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Subject: M203 grenade launcher vs RPG-7V
TriggaFingaz    2/26/2005 11:12:00 AM
M203 vs RPG-7V I am deliberately comparing two different weapons (grenade launcher vs rocket propelled grenade) because the RPG-7’s nearest US equivalent, the AT4 (M136) is not carried or used in the same prodigious manner by US troops. Same rules for why I do not compare the M203 against its nearest equivalent, the Russian made GP-25 and BG-15 grenade launchers becoz not only are they not used widely by our Islamist foes, they are too similar to the M203. Please add to my comparison table. The M203 is better than the RPG-7 because: A) One soldier can operate it without assistance. B) The M203 gunner can still use his M16/M4, while RPG gunners rarely can carry a rifle at the same time as the launcher and its PGs. C) One soldier can carry more rounds (24) in his vest, while the RPG backpack carries about four? D) The M203 does not have a huge smoke trail or bright muzzle flash. E) The M203 can lob shells in the direct and indirect fire mode, the RPG is capable of indirect fire but tougher becoz no quadrant sight. (I may be wrong, correct me if necessary.) F) M203s can launch a wider variety of grenades- HE, HEDP, smoke, illumination, buckshot. The RPG has lethal anti-armour and anti-personnel rounds, but no marker or obscurant shots. G) The M203 does not require a clear space behind the user to compensate for backblast. The RPG-7V is better than the M203 because: A) It has a greater range. B) It can destroy vehicles, fortified positions and even choppers with greater ease than 40mm M203 rounds. (this will be open to debate!) C) Its rockets have larger blast radius. (Correct me if wrong!) Are there more contributions available???
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fitz    RE:M203 grenade launcher vs RPG-7V   2/27/2005 9:39:16 PM
Your arguement is moot because the two systems have totally different characteristics and totally different jobs. RPG-7 is first and foremost a direct-fire anti-armour weapon. Yeah there are some little-used alternative warheads out there and yeah it can do some other things with varying degrees of competence but it is primarily an anti-armour weapon. M-203 is a direct (at short range) or indirect general fire support weapon for infantry. It can do a lot of things RPG-7 can't do, like fire at enemy troops in defilade or drop smoke - both of which the infantry squad/section might find quite handy.
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TriggaFingaz    I know they are different,    3/5/2005 12:46:26 PM
But thought it may be interesting to see which party facing each other was likely to have the advantage.
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shawn    RE:I know they are different,    3/11/2005 8:39:02 AM
A closer comparison to the M203 would be a 60mm mortar. The M203 is far handier and lighter than the 60mm, and with a bit of training you can lob HE grenades into windows 300m away. Similarily, a Western comparison to the RPG-7 series would be the 84mm Carl Gustav Recoiless Rifle series or the Israeli B-300 series, used in the US as the SMAW: The Carl Gustav is now a bit long in the tooth - its considered a bit too heavy these days, although it may still be able to take on modern heavy armour with recently developed rounds. The B-300 is Israel's answer to the RPG-7 (which the IDF issued to infantry units, with Israeli manufactured warheads), and has been used successfully by USMC and SF units in Afganistan and Iraq.
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TriggaFingaz    B300   3/13/2005 10:35:48 AM
Isn't the B300 also known as the SMAW in USMC service? I rarely see this weapon in my pics. I heard that SMAW also features thermobaric (fuel air) warheads. Does the AT4 (M136) use the same 84mm warhead, 400mm penetration as Carl Gustav? Sme books say the AT4 is simply a disposable version of Carl Gustav.
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JCT    RE:B300   3/14/2005 3:28:19 PM
The USMC SMAW does have a thermobaric warhead and it was used a couple of times in Iraq with mixed results. The warhead works best when it detonates in a sealed building. The typical building in Iraq has no windows - they either never had them or they have been destroyed or stolen. In my experience, the SMAW is not widely liked, it is difficult to keep boresighted with its .50cal spotter rifle and it is heavy and bulky. It does provide a nice bang when it hits.
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TriggaFingaz    Ah yes   3/20/2005 8:57:42 AM
The SMAW is not well liked- so that's why the AT4 (M136) is more popular, yah?
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Ace1123       12/22/2007 7:36:16 PM

The SMAW is not well liked- so that's why the AT4 (M136) is more popular, yah?

Which is stronger the RPG7 or the Grenade launcher M203?
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Rasputin       12/29/2007 4:30:07 AM
Just as the Bazooka was a popular foxhole blaster for the US army in WW2, it seems as though the terrorists and the Russian sphere of influence armies still find that kind of utility in using the RPG for infantry fighting.

There are some newer RPG rounds that are designed to defeat reactive armour.

Maybe it is easier to be accurate with direct fire from an RPG rather than indirect fire for terrs using grenade launchers?

As seen from the Israeli forum, terrorists like hamas and hizbollah in particular no longer prefer infantry assaults for defence but rather horde tons of guided anti tank missiles which they use to defend themselves against the Israeli infantry.  There is some method to their madness. Though expensive, the  guided ATGM rd  provides direct fire arty support that is guided, and when your troops don't stand a chance in man to man.

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smitty237    Why choose?   12/29/2007 5:13:30 PM
If I were forming an infantry unit and had my druthers I would take the Isreali lead and use them both.  As one poster already pointed out, the M-203 and RPG are two very different weapons designed for very different purposes.  The RPG was designed as anti-tank weapon, while the M-79 and its direct ancestor, the M-203, wer designed to serve as personal indirect fire weapons. 
Because of advances in armor, the RPG isn't as as effective against armor as it was in the 1960's and 70's, but it still serves quite nicely as a piece of mobile, direct fire anti-bunker weapon.  It is important to remember that there are a number of different warheads that can be used by the RPG, including anti-personnel rounds.  In my ideal infantry unit I would issue two to four M-203s per squad, and would try to issue one RPG per squad.  I think both weapons would provide adequate indirect fire support, while at the same time providing powerful direct fire support against hard targets like bunkers, lightly armored vehicles, and as the Somalis showed us, even helicopters. 
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flamingknives       12/29/2007 5:31:32 PM
Mr. Picky thinks that indirect fire is for shooting at things that you can't see, rather than using a higher than usual trajectory to hit something that you can. As such I would class a 40mm grenade launcher as direct fire rather than indirect.
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