M79 flechette round

M79 flechette round DEFAULT
Launcher, Grenade, 40 mm, M79
M79 Grenade Launcher (7414625716).jpg
M79 with the leaf-type sight unfolded.
Type Grenade launcher
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service 1961–present
Used by See Users
Wars Vietnam War, Cambodian Civil War, Falklands War, Iraq War, Cambodian–Thai border stand-off, 2010 Burma border clashes
Production history
Designer Springfield Armory
Designed 1953–1960
Manufacturer Springfield Armory, Action Manufacturing Company, Exotic Metal Products, Kanarr Corporation, and Thompson-Ramo-Woolridge
Produced 1961–1971
Number built 350,000 (U.S. only)
Specifications
Weight 2.93 kg (6.45 lb) loaded
2.7 kg (5.95 lb) empty
Length 73.1 cm (28.78 in)
Barrel length 35.7 cm (14 in)

Cartridge40x46mm grenade
ActionBreak-action
Rate of fire6 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity76 m/s (247 ft/s)
Effective range 350 m (383 yd)
Maximum range 400 m (437 yd)
Feed system breech-loaded
Sights Blade and leaf type

The M79 grenade launcher is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break-actiongrenade launcher that fires a 40x46mm grenade which uses what the US Army calls the High-Low Propulsion System to keep recoil forces low, and first appeared during the Vietnam War. Because of its distinctive report, it has earned the nicknames of "Thumper", "Thump-Gun", "Bloop Tube", and "Blooper" among American soldiers;[1] Australian units referred to it as the "Wombat Gun".[2] The M79 can fire a wide variety of 40 mm rounds, including explosive, anti-personnel, smoke, buckshot, flechette, and illumination. While largely replaced by the M203,[3] the M79 has remained in service in many units worldwide in niche roles.

History[]

The M79 was a result of Project Niblick, an attempt to increase firepower for the infantryman by having an explosive projectile more accurate with further range than rifle grenades, but more portable than a mortar. Project Niblick created the 40 x 46 mm grenade, but was unable to create a satisfactory launcher for it that could fire more than a single shot. One of the launchers at Springfield Armory was the single-shot break-open, shoulder-fired S-3. It was refined into the S-5, which resembled an over-sized shotgun. Unable to develop a suitable multi-shot launcher, the Army adopted the S-5 as the XM79. With a new sight, the XM79 was officially adopted as the M79 on December 15, 1960.[4]

In 1961, the first M79 grenade launchers were delivered to the US Army. Owing to its ease of use, reliability, and firepower, the M79 became popular among American soldiers, who dubbed it "the platoon leader's artillery".[5][6] Some soldiers would cut down the stock and barrel to make the M79 even more portable.[7]

However, its single-shot nature was a serious drawback; having to reload after every shot meant a slow rate of fire and therefore an inability to keep up a constant volume of fire during a firefight. Also, for close-in situations, the minimum arming range (the round must travel 30 meters to arm itself) and the blast radius meant a grenadier would have to either resort to his .45 cal. pistol, or fire and hope that the grenade would not arm itself but instead act as a giant slow bullet. Specialty grenades for close-in fighting were created to compensate, though a soldier did not always have the luxury of being able to load one in the heat of battle. Moreover, its size meant that a soldier with an M79 would be only a grenadier, and if he ran out of ammunition had nothing but a pistol to contribute to a firefight. Underbarrel grenade launchers, such as the XM148 and the M203, where the grenade launcher attaches to an M16 rifle, were developed during the Vietnam War, allowing the grenadier to function also as a rifleman. Some grenadiers opted to carry a slung M16 rifle in lieu of a pistol.

The XM148 was plagued with problems and the project was dropped. The M203 was a success, and was standardized in 1969;[8] it had replaced the M79 by the end of the war, though M79s were still used in Reserve and National Guard units.

Some US Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces in Iraq have been seen using the M79 in recent years[citation needed], due to its greater accuracy and range compared to the M203 (350m effective versus 150 m effective on the M203). The M79 has seen notable limited use during Operation Iraqi Freedom, such as for clearing IEDs.[9]

Design[]

Visually, the M79 grenade launcher resembles a large bore, break-action, sawed-off shotgun,[10] and is simple in design, having only five parts: a receiver group, a fore-end assembly, a barrel group, a sight assembly, and a stock. The fore-end assembly beds the barrel to the receiver. The stock is made out of wood or fiberglass. A rubber pad affixed to the buttstock absorbs some recoil. The front sight is a fixed blade. The rear sight on the M79 is a folding ladder-style leaf-type sight. When folded, the leaf sight acts as a fixed sight for close range. A grenadier may simply point and shoot with high accuracy. When unfolded, the leaf-type sight could be adjusted for ranges from 75-meters to 375-meters, in 25-meters increments. Additionally, Appendix A of U.S. Army field manual for the M203 includes instructions for attaching the M16 rifle grenade sight to the M79's stock and marking the sling for indirect fire at elevations greater than 40°.

