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An M-79 in Iraq?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Thefabulousfink, Jan 26, 2007.

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  1. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    My best friend is a 2nd LT in the USMC and is over in Iraq right now. He doesn't have a lot of time to get on the internet, but he did send a brief e-mail with a bunch of pictures. In a couple of the pictures he is clearly holding an M-79 grenade launcher. Now I know that the Marines are often equiped with the Army's cast-offs, but a VeitNam-era grenade launcher!!

    So my question for those of you who have been over to the Sandbox, is this common? Are they using the M-79 because of a shortage of M-203s and that new 6-shooter, or are they using it because it works better? I sent my friend an e-mail, but it usually takes him 1-2 weeks to reply.

    FYI, my friend is a Logistics Officer, running convoys.
     
  2. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    I'm not that surprised to hear that a M-79 is in Iraq. I know that in Gulf War I, some NG units had M-16A1's, and I've heard that other units have shown up in theater with A1's in this war as well. (My understanding is that they are re-euipped with A2's or M4's, etc, ASAP).

    The M-79 has a good rep. Some think it's a better launcher than the 203. The advantage of the 203 was that you had a rifle as well and it was all in one package.
     
  3. imprezagm4

    imprezagm4 Member

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    I read that on another forum a while back... About three years ago :neener:
     
  4. Spiggy

    Spiggy Member

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    unless there is a standalone weapons stock for the M203, a M79 grenade launcher would be much more efficient for someone that doesnt need the rifle portion to slow them down :D
     
  5. dixierifleman

    dixierifleman Member

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    the M203 doesnt require a rifle to be used. they do make a standalone stock for it. its pretty much obsolete, cause why would you turn down a rifle for a nade launcher when you can have both on one platform
     
  6. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    Because the M79 is a better launcher than a M203.

    You should see PvtPyle with ours. He can put it through car windows at 300meters.
     
  7. dixierifleman

    dixierifleman Member

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    so you either have a rifle with a decent launcher. or a great launcher with no rifle.


    heres the standalone version
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    I've also seen photos of SF types carrying M79s. Given that they can get almost any type of weapons they want, I figure there's some reason they were carrying the M79.

    Oh, and in most cases, the guy was carrying an M4 as well.
     
  9. Brother in Arms

    Brother in Arms Member

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    I just talked to an Army National Gaurd soldier back form Iraq and I asked him if he could one weapon when he goes back what would it be.

    He said the an M79 grenade launcher. I guess he mostly protected convoys and said this would be his weapon of choice if he could get his hands on one. I remember seeing a picture in solider of fortune magazine a few years ago showing a SF soldier in Afghanistan and he was armed with an M79.

    Brother in Arms
     
  10. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    Well I suppose that if a car full of explosives was headed towards your convoy, the m-79 would be one of the few weapons that you could be sure of a 1-shot-stop.:D I sent him an e-mail about it, but (like I said) it will take him a while to respond. From the pictures and e-mail that he has sent, it doesn't seem like he is having that bad of time. Thankfully on March 11 he'll be in Kuait and then on that big bird comming home.:)
     
  11. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    The M79 is out of the official inventory, has been for at least 20 years, but they often show up in overseas armories, or in 3rd world countries. It might have been recovered, and turned into the armory, and he latched onto it. Makes sense for a platoon leader or officer to have one in some circumstances. The 5.56 has had some less than instant results vs the insurgents, but hit 'em with a 40mm or just get close, and the results are more satisfactory. Works good against a target shooting from inside a building, just lob it through the window. There's a multi-projectile round for up close and personal too.

    LD
     
  12. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    I've never seen a M203 with the stand-alone stock while in service, just seen pictures on the Net.

    Saw two M79s in Iraq. One belonged to the EOD unit. They borrowed a driver from my Bn one day, and to thank the driver for doing a good job, they let him fire the catalyst round (or whatever you call it) to touch off a huge pile of ordnance they were destroying out in the desert.

    Also ran across a MSgt equipped with an M9 and an M79, for no apparent reason other than that he's a MSgt and can do whatever he wants.

    Those were the first times I'd ever seen one in service, but those things do look wicked-cool.

    -MV
     
  13. Gator

    Gator Member

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    M79s are faster to reload and easier to shoot accurately, but the 203 is more convenient. Glad to hear they are still around!
     
  14. blackhawk2000

    blackhawk2000 member

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    I think I would rather carry an M79 slung on my back most of the time, than hump an M16 with 203 all the time. I've never served, or humped an M16/203 so this opinion could change.
     
  15. frostbiker

    frostbiker Member

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    My dad did basic at Benning. His DI did a tour in Vietnam and provided some insight on the different weapons during his training. I asked him about the M79 when I was younger and he told me something interesting.

    When out on ambush, or LP/OP duty, the grenadier using the M79 would load a buckshot load first and a CS gas load for number two. If the troops needed to break contact, the grenadier would fire the buckshot load into the advancing enemy and then gas or even smoke to cover their withdrawal.

    Makes you wonder what tactics they are employing with the M79 in Iraq.
     
