‘IRA group’ release pictures of improvised grenade launcher used in latest attack

The Editor says: These photos were released by terrorists and are propaganda. We only post terrorist propaganda photographs if I am convinced that they depict firearm technology or proliferation that is of significant educational interest to readers of the blog. Unlike mainstream media we do not indiscriminately distribute terrorist propaganda to generate website traffic.

As I reported earlier on the ARES blog, a new IRA splinter group has released pictures of the improvised grenade launcher used to attack a PSNI vehicle in North Belfast last week. Interestingly, the crudely welded together device appears to use a very common Makita brand cordless impact driver as some sort of trigger unit, minus the battery for photogenic purposes.



This latest development seems to be keeping in line with the Provisional IRA’s weaponizing of household items, previously culminating in the explosive baked-bean tin launching, digestive biscuit slinging ‘PRIG’ launcher.


  • John Sjöström

    I wonder how big the odds is that it could blow up in your face of catastrophic failure. =P

  • noob

    how is Semtex so highly available in the uk? in australia it’s tightly licensed.

    • Tassiebush

      It was supplied by Libya under Gaddafi and by Eastern bloc during cold war. What they have would be old stocks rather than current supply.

      • dan citizen

        Last time I was there, border controls were incredibly lax. Vehicle searches were near non existant and when they occured were more of a “lean in the window and glance around”

        I met a gun enthusiast in the UK who had a illegal select fire AK74, which he said was easier to get than a home workshop made pistol (he paid about $700).

        Being from the US people were eager to show off their hidden guns, it made me very uncomfortable.

        • Tom

          Border controls are lax, but bare in mind possession (and just possession) of an illegal weapon is a 10 year plus prison sentence (which by UK/European terms is very long indeed).

          • Paul Epstein

            If someone doesn’t think they’re going to get caught, then the penalty is irrelevant. Actually using the gun on another person is presumably even more illegal, but you’ll note it still happens.

          • Tom

            Very true indeed.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I’m assuming it’s main propellant is black powder ignited by the drill trigger? I wonder what the projectiles are.

  • Tom

    Whilst the editors note is welcome the title should state terrorist and not group!

  • Michael

    The IRA used electric drill for torture. Black and Decker to the Knees.

  • Blake

    looks a bit like a long grilled kielbasa with legs

    is that “urban camouflage”?

  • Tassiebush

    You are quite right Canadian Vet the various terror groups in Northern Ireland were all pretty well known to have made their own explosives besides sourcing industrially made ones from sympathetic backers.

  • Jeff Smith

    The key to a good propaganda video – Good music. I found myself singing Ghost Riders in the Sky.

  • Patrick Mingle

    How do the Pakistanis make home made weapons that look decent made from scrap metal with no real sophisticated tooling while everyone else is making pipe guns?

    • AT777T

      Aren’t the Pakistani weapons designed to look more effective than they actually are? For example, I remember seeing a bolt-action that was made to look like an AK from a distance, presumably to be more intimidating.

      Tl;dr Pakistani weapons are made to look intimidating, the IRA only cares about effectiveness.

      • Tom

        I wouldn’t say its simple about effectiveness of course they have to work or why bother but disposability plays a big part as well. No point spending hours with fine machining or finishing for something which is likely to be used once and disposed of or abandoned.

        The little pocket pistols were designed to be used much like the WWII Liberator – ether sneak up and shoot someone with a better weapon or for assassinations of unarmed individuals – something you could easily conceal but also something you could throw away after use or if you came across an unexpected check point without much of loss.

        The mortars were also often set up on a time delay so that the users would be long gone by the time they fired and the security forces moved in. Again why spend time on something which will be used once then captured.

        The IRA quickly learnt that sticking around and trying to shoot it out with the Army was a no brainer. They were never going to have the numbers of firepower to counter the Army – especially in the earliest days of the troubles when the Army was permitted to use APCs as battering rams to enter buildings and lay down suppressive fire with .30 cal M1919s and GMPGs (British term for the FN MAG).

  • Tom

    Posse Comitatus
    dates from the end of the post Civil War “Reconstruction” period (and hence predates the recent troubles in Ireland by a considerable amount) and was a way for southern Democrats to get troops out of the south. Ultimately it’s a redundant law since the Insurrection Act lets the POTUS deploy troops on American soil to counter civil disobedience anyway so long as he considers it a challenge to the authority of the Federal Government regardless of if the State Government agrees or not (ie.
    The 92 LA Riots).

    The UK does actually have similar rules which prevent the military acting as law enforcement except on its own land/people and in times of war.
    Also I should add that the “Peace Lines” were not about barricading
    anyone in but rather trying to keep two belligerent populations from torching each other’s houses and businesses. Whilst there was a clear religious difference between the belligerent factions, Catholic/Protestant
    sectarianism is very much local to Northern Ireland and Glasgow, it’s not something you will find in the England, Eire or Scotland (except Glasgow) or Wales.

  • trailrunner78

    The Armalite180B did not exist back then. The Armalite AR18 and AR180 did.

  • Scot168

    All fine and dandy showing us he can make something but how about a test fire Paddy to prove it works?