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Carl Gustav recoilless rifle

Carl Gustav recoilless rifle

Overview
The Carl Gustav is the common name for the 84 mm man-portable reusable multi-role recoilless rifle
Recoilless rifle
A recoilless rifle or recoilless gun is a lightweight weapon that fires a heavier projectile than would be practical to fire from a recoiling weapon of comparable size. Technically, only devices that use a rifled barrel are recoilless rifles. Smoothbore variants are recoilless guns...

 produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics
Saab Bofors Dynamics
Saab Bofors Dynamics, located in Karlskoga and Linköping, Sweden, is a subsidiary of Saab AB that specializes in military materiel such as missile systems and anti-tank systems....

 (formerly Bofors Anti-Armour AB
Bofors
The name Bofors has been associated with the iron industry for more than 350 years.Located in Karlskoga, Sweden, the company originates from the hammer mill "Boofors" founded 1646. The modern corporate structure was created in 1873 with the foundation of Aktiebolaget Bofors-Gullspång...

) in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. The first prototype of the Carl Gustaf was produced in 1946, and while similar weapons of the era have generally disappeared, the Carl Gustaf remains in widespread use today. British troops refer to it as the Charlie G, while Canadian troops often refer to it as the 84, Carl G or Carlo.
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Encyclopedia
The Carl Gustav is the common name for the 84 mm man-portable reusable multi-role recoilless rifle
Recoilless rifle
A recoilless rifle or recoilless gun is a lightweight weapon that fires a heavier projectile than would be practical to fire from a recoiling weapon of comparable size. Technically, only devices that use a rifled barrel are recoilless rifles. Smoothbore variants are recoilless guns...

 produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics
Saab Bofors Dynamics
Saab Bofors Dynamics, located in Karlskoga and Linköping, Sweden, is a subsidiary of Saab AB that specializes in military materiel such as missile systems and anti-tank systems....

 (formerly Bofors Anti-Armour AB
Bofors
The name Bofors has been associated with the iron industry for more than 350 years.Located in Karlskoga, Sweden, the company originates from the hammer mill "Boofors" founded 1646. The modern corporate structure was created in 1873 with the foundation of Aktiebolaget Bofors-Gullspång...

) in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. The first prototype of the Carl Gustaf was produced in 1946, and while similar weapons of the era have generally disappeared, the Carl Gustaf remains in widespread use today. British troops refer to it as the Charlie G, while Canadian troops often refer to it as the 84, Carl G or Carlo. In US service it is officially known as the RAWS or Ranger Antitank Weapons System, but often called the Gustav or the Goose or simply the Carl Johnson by US soldiers. In Australia it is irreverently known as Charlie Gusto or Charlie Gutsache (gut
Gastrointestinal tract
The human gastrointestinal tract refers to the stomach and intestine, and sometimes to all the structures from the mouth to the anus. ....

s ache
Ache
Ache may refer to:* Ache, a chronic, painful sensation* Ache , a You've Got Foetus on Your Breath album* "Ache" , a song by No Doubt* Ache Records, a Vancouver-based record label* The American College of Healthcare Executives...

, slang for stomach pain). In its country of origin it is officially named Grg m/48 (Granatgevär or grenade rifle, model 48) but is sometimes nicknamed Stuprör (drainpipe) because the weapon mainly consists of a long tube.

History


The Carl Gustav was developed by Hugo Abramson and Harald Jentzen at the Royal Swedish Arms Administration (KAFT) and produced at Carl Gustav Stads Gevärsfaktori from where it derives its name. The weapon was first introduced into Swedish service in 1948 as the 8,4 cm Granatgevär m/48 (Grg m/48), filling the same anti-tank role as the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 Bazooka
Bazooka
Bazooka is the common name for a man-portable recoilless rocket antitank weapon, widely fielded by the U.S. Army. Also referred to as the "Stovepipe", the innovative bazooka was amongst the first-generation of rocket propelled anti-tank weapons used in infantry combat...

, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 PIAT
PIAT
The Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank was a British hand-held anti-tank weapon developed during the Second World War. The PIAT was designed in 1942 in response to the British Army's need for a more effective infantry anti-tank weapon, and entered service in 1943.The PIAT was based on the spigot...

 and German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Panzerschreck
Panzerschreck
Panzerschreck was the popular name for the Raketenpanzerbüchse , an 88 mm calibre reusable anti-tank rocket launcher developed by Nazi Germany in World War II. Another popular nickname was Ofenrohr ....

