Neopup 20mm vs. Door, Truck & Wall

The 20mm semi-automatic grenade launching Denel Neopup PAW-20 remains one of the weapons I would most love to get my hands on. Unlike the XM25 and simular airbirst grenade launcher, the Neopup is a direct fire weapon. In other words, you aim at your target and pull the trigger.

The first 1:30 minutes of this video is old material, after that it is new video footage of the Neopup being tested against doors, a truck and some brick walls.



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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  • Alaskan

    which video game franchise/first person shooter is gonna have this badass weapon in it I wonder…?

  • Simon_The_Brit

    That has a fearsome ‘kick’ to it, not something you want to fire many rounds through. Which ever end of the weapon you’re at it’s going to make your eyes water !!!

  • kvalseth

    What is that piano piece? I should know this…

  • This gun was included in the 2009 SF fim, ‘District 9’ (along with lots of other hardware).

    There’s even a web page devoted to the vast range of weaponry included, here: http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=District_9

  • Allen

    Dumb idea

    Too low of velocity to utilize the 20MM AP rounds to there fullest. Its only 1010 FPS energy is only 3500ft pounds and the 20MM bullet cannot carry near as much HE as a 40MM from like a M203. Bullet drop is really bad with this round like 5 meters at 300 meters from the muzzle. It would be better to develope special 12 gauge round. Because even a 12GA slug shoots flatter than this round.

    So too slow to be a AP
    Not a big enough bullet to carry enough HE

    =

    Reason why no one is interested in this design.

  • Máté

    Is this better than 12 gauge explosive rounds for shotguns?

  • Sorry, but it is not so impressive, even in this factory video.

    High recoil, low explosive charge.

    Against the truck it was pathetic. A conventional 7,62 mm NATO machine gun is much more effective on these distances/targets.

  • Allen

    No not at all and its so slow that it doesnt penetrate good. The 20MM round is heavier than most any other anti material round out there save for like the 950JDJ, BUT its AP use with this shorten round is not comparible to any anti material round even a 12GA slug due to the super low velocity and the low energy because of the velocity. Yes its a heavy bullet but with such low velocity its thick jacket and its high BC will make it a bouncer round.

    You will see they shoot mild steel only, wood, sheet metal and all at close range. As for a point shoot gun yea sure at 50 meters but with a 5 foot drop at 300 meters I would hardly call that point shooting.

    YES its flatter than a 40MM but the 40MM carries more HE.

    There is a way to sell this weapon very well but its not my job to help them LOL are they hiring?

  • Martin (M)

    Plus you’ve got that absurd grip and magazine layout.

    Sure, it’ll shoot through metal drums, car doors, and plywood, but so will .223 and .30.

  • Bruce Lueckenhoff

    typo alert:
    s/simular/similar/

  • With that music in the background I kept expecting Dieter to jump out and cry “This is the time on sprockets when we dance!”

  • Maverick Moore

    Those are TINY. That’s gonna be some limited utility

  • y3k23k

    @kvalseth its chopin i belive its one of the etudes
    personally i see the gepard lynx as a much more effective weapon. first of all the operator only needs to be familier with a bullpup layout to adapt to the system. its a .50bmg so there really is no loss of power i mean it will obviously penetrate doors and walls much better at 300m than a low velocity 20mm will. the recoil isnt nearly as much but i guess on paper the neopup 20 sounds cool. a 20mm modular grenade/small munitions launcher aka blowing stuff up while you blow stuff up.

  • Ewan

    The piano piece is Chopin….

  • Big Daddy

    Good idea but poor ammunition. Not enough velocity to make those small rounds effective. That’s why the new 25mm XM-25 and other similar 20mm weapons have airburst ammo. It also needs some type of recoil reduction.

    I like the idea, but the ammo is what is limiting the concept. The M32 40mm grenade launcher is a much better choice and a 7.62mm GPMG will tear apart any light vehicle with a few short bursts. In fact a full or semi auto 50 cal AR-15 like the Beowulf and .458 SOCOM will do more damage taking out the engine easily and the vehicles inhabitants.