While not a manufacturer, Milcor/Mechem of South Africa do re-manufacture M-79 grenade launchers to more modern standards. They replace the leaf sight with an optical one and replace the wooden stock with a modified R-4/R-5 stock.

Operation[]

The M79 is easy to operate. To load, the grenadier pushes the barrel locking latch on the receiver group to the right. Gravity will pull down the barrel, breaking it open, and exposing the breech. The hammer is cocked when the breech is opened. A round then may be loaded. The break action must then be closed manually. Closing the breech will cause the barrel locking latch to return to center. The safety must then be pushed to the forward position in order to ready the weapon for firing.

Ammunition[]

See also: United States 40 mm grenades

Many different ammunition types were produced for the M79 (and subsequently for the M203), outside of the smoke and illumination rounds three main types emerge: explosive, close-range, and non-lethal crowd control. The break-open action of the M79 allows it to use longer rounds that the standard M203 cannot use without some difficulty.

Explosive[]

The M406 40 mm HE (high explosive) grenades fired from the M79 travel at a muzzle velocity of 75 meters per second. The M406 contained enough explosive to produce over 300 fragments that travel at 1,524 meters per second within a lethal radius of 5 meters. This round incorporated a spin-activation safety feature which prevents the grenade from arming while still within range of the shooter; it armed itself after traveling a distance of about 30 meters. Even though the round would not arm at point blank ranges, the round usually did not have enough kinetic energy to kill although it sometimes penetrated the abdomen or caused large hematomas.

Close range[]

For close range fighting two styles of M79 rounds were developed. The first was a flechette or Bee Hive round (so named for the sound the flechettes made while in flight)[11] that fired 45 10-grain steel flechettes. Flechettes proved to be ineffective because they would often not hit point-first and penetrate. Instead they would hit sideways and bounce off. About 1966, this was replaced by the M576buckshot round. Containing twenty 24g metal pellets[12] (M576E1) or twenty-seven 24g metal pellets (M576E2), this round could be devastating at close ranges. However, as range increased, the shot spread out so rapidly as to be ineffective. The M576E2, despite the greater number of shot, was less effective at range than the M576E1, because its shot spread out much more quickly and could completely miss the target.

Non-lethal[]

The M79 has been used extensively also for crowd control purposes where it is desirable to have a weapon dedicated solely to non-lethal force. The three common less-lethal rounds are the M651 CS gas, the M1006 sponge grenade, and the M1029 Crowd Dispersal rounds.

Users[]

See also[]

References[]

  1. ↑As well as some variants on these:
    • "Blooper" and "Thumper", according to Rottman, Gordon L. (2005). US Army Infantryman in Vietnam 1965–73. Osprey. pp. 31. ISBN 1-84176-887-1. 
    • "Thumper", "Blooper Gun", "Thump Gun" and "Bloop Tube" in Clark, Gregory R. (1990). Words of the Vietnam War. McFarland. pp. 303. ISBN 0-89950-465-5. 
  2. 2.02.1McKay, Gary (1998). Delta Four: Australian Riflemen in Vietnam. Allen & Unwin. pp. 293. ISBN 1-86448-905-7. 
  3. ↑M203 40mm Grenade Launcher
  4. ↑Dockery, Kevin (December 2004). Weapons of the Navy SEALs. New York City: Berkley Publishing Group. pp. 372–374. ISBN 0-425-19834-0. 
  5. ↑Clark II, Clair William (2002). Land, Sea and Foreign Shore: A Missileer's Story. Xlibris. pp. 77. ISBN 1-4010-6380-2. "[The M79] was very popular because it was fun and easy to shoot[...] This popular weapon was dubbed "the platoon leader's artillery." It was a deadly little dude." 
  6. ↑Stanton, Shelby L. (1987). Anatomy of a Division. pp. 198. ISBN 0-89141-259-X. "The M79 was popular and handy, being both thoroughly reliable and virtually maintenance-free." 
  7. ↑Halberstadt, Hans (2004). War Stories of the Green Berets. Zenith Press. pp. 231. ISBN 0-7603-1974-X. 
  8. ↑Rottman 2005, p. 31.
  9. ↑Marines test 'blooper' against roadside bomb threat
  10. ↑Clark 2002, p. 77. "It looked like a small, pregnant, breech loading, sawed off shotgun."
  11. ↑http://25thaviation.org/id401.htm
  12. ↑http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/grenade/40mm_ammo.html
  13. 13.0013.0113.0213.0313.0413.0513.0613.0713.0813.0913.1013.1113.1213.1313.1413.1513.1613.1713.1813.1913.2013.2113.2213.2313.2413.2513.2613.2713.2813.2913.3013.3113.3213.3313.3413.3513.36Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  14. ↑http://www.exercito.gov.br/01inst/armtmuni/lancagrana.htm
  15. ↑http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files/sas/publications/w_papers_pdf/WP/WP4_Cambodia.pdf
  16. ↑http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-01/25/c_13149268.htm
  17. ↑http://www.jdfmil.org/equipment/weapons/weapons_home.php
  18. Jane's Infantry Weapons 1997–98 (23rd edition ed.). Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. pp. 242. ISBN 0-7106-1548-5. 
  19. ↑http://quocphong.baodatviet.vn/Home/QPCN/Viet-Nam-sua-chua-sung-phong-luu-My/20128/227887.datviet

