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Rgd 5 hand grenade.jpeg
RGD-5 hand grenade with UZRGM fuze fitted
TypeHand grenade
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service1954–present
WarsVietnam War
Six-Day War
Yom Kippur War
Soviet–Afghan War
Iran–Iraq War
Invasion of Kuwait
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
Iraq War
2008 South Ossetia War
2011 Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
War in Donbass
Mass310 g
Length114 mm
Diameter58 mm

Effective firing range15–20 meters
Maximum firing range30 meters
Filling weight110 g
3.2 to 4.2 seconds. pyrotechnic delay fuse

The RGD-5 (Ruchnaya Granata Distantsionnaya, English "Hand Grenade Remote"), is a post–World War II Soviet anti-personnel fragmentation grenade, designed in the early 1950s. The RGD-5 was accepted to service in 1954. It is still in service with many of Russia's former client states and has been supplied to Iraq as well as other Arab nations.


RGD-5 measurements
Russian MUV booby trap firing device. A zero-delay pull fuze which is normally connected to a tripwire. The MUV fuze is fully compatible with the RGD-5. Fitting an MUV fuze makes it easier to conceal the grenade when setting a boobytrap e.g. partial burial. Note that the detonator is usually threaded, so it can be screwed into the RGD-5 grenade body

The grenade is egg-shaped with no external ribbing, except for a lateral ridge where the two halves of the grenade join. It weighs 310 grams (11 oz). It is 117 millimetres (4.6 in) in length and 58 millimetres (2.3 in) in diameter. The surface has a few small dimples on it with a green or olive drab paint-scheme.

The grenade contains a 110-gram (3.9 oz) charge of TNT with an internal fragmentation liner that produces around 350 fragments and has a fatality radius of around 3 metres (9.8 ft)[1] and a wounding radius of 25 metres (82 ft).[2][3] Typically, the RGD-5 uses the 3.2 to 4.2 second delay UZRG, UZRGM, or UZRGM-2 fuze, a universal Russian type that is also used in the RG-41, RG-42, and F1 grenades.[4] The RGD-5 can be thrown about 35 to 45 metres (115 to 148 ft) by the average male soldier and, when throwing, the grenade will make a loud "crack" sound as its spoon falls out activating the fuze, cooking off the grenade.

This grenade is still manufactured in Russia with copies produced in Bulgaria, China (as the Type 59) and Georgia. Many millions of RGD-5s and its clones have been manufactured over the years and, although not as advanced as more modern grenades that are specifically designed to penetrate CRISAT standard body armour, the RGD-5 is still an effective and inexpensive weapon. A single RGD-5 grenade costs around $5 US, making it highly affordable during a major conflict when many grenades are sought.

The RGD-5 may also be fitted with the more modern DVM-78 fuze, or variants of the UZRGM. It is also possible to screw an MUV booby-trap firing device into the fuze well.


Rifle grenade[edit]

AK-47 with a Kalashnikov grenade launcher mounted to its muzzle

The AK-47 can mount a (rarely used) cup-type grenade-launcher that fires standard Soviet RGD-5 hand-grenades. The soup-can shaped launcher is screwed onto the AK-47’s muzzle.[5] It is prepared for firing by inserting a standard RGD-5 hand-grenade into the launcher, removing the safety pin, and inserting a special blank cartridge into the rifle's chamber. With the butt-stock of the rifle on the ground it can be fired.

The maximum effective range is approximately 150 metres (492 ft).[6]


URG-N (right)

The URG-N is a reusable training model of the RGD-5 with a modified fuze containing a tiny explosive charge which simulates the detonation of the grenade. The body of this grenade is painted black with white markings.



  • RGO-78 - Bulgarian 70's varint with DVM-78 fuse. Grenade weighed 450 grams and contained 85 grams charge of TNT.
  • RGN-86 - another Bulgarian modification with DVM-78 fuze. Weighed 265 grams and contained 57 grams charge of TNT.


Used in US President assassination attempt[edit]

Grenade cutaway and training sample (DOSAAF Museum, Minsk)

On 10 May 2005, Vladimir Arutyunian, a Georgian citizen and ethnic Armenian, waited for the United States President George W. Bush and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to speak in Tbilisi's central Liberty Square. When Bush began speaking, Arutyunian threw an RGD-5 hand grenade wrapped in a red plaid handkerchief toward the podium where Bush stood as he addressed the crowd. The grenade landed 18.6 metres (61 ft) from the podium, near where Saakashvili, his wife Sandra E. Roelofs, Laura Bush, and other officials were seated.[7]

The grenade failed to detonate. Although original reports indicated that the grenade was not live, it was later revealed that it was.[8] After Arutyunian pulled the pin and threw the grenade, it hit a girl, cushioning its impact. The red handkerchief remained wrapped around the grenade, and it prevented the striker lever from releasing. A Georgian security officer quickly removed the grenade, and Arutyunian disappeared.[7][9]

See also[edit]


  • Hogg, Ian V. (1991). Jane's Infantry Weapons 1991-92. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0963-9. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  1. ^ "Russian RDG-5 grenades in both blasts". nationmultimedia.com. The Nation.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2006. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) |RGD-5 data (in Russian)
  3. ^ "HAND GRENADE RGD- 5". http://universal-dsg.com. Hartford International Group. External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ File:AK47Figure54.jpg – Wikisource. En.wikisource.org. Retrieved on 2011-09-27.
  6. ^ Operator's Manual for AK-47 Assault Rifle. Department of the Army
  7. ^ a b "The Case of the Failed Hand Grenade Attack: Man Who Tried to Assassinate President Convicted Overseas". Federal Bureau of Investigation. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Terry Frieden (7 September 2005). "Alleged would-be Bush assassin indicted". CNN. Retrieved 22 March 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Nick Paton Walsh (19 May 2005). "FBI says hand grenade thrown at Bush was live". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 March 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]