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12 July 2012


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Good photographer and he saw a lot of combat! Joe Galloway liked his work, that is praise in itself.

Off topic but as shown in your photo above - when do we get rid of the legacy of the M79. Like millions of others, I loved the 79 back in the day in Vietnam. But its resurrection as the M203 and the soon to be M320 has passed its time. That was 40 plus years ago, change is needed. We need to go back to simple rifle grenades for indirect fires that are available immediately for an infantry squad. It should be usable by all infantrymen and not just by designated grenadiers. It should be usable on any and all M16s and M4s or their follow-ons. It should use a standard ball round instead of special propellant round. It should not require special adaptors or sights to be mounted on the rifle.



I, too, like the M-79. I remember kneeling in the bsck seat of an O-1 to shoot the thing at a Soviet made 14.5 MG that was shooting at us. They ran. pl

The Twisted Genius


Sounds like you made the O-1 into a lightweight Specter gunship. Reminds me of the Willie and Joe cartoon where the observer in the old Piper is holding his still smoking 45 pistol out the window while asking the pilot to make another strafing run.

The Twisted Genius

I liked the M-79 as well. It was a more natural weapon to shoot than the M-203. As a ROTC cadet, I spent a weekend at the ranges at West Point with a USMCR rifle company from Albany, NY. We fired off a duece and a half load of ammo including a lot of M-79 rounds. We were dropping rounds into the windows of cars from 200 to 300 meters after some practice.

Never used the M-79 or M-203 in the field. I did use mini grenades. Very effective at night and in buildings. That's something I learned from the Australian SAS. You don't give away your location with grenades as you do shooting a rifle at night.


Got to shoot one of those at Benning when I was going through Basic. I personally would have liked one of those overseas.

I can't say I'm a fan of increased modularity and the overall trend towards 'generalization' in the military myself (or 'jointness', as the Generals love to say). The F-35 is a large scale example, but the M4s suffered as well. If the Army gives you twenty pounds worth of toys to throw on the end of your M4, then by gosh you will put twenty pounds of toys on your M4. Soldier's load is one of those things that the generals seem to brush off as the Poor Bloody Infantry carries 150+ pound loads.


if the spread and popularity of 40mm auto grenade launchers is any indication, the 40mm is probably still regarded as effective. The Marines had the good sense to adopt the, inevitably Americanised, South African Milkor MGL-140. A nasty thing, that.

Curious question: Do 40mm auto grenade launchers fire the same ammo as the single shots? Or do they use hotter ammo for greater range?



I carried an M-79 in addition to whatever else I had. For one thing it made me look less like an officer. As for the 0-1 Birdog "gunship," I would ride out with the FAC pilots to put them on the targets I had found for them. I put a flack jacket on the seat to literally "cover my ass" and when I got the opportuniy I would kneel on the seat and shoot the M-79 over the side. The whole side of an 0-1 folds down. It makes for an interesting "lead" figuring the speed of the little plane, etc. This was always out in the woods somewhere. The NVA had Soviet heavy machine guns as well as 20mm and 37mm AA guns. It was a racy course. After I shot at someone the pilot would roll in on the gun and give it a couple of WP marking rockets for good measure. The object of all this was to get a little peace and quiet in which we could bring in a flight of fighters (F-4s usually) on the target. Toward the end of the war the NVA began to have MANPADS. The FAC pilots were also quite good at adjusting heavy artillery (175 mm guns and 8 inch howitzers). pl


cp - There used to be a tripod-mounted, belt-fed grenade launcher (40-mm). Can't recall the designation. I think it was designed for base defense.


The Mark 19.


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