External links[]

Sours: https://military.wikia.org/wiki/M79_grenade_launcher

Beehive anti-personnel round

Artillery round

This article is about Beehive anti-personnel ammunition. For other uses, see Beehive (disambiguation).

Beehive was a Vietnam war era anti-personnel round packed with metal flechettes fired from an artillery gun most popularly deployed during that conflict. It is also known as flechette rounds or their official designation, antipersonnel-tracer (APERS-T). Typically, artillery gunners fire using indirect fire, firing at targets they cannot see by line of sight with information provided by a forward observer. However, during the Vietnam War, there was a demand for a munition that could be fired directly at enemy troops, in cases where an artillery unit was attacked.

History[edit]

The flechette rounds were developed under a contract administered by Picatinny Arsenal and let to the Whirlpool Corporation in April 1957. The contract was named the "Beehive Program" referring to the way the flechettes were compartmentalized and stacked, looking like the traditional image of a conical beehive. It was commonly assumed by users in the service that the term referred to a supposed 'buzzing' sound its darts made when flying through the air.[1] The first example was the 105mm howitzer M546 anti-personnel tracer (APERS-T), first fired in combat in 1966[2] and thereafter used extensively in the Vietnam War. Intended for direct fire against enemy troops, the M546 was direct fired from a near horizontally leveled 105 mm howitzer[3] and ejected 8000 flechettes during flight by a mechanical time fuze. Green starshells were shot into the air prior to their use to warn friendly troops that such a round was being shot.[citation needed]

The 105mm howitzer round was not the only artillery piece provided with APERS-T. Beehive rounds were also created for recoillessanti-tank weapons: the 90 mm and 106 mm mounted on the M50 Ontos.[4] APERS-T rounds were available for 90mm gun on M48 tanks and the 152mm gun on the M551 Sheridan armored reconnaissance/airborne assault vehicle. After the Vietnam War the 105mm tank gun M68 was also provided APER-T ammunition M494. APERS-T rounds in 40×46 mm were also available for the M79, M203, and M320 grenade launchers.

Subsequently, it was reported that the USSR had developed similar rounds for 122 mm and 152 mm artillery for use in indirect fire.

Beehive rounds became less popular in the United States following Vietnam, with low-angle air burst techniques such as Killer Junior supplanting the use of Beehive.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^Eitan Barak (ed.) (2011), Deadly Metal Rain: The Legality of Flechette Weapons in International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p. 40CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^Major General David Ewing Ott (1975), Field Artillery, 1954-1973(PDF), Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, p. 61
  3. ^M546 APERS-T 105-mm
  4. ^ONTOS mounting six 106mm recoilless rifle, the world's biggest shot gun
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive_anti-personnel_round
  1. Traktor you tube
  2. Glass board menards
  3. Pillow import image
  4. Chp fleet

M79 grenade launcher

Grenade launcher

The M79 grenade launcher is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break-actiongrenade launcher that fires a 40×46mm grenade, which uses what the US Army calls the High-Low Propulsion System to keep recoil forces low, and first appeared during the Vietnam War. Because of its distinctive report, it has earned the nicknames of "Thumper", "Thump-Gun", "Bloop Tube", "Big Ed", "Elephant Gun," and "Blooper" among American soldiers[1] as well as "Can Cannon" in reference to the grenade size; Australian units referred to it as the "Wombat Gun".[2] The M79 can fire a wide variety of 40 mm rounds, including explosive, anti-personnel, smoke, buckshot, flechette (pointed steel projectiles with a vaned tail for stable flight), and illumination. While largely replaced by the M203,[3] the M79 has remained in service in many units worldwide in niche roles.

