The ALSETEX Cougar: “Dumb” Bullpup Repeating Grenade Launcher

French company ALSETEX was showing off their mockup of a new straight-pull grenade launcher, the Cougar, at Eurosatory 2014. Unlike other smart-grenade launchers like the XM25 or Daewoo K11, the Cougar does not use a heavy and complicated “smart” sighting system, nor does it fire proprietary grenades. Instead, it opts for a simple and easy to use EOTech holographic sight, and standard 40x46mm grenades. The result is a lightweight weapon, weighing only 3.4kg (7.5lbs) unloaded. The weapon is being marketed as a less-lethal police weapon, as well as a military squad support element.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • CA.Ben

    I wonder why they don’t go with a sight similar to the MGL. I can’t imagine that an Eotech would provide enough elevation adjustment.

    • Fred Johnson

      Maybe that Eotech has a reticle like the 552 XR308 or the 512 X-Bow with different holdover dots?

  • A.g.

    I don’t understand why this company use the same name than another product of their line. You can capitalize with the succes of of the first one but it add confusion.
    Interresting concept by the way but I’m afraid it will be considered like too “offensive” for a civilian use by authorities. The B&T 40mm launcher was pushed through this kind of opposition it will be perhaps more difficult for this one.

    • Henrik Thomassen

      How the hell are you supposed to hold that launcher?

      • Karl

        Supporting hand inside the stock, dominant hand on that lower grip thing I would assume.

      • I suspect that the grip design allows the launcher to be flipped over for either direct or indirect fire.

      • A.g.

        This system was espacialy build to forbid thight shot of tear gas grenade.

        But the launcher is able to launch non-lethal ammunition to protect the shooter, (an ammo made of small bag of seed named BLINIZ like the cake).

        As write Daniel E.Watters, you have to reverse the launcher to able direct fire. That’s explain the eotech sight.

        Hideous but rustic, handy and reliable. A substitute to the heavy, not pratical and “too offensive”, old modified rifle :

        Two samples of use of the launcher :

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      As for the name, I do not think it is so much that they are giving it the same name as another launcher, but rather that the original launcher that Alsetex made was the “Cougar” so from this point this has been the name of the series. For example, some other variants are the Multilight, Chouka, Vario, and 12. This launcher is not called the “Cougar”, but rather the “Cougar MS 40”, which I assume is derived from the fact that it is a multi shot 40mm (all other Cougar launchers are 56mm with the exception of the Vario which can have the standard barrel swapped out for a 40mm one).

      • A.g.

        Ok, that’s seems more logical with the add of MS.

  • jhonny

    Useless, this product it’s not only inferior to the smart xm25, k11 and the chinese oicw, but it’s even inferior in comparison to others “dumb” competitors like the chinese qlz-87, i wonder why it’s so hard for this companies to understand that the future it’s in the trackingpoint technology and smart airbust grenades

    • Karl

      Some armed forces don’t have a smart airburst grenade budget just yet, so I guess it’s for a different niche of the market.

    • J.J

      Why is it inferior? The xm-25 is not ready for combat and the Marines have already complained about the ineffectiveness of the 25mm. Those complicated “smart” weapons are still liability on the battlefield. Give me a simpler point and shoot option with a deadlier projectile any day. Also you can share the 40mm with guys with m203’s or the mark 19 auto launchers.

      • Matrix3692

        the ammunition of Mk 19 (40×53mm) is NOT interchangeable with those of M203 (40×46mm). Basically, a 40×53mm is 40×46mm on steroids.

      • Commonsense23

        When you start trying to talk about what is a liability or not on a battlefield, yet don’t know that mixing low velocity and high velocity 40mm is a really bad idea, it paints a image of someone who has no clue what they are talking about.

      • Anon. E Maus

        Clearly this is a person who knows what they’re talking about.

  • Wosiu

    It is not semiautomatic, it is repeater.

    • Oh wow, great catch Wosiu! You know what they say about when you assume…

  • Seburo

    Looks like a poor man’s XM25 mixed with a FN SCAR.

    • mechamaster

      obesity-ver of XM-25. lol.

      • Seburo

        Hah. Seriously any military that needs something like this should just considering buying the Milkor MGL.
        I like bullpups as much any fanboy of them does. But even I know a dumb idea when I see it.

        • mechamaster

          Well, IMO this kind of weapon is like complement / supplement / alternative between single-shot 40mm and 6-round milkor-style grenade launcher, who want ( a little bit ) lightweight, compact, and magazine-fed 40mm grenade launcher and easy to operate like straight-pull bolt action gun. It has it’s own merits. lol.

    • Pedro

      More like an FS2000

  • sianmink

    I’m not sure why such a weapon needs to be semi-auto.

    The straight-pull bolt of the K11’s launcher module seems to be a great compromise between speed and weight. Shouldn’t a 25mm standalone pump-action launcher be dead simple to do?

    • J.J

      25 mm sucks. That’s why the Marines wanted the xm-25 in 40mm

      • mechamaster

        Well, it’s sucks because of too much ‘smart’ electronics inside than the explosive-warhead. Somehow they don’t want to fielded cheaper ver. of ‘dumb’ 25x40mm. ( it’s like frag12 but in 25mm size )

      • Anon. E Maus

        Considering the 25mm and the 40mm are made for two very different purposes, that would make the marines considerably retarded.

        The 25mm isn’t meant to be a Light Artillery Weapon like a 40mm launcher, it’s a smart munitions weapon. It’s not a replacement for the MGL, it is it’s own weapon entirely. They are meant to co-exist, to supplement each other.

    • mechamaster

      It’s fun to imagine there are pump-action ver. of XM-25. lol

      • Anon. E Maus

        That would honestly be much cheaper and lighter, and less mechanically complex, it should very much be considered because pump-action can be made rapid enough.

    • It is a straight pull bolt action. The label “semiautomatic” was a mistake on my part, as in other languages “repeater” is often a synonym for “semiautomatic”, and it looks like a selfloader.

    • Wosiu

      “6 shot magazine”
      Nope. French ” rayé 6 rayures à droite” from flyer is “rifled with 6 right-hand rifles”.
      Magazine contains 3 rounds. There are higher capacity magazines as option.

      • Wosiu

        Perhaps more correct in English is:
        “rifled with 6 right-hand grooves”.

    • noob

      Make a pump action version.

      Load it with M576 40mm buckshot rounds and have the final word in shotguns.

  • allannon

    For some reason, the pistol grip and buttstock remind me of a Cx4.

  • mechamaster

    A silly question : it is a double-action trigger, or single-action trigger ?

  • Oh hey. A modernized PAPOP.

    • PAPOP was an XM25 equivalent with a “kinetic” subassembly; this is just a “dumb” semiauto GL.

      • LCON

        considering there is already work to “Educate” Conventional 40mm Nato Grenades It could become a PAPOP

        • If you duct-taped a FAMAS to the side, I guess…

          • LCON

            Valid point. It’s not likely to ever be that but it might at least offer a Xm25 like capacity.

          • Secundius

            It probably would, if it was for the fact that it fire a 40mm grenade instead of the 25mm grenade…

  • big daddy

    Looks pretty good but the thumbhole gotta go.

  • Jon

    Combine it with a modified (rear loading) VOG-25P and you will have a serious contender to XM-25.

  • TDog

    I want one. Hell, I’m American, so I want two.

  • Secundius

    A 21st Century version of Fusil Mitrailleur Modele 1915 CSRG “Chauchat”, me thinks?

  • TheRoo1

    They should make a semi-auto shotgun version of it.