People say the RPG-7 is the most successful handheld anti-tank weapon in history, and I'm kind of afraid to disagree with those people when they're holding an RPG-7. This Russian-made weapon has been blowing shit up since 1961. It's used by the armies of 40 different countries and more than 9 million have been manufactured.Back to Cool Guns
— Survival Guide, Far Cry 3
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So named for its 84mm caliber, the AT4 is a Swedish-made recoilless rocket launcher, introduced in the 1980s. Designed on the same principles as the smaller M72 LAW, it is an unguided single-shot weapon, with the launcher discarded after firing. The weapon has been quite successful on the export market, having been adopted by the US militarynote and a number of other militaries, usually as a replacement or supplement for the older M72. The weapon has several different variants, each firing different types of ammunition, and can be fitted with optical sights, as shown in the image. Like the LAW, the AT4 is also often portrayed in media as being reloadable, when it cannotnote . Some even portray it as a guided missile launcher.
- One is used in Escape from L.A. to shoot down Plissken's helicopter.
- Appears in Ghost Recon, where it is mistakenly portrayed as reloadable (that or the soldiers armed with one have a Hyperspace Arsenal to fit so many of them across their back).
- The AT4 appears in Stargate SG-1 and its spin-off, where it is erroneously used to shoot down aircraft.
- An AT4 is famously used by Buffy to blow up the Judge, bypassing a rule that "no weapons forged" can defeat him.
- A heavily modified version appears in [PROTOTYPE], where it is portrayed as launching homing missiles.
- Appears in the Battlefield series starting with Bad Company 2, and returning for Battlefield 3 and 4. In BC2, it's again incorrectly shown as a guided weapon; it's properly dump-fire in the latter two, though in 3 it is only used in one very short sequence in single-player to blow up a building with a sniper in it.
- The Rocket Launcher in Half-Life 2 is a heavily modified AT4, portrayed as a laser-guided reloadable weapon.
- Heavily modified AT4s are seen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and its sequel.
- One is used by the Marines in Battle: Los Angeles to shoot down an alien drone. Based on the lock-on beep, the sound editors appear to have mistaken it for a guided weapon.
- The weapon was Dummied Out from Modern Warfare, fully-coded and working (with some even appearing on the backs of friendly Marines) but never actually given to the player without cheating. It formally appears in Modern Warfare 2, where it is incorrectly shown as both reloadable and capable of locking onto targets.
- The standard rocket launcher in Postal 2 is an AT4 with a fuel-charging meter in place of the usual scope. Like many of the other depictions above, charging it fully turns its projectiles into homing rockets. The Share the Pain multiplayer update introduced a retextured variant that lobbed hand grenades, which was later added to singleplayer with the "A Week in Paradise" Game Mod before updates following the game's rerelease on Steam removed it (replaced with the above M79).
- Homura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica summons dozens of AT4s along with RPG-7s against Walpurgisnacht, in which the latter shrugs off all the explosions unscratched.
Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle
A man-portable, recoilless rifle that fires potent 84mm shells. It employs the Krupp firing system, which vents the propellant gas out the rear of the gun to eliminate recoil. The Carl Gustav M2 is distinguished by its high muzzle velocity, which gives its projectiles a lower, straigher trajectory and improves its accuracy compared to other rocket launchers.
The Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle (a.k.a MAAWS, RAWS, Carl G, Carl Gustaf, Carl Johnson, Charlie G, the Goose, the Gustav, Charlie Gusto, Carl Gutsache) is a series of recoilless rifles, the first model developed in Sweden in 1946. The Carl Gustav is something of a living fossil. Most recoilless rifles are no longer in service, but the Carl G is still in service in over two dozen nations. Firing 84mm shells, the standout feature of the Carl Gustav is that it uses a rifled barrel to stabilize the shells it fires, as opposed to using fins on the projectiles themselves. This makes the Carl Gustav one of the most accurate and long-ranged unguided shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapons available today, with an effective range of 400 meters against moving targets and 700 against stationary ones. While the Gustav's effectiveness against modern heavy armor is limited, it has gained popularity as a "bunker buster", used to destroy fortified positions as well as light armored vehicles. It can also fire a wide variety of special munitions, from flechette canisters (essentially turning it into a giant shotgun) to smoke and flare rounds. This versatility has made it popular amongst Special Forces groups such as the Royal Marines and United States Army Rangers.
- The Carl Gustav is used by Carlos to take down Psychlo flyers in the legendary box-office bomb Battlefield Earth. It is incorrectly shown as an anti-aircraft guided missile launcher, which is basically the exact opposite of what it is in real life.
- Towards the end of the 2005 version of The War of the Worlds, U.S Army soldiers can be seen destroying a weakened Tripod with a Carl Gustav.
- The Carl Gustav appears in Far Cry 2 as a second-tier anti-vehicle weapon. Like the Battlefield Earth depiction, this one is for some reason depicted as a laser-guided munition. I guess that's cool, or something.
- Canaan's got one resting against a wall in a Middle Eastern hideout.
- U.S Anti-Tank soldiers are equipped with these in World in Conflict.
- Several games in the Battlefield series including Battlefield 2 Modern Combat, Bad Company and Bad Company 2. In Bad Company 2 it is shown firing homing projec--oh, for God's sake!.
- To be fair, the weapon as it is found in Bad Company 2 has no integral faculties for locking onto anything, and usually gets used as a dumb-fire weapon, as the Carl Gustav is in real life. The munition, however, can lock onto a signal tag launched from a special pistol (which few people use anyway since it takes up the sidearm slot in multiplayer and deprives them of a fall-back weapon). This "lock-on" munition can plausibly be explained/hand waved as a result of the game's 20 Minutes into the Future setting.
- In Patlabor: The Movie it is shown being used by JGSDF troops, likely the locally-made Howa 84.
- ARMA II has U.S Army units use these in the Operation Arrowhead expansion, as did its spiritual ancestor Operation Flashpoint.
- In Unto the Breach, the Gustav becomes the Weapon of Choice for Shota, and is rather proficient in its use for being Dumb Muscle. He carries and fires it like the other Keldara carry assault rifles.
- In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the Gustav is one of the more high damage rocket launchers in the game, and true to reality it is unguided, but more accurate than most rockets in the game. There are three variants: A standard high explosive version, a Multi-purpose version, with lower damage but a larger blast radius suitable for multiple opponents and a Fulton recovery version, which allows the player to capture enemy soldiers from long range.
- The FD-03 Gustav Karl from the Gundam series takes its name from this weapon.
- Dolph Lundgren makes good use of a Carl Gustav in Men of War.
Developed in the 90s to replace the unpopular and obsolete M47 Dragon launcher, the Javelin is a crew-served soft-launch missile system, firing a 127mm tandem-charge anti-tank missile designed to defeat modern explosive reactive armour. The weapon consists of a disposable launch tube and a command launch unit (CLU) which contains the optics and guidance system; this is detached from the empty tube after firing.note The launcher can be set to direct engagement mode to attack point targets or helicopters, or set to climb and then descend on the target from above to attack the weaker top surface of armored vehicles. This last feature is particularly devastating, as modern tank armor (which is almost all on the sides of the vehicles) is not easily defeated by shoulder-launched weapons, but the top of a tank or APC has very little armor by comparison. Though mainly intended to destroy armored vehicles, it has seen increasing use against soft targets, such as unarmored vehicles and entrenched positions. The Javelin's relative portability (compared to other heavy weapons) and soft-launch capability have turned out to be surprisingly handy in urban fighting, and even without a missile, its CLU can be repurposed as a thermal imager.
- Seen in three missions in Call of Duty 4, where it's stuck in top-attack mode. It's shown similarly in Modern Warfare 2, even when attacking helicopters where the launcher should be in direct fire mode.
- There is a direct-fire mode Javelin in Call of Duty 4, in the level "All In". However, it's out of the way, to the point where it's very easy to miss (it's on a balcony above where you take out the two BMPs around the silos).
