why didn't smaller caliber grenade launchers take off?

why didn't smaller caliber grenade launchers take off? it seemed like a lot of militaries were interested in them for a while then kind of gave up on them.

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    they are so cool

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >neopup PAW
      such a cute name

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Cost/benefit ratio. And money isn't the type of cost the DoD cares about.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Ended up being one of those awkward middle sorts of situations, 40mm is just massively more useful with current doctrine, soldiers and tech. It's possible that even more smart stuff, networked systems and so on might change that equation in the next decade but the XM25 was too early for that. Like a lot of experimental systems it was worth exploring and then keeping the resulting data on the shelf to look at again someday but the incremental at the time just wasn't worth it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I mean pic related with the anti armour grenades would probably be really nice for ukrainian troops defending against a bmp meat wave. Just lob twenty grenades at them at 300m and half the assault fore is dead or exploding

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Or just shoot them once with one of the fifteen thousand different anti-tank weapons they have laying around.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Don't they still have like a gorillion RPG-7 launchers left over from the cold war?

          yeah but how many can they carry with them? A 40mm grenade with this launcher is probably carring more kills than a rpg team could

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Don't they still have like a gorillion RPG-7 launchers left over from the cold war?

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Because underbarrel grenade launchers are better

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Essentially, it’s a lot of extra bulk and weight compared to small arms, but without the capabilities afforded by traditional 40mm grenades.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The lower calibre significantly impacts lethality, and those programmable airburst rounds are expensive as shit and pretty situational.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      It failed because you have to give up your rifle

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >and those programmable airburst rounds are expensive as shit and pretty situational.
      If you made them today you could do it for literally a couple of orders of magnitude less cost. It began life as part of the OICW program in 1996 with the XM29. The improvements in economics and effectiveness of chips and precision mass manufacturing since then are really hard to overstate, it's nuts. A lot of super ambitious designs of the 70s/80s/90s would be doable at this point.

      But getting the UX and control down for a soldier vs 40mm remains hard. I think the concept would only (maybe) really make sense with a full smart gun or AI turret or something, preferably networked into a squad like some of the new IVAR goals so the weapon wielder can "see" the targets even with LOS blocked and still get an accurate firing solution instantly. Enormously more precision enormously faster would push towards more, smaller rounds. But that's easy to write and super super hard to actually accomplish in practice, and the whole role may become obsolete anyway before it's doable.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >If you made them today you could do it for literally a couple of orders of magnitude less cost. It began life as part of the OICW program in 1996 with the XM29. The improvements in economics and effectiveness of chips and precision mass manufacturing since then are really hard to overstate, it's nuts. A lot of super ambitious designs of the 70s/80s/90s would be doable at this point.
        This is an interesting problem in cutting edge developments, where something is way ahead of it's time so they shelve it for 20 years even tho it could have been viable just 10 years later.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >This is an interesting problem in cutting edge developments, where something is way ahead of it's time so they shelve it for 20 years even tho it could have been viable just 10 years later.
          Yeah, in theory with a lot of promise it'd make sense to be rigorously keeping an eye on feasibility and bring things out of mothballs as soon as some group paying attention deems it worth another look. In practice though a LOT of these projects to this day depend a ton on informal factors. Stuff like having the right powerful brass interested in it, the right social connections, the right leader, the right teams, the right politics even. The instant a project is iced all of that can dissolve and it may take a very long time (if ever) to get revived once again.

          Hell, sometimes the ones who revive it are actually the other side! That happened to America's benefit with Skunkworks and the F-117 which might be one of the biggest examples.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >This is an interesting problem in cutting edge developments, where something is way ahead of it's time so they shelve it for 20 years even tho it could have been viable just 10 years later.

          like how they made the space shuttle? by the time they finally got the orbiter fleet functional after two decades of delays and design hurtles it was so ridiculously out of date and expensive that there is really no other failure that comes close. it's the biggest failure imaginable, designed to trick baby boomers into thinking failure is awesome

          im just putting this here because when i tell people it they get very surprised - the space shuttle didn't have any aluminum or titanium in it. It was made of steel and didn't have weight reduction. the heat shielding was silicate ceramic. the sr-71 was decades older and much higher tech than the space shuttle, it also had a significantly more advanced computer system because it was all self-contained and did not rely on radio networking.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            > expensive
            That was the Air Force’s fault actually.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            what are you actually talking about? are you fricking moronic? the space shuttle had no aluminum in it? what the actual frick are you smoking? No Titanium either? more believable but also patently false.

