Sandcastles and RPGs

A video going around the interwebs shows a child in Libya shooting an RPG while two adults and the cameraman watch. A man helps steady the launcher on the boys shoulder, which is longer than he is tall, before stepping back and letting him fire it towards the sea in an upwards trajectory.

The BBC report …

The young boy looks tiny as he stands on a beach, places an RPG on his shoulder and fires. There’s a huge bang and smoke billows all around. All the while two adults look on and encourage him.

It’s unclear who the boy or the adults are. The video itself has been posted multiple times. Though it’s being widely viewed now, it appears to have been first posted at least as far back as January.

Though some of the postings refer to it as a “Palestinian child firing an RPG on Gaza Beach”, it actually appears to be from Libya. The accents in the video are Libyan, and some have suggested it may have been on a beach in the Sirte area.

Libyans have taken to Twitter to voice their condemnation describing the scene as “insane” and a “glimpse of our future.

The launcher looks like a RPG-7 or clone and the grenade launched looks like your standard PG-7V (or clone) HEAT round.  The PG-7 round is armed by removing the fuze cover, which sits over the nose and is held in place with a pin. Apparently it is rated for a 3 meter fall. My understanding, and correct me if I am wrong, but if the child dropped the muzzle and fired the grenade into the soft sand, and even if the fuze cover protected the fuze, the grenade would still self-detonate after 4-5 seconds.

Thanks to Trevor the tip.

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.


  • DougieR

    Translation: Who’s a cute adorable jihadi in training??? That’s right you are! You are!

  • Dan-O

    I guess this is the ME equivalent of us teaching our kids to shoot their first .22LR.
    But seriously Mohamed, wouldn’t it just be easier to train Mohamed Jr how to detonate his fun sized super-happy-joy-time suicide vest?

  • wildbillb

    why can’t jihadi’s make better videos? seriously. grainy video is so mujahideen.

    • guy

      This is possibly my favorite commenton this site. And i dont know why

    • Robert177

      They’re drunk.

    • USMC03Vet

      Honestly for a video of this type it’s pretty good. No religious zealotry being screamed during is rare.

    • Patrick Mingle

      At least the Ruskis have gotten better cameras. Long have we suffered through their insane antics in sub par definition

  • Elvis

    The fuze in the PG7 is armed by setback, upon firing. It has a mechanical delay, so it’s not armed until it is about 10 meters down range. It also has a pyrotechnic self destruct, so after an amount of time has passed for the projectile to go about 800m, it should self destruct (but these are pretty unreliable in my experience).

    The cap on the nose is just a cap… it doesn’t ‘safe’ anything… it does shield the notoriously insensitive piezo electric crystal at the pointy end… but all of the ‘safe’ is internal, at the base of the shaped charge.

    If he shot it into the ground right in front of himself, it probably wouldn’t go bang.

  • BillC

    “My understanding, and correct me if I am wrong, but if the child dropped the muzzle and fired the grenade into the soft sand, and even if the fuze cover protected the fuse, the grenade would still self-detonate after 4-5 seconds.”

    No, it would not, unless it was a distance greater than 5 meters which is the minimum arming distance after it is EJECTED/FIRED from the RPG. If the fuze pin/cover were left on and then fired, and it went past the minimum arming distance, it still would likely not function as the arming pin/cover shunts the piezoelectric crystal, and thus the electrical pulse to the base/rear fuze.

    • BillC

      Plus, the angle it was shot, it would probably just self-detonate in the air after a distance of ~900 meters

  • Bill

    And I thought pool noodles made for a great beach vacation.

    • derfelcadarn

      This has got noodles beat by a long shot

  • ChuckyTee

    Coolest uncles EVER!!!

    • Ben

      Hell Yea!!!

  • Phil Hsueh

    They forgot the requisite “Allah ackbah” before firing the RPG. What is generation coming to?

    • Julio

      Rather a good sign that they’re apparently drunk and just doing it for giggles, I’d have said: all very Western in itself!


    New from Ronco! So easy a child can do it!

    • derfelcadarn

      Most guns are fairly simple devices to operate

      • Mystick

        How did the movie Lord of War put it?

        It doesn’t break, jam, or overheat. It’ll shoot whether it’s covered in
        mud or filled with sand. It’s so easy, even a child can use it; and they

  • Lance

    Training the next generation of AL Qaeda terrorists. ALL thinks to the dumbest US intervention in history thanks Obama!

    Where is Shannon Watts screaming at them for RPG control for Libya??? LOL!!!!

    • derfelcadarn

      When the shit hits the fan will you teach your children to do this ? Answer; EFFING YAA !!

    • Chase Buchanan

      Shannon Watts isn’t, but Rebecca Peters (of the International Action Network on Small Arms, an international civilian-disarmament organization) is. 🙁

  • lias

    Notably the US supported the Islamic extremists of the very same
    places/towns of Libya who sent the biggest number of volunteers to fight
    the US in Iraq.

  • derfelcadarn

    Com’n now who as a kid would not want to shoot this thing ?

  • Aaron E

    If I could do that legally in the U.S.A. you KNOW I would, and you bet I’d have my boys there with me! However, in a couple of years that boy is likely going to be aiming one of those at some Westerners somewhere else. Tragic.

    • Mystick

      There was this place that used to offer day cruises where you get to shoot things out in IW like this. Ah, the 80’s.

  • Mystick

    Some parents are just too cool.

  • 1leggeddog

    Awww! They blow up so fast 🙂

  • LCON

    Baby’s First RPG

  • valorius

    I have no problem with this video. Id love to have a rocket launcher. 🙂

  • Frank Cummings

    I kinda wanna shoot one.

  • idahoguy101

    “Kids blow up so young these days”

  • DD

    Damn, lucky kid :)! I wish I had had a change to fire RPG at his age :)!

  • John Yossarian

    You guys are just jealous. Now I’ll go all safety nazi: “Eyes & Ears!!”