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A couple questions pertaining to the M203 40mm

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dan Forrester, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. Dan Forrester

    Dan Forrester Member

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    I know quite a few of you guys are current or former military; so thought you might be able to help me out with a few questions.

    What parts commonly break on these guns? I’m looking to build up a basic spare parts kit. I’ve heard the leaf sight is easily bent. Firing pins are all over the place, but I’ve never heard of them breaking.

    Is there an armorers manual for these launchers. I see the basic intro to their operation and use, but I’m looking for a manual which goes into detail on the complete disassembly, replacing o f broken parts, looking of abnormal wear, ect.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Dan
     
  2. Durruti

    Durruti Member

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  3. PTK

    PTK Member

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    You probably already know this, but don't store it loaded. :)

    AD with a 40mm (even a chalk round) isn't fun for anyone involved.
     
  4. Big Daddy K

    Big Daddy K Member

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    Never had one break. Pretty simple design.
     
  5. rwc

    rwc Member

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    AD = very bad.
    My father tells a story about a co-pilot (Hueys) who became enamoured of one back ~ 71-72. He shot himself in the thigh in mid-flight.
     
  6. Ric

    Ric Member

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    I never had it break on me. Carried one for about 6 years (had to argue with a LT. once to keep it as an E-6) The gradient sight isn't very good, I always used the leaf sight.
     
  7. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    About what's the barrel life on those? From what I've read, the Russian GP-30's barrel only lasts for 400 shots! The M203 has to last longer than that!
     
  8. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    When I was with the 2nd Mardiv the only thing I remember breaking on one was the lock on the slide action.
     
  9. rero360

    rero360 Member

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    I can see maybe the plastic grip cracking, but never seen it happen myself, i think that only really happened with the early ones when you'd bring them into a warm building after being out in the cold. I did see a guy in my unit touch off a training round with the sling in front of the muzzel, tore the sling off the rifle. while the sling was leaving the rifle it took a good chunk out of the guy's hand. When everything was said and done, you had a bright orange rifle and soldier with a bleeding hand.
     
  10. Guitargod1985

    Guitargod1985 Member

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    Wait a minute... these things are LEGAL???
     
  11. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Member

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    I've been working on those pigs for over 30 years; very little actually breaks. Lots of stuff gets bent, though, including the barrel. Barrel life? I actually can't say; I never had to replace one because it was shot out; they usually get dented first.

    As far as a TM, look here: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=89777937
     
  12. JesseL

    JesseL Member

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    Much like any other NFA weapon (machineguns, short barreled rifles/shotguns, non-sporting firearms over .50 cal, etc), grenade launchers are perfectly legal for anyone that can jump through the hoops, pay the $200 tax, and afford the gun.
     
  13. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    That's true as far as it goes. Under Federal law they are legal, after you pay the tax. Under state law though it depends on the state. A 40mm GL is a "Destructive Device" and not all states allow their residents to own such a thing, even though it's legal under Federal law.

    Check your state laws first.
     
  14. Dorryn

    Dorryn Member

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    When I was in the Corps, a guy once flashed the line at the range with his 203. He got beat up pretty badly.

    I never heard of a 203 breaking, however.
     
  15. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Technically, the M203 is a large bore destructive device, which are legal in most states. However, if you want actual grenades for it, each and every individual grenade must be registered as an explosive destructive device, which more states forbid. If you're in one of those states, you're stuck with reduced-lethality rounds and practice chalk rounds only.

    A new in box M203 goes for about $2000 plus tax and transfer fee, I believe. Don't know what actual grenades go for, but they're extremely rare, and I wouldn't be surprised if each one costs more than the launcher.
     
  16. Javelin

    Javelin Member

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    I am not even going to ask why you want to know this.

    The only M203 issues I have ever seen come up is the in-housing trigger safety can sometimes break; and the sliding foregrip can stick or crack as it is just plastic. You have to understand that these things are practically unbreakable and the ones I have seen problems with were only 2 in the 100s I have personally handled and they were probably from the 1970s era of manufacturing (which most are anyway).

    There you go!

    :)
     
  17. jcord

    jcord Member

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    I am a former armorer. Watch for the firing pin seat to get loose. Once loose firing will strip the threads and it must then be replaced. Loctite is your friend.

