XM-148: Colt's Vietnam Grenade Launcher
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While the Special Purpose Infantry Weapon (SPIW) program failed to produce any successful rifles, it did become clear that the area-effect aspect of its requirements did have merit. This was spun off as its own program to develop a 40mm under barrel grenade launcher for the M16 rifle. Of the initial entrants, (Philco/Ford, AAI, and Colt), Colt's CGL-4 was the most promising. It was moved quickly through development and 10,500 were ordered in January 1966 as the XM-148. Field reports quickly turned sour, though, and in May of 1967 the XM-148 was ordered out of combat use, to be replaced with the M79 grenade launcher. The idea was sound, but the execution needed improvement - which would come in the form of the M203 launcher instead.
Many thanks to Movie Armaments Group in Toronto for the opportunity to showcase this grenade launcher for you! Check them out on Instagram to see many of the guns in their extensive collection:
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