Mk 19 Grenade Launcher

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Mk 19 Mod 3 grenade launcher on vehicle pintle mounting with 48-round belt box and older flash hider - 40x53mm
Mk 19 Mod 3 grenade launcher on M3 tripod with 32-round belt box and current production flash hider - 40x53mm

The Mk 19 Grenade Launcher is an American belt-fed, API blowback-operated open bolt 40mm automatic grenade launcher. It was developed as a weapon for riverline patrol craft during the Vietnam War by the US Navy's Naval Ordnance Station in Louisville, as a successor to the interesting but limited crank-operated Mk 18 40x46mm automatic grenade launcher (or "gun, rapid fire, 40mm" as it was classified at the time) and the blow-forward 40x46mm Mk 20. This is why it uses the Navy "Mk" prefix despite now being more commonly associated with the Army.

The new weapon used the more powerful 40x53mm cartridge developed in the late 1950s and first used with the Army's M75 grenade launcher. The initial Mod 0 variant produced in 1966 and first deployed in 1968 was incredibly crude and judged to be unreliable and unsafe, but several examples of the improved Mk 19 Mod 1 were successfully deployed on patrol boats in the Mekong Delta in 1972. A total of around 1,000 Mod 1s were produced or modified from existing Mod 0s. The Mod 2 was an experimental lightweight version from 1974 which never worked properly and was abandoned in the prototype stage.

The most recognised and widespread version is the Mod 3: work on this variant began in 1976 as a broad package to simplify and improve the robustness of the still quite finicky Mod 1, and it was type classified by the US Navy as the Mk 19 Mod 3 in 1981, with the improvement sufficient that the US Army adopted the weapon as well in 1983. It has been extensively exported with some 35,000 Mk 19 Mod 3s being produced for around 30 customers, and is a robust, powerful and reliable system. Since it fires grenades that use the high / low recoil mitigation principle and uses API (advanced primer ignition) blowback operation, it has relatively gentle recoil for its size, allowing it to be mounted on light vehicles. Cyclic rate of fire is 300-400 RPM, with a practical rate of 40 RPM during sustained fire and 60 RPM for rapid emergency fire.

Several plans to replace it have come and gone over the years, mostly trying to produce something a little lighter (an empty Mk 19 Mod 3 on an M3 tripod weighs 145 pounds) and designed to accept modern optics and fire control systems (the Mk 19 is only really compatible with the elderly AN/TVS-5 starlight scope). The XM307 ACSW (50 pounds empty with tripod and fire control system, 80 pounds loaded) was ultimately cancelled, while the Mk 47 Mod 0 Grenade Launcher (90 pounds empty with tripod and fire control system), at one point mooted to be the replacement for the Mk 19, has thus far only being purchased in limited numbers by USSOCOM and similar special operations groups.

The Mk 19 grenade launcher has appeared in the following films, television series, and video games used by the following actors:

Contents

Specifications

(1966-1971 (Mk 19 Mod 0), 1971-1981 (Mk 19 Mod 1), 1981-present (Mk 19 Mod 3))

  • Type: Grenade machine gun / automatic grenade launcher
  • Caliber(s): 40x53mm high velocity
  • Weight: 77.6 lbs (35.2 kg) Mk 19 Mod 3 gun body + 0.4 lbs (0.2 kg) feed throat + 21 lbs (9.5 kg) for Mk 64 or Mk 93 gun cradle and 44 lbs (20 kg) for M3 tripod or 34 lbs (15.4 kg) for M205 tripod + 41.9 lbs (19 kg) for 32-round PA120 belt box or 59.5 lbs (27 kg) for 48-round M548 belt box
  • Length: 43.1 in (109.5 cm)
  • Barrel length(s): 16.3 in (41.3 cm)
  • Capacity: Belt-fed, usually 32- or 48-round belt box
  • Fire Modes: Auto only, 300-400 RPM: safe / fire selector at base of spade grips

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
GoldenEye Q-Lab Technicians Mounted on All-Terrain Vehicle 1995
Jurassic Park III U.S. Marines Mounted on AAV7A1 APC's 2001
War of the Worlds U.S. Army soldiers Mounted on Humvee 2005
Jarhead U.S. Marines Mounted on Humvee 2005
Battle: Los Angeles U.S. Marines Mounted on Humvees and AAV7A1 APC's 2011
Johnny English Reborn Mounted on vehicle 2011
The Avengers National Guard Mounted on Humvee 2012
Chappie Mounted on MOOSE 2015

Television

Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
seaQuest DSV UEO Marines Mounted on Humvee; "Dagger Redux" 1995
CSI: NY U.S. Marine Mounted on M113 APC;"Heroes" (S2E23) 2006
Generation Kill U.S. Marines Mounted on Humvee 2007

Anime

Title / Episode Character Note Date
Asobi ni Ikuyo: Bombshells from the Sky soldiers Mounted on Humvee 2010

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Notes Date
Delta Force: Land Warrior Auto-Grenade 2000
Far Cry Mortar Shown as very slow-firing weapon with a computerised rangefinder 2004
Project Reality Mounted on AAV7A1 & M1126 Stryker APC's 2005
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter on M3 tripod 2006
Alliance of Valiant Arms Mounted on MOWAG Piranha, non-playable 2007
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Mounted on CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter 2007
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Emplaced GL w/ gun shield 2008
Far Cry 2 Mounted on Assault Trucks act 2 onwards 2008
America's Army 3 Seen on loading screen, non-playable 2009
ArmA II Tripod and vehicle-mounted 2009
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising Static, turret-mounted on M1025 Humvee, stern-mounted on Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC), coaxially-mounted on AAV7A1 Amtrac 2009
Terminator Salvation mounted on APCs 2009
Battlefield 3 Mk 19 Mounted on USMC Humvees 2011
Counter-Strike Online "Mounted Machine Gun" Appears as a mounted weapon which fire non-explosive rounds 2012
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Custom version mounted on Grad, Mastiff and Slider unmanned vehicles 2013
Battlefield 4 Mk 19 Mounted on AAVP7A1, and USMC Desert Patrol Vehicles exclusive to Second Assault DLC 2014

See Also




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