History[edit]

The M79 was a result of the US Army's Project Niblick, an attempt to increase firepower for the infantryman by having an explosive projectile more accurate with further range than rifle grenades, but more portable than a mortar. Project Niblick created the 40 x 46 mm grenade, but was unable to create a satisfactory launcher for it that could fire more than a single shot. One of the launchers at Springfield Armory was the three-shot "harmonica" T148 (not to be confused with the later, underbarrel XM148), which did see some limited production and fielding in Vietnam, but problems with the three-round magazine prevented widespread acceptance. The other design was a single-shot break-open, shoulder-fired weapon, the S-3. This was refined into the S-5, which resembled an oversized single-barrel shotgun. Unable to solve the problems with the multi-shot T148 launcher, the Army adopted the S-5 as the XM79. With a new sight, the XM79 was officially adopted as the M79 on December 15, 1960.[4]

In 1961, the first M79 grenade launchers were delivered to the US Army. Owing to its ease of use, reliability, and firepower, the M79 became popular among American soldiers, who dubbed it "the platoon leader's artillery".[5][self-published source][6] Some soldiers would cut down the stock and barrel to make the M79 even more portable.[7]

The M79 saw combat in the Vietnam War beginning in the early days, when M79 Grenadiers assigned to major Army divisions first arrived to see combat in Vietnam in 1965, including the 1st Cavalry Division, the 1st Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade. M79s were assigned to the specialist 4 grenadier in both 4-5-man fire teams organic to an Army rifle squad headed by a squad leader. The Marines assigned one grenadier to their three-fire team 14-man rifle squad.

However, its single-shot nature was a serious drawback. Reloading after every shot meant a slow rate of fire and an inability to keep up a constant volume of fire during a firefight. This led the Navy to develop the China Lake Grenade Launcher, which was produced for deployed SEAL Teams. For close-in situations, the minimum arming range (the round travels 30 meters to arm itself) and the blast radius meant a grenadier had to use his .45 cal. (11.43 mm) pistol, or fire and hope that the grenade acted as a giant slow bullet. Special grenades for close-in fighting were created to compensate, though a soldier was not always able to load one in the heat of battle. Moreover, its size meant that a grenadier armed with the M79 could not carry a rifle, having only a sidearm to use in a firefight after expending his grenades, though some grenadiers opted to carry a slung M16 rifle in lieu of a sidearm.

Cut-down M-79 captured by Marines in 1968

Underbarrel grenade launchers, such as the XM148 and the M203, both designed as attachments for the M16 rifle, were developed during the Vietnam War, allowing the grenadier to also function as a rifleman. The XM148 was plagued with problems and the project was dropped. The M203 was however a success, and was standardized in 1969;[8] it had replaced the M79 by the end of the war, though M79s were still used in Reserve and National Guard units.

Some US Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces in Iraq have been seen using the M79 in recent years, due to its greater accuracy and range compared to the M203 (350 meters effective versus 150 meters effective). The M79 has seen notable limited use during Operation Iraqi Freedom, such as for clearing IEDs.[9] The grenade launcher also sees continued use as a mission-specific tool with Special warfare combatant-craft crewmen.[10]

Design[edit]

Visually, the M79 grenade launcher resembles a large bore, break-action, sawed-off shotgun,[11] and is simple in design, having only five major parts: a receiver group, a fore-end assembly, a barrel group, a sight assembly, and a stock. The fore-end assembly beds the barrel to the receiver. The stock is made out of wood or fiberglass. A rubber pad affixed to the buttstock absorbs some recoil. The front sight is a fixed blade. The rear sight on the M79 is a folding ladder–style leaf sight. When folded, the leaf sight acts as a fixed sight at close range. A grenadier may simply point and shoot with high accuracy. When unfolded, the leaf sight can be adjusted for ranges from 75 to 375 meters, in 25-meter increments. Additionally, Appendix A of the U.S. Army field manual for the M203 includes instructions on attaching the M16 rifle grenade sight to the M79's stock and marking the sling for indirect fire at elevations greater than 40°.

While not manufacturers of the M79, Milcor and Denel Mechem of South Africa do re-manufacture M-79 grenade launchers to more modern standards. They replace the leaf sight with an optical one and replace the wooden stock with a modified R-4/R-5 stock.

Operation[edit]

M79 (right) with an FN Minimi, Panama, January 1989
M79 being set up for display

The M79 is easy to operate. To load, the grenadier pushes the barrel locking latch on the receiver group to the right. Gravity will pull down the barrel, opening the action and exposing the breech. The hammer is cocked when the breech is opened. A round then may be loaded. The break action must then be closed manually. Closing the breech will cause the barrel locking latch to return to center. The safety must then be pushed to the forward position in order to ready the weapon for firing.