            People like you need to get banned from life itself. People act suprised? Yeah because you are a massive moron.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        True but if you made them today they would be competing with FPV drones and that's not a contest they would win.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Too much firepower for a single 19yo guatemalan to have

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Saint Petersburg Declaration of 18681 was an international treaty agreed upon in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire. It succeeded the First Geneva Convention of 1864. This declaration prohibited the use of explosive projectiles weighing less than 400 grams (14 ounces avoirdupois) during war between civilized nations

    not sure if this is still valid but I'm pretty sure there's still some accepted national treaties on this

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Nah

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I'm fairly certain that only applies if the projectile is fused to detonate after hitting flesh. 20mm shells fall under the weight limit but aren't a war crime because they overpenetrate human targets.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    not killy enough

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Why not just make a very smol underbarrel 25mm launcher?

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    What neverserveds can't tell you is that 40mm is already a little weaker than soldiers would ideally like. The kill radius is more like 2-3m than 5m. As a general rule any kill radius you see for a cold war era weapon is based on a 50% chance of wounding a drafted man, often a standing one, and putting him out of the fight for 5-10 minutes while he pisses himself and does first aid.
    It's not something you'd feel safe about, as a professional, to pump one grenade in a room and then expect they're dead and you can go in. Reduce all cold war numbers by about 40-50% to get what modern smart bombs and professionals/fanatic insurgents have as the real reliable killing area.

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Too weak, too big

    If you've payed attention you'd have noticed standalone, small launchers like the M302 and FN EGLM are being issued by themselves amd not as underbarrel attachments, because not affecting the rifle and reducing bulk is the main priority. You can now make airburst smart rounds for 40mm tubes and just carry them for situational use instead of making it a dedicated platform.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      As a guy who shot qual with a 320 attached it is a substantial bulk and weight on an already front heavy M4. I'd imagine a rear heavy bullpup would actually be decent with with it mounted

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    they are warcrimes under geneva, iirc they fall under fragmenting munitions.

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Because the amount of payload you can fit in them requires damn near a direct hit while being ungodly expensive per shot and per weapon that nobody wants to lug around or hump ammo for.
    They don't really suppress, they have the ballistic trajectory of a big booty Brazilian goddess, you can't carry many of them, they don't really do anything a big bullet won't, and their weight and logistics needs already mean you should only be using them in a mechanized capacity, at which point that guy is better off carrying a rifle or mounting the big weapon on the vehicle.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Most of the weight and size issue was with regards to the fact that the XM25 had artillery ordnance safety standards and required the ability to have a grenade detonate in the breech without harming the operator and also have the ability to survive 3 squib rounds fired in a row iirc.

      >t. know someone who worked on the program

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Which is why it’s kind of baffling the Chinese chose their “grenade sniper” QLU-11 in 35mm with more emphasis on projectile velocity than payload capabilities. That and (from what I’ve read) their choice of using it as a stand in for a machine gun at the squad level.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        The Chinese genuinely expect their shitty expendable units to be so degraded in capability upon contact that they wont have enough ammo or initiative to suppress and assault positions so the best next thing are these portable GLs that carry a middling amount of shots and payload but can be positioned well enough to maybe clear out the enemy in a quick salvo before they realize whats going on and react. Its a weapon to inflict morale damage more than actual destruction, and they market it with videos of it hitting bunkers through slits and shallow trenches exclusively.

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    grenades launchers are too much of a hassle and will be replaced by micro-missiles and drones for infantry use.

  16. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Too little explosive, effectively useless. Fine for anti material work but a .50 will do that a lot further away.

  17. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    held back by moronic airbursting fantasies

  18. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    They tried really hard to make 20mm work. Testing against wood targets revealed that there just weren't enough fragments, and not enough HE to get them up to sufficient speed. They just couldn't get the lethal radius up to where it needed to be.

    So, they gave up on the XM29, upped the caliber to 25mm, and gave us the XM-25 as a standalone weapon. Supposedly, it performed much better in testing, and was shipped to Afghanistan in limited quantities with limited ammunition (which was basically hand-made because it was still in pre-production mode). The Rangers who got it supposedly hated it, but honestly, it was a poor fit for them because they were basically running no-knock raids at night and needed an extra carbine more than a long-range airbursting grenade. The line troops who got them supposedly loved it, because they tended to deal with ambushes and lots of medium-range combat against irregulars behind cover. In the end, soldier opinions didn't matter--the program died under slightly suspicious circumstances (Germany is rumored to have used legal sabotage against the ammunition production). So, the jury is still out on 25mm grenades.

    Meanwhile, 40mm is still generally "adequate" for many cases. And, as a disclaimer, autocannon calibers are not the same thing as grenade launcher calibers, so don't conflate the two.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >autocannon calibers are not the same thing as grenade launcher calibers, so don't conflate the two.
      Important distinction. The powder charge behind infantry 40mm also varies significantly

  19. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    haha the wittlest rifle grenade

  20. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Grenades fire in a wide arc, meaning it is difficult to get it on target, unlike a gun where you only have to aim up a degree or so every 100 meters distance. This defeats the purpose of a hand held grenade launcher which is supposed to be a rapid response, you might as well just have a mortar team doing the math somewhere if you want to drop explosives on someone.

