Mk 19 grenade launcher
|Mk 19 grenade launcher|
A Mk 19 40 mm grenade launcher mounted on an M3 tripod
|Type||Automatic grenade launcher|
|Place of origin||United States of America|
|Used by||See Users|
Persian Gulf War
War in Afghanistan
2006 Lebanon War
Mexican Drug War
|Designer||Naval Ordnance Station Louisville|
|Manufacturer||Saco Defense Industries (now a division of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products), Combined Service Forces, MKEK|
|Variants||Mk 19 Mod 0, Mk 19 Mod 1, Mk 19 Mod 2, Mk 19 Mod 3|
|Weight||30.7 kilograms (68 lb) (empty, without accessories)|
|Length||1,090 millimetres (43.1 in)|
|Barrel length||413 millimetres (16.25 in)|
|Width||240.4 millimetres (9.46 in)|
|Height||199 millimetres (7.8 in)|
|Action||Blowback (Advanced primer ignition)|
|Rate of fire||325–375 rpm (cyclic)|
|Muzzle velocity||240 metres per second (790 ft/s) (average)|
|Effective firing range||1,400 metres (1,500 yd)|
|Maximum firing range||2,023 metres (2,212 yd)|
|Feed system||32 or 48 grenades belt|
The Mk 19 grenade launcher (also known as the Mark 19) is an American 40 mm belt-fed automatic grenade launcher that entered U.S. military service during the Cold War, first seeing action during the Vietnam War and remaining in service to the present day.
The Mk 19 is a belt-fed, blowback-operated, air-cooled, crew-served, fully automatic weapon that is designed not to cook off. It fires 40 mm grenades at a cyclic rate of 325 to 375 rounds per minute, giving a practical rate of fire of 60 rounds per minute (rapid) and 40 rounds per minute (sustained). The weapon operates on the blowback principle, which uses the chamber pressure from each fired round to load and re-cock the weapon. The Mk 19 can launch its grenade at a maximum distance of 2,212 meters (7,257 ft), though its effective range to a point target is about 1,500 meters (4,900 ft), since the large rear leaf sight is only graduated to 1,500 meters. The nearest safe distance to launch the grenade is 310 meters in training and 75 meters in combat. Though the Mk 19 has a flash suppressor, it serves only to save the eyesight of its operator; it does not conceal the weapon's position. For night operation, a picatinny rail quadrant sight can be added for thermal and night vision optics.
The Mk 19A is a man-portable crew-served weapon that can fire from a tripod-mounted position or from a vehicle mount, with the latter being the preferred method, as the weapon alone weighs 32.9 kilograms (72.5 lb). The primary ammunition for it is the high-explosive dual-purpose M430 grenade. On impact, the grenade can kill anyone within a radius of five meters, and wound them within the radius of 15 meters. It can also punch through 5.1 centimetres (2 in) of rolled homogeneous armor with a direct hit (0-degree obliquity), which means it can penetrate most infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. It is especially effective when used against enemy infantry formations. The ammunition comes in cans that hold a 32- or 48-grenade belt weighing 19 and 27 kilograms (42 and 60 lb), respectively. Due to its low recoil and comparatively light weight, it has been adapted for use on many different platforms, including small attack boats, fast attack vehicles such as the Humvee (HMMWV), AAV and Stryker, military jeeps and a large variety of naval mounts.
The Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher replaced the earlier Mk 18 hand-cranked multiple grenade launcher. The 40 mm ammunition used (40×53 mm) is not interchangeable with that used in the M203 (40×46 mm). The M203 ammunition develops a lower chamber pressure, and resultant lower muzzle velocity and range, compared to ammunition loaded for the Mk 19. The Mk 19 fires from an open bolt. The rounds are mechanically fed onto the bolt face with the pull of the charging handles. When the trigger is pressed, the bolt closes, and the firing pin is released. The recoil blows back the bolt, feeds a new round onto the bolt face, which pushes the expended casing off the bolt face.
Production of the Mk 19 is managed by Saco Defense Industries (now a division of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products).
In November 2014, General Dynamics entered into an agreement with Advanced Material Engineering Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Kinetics, to manufacture 40 mm high-velocity airburst ammunition for the U.S. military. The 40 mm airburst grenade uses a programmable, time-based fuse that computes and programs the detonation time into it, which counts down once fired to zero to detonate at the intended target point. The airburst ammunition is compatible with the Mk 19, which would give it greater effectiveness and lethality, particularly against concealed and defilade targets.
- Argentina Argentine Marines.
- Egypt: Manufactured locally.
- Iraq: Used by Iraqi Special Operations Forces
- Ireland: Army Ranger Wing (ARW) of the Irish Defence Forces
- Israel: Adopted by the Israeli Defence Forces (under the name "Maklar," for mikla rimonim or "grenade machinegun"), to be fielded in infantry and mechanized units. The Mk 19 was formerly manufactured locally.
- Mexico: Used extensively by the army in the Mexican drug war.
- Pakistan: Used by the Pakistan Army.
- Sweden: Designated Grsp 92. Used by Kustjägarna and Amfibiebataljonen and also by the 31st Airborne Battalion (Luftburna bataljonen) 
- Thailand: Used by Royal Thai Marines (Mounted on AAV-7A1).
- Turkey: Produced under licence by MKEK. Used by Turkish Land Forces.
- United States of America: Currently in widespread use throughout the U.S. Armed Forces.
Mk 19 in use by Polish Land Forces
A Mexican Army Chevrolet Silverado equipped with a Mk 19 at a military checkpoint in March 2009
- XM174 grenade launcher, predecessor used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War
- Mk 47 Mod 0 Striker, U.S. military successor in limited service
- List of automatic grenade launchers
- AGS-17, similar weapon
- Comparison of automatic grenade launchers
- "Report: Profiling the Small Arms Industry - World Policy Institute - Research Project". World Policy Institute. November 2000. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- "Milliyet - Özel birlikler Kato'yu PKK'ya dar etti". Gundem.milliyet.com.tr. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
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- General Dynamics to manufacture ST Kinetics' 40mm High Velocity Air Burst Ammunition - Armyrecognition.com, 20 November 2014
- [dead link]
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- "ARW Operator manning a MK19 on a Long Range Patrol Vehicle". 4 January 2010. Flickr. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Miles, Donna (April 8, 2009). "Gates, Lebanese Defense Minister Explore Expanding Bilateral Relationship". American Forces Press Service - DefenseLink News. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
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- Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Special Operations.Com. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
- Henrik Svensk. "Granatspruta 40mm Grsp". Soldf.com. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mk 19 grenade launcher.|
- Scribd - US Army field manual, 2003.
- General Dynamics
- MK19 MOD 3 40mm Machine Gun - Global Security
- 40mm grenades - Global Security
- M430 40mm Cartridge High-explosive dual purpose (HEDP) round specs