Ammunition[edit]

See also: United States 40 mm grenades

Many different ammunition types were produced for the M79 (and subsequently for the M203). Outside of the smoke and illumination rounds three main types emerge: explosive, close-range, and non-lethal crowd control. The break-open action of the M79 allows it to use longer rounds that the standard M203 cannot use without some difficulty.

Explosive[edit]

The M406 40 mm HE (high explosive) grenades fired from the M79 travel at a muzzle velocity of 75 meters per second. The M406 contained enough explosive to produce over 300 fragments that travel at 1,524 meters per second within a lethal radius of 5 meters. This round incorporated a spin-activation safety feature which prevents the grenade from arming while still within range of the shooter; it armed itself after traveling a distance of about 14–27 meters.[12] The round would not arm at point blank ranges and it usually did not have enough kinetic energy to kill, although it sometimes penetrated the abdomen or caused large hematomas.

Close range[edit]

For close range fighting, two styles of M79 rounds were developed. The first was a flechette or Bee Hive round (so named for the sound the flechettes made while in flight)[13] that fired 45 10-grain steel flechettes. Flechettes proved to be ineffective because they would often not hit point-first and penetrate. Instead they would hit sideways and bounce off. About 1966, this was replaced by the M576buckshot round. Containing twenty 24-grain metal pellets[14] (M576E1) or twenty-seven 24-grain metal pellets (M576E2), this round could be devastating at close ranges. However, as range increased, the shot spread out so rapidly as to be ineffective. The M576E2, despite the greater number of shot, was less effective at range than the M576E1, because its shot spread out much more quickly and could completely miss the target.

Non-lethal[edit]

The M79 has been used extensively also for crowd control purposes where it is desirable to have a weapon dedicated solely to non-lethal force. The three common less-lethal rounds are the M651 CS gas, the M1006 sponge grenade, and the M1029 Crowd Dispersal rounds.

Users[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^Variations:
    • "Blooper" and "Thumper", according to Rottman, Gordon L. (2005). US Army Infantryman in Vietnam 1965–73. Osprey. pp. 31. ISBN .
    • "Thumper", "Blooper Gun", "Thump Gun" and "Bloop Tube" in Clark, Gregory R. (1990). Words of the Vietnam War. McFarland. p. 303. ISBN .
    • Also "Elephant Gun", etc. Rottman, Gordon L. (21 September 2017). US Grenade Launchers: M79, M203, and M320. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN  – via Google Books.
  2. ^ abMcKay, Gary (1998). Delta Four: Australian Riflemen in Vietnam. Allen & Unwin. p. 293. ISBN .
  3. ^"M203 40mm Grenade Launcher". Archived from the original on January 7, 2008.
  4. ^Dockery, Kevin (December 2004). Weapons of the Navy SEALs. New York City: Berkley Publishing Group. pp. 372–374. ISBN .
  5. ^Clark II, Clair William (2002). Land, Sea and Foreign Shore: A Missileer's Story. Xlibris. p. 77. ISBN .
  6. ^Stanton, Shelby L. (1987). Anatomy of a Division. pp. 198. ISBN .
  7. ^Halberstadt, Hans (2004). War Stories of the Green Berets. Zenith Press. p. 231. ISBN .
  8. ^Rottman 2005, p. 31.
  9. ^"Marines test 'blooper' against roadside bomb threat". Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  10. ^"Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman-SWCC". United States Navy. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  11. ^Clark 2002, p. 77. "It looked like a small, pregnant, breech loading, sawed off shotgun."
  12. ^"40mm Low-Velocity Grenades". www.inetres.com. Inetres.
  13. ^"War Stories 6". Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  14. ^"40mm Low-Velocity Grenades". Archived from the original on 2 November 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  15. ^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzaaabacadaeafagahaiajakJones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  16. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-22. Retrieved 2008-09-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^"Small Arms Survey - Working Papers"(PDF). 8 November 2012. Archived from the original(PDF) on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  18. ^"Misunderstanding leads to Thai-Cambodian border clash: Thai, Cambodian armies". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  19. ^"中国为何没仿制美军单兵大炮?". July 23, 2018. Archived from the original on July 23, 2018.
  20. ^ncoicinnet. "Web Site of the Jamaica Defence Force". Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  21. ^Conboy, Kenneth (23 Nov 1989). The War in Laos 1960–75. Men-at-Arms 217. Osprey Publishing. p. 15. ISBN .
  22. ^Small Arms Survey (2007). "Persistent Instability: Armed Violence and Insecurity in South Sudan". The Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City. Cambridge University Press. p. 325. ISBN . Archived from the original(PDF) on 2018-08-27. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  23. ^"World Infantry Weapons: Niger". 2007–2014. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016.
  24. ^Jane's Infantry Weapons 1997–98 (23rd ed.). Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. p. 242. ISBN .
  25. ^"Mountain Commandos at War in the Falklands: The Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre in Action During the 1982 Conflict".
  26. ^"Việt Nam sửa chữa súng phóng lựu Mỹ" (in Vietnamese). 2012-12-08. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  27. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-12-01. Retrieved 2018-12-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Pitta, Robert (27 May 1993). South African Special Forces. Osprey Publishing. ISBN .

