[SHOT 2016] Milkor USA’s Hydra: Handheld Automatic Grenade Launcher

    I was headed past Milkor USA’s booth today to take a look at their lightweight 40mm launcher when a launcher of a whole different aesthetic caught my eye: The 40mm Hydra.  With a large hydraulic buffer tube mated to the chamber and barrel, sitting above a grip frame with wood grip panels, and a very large box magazine that indexes somewhat like a Thompson SMG, it certainly did not look like the other rotary launchers on display.  I talked to their designer, and apparently it is a collaboration between Milkor USA and Rheinmetall Waffen.  An even more interesting point came up when he informed me that the Hydra can fire semi or full auto, at a rate of fire of 10 rounds in less than 2 seconds!  The Hydra could possibly succeed where the Czech RAG-30 and CZW-40 didn’t quite achieve, in controlled shoulder fired 40mm automatic grenade fire.  It is pictured here with a 6 round magazine, but also has 4 and 10 round magazines.  P1211275

    The buffer tube is basically all the way back from where the magazine is located.

    The buffer tube is basically all the way back from where the magazine is located.

    The Hydra is blowback operated, and the barrel employs non-progressive gain twist rifling.  It currently has an unloaded weight of 9.91 lbs, and a OAL of 32.75 inches.  It is rated for Rheinmetall-Waffen’s 40x46mm “magnum” rounds, as well as all 40x46mm low velocity rounds.  It will be made in the USA.  Some possible upgrades to the design before full production are modification of the safety and magazine release, as well as grips made out of something more durable like G10.  Though the model pictured has an 8″ Barrel, the final barrel will be 10″.  It will be compatible with many existing GL sights as well.  I will be keeping an eye out for the Hydra in the future for sure!P1211273P1211276

    Thanks to Milkor USA for answering all my questions!

    Rusty S.

    Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. Editor at Outdoorhub.com