. Unlike these weapons, however, the Carl Gustav used a rifled barrel
Gun barrel
A gun barrel is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity....

 for spin-stabilizing its rounds, as opposed to fins used by the other systems.

The use of the recoilless firing system allowed the Carl Gustav to use ammunition containing considerably more propellant, firing its rounds at 290 m/s, as opposed to about 105 m/s for the Panzerschreck and Bazooka and about 135 m/s for the PIAT. The result was superior accuracy at longer ranges. The Carl Gustaf can be used to attack larger stationary targets at up to 700 m, but the relatively low speed of the projectile
Projectile
A projectile is any object projected into space by the exertion of a force. Although a thrown baseball is technically a projectile too, the term more commonly refers to a weapon....

 restricts attacks on moving targets to a range of 400 m or less.

The Carl Gustav was soon sold around the world and became one of the primary squad
Squad
In military terminology, a squad is a small military unit led by a non-commissioned officer that is subordinate to an infantry platoon. In countries following the British Army tradition this organization is referred to as a section...

-level anti-tank weapons for many West European armies. An improved version (M2) was introduced in 1964 and quickly replaced the original version. The current M3 version was introduced in 1991, using a thin steel liner containing the rifling, strengthened by a carbon fiber
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber, alternatively graphite fiber, carbon graphite or CF, is a material consisting of fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber...

 outer sleeve. External steel parts were replaced with aluminum alloys or plastics, reducing the empty weapon weight considerably—from 16.35 kg to 10 kg.

In recent years, the weapon has found new life in a variety of roles. The British Special Air Service, United States Special Forces and United States Army Rangers
United States Army Rangers
United States Army Rangers are elite members of the United States Army. Rangers have served in recognized U.S. Army Ranger units or have graduated from the U.S. Army's Ranger School...

 use M3s in bunker
Bunker
A military bunker is a hardened shelter, often buried partly or fully underground, designed to protect the inhabitants from falling bombs or other attacks...

-busting and anti-vehicle roles, while the German Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 maintains a small number of M2s for battlefield illumination. Many armies continue to use it as a viable anti-armor weapon, especially against 1950s- and 1960s-era tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

s and other armored vehicles still in use worldwide.

In a well-documented incident during the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

, a Royal Marine
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 damaged an Argentinian corvette using a Carl Gustaf.

The Carl Gustav was used against Taliban defensive fortifications by soldiers of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in operations in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. They developed a new system for firing at night in which a spotter with a night-scope fires tracer ammunition
Tracer ammunition
Tracer ammunition are bullets that are built with a small pyrotechnic charge in their base. Ignited by the burning powder, the phosphorus tail burns very brightly, making the projectile visible to the naked eye...

 to mark the target for the Carl Gustaf gunner.

Carl Gustav launchers were used by anti-Gaddafi forces
Anti-Gaddafi forces
The anti-Gaddafi forces were Libyan groups that opposed and militarily defeated the government of Muammar Gaddafi, killing him in the process. These opposition forces included organised and armed militia groups, participants in the 2011 Libyan civil war, Libyan diplomats who switched their...

 during the 2011 Libyan uprising, the weapons being either captured or provided by defecting members of the Libyan Army
Libyan Army
In 2009 the IISS estimated that the Ground Forces of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya numbered 25,000 with an additional, estimated, 25,000 conscripts...

.

Description


The basic weapon consists of the main tube with the breech-mounted Venturi
Venturi effect
The Venturi effect is the reduction in fluid pressure that results when a fluid flows through a constricted section of pipe. The Venturi effect is named after Giovanni Battista Venturi , an Italian physicist.-Background:...

 recoil damper, with two grips near the front and a shoulder mount. The weapon is fitted with iron sight
Iron sight
Iron sights are a system of shaped alignment markers used as a sighting device to assist in the aiming of a device such as a firearm, crossbow, or telescope, and exclude the use of optics as in telescopic sights or reflector sights...

s, but is normally aimed with the attached 3x optical sight with a 17 degree (300 mrad) field of view
Field of view
The field of view is the extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment....

. Luminous front and rear sight inserts are available for the iron sights when aiming at night, and an image intensification system may also be used.

The Carl Gustav can be fired from the standing, kneeling, sitting or prone positions, and a bipod
Bipod
A bipod is a support device that is similar to a tripod or monopod, but with two legs. It provides significant stability along two axes of motion .-Firearms:...

 may be attached in front of the shoulder piece. An operating handle called the "Venturi lock" is used to move the hinged breech to one side for reloading. The weapon is normally operated by a two-man crew, one carrying and firing the weapon, the other carrying ammunition and reloading.