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots allows Snake to cart a Javelin around with him; it's shown as user-guided rather than fire-and-forget, and like in Call of Duty Snake discards the entire launcher after every shot rather than detaching the launch tube from the CLU.
- The 2005 remake of The War of the Worlds features this weapon being used by US Army soldiers to bring down one of the alien tripods at the climax of the film when it's discovered its shields are malfunctioning.
- America's Army has the Javelin as a playable weapon, and allows it to be operated in top-attack or direct-attack modes.
- An unlockable launcher for engineer class in Battlefield 3, though unlike its real life counterpart, it cannot attack aircraft unless they're painted by a laser, and its flight path is entirely dependent on whether the target is painted or not (non-painted means direct attack, laser means top attack even against aircraft).
- The Javelin makes a return in Battlefield 4, only this time it is locked in top-down attack mode and requires constant locking onto the target unless they're painted by a laser.
- Presumably names the Allied Javelin Trooper in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, which may or may not be anachronistic (As though you could tell either way). The troopers themselves, however, do not act like it; their missile launchers have Bottomless Magazines and, when used in laser lock-on mode, can achieve a rate of fire that's positively automatic.
- Used by Frank Castle to blow up a Cartel drug factory.
- In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Anatoli Knyazev uses a Javelin against the Batmobile during the chase scene at Gotham docks.
- Used to good effect in War of the Worlds to take down a Martian Tripod after its shields have failed.
A man-portable surface-to-air missile system, developed as the successor to the FIM-43. The launcher is disposable and good for only one shot. It is a very easy to use anti-air weapon. The missiles feature an improved guidance system with dual infrared and ultraviolet seekers. An enhanced seeker cooling system also shortens pre-launch lock-on time, which allows for quicker responses to unexpected engagements with the enemy.
A man-portable infrared surface-to-air missile system that entered service in the 1980s, the Stinger is in service with the United States and many other forces around the world. Although by no means the only MANPADS in service, is one of the best known. An air-launched version, the AIM-92 or Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS), also exists for use by helicopters and Predator UAVs, and the M6 Linebacker, Humvee and AN/TWQ-1 Avenger vehicles are also able to launch Stingers. The Stinger's largest role thus far has been its distribution to various irregular "allies" of the US during the Cold War. Its most notable use was in Afghanistan during the Soviet war, when the US provided the missiles to Mujahideen fighters to counter Soviet air power. The effectiveness of the Stinger over the course of the war is heavily disputed, with Western sources citing a high kill ratio and its introduction as a major turning point * , while Russian sources dismiss these claims * . Regardless, the Stinger's presence in the Soviet war in Afghanistan has secured it a place in popular culture.
- Features in Licence to Kill and a key point of the plot, as well as the focus of a stunt involving an 18-wheeler going up on 9 wheels.
- One is used to destroy a Goa'uld fighter in Stargate SG-1.
- The Stinger appears in both the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, where it is required to shoot down aircraft, and the only weapon effective against Metal Gears. It's also available in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, though due to the lack of bosses that require it in both games, it isn't particularly useful. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker allows the player to unlock one 12 years early as the XFIM92A.
- Weapons expert and ally Nastasha Romanenko in MGS1 also tells you that her favorite weapon is the Stinger, her favorite novel is a thriller called Stinger, and her favorite cocktail is a stinger. She says she just really likes stingers.
- Doctor Who. In "Army of Ghosts" the British army blows up a Cyberman with one, even though it's an AA weapon.
- In the climax of the Desperate Escape chapter of Resident Evil 5, an enemy wields this weapon against the protagonists.
- Jack Ryan:
- Stingers feature in The Cardinal of the Kremlin, with their use in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, and are mentioned as being better than the Strela shoulder-launched SAMs taken from the Soviets that gave the Archer his nickname ("Strela" means "arrow" in Russian).
- Deconstructed as a Cool Gun in Tom Clancy's Executive Orders. Someone asks why this wasn't used to bring down the kamikaze who plowed into the Capitol; he's reminded that it probably would not have really mattered at that point in its flight plan, as the missile wasn't going to be able to do anything about the inertia the 747 had built up by that point.
- In Charlie Wilson's War, the main plot was about the titular character assisting the Afghan mujahideen by supplying them with Stinger missile launchers. These played a major role in shooting down the much hated Soviet Mi-24 Hind gunships.
- Towards the end of True Lies, terrorists fleeing in a van attempt to shoot down an attacking Marine Corps Harrier jet with a Stinger, but fail miserably, the backblast actually taking out one of their own guys.
- Gets used in Firebirds to shoot down a jet fighter strafing a downed helicopter.
- Common in the Call of Duty series, with the Modern Warfare games featuring it extensively as an anti-air weapon. Then comes Black Ops II, where the weapon is treated as both a free-fire, command-detonated, anti-armor weapon and a heat-seeking anti-air weapon which can't actually lock onto aircraft outside of the flashback missions, only one of which even features enemy aircraft.
- Appears frequently in the Battlefield series as a fire-and-forget anti-aircraft launcher. One notable moment in the single-player campaign of Battlefield 3 has the player, Sgt. Blackburn scrambling to acquire a fallen Stinger missile-launcher to destroy a Russian Su-39 Frogfoot harassing the surviving platoon.
- Used by Kiritsugu Emiya in Fate/Zero to shoot down a plane filled with zombies and magical wasps while his surrogate mother is still on-board.
- One Punisher story set in Afghanistan has badass ex-CIA agent, Kathryn O'Brien using this to shoot down a Russian Mil Mi-24 helicopter.
Heckler & Koch HK69A1
Developed in the 1960s and originally conceived as a weapon that could be mounted under the barrel of the G3 Rifle, this standalone variant was created in 1979 and adopted by the German Army as well as many special forces units. Police use of this weapon is not uncommon, either. The later HK79, as originally intended, is designed to be underslung on the G3.
- Appears in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony.
- The first weapon unlocked in the SWAT 4 expansion pack The Stetchkov Syndicate.
- One is used by Robert De Niro in Ronin to attack a convoy.
- Appears in Parasite Eve 2 as the "Grenade Pistol".
- One is used by Jamie Foxx in the Miami Vice film.
- Appears in Dino Crisis as the Grenade Gun, where it is the most powerful weapon in the game and can be loaded with either explosive or incendiary rounds, but only holds one shot at a time and is slow to reload without the upgrade for it. A infinite ammo version of the weapon can also be unlocked for New Game+.
M1 / M9 / M20 Bazooka
The M1 rocket launcher was developed in the US; while the basic idea of a rocket-powered recoilless infantry weapon had been around since World War 1, the weapon was not first issued until 1942. The name 'bazooka' came from how it resembled Bob Burns's 'bazooka' instrument in the 30s, and the name stuck so well that any biggish gun or rocket launcher risks being called a bazooka. The M9 version used an optic sight, reinforced tube and a more powerful rocket, while the M20 "Super Bazooka", introduced during the Korean War, used a much larger round with increased range. Soviet soldiers found it a very welcome change from obsolete anti-tank rifles when it was provided to them by Lend-Lease, and the Germans soon produced their own version, the Panzerschreck, which was of a larger 88mm calibre. Study of captured Panzerschrecks in turn inspired the creation of the post-war M20 firing a 90mm diameter rocket. The Bazooka was ultimately phased out during the Vietnam War, replaced by the M67 Recoilless Rifle and the M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon, a disposable rocket launcher.
- More or less any WW2 movie or videogame which contains tanks will also contain bazookas to fire at them.
- Used by Easy Company soldiers against German tanks, fortified positions, and roadblocks in Band of Brothers.
- The M9 is used in Call of Duty: United Offensive, 3, and World at War.
- You end up using (and taking fire from) Bazookas towards the end of the War segment in Conker's Bad Fur Day. It's in the multiplayer modes, too.
- Saving Private Ryan: One is used by Sgt. Horvath to destroy one of the German armored vehicles during the climactic assault. He then fires it again at the frontal armor of a Tiger tank, against which it does no good.
