Oodles of Grenade Guns for Joes in 2011

You’ll remember that we reported the initial fielding of the XM320 side-loading H&K 40mm grenade launcher last summer. Well, a look at the current budget docs shows the Army is asking for $38 million to purchase over 9,000 of the guns both using regular procurement funds and so-called “overseas contingency operations” funds.

Documents show the Army has already budgeted for about 12,000 of the guns since 2009.

There’s also money in the budget for the XM26 modular shotgun, you’ll remember we gave this a whirl a few years ago and got (not much of) a real kick out of the idea. The Army bought about 5,000 of the shotguns in 2009, none in 2010, and is asking for 3,600 in 2011.

Anyone out there who’s used this system, ping us at the Tip Line or in the comments section and let us now how it works.

— Christian

  • Marine1

    The question of the day is are there Bible Verses on the “XM320 side-​​loading H&K 40mm grenade launcher”? We can’t have that you know…however, I think our gov’t will allow a Koran Verse or two.

  • stephen russell

    Love to fire one off, darn, why cool.
    Must for PD use & SWAT units.

  • 4ID gunsmith

    Junk is what they are. My unit just got 3 of those 2 months ago and all 3 are broke. Way to much plastic. Its great that they went to a system that can be fielded seperate from the rifle but its way to fragile for military use.

  • Valcan

    I have only one thing to say for the shotguns hell even for the grenades

    AA-12.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AA-12

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ebtj1jR7c

    Its apparently mostly stainless steel. And can fire pretty much anything.

  • AMMO

    Honestly, with some modification, I bet these units will be good tools. Hard to say whether it’ll actually happen, but with the DoD, you never know.

  • 4ID gunsmith

    2 of the saftey levers have broken making selection between safe and fire impossible and the third all I know is that the trigger just flailes in the wind. As far as the targeting system its been around for a few years on the older M203s its a range finder and sight all in one. It has an LCD screen giving you the reading of the range. You turn the large knob until it reads the same range. Fire. Its very accurate. I wish I could tell you more but all the weapons are under warranty from HK.We are not allowed to take them apart. I have faith in them that they will update them. Units are getting them in small numbers. I think they are on the right track. But soldiers are hard on there stuff.

  • Soldiers have a hard time with the M203. Many of us in ADA have broken the leaf sights. I have seen many a M203 with only 1/2 the required sights.

    Kentucky Windage indeed.

    AS to being under warranty, they are new, so yeah, their uder warranty until the system is old enough and soldiers are trained on how to take’em apart.

  • WarScientist

    With the new 40mm Medium Velocity grenades extending the max effective range to 600 metres, and the major improvements to Fire Control Systems (like the aimpoint BR8) 40mm fire is gonna become a lot more accurate and effective.

    They do need to make sure that the M230 (and the gun it is attached to) can handle the recoil impulse from the 40mm MV tho, cause it kicks harder than the currently used LV nades.

  • Guest

    Have not fired the M320, but have used the M203 with a sight system similar to the one pictured; the only difference was that it fit around the hand guard of the M203. The method of operation is to input the estimated range-to-target (shown on the LCD display), and then observe through the sight, just under which is a tiny LED. A tilt sensor indicates when the muzzle is at the right angle to hit the input range; flashes red/green when too low/high, and when canted too much to one side. Solid green and fire.

    As for the M320…I have serious doubts about the sight system, if it is mounted as pictured. I hope that is just a work-around for testing. “Joe” can break leaf sights, and we want to hang a fancy electronic sight off the side of his rifle? Let me tell you, an M4 with M203, and nice electronic sight is a HEAVY sucker.

  • Longwalker

    I still ptrfer my M-79 Thumper. I could drop a frag round in your pocket at 300 meters with two more Willie Petes right behind it.

  • The Dawg

    Look back in the day the day a good grenadier with a dedicated M-79 could put 7 out of ten pounds in a four foot circle at 300 yds. and do it in under two minutes. A great grenadier could do it without sights. Let’s get off the fancy smacy, battery operated toys and viseo equipment and get back to the troops using their God given talents and equipment that is combat proven.
    God of Hellfire
    Snake and Nap, let ’em burn

  • John B Gray

    The military replaced the reliable M-14 with the M-16 due to heavier weight of the M-14. I was very lucky in Viet Nam inthat I didn’t have to exchange my M-14 for the M-16. There were sever occasions, when we were short on ammo, I just stripped M-60 ammo from the belt and placed it in my M-14 Magazine. When I closed the “Gas Port” on the M-14, I added another 50 yards range to my rifle. The M-79 was great for the person wh was trained in it’s use. We now are adding more weight to a “Matel Toy” rifle. How many lives do we need to loose before we get smart?
    SSgt John B Gray
    USMC Retired

  • helvey

    im a pfc in iraq rite now and i agree u shouldnt put fancy shit on there. theres been so many times getting in and out of a hmmvv that i bash my weapon to shit. u put sumtin on there thats electronic where are u goin to put the weapon wen ur in full kit gettin in nd out of a hummvee its hard enough without a bulky site on there. u put electronics on it its bad joo-joo u take fire ur goin to bash the electronics nd break em when you hit the dirt its a good idea but not very feesable if u have to jump to the dirt quick. especially if a new private has it it wont last long and becomes to side heavy throwing off ur aim. plus if uve trained with the weapon system alot of times u can make the neccasary adjustments in your head from training with it. for boots on the ground its more of a hassle. plus being made of plastic it will break way to quick then wat, you have a useless weapon system nd more weight then u need on your weapon slowing you down making you less efficent. the m203 has served us faithfully why mess with a good thing. the only thing they need to change on the m203 is make it shorter and less bulky other than that its a perfect working weapon.