    The new eastern European bullpup 50 cal anti material rifles look way more effective, with less recoil.

    I wouldn’t give up on the design. It’s all about adding a higher explosive charge to the round and some type of specialized Ammo for higher penetration. If that can be done it will make this system viable and an inexpensive way to lay some heavy suppressive fire against targets. But as it stand now it is ineffective. Although I would not want to be on the receiving end of this weapon. The person firing it does have a lot of visibility so it’s who hits whom first.

    Whatever happened to the FRAG 12 ammunition? And that full auto low recoil shotgun? Those things disappear fast once they are fully tested in a combat environment. They look cool but the reality is that they are not that capable as compared to weapons we already have. It’s hard to beat a good old 7.62 cal GPMG for destructive force and the 40mm grenade working together.

  • Paul

    Looks pathetic if you ask me.

    Recoils all over the place
    Un-Ergonomic
    Poor effect – My gran could punch bigger holes through a thin steel door + most of the effect is on the impact side not on the inside where you’d want the frag effect
    Doesn’t look that accurate – Window hit on the car door 1st shot

    I could go on but I can’t be arsed watching anymore of this crap

    Toodle pip peeps

    C

  • No argument that a 40mm LV grenade launcher like the 6-shot M32 is more destructive and more versatile and that a Barrett or something in .50 BMG will have far more penetration (but the gun also weighs several times as much and is huge by comparison). However, the PAW 20 fits half-way in between the two in performance; in muzzle velocity, projectile weight and effective range, and makes a fairly compact and manageable package.

    It can be difficult with an entirely new concept like this to work out how much use it might be in combat. I suspect that it might prove more useful than some posters here think, but the only sure way is to give some to soldiers engaged in combat and see what they think of them.

  • seryoga

    All the critics is weak.

    watch 0:58 sec of the 1st part – distance aprx. 300 meters – hit the drum. Who did say 5 feet drop at 300 meter?

    7.62 mm machine gun wouldn’t hit a drum with 10 or even 5 successive bullets at 300 meters. PAW-20 does the job with a single shell while weighing about a half of the fully loaded 7.62 machine gun.

    2nd part shows the difference between SAPHEI with after-barrier fragmentation and HEI with on-target fragmentation. Pls be attentive.

    AP rounds are available too for APC and helicopters.

    Recoil is hard but the peak recoil is dumped into the butt and grenades go off straight (I believe). BTW you can’t shoot 7.62 auto from your hands at all.

    The weapon boasts to replace machine guns and even rifles. It’s not intended to be a hard penetrator of armor or thick walls.

    To prove the perfect or not weapon the manufacturer needs to show:
    1. fragmentation effect (fair 2 meter lethal radius at least)
    2. accuracy at 300 and 500 meters. Let it be with optics! Maximum 1000 meters is interesting too.

  • Allen

    Its around 1,010 feet per second with a 1500 grain bullet. i’ve been manufacturing ammunition for years and have many charts and computer programs its 4-5 meters at 300 directly from the muzzle sure you may be able to sight in at 100 and lower that to 3.5 meters but thats it man.

    Its too slow and therefore does not have enough energy and with a small amount of HE it a direct hit is all you can do. With 3 meters of drop even a direct hit at 300 meters will be tough, especailly at up and down angles of fire.

    The manufactures allows does 3 things with this product in there advertising.

    A. not list the energy which is only 3500ftlbs hardly even half way to anti material rounds.

    B. compare the bullet drop to a 40mm which they carry much more HE with less recoil and barrel pressure.

    C. They list bullet drop at 300 meters BUT do not list if this drop is from sighting in a at 200 or 100 meters. Because the round is so slow if you were to sight in at 200 meters close shots whould then be very tough to make. And with only a little amount of HE and a bullet too slow to have good AP effectivness accuracy is VERY important.

    • Allen, grenades deliver chemical energy to a target, not kinetic energy as with a bullet. It does not need to be fast.