- Army Men, being effectively a Lighter and Softer version of World War II and Vietnam, arms various soldiers on every side with these. Riff, The Lancer of the squad from Sarge's Heroes, specializes in it.
- Seen in Men of War, the M1A1 Bazooka is used by the US AT-infantry, Airborne troops and mounted on certain vehicles, as well as Soviet AT-infantry and Red Guardsmen (Truth in Television, as a large number of bazookas were given to the USSR at the time through the Lend-Lease Act).
- US Rangers from Company of Heroes will be equipped with two Bazookas per unit.
- Day of Infamy features an M1A1 Bazooka usable by the US Army Engineer class. Notably it has an option to equip White Phosphorous rockets for a less explosive, but area-denying alternative, for only one supply point.
- Shows up memorably in the Goldfinger novel: Felix Leiter wields one when he comes to Bond's rescue at the battle of Fort Knox, modified so he can hold it with his hook prosthetic. Bond later uses it to unsuccessfully try and stop Goldfinger's train from escaping.
- Used in Windtalkers against Japanese fortifications.
- Appears in the first and third Brothers in Arms titles, used against German tanks and fortifications. In the third game, they're used almost exclusively by a heavy-weapons team.
M203 and other similar weapons
"Say hello to my little friend!"
Tony Montana before firing his M203, Scarface (1983)
The M203 is a 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher developed by AAI during the failed SALVO and SPIW trials which were aimed at replacing the M16; the rifles themselves were discarded, but the underbarrel launcher concept eventually found its way onto the M16 and M4, replacing the stand-alone M79 grenade launcher. The M203 uses the rifle's magazine as a grip, and the sliding handguard is used to both cock the weapon and access the breech. While designed for the AR-15 platform, conversion kits exist to fit it to many other rifles, or even turn it into a stand-alone weapon. Plans are currently underway to replace it with the M320 launcher (a modified version of the German AG36), a side-loading underbarrel launcher with a number of advantages over the M203 such as double-action operation, accommodation for a wider variety of ammunition, and an integral sight. Similar weapons include the German AG36 (mounted on the the G36, SA80 and XM8) and Belgian ELGM (aka GL1 or Mk 13 Mod 0, depending on whether it's attached to an F2000 or a SCAR), which fire the same grenades as the M203, and the Russian GP25 and GP30 (mounted on the various AK models), which are muzzle-loaded and use caseless grenades. Some of these launchers can be mounted with their own stock and pistol grip as standalone weapons, but these are rarely seen in fiction.
- Common in any depiction of the US military, and popular as an accessory to weapons in videogames; in multiplayer games, it has long been referred to as the "noob tube" due to the tendency of new users to abuse it.
- 37mm flare guns that look similar to the M203 are a popular civilian-legal accessory for AR-15s, and these are usually the props used for M203 film and television appearances.
- Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2, and Black Ops have this weapon as an attachment for most assault rifles (the AK and similar weapons, like the Galil in the latter game, get the GP-30 instead; the difference is mostly in a faster time to switch between the rifle and launcher, but a slower reload), where it's a favorite weapon in multiplayer matches. Unfortunately it's got a notorious reputation as one of the most frequently used weapons by new players/screaming micspamming kids, so it's also known as "the noob tube". Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops II largely replace it with the M320, though their respective AKs still use a GP-30.
- "Say hello to my little friend!"
- Frank Castle is commonly depicted using this weapon as an attachment for his signature Vietnam era M16.
- Battlefield: Bad Company features this on most American assault rifles.
- Mack Bolan used one even before the weapon was widely known.
- The similar SIG GL 5040 and GP-30 show up in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl as add-ons for most of the Western and Russian assault rifles respectively. However, limited ammunition availability, the excess weight, and the rarity with which you face bunched-up enemies pushes them into borderline Awesome, but Impractical.
- Another Demolition weapon in Killing Floor is an M4 assault rifle with an M203 attached beneath which gives them an edge to deal with smaller zeds with the rifle itself while scrakes and fleshpounds get the big boom underneath it.
- The M16 unlocked after beating Black difficulty mode in Black has an M203 attached.
- Absolutely available in 7.62 High Calibre, though it negatively affects the balance of the gun it's attached to.
- Eldritch has one on her M16A4 in the Whateley Universe. Watch out for a superpowered mutant who carries around an M203.
- The M203 appears slung under the widest variety of weapons of any grenade launcher in Project Reality, mounted under the M16A1, M16A4, M4, C7A2, and Colt Model 653.
- Used in the Stargate-verse, usually as an underbarrel launcher (in which case it's normally actually a Cobray CM203 flare launcher standing in). In the SG-1 episode "The Fifth Man", however, Jack O'Neill fits one with a stock and pistol grip as a makeshift anti-aircraft weapon, downing a death glider with it.
- An M203 can be found in the Chinatown Sewers in Parasite Eve, with upgraded variants available from then on. It also returns as an attachment for the M4A1 rifle in Parasite Eve 2. Useful if you like to use grenades as it frees up an inventory slot instead of having to keep the Grenade Pistol (an HK69) handy.
A disposable rocket launcher developed to give infantry a means of attacking hard targets such as light armorred vehicles and bunkers. It is light and compact enough for a soldier to carry several at once without being slowed down. The LAW rocket packs quite a punch for such a small package; a single shot can take an entire pack of enemies in one fell swoop.
—Description of the M72A3, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The M72 LAW (Light Anti-Armor Weapon) is a Vietnam-era development focused on cutting down launcher weight and size when compared to the WWII Bazooka while still allowing a soldier to carry enough firepower to knock out armored targets. It consists of a single unguided 66mm rocket enclosed in a collapsible launch tube. Once fired, a set of fins on the rocket deploy to stabilize it in flight, and it is fused to detonate on contact with the target. Like the Panzerfaust, the design is geared towards simplicity and cheap construction, with the tube doubling as the carrying case for the rocket itself and intended to be discarded after firing. That doesn't stop some movies from making the mistake of treating it as reloadable like the earlier bazooka. Tests have been underway since The '80s to find a successor (such as the more powerful AT-4), but the LAW’s low cost, compact dimensions, and easy “everyman” use means it will probably be staying in service for the foreseeable future. A common sight in action movies as it gives the hero the ability to single-handedly deal some serious damage like blowing up vehicles and small structures. The relative ease of finding a spent launch tube on the collector’s market to use as a prop also helps.
- In Ronin, one is employed to blow up a carload of mooks during the car Chase Scene.
- Chuck Norris uses one to deal with the Big Bad at the end of Invasion U.S.A. (1985).
- Rambo used this to destroy a helicopter in the second movie.
- Dirty Harry in The Enforcer.
- "D-Fens" Foster fires one in Falling Down.
- The most expensive weapon for the Demolition perk in Killing Floor is called the LAW (though the actual model is mostly based on the British LAW 80); killing the Patriarch with it nets you the achievement "The LAW That Broke The Camel's Back".
- Appears in Battlefield: Vietnam used by US / ARVN Anti-Tank troops.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops - Available in both single and multiplayer modes. Accurately used to take out NVA armor during the assault on Khe Sahn in single player, however, multiplayer mode makes the mistake of showing it as capable of locking onto aircraft. Probably an intentional decision, as armored vehicles do not appear in multiplayer. Leaving it without a vehicle destroying function would make it functionally useless since the dumb-fire RPG is already available for those who just want to use rocket launchers on a single person for kicks.
- Max Payne 3 features the LAW during a sequence where Max must destroy an armored truck.
- Used to take out a couple of North Korean tanks late in Red Phoenix. A little later on in the same battle, they provide critical fire support to take out a fortified position menacing the US's only supply and evacuation route into the city.
- It is actually the Staff of Destruction in The Familiar of Zero
- The Big Bad in True Lies uses this during the Florida Keys shootout in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Ahnold's character.
- The RPG-18, a Soviet equivalent, is available in 7.62 High Caliber and is correctly depicted as disposable.
- Available in Parasite Eve if you give Wayne 300 Junk and ask him to make you a rocket launcher.
