around with the idea of an armored gun system? Sure the M50 Ontos was simple, cheap, and ugly, but it got the job done. Enemy=Dead, that should be the only goal (outside of legal and treaty limitations). Sure a Javelin makes them dead, but with a price-tag that makes troops apprehensive to use them because of supply limitations.

    RPGs do a lot of destruction, not because they’re high-tech, but because they are functional and cheap. Cheap means plentiful, and that results in the enemy launching them at anything and everything, even shooting down helicopters.

    RRs are so cool, you can even mount them on a Vespa scooter.

  • Lance

    Yes the Carl shoots a faster more penatraztive round. This would be fine aginst tanks in a convetional war. BUT thats not the case they are useing it on soft targets aginst rebals so the high explosive larger diameter rounds of the M-67 is better on soft targets.

  • Rohan

    @Martin (M)

    Big RCLs have been replaced by missiles for infantry and guns for light vehicles.

    Ontos had fixed weapons and had to traverse the whole vehicle to fire. Try that on an A-stan mountain road or a Iraq back alley. Slow 30mph. The spotting rifle were not ballistically the same beyond 1500 yds. The RCL are reloaded from the outside. The ammo is unbelievably heavy for the projectile (14.5kg total/ 8kg HEAT projectile),with back-blast that is dynamite.

    If you like little 8 ton AFV, the Scorpion CVR(T) is also gasoline (but now can be diesel), 45mph, has a 360 traverse turret and with a 76mm gun that still fires a 5.5 Kg HESH round at 530 m/s, plus canister, HE or smoke.

    With a Mecar / Cockerill Mk3 M-A1 90mm gun you get APDSFS at 1400 m/s and 180mm penetration at 1Km, 150mm at 2Km. Flat trajectory, no backblast, troops are safe behind the vehicle. Add HESH and canister you have a nice little package a Chinook can lift and leave on a A-stan peak, like Wanat.


  • Rohan

    Hey Lance, do you actually read others blogs or look at the links??

    The 84mm 3.1 kg 441D Airburst has a range of 1200 meters, around since the 70′s.

    Actually 3.2 Kg full of explosive, octol, not a HEAT warhead half empty. The burst radius is 30 meters.

    “For combating troops in the open, behind cover or in slit trenches as well as soft-skinned vehicles and similar types of targets the 84 mm HE 441D has a special feature – it can be set to impact detonation or air burst.

    The 84 mm HE 441D’s shell body is made of steel with inserts of rubber, containing some 800 steel pellets, enclosing the HE charge. When the round detonates the steel pellets are ejected to form an evenly
    distributed, highly lethal cloud.

    The shell is spin stabilised and fitted with a mechanical impact
    fuze, which detonates on the target. The time mode produces an
    air burst above the target at the required range.”

    “so the high explosive larger diameter rounds of the M-67 is better on soft targets.”

    Lance, there is no HE or airburst round for the M-67, is the m-67 truly better?

  • Rohan


    HE441D uses Comp B, SOCOM is changing to PBXN-110 (HE441D RS).


    84mm HE441D total is 3.2 kg, 2.3 kg projectile but still 0.8 kg of explosive.

    90mm M371A1 HEAT total is 4.2 kg, 3.1kg projectile but still 0.8 kg of explosive.

    Is bigger smarter or just heavier?


  • Brad


    The Ontos served the USMC well as an infantry support weapon in Vietnam. It had the great virtues of cheapness, which made it available in useful numbers, and off-road mobility which allowed it to be used in terrain impassible to heavier armored vehicles.

    Bringing a similar capability back today would be a sound idea, but that does not mean bringing back a clone of the Ontos. The ONTOS guns were not fixed, the six 106mm RCL guns were mounted on a lightweight turret with limited traverse. Such an arrangement was intended to maximize firepower in the role of a tank destroyer. Replacing each of the four outboard 106mm with a .50 caliber MG would have been more useful in an infantry support role.


    A turreted tank like the Scorpion is expensive overkill for the infantry support role. Better for the job is something tiny and extremely portable like a Wiesel mounting a 106mm RCL gun (with a modern laser rangefinder, night vision and fire control system). That would permit gun elevation and depression that no turreted tank could ever match, just perfect for supporting infantry in mountain warfare against elusive guerrillas.


