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Mk.19 (Mark 19) automatic grenade launcher / grenade machine gun (USA)
The very early (probably prototype) Mark 19 model 0 grenade launcher; note that it lacks sights and any grips.
The Mk.19 mod.1 was the first upgrade of the basic design; about 1000 of such guns were converted from Mod.0 or or built as new.
Experimental Mk.19 mod.2 grenade launcher in remotely-controlled from, with electric trigger. Note that it had much slimmer profile - too bad it never worked well.
Mk.19 mod.3 automatic grenade launcher on tripod, with ammunition box attached.Today it is one of most widespread designs of this class in the world.
Firing Mk.19 mod.3 automatic grenade launcher in infantry configuration.
Mk.19 mod.3 on US riverine craft.
Caliber: 40x53mm High Velocity
Type: blowback operated, belt fed automatic grenade launcher
Overall length: 1095 mm
Weight: 35.3 kg gun body plus 20 kg M3 tripod mount or 9.1 kg lightweight tripod mount
Effective range: up to 1500 m (point target); 2200 m maximum range
Rate of fire: 300 - 400 rounds per minute
Development of the Mark 19 (Mk.19 in short) grenade machine gun was initiated by US Navy in 1966, after the initial experience gained during Vietnam war. Since about 1962, US forces in Vietnam used several multi-shot 40mm grenade launchers that fired low velocity 40x46mm M406 grenades originally developed for M79 single-shot weapon. Among these, most notable was the Mark 18 belt-fed grenade launcher, developed by Hughes corporation; this was a hand-cranked weapon thatprovided significant short-range firepower to riverine crafts and marine infantry. However, all such weapons lacked effective range, and US Navy decidedto develop a new, automatic, self-powered weapon around the high-velocity 40x53mm M384 grenade (which was originally developed for US Army's M75 automatic grenade launcher, used on UH-1 and AH-1 combat helicopters). Development of Mark 19 automatic grenade launcher began inJuly 1966, and by...