- Snake makes use of one in an interactive cutscene when he first encounters the Chrysalis AI weapon in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. From there on, it's available for research and use by the player. The weapon is also usable in Guns of the Patriots.
- One of the many weapons that Frank Castle has in his arsenal.
The Special Purpose Individual Weapon projects of the 1950s and 1960s, an attempt to replace current rifles with flechette-based weapons, were overall a failure. However, one nugget of success came about: attempts to create an explosive weapon with more accuracy and destructive power than muzzle-mounted rifle grenades and more portability than mortars lead to the development of the superb 40x46mm grenade round. Springfield Armory later created the S-3 single-shot break-open launcher for the round, which was eventually refined into the S-5. Fitted with a new leaf sight to account for trajectories, the S-5 was officially adopted by the US armed forces as the M79, just in time for things to go south in Vietnam.
The M79 is a break-action single-shot 40x46mm grenade launcher, most resembling a break-action shotgun with a giant barrel and upside-down stock. First deployed during the Vietnam War with the aim of providing increased firepower to dismounted infantry without resorting to more cumbersome rifle grenade launchers, it functioned mainly as a middle ground between hand-thrown or rifle grenades and full-on mortars (the 40mm grenade was developed expressly for that purpose during the SPIW program of the 50s). Nicknamed the "Thumper" or "Blooper" due to the distinctive report, the M79 was a popular weapon among troops, but its size and weight limited it to designated grenadiers. It was largely replaced with the M203 underbarrel launcher as the latter came into service, since the M203 allowed the user to also function as a rifleman, though the M79 still sees some use (such as explosive ordnance disposal) as its longer barrel than the M203 gives it a longer effective range as a result. The rather old-fashioned, no-nonsense look of the weapon means it's a popular choice as a personal BFG in both movies and videogames. A rare pump-action four-shot weapon based on the design also exists, known as the China Lake Launcher.
- Cool Action: Snapping the M79 closed by flicking the barrel upwards after inserting a new round. There's a high chance anyone doing this will go on to fire the weapon one-handed because the motion may accidentally cause the weapon to fire and possibly break their wrist. So in other words: Awesome, but Impractical.
- Likely to be seen in any Vietnam War movie in the hands of a grenadier; in less realistic cases, it might be carried by a regular rifleman. In video games, it's very likely that the weight issue preventing its use alongside a rifle will be ignored entirely, even in games ostensibly using a Limited Loadout for realism purposes.
- One of the most iconic uses is in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator uses an M79 to finally defeat the shape-shifting T1000. It was also the most powerful weapon in Terminator 2: The Arcade Game.
- A favorite in the Syphon Filter video game series, particularly for its effectiveness against enemies wearing body armour or if the player just wants to see some bad guys fly. Gabe used it one-handed in the first three games but it was switched to a two-handed weapon in The Omega Strain.
- A Scary Black Man uses one with uncanny accuracy on a name-calling VC infiltrator in Apocalypse Now.
- Former Symbol agent Wan uses one during his introductory scene in Gasaraki.
- In episode 3 of Black Lagoon Revy uses one of these to finish off Luak's ship as he tries to escape.
- One version of Frank Castle's tour of duty in Vietnam depicts one of of his squad mates using this weapon on some very unfortunate Viet Cong personal. The results were... predictable.
- Appears in Left 4 Dead 2 and is devastating against massed hordes of zombies. Balanced by the fact that it is one of the only weapons that cannot be reloaded from found ammunition stocks.
- Killing Floor features one meant to be used by the Demolition perk; a player that has leveled that perk high enough can even start a game or respawn with one for free. Then there's a Bling-Bling-BANG! DLC pack that, among others, introduces a gilded M79 with golden shells.
- Shows up in Far Cry 2, where it is incredibly useful because it provides much-needed long-range punch for use against vehicles, yet occupies the sidearm weapon category, and thus doesn't prevent the player from carrying more general-purpose assault rifles or shotguns. It shows up again in Far Cry 4, once again in the sidearm slot.
- It appears in Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil Survivor and Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, using real life explosive and incendiary rounds, and fake ones like acid and B.O.W gas rounds. In the Resident Evil 3: Nemesis novel, Jill uses one with 40mm buckshot rounds.
- First featured in Battlefield: Vietnam in the Battlefield series, with a familiar tiger-striped camo scheme. It returns in Battlefield: Bad Company 2's Vietnam expansion with the same tiger-stripe camo as a gadget for the Assault class, and then again in Battlefield Hardline as part of the Syndicate Mechanic's default equipment.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 features the Thumper as a secondary weapon. Call of Duty: Black Ops instead features the China Lake, given its propensity toward exotic prototype weaponry.
- Fallout: New Vegas features both versions, the single shot M79 called the "Grenade Rifle" and the four shot China Lake version dubbed the "Grenade Launcher." The Lonesome Road DLC adds several upgraded versions with patriotic names and color schemes, like the Great Bear Grenade Rifle (which has blue painted furniture and a white US Army star on the stock), while the Dead Money DLC's "Holorifle" is also based on the China Lake.
- Available as one of two grenade launchers in 7.62 High Caliber, allowing for more precise firing of grenades at longer ranges.
- It appears in PAYDAY: The Heist with the Wolf Pack DLC as the "GL40", where it can be fitted with a rangefinder. It reappears under the same name in PAYDAY 2 with the Gage Assault Pack DLC, where it can be modified with a sawed-off barrel and stock, and with the later BBQ Weapon Pack, loaded with incendiary grenades.
- Very handy in Alien Shooter Vengeance, where it appears as an early-game explosive weapon that will easily reduce whole swarms of the basic bug enemies into a fine red paste.
- Team Fortress 2's Grenade Launcher has the barrel, foregrip, and stock of an M79, but it's more of a revolver grenade launcher, noted below. The Loch-and-Load is an M79 modified to have two barrels in an over-under arrangement.
- An M79 can be found in Parasite Eve in the hospital's basement, and upgraded versions of it (designated with a "2", "3", etc.) throughout the game from there on.
- The M79 is the grenade launcher found in Metal Gear 1. Snake gets it by taking out the 4 mercs guarding it, then using it to demolish a gunship and an armored bulldozer respectively.
- One of the three standard weapons used by Tim O'Brien's platoon in The Things They Carried, with several members of the platoon carrying one when needed. Tim notes that the launcher itself is quite light, but the grenades are quite heavy. It's also the primary weapon of Ted Lavender, who also carries 34 grenades over the standard practice of 25 in his already heavy backpack.
- MASK de Smith's weapons in killer7 are a pair of cut-down M79s. His need to reload after every single shot is one of his balancing measures at the start of the game, though as he collects newer wrestling masks throughout the game, he eventually reaches the point where he doens't need to reload at all.
Designed as a crew-served weapon to provide high firepower to infantry and light vehicles, this 73-pound blowback-operated 40mm grenade launcher first entered service during the Vietnam War where it was used on river patrol boats, and has been in use ever since. Capable of firing at around 350rpm, the weapon is accurate out to just under a mile against point targets, and can be mounted on a tripod; more commonly, however, it is mounted on ground vehicles or helicopters. The weapon's heavy weight is its principal shortcoming, and efforts are underway to replace it with a more sophisticated and modern weapon; the cancelled XM307 was one such attempt, while the Mark 47 Mod 0 is currently being evaluated as a possible candidate. The Mark 19 has been exported and copied extensively, and will likely remain in service in other countries for a long time to come.
- A frequent sight in movies and videogames set during or after the Vietnam War; it's not so frequent to see it actually fired in a movie, however.
- Seen and used very frequently in Generation Kill, usually mounted on US Marine Force Recon's Humvees. Vehicle-1 of Bravo Platoon is mounted with one but frequently jams due to the lack of proper lubricant, much to the chagrin of it's gunner, Corporal Walt. During one ambush, Cpl Anthony "Manimal" Jacks uses one to great effect by to destroying the entire face of a building, saving the entire battalion from the attack.
- Seen in Jurassic Park III mounted on Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles.