  • pro

    The modern Ontos as i imagine it , would be a ground Apache . 12.7 mm gun , 0-12 Hellfire , 48-0 hydra . 6 canisters on each side , that could except 1 hellfire or 4 hydras inside disposable tubes , each , at any combination . Other missiles smaller than a hellfire and bigger than a hydra , or UAVS , or anti-mine cartridges , or flechete cartridges or whatever could be created . Very complexed and expensive but a multi tool for the commander .

    Of course now , we have automatic 120mm mortars in turrets , with direct fire ability , questionable in the ant-tank role . Could be used in conjuction with other mobille anti tank weapons .

    The simplest and cheapest thing , would be the use of a M40 like weapon in a 4×4 vehicle , the old school way . I am 100% behind this solution .

    I like the Scorpions and the weasels . They could(should) be used in many roles by modern armies , but the bigger designs attract more publicity

  • pro

    Non-quided weapons in large numbers and especially recoilless rifles like the m67/m40/m84/rpg32 (or RPGs) , and munitions like the law or simmilar (in mobille or static platforms or man-portable) are indispensable in the modern battlefield .

  • Rohan


    Super elevating a RCL is not a pleasant experience. The backblast bounces off the ground behind, digging holes and spraying rocks into everything including the firer. On mountain roads firing outwards the backblast bounces of road cuttings and will kill the crew.

    The rate of fire is slow and the backblast is many times more and in addition to the normal muzzle blast. A scorpion 90’s rate of fire equals that of 6 RCLs, and no pause for reloading. M40 real rate of fire is only 2-3 rounds per minute. Dust from backblast blocks your view after the each shot.

    90mm will hit as hard and can had stabilization.

    “A turreted tank like the Scorpion is expensive overkill for the infantry” support role.

    Remember the Falklands, the Brits took Wombat 120 RCL and never used them. After Goose Green the British used Scorpion as much as possible.

  • Lance

    You dont need air bursts for the type of fighting in Afghanistain. Unless in a major attack the terrorist dont group into big bundles for a airburst to kill all of them, less they are making a major attack somewhere. The M-67 is for takeing out enemy morter pist and a MG nest. Dont need high tech for that.

  • Juergen

    There once was a proposal for a weapons turret to be mounted on Humvees – it was called “Crossbow”.

    Basically it was two weapon stations from an attack helo with a mast-mounted sensor pod in the middle… You could use the same ordnance like the choppers used, FFAR, Hellfire, TOW…

    Don’t recall why it was binned – saw pictures of it in the mid 90s

  • Brad


    Re: highly elevated RCL fire

    In the application I suggested, a RCL 106mm on a Wiesel armored vehicle, debris from firing would not be harmful to the crew since the crew would be under armor when firing.

    In addition to that, in many circumstances in mountain warfare when the gun is super elevated there may not be any ground in the direct path of the backblast anyway.

    Re: 90mm gunned Scorpion

    The recoil from overgunned light vehicles is something frightening to see. I’ve heard that the US Army experienced all kinds of difficulty during the development of the 105mm Assault Gun variant of the Stryker armored vehicle. Supposedly the vehicle would tip over when the gun was fired to the side of the vehicle!

    Now imagine such fire when the vehicle is perched on the precarious footing of a narrow and poorly made mountainside road.

    Re: Wombat in Falklands

    As I recall, because of the limited size of the amphibious force the British assembled combined with combat losses at sea, the vehicles for logistic support of ground units were limited to movement of the 105mm artillery guns and ammunition. Forcing all the rest of the British forces to move on foot! I’m not surprised if the heavy 120mm RR were left behind in such circumstances.

  • Rohan

    @ Lance

    “You dont need air bursts for the type of fighting in Afghanistain”.

    Then why bother with the XM-25?

    The Carl HE441D has an impact fuse too. (did you read the blog?)

    This round is a 1970’s round and has a mechanical 1970’s fuse. If that’s high tech, then what’s low tech, throwing a house brick?

    You have a package half the weight of a m67, multiply round types, not just HEAT and Flechette, and a system that doesn’t overheats rapidly as the M67.

    American Rangers and SEALs use it, over the M67. What’s the problem?

  • Lance

    The XM-25 can attack both with airburst and direct hit capilbilities. The Carl Gustov sia great weapon and its great we use it. Im saying it uses lesser amout of explseive so on soft targets dose less damage. The US hasnt bought very many Carls either making the numericly superiror M-67 more plasable to use, in large numbers.

