Weapons: Brits Adopt German 40mm GMG


November 17, 2006: Britain has adopted the Heckler & Koch 40mm GMG (grenade machine gun), and, before the end of the year, is sending 40 of them to its troops in Afghanistan. The GMG is similar to the American Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher, but lighter, more reliable and easier to use. Makes sense, as the Mk 19 is a 1960s design. The 66 pound GMG is usually mounted on a vehicle, and in Afghanistan they will often be working from Land Rover (similar to the U.S. hummer) vehicles. Typically, these vehicles carry about 320 rounds of 40mm ammo with them. While the GMG can fire up to 340 rounds a minute, more typically bursts of 3-5 rounds each are used. The max range is 2,000 meters. The GMG is well suited for Afghanistan, where the many barren hills provide ample opportunities for long range shots against groups of Taliban gunmen. The GMG can also be fired from the ground, using a tripod. The GMG can also be equipped with a night scope. The U.S., which invented the portable 40mm grenade launcher in the 1960s, is switching over to a new 25mm design.


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