  • Seryoga

    Allen, I hope Steve gave you an important note. Then essential points are which I mentioned: fragmentation effect + accuracy. I’m sorry to have misuderstanded you term bullet drop. All the sights are said to be “accurately calibrated”, what’s then a problem?

    As for AP round its effectiveness is in question. I heard a story from a marine as if somebody accidentally launched M72 (old type) into APC where a soldier was sitting with an open hatch. The shell just burned a hole in the guy’s boot but he didn’t lose his leg 🙂

  • The manufacturer’s website is here: http://www.neopup.co.za/ and the brochure can be downloaded from here: http://www.neopup.co.za/Paw%20A4%20web.pdf

    As far as the trajectory compared with the 40mm LV grenade is concerned, the brochure contains the following statement:

    “The midrange trajectory of the 40mm at 300 metres is 26 metres vertex, the 20x42B is only 1.28 metres. Time of flight: 40mm – 4.66 sec, 20mm – 1.025 sec.”

    That adds up to a huge difference in hit probability.

  • Allen

    Yes Steve, but due to the low velocity the energy is very low for a 1500 grain bullet its only 3500 ft per second. I understand kenetic energy BUT due to the shape of the bullet and the weight this low velocity takes the bullet out of balance even in terms of kenetic energy. Like a 45-70,50-90 or what ever heavy projectal round, these old school rounds do have low velocity the bullet profile performs well due to the weight and sectional density in comparsion to the velocity.

    Basicly I’m saying, Because of the spitzer bullet design of the 20MM deflection on hard targets will happen lot.

    Bullet flight time is much improved over a 40MM but at 300 meters given that muzzle velocity is only 1000 feet per second down at 300 it would be slow low and the energy even lower.

    So accuracy could be improved over a 40mm BUT not even close to even a 7.62×39 with its crap trajectory. At the end of the day all this is a moot point because what will such a slow bullet do on target at 300 meteres anyway, becide have a good chance of deflecting. Especially if it contains little HE and is too slow to have a great effect in AP roles, plus will not be nearly as easy to hit at 300 meters compared to a rifle or BMG round.

    I’m not saying it dont have a place in mordern warfare but not at all in the roles stated by the manufacture.

    Thanks

  • seryoga

    Who can ague this or reply anything? what is there about the accuracy in real? And how practical this round could be on a battle field? The manufacturer is still staging its demos at 50 meter distance..

  • Allen

    The manufacture is staging demos at 50 meters because of the low velocity and energy of the round. Because if they did stage it at 200-300 meters all of what I said will happen, look what I said is ballistic fact.

    That said there are many uses for the Neopup but I dont think Denel understands them, what a shame.

  • Seryoga

    Steve, let me come back to this old discussion. PMP published exact 20×45 data for the first time. See at pmp.co.za.
    SAPHEI penetration is 6mm armor at 100 meter for 20×45 and it’s 15mm for 20×82 cartridge. The projectile is the same for both! Then a velocity thus a distance does make difference. Not chemical energy only?

  • Seryoga

    Steve, let me come back to this old discussion. PMP published exact 20×45 data for the first time.
    SAPHEI penetration is 6mm armor at 100 meter for 20×45 and it’s 15mm armor for 20×82 cartridge. The projectile is the same for both! Then a velocity thus a distance does make difference. Not chemical energy only?

  • Seryoga

    Steve, let me come back to this old discussion. PMP published exact 20×42 data for the first time.
    SAPHEI penetration is 6mm armor at 100 meter for 20×42 and it’s 15mm armor for 20×82 cartridge. The projectile is the same for both! Then a velocity thus a distance does make difference. Not chemical energy only?

    • The SAPHEI projectile relies entirely on kinetic energy for penetration. It is fitted with a delayed-action fuze which is designed to detonate the HEI contents after penetration.

      • Seryoga

        Tony, then how can you explain the pic of SAPHEI penetration of 3mm steel sheet at http://neopup.co.za? The manufacturer seems to boast with how SAPHEI tears off large holes in a steel sheet with its explosive effect. May be they rely on the explosioin power rather than kinetic energy for a low velocity cartridge?