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M79_grenade_launcher
40mm Ring of FIRE! The Beehive 🔥🐝🔥

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M79 Grenade Launcher
The M79 Grenade Launcher is a single-shot, shoulder-fired,break-action single purpose weapon designed to fire a 40mm grenade more accurately than the grenade fired from the WW II-vintage rifle adapter grenade launcher. The M79 was intended to provide increased firepower to the infantry rifle squad and platoon with an explosive projector weapon that bridged the gap between hand grenades and indirect fire assets, like the 60mm or 81mm mortar at the company-level. Grenadiers armed with the M79 could fire a more explosive round a greater distance with more accuracy than the hand grenade, and weighing about 6 1/2 pounds when loaded, was more portable than a mortar. The Army adopted the M79 on 15 December 1960 with the first units receiving them in late 1961. The weapon became a mainstay of infantry units during the Vietnam War.
DID YOU KNOW
The maximum range of the M79's 40mm round was 400 meters, with a 350 meter maximum effective range.
The 40mm ammunition for the M79 included high explosive, smoke, illumination and training practice rounds. For close-in fighting, there was originally a flechette or "beehive" round, which was replaced during 1966 with a buckshot round. It can also fire a non-lethal CS, or tear gas, round.
Because of the distinctive sound it made when fired, Vietnam-era infantry soldiers - or "grunts" - gave the M79 several nicknames, such as "Thumper," "Blooper," "Thump-Gun," and "Bloop-Tube."
Some infantrymen called the M79 the "Elephant Gun," due to its breach-loading break-action breech and large bore, giving it the appearance of a large-gauge, albeit short-barreled,shotgun.
Sours: https://m.facebook.com/armyhistory/photos/a.410473127852/10156072330762853/?type=3&locale2=hi_IN

Flechette round m79

The M79 grenade launcher is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break-action grenade launcher that fires a 40x46mm grenade which uses what the US Army calls the High-Low Propulsion System to keep recoil forces low, and first appeared during the Vietnam War. Because of its distinctive report, it has earned the nicknames of "Thumper", "Thump-Gun", "Bloop Tube", and "Blooper" among American soldiers. Australian units referred to it as the "Wombat Gun". The M79 can fire a wide variety of 40mm rounds, including explosive, anti-personnel, smoke, buckshot, flechette, and illumination. While largely replaced by the M203, the M79 has remained in service in many units worldwide in niche roles.

History[]

The M79 was a result of Project Niblick, an attempt to increase firepower for the infantryman by having an explosive projectile more accurate with further range than rifle grenades, but more portable than a mortar. Project Niblick created the 40x46mm grenade, but was unable to create a satisfactory launcher for it that could fire more than a single shot. One of the launchers at Springfield Armory was the single-shot break-open, shoulder-fired S-3. It was refined into the S-5, which resembled an over-sized shotgun. Unable to develop a suitable multi-shot launcher, the Army adopted the S-5 as the XM79. With a new sight, the XM79 was officially adopted as the M79 on Dec. 15, 1960.

In 1961, the first M79 grenade launchers were delivered to the US Army. Owing to its ease of use, reliability, and firepower, the M79 became popular among American soldiers, who dubbed it "the platoon leader's artillery". Some soldiers would cut down the stock and barrel to make the M79 even more portable.

However, its single-shot nature was a serious drawback; having to reload after evry shot meant a slow rate of fire and therefore an inability to keep up a constant volume of fire during a firefight. Also, for close-in situations, the minimun arming range (the round must travel 30 meters to arm itself) and the blast radius meant a grenadier would have to either resort to a backup pistol, if he had one to begin with, or fire and hope that the grenade would not arm itself but instead act as a giant slow bullet. Specialty grenades for close-in fighting were created to compensate, though a soldier did not always have the luxury to being able to load one in the heat of battle. Moreover, its size meant that a soldier with an M79 would be dedicated to being only a grenadier, and if he ran out of ammunition had nothing but a pistol and knife to contribute to a firefight. Underbarrel grenade lauchers, such as the XM148 and the M203, where the grenade launcher attaches to the rifle, were developed during the Vietnam War, allowing the grenadier to function also as a rifleman.