  16. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    Another point that I don't think has been touched on: the M79 can take all sorts of crazy ammunition, since it is break open. The M203 can only take short ammunition as the back of the launcher stops anything longer being loaded. Silly design :rolleyes:
     
  17. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    The latch that holds the barrel closed on the M203 is not strong enough to take the hard use associated with firing a lot of 40mm illumination rounds. Many units are aquiring M79s for this purpose.

    I know from personal experience that it's a much better weapon then the M203. The problem is, that when the M79 was the standard grenade launcher, the grenadier was issued an M1911A1 for self defense. This left a rifle squad two rifles short when they were in close terrain where the 40mm grenade couldn't be safely used. Despite everyone who's never actually seen one used fantasies, the 40mm shot round was not all that effective. The M79 armed grenadier was pretty much unarmed in close terrain and had only a pistol to defend himself and add to the squad's firepower with.

    Jeff
     
  18. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

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    Some still do :uhoh: . National Guard units dont get the best funding. When I was in the reserves 98-02 we still had an armory full of the old A1s, some of them were still marked Colt AR-15 :eek: . It was like a time warp in there.

    I can tell you from time spent with an M4/203 it is indeed cumbersome.
     
  19. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Does anyone know anything about getting a M-79 with a sleeved 37mm barrel or with a 37mm barrel put on to replace the 40mm barrel? I've heard of such things,but never found a source.

    My state doesn't allow "Destructive Devices" or I'd just save up and shell out for a live 40mm M-79. I figure flares and smoke rounds out of a 37mm sleeved M-79 would be the next best thing. (Btw, I'm *only* interested in a M-79. I have no interest in those underslung M203 repro flare launchers)
     
  20. hank327

    hank327 Member

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    I found the M-16/M203 combo to be quite cumbersome. I also found the M203 to be rather inaccurate using the flip up sight on top of the barrel. It was pretty accurate with the quadrant sight mounted on the side of the weapon, but that sight was a little unwieldy and delicate.

    The reason the buckshot round is/was rather ineffective is that the M203/M79 is a low pressure weapon and it doesn't generate much in the way of muzzle velocity. The shot isn't going very fast when it leaves the weapon thus not doing all that much damage to a target.
     
  21. noonanda

    noonanda Member

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    when I was over in Iraq from January - July of 06 (got sent home one month early thanks to an F'in IED) as an Iraqi infantry company advisor, we had a total of 5 M-203s and 1 m-79 for our advisor team of 16 guys. I liked the M-79 when you needed to get a bunch of HEDP down range (which we did a few times), but if any close targets popped up then you had to go back to your rifle(which happened as well). That is the advantage of the 203, little less range than a blooper, but you have the rifle/grenade launcher together vice a rifle and a blooper. Ive got some pics on my laptop, and some posted online, I'll see if I can find em and post em.

    On a similar subject, we were told by the local people that the insurgents thought each Iraqi company had 60mm mortars because as soon as a firefight started, the advisors would get some 40mm down range to start suppressing the fire. They would usually break contact once we started cranking out the HEDP. Ive told this to other marines that I maybe fired 6-10 mags worth of 5.56 while I was there, but probably launched 200ish M-203 grenades including HE, HEDP, Illum, Smoke, and buckshot

    here is a pic of one of our interpeters carrying the blooper just outside our combat outpost while we rigged some stuff for a controlled det.

    [​IMG]

    and here is a link to some of my Iraq pictures, a few are from a buddy during fallujah in nov 04 (the big weapons caches)
    http://www.gunco.net/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/578
     
  22. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Member

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    I spent 1/3 of my time in the military carrying a M-16A2/M203 combo(other 2/3 was with a SAW). I was never enamored with the M203 as the thing seemed kinda like a joke. HEDP rounds didn't appear all that effective. I always believed they didn't have that much actual explosives in them. Then again I also thought the SAW was a ridiculous unreliable POS.

    My father on the other hand had extensive experience with the M79 and he would praise it highly. One of my squad leaders, who had a lot of combat expericence, by pre-9/11 standards anyways, agreed with me that the M203 rounds were not particulary effective. He believed that you could place rounds much more accurately with an M79 and believed the M203 was a mistake.
     
  23. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I left the Army in 1983 and there were still plenty of M79 grenade launchers in small arms rooms.

    There was an adapter available that worked like on of the caliber adapters that are available on the commercial market now.
    The adapter was loaded with a standard 12 gauge buckshot round.
    These things were plenty effective but the drawback was that they were still a single shot shotgun.
    Nobody wanted to use the things since there were plenty of Ithaca 37 and Winchester 12 shotguns still around.
    It was popular for grenadiers to draw a Model 79 and a shotgun instead of a .45.
    They used the M79 for anything 50 to 300 meters away and used the shotgun on anything closer.

    I never cared for the M203 although I could shoot one pretty accurate, good enough to drop grenades down the hatch of a tank or personnel carrier to about 250 meters once I got the range.
    I was just as good with the M79 and still like the idea of a stand alone grenade launcher over the heavy and cumbersome M203 set-up.
     
  24. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Member

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    Hat tip to awesome Sam Adams commercials...
    [​IMG]

    ~GnSx
     

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  25. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Member

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    M-79 with HE, Smoke and Shot rounds, brings back memories.
     
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