Milkor MGL

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Milkor MGL
M-32 Grenade Launcher.jpg
A U.S. Marine looks through the M2A1 reflex sight on a newly-issued M32 MGL (MGL-140) in September 2006.
TypeRevolver grenade launcher
Place of origin South Africa
Service history
In service1983–present
Used bySee Users
WarsRwandan Civil War
Colombian conflict
Syrian Civil War[1]
Central African Republic Civil War (2012–present)
2013 Lahad Datu standoff
Production history
DesignerAndries C. Piek[2]
Designed1980
ManufacturerMilkor (Pty) Ltd
Produced1983–present
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications
Mass5.3 kg (12 lb)
Length778 mm (30.6 in) stock extended, 565 mm (22.2 in) stock folded (MGL)
812 mm (32.0 in) stock extended, 711 mm (28.0 in) stock folded (MGL-140)
Barrel length300 mm (11.8 in) (MGL)

Cartridge40×46mm grenade
40×51mm grenade (SuperSix)
ActionDouble-action
Rate of fire3 rounds/sec (MGL) (rapid fire)
18-21 rounds/min (sustained)
Muzzle velocity75 m/s (250 ft/s) (MGL), 125 m/s (410 ft/s) (XRGL40)
Effective firing range400 m (440 yd)
800 m (870 yd) (ERLP ammunition)
Maximum firing range400 m
Feed system6-round, revolver-type swing out cylinder
SightsArmson OEG collimator sight in quadrant (MGL)
M2A1 reflex sight (M32)

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.

Design[edit]

Operating mechanism[edit]

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.

Features[edit]

A South African soldier equipped with a Milkor Y2 MKI MGL. Variants have been in South African Army service since 1983
A Malaysian PASKAU airman equipped with a Milkor M32 MGL fitted with Armson OEG reflex sight.

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.

Sights[edit]

The Y2, amongst other models, is equipped with the Armson Occluded Eye Gunsight (OEG),[citation needed] 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 metres. 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 increments.

Accessories[edit]

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

Variants[edit]

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.[3][4]

Loading 40 mm grenades into USMC M32 launcher.

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.[3]

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.[3] The SuperSix MRGL is capable of firing a wide range of standard (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 1200 metres.[5] 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 20m × 60m.[6]

Milkor USA[edit]

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, an AAA battery–powered sight with infrared settings for night operations. Its elevation adjusts in 25 meter increments and compensates for drift, and its casing features a Picatinny rail on top.[7][8]

In 2014, Milkor USA dropped the MGL-105 and MGL-140, and introduced a shorter-barreled variant, the M32A1.[9][10] Despite the shorter barrel (8 inches instead of 12), 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.[7]

Users[edit]

Country Organization name Model Quantity Date Reference
 Bangladesh Bangladesh Army [4][11]
Bangladesh Air Force
 Central African Republic Séléka 1+ 2013 [12]
 Brazil Brazilian Army [4][13]
 Colombia Indumil produces the MGL Mk 1 under license. [4][14]
 Croatia Locally produced by Metallic d.o.o. RBG-6 [4][15][16]
 Denmark Royal Danish Army—Military Police & Jaeger Corps Y2 [17]
 Georgia Georgian Land Forces [18]
 India A licensed produced by the Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli as the Multi Grenade Launcher. [4][19]
 Indonesia Komando Pasukan Katak (KOPASKA) tactical diver group of Indonesian Navy [4]
 Mexico Used By Mexican Army and Mexican Special Forces
 Malaysia Malaysian Army [4][20]
Pasukan Khas Udara (PASKAU) counter-terrorism divisions of the Royal Malaysian Air Force M32 MGL [4][21]
 Pakistan Pakistan Army [4][22]
Special Services Group counter-terrorism team of the Pakistan Army
 Philippines Philippine Marine Corps [23][24]
 Rwanda Forces armées rwandaises "40mm MGL" 70 1992 [25]
Rwandan Patriotic Front some captured _
 Singapore Army Deployment Force
 South Africa South African Army Y2 [4][15][26]
 South Korea Republic of Korea Navy Special Warfare Flotilla M32A1 [27]
 Sweden Swedish Armed Forces, tested at KA3, Gotland 1996–2000, not in service. Granatkastargevär 90[dubious ] [28][4][15]
 Taiwan Republic of China Army [29]
 Thailand Royal Thai Navy [4][30]
 Turkey Turkish Army. Produced by MKEK [4][31][32]
Gendarmerie General Command [33]
General Directorate of Security [34]
 United States United States Marine Corps M32 MGL
M32A1 MGL
[7][35]
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) [4][36][37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  5. ^ Martin, Guy (19 July 2013). "Milkor showcasing new products". Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
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  11. ^ ""BDMilitary"".[dead link]
  12. ^ 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.
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  17. ^ "Hærens Militærpoliti (Army Military Police)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Armament of the Georgian Army". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
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  20. ^ IBP USA (2007). Malaysia Army Weapon Systems Handbook. Int'l Business Publication. pp. 71–73. ISBN 978-1-4330-6180-6.
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  25. ^ "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.
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  29. ^ 圖文:攻堅利器 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 28 July 2011.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  30. ^ "Royal Thai Navy Inventory". Archived from the original on 17 October 2011.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  31. ^ "MKEK - Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu". Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
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  33. ^ "SLAHLAR". Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  34. ^ "Content not found". Archived from the original on 27 March 2014.
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  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.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 December 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]