Poland acquires 40mm grenade launchers

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Jane’s has reported that the Polish military will be buying 200 of a locally made model of standalone 40mm grenade launchers. The Polish company┬áZaklady Mechaniczne Tarnow, based in Tarnow, Poland. The model is essentially a modified grenade launcher from the South African company Milkor, and ZMT calls it the RGP-40. They will be delivered in two batches of 100, the first by this October, and the second by August 2017. The difference between the two models seem to be the design of the bar above the revolving chambers, and the trigger housing group. Unlike revolvers, as one might think these operate, with a preen to push the chambers into place, these grenade launchers use gas from the grenade, to push the next chamber into place, while the operator has to wind up the chambers before firing.

These launchers have been around for a good while, adopted by the South African Army in 1981. Since then a number of countries have adopted it, but the significance in this case is that Poland is the first European Army to adopt it for use among their infantry troops. I’m sure many of the special forces on the continent have it in their armories, but apparently no military has it with their infantry troops.

From my experience with the Milkor 40mm, adopted as the M32 in the Marine Corps, the launcher certainly offers some awesome amount of firepower. However the trade off for this firepower is the weight, coming in at almost twelve pounds loaded. In a static position, in a vehicle, this isn’t a problem at all, with the ability to launch six 40mm HE grenades with a max effective range of 400 meters in just as many seconds is certainly a force multipler. However, on a foot patrol, an under barrel mounted grenade launcher is more than sufficient for the weight involved. The rate of fire is much less, as a grenadier has to hand load every round, but compared to lugging around an extra eight pounds or so, that could be taken up by water, ammunition, or comm gear, the UBGL wins out in the long run.

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Miles Vining

Prior Infantry Marine and currently studying at Indiana University. I’m an avid shooter, you’ll find me most at home picking apart an interesting rifle or pistol. When not receiving horrible results at Steel Challenge competitions, I’m busy learning Pashtu, cycling long distance, and getting outdrunk by the English. I’ve written for Small Arms Review/Small Arms Defense Journal, Combat & Survival magazine, Forgotten Weapons, and SHTF Journal. Feel free to contact me at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Bear The Grizzly

    I need this in my life.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Screw room clearing.
    Just fire white phos into every window, wait for them to run out and then target practice.

    • iksnilol

      Why not just shoot grenades into the room? I mean, it works for the Russians.

      • Phil Hsueh

        That’s what I was taught when I was in the Corps, we called it MOUT for Military Operations in Urban Terrain. This was before the days where regular troops were taught CQB techniques, we were taught to first chuck a grenade into a room, after it goes off spray down the room with a full mag from my rifle. Once you cleared one room, you would repeat this in every other room until the entire building is secure. Simple and effective but it only works in a conventional war where you’re not so worried about the building possibly being occupied by civilians.

        • CommonSense23

          Problem with that mentality is one a lot of guys survive multiple frag tosses in a room. And as they found out in Fallujuh, you start running out of grenades quick.

          • Phil Hsueh

            That’s why we were taught to spray down the room with a full mag after tossing the frag, the idea being that anybody who survived the frag is probably (at the least) stunned and spraying down the room would finish him off, at least in theory. Bu you are right though, basic MOUT practice would result in a lot of ammo used and they never did explain what you were supposed to do when you were on your last mag and frag and building wasn’t yet secure.

          • CommonSense23

            The issue you run into is a lot of building have a crap ton of rooms. I have had to clear building with lots of rooms in training only thank god. Hospitals, office building, apartment complexes. You run out of frags on the first building quick if that is your TTP, god forbid you got to clear the block. And then throw in lots of rooms give plenty of cover from the doorway. The ability to simply frag a room, and spray from the door is a TTP from clearing and training in MOUT towns. Its one of the things you realize doesn’t work as well when you start working on real world buildings, with abundant cover and concealment.

      • HB

        Then you would miss ‘scream and run out’ part…

  • I think I know the new Poland Border control plan….

  • iksnilol

    I want one just so I can say that I have a “40 mike mike” or in my case “40 mikhail mikhailovich”.

    That and I have a very funny picture in my head of a soldier using a windup key to wind up the grenade launcher.

  • Lance

    Its a gun Miles that makes you smile every time you pull the trigger!!!!!!

  • John

    Change the grip so it can accept AR-15 handles, and Poland’s got a winner.

  • mechamaster

    Use the M576 40mm grenade in the underbarrel glock version, it’s like a revolver 40mm shotgun. Basically the 40mm Armsel Striker. lol.

    • The 40mm M576 Multi-Projectile round comes up short when compared to a 12 gauge shotgun shell.

  • Joe

    The Marine Corps Infantry would be better suited reorganizing it’s Squads into the following;
    Per Squad;
    2x 5 Man Fire Teams
    One with 2x M-240’s 5x Handguns and 3x Carbines.
    One with 2x M-32A1’s 5x Handguns and 3x Carbines.
    1×4 Man Fire Team
    4 Designated Marksman Carbines/IAR’s, and 4x Handguns