US Colt M148 Grenade Launcher

  • The Vietnam War
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Colt Firearms developed (1964) the experimental M148 Grenade Launcher for possible use in The US involvement in Southeast Asia (Vietnam). Prior to this, Grenades were still mounted via various Rifle mounted ''slides'', to propel Grenades farther than what could normally be thrown (by hand), from a Basic Infantryman. Many Companies vied for the development of a hand-held, dedicated Grenade Launcher, which would fire ''cartridge-style'' Grenades (via a percussion cap ignition) – in the 40mm range. The M148 weighed 3-pounds and was 16-inches in length (10-inches of which was the ''shot gun'' style barrel). It was made rifle shaped, in the thought of better control and use (which was seen as innovative in the early 1960s). The Device could be mounted underneath any standard rifle, but the XM16 5.56mm Rifle (later M16 & 16A1) was chosen (as The M14 Infantry Rifle was being phased out).

 

The maximum effective range of The M148 was (per prototype) 400-meters (at 250-feet per second). 40mm Grenade rounds were ''timed'' to detonate within 4 to 6-seconds from firing. Colt would later lose it's Contract with The US Army to AAI Corporation and their successful marketing of what would become The M203 Grenade Launcher, a staple of The US Infantry. Variants are still in use today throughout The World.