Specifications

  • Calibre: 84 mm rifled (24 lands, progressive twist)
  • Crew: 2 optimal, 1 minimal
  • Weights: 14.2 kg (M2); 8.5 kg (M3); 0.8 kg (mount)
  • Length: 1.065 m
  • Breech: Hinged
  • Rate of fire: 6 rounds per minute
  • Sights: Iron sights, optical 3x, laser rangefinder, image intensification system

M3 MAAWS


The M3 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System (MAAWS) is the US designation for the Carl Gustaf M3 recoilless rifle. It is primarily used by USSOCOM
United States Special Operations Command
The United States Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States Armed Forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense...

 forces such as the Army Special Forces
United States Army Special Forces
The United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations force tasked with six primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, hostage rescue, and...

, 75th Ranger Regiment
75th Ranger Regiment (United States)
The 75th Ranger Regiment , also known as Rangers, is a Special Operations light infantry unit of the United States Army. The Regiment is headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia with battalions in Fort Benning, Hunter Army Airfield and Joint Base Lewis-McChord...

, Navy SEALS
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

, Delta Force
Delta Force
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta is one of the United States' secretive Tier One counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units. Commonly known as Delta Force, Delta, or The Unit, it was formed under the designation 1st SFOD-D, and is officially referred to by the Department of Defense...

, DEVGRU and MARSOC. When in use with the 75th Ranger Regiment it is known as the Ranger Anti-tank Weapons System (RAWS).

The M3 MAAWS fires the following ammunition:
  • High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) round
  • High Explosive Anti-Tank
    High explosive anti-tank
    High explosive anti-tank warheads are made of an explosive shaped charge that uses the Munroe effect to create a very high-velocity partial stream of metal in a state of superplasticity that can punch through solid armor....

     (HEAT) round
  • High Explosive
    Explosive material
    An explosive material, also called an explosive, is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure...

     (HE) round
  • Illumination round
  • Smoke round
  • Area Defence Munition (ADM) flechette
    Flechette
    A flechette is a pointed steel projectile, with a vaned tail for stable flight. The name comes from French , "little arrow" or "dart", and sometimes retains the acute accent in English: fléchette.-Bulk and artillery use:...

     round

Ammunition


Improvements to the ammunition have been continual. While the older HEAT
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

 rounds are not particularly effective against modern tank armor, the weapon has found new life as a bunker-buster with an HEDP
HEDP
HEDP is an abbreviation for:* High explosive dual purpose anti-tank warhead* Etidronic acid or etidronate* the Higher Education Development Program of the Commission on Higher Education...

 round. In addition, improved HEAT, high explosive (HE), smoke and illumination (star shell or flare
Flare (pyrotechnic)
A flare, also sometimes called a fusee, is a type of pyrotechnic that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion. Flares are used for signalling, illumination, or defensive countermeasures in civilian and military applications...

) ammunition is also available. For full effectiveness, illumination rounds have to be fired at a very high angle, creating a danger for the gunner as the backblast from firing can burn him. For this reason several armies have retired the illumination rounds, while the US Army requires that they be fired from a standing position.

The following are Canadian designations (other countries use similar terminology, replacing the "FFV")
  • FFV441 is an HE round, useful in a "lobbed" trajectory to 1,000m, which can be fused to either detonate on impact or as an airburst
    Air burst
    An air burst is the detonation of an explosive device such as an anti-personnel artillery shell or a nuclear weapon in the air instead of on contact with the ground or target or a delayed armor piercing explosion....

    .
  • FFV441B is an HE round with an effective range against personnel in the open of 1,100 m. The round arms after 20 to 70 m of flight, weighs 3.1 kg, and is fired at a muzzle velocity of 255 m/s.
  • FFV469 is a smoke round fired like the FFV441, with a range of about 1,300 m. The 3.1 kg round is also fired at 255 m/s.
  • FFV502 is an HEDP round with the ability to be set to detonate either on impact or one-tenth of a second afterwards. Effective range is 1,000 m against dispersed soft target
    Soft target
    Soft target is a military term referring to unarmored/undefended targets needing to be destroyed. For example, a soft target would be an automobile, a house, or assembly of people while a hard target could be a main battle tank or a well defended installation...

    s such as infantry in the open, 500 m against stationary targets, and 300 m against moving targets. Minimum range is 15 to 40 m to arm the warhead. Penetration exceeds 150 mm of rolled homogeneous armour
    Rolled homogeneous armour
    Rolled homogeneous armour is a type of steel which is used to armour vehicles.-Composition:Armoured steel must be hard yet impervious to shock in order to resist high velocity metal projectiles. Steel with these characteristics is produced by processing cast steel billets of appropriate size and...