  • Rohan


    “Im saying it uses lesser amout of explseive so on soft targets dose less damage.”

    As I have already written above,

    “84mm HE441D total is 3.2 kg, 2.3 kg projectile but still 0.8 kg of explosive.

    90mm M371A1 HEAT total is 4.2 kg, 3.1kg projectile but still 0.8 kg of explosive”.

    Which part 1.75 lb / 0.8 Kg is bigger than 1.75 lb 0.8 Kg???

    The HE 441D has a pre-fraged warhead, is all explosive, airburst or impact and not a thin skinned impact only HEAT shell.

    In Vietnam M67 never left base. Just too heavy. The Australians used M67 in Vietnam at the fire base during the Battle of Coral in ’68.

    Yes there is a pile of old ammo there, but I would not be keen firing 30-40 year old left over rounds. M67 heat up real quick and rapid fire with old ammo is a very bad combination.

    If you can’t carry the weapon to the battle, or keep up sustained defensive fire, what’s the point.

  • Lance

    @ Rohan

    You keep saying the defeicnacys of the 90mm round back in the 60s but mabye they will upgrade the round for future use with modern explosives.

  • Bill Lester

    With respect to an infantry support weapon why not dust off the M-163?

    *6-barrel 20mm Vulcan firing @ 3000 rpm puts a lot of lead on target

    *each M56A3/A4 HE-I round produces casualties within a 2m radius

    *full 360-degree coverage via a powered turret

    *excellent mobility via the well proven M-113-based chassis

    *defensive armor easily upgraded with known systems

    *proven in ground combat by the U.S. and Israel (maybe others as well)

    *paid for decades ago

  • Rohan

    @ Lance.

    “You keep saying the defeicnacys of the 90mm round back in the 60s but mabye they will upgrade the round for future use with modern explosives.”

    Firstly the perforated shell system of the M67 uses is well known for running hot and rapidly overheating. You can’t change that in the M67.

    The M3 carl is 19 lb, the M67 is 37 lbs. It would take a total redesign of the M67 to cut weight. The carl works now, why would you bother?

    M67 ammo is out of production and they are using old stocks. You are going to have to design new rounds, test and then start production. The carl in production now, why would you bother?

    The M3 is in service with Army and Navy SOCOM. The manuals are written, the ammo already up-graded from Swedish to US standards, safe for ships, etc. Army could use it TODAY! Marines could too (via Navy) if required.

    The Marines dumped the M67 in 1984 for MK 153 SMAW. It weighs a combined 30 lbs, 17 lbs for the launcher, 13 lbs for the HEAA rocket or 14 lbs for the HEDP).

    SMAW 2 launcher was to be 40% lighter, ie 10.5 lbs. But there is an advantage to SMAW 2. It can be adapted for Confined Space /Fire from Enclosure (ie water or plastic counter shot) but at weight cost.



    “The design submitted in April 2009 weighed about 33 pounds when loaded with the new FFE round, which is designed to use “soft-launch” technology in which the main rocket ignites after it has been ejected from the launcher. That was 3 pounds over weight. The contractors have since combined to develop a system in which the launcher weighs 11.7 pounds and the FFE round 18 pounds, Katzaman said.”


    Carl is heavier (19lbs), but ammo is much lighter (9 lbs per round in shipping case). Carl weights 27 lbs loaded, but no FFE.

    It all depends on want you want. An old slow heavy system, spend years and millions upgrading keeping old faults or a modern in production ready system.

    Carl Vs SMAW. Forget M67.

  • Rohan

    @ Brad.

    Wiesel is already equipped with 152mm RCL; it’s called BGM-71 TOW. It’s accurate to 3750 meters and the 5.9kg HEAT is not far off the 8kg 106mm RCL and in US production.

    Scorpion is tracked and only 7 ft tall, 7 ft wide. 8 tonnes
    The 76mm fire 5kg HESH at 530m/s, the 90mm just a fatter HESH round at the same weight and speed.

    Stryker is wheeled and 9ft tall, 9ft wide. 16 tonnes
    The 105mm fire a 11.5kg HESH at 723m/s.

    3x the muzzle impulse, on a vehicle only twice the weight and nearly 30% taller on soft wheels. No wander Stryker falls over!