    The barrel extention will become loose on the barrel. It is the long guide that rides in a groove above the barrel. Remove the barrel and turn it over. If you can wiggle the extension stake it in place.
     
  18. Guitargod1985

    Guitargod1985 Member

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    Oh, yeah, we can't have Destructive devices in Florida, so I guess I got my hopes up for nothing.
     
  19. Gunnerpalace

    Gunnerpalace Member

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    I don't think there is any distinction between explosive DD's and non-explosive ones. Just when the chief LEO reads what you are getting, does anyone know a chief LEO who would sign off on a 40mm?
     
  20. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Federal law doesn't distinguish between explosive and large bore DDs, but some states do. PA outlaws explosive ones, but not large bore. Several other states are like that. Colorado requires a state permit for explosive DDs. Georgia and Oregon prohibit incendiary DDs but not regular explosive ones. Nebraska is the same as PA. TN says explosive DDs may only be used for "lawful industrial or commercial enterprise," so that's as good as a ban.
     
  21. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

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    Anyone have an idea how much an M79 would go for? I miss mine.

    ECS
     
  22. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Member

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    Says who? AFAIK, DDs are completely legal in FL. Hell, we've got the second-most number of SOTs here, IIRC.

    Dunno precisely, but I believe M79s are running around $6-8k.
     
  23. Big Daddy K

    Big Daddy K Member

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    Dummy/chalk or whatever is in em would be fun to shoot. Dont really want an acual HE type round. Oh who am I kidding? I do too.
     
  24. Dan Forrester

    Dan Forrester Member

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    Wow! Quite a few responses to this post. I was expecting maybe one or two. It seems as if quite a few of you have some real experience with these things. I’m enjoying these stories some of you guys have; especially the one about the sling getting in the way. Keep them coming. I have absolutely no experience with these things whatsoever. The first time I actually handled one was when mine arrived at my dealer. It’s much easier (and safer) for me to learn form you guys who are experienced with these things, than for me to learn it the hard way.

    Ok so I bid on that armorer’s manual (TM 9-1010-221-24&P) nicholst55 pointed out. That should have an exploded parts diagram so I can better identify these parts a little better. But so far I have:

    - Slide action lock.
    - Plastic grip and barrel, which are all one piece anyway.
    - Safety

    What about the firing pin and extractor? No problems with these? The M203 firing pin seems to be the most common spare part out there. I figured that was because these were always breaking, but after reading this it sounds like these things are damn near indestructible.

    Jcord: Thanks, I will check those two things as soon as I get it.

    Who makes most of the M203 in the US Military’s inventory? Colt, LMT, RM Equipment, or someone else.

    Elm creek smith: It shouldn’t be to hard to build an M79 from a new receiver and surplus parts for under $3,000. Randy Shivak (google him) makes brand new milspec M79 receivers for $1,700. Add a new surplus barrel on for $800 and that leaves you with $500 to spend on the internal parts which you can pick up form Numrich Gun Parts. As “Wes Janson” said however, the original, un-cut military surplus launchers go for the $6-8,000 range.

    Signoffs don’t matter these days with the trust. If you can find a transferable claymore mine you just buy it on your trust. There’s no need for a sign off. Once your form 4 for the claymore gets to the ATF it should be no different than any other NFA item. However in my case my CLEO signed me off. He talked with me for a couple minutes just about random stuff, looked at the form 4 said those M203s look great when mounted, and signed. We talked for another 10-15 minutes about local county issues and before leaving I donated $100 to his re-election campaign.

    Yes large bore DD are legal in Florida. I’m in Florida, as is my dealer, and the CLEO who signed me off is also. Large bore DD as well as explosive DD are perfectly legal in most states except for the usual: CA, IL, MD, NJ. I think they are legal in NY however. You should double check this however as it might have changed.

    HE grenades are difficult to find, but they are out there, and available to civilians. I’ve heard of two places which will transfer them to civilians on a form 4. It would seem you could register and empty case as a DD, then load it with an HE projectile. After firing the round you “repair” your DD by loading up a fresh HE round. If you did this on an ATF form 1 you would be the manufacturer so could make “repairs”. I still need to look into this but haven’t had the time.

    Thanks for all of your responses and good stories. keep them comeing!

    Dan
     
  25. Warren

    Warren Member

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    Where's the love for the M79?
     
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