The XM148 was plagued with problems and the project was dropped. The M203 was a success, and was standardized in 1969; it had replaced the M79 by the end of the war, though M79s were still used in Reserve and National Guard units. Some US Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces in Iraq have been seen using the M79 in recent years, most likely due to its greater accuracy and range compared to the M203 (350m effective range versus 150m effective on the M203). The M79 has seen notable limited use during Operation Iraqi Freedom, such as for clearing IEDs.

Design[]

Visually, the M79 grenade launcher resembles a large bore, break-action, sawed-off shotgun, and is simple in design, having only five parts: a receiver group, a fore-end assembly, a barrel group, a sight assembly, and a stock. The fore-end assembly beds the barrel to the receiver. The stock is made out of wood or fiberglass. A rubber pad affixed to the buttstock absorbs some recoil. The front sight is a fixed blade. The rear sight on the M79 is a folding ladder-style leaf-type sight. When folded, the leaf sight acts as a fixed for close range. A grenadier may simply point and shoot for high accuracy. When unfolded, the leaf type sight could be adjusted for ranges from 75 meters to 375 meters, in 25 meter increments. Additionally, Appendix A of US Army field manual for the M203 includes instructions for attaching the M16 rifle grenade sight to the M79's stock and marking the sling for indirect fire at elevations greater than 40 degrees.

Operation[]

The M79 is easy to operate. To load, the grenadier pushes the barrel locking latch on the receiver to the right. Gravity will pull down the barrel, breaking it open and exposing the breech. The hammer is cocked when the breech is opened. A round may then be loaded. The break action must then be closed manually. Closing the breech will cause the barrel locking latch to return to center. The safety must then be pushed to the forward position in order to ready the weapon for firing.

Ammunition[]

Many different ammunition types were produced for the M79, outside of the smoke and illumination rounds three main types emerge: explosive, close-range, and crowd-control. The break-open action of the M79 allows it to use longer rounds than the standard M203 cannot use without some difficulty.

Explosive[]

The M406 40mm HE (High Explosive) grenades fired from the M79 travel at a muzzle velocity of 75 meters per second. The M406 contained enough explosive to produce over 300 fragments that travel at 1,524 meters per second within a lethal radius of 5 meters. This round incorporated a spin-activation safety feature which prevents the grenade from arming while still within the range of the shooter; it armed itself after traveling a distance of about 30 meters. Even though the round would not arm at point blank ranges, the round still had enough kinetic energy to kill or seriously injure its target.

Close range[]

For close range fighting, two styles of M79 rounds were developed. The first was a flechette or Bee Hive round that fired 45 10-grain steel flechettes. Flechettes proved to be ineffective because they would often not hit point-first and penetrate. Instead, they would hit sideways and bounce off. About 1966, this was replaced by the M576 buckshot round. Containing 20 24-grain metal pellets (M576E1) or 27 24-grain pellets (M576E2), this round could be devastating at close ranges. However, as range increased, the shot spread out so rapidly as to be ineffective. The M576E2, despite the greater number of shot, was less effective at range than the M576E1, because its shot spread out much more quickly and could completely miss the target.

Non-lethal[]

The M79 has been used extensively also for crowd control purposes where it is desireable to have a weapon dedicated solely to non-lethal force. The three common less-lethal roounds are the M651 CS gas, the M1006 sponge grenade, and the M1029 Crowd Dispersal rounds.

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A less-lethal round is loaded into an M79.

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M79 being set up for display.

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M79 (right) with an FN Minimi.

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M79

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M79 Thumper Compilation in Movies, TV \u0026 Animation

The M79 isn’t perfect, but we love it anyway

Every soldier wants maximum firepower.


Firepower is something that can make the difference between life and death in a battle. It’s even better if the firepower is readily portable, so a single soldier can deliver death and destruction anywhere needed.

That’s why soldiers love the M79 grenade launcher. First used in Vietnam, the weapon has a well-deserved reputation for putting the power of a mortar in the hands of the individual Joe.

The M79 isn’t perfect, but we love it anyway

It isn’t a perfect weapon. The 40-mm round the M79 fires sometimes has less-devastating results than a hand-lobbed grenade.

But it is a simple weapon to use.

First deployed in 1961, the M79 grenade launcher is a single-shot, break-open, shoulder-fired weapon. It is breech-loading and fires a 40 x 46-mm grenade that is easy to load and easy to fire.