  • Dawg

    I see there are plenty of people who know the deal. Maybe we old vets should be testing all this new crap befor in gets into the hands of the vidio generation who all think that just because it looks cool or mean doesn’t equate to fuctional in combat. All this new s**t that needs batteries is like toys at Christmas, batteries not included, and when you do get batteries for the toy, the power drain only takes a short while befor it runs down, so what happens when you have no battery back-up? you are S.O.L. brother! Back in a few MIKES.
    The God of Hellfire
    Snake and Nap, Let ’em burn

  • The Dawg

    By the looks of that piece of S**t in the picture they are going to have to issue a friggin wheel barrow to haul it around. Get rid of all the B.S. go back to what works. You’ll save lives, and money. I think that is a good combination. let me see some input from some other older vet,
    The God of Hellfire
    Snake and Nap, Let ’em burn

  • Old Jarhead

    Sooooooo, we finally brought back the M-14; where’s the M-79 launcher as used in Nam?
    Both were (are) excellent and dependable.

  • old 7th Cav man

    Where were all these weapons during the Korean war??? We had to manually toss grenades…

  • Aloha 06

    Wasn’t the M-79 just as good and a helluva lot simpler, lighter? So it only fired one grenade at a time… How many grenades do you usually throw at a time?
    Aloha06

  • The Dawg

    Yeh, your right about the weight of the M14 and ammo, however the .308 round is better and was better cutting through dense foliage than the .223. As for the M-79 thumpper, like I said earlier, a good grenadier could put 7 out of 17 rounds on a four foot circle at 300 yds. and a great grendier could do it without sights. No batteries, no gizmo attachments. In fact these new weapon platforms are starting to look like a friggin swis army knife, with 15 different gadgets. Thats my opinion, I could be wrong!
    Dawg the God of Hellfire
    Snake and Nape, let ’em burn

  • The Dawg

    That last was a typo should read 7 out of 10, not 7 out of 17, my fingers don’t work as well as they use to.
    The Dawg , God of Hellfire
    Snake and Nape, let’em burn

  • Rotorhead Marine

    Having used the M203 during Basic Training and later on, and having the opportunity to have and old Blooper on “permanent loan” from an older Devildog, I can tell you this:
    I rather take the time to develop the proficiency to use a system like the old M79 (which is really designed for one purpose, and know that you can also hand it to your buddy and have him engage the bad guys while you provide suppresive fire), than to mess around with the M203. However if you take the time with the M203 it will yield equally satisfying results.

    If the world and democracy came to an end (God forbid), you would see me out there with my M16 sporting an M203 and a Blooper gun hanging in my back just in case as back up. One thing im sure of is, that when I pull that trigger the round will come out as expected.

  • AARON ENGEL

    PLAIN AND SIMPLE. IF A GRUNT CAN BREAK IT EASILY THRIUGH NORMAL USE, IT ISN’T SOLDIER PROOF AND IS THEREFORE USELESS. AS FAR AS THE CHEAP, WEAK ASSED PLASTIC PARTS GO, THE NEXT WORLD IS ONLY ONE CLICK AWAY IN COMBAT AND IF THE BEST MOST RELIABLE EQUIPMENT ISN’T BEING PURCHASED (I.E. BODY ARMOR, WEAPONS, OTHER LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT) THEN IT JUST MAKES THE HIPPIES RIGHT AND THEIR DEATHS ARE ON OUR HEADS. MAY AS WELL BE SHOOTING THEM OURSELVES .I HAVE TO SAY THAT IS JUST WRONG. JUST PLEASE TELL ME YOU GUYS THAT HAVE THE WEAPONS UNDER WARRANTY AREN’T TAKING THEM TO WAR AND IF YOU DO PLEASE VOID THE WARRANTY. CONTINUE KICKING ASS AND DONT WORRY ABOUT TAKING NAMES. THATS ST. PETER’S JOB.

  • trent

    What happened to the Assault Shotgun that was in the news? AA-12?

  • howard

    i’m really surprised that the choices of what plastic
    to use in the parts has been giving the weapon
    problems.

    there ARE plastics that you can beat with a sledge
    and bust… use them.

    i’d fully expect , as have others here, that any an
    weapons are under warranty. you weapons
    makers want a government contract? back that
    sh___t up.

    from a fighting point of view… give me lots of
    grenades and a delivery system. take the fight
    to the enemy and screw with them.