- Usable in the console-only Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. Appears in both Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 mounted on the AAV-7A1 AMTRAC. BF3: Aftermath DLC has one mounted on the back of the 'Phoenix' (a crudely fixed-up Humvee) while the Second Assault DLC of BF4 has a Mk. 19 mounted on the Desert Patrol Vehicle.
- Call of Duty 4 features the Mk 19 during the Shock and Awe mission.
- America's Army features the Mk 19 as one of the weapons on the CROWS turrets.
- Far Cry featured a curious depiction of the Mk 19 as a single-shot weapon with an automated rangefinding system. Far Cry 2 featured a more accurate depiction mounted on trucks and boats, but for balancing purposes the rate of fire was toned down to about one shot every 2 seconds.
- Phoenix Force. A Mk19 mounted on a Fast Attack Vehicle is used to decimate a small army in "Aswan Hellbox".
- In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a Mk19 is one of the weapons used against Superman by Batman during their Battle in the Rain. It doesn't hurt him and quickly gets destroyed by Clark's heat vision.
Mk 153 Mod 0 SMAW
Based on an earlier Israeli rocket launcher, the B-300, the Mk 153 Mod 0 SMAW (Shoulder Mounted Assault Weapon) is a reusable American rocket launcher that was developed in the early 80s by McDonnell Douglas for the USMC and is currently manufactured by Talley Defense Systems. The SMAW features dual grips, a manual safety, and a built-in spotting rifle which holds 6 rounds of 9x51mm tracer bullets with extra ammunition magazines clipped to each rocket container, though this functionality is rarely seen in media. The SMAW can fire a wide variety of 83mm rockets, including High Explosive Dual Purpose, High Explosive Anti Armor, Follow-Through Grenade and Novel Explosive (Thermobaric) rounds, which allow it to be effective against vehicles, structures, and infantry alike. A new version of the weapon, the Mod 2, is also now in development, which replaces the spotting rifle component with more advanced optics, including a detachable laser rangefinder in addition to the pad size being increased on the forward grip of the launcher and the addition of foldable backup iron sights. Interestingly, while the SMAW itself is an American weapon, the spotting rifle component and its ammunition were actually developed in the UK by Royal Ordnance.
- Used by the Huge Goon in Kick-Ass and referred to as a bazooka. Its trigger/firing mechanism strangely looks like the frame of a MK 23 mated to the lower receiver of a MP 5 instead of a proper SMAW trigger mechanism.
- Pike uses a SMAW in The A-Team to blow a hole in the hull of the cargo ship in the final shootout.
- Appears in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain as the only rocket launcher in the game, with a incorrect 5-round capacity. However, it is not unlockable, and can only be picked up and used in Belarus 2. Stone also uses one to distract a tank while the player destroys it after he is rescued in that level. It returns in Dark Mirror in Anti-Infantry and Anti-Tank variants, the later correctly holding only one round, and the Anti-Infantry variant being unlockable this time.
- Appears in Project Reality as the USMC's main heavy anti-tank weapon and is one of, if not, the only video game where the built-in spotting rifle is usable, in addition to the main launcher be able to use either HEDP or HEAA rounds.
- Appears in Battlefield 3 as the US Engineer's default rocket launcher, then returns in Battlefield 4 as the second-most powerful rocket launcher in the game with the flattest trajectory and as a Battle Pickup in Battlefield Hardline.
- Appears in Modern Warfare 3 and Call Of Duty Black Ops II as the default launcher. It is incorrectly depicted as a one-shot disposable rocket launcher instead of the reusable rocket launcher it actually is and with the ability to lock onto killstreaks.
- Inspector Quinn Erari shows up with one in Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil in response to a wud terrorist situation, though Shizumu quickly talks her out of using it.
- Appears as the Rocket Launcher in Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light.
- Allied Nations troops use them in Mercenaries 2: World In Flames, where it is called the Anti-Tank Launcher.
- One of the rocket launchers used by USMC forces in ARMA II, where it can be loaded with either HEDP or HEAA rounds.
- Appears as Valor's Rocket Propelled Grenade in MAG.
The Panzerfaust (German for “Armored Fist”) is an anti-tank weapon, launching a small charge designed to penetrate an armored tank or vehicle. Due to the armor-piercing nature of the charge, it's not an effective anti-personnel device. Each Panzerfaust is only a single shot weapon, but one shot is often enough to reduce even the largest tanks to smoldering ruins within seconds.
—Description, Call of Duty
Literally “Armor Fist” in German, this was the anti-tank weapon of the German Army in WWII. It consisted of a small pre-loaded launch tube that fired a shaped-charge explosive warhead specifically designed to penetrate tank armor. Operated by a single soldier, it was also the first such weapon designed to be disposable, the spent tube (which was made of low-grade steel) was simply thrown away after firing. It was easy to manufacture, simple to use, and, at only eleven pounds, very light compared to the damage it could cause. A solid hit from the Panzerfaust could destroy almost any Allied tank. The final mass-produced versions were nominally accurate to a hundred meters and could defeat up to eight inches of armor. The overall simplicity also encouraged them to be issued to everyone and anyone from regular soldiers to the most poorly-trained conscripts, and its light weight and easy availability also meant it saw a lot of "utility" use, such as knocking holes in the walls of buildings in urban combat to allow movement between the two without having to go out onto the street and expose oneself to the enemy. As the conflict drew to a close, some civilian volunteer units were equipped with nothing but this weapon in the hopes they could knock out at least some of the approaching Soviet armor. The distinct profile (somewhat resembling half of a giant cotton swab) makes it instantly recognizable and can be the defining "Oh, Crap!" moment when someone pops out of cover with one and takes aim.
- Just about every WWII video game has this filling the "rocket launcher" slot for the Axis side, usually opposite the Allied Bazooka. In reality, the Panzerfaust was technically a recoilless grenade launcher triggered by a conventional percussion mechanism, using a small amount of black powder to lob a shaped charge bomb.
- Brothers in Arms, as one of the primary German anti-tank weapon alongside the Pak 36 and later, the 88mm gun.
- Medal of Honor
- Call of Duty, at least in the first game; later ones had the heavier, much-less-extensively-used but more powerful and reloadable Panzerschreck take its place.
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein. It is incorrectly depicted as a rocket launcher, with the projectile trailing flame and smoke while in flight, and an electric ignition mechanism that audibly whines prior to firing.
- Appears in Day of Infamy as a cheaper, disposable one shot launcher usable by the German Engineer class.
- In Men of War, the Panzerfaust is carried by German Panzergrenadiers and the Fallschirmjäger, correctly as a one-shot disposable launcher, compared to the reloadable Panzershreck used by the AT troops.
- Various German infantry from Volksgrenadiers to Knight's Cross Holders can fire a Panzerfaust as an ability in Company of Heroes.
- Both the Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck appears in BloodRayne as one of the heavy weapons available to Rayne.
- The Principality of Zeon and their remnants (and their remnants' remnants) from the Gundam metaseries make use of giant robot-sized ones called the "Sturm Faust". From when the Zaku I and the Zudah were competing to be Zeon's first/main mobile suit, up to the conflict over Laplace's Box two decades later, the Zekes have it as a mainstay in their armouries.
- Appears by name in Heavy Gear 2, where they are mostly used for short-range (less than 100 meters) attacks against tanks or the heaver models of Gears. Comes in light, medium, and heavy varieties, in increasing order of cost and power. Good luck scoring a direct hit beyond that 100 meter range, though.
- Plenty show up in the hands of SS troops in Fury (2014).
- In Mailed Fist, British tank commander John Foley describes a night attack in Holland where German soldiers with Panzerfausts were hiding in a forest to each side of the road. His solution was to tell his three tanks to charge ahead at full speed with "all Besas blazing,"note the lead tank firing all its MG's to the left, the second tank to fire all its MG's to the right, and the third tank to "tackle whichever side appears to be giving most trouble". He noted that the civil servants would probably have tutted and described it as "uneconomic expenditure of ammunition", but stated, with satisfaction, none of his tanks were hit, and an awful lot of dead Germans were found in daylight, their Panzerfausts either unfired or having gone woefully wide. He described the trail of fire and sparks left by a Panzerfaust at night as "being as good as tracer" in telling his gunners where to return fire.
