Recoilless Rifle Fail

This video is a few years old, but a reader who was there and treated the injured soldier told me about the situation and the outcome.

Sean said …

Video was shot by an Oregon National Guard Embedded Training Team member that I worked with at FOB Tillman in OEF VII/VIII, it’s been posted by a couple people on youtube since but i helped treat the guy after the incident. All the talk about recoilless rifles made me think of it, thought you’d enjoy. The story was that the Afghan was insistent that he could shoot it off the shoulder, and the ETT got tired of arguing with him and let him try.

The guy was fine, just lost a couple teeth. And probably an eardrum.

[ Many thanks to Sean for emailing me the info. ]



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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  • subase

    Yep, cream of the crop the Afghan army is.

  • Brad

    Is that weapon the Russian SPG-9 73mm recoilless gun? Not very recoilless, is it?

  • Pete

    I always wondered if the guy was OK…now i know.

  • Jim S

    It shouldn’t say “misfired” it fired fine. He just failed to hold onto it. If I was shooting a .44 and I let the recoil send the gun back and dig a new dimple in my face, would you call that a misfire?

  • Dan

    Some people just have to learn the hard way, least the training team got a good laugh out of it and nobody got seriously hurt.

  • DaveR

    What??! And just how “insistent” would that guy have had to have been, to be given permission to put a grenade down his pants?

    Training Fail.

  • Lance

    That was a Afghan solder firing the Recoiless rifle.

  • Maverick Moore

  • Gabe

    That doesn’t look recoilless to me…
    lol reminds me of reading accounts of firing the Boys .55 AT in the second world war; improv procedure for firing standing was to put the barrel on one guys shoulder and for the other to fire it. That way they’d each fly back ten feet instead of one guy flying back twenty 😛

  • Matt Groom

    A friend of mine allowed someone to shoot him in the chest with a 9mm because he insisted that it wouldn’t go through our Flak Jackets and the other guy said it would. Upon hearing this story, I said “So why didn’t you just shoot the flak jacket while it was on the ground first?” and he said “Because I knew it would work!”

  • Royi

    I naturally presume stacks of papermoney and crates of beer changed owner, that afternoon..

    I once lost a couple of bottles of wine to a guy who claimed he could fire a Sharps 45-70 from one hand.
    The carbine flew from his right hand, bounced on his skull, chipped a front tooth, and he caught it with his left hand.
    But the guy was happy as a clam (I wasn’t the only one who placed a bet).

  • West

    Cant fix stupid.

  • Rohan

    Correct if I’m wrong , but that’s an old B10 82mm Rcl (Type 65 if Chinese).

    The Soviets dumped that it the 60’s for the SPG-9.

    Even China has dumped it in late 90’s (except reserve units).

    How old is the ammo they are using for it?