Colt to Offer Limited Run of M203 Grenade Launcher on the Civilian Market

    Seabee Trains with M203 at Camp Leatherneck, 2010 (US Navy)

    Colt have produced a limited run of Civilian-legal M203 grenade launchers. The iconic under-barrel grenade launcher will be offered through Arms Unlimited – one of Colt Defense’s law enforcement distributors. While this isn’t the first 37mm M203 to hit the market it is the first from the original manufacturer.

    This marks the first time Colt have released genuine production-standard, mil-spec M203’s to the civilian market. The sale of 40mm launchers to civilians is prohibited under the NFA and Colt previously sold solely to military and law enforcement agencies around the world. The new M203s, however, sidestep this as barrels are 37mm rather than 40mm. This means the new Colt launchers are Title 1 firearms and don’t have to be NFA registered. Colt’s launchers will be able to fire a variety of non-lethal 37mm flare rounds.

    9 and 12-inch barrel 37mm M203s (Arms Unlimited)

    The original M203 was a result of the US Army’s 1967 Grenade Launcher Attachment Development (GLAD) program, the winning design from AAI has been produced by Colt ever since. The new launchers are roll marked with the official Colt Defense markings: “LAUNCHER, GRENADE M203 40MM” followed by a series number. The ArmsUnlimited listings do not state that the launchers come with a sight, either the leaf or more complicated quadrant sights.

    Colt have produced 300 37mm M203s, these will be offered in 9 inch and 12 inch barrel lengths – with 150 of each available. This will no doubt be exciting news for those avid Colt collectors who wish to assemble a manufacturer correct AR-15/M203 combination. They will be available from 15 November, for $2,000.

    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]