by David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
All photographic images contained in this article were taken by
DefenseReview.com at SHOT Show 2008, and they are the exclusive property of
DefenseReview.com. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these
photos. All photos were shot with a 7.2-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot
digital camera (Model #: DSC-P150).
May 5, 2008
Last Updated on 5/29/11.
Milkor USA has some new MGL-140 / M32 MGL config shorty 40mm (40x46mm) 6-shot multi-shot grenade launchers a.k.a. multiple-grenade launchers (Milkor USA Mk14 Mod0 prototype weapon), and DefenseReview got a chance to view and handle them at SHOT Show 2008. The new compact 6-shot grenade launcher prototype weapons cut some inches off the barrel and sport Mil-Std-1913 "Picatinny" rails on the barrel and optical sight/combat optic. The short forend rail tube on the barrel of one of the new shorty launchers accepts a vertical foregrip. The optical gunsight, of course, is adjustable for elevation, and the buttstock can also be angle-adjusted according to operator preference.
At present, Defense Review believes the…
barrel lengh on the launcher in the top photo at right is approx. 8-8.5 inches (8-8.5"), but we’re not sure, yet. We didn’t measure it, and we haven’t been able to reach any Milkor USA company representatives for confirmation/verification. The barrel on the super-shorty (our term) in the second photo appears to be approx. 3 inches (3"), but this to is unconfirmed/unverified at present.
DefenseReview got to fire the M-32 MGL at at the NDIA Small Arms Systems Symposium 2007 Firing Demo at Blackwater USA, and we were able to hit our targets very easily at the relatively short range of 50-75 yars, which was the range limit. Of course, we were only firing practice rounds, not high-explosive, enhanced-lethality rounds like the Martin Electronics, Inc. (MEI) HELLHOUND standard-range and MERCURY medium-range 40mm rounds, or less-lethal grenade rounds (tear gas, smoke, etc.).
Basically, the Milkor USA Mk14 Mod0 40mm MSGL prototype shorty launcher just gives the operator/assaulter similar performance as the M32 MGL, MGL-140 or MGL-105 in a more compact envelope/package. So, same launcher, just smaller and lighter.
Ideally, DefRev would like to see a few pounds (or at least a couple), removed from the Milkor USA launchers for ease of carry on patrol and for general operational use. As a general rule, you always want the lightest possible weapon that’s still easy for the operator to control and use in combat. You don’t want the weapon to punish him every time he fires it. However, due to the laws of physics, if you reduce weapon weight, you increase felt recoil, unless you incorporate some type of recoil attenuation/mitigation system.
The question is what lightweight materials can Milkor USA go to that will still be strong enough to handle the physical abuse and recoil forces to which the weapon will be exposed operationally? Remember, the weapon has to be produceable in large numbers at an affordable cost/price to the end-user. Are there advanced lightweight polymers that would work? Or, what about fiber composites like carbon fiber. We all know carbon fiber is expensive. Even if you can successfully incorporate lightweight materials into the weapon, how much weight will the recoil mitigation system add? We never said we had all the answers.
All this sounds like a job for Jim Sullivan a.k.a. L. James Sullivan of Arm West, LLC.
Editor’s Note: Jim is the best infantry small arms designer/developer alive. He’s also a friend and close proffesional contact of mine, of which I’m quite proud. He’s hands-down the best in the business at what he does. None of the major or minor gun companies (anywhere in the world) have anyone in-house who can touch him with regards to skill, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, experience, or guns/designs currently in production and service.
Company Contact Info:
MGL – Multiple Grenade Launcher or Multi-Grenade Launcher