Skip to comments.Marines carry six-pack attack (WOW!! Now that's a 6-PAK!)
Posted on 03/10/2006 4:09:18 PM PST by SandRat
CAMP MERCURY, Iraq (March 9, 2006) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to want one.
Marines with Regimental Combat Team 5, based in Camp Fallujah, test-fired the latest in the Corps arsenal of weapons improvement, the M-32 Multiple shot Grenade Launcher. Its a six-barreled, 40 mm beast of weapon that has just about enough attitude for Marines.
I thought it was pretty bad the first time I saw it, said Cpl. Jason H. Flanery, a 23-year-old mortarman from St. Louis, Mo., assigned to RCT-5s Personnel Security Detachment.
The M-32 MGL looks like something straight out of an action movie or a weapon ginned up by designers of futuristic video combat games. Its a bare-bones, shoulder-fired weapon with a bulging six-barreled cylinder. Theres no bones about it. This things all business when the trade is knocking out bad-guys at a distance.
You can put six rounds on target in under three seconds, Flanery said. I thought this thing was sick.
Sick might be right for the insurgent on the other end of the sight. The M-32 MGL is step up from the M-203 grenade launcher Marines have used since post-Vietnam days. It fires similar 40 mm grenades and at similar distances. It just puts more rounds on the bad guys faster.
The 203 has been around since the 60s, explained CWO4 Gene A. Bridgman, the regiments gunner, or weapons expert. It keeps improving. This is a progression in the weapons system.
Flanery put the comparison of the two similar weapons in more simple terms.
It makes it obsolete, he said. Its that much better.
The idea to bring M-32 was the brainchild of Marine gunners across the Corps, explained Bridgman, a 43-year-old from Garden City, Kan. During an annual symposium, they decided an improvement was needed over the M-203. One option was to bring back a rifle-grenade. The M-32, won out, however, and now each Marine battalion will field them as an experimental weapon.
Bridgman added the M-32 isnt a new idea altogether, though. Brazilian, Italian and South African military have carried them in the field for years. Marines, though, took it one step further.
A fore-grip was added and a scope was mounted to the top, eliminating the old leaf sights like that of the M-203. The scope allows a Marine to follow the grenade to the target and immediately adjust and follow up with a lethal volley of indirect fire.
The 203 was on shot at time, Bridgman said. The 203 became a signal weapon. This is more of an offensive weapon. With this, you shoot, adjust and fire for effect.
The average Marine said its just about that easy to shoot. Lance Cpl. Alexandro R. Raymundo, a 20-year-old from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., isnt an infantryman. Hes a network administrator by trade. He shot the M-203 before during initial training, but this was his first time picking up the M-32 MGL.
I thought it might be like the 203, Raymundo said. But is shoots more rounds, faster. Its really simple. I had hands-on once. I picked it up really quickly.
As far as how it felt shooting it, Raymundo said the weapon was about as beefy as it looks.
I felt like theres more recoil than the 203 and the triggers a lot heavier he explained. Its heftier than the 203.
His likes about the weapon included the small scope added to the rail-mount system on top of the weapon.
The optic was nice, he added. Its a lot easier to sight in.
Of course, theres the part about lots of things going boom downrange too.
My favorite part was being able to fire out so many grenades and not have to reload between each shot.
Sgt. David G. Redford, a 35-year-old from Kennebunkport, Me., has more practical experience when it comes to what grunts like in the field. Hes an infantryman by trade and has logged in his own hours carrying the M-203.
I didnt know what to think about it before we came out here, but its nice, Redford said. Its easier to shoot. You dont have to constantly load. If you run into something, youre already loaded.
Redford predicted that most infantry Marines will welcome the addition of the six-pack attack weapon.
Thats exactly the reaction Bridgman wants to see. Adding the M-32 MGL could realign the way Marines operate at the small-team level. Fire teams could become more lethal, more mobile and more independent. The idea of a dedicated grenadier might just be reborn.
Now you have your own indirect fire support right in the fire team, Bridgman explained. You have someone who can lay down (high explosive rounds) against someone in a trench. It would be used against enemy in fighting holes or behind cars, because of the indirect nature of the weapon. Its the only weapon aside from mortars, at the small teams disposal.
Still, Bridgman stressed the weapon is only experimental. Marines will be gathering data about its effectiveness and durability from experiences on the streets of Fallujah.
For Flanery, though, the M-32 is already welcome.
I think its one of the most simple and effective weapons systems, he said. I just want buckshot rounds.
Cool! Where can I get one?
Marine Street Sweeper!!
I WANT ONE!!!! What a Great Duck Hunting Gun! Oops! Sorry Darkwing.
Now that'll keep the gophers out of my front yard!
Judging from the pic it doesn't have 6 barrels, it has only one. It has a 6-chambered revolving cylinder.
It looks like a nice, sturdy weapon all the same, though.
Jeez,I feel like a dinosaur.I liked the old M79,considered it to be a deadly and effective weapon.
Hmmphft. Talk about a let-down. That's not exactly what I was expecting.
[Homer Simpson drool...]
An independent infantry unit needs organic indirect fire. In 1941-45 it was rifle grenades. This weapon looks good as far as I can see.
Usual doubts, though - extreme heat, cold, dust, sand, mud, etc., broken springs, etc. Put one into the wave breaking area of a sand beach overnight and see if it works without a detail strip.
My "oh yeah," it must be noted, was directed at the GUN, not the GUYs.
Picture looks like a single barrel with a multiple chambered cylinder. Cylinder looks as if it could hold more than six grenades.
Pretty rough if you even have to say that! LOL!
You can scratch duck from the menu at Sandrat's, they are going to be having feathers. :)
I swear I saw one of these in an old Chuck Norris movie. Really.
OK Commercial Deer Hunting.
(Hmmpf. Talk about a let-down.)
Me neither. LOL
Altho after I started reading about it, I really got into it. Man oh man. That thing is totally sick.
Cheers - Dinah