What's the deal with the M79?


December 22, 2004, 03:29 PM
What's the deal with the M79? Does it fall under the umbrella of "class 3?" I did a cursory search of the ATF website and didn't come up with much. There should be a fair number of these laying around somewhere. Aside for the history behind such a weapon, it seems like it would be fun to get some 40mm shot shells and blast off a few rounds out of a "Thumper."


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December 22, 2004, 03:33 PM
Yes, it is covered under the NFA, and qualifies as a Destructive Device....

December 22, 2004, 03:36 PM
BAH! Darned fun governors!

December 22, 2004, 03:39 PM
Anyone ever had the pleasure of playing with an M79?

Greg L
December 22, 2004, 03:45 PM
Anyone ever had the pleasure of playing with an M79?

Not in that configuration, M203 a bit though. Lots of fun except when the large loud man with the round hat and a bad attitude drops you for knocking the track off "his" tank/target with your first (lucky) shot :evil: .

Doesn't the ATF consider 40mm & above a DD for grenades/flares (which is why you see ads for 37mm "flare" guns in Shotgun News")?

December 22, 2004, 04:07 PM
I wouldn't mind having even a non-functional M79 for a conversation piece at home. :evil:

December 22, 2004, 04:11 PM
Edmond, you can get a replica. Here's one source http://replicasandmodels.0catch.com/m79.html

December 22, 2004, 06:00 PM
"Anyone ever had the pleasure of playing with an M79?"

It wasn't playing and it wasn't a pleasure.

December 22, 2004, 06:09 PM
Yes, it is covered under the NFA, and qualifies as a Destructive Device....

Yep, and if you want the explosive rounds they are each individually considered DD's and require the $200 tax stamp each :barf:

December 22, 2004, 06:11 PM
yes, have warmed up a few dozen of these puppies, but never like single shots !!! Arc-Lite

December 22, 2004, 06:26 PM
I have never fired an HE round out of one, but I have fired riot control rounds and training rounds out of them.
One round they called "knee knockers". It had three wooden dowels each about 3"-4" long and the diameter of the bore. The idea was to fire the round in front of the target and have the wood bounce up and hit the target in the legs.
The other riot control round was a bean bag that had yellow die on it.
The training rounds just sort of gave off a puff of smoke where it hit.

english kanigit
December 22, 2004, 06:59 PM
Heh, funny you should mention that "one shot" problem because there is a solution...

Here is a video if that tickles your pickle
http://www.autoweapons.com/gunpics/movies/pump4.mpg :what:

"When you want to say I (really) love you, multiplied by 4..." :evil:

December 22, 2004, 07:05 PM
I"ll take one for Christmas :evil:

December 22, 2004, 07:09 PM
I fired them in the Marine Corps back when... never in anger, happily.

Recoil is more of a shove, and the noise is low toned and rather unpainful. The rounds are slow enough to watch go downrange (if the light is right). They are very accurate to my mind.

Even with 'solid' non-explosive rounds, they are 40mm in bore diameter, so I can't think of any civilian use for the thing, other than expensive plinking.

But then again, there isn't much real need for a 300+ horsepower Mustang either, is there? And I really, really lust after one of those, too.

December 22, 2004, 07:33 PM
yes yes...the real good ole boys at china lake...always come out with interesting things....a few you see....most you do not... the M-79, was nice, and with a little thought, and a good 5 fingered reloader we could line up 3 or 4, and just keep lighing up the bush at will. kind of a fire base, in itself, beside the HE there were other rounds one being a flachett rounds that gave a new meaning to bird hunting....and bush trimming. Oh...and in those day..a 300hp mustang was your sisters car. Arc-Lite

December 22, 2004, 08:58 PM
37mm flare launchers are OK because they are smoothbore. 40mm is rifled.

Oh, and the M79 is more accurate than the M203. :D

George S.
December 22, 2004, 09:16 PM
Got a chance to try one in RVN when we got M16's to replace our M14's. We were in a support unit but we had to provide our own perimeter defense so we were introduced to the M60 and M79.

The M79 target was the open back door of an old M113 APC. The CO promised a case of beer to the guy who could put a round inside from 150 meters away. 5 rounds, no joy. :(

December 23, 2004, 07:41 AM
M-79's are being reissued to Army units as we speak. I inspected some last month with condition tags dated 1982. That's when they were placed in storage. I understand they are going to be used for crowd control agents in some unfriendly places.

December 23, 2004, 09:33 AM
I was a 12B (Combat Engineer) in RVN for 19 months, my first four months I had one. I turned it in for a M16, was transferred to a Combat Engineer Vehicle as a gunner, traded the m16 for an Ithaca 12ga, after 6 months I went back to a line platoon, had a M16 from then on. M79 is great as long as there is enough back up firepower. The HE has to go 30m before it arms though, they will bounce back on you if you hit a bamboo thicket or thick tree limbs, will bury up in rice paddies, most effective if you can get overhead bursts in trees above the bad guys. Had CS, buckshot, and flechette rounds for it along with the HE. In a hurry I could get off three rounds before the first one hit. They kick about like a 12ga.


December 23, 2004, 11:35 AM
>>>What's the deal with the M79?

Its because I can't afford one! :cuss:

VietVet 67-68
December 23, 2004, 01:07 PM
Ah, yes, the old blooper. Latter sights out to 325 meters but nobody hardly ever used them. Used one for awhile in the RVN, HE, shotshells and flecchet rds, is all I could find to use. Traded it back in for a m-16 as soon as I could. Just didn't like those single shots.

Keith :neener:

December 23, 2004, 05:17 PM
Anyone ever had the pleasure of playing with an M79?

I got to fire at Bragg this past spring. They give you a shove. I think it has more recoild than the M203. I was sore the next morning from it too. The SF instructor had us fire it by putting the butt on our breast bone instead of the shoulder. Easy to aim, fun to shoot.

December 23, 2004, 05:26 PM
My dad used one when he was in Vietnam, 1967. I don't think he considers it playing or pleasure, although he did like having it available.

He didn't like his 2 months of carrying a flame thrower on his back though...

Lt. G
December 23, 2004, 09:34 PM
40 mike mike

Phil Ca
December 23, 2004, 09:46 PM
i was in an Ordnance company in Vietnam in 1965/66 and part of the 1st ID. We had an infantry sergeant that was briefly attached to us while recovering from a wound. His job was to bring us up to speed on the M79 and M60 iirc.

One day he was giving a demo of the use of the M79 and asked which tree limb we would like to see knocked off of the large tree across the river. someone suggested a limb and we gathered around to see this exceptional feat. And guess what? he pulled it off and became an instant guru regarding the M79.

As was typical in support units we were shortchanged on actual training on firearms so only a few got to try it out. Several wre selected to use the M79 if we needed its support.

December 24, 2004, 12:11 AM
Tried fireing one out of my O-1 Bird dog at about 90mph at tree top level and didn't work worth a dam. Sort of made a fast hook to rear. Went back to M-16 and frags.

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