Tag Archives: 84mm

A lil Gustav in your eyes

Somewhere in Aden, likely the Radfan mountains area, August 1963: “Royal Marines Demonstrate Army’s new anti-tank gun,” an early model Swedish-made FFV Ordnance Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle.

45 Commando Marine Eric Pearson, of Salford, Manchester, prepares to fire the new anti-tank gun during trials at Little Aden. IWM A 34756.

In such an environment, “Charlie G” was sure to make a dust-up when fired, and you are gonna want some goggles.


Marine Chris Pow, of Plymouth, firing the new anti-tank gun during trials at Little Aden. IWM A 34755

The 84s in the above images were the first crop of weapon adopted by the British as the “L14, Gun, 84mm, Infantry Anti Tank Weapon,” and later standardized with the improved M2 (L14A1) model after 1970.

It remained in service– seeing action in the Falklands– with the RM and British Army, especially the Paras, well into the 1990s when they were replaced by the more potent 94mm LAW 80 and subsequently the 150mm NLAW, disposable 84mm L1A1/A2 (AT4), and Javelin.

However, images have been seen of SAS downrange with the updated M3 Carl Gustav, showing that Charlie G still exists in some circles at least.

Battlefield fires are getting more deadly, for sure

Raytheon and Saab recently announced that the guided munition for the venerable Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle has gone 11 for 11 in tests. This is big news as the 84, which has been around since the 1940s in one form or another, is super popular but is a “dumb” rocket, much like the bazookas of its birth era. A guided round is a serious game-changer. The new semi-active, laser-guided munition will allow users to accurately engage stationary or moving targets at distances up to 1.2 miles (2,000 meters).

“Raytheon and Saab have spent the last 12 months working together to develop a precision-guided munition that will penetrate multiple targets, such as light armor, bunkers, and concrete structures, at extended ranges,” said Sam Deneke, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president. “This lightweight round can overmatch potential adversaries while decreasing collateral damage, making it an ideal weapon when fighting under restricted rules of engagement.”

My favorite, albeit fictional use, of the CG84 is in the otherwise forgettable action film Men of War where Swedish muscle-man/nerd Dolph Lundgren gets all reverse Ikea with one.

Going long with the 155

The South African G6 Rhino is a beast and is getting beastlier, as is the German PZH2000

Meanwhile, in South Africa, the folks at Denel, using a G6-52 self-propelled 155mm and a German PZH2000 mounted gun, used a new Rheinmetall-Denel Munition (RDM) to reach targets at an average range of 76.2km, reportedly “exceeding expectations” in both accuracy and range. Dubbed the Rhino in service, the G6 was first fielded in the 1980s after input from the somewhat infamous Gerald Bull, shelling insurgent positions far across the border in Angola and previously had “only” been stretched out to 73km using special M9703A1 V-LAP rounds, which is still a record of sorts for production artillery pieces in that caliber.

“The artillery produced by Denel Land Systems is still considered to be the yardstick against which all other long-range systems are measured,” says du Toit. “With the latest tests we have raised the bar even further and I have no doubt that defense forces and potential customers will take note of our achievements.”

Looking for that good (free) Panzerchreck info?

The Tank Museum has three training manuals for the Raketenpanzerbüchse also known as Panzerschreck or Ofenrohr, as well as other tank-killers, up for free downloads.

Google Drive here.

You are welcome.

Speaking of bazookas, the Army just approved 1,111 M3E1 84mm recoilless rifles for immediate use as a lightweight (titanium) reusable replacement to the standard M3 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MMAAWS)– better known as the Carl Gustaf.

Inside the Estonian national militia

Tiny Estonia, who share a long and increasingly tense border with Russia, uses a force of volunteer unpaid citizens– equipped with their own military arms– to hold the line.

The Estonian Defense League, a militia independent from the government, is made up of over 15,000 members, making it several times larger than the 6,500-member official Estonian Defense Forces.

Stationed in every part of the country the League is ready at a moment’s notice to sally out and repel possible invasion from unnamed neighbors. It’s the largest military force in the region and members vow to put up more of a fight than they did when the Soviet Union took over the county in 1940 and remained for decades.

Earlier this summer Vice News spent some time in-depth with not only the minutemen of the League but also those on both sides of Estonian politics and the above video shows some interesting footage of their training and doctrine.

The firepower shown is impressive, showing some sweet shots of donated German HK G3s and MG3s, old-school Chevy K5s that likely came from the U.S., a sweet 1950s-era Bofors Pvpj 1110 90 mm recoilless rifle, a smoking hot M240/FN Mag, some IMI Galils, a sprinkling of 84mm Carl Gustavs and at least one BTR-80 armored personnel carrier.

It seems Estonia is very down with the concept of civilian use of military-style arms.

Sure, Estonia has no illusions about stopping an all-out Russian incursion, but they just have to slow it down enough to allow fellow NATO members to apply action or rush reinforcements to the region and they plan to do so by putting a rifle behind every blade of grass.

“If Russia knows that attacking Estonia is not a walk in the park, maybe Russia will think twice,” says a commander.

Speaking of which, check out a recent NATO exercise with the League as part of Operation Hurricane in the video below.

With so much firepower at the hands of your everyday civilian, its hard to sell the prospect of being a member of the League because you want to hunt ducks.

But then again, back here in the states we know that Washington didn’t cross the Delaware to get to a duck blind.

More in my column at Guns.com