    Brad, you undermine your own augment. The Wombat RCL was left behind because it was too heavy. Milan did the job, man packed.

    Scorpion could go places a pack carrying soldier couldn’t, its ground pressure is lower. It spreads its weight over a larger area than a wheel vehicle and has better traction, great for crappy roads. It does need a vehicle to move it around. It carries its own main gun ammo and MGs, under full armour.

    Rapid fire and full traverse, not Ontos +/- 20 degrees slow moving slow reloading huge backblast system.

    By the end of the war the Brits wished they had more Scorpions.

  • Lance

    With new charges and explosives the M-67 can its also more plasable and cheaper than SMAW, LAW, AT-4 for point defnce in a none tank Enviroment. Is the Carl better? probably yes but one no one makes them anymore and the few we have are used by Army units only NOT USMC. And two we have lots of surplus RCLs in storage.

    its economics not a whats better test.

  • Rohan

    @ Lance,

    “Is the Carl better? probably yes but one no one makes them anymore”

    What are you smoking??????

    The Australian Army just bought new M3 Carls last year.


    STOCKHOLM (BNS): Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract for components to the Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system.

    “This is very positive and it further proves the capability of the Carl-Gustaf system which until now has been exported to more than 40 customers around the world,” Tomas Samuelsson, Head of business area Dynamics within Saab, said in an official news release”.

    Saab will deliver the weapon system during 2010-2011.


  • Lance

    @ Rohan

    The US Army uses older M2s sorry they only make M3s now. And the US is NOT buying more M3s they just arnt for they use the M-67 instead. I dont know why you get emotonal about this we are just haveing a polite debate.

    Are you Aussies always this mad?

  • Laftrick

    Simple question from a simpleton.

    Why not update the bazooka or homegrow an I-RPG. cheap, light, ubiquitous and effective. Make a 2.75 inch carbon fibre bazooka, it would weigh a few pounds and the modern arsenal could have very improved projectiles. Or simply introduce our own versions of RPG rockets. The need is for them to be so cheap our guys can use them easily and without fear of running out. They need to light enough a squad can carry plenty.

    I just see to many NASA engineers addressing stone age issues. I do not see us fighting a very sophisticated military in the near future. I do see us fighting stone aged irregulars armed with AKs and RPGs for the next fifty years.

    A six pound bazooka tube firing six pound rockets will serve our boys veery nicely.

  • Rohan


    Aussie are laid back and relaxed, but we hate folks who make things up.

    I never said the Marines used M3 (I said if).

    I never said the US Army should buy M3 (they have it already) but it has significant advantages over M67.

    M67 is heavy, slow firing and ammo old and basic.

    And I hate to burst you bubble but Rangers and Socom use M3 RAAWS / MAAWS

    Which part of M3 don’t you understand???




    Do I have to get the contract specs before you believe me?

  • Rohan

    @ Lance
    “The US Army uses older M2s sorry they only make M3s now.”

    Do you read others blogs??

    Snackeateron 22 Feb 2011 at 3:53 am link comment
    The Ranger Battallions used the M67 till 1991 when it was replaced by the M3 Carl Gustav, and the M3 is still in their TO&E. They’re ideal for light infantry–plenty of firepower and versatility in a man-portable package. We used to jump with them (not me–the Weapons Platoon mules did–I was a rifleman). And everyone carried two extra rounds for the 90mm (or 60mm for the mortars). And two 200-rd belts of 7.62. In addition to your own basic load. Bullets, water and socks–the rest is optional.

  • Rohan

    “The US Army uses older M2s sorry they only make M3s now.”

    “The May 2001 contract between the US Army and Saab Bofors Dynamics provided unit prices of USD10,802 for the M3 gun, …”


  • Lance

    Mabie they upgraded so your right, BUT its only SOCM units who use it. And the M-67 was for regular troops.

  • Rohan

    Mabie they didn’t upgraded and you didn’t read Snackeateron’s blog.

    Not mabie your were wrong but only caved in under mountain of evidence.

    Only 1/506 confirmed using it. Interesting to see if its just one battalion in the US Army.

  • Tony

    berlin brigade vet here the 90 can be fired at close range as well don’t have to have the standoff distance for the round to arm so if a suprise target shows up you can deal with it wherever you already are,