“The M79 broke in the middle like a shotgun and loaded in the same way,” wrote Dean Muehlberg, a Special Forces operator who fought in Vietnam during 1979, in his book War Stories. “They were an awesome and deadly weapon.”

No wonder the M79 earned the nickname “The Thumper.”

The M79 uses a “high-low” propulsion launching system that reduces recoil and increases its effective range to up to 400 yards.

It also extends the “reach” of an infantryman. Designed to bridge the effectiveness between the maximum range of a hand grenade and the minimum range of a mortar, the M79 quickly proved its effectiveness during the Vietnam War.

The M79 isn’t perfect, but we love it anyway

U.S. soldiers and Marines could usually shoot grenades best at targets from 150 yards to 300 yards away. Small infantry units benefited the most from the M79 because it increased the destruction they could inflict on enemy targets such as Viet Cong bunkers and redoubts.

The M79 was not only used throughout the Vietnam War but remains in the arsenal to this day.

During the early years of the Iraq War, there were Marine convoy units that carried the M79 to destroy IEDs at a comfortable distance. An explosive round from the grenade launcher often did the job of keeping a road clear more quickly and safely than calling in bomb disposal units.

U.S. special operators also reportedly keep the M79 on hand because it remains a simple and accurate means of destroying an entrenched adversary — even though the M203 rifle-mounted grenade launcher was first introduced into the arsenal in 1969.

The M79 also fired flechette rounds, known as Beehive Rounds because of the sound they made when traveling down range, that dispensed 45 small darts in a plastic casing that could shred flesh and bone when they hit the target point first. Unfortunately, many times the flechettes simply bounced off the target.

The M79 isn’t perfect, but we love it anyway

It can also fire buckshot, smoke, and tear gas rounds. In Vietnam, the M576 buckshot round replaced flechettes, producing far more lethal results.

The grenade launcher also has the capability of firing less-than-lethal rounds for crowd control and riot suppression. Used by police forces around the world, the M79 is often used to fire sponge rounds or rubber-coated crowd dispersal rounds to break up mobs and restore order.

Time tested, the M79 is proof that newer isn’t always better.

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M79 Grenade Launcher (Blooper)

The M79 Grenade Launcher is a very distinctive and simple weapon which first appeared during the Vietnam War. Visually it looks like a simple large barrelled saw off shotgun using a break open mechanism.  It gained various nicknames during the Vietnam War due to its distinctive firing sound, these included “Thumper” or ‘Blooper’ although some Australian troops called it a ‘Wombat gun’.

The M79 was to have a long term impact on infantry weapon development as can be seen in many modern under slung grenade systems which form part of modern infantry assault rifles.  The idea was to provide the infantryman with a weapon that had greater range than a rifle fired grenade but was smaller and lighter than a mortar. Early designs focused on firing a 40mm grenade which was 46mm long but attempts to create a multi shot weapon stalled and the single shot design was carried forward to become the M79 in December 1960.

The first weapons were delivered to frontline US Army troops in 1961 who found it a simple, portable and reliable weapon ideal suited to the jungle conditions of Vietnam. A skilled user could hit a man sized target at a range of 140 meters but it was hampered by a very slow rate of fire making it less useful for suppressing fire during a skirmish. The other problem at close quarters was the fact the round had to travel 30 meters before arming itself which meant many users had to carry a back up weapon for close quarters, due to the size and weight of the M79 this back up weapon was normally a handgun, eventually the M79 was replaced by an under slung version which allowed the user to be a rifleman too.

A variety of rounds were developed adding to the weapons flexibility - these include shrapnel, smoke, explosive, flechette and shotgun-like buckshot rounds, as well as flares. Also a non lethal crowd control ‘rubber bullet’ round and CS gas grenade were developed. The explosive (HE) round explodes to produce 300 fragments which are lethal to a radius of 5 meters, it must travel 30 meters before it arms itself but before it is armed it is normally travelling fast enough to kill who ever it hits.

The Flechette round, some times called a Bee Hive round fires 45 steel darts or Flechettes, this proved rather ineffective as the darts would not penetrate if they didn’t hit point first. For close range fighting this was replaced in 1966 with a shotgun like buckshot round the M576. This fired 20 – 27 steel pellets which were lethal at close range but like all shotguns rapidly less effective as range increased.

The M79 proved a very popular weapon among armed forces and para-military organisations around the world seeing service in the armed forces of Turkey, Australia, Israel and some South American countries. Versions were produced by Daewoo in South Korea and by the South African arms company Milcor. It is an example of a classic weapon design, simple, easy to use, versatile and portable

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How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, T. (7 April 2008), M79 Grenade Launcher (Blooper), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_M79_Grenade_Launcher.html


Sours: http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_M79_Grenade_Launcher.html


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