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The M320 40mm Grenade Launcher-A Review

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posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:33 PM
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This week I have had the pleasure of training with our units' newest addition. The M320 40mm Grenade launcher(Manufactured by Heckler & Koch).

This weapon is currently phasing out the aging M203 grenade launcher currently mounted on certain M16/M4 service weapons in the US Army. The introduction of the M320 to the 82nd ABN in 2009 to deploying units was the true test bed of this weapon system. It has proven reliable in combat conditions and it is easy to maintain.

It features a stand alone configuration such as the ones presented in the images below, and it can be mounted to the M4 carbine. It has less recoil than a 12ga shotgun and loading/unloading the weapon is now accomplished from a side ejecting barrel as opposed to the sliding action of the M203. It has an adjustable buttstock and includes a folding foregrip.

Here are a few pics I took:



Side ejecting barrel.



The sights would be familiar to anyone who has used the M203


Here is an image that gives a good idea of the overall size of this weapon. It should be noted that this system is lighter than the M203 and mounting it on an M4, while not necessary, isn't as much of a pain.



All in all it is a pretty impressive weapon. I'm sure my fellow enthusiasts will agree.

Happy Shooting!
edit on 20-6-2013 by projectvxn because: Added Manufacturer Info.




posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 

Ewww, new thumper....

You're such a tease.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


Hah.

Yeah, Not something available to the general public. But certainly worth a mention in the weapons forum.

Sorry for the tease.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:40 PM
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As this model is lighter than its predecessor and is somewhat more sophisticated does that equate to it being less durable and reliable?. I know a picture can't convey total accuracy but the weapon does look a little less robust.
edit on 20-6-2013 by hotel1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:40 PM
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Well shoot it so we can see the money shot! Now now... You can't just hang it out there like that and leave us to wonder how it ended.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Couldn't get video on the range.

I was focused on other duties anyway.
Range day didn't exactly go smoothly.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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I wanna see it go boom! Please! Boom boom time!

P



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


Okay... I guess I'll still give ya my flag for a cool new system to see before most anyone else.


You owe us a money shot though.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I'll see what I can do. Might be a while though. We don't get enough range time these days.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:57 PM
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For all wanting to see the "money shot":

If it's using existing 40mm ordinance the "Boom" is going to be the same. The difference will come in range, accuracy, reliability and durability.

I like its looks, wonder how long it'll take for me to find one available to us appropriately licensed collectors


Off to make a few calls now. First time I got to see pics that are this clear that weren't "professional" for manuals and sales presentations.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by EViLKoNCEPTz
 


I forgot to mention that the M320 is manufactured by HK. Might want to start there. And yes it does fire standard 40mm rounds.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


I have just one question. Why did you let that cattle car survive? Or was it one of the powder orange ranges? I hated those things. Blow them up! For me...please!?



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


Sweet I have a HK rep I bought a large order from last fall. Hopefully he can get me one or two. And even better I don't have to buy new ordinance.

Star for you



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 


That was a cache of old wreckers lying around behind the firing line.
The range we were using was both chalk and HiEx.

When the HiEx targets get totally destroyed they drag those old things out to get blown up.
It's cheaper than making new targets.



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 09:16 PM
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Boom boom time!



P



posted on Jun, 21 2013 @ 01:02 AM
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From what I understand the single biggest advantage of the XM 320 is the side loading gate allows for the use of some of the new extended range medium velocity grenades which are too long to load in the slide open loading gate of the 203. Not only that but in standalone configuration it's designed to mount optics like this Mepro GLS self illuminated optical sight for grenade launchers.

mepro GLS self illuminated 40mm grenade launcher sight

Also for those wondering about durability, 40mm underbarrel and standalone single shot launchers use a 40mm round that utilizes a concept known as high-low pressure rounds to manage launch pressure and recoil. Basically inside the casing there is a smaller high pressure chamber that holds the propellant. Once the propellant is ignited it bleeds out into the larger low pressure chamber through vent ports at which point the gas pressure now acts to launch the projectile. By doing this it makes for a much lighter much less recoil intensive and much cheaper round of ammunition. Now to be clear you pay a definite price for this though in that in order to fire a 40mm m320 or M203 at maximum range you must aim the weapon skyward and fire it in an arc that terminates at your target. This makes range estimation paramount because you can be dead on in horizontally lining up your target and still not even come close to hitting it if you raise the muzzle too high or too low.

Still though the 40x46mm launcher concept is by far less hard on weapons and soldiers than the old rifle grenade method.... If you want to life and cry at someone else's pain sometimes look up the youtube vid where a french soldier fires a rifle grenade with his FAMAS shouldered!



posted on Jun, 21 2013 @ 01:08 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


You need to take a look at your post....then look at your avatar...and back to your post. I'm laughing as I type this, so you know the context is all in good humor but wow.. That just sounds and looks so wrong for the combination.



posted on Jun, 21 2013 @ 02:55 AM
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Great piece of kit both in the stand alone role and under slung, yeah it may not look as robust as its predecessor and looks like plastic, but it's infact a very hight quality polymer.
The only damage I've seen in 6 years is a cracked trigger guard and some damage to the sight

Just keep the fouling off the base plate away from the firing pin and it goes every time
If you put it up at a 45 degree angle you can get a good air burst, with a little practice you can manage roughly a 1.5-2 meter airburst at 200-300 meters - great for enemy behind cover or in a large area of light cover
And a new sight systems out soon-if my memory's correct its meant to be a red dot/holographic sight

Have fun
edit on 21-6-2013 by Neocrusader because: Added
edit on 21-6-2013 by Neocrusader because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2013 @ 03:03 AM
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I miss my m203, I loved going to the range with it, unfortunately, all I ever got to shoot in it were the orange powder rounds



posted on Jun, 21 2013 @ 05:07 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by pheonix358
 


You need to take a look at your post....then look at your avatar...and back to your post. I'm laughing as I type this, so you know the context is all in good humor but wow.. That just sounds and looks so wrong for the combination.



I'm still laughing.


Boom boom time!

P






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