Tag Archives: Charlie G

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.

11B gets to know Charlie G

Men of War was a forgettable 1994 action film in which Swede tough guy Dolph Lundgren plays an American mercenary by the name of Nick Gunar who gets paid to lean on some local South Pac indig types for the rights to sell bat guano. Well one reoccurring theme in that film is Nick/Dolph’s Bofors/Saab-made Carl Gustav M2 – 84x246mm recoil-less rifle which he uses off and on between his SWD/Cobray Street Sweeper against hordes of 2nd line mercs who get called in when Nick’s guys go native. Dolph even drops, “Spring, era jävlar!” which is Swedish for: “Run, you bastards!” and has become a catch phrase in Sweden these days.

The 84mm tank buster has been around since 1948 (not a misprint), first adopted by the Swedes as the Grg m/48 (Granatgevär – “grenade rifle”, model 48) and is commonly just called the Carl G, Charlie G, Charlie Golf, et.al in the West.

Well, U.S. anti-tank/anti-bunker weaps are the AT-4, the Javelin (which is heavy and requires a dedicated crew) and the M72 66mm LAWS which the Army has been trying off and on to get rid of since Vietnam. Other, much less successful rockets such as the Dragon have come and gone.

Now, Big Green is going Swedish and adding a Carl G to each infantry platoon, which they have been flirting with since 2013.

Here is some footage of the updated M3 in U.S. service, which is dubbed the Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (‎MAAWS).