Jump to content

Milkor MGL

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Milkor MGL
Mk 1S (MGL-105) with M2A1 reflex sight
TypeRevolver grenade launcher
Place of originSouth Africa
Service history
In service1983–present
Used bySee Users
WarsRwandan Civil War
Colombian conflict
War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
Iraq War
Syrian Civil War[1]
Central African Republic Civil War (2012–present)
2013 Lahad Datu standoff
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Production history
DesignerAndries C. Piek[2]
ManufacturerMilkor (Pty) Ltd
VariantsSee Variants
Mass5.3 kg (12 lb)
Length778 mm (30.6 in) stock extended
565 mm (22.2 in) stock folded
Barrel length300 mm (11.8 in)

Cartridge40×46mm grenade
Rate of fire3 rounds/sec (rapid fire)
18-21 rounds/min (sustained)
Muzzle velocity75 m/s (250 ft/s)
Effective firing range400 m (440 yd)
Feed system6-round, revolver-type swing out cylinder
SightsArmson OEG collimator sight in quadrant

The Milkor MGL (Multiple Grenade Launcher) is a lightweight 40 mm six-shot revolver-type grenade launcher (variations also fire 37/38mm) developed and manufactured in South Africa by Milkor (Pty) Ltd. The MGL was demonstrated as a concept to the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1981. The MGL was then officially accepted into service with the SADF as the Y2. After its introduction in 1983, the MGL was gradually adopted by the armed forces and law enforcement organizations of over 50 countries. Total production since 1983 has been more than 50,000 units.

The MGL is a multiple-shot weapon, intended to significantly increase a small squad's firepower when compared to traditional single-shot grenade launchers like the M203. The MGL is designed to be simple, rugged, and reliable. It uses the well-proven revolver principle to achieve a high rate of accurate fire which can be rapidly brought to bear on a target.

A variety of rounds such as HE, HEAT, anti-riot baton, irritant, and pyrotechnic can be loaded, then fired as fast as the trigger can be pulled. The cylinder can be loaded or unloaded rapidly to maintain a high rate of fire. Although intended primarily for offensive and defensive use with high-explosive rounds, with appropriate ammunition the launcher is suitable for anti-riot and other security operations. A newly patented modification allows the MGL to fire less lethal (very low pressure) rounds.



Operating mechanism


The MGL is a low-velocity, shoulder-fired 40 mm grenade launcher with a six-round spring-driven revolver-style magazine capable of accepting most 40×46mm grenades. The spring-driven cylinder rotates automatically while firing, but it must be wound back up after every reloading.



The MGL grenade launcher consists of a lightweight, progressively rifled steel barrel, sight assembly, frame with firing mechanism, spring-actuated revolving cylinder magazine, and a folding stock. The weapon has a fire selector safety switch just above the rear pistol grip which can be operated from either side. The launcher cannot be accidentally discharged if dropped. The launcher is loaded by releasing the cylinder axis pin and swinging the steel frame away from the cylinder.

The rear of the cylinder (including the pistol grip) is unlatched and pivoted counter-clockwise to expose the chambers during reloading. By inserting the fingers into the empty chambers and rotating the aluminium cylinder it is then wound against its driving spring. The grenades are then inserted into the chambers, one-by-one (because the cylinder cannot be removed), the frame closed, and the axis pin re-engaged to lock.

When the trigger is pressed a double-action takes place and the firing pin is cocked and released to fire the grenade. Gas pressure on a piston unlocks the cylinder and allows the spring to rotate it until the next chamber is aligned with the firing pin, whereupon the next round can be fired. If a misfire occurs the trigger can be pulled repeatedly.



The Y2, amongst other models, is equipped with the Armson Occluded Eye Gunsight (OEG),[3] a collimator sight which provides a single aiming post. The shooter aims with both eyes open and the post is superimposed onto the target, both being in focus. The OEG on the Y2 is designed as an aid to range estimation, the post being equal to the height of a man at 200 m (660 ft). It is also fitted with tritium illumination for low light operation which has a life of at least ten years. The range quadrant is graduated in 25 m (82 ft) increments.