A futuristic-looking German reusable anti-tank rocket launcher made by Dynamit Nobel AG (Best known as the creators of dynamite/TNT), the Panzerfaust 3/Pzf 3 was developed in the 1980s to replace the aging Panzerfaust 44s and heavy Carl Gustavs that were in service with the Bundeswehr at the time, and entered mass production in the 1990's. It fires a 110mm rocket with several available warheads, including the DM 12 A 1 hollow charge, DM 22 tandem hollow charge (Known as the Panzerfaust-IT) or BASTEG bunker-buster (Known as the Bunkerfaust). It also possesses a built-in telescope sight, and is light enough to be carried and fired by one person. The Panzerfaust 3 also has a smaller backblast than most other rocket launchers thanks to its use of the recoilless countermass principle, with the rear of the tube being filled with plastic granulate, which allows it to be fired from enclosures with much less risk than other rocket launchers. A unique Dynarange computerized sight/fire control unit can also be attached to the Panzerfaust 3, which features a laser range finder and ballistic computer which presets the aiming reticule according to the type of round used and measured range to target and nearly doubles the range of the rockets. The Panzerfaust 3 has been adopted by at least 11 countries, including the German, Italian, Belgian, Japanese, and South Korean militaries, and has seen use in Afghanistan.
- Appears in Project Reality as the standard rocket launcher of the Bundeswehr, with either DM 12 A 1 rockets for anti-infantry use or DM 22 rockets for anti-tank use.
- Appears in Homefront as the RPG Launcher, the standard rocket launcher for both sides in the game. It is incorrectly described as a disposable launcher in the multiplayer menu, and enemies are seen firing fictional guided anti-aircraft and EMP rockets in addition to the regular rockets that are available to both the enemies and player. It also comes in a fictional green proximity-detonated rocket variant with a extended tube and different scope in multiplayer.
- Appears in Binary Domain as Rachel's signature weapon, the HEMWL-3.8 Anti-Robot RPG Launcher. The trigger has been relocated to the stock of the gun, though it still retains the central grip of the weapon.
- The Panzerfaust-IT appears in Call of Duty: Ghosts as the standard rocket launcher in the game, called simply the Panzerfaust.
- Appears as Raven's Rocket-Propelled Grenade in MAG.
- JSGDF troops wield them in Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys.
- Used by JSSDF troops in Neon Genesis Evangelion while infiltratin Nerv headquarters.
- Used by Amata Kihara in the anime adaptation of A Certain Magical Index to shoot at the Hound Dog van Accelerator and Index are escaping in during the Academy City Invasion arc, though Vento of the Front quickly blocks the rocket.
- Used by a soldier in Noir during the attack on the Soldats' village to shoot at the church tower in "Journey's End".
- Used in the Anime adaption of Gate by both the JSDF and Dark Elves to kill dragons with. However, the Dark Elves, not use to modern weaponry and forgetting Itami's warning about the backblast, also end up killing, maiming and stunning a number of each other with the backblasts.
The Raketenpanzerbüchse, more commonly known as the Panzerschreck, was developed by the Germans during WWII in 1943 after the capture and reverse-engineering of several M1 Bazookas and scaling them up to 88mm. The Panzerschreck was one of the most effective infantry anti-tank launchers in the war (The name "Panzerschreck" translating to "tank terror"), possessing longer effective range and better armor penetration than the allied M1/M9 Bazookas and PIATs, and its rocket was powerful enough to disable most contemporary tanks with a single hit. Disadvantages included lower accuracy than its American progenitor, and in the original RPzB 43 version, the rocket's backblast was great enough that it would burn the operator's face unless he was wearing a gas mask and poncho. That issue was solved with the addition of a blast shield in the RPzB 54, but this also added weight to the already-heavy weapon, plus the backblast hitting the shield had an irritating tendency to knock it right into the user's face. Speaking of which, the launcher would create so much smoke when fired that it would likely give away the firer's position and also led to being called the "Ofenrohr" (stove pipe) by German troops. Nonetheless, it remained an effective anti-tank weapon until the end of the war, inflicting serious damage on the Allies, although noticeably less widespread than the Panzerfaust, which was simpler, easier to use and less dangerous to the user.
- Appears Call of Duty United Offensive, 2, 3, and World at War as the main rocket launcher for the Germans, though it does complement the Panzerfaust in United Offensive. It is the only rocket launcher in 2, and is the main rocket launcher in the campaign of World at War, though it is not available in multiplayer in that game, the M9 Bazooka being used instead.
- Appears in the Medal of Honor series as the main rocket launcher of the Germans, though is not usable until Allied Assault.
- When not using a Panzerfaust, German infantry can form Anti-Tank squads using these in Company of Heroes.
- Day of Infamy features this weapon usable by the Wehrmacht Engineer class as a more expensive but reloadable alternative the the Panzerfaust. It has the heat shield installed and a camo scheme tacked on by default.
- A few are seen in Saving Private Ryan, used against exposed infantry.
- Used by German anti-tank squads in Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, where they can be picked up by the player.
- Colonel Silver uses a Panzerschreck to shoot down Goku on his Nimbus in Dragon Ball. It is incorrectly depicted as a MANPADS like the Stinger. General Blue also uses a Panzerschreck as his "I'll Shoot You" super in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
The Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank, or PIAT, was designed by the British Army during WWII in 1942 and deployed in 1943 as an anti-tank weapon for the British Army, which at the time was dependent on grenades and anti-tank rifles to combat tanks. Contrary to popular belief, the PIAT was not a rocket launcher, but rather a mortar-like grenade launcher with a spring-loaded firing mechanism. The PIAT had a range of 115 yards (110 meters) in direct fire and 350 yards (320m) in indirect fire, though the range gradually became less as German armor improved. It had the advantages of being cheap to produce, and the lack of chemical propellants meant it did not produce muzzle smoke, making it harder to find the user when it was fired. On the downside: Disadvantages included a fragile barrel, poor accuracy, heavy recoil, requiring excessive force to cock and unreliable ammunition, all of which were due to its necessarily rushed production. Nevertheless, the PIAT saw widespread use, not only with British forces but also with the French and Polish resistances, the Free French army and even the Red Army, who received 100 as part of lend-lease aid. Six members of the Commonwealth forces were also awarded the Victoria Cross for knocking out tanks or disabling enemy artillery. After World War 2, it was used by the Israeli Haganah during the Arab-Israeli War, and also saw use with Australia during the Korean War and the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
- Appears in the Company of Heroes series.
- Appears in the Commandos series.
- Appears in the third Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow OVA, though the design notes refers to it as "Projector, Infantry, Armored-Thing".
- Appears in Medal of Honor Allied Assault as the standard anti-tank launcher for the British.
- Day of Infamy has these in the hands of the Commonwealth Engineer class. Notably, it can carry more rounds (3 in total) than any other launcher in the game (2 total for Bazooka and Panzershreck, 1 for Panzerfaust), but has the shortest drop distance requiring some getting used to.
- Appears in Dino D Day as one of Blithe-Crossley's weapons, and is the only launcher in the game.
- In his autobiography Quartered Safe Out Here, George MacDonald Fraser describes using the PIAT in action in Burma in 1945. Very few of these weapons made it to the Far East as Japanese tanks by then, being light and flimsy and rarely encountered, were seen more as a nuisance than a threat. MacDonald Fraser discovered a different use for them: he was part of a unit who ambushed Japanese soldiers trying to retreat across the Sittang river. He discovered they could be used productively in an anti-shipping role and used the PIAT to hit a large ship full of Japanese troops, holing it under the waterline several times and sinking the vessel. As the Sittang was full of opportunist crocodiles, he took the point of view that this added a discourtesy detail for the Japs escaping the sinking boat. note
Revolver-type Grenade Launchers
There are a large number of launchers that use a revolver-style cylinder magazine, dating back to the Manville Machine Projector, a 1930s tear gas launcher; this formed the basis of the later Hawk MM-1 developed in the 70s. Modern examples include the Russian RG-6 launcher, essentially a frame holding six separate GP30 launcher tubes, and the MGL-140 / M32, which is becoming an increasingly common sight in movies and games due to its tacticool appearance. Such launchers are very popular with police and anti-riot units due to their ability to fire a wide range of incapacitating rounds and sustained fire abilities, and 37mm launchers made by companies such as Enfield and DefTech are often seen in movies substituting for their more lethal cousins.