    I'm sure some nerd will scold me for not going into this or that detail, but that is basically the reason why.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      My guess for the idea would be having one man bombard the place with 20mm before the team runs in to finish off the rest, or cover the rear exit.
      This idea falling short with units insterting with vehicles with mounted MK19s and fire missions on call making the whole point moot.

      The only applicable use would be Soldier of Fortune/Bad Company2 type vidya and Expendables movies.
      All in all, the missions would be either too delicate in fear of collateral, or if not, just call in an air strike and frick the house/street/settlement/ZIP code.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      The point of OICW/XM-25 was to have a little more powder behind a lighter round (yielding a flatter trajectory), backed by a smart scope. It was supposed to operate fairly fast, push a button to lase for range, adjust your aim, and fire away; the fire control computer and the timed grenades would do the rest.

      https://i.imgur.com/lwqLzXj.jpeg

      My guess for the idea would be having one man bombard the place with 20mm before the team runs in to finish off the rest, or cover the rear exit.
      This idea falling short with units insterting with vehicles with mounted MK19s and fire missions on call making the whole point moot.

      The only applicable use would be Soldier of Fortune/Bad Company2 type vidya and Expendables movies.
      All in all, the missions would be either too delicate in fear of collateral, or if not, just call in an air strike and frick the house/street/settlement/ZIP code.

      There were plenty of occasions in the sandbox where having a dismounted airburst capability at the squad level would have been extremely useful. Unfortunately, it just never quite worked out.

  21. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    grenades that are small basically require a built in computer to be effective
    for the last 40 years, a tiny computer would have been expensive & take up a fair amount of space in a munition
    last big test for such a thing cost a frickload, and had teething pains
    its probably gonna be another 5-10 years till we see it again, out of it just being costly & needing more work
    once its done, it'll be everywhere

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Well the theory was that these were all airburst weapons, and the optical range finder gave them a critical capacity that rifle grenades didn't have. Namely, enfilade fire over contours.

      But then you're in the same position, why do you want that as a stand alone system when you could have it as an underslung package.
      Then the risks associated with airborne frag, with a regular 40mm it's armed with centrifugal force so if some moron fired it at their feet theoretically it would impact before it armed, wouldn't arm, and if it armed it would be buried in the ground where it couldn't impact anything.

      And if fired straight up at least you could take cover behind terrain.

      The risk with airburst was that the timer meant it could bounce back or fall back into a friendly position and explode, and given that it WOULDN'T explode on impact the likelihood of it bouncing was significant. And a tandem timed/ impact fuse would present the major risk of it being cursed UXO much like cluster submunition.
      Ultimately it was a target designation issue tied to the user, no way you're giving airburst munition to some 5 foot tall guy called jòse

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >why do you want that as a stand alone system when you could have it as an underslung package
        same reason you don't have a shovel, canteen, and hat, mounted to your rifle, shit don't work as good & weigh too much
        theres a reason that the moment the m203 came out, the m79 was still preferred & the m320 is now standard

  22. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Basically no use case for a weapon with more fire-power than an underslung 40, but less than a MGL.
    And doesn't serve as a primary weapon in any capacity at all.

  23. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    kinda unrelated but I wanted to ask, is the mk47 still only in use with special forces teams? Seems pretty nifty to have an fire control system with thermals/NV on a AGL, any reason it hasn't replaced the mk19 yet? Even has the ability to fire air-burst rounds

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      they are firing fricking blanks, aren't they? In all those fricking training demos they are firing blanks, cause there is no audio and there is no camera shake.

  24. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Wonder what grenade launchers and other launchers are taking up the airburst mantle

  25. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Because they are not yet fully automatic.

  26. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    if your iddy biddy grenades are barely doing jack then maybe you gotta start using stronger stuff. You need like that pyschlohexamexamine or whatever its called.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      You need like solid core vapor transmission fuel air explosives, boyo.

  27. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The point isn't to MINIMIZE casualties, its to MAXIMIZE casualties.

    Just big frick bombs out of a fart gun that go boom! Boom! BOOM!

    What is that pussy shit your putting in these things, they are like a fart in the wind.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Just think like, whats the biggest mortar I can fit on one guy?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Just like some chunkin 2 inch bore gas fired round filled with explosives that will tear a technical to shreds. Just like 5 in the mag, or even just 3, carry two or three reloads.

        You need something that SUPRESSES, you know what i mean, like the ground has got to quake when you use this thing.

  28. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Marrying of the tech and ammunition was too complex/expensive at the time, though IIRC the idea is being considered again by some contractors.

  29. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Will go nowhere until a civilian version gets made and gains popularity

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