by David Crane
The following story is a DefenseReview.com exclusive. All digital photos accompanying this article were taken by, and are the exclusive property of, DefenseReview.com. Click on photos to view them full-size.
the Columbian military uses to combat the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia) in the jungles of Columbia. A 6-shot revolver-type MGL similar in concept to the original Milkor MGL Mk-1, called the "Six-Shooter", was first brought to the attention of the American public in the film "Predator" (1987), where it was put to very effective use by the character of Poncho Ramirez, played by the actor Richard Chaves (Note: The "Six-Shooter" was a pump-action MGL). Fans of the movie will remember that Ramirez was a member of Major ‘Dutch’ Schaeffer’s (played by Arnold Scharzenegger) elite Special Operations (SPECOPS)/Hostage Rescue/Extraction team (or, more simply, Commando unit).
The New Launcher:
Well, the best just got better. Milkor USA, Inc. has just introduced a brand new U.S.-made long-cylinder model 40mm multiple grenade launcher (MGL) called the MGL-140. DefenseReview recently got a chance to view and handle the Milkor USA MGL-140 40mm at International SOF Week 2005/APBI (Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry), in Tampa, FL.
And, last but not least, the MGL-140 sports a Vltor Modstock telescoping buttstock, a Mil-Std-1913 sight rail, and a 4-sided (or "quad-rail") Mil-Std-1913 rail system/forend rail tube for mounting other tactical accessories–like the vertical foregrip, for instance.
The primary specialized MEI 40mm munition for the MGL-140 will most likely be the MEI HELLHOUND (HighOrderUnbelievableNastyDestructiveSeries) Round, or HELLHOUND 40mm Low Velocity Multi-Purpose Grenade. If the HELLHOUND performs as advertised/described by MEI officials, it is, hands down, the most lethal low-impulse/low-velocity 40mm grenade/munition in the world, currently being manufactured. There simply is no other LI/LV 40mm grenade that can even come close to matching it’s claimed destructive power. MEI reportedly designed and developed the round after military operators expressed a need for a 40mm grenade that was both significantly more lethal than the standard M433 HEDP round and capable of completely taking out a standard residential door (in-theater) with one shot, while simultaneously neutralizing any occupants immediately behind it. The MEI HELLHOUND Round enjoys roughly twice the lethal radius (kill radius) as the M433 HEDP. I’ll let Martin Electronics, Inc. (MEI) product literature explain the new HELLHOUND round’s technology:
By the way, the recharging/reloading procedure for the MGL MK-1/MK-1S/MK-1L/MGL-140 is fast. We’ll explain it for a righthanded shooter. Using the thumb of your left hand (support hand) which is holding the vertical foregrip, just reach back with your thumb and pull open the release, and rotate the cylynder/barrel portion clockwise/left and simultaneously rotate the pistol grip/buttstock portion counterclockwise/right with your right hand to open the action and eject the spent casings. Now, with the barrel pointing down and the buttstock resting against your chest, insert your all of your fingers (including your thumb), palm up, into the now-clear cylinder holes. Now, will still holding onto the vertical foregrip and thus supporting the weapon with your left hand, rotate your (right) hand counter-clockwise and the weapon simultaneously clockwise/left across your chest, until the cylinder stops rotating (With the particular technique we were taught, the buttstock ends up against your right shoulder.). Load the fresh rounds in, and snap the action closed (opposite directions from opening it). Now, you’re charged up, loaded up, and ready to go, again–with six rounds of enhanced-lethality MEI 40mm high-explosive antipersonnel grenades, mind you. Remember, the MEI HELLHOUND Round enjoys twice the lethality radius (or better) than the standard M433 HEDP 40mm grenade.
Caliber: 40x46mm. Length (Butt Retracted): 27 inches. Length (Butt Exended): 31 inches. Height (Standard Sight Fitted): 10.5 inches. Width: 6.5 inches. Weight (Empty/Dry): 13.2 lbs. Rifling: Progressive. Minimum Range: 98 feet. Maximum Range: 1310 ft. Maximum Effective Range: 1230 ft. Cylinder Capacity: 6 rounds less than 5.5 inches in length. Surface Treatment: Gunkote SCK6 (Black) / SOCOM Tan. Weapon Accessories: Canvas Carry Bag, Cleaning Kit, and Canvas Carry Sling.
If the hype on the Martin Electronics, Inc. (MEI) 40mm ammo described above is legit (for instance, if it can be backed up with real-world results), then the Milkor USA MGL-140 40mm multiple grenade launcher when combined with the MEI advanced 40mm ammo, creates a unique LV 40mm weapons package that’s unparalleled in it’s genre and unique capability envelope. The combination of weapon and ammo creates a true and completely-realized (greatly) enhanced-lethality 40mm weapon system. If the MEI ammo claims are true, there’s simply no other light weapon system that can accomplish what the Milkor MGL-140/MEI 40mm ammo family combo/weapon system will be able to accomplish on the battlefield. So, if this MEI 40mm ammo proves to be the real deal, it’s DefenseReview’s opinion that EVERY U.S. infantry squad in Afghanistan and Iraq, whether they be general infantry or Special Operations (SPECOPS) forces, should be equipped with at least one or two MGL-140s and a suite of MEI 40mm munitions, and at least one or two Auto Assault-12 (AA-12) full-auto shotguns and a suite of the most effective 12-gauge combat loads available for it (including FRAG-12 HE rounds, flechette rounds, slugs–including saboted slugs, buckshot, and shot loads), assuming, of course, that the AA-12 also works as advertised–i.e. TOTAL reliability under adverse conditons, without the need for ANY cleaning or lubrication, whatsoever. After all, if the goal for our infantry forces is maximum lethality, maximum survivability, then we definitely want to get these two weapons packages operational in-theater, ASAP. Hopefully, USSOCOM, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), and the U.S. Army will take it under consideration. Right now, our infantry forces are taking 95% of the casualties (out of all the U.S. Armed Forces) in Iraq and Stan, so they need and deserve every combat advantage they can get.
Oh, and just FYI, MEI is going to be introducing additional enhanced-capability LI/LV 40mm ammo variants, soon. DefenseReview is not yet at liberty to disclose the nature of these forthcoming advanced munitions, but their capabilities (as described to us b MEI representatives) are both intriguing and impressive. We’ll provide information about them as soon as we’re cleared to do so. You won’t want to miss it.
Here’s one more pic: