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.

    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 [email protected]


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