Mexico Unveils 40MM UBGL, Grip Pod, Updates on FX05

The 5.56x45mm NATO FX-05 Xiuhcoatl (Fire Snake in Aztec) has a design history dating back to 2006 but has only recently really entered into service with the Mexican Defense Forces, replacing 7.62x51mm G3s. The rifle has seen various enhancements since the early 2006 design, most notably replacing the built-in optic with a picatinny rail (although still present in some modern version), and a number of exterior changes, with the internal portions of the rifle being a combination of various older rifle designs and the addition of some new ones. There was some legal heat over the rifle with Heckler & Koch, with alleged design infringements, although H&K agreed to not press further. One of the reasons why the Mexican Army had such an issue with getting the rifle to the troops was due to financial issues wherein the Government couldn’t pay the cost of production setup and manufacture on time.

This particular video put out by the design bureau illustrated two new developments that go along with the FX-05, a locally designed Grip Pod, and a 40x46mm UBGL/standalone grenade launcher.

The Grip Pod is every similar to the device invented and used in the United States, however it has a swivel mount just underneath the M1913 Picatinny rail attachment point, that allows the grip to be locked underneath the rifle and out of the way. I’m not familiar with the operational requirement that necessitated this feature, but it appears to be complicating an already fragile piece of plastic that is prone to breaking.

Second up, is a locally produced 40x46mm low-velocity grenade launcher, very similar in concept to the H&K M320 in that it can be attached to the M1913 Picatinny rail portion of a weapon system, but then taken off and used in a handheld mode as well. Development of the launcher has been around since at least 2015, but this is some of the first Youtube footage of the weapon in action, and that has been reported on TFB.

Unlike the M320, this Mexican version has a much smaller grip surface, which could be described as minimal in nature. Shooting the launcher off the rifle doesn’t appear to be too hard on a shooter, but the author imagines that in the standalone configuration, this can’t be a good day for a soldier’s wrists. Throughout all the footage of the launcher, it doesn’t appear that there are any sights, either electronic, optical, or open, in use with the standalone configuration of the weapon system.


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


  • Evan

    Pretty sure Xiuhcoatl is Aztec, not Spanish. I’m not fluent in either language, but I know Quetzelcoatl is an Aztec winged snake god and that fire in Spanish is “fuego”.

    • Sausage

      You are correct it is Aztec I am fluent in Spanish. Snake is culebra … fire is incendio (or fuego…depending upon meaning).

      • Dr. Blue

        Correct me if I’m wrong, Sausage, but I believe Xiuhcoatl is also a device used to throw a spear or shaft weapon. And, I believe, Huitzilopochtli (whitz-il-o-po-chit-ly) carried one and he threw (now I’m really digging deep) a fire snake for a weapon…? So it all kinda pulls together.
        Yes, I took a Mesoamerica history class 30 years ago and it was amazing.

        • Quasimofo

          You might be thinking of the atlatl?

        • Evan

          That’s an atlatl. Probably a Mesoamerican word, they seem to like the whole tl ending thing.

          • Dr. Blue

            Atlatl, correct.

    • Rnasser Rnasser

      Xiuhcoatl (náhuatl lenguage, mexican aztec) = Serpiente de Fuego = Fire Snake

  • SP mclaughlin

    Perhaps the title should say “Old Mexican 40MM UBGL….” to prevent confusion with the 47th state 🙂

    • Sid

      I was thinking the same thing. Wow, New Mexico is really arming up. I guess Arizona and California should start prepping for a border war.

      • Twilight sparkle

        I think you mean Arizona and Texas? California doesn’t border New Mexico

        • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

          But NM, AZ, and CA (and TX too) all border Mexico…

          • Twilight sparkle

            I was assuming he was continuing the New Mexico joke based on the title of the article.

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            Wow that went right over my head. A bit embarrassing actually.

        • Sid Collins

          I was imagining New Mexico attacking in a westward direction. I just can’t seem them messing with Texas.

          • Alex A.

            True, as a New Mexican I don’t mind Texas so much, I just don’t like their cow farms or whatever they are. Smelly!
            Although the people were very friendly when I lived there for a short time. I’ve always wanted to go back to Denton. Chicks there dig brown dudes 😉

          • Jajajajaja

            300lb chicks dig all dudes.

      • Billy Jack

        Nah, it’s strictly for the Cancun beachead and those pesky school buses full of college kids.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      As a resident of NM, my immediate thought was a company from NM was making it and then I remembered that nobody knows NM exists and therefore they must be speaking of a new gun from Old Mexico.

      • Alex A.