      • As far as I know they use exactly the same projectiles as the 20×82 ammo for the Vektor GA-1 cannon (a copy of the Mauser MG 151/20). Maybe the lower velocity means that they can’t penetrate as far before exploding, but the operating principle of SAPHEI, with its hardened steel nose and a base fuze, is that it penetrates before exploding (the fuze is in the base to protect it from the impact, so it will still function afterwards).

      • Seryoga

        After you said all that, Tony, i can suspect a special issue with 20×42 SAPHEI. When you shoot SAPHEI shell into dense vegetation at 800 meter it may not just explode as its velocity dramatically drops and the fuse can fail as it’s located at the base of the steel nose. What would you say?

      • It could be – there is no such thing as a fuze which works every time.

      • Seryoga

        Tony, why has PMP discontinued their APC round for Neopup. Did it proved to be ineffective or what? Is its projectile just a piece of steel without a fragmentation effect?

      • I didn’t realise that they had discontinued the APC-T; it’ still on their website.

        It contains no explosive or incendiary material, just a hard metal penetrator.

      • Seryoga

        “An APC round was initially developed but is not currently offered” – Is written in a Janes’s Article. Pls see: http://articles.janes.com/articles/Janes-Ammunition-Handbook/20-x-42-B-Neopup-ammunition-South-Africa.html
        As for Neopup web site, they don’t update it at all as I suspect.

      • Ah yes, I remember now why I wrote that – it came from a discussion with a Neopup rep at one of the military exhibitions a year or so ago.

      • Seryoga

        I was sure I addressed my question to the right person 🙂 So what? Were they disappointed with a performance of APC-T round? (if it’s not a military secret).

        Then I’m curious, why do they record such suspiciously weak performance videos? shooting at obstacles from 50 meter distance, don’t show fragmentation effects, penetrate a single layer brick wall (which is like a beach cabin wall)?

      • When I spoke to them about it, Neopup were working with the South Africa military who were trying to sort out how best to use it. One point I remember is that the most useful loading was the inert practice ball, as that was great for door and barrier breaching and more than enough for anti-personnel use. HEI and SAPHEI were used as backup rounds for when their extra penetration and destructive effects were required. I presume that they hadn’t found much use for APC-T.

      • Seryoga (Sergey Denisov)

        Wow, 7 kg/6 ball round antipersonnel weapon. That’s cool! I wonder if it can match the precision and ballistics of a sub-machine gun at least? You might remember their main argument about the advantage of an explosive shell against a bullet to reach a moving target.

        From your info, I can guess that SADF is cautious about collateral damage. Probably their primary enemy are guerrilla insurgents hiding in kraals. If they fought regular mechanized troops they would rather love APC-T and SAPHEI and their offenses would be quite intimidating for any modern infantry. How do you think, Tony? (or am I naive?)

  • Guest

    “A quarter inch (6mm) of STS could stop a 0.5” (12.7mm) bullet”(http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/A/r/Armor.htm). Then a 20×42 APC round with its clear penetration of 8 mm RHA amor is a good weapon for an infantry squad! Of course 0.5 AP bullets can pierce a thicker plate at a longer distance. But this is just perfect to have 1 kg add-on of a 6-pack APC rounds instead of 15 kg of a bulky rifle to resist armored vehicles, hovering helicopters and concrete walls within 300 meters distance (sorry Tony for I’m a bore)

  • Seryoga

    A quarter inch (6mm) of STS could stop a 0.5″ (12.7mm) bullet”(http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/A/…. Then a 20×42 APC round with its clear penetration of 8 mm RHA is a good weapon for an infantry squad! Of course 0.5 AP bullets can pierce a thicker plate at a longer distance. But this is just perfect to have 1 kg add-on of a 6-pack APC rounds instead of 15 kg of a bulky rifle to resist armored vehicles, hovering helicopters and concrete walls within 300 meters distance (sorry Tony for I’m a bore)