U.S. Rifle Grenades of WWII

Corey joined us for a talk about rifle grenades and launchers in use by U.S. Infantrymen during the Second World War. Particularly we focused on the M1 Launcher for the M1903 Springfield rifle, however we also discussed some of the aspects of the M7 Launcher for the M1 Garand, and a very similar one for the M1 Carbine.

The rifle grenade as an HE solution filled the range gap between a hand grenade, and a 60mm mortar. Often forgotten about when discussing Second World War small arms, the rifle grenade played an important role in a squad’s firepower and in what it could bring to bear against a fortified enemy position.

Unfortunately, the grenades we had on hand weren’t live and at a demolition range, or else that would be a fantastic test. For the video we were able to use two rubber dummies, and one original WWII dummy that we didn’t actually fire.

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Transcript ….

[coming soon]



Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • codfilet

    This guy really should have had the version that was just a finned tube that a pineapple grenade clipped on to.

    • A setup where you have to pull the pin and pop the spoon on a live grenade before hoping that the blank round in your rifle launches it properly is a highly exciting concept guaranteed to get your blood pumping, one way or another.

      • codfilet

        The spoon is held by the adapter until the grenade is launched.

    • The_Champ

      Just picked one up for my MAS 36/51 actually. I’ve had a dummy pineapple grenade sitting on my desk for decades, now I finally have a way to lob it hundreds of meters francophone style, as I’ve always dreamed of doing 🙂

  • gunsandrockets

    Nice history lesson.

    Two important facts which are not commonly known in the American gun community:

    The first is that the common barrel setups of most post-WWII Western combat rifles incorporated the ability to use spigot launched rifle grenades, without having to attach a specialized grenade launching device. Rifle front sights were set back from the muzzle and the flash suppressor on the barrel were of the correct diameter to hold NATO standard rifle grenades; for example, like the barrel setup on the U.S. 5.56mm M16 rifle.

    The second fact is that any such devices are a felony crime to possess in California, since they are defined as illegal grenade launchers under state law. The detachable spigot launchers such as the M1 grenade launcher shown in the video will definitely get you busted in California. The built in obvious grenade launchers like device on the Yugo SKS barrel will usually get you busted. The combination muzzle devices, such as a standard M16a2 birdcage flash suppressor, will usually be ignored but they are technically still a crime to possess.

    • Kelly Jackson

      #404 Source Not Found

  • Jim_Macklin

    The M1 grenade launcher had to be used with a valved gas cylinder plug that was opened when the launcher was attached. Otherwise the operating rod would be bent and making teh rifle a 9 pound club.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/baaea63d33d74ab8644c562b56962c5073c93b909b229148c6371af3d7dc16ff.jpg

  • The_Champ

    Recently tracked down a grenade for my Mas 36/51. Now just need to figure out how to load some grenade launching blanks in 7.5mm French. From what I’ve read so far I probably don’t want to charge them up to the max like the real deal grenade launching blanks. Apparently cracked stocks on the rifles were common, and at least with the French rifles you would never direct fire from the shoulder like in the video, rather you would tuck it under your arm because the recoil was so severe.

    Max range setting on the Mas 36/51 indirect fire sites is 380 meters! That is some dang potent blank ammo.

  • OswaldPatton

    Really enjoy these vids, a major thank you to Cory, and all re-enactors who spend and sweat in the effort to make sure history is not merely “not forgotten”, but remembered vividly.

    But please, abandon youtube, at least as your primary video hosting service.
    Why?
    Because #TheySuck&TheyHateUs

  • Some Rabbit

    Reminded me of a misadventure I had trying to launch an old WWII era parachute flare off my HK91. I had new launching cartridges but failed to notice that the stem had become crusty with corrosion inside. When I fired the gun the stem and fins stayed on the flash hider and the body of the flare landed about 20 feet away, ejected the parachute and ignited a grass fire which I was able to douse with water from my canteen before it got out of hand.

    So, beware of vintage pyrotechnics even if they’re still sealed in the original container.

  • Blake Partridge

    Would you be making any more of those M1 launchers would love to get my hands on one.