POTD: Carl Gustaf Multi-role weapon system

    The firearm in today’s Photo of the Day has been around since 1948.

    The producer, SAAB, calls the Carl Gustaf a “man-portable multi-role weapon system.” This makes sense, considering the wide range of ammunition types that can be used. Just take your eyes of the huge flames and focus on the picture with some of the ammunition described below.

    The latest version of the Carl Gustaf is called the M4. In 2015 the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic became the first country to order the new Carl-Gustaf M4.

    The Swedish Army is using what they call the Model 48 and 86. To the best of my knowledge the model pictured is the M3 (Model 86), also used by the USA. (M3 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System (MAAWS))

    There’s a wide range of ammunition available, from smoke, illumination to more serious and intelligent rounds.

    I have in fact fired a Carl Gustav, but only the training model which I think was a 9×19 mm round (but could have been 7,62 mm). Due to cost, only a few selected soldiers got to shoot the real thing. There is also a 20 mm sub-caliber round for training.

    Most of all I remember that the support person, in charge of loading the Carl Gustaf, had to look back and the shooter had to await the shouting of “all clear behind” before pressing the trigger. Looking at the pictures, no further explanation is needed I think.

    These pictures come from the recent Archipelago Endeavor in Sweden, where 170  US Marines also participated.

    Swedish Marines of 1st Marine Regiment fire the Carl Gustaf anti-tank recoilless rifle at enemy establishments during Exercise Archipelago Endeavor aboard the island of Uto, Harsfjarden, Sweden, Sept. 6, 2018. Exercise Archipelago Endeavor is an integrated field training exercise that increases operational capability and enhances strategic cooperation between the U.S. Marines and Swedish forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Devin J. Andrews/Released)


    One interesting fact about the development of the Carl-Gustaf can be seen below. Look at the development in weight savings for the poor soldier who has to carry these.

    M2 Weight: 14.2kg      Length: 1130mm
    M3 Weight: 10 kg        Length: 1065mm
    M4 Weight: <7kg       Length: <1000mm