     (RHA). Ammunition weight is 3.3 kg and muzzle velocity is 230 m/s.
  • FFV545 is an illuminating starshell, fired up to 2,300 m maximum range, but with an effective envelope of 300 to 2,100 m. Suspended by parachute, the starshell burns for 30 seconds while producing 650,000 candela
    Candela
    The candela is the SI base unit of luminous intensity; that is, power emitted by a light source in a particular direction, weighted by the luminosity function . A common candle emits light with a luminous intensity of roughly one candela...

    , providing a 400 to 500 m diameter area of illumination.
  • FFV551 is the primary HEAT round and is a rocket-assisted projectile (RAP). Effective range is up to 700 m (400 m against moving targets) and penetration up to 400 mm of RHA. Ammunition weight is 3.2 kg and muzzle velocity is 255 m/s.
  • FFV552 is a practice round with the same ballistics as the 551.
  • FFV651 is a newer HEAT round using mid-flight rocket assistance for ranges up to 1,000m. In theory, it has less penetration than the FFV441, but it includes a stand-off probe for the fuse to improve performance against reactive armour
    Reactive armour
    Reactive armour is a type of vehicle armour that reacts in some way to the impact of a weapon to reduce the damage done to the vehicle being protected. It is most effective in protecting against shaped charges and specially hardened long rod penetrators...

    .
  • FFV751 is a tandem-warhead HEAT round with an effective range of 500 m and ability to penetrate more than 500 mm of armour. Weight is 4 kg.

Users


- M2 replaced by M3 variant. (M2,M3,M4) A modified version has also been developed by the DRDO which is significantly lighter due to use of advanced composites.: Komando Pasukan Katak
KOPASKA
Kopaska or Komando Pasukan Katak is the premier frogman and underwater demolition unit of the Indonesian Navy. The Unit's motto is 'Tan Hana Wighna Tan Sirna', which means 'There is no obstacle that can not be defeated'. It was officially established on March 31, 1962 by President Sukarno to help...

(Kopaska) tactical diver group and Komando Pasukan Khusus
Kopassus
Kopassus is an Indonesian Army special forces group that conducts special operations missions for the Indonesian government, such as direct action, unconventional warfare, sabotage, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and intelligence gathering.Kopassus was founded on April 16, 1952...

(Kopassus) special forces group.

Designated as the 84 mm Recoilless Rifle.: Lithuanian Armed Forces.: Used by special forces.: Used by the Portuguese armed forces.: M2 variant was used from the 1970s until the early 1990s.: Used by USSOCOM
United States Special Operations Command
The United States Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States Armed Forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense...

, US Army Ranger battalions and some Army infantry units in Afghanistan .

See also

  • Panzerfaust
    Panzerfaust
    The Panzerfaust was an inexpensive, recoilless German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consisted of a small, disposable preloaded launch tube firing a high explosive anti-tank warhead, operated by a single soldier...

     (Nazi German, 1943, man-portable)
  • RPG-2
    RPG-2
    The RPG-2 was the first rocket-propelled grenade launcher designed in the Soviet Union.-Development:The RPG-2 , was a man-portable, shoulder-launched rocket-propelled grenade anti-armor weapon...

     (USSR, 1947 , man-portable)
  • 55 S 55
    55 S 55
    55 S 55 was a Finnish recoilless anti-tank weapon from the mid-1950s.The numbers refer to diameter of the launching tube in millimetres and year of entering to service. S stands forFinnish word "sinko" ....

     (Finland, 1947, man-portable)
  • M40 recoilless rifle
    M40 recoilless rifle
    The M40 recoilless rifle was a lightweight, portable, crew-served 105 mm weapon intended primarily as an anti-tank weapon made in the United States...

     (USA, 1947 , tripod mounted)
  • B-10 recoilless rifle
    B-10 recoilless rifle
    The B-10 recoilless rifle is a Soviet 82 mm smoothbore recoilless rifle. It could be carried on the rear of a BTR-50 armoured personnel carrier. It was a development of the earlier SPG-82, and entered Soviet service during 1954...

    (USSR, 1954 , tripod mounted)

External links