Each MGL is supplied with a sling, cleaning kit, and user's manual.[4]



Several upgrades were made to the original design in the last decade. After over 12 years of production, and more than a decade of user feedback from different countries around the world, it became evident that a redesign of some component groups would make the weapon even more user-friendly and reliable while also simplifying maintenance. This development, known as the MGL Mk-1 was introduced to the market in 1996. All weapons previously supplied can be upgraded to the Mk 1 configuration. Parts, such as the steel barrel, are interchangeable with a minimum of workshop modifications involving a few special tools and cutting dies.

Two "product improved" variants were introduced in 2004. The first is the Mk 1S, which replaces the aluminum frame of the Mk 1 with a stronger stainless steel body, a conventional trigger unit, and Picatinny rail support at the top, sides and bottom of the forend. The second variant is the Mk 1L, with the same features as the Mk 1S, but with a 140 mm (5.5 in) long cylinder to fit special-purpose grenades such as tear gas canisters and less-lethal impact rounds that are too long to fit in the other models' shorter cylinder. The Mk 1L also features a sliding buttstock.[5]

Loading 40 mm grenades into USMC M32 launcher.
US marine looks through the M2A1 reflex sight on the M-32.

In 2006, the Milkor 37/38mm Multiple Anti-Riot (MAR) replaced the 40mm less-lethal Yima. The MAR is largely identical to other MGL models, but is adapted to fire standard 37/38mm less-lethal riot control rounds available today.[5]

The Milkor SuperSix MRGL (Multi-range Grenade Launcher) was developed in 2012 and features a new recoil reduction system, redesigned stock, strengthened construction and new optics.[5] The SuperSix MRGL is capable of firing a wide range of low velocity (LV) and medium velocity (MV) munitions, which enables the user to engage a wider range of targets than possible with previous launchers, with a maximum range of 800 to 1,200 m (2,600 to 3,900 ft).[6] Rounds can be fired in rapid succession of six rounds in less than 3 seconds (operator dependent) and has a standard six-shot area coverage of at least 20 m × 60 m (66 ft × 197 ft).[7]

Milkor USA


Milkor USA, Inc. is an American company that produces copies of the Milkor MGL. Milkor (Pty) Ltd has no affiliation or working relationship with Milkor USA.[2]

Milkor USA previously produced the Mk 1S as the MGL-105, and the Mk 1L as the MGL-140, both referring to their respective chamber lengths.

A Video of U.S. Marines training with the M32A1

In 2005, the United States Marine Corps procured 200 MGL-140s, designated as the "M32 Multi-shot Grenade Launcher" (M32 MGL or M32 MSGL). They were initially field tested in 2006. The M32 is equipped with the M2A1 reflex sight, a AAA battery–powered sight with infrared settings for night operations. Its elevation adjusts in 25 m (82 ft) increments and compensates for drift, and its casing features a Picatinny rail on top.[8][9]

M32 A1 MGL on display aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1)

In 2014, Milkor USA dropped the MGL-105 and MGL-140, and introduced a shorter-barreled variant, the M32A1.[10][11] Despite the shorter barrel (8 in (20 cm) instead of 12 in (30 cm)), it weighs the same as the M32, because its receiver, stock and other parts of the weapon were strengthened, in anticipation of higher pressure medium velocity rounds sought by United States Special Operations Command. The M32A1 has been adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps as the M32A1 Multi-shot Grenade Launcher, and by USSOCOM as the Mk 14 Mod 0.[8]


Map with nations that use the Milkor MGL in blue
Country Organization name Model Quantity Date Reference
 Azerbaijan Azerbaijani Land Forces [12]
 Bangladesh Bangladesh Army Mk1 [13]
Bangladesh Air Force
 Brazil Brazilian Army [14]
 Central African Republic Séléka 1+ 2013 [15]
 Colombia Indumil produces the MGL Mk 1 under license. [16]
 Croatia Locally produced by Metallic d.o.o. RBG-6 [17][18]
 Denmark Royal Danish Army—Military Police & Jaeger Corps Y2 [19]
 Georgia Georgian Land Forces [20]
 India Licensed produced by the Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli as the Multi Grenade Launcher. [21]
 Japan Used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. M32A1 [22]
 Pakistan Pakistan Army [23]
Special Services Group counter-terrorism team of the Pakistan Army
 Philippines Philippine Army [24]
Philippine Marine Corps [25]
 Rwanda Rwanda Defence Force "40mm MGL" 70 1992 [26]
Rwandan Patriotic Front some captured _
 South Africa South African Army Y2 [17][27]
 South Korea Republic of Korea Navy Special Warfare Flotilla M32A1 [28]
 Sweden Swedish Armed Forces, tested at KA3, Gotland 1996–2000, not in service. Granatkastargevär 90[dubiousdiscuss] [29][17]
 Taiwan Republic of China Army [30]
 Thailand Royal Thai Navy [31]
 Turkey Turkish Army. Produced by MKEK [32]
Gendarmerie General Command [33]
 Ukraine Ukrainian Air Assault Forces M32A1 MGL [34]
 United States United States Marine Corps M32 MGL
United States Special Operations Command M32A1 MGL (as Mk 14 Mod 0)
 Vietnam Produced by the General Department of Defense Industry for the People's Army of Vietnam SPL40L (Industry Name) [36][37]