        As as a fellow New Mexican I 100% agree! Even people I’ve spoken to from Utah & Colorado didn’t know NM was a state.
        The people were impressed both times by in English 😂
        See I always figured if the apocalypse came, exactly nothing would change in this state (although idk if that’s good or bad)

        • Giolli Joker

          Breaking Bad should have educated somebody, though.
          Unless they thought ABQ was next to Gotham and Metropolis…

        • mynameiskhan

          What is a “Utah?”

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            Its an extradimensional space created by the Mormons.

            When they baptize you and you go under the water you are where you are, but when you come back up you are in Utah.

        • Anomanom

          It’s like the opposite of North Dakota, which everyone knows doesn’t exist, but which stubbornly persists in appearing on maps.

      • Stephen Paraski

        New Mexico is Beautiful.

    • iksnilol

      But it’s a new Mexican 40mm UBGL.

      • SP mclaughlin

        I was making a jest on that “New Mexican” could also refer to the name of a border state in the US.

  • b0x3r0ck

    Is it a scar? or a g36? no it’s FX05

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    I didnt know anybody serious actually used a bipod grip.

    • SP mclaughlin

      I think the UK has used them on th L85A2 for a while. The IDF also uses similar CAA products.

    • Evan

      I knew a guy in the Marines who used one. He was kind of an ass though.

    • Risky

      Almost all the Marines in Iraq had them at on M4s some point. I loved mine and still have one, never understood the hate for them.

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        Its much larger than a grip needs to be and much narrower than I like my bipods to be.

        But then again Ive never owned one. Who knows maybe I would be converted.

        • Risky

          I agree that it’s not a great bipod, it’s a very rudimentary bipod… but it does work well on level ground. As a vertical grip it is fine, I don’t think it’s any larger in diameter than most others, except maybe at the top. It is heavy, though, compared to other VFG. So I think of it as a heavy VFG that magically doubles as a mediocre bipod I know that doesn’t sound great, but it is awesome to have a bipod for a rifle that you might not normally put a bipod on for a small weight penalty.

    • Just Say’n

      And they’re using the magazine as a mono-pod at 4:30 in the video, during what looks like accuracy testing…

  • Kivaari

    The grenade launcher has a sight when it is attached to the rifle. It appears in the video.

    • jono102

      Yeah and I’m guessing the contrary to the pictures and the article, the “Stand Alone” set up actually has or will have a grip and stock mount like most other launchers to which the sight can be mounted. The shot of it being fired by itself would just be P.R. propaganda.

      • iksnilol

        Or just to show that it works? Not everything has to be propaganda.

        • jono102

          Understand that, it was more directed at the comments in the article of it being fired in that method as if that is the intended stand alone role. That being said some of the later gen 40mm launchers have a built in safety that stops them functioning when they aren’t fitted to a mount be it a rifle or stand alone rail.
          It appears to have the same mounting lugs we have for our Steyr M-203’s which mate to a barrel mounted bracket. It kind of suggests their isn’t enough strength in the hand guard to go with a pic rail type mount. It adds a reasonable amount of weight to the rifle using this method. Judging by the pictures it would also require the removal of the lower rail to fit.

  • Alex A.

    Ha! I can easily see that “Fire snake” cartouche stamped on a 5lbs. Bag of cocaine or the margijuiana.

  • Sticky-eye Rivers

    I like how that rifle looks. A G36 without the ‘bridge’, nice.

  • A.WChuck

    The Cartels need to re-arm somehow…

  • nomad

    good to see that the cartels are finally getting new gear.

  • Just Say’n

    On the one hand I think it’s great Mexico self-funded and is issuing an indigenous carbine for its troops. On the other hand there really isn’t anything new or innovative here. They could have bought-off-the-shelf solution from FN, HK, SIG, Steyr, the Israelis, Beretta, CZ and of course their loving neighbor to the North for much less pesos, that already had the bugs worked out (learn a lesson from India).

  • Anomanom

    Is it just me or does it looks like the graphic surround is taken from a Call of Duty Loading screen?

  • Mark Lee

    Did anyone else notice the slo-mo section of the vid (at 1:44) when the grenade launcher was fired, the unit’s upper mounting body visibly slid back a good 1/8″ and separated from from the rifle upper’s 6 o’clock mounting by just as much? I seriously doubt they have undergone extensive testing, for with that much flexibility and play, that mounting system is sure to fail early in its lifecycle during training. I’m surprised they failed to show the innards of the barrel, gas ports, pistons and action.

    With Mexico’s inability to finance the manufacturing, I wonder how long it will take for them to start selling them to the narcos/drug cartels – meaning someone in the government wholesale, or by individual soldiers on a one-to-one basis?