- Riot launchers are likely to be seen in anything involving riot police or SWAT units.
- In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a SWAT unit equipped with MM-1 launchers loaded with tear gas storms the Cyberdyne building. Arnold Schwarzenegger later takes one of the launchers for himself (tear gas being completely ineffective against a Terminator), at one point firing it point-blank at a hapless officer.
- The Transformers Film Series feature a variety of revolver launchers used to fire the "special sabot rounds" which are the only thing that can harm the Decepticons. In reality, no such rounds actually exist for grenade launchers: sabot rounds are anti-tank munitions designed to be fired at very high velocities, whereas grenade launchers are designed explicitly to fire projectiles at low velocities.
- The RGB-6 (a Croatian clone of the Milkor MGL) shows in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty as a usable weapon. Raging Raven in Metal Gear Solid 4 uses an actual MGL, which Snake acquires after defeating her.
- An RG-6 is available in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, called the "Bulldog 6" as part of the game's A.K.A.-47 tendencies. It's heavy, you can't sprint with it out, and it chews through grenade ammo like you wouldn't believe, but MAN is it fun to use. A variant converted to use Western 40mm grenades is also hidden in the game files.
- The 1980 movie of The Dogs of War had a number of "XM-18's" (actually Manville guns) used for the climatic attack.
- The Demoman in Team Fortress 2 uses one as his primary weapon, though it can hold only 4 shots even if the gun model clearly shows a 6-shot magazine.
- "You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling."
- The RG-6 is one of two grenade launchers in 7.62 High Caliber and the only multi-shot explosive weapon. The Blue Sun mod not only adds the Milkor MGL, but also the Manville 25mm grenade launchers from the above Dogs of War. The ammo is very rare (albeit lightweight) and the gun is just as rare and takes ages to reload, but nothing can put down explosives quite like it.
- The fictional "Volley Gun" in Bioshock Infinite is basically a Steam Punk MGL, with a fancy gilded cylinder and wooden grips.
- Killing Floor features the M32 launcher for the Demolition perk, the only drawback is its long reload time compared to how fast it can be emptied.
- Far Cry 2 has a Milkor MGL available, though downgraded to a 4 round cylinder that's incorrectly pulled straight out of the gun and replaced like a magazine (the real gun simply pivots half the gun to the side and you load grenades from the rear like a big revolver....which is what it is). However, it's depicted with a very realistic range and velocity (unlike most video games, which show grenades as having a lower velocity than a pitched baseball). Coupled with a scope and high explosive rounds, the MGL ends up being capable of clearing out an entire checkpoint or a large swath of an enemy base with just a few shots. While one can be acquired early in a buddy mission, it's prevented from being a Disc One Nuke by being in extremely poor condition (as all buddy mission weapons are), meaning that it likely won't last for many shots before breaking.
- A fictional design is available in GoldenEye 007, famously dual-wielded with a P90 submachine gun by Xenia Onatopp. The guns can, in turn, be taken from her corpse and used together as well.
- In RWBY, Nora Valkyrie carries a Grenade Launcher that turns into a War Hammer.
- A DefTech 37mm launcher is memorably (and hilariously) used in Hot Shots! Part Deux. It even causes its (splattered) victim to comment that it is "one hell of a gun."
- An MM-1 grenade launcher becomes available in the late-game segment of Parasite Eve 2 if you're on the True Ending path.
- Lara Croft in Tomb Raider III uses one, though for balancing purposes, she has to reload after every shot instead of being able to fire multiple grenades in rapid succession. The weapon returns in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and it comes with multiple ammo types. Tomb Raider: Legend also has the RG-6, which is used by heavy mercenaries in addition to Lara.
- A Milkor MGL turns up in PAYDAY 2, as the Piglet. Compared to the M79, it has far worse accuracy and an incredibly long reload, however its 6 round magazine gives it much greater ability to control crowds, particularly when paired with incendiary grenades.
- The M32 MGL appears in Battlefield 4 as a battle pickup found around some maps.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II features two, the Milkor MGL and the Hawk MM-1. The former appears as a killstreak reward, the "War Machine", the latter is given to Jonas Savimbi in the first flashback mission (where, if you pay attention to him when the shooting starts, you'll notice he can't get it to fire). Completing five challenges in the second flashback mission also unlocks both of them for the player's loadout; while the MGL is an alright weapon, the Hawk is an unbeatable terror, with four times the ammo capacity, a much faster reload, and rounds that aren't affected by gravity (making it less a grenade launcher and more a Bolter), with the only downside being that you're slowed down considerably while holding it.
- The Hawk MM-1 is added to the original Ghost Recon with the Island Thunder expansion, as a new primary weapon for demo soldiers, including the returning specialist Klaus Henkel.
- Persona 5: One of Haru Okamura's equippable grenade launchers is a 6 shot "Multilateral MGL", based on the 40-mm Milkor MGL series used by the US army.
- The Milkor MGL shows up in the Syphon Filter series from The Omega Strain onwards. The Omega Strain also has a MGL converted into a non-lethal (Though it can still kill enemies with head or neck shots) beanbag shotgun called the Riot Shotgun.
- The ARWEN 37 is available in Resident Evil 0, 1 and 6, where it can be loaded with regular explosive, incendiary or fictional acid rounds. 5 also features the MGL-140, which can be loaded with explosive, flashbang and incendiary rounds in addition to even more fictional rounds like the aforementioned acid rounds, nitrogen rounds and electric rounds.
The successor to the RPG-2, produced and deployed in large numbers as the primary anti-tank weapon for infantry in the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Needless to say, it is highly effective against personnel as well as tanks.
Designed in the 1960s by the USSR, the RPG-7 is probably the most distinctive anti-tank rocket launcher aside from the classic Bazooka. Its construction, like most Soviet weaponry, is incredibly simple; it's basically a steel tube with wooden guards. This also makes it incredibly cheap. It is fielded by over 40 countries, is popular with both military forces and guerrilla fighters alike, and has seen use in many conflicts across the globe. Dozens of imitations also exist; typically Chinese copies with one handle are used in movies when authentic two-handle launchers are not available. RPG, by the way, stands for Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot (hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher), though it is often backronymed as "rocket propelled grenade." A Chinese copy, the Norinco Type 69, looks almost identical to the RPG-7 except for the second handle being on top. Even the United States make their own copy of the RPG-7 (A rarity among Soviet/Russian weaponry), the Airtronic RPG-7/Mk.777, which features several improvements over the original RPG-7 like improved material construction, lighter weight, an adjustable shoulder stock, and built-in Picatinny rails. Typically only the basic single-warhead anti-tank rocket will be seen in fiction (the one with the iconic cone shaped front), even if the more advanced dual-warhead anti-tank or the anti-personnel fragmentation and thermobaric rockets would be more appropriate. Likewise you're unlikely to see the newer RPG-29 and RPG-32 at all, even if the modern Russian Army is featured.
- Un-cool drawback: The RPG-7 is typically portrayed as horrifically inaccurate and therefore close-ranged, when in fact it's good up to 300 meters, far beyond what's seen in video game maps and film scenes, and a proficient operator can even use it to down helicopters.
- If this weapon is not in the hands of Soviets/Russians or the Warsaw Pact countries, it typically is in the hands of Middle-Easterners and in Africa. Wherever the AK-47 is, the RPG-7 will be as well.
- Used when fighting Dirty Communists in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Despite the movie taking place in 1957, four years too early for the RPG-7. Presumably a stand-in for much the less famous RPG-2.