See also



  1. ^ GoPro footage of Syrian rebels storming government held positions in Latakia (in Arabic). Latakia, Syria. 2015. Event occurs at 2:22. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Milkor (Pty) Ltd: About Us". Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  3. ^ "The South African Connection: The MGL in the Americas". www.smallarmsreview.com. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  4. ^ Inc, IBP. Malaysia Army Weapon Systems Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Weapon Systems. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-4330-6180-6. {{cite book}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ a b c "Modern Firearms - Milkor MGL". 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  6. ^ Martin, Guy (19 July 2013). "Milkor showcasing new products". Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Milkor SuperSix". Archived from the original on 1 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Pike, John. "M32 Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher Mk 14 Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Acoratex Catalogo 2008" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 17. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ "Milkor USA website as of 12 Jan 2014". Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Milkor USA website as of 7 Feb 2014". Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Made in Azerbaijan: RBG - револьверный "решала" широкого профиля/ФОТО".
  13. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (21 September 2017). US Grenade Launchers: M79, M203, and M320. Osprey Publishing. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-4728-1952-9. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Brazilian Army". Archived from the original on 22 February 2009.
  15. ^ Touchard, Laurent (17 December 2013). "Centrafrique : le Soudan a-t-il armé les ex-Séléka ?". Jeune Afrique (in French). Archived from the original on 30 January 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Grenade Launcher MGL" (in Spanish). Indumil. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  17. ^ a b c Jones, Richard D. (27 January 2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010 (35th ed.). Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  18. ^ "Metallic d.o.o Brochure" (PDF). Metallic d.o.o. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  19. ^ "Hærens Militærpoliti (Army Military Police)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Armament of the Georgian Army". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Multi Grenade Launcher 40 mm". Ordnance Factory Board. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  22. ^ "M32 MGL (Multiple Grenade Launcher) Six-Shot Grenade Launcher Specifications and Pictures". www.militaryfactory.com. Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  23. ^ "MGL". Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  24. ^ "40mm Revolver Grenade Launcher Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army".
  25. ^ "USMC's New M-32s/ MSGLs: Hitting the Field". Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights, Abuses in the Rwandan War" (PDF). Human Rights Watch Arms Project. Vol. 6, no. 1. January 1994. pp. 16, 21. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 March 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  27. ^ "home". Army.mil.za. 13 December 2010. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  28. ^ 2015부산국제조선해양대제전 국제 해양 방위산업전. Flickr (in Korean). 20 October 2015. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  29. ^ SoldF.com. "Försöksvapen: Multi Grenade Launcher 40" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  30. ^ 圖文:攻堅利器 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 28 July 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  31. ^ "Royal Thai Navy Inventory". Archived from the original on 17 October 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  32. ^ "MKEK - Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu". Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  33. ^ "SLAHLAR". Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  34. ^ "Січеславські десантники продовжують знищувати російських окупантів на Донецькому напрямку (відео) Воїни 25 окрема..." (in Ukrainian). Командування Десантно-штурмових військ Збройних Сил України. 6 June 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  35. ^ "Marines Get New Six-Shot 40mm Grenade Launcher: Meet the M32 MGL". Defense Review. 17 March 2006. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  36. ^ "Viện Vũ khí thuộc Tổng cục Công nghiệp Quốc phòng Việt Nam đã chế tạo thành công súng phòng lựu cỡ 40mm" (in Vietnamese). Dat Viet. 29 January 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  37. ^ "[Indo Defense 2018] Vietnamese Small Arms Part One: Lee Enfield's, M79's, and Bizon's -". 29 November 2018. Archived from the original on 1 December 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.