- The Joker uses one as part of the various War On Terror metaphors in The Dark Knight.
- Hayden Tenno gets to use a weird version in darkSector, with one handle and what appears to be almost all of an RPG-2 joined upside-down to the front of the tube. It has an optic sight and fires guided missiles instead of unguided rockets.
- Doctor Who. Ace takes out a Dalek with one in Remembrance of the Daleks, though it's supposed to be some sort of fictional British anti-tank weapon.
- Water (1985). Two Cuban terrorists use one to interrupt a news conference by a British government mouthpiece.
- Marty McFly sees one in his rear-view mirror in Back to the Future, carried by the 'Libyans'. He figures that getting up to 90 would be the best way to evade it. He was off by 2 miles per hour, of course.
- Just one of the many heavy weapons used by Homura Akemi in Puella Magi Madoka Magica during the final battle against Walpurgis Night.
- One of the weapons used in the Whateley Universe by the Syndicate minions in "Christmas Elves". Generator then uses one to bust Fey out of a trap impervious to Fey's magic.
- Just as in the actual incident, the RPG-7 was the weapon of choice for Somali militia to bring down the titular helicopters in Black Hawk Down.
- Available quite uncommonly in 7.62 High Caliber. Considering the lack of armored vehicles to destroy, it mostly provides a way to deliver explosives at longer range.
- The Soldier's Rocket Launcher in Team Fortress 2 is strongly based on the RPG-7.
- A strange use in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars — Nod militant rocket squads use a recognizable RPG-7 with two barrels◊ for... some reason. (Fanon suggests that the second rocket isn't fired from that position, it's just an extra clipped there so the militant can quickly fire again without needing a loader.)
- A staple of Grand Theft Auto games' Heavy Weapons slots. Unlike the trend, it's pinpoint accurate provided you can aim it correctly with the horrible box-shaped crosshair the game provides. It has to be aimed, too: try to fire it normally and the trigger will just click.
- Appears in PAYDAY 2 with the Overkill Pack DLC, as the HRL-7. It has absurdly high damage (enough so that even the Nigh Invulnerable Bulldozer will die in one direct hit) and, in odd departure from its usual depictions, is accurate to within the variance of a laser sight. The high damage does come with its own drawbacks, however - namely, that explosives affect yourself and your teammates. With how damaging this weapon is, a single misplaced shot can take down your entire team. It also only has 4 rounds in total, which can only be replenished via ammo bags. Needless to say, using this weapon in small spaces - or around enemies which can force you to fire your weapon - is not a good idea.
- The RPG-7 appears in several Battlefield titles:
- Appears as the standard launcher for the Viet Cong and NVA forces in Battlefield Vietnam.
- Only appears in the Special Forces addon in Battlefield 2 used by the Insurgent and Rebel factions' Anti-Tank classes. Notably the only unguided handheld launcher available as everyone else uses wire-guided handheld launchers like the Eryx or the SRAW.
- In Battlefield: Bad Company, it appears as the 'RPG-7 AT' and it's equipped with the PGO-7 scope. Despite being an unguided munition, it magically gains the ability to lock-on to targets tracked with the Tracer Dart, presumably to keep up with the Carl Gustav's similar performance. The RPG-7 returns in the Vietnam expansion with the standard ironsights.
- Appears in Battlefield 3 onwards as the 'RPG-7V2'.
- Common in the Call of Duty games from 4 onward, and likely to blame for the modern conception that the weapon is horrifically, aggravatingly inaccurate - it's entirely possible to miss entirely even when you're five meters away from a tank you're supposed to destroy because the grenade will veer off in completely random directions past a couple feet. Black Ops II swaps it out for a similar launcher based on Airtronic's upgraded version, its accuracy from past iterations only slightly improved but still an upgrade over the starting SMAW as it comes with one extra warhead (although at the expense of being able to lock onto targets).
- Likewise common in the earlier Saints Row games, both in its standard form and as an upgraded, laser-guided "Annihilator RPG"; Saints Row: The Third swaps it out for the Airtronic variant and makes the laser-guidance system an upgrade.
- The weapon appears in a few Metal Gear games. It is, however, notable for being both required to beat the first game (as it is the only way to defeat the Arnold/Bloody Brad enemies that hold a Card Key and the only weapon that moves fast enough to hit Big Boss) and being potentially lost forever, making the game Unwinnable by Design.note It is also notably used in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater during the bike chase to defeat the Shagohod, as it is the only weapon that can damage it.
- In Insurgency, the RPG-7 is the standard rocket launcher for the Insurgent team, acting as a counterpart to the Security's AT4. Given the game's leanings to realism, the weapon is quite accurate and has the tendency to wipe out clustered groups of enemies very easily, but at the same time usage requires caution due to the close-quarters nature of the game's maps. It is balanced by costing a whopping 5 supply points, being very heavynote and only comes with one loaded rocket.
- Present in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., being the epitome of Awesome, but Impractical: both the launcher and the rounds are bulky and really heavy, ammo is limited, reloading is slow as molasses, and since there are no vehicles in the Zone, only Pseudogiants and Chimeras warrant that much firepower. It can blow up a tight group of enemy stalkers all nice and crispy, but so can the much lighter and more plentiful grenades. If you manage to find one and a stockpile of rockets, they're best saved for special missions.
- Common in the Far Cry games starting from 2 as the basic RPG launcher - in that game it doesn't get the laser-guided munitions the Carl Gustav gets, but competes by virtue of not starting fires or destroying vehicles behind you when you fire it, and with a little luck can still be used at longer ranges like a mortar (real RPG-7 grenades self-destruct at a thousand yards, though insurgents have been known to disable that and lob them at further targets).
- Often seen in City Hunter whenever someone needs heavy firepower. Its most notable use is in the manga finale, where Ryo uses two captured RPG-7s to take down the Mooks holding Kaori hostage, with them terrified and completely unable to understand what Ryo is doing because they don't know he disabled the warheads first.
- Listed among the unofficial weapons used by Tim O'Brien's platoon in The Things They Carried, simply named the RPG and possibly taken from dead Viet Cong or captured stockpiles.
- Appears in Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 as the Rocket Launcher. It is the most powerful weapon in the games, capable of killing almost any enemy or boss in one hit, but only has one shot before being discarded (And in the case of Resident Evil 4, takes up a lot of space in your inventory). A special version with a red rocket is given to you in the final boss battle of 4 which can be sold for double the price of a regular one in a second playthrough if it is picked up and isn't used, a reloadable version with a night-vision scope can be used during the second battle with Wesker in 5, and a infinite ammo version can be bought in 4 during a second playthrough for a million Pesetas and unlocked in 5 by beating the game in under 5 hours.
Type 89 "Knee Mortar"
The Type 89 Grenade Discharger, better known as the "Knee Mortar", was a Japanese grenade launcher that functioned more like a light mortar and was intended to fill the gap in effective range between larger conventional mortars and hand-thrown grenades. The Type 89 was first issued in 1929 and was used throughout the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific Theater of WWII. It has an effective range of around 120 meters, with a maximum range of 670 meters. While Japanese firearms issued during the Second World War were considered adequate at best and terrible at worst, the Type 89 was a legitimate danger to any force that encountered one. Like many Japanese weapons, production was discontinued after their surrender in 1945, although Indonesia managed to get their hands on some during the Indonesian National Revolution. The weapon's design caused a nasty misconception. Many Allied soldiers thought that the launcher's curved support plate was meant to be propped up on the knee or thigh (which is where the "Knee Mortar" moniker comes from). In reality, anyone who tried firing it that way was likely to have their leg bones badly bruised if not broken by the heavy recoil. The correct way of using the mortar was to firmly plant it to some soft ground.
- Anti-Zeon troops from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team modified some Knee Mortars to be used as grappling guns.
- The Mortar class of the Japanese Army in Rising Storm are issued with the Knee Mortar. The player can use it for direct or indirect ambushes.
- A Japanese soldier had used this weapon in an ambush in Windtalkers.