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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I’ve recently come across some m195 556 grenade launching cartridges and am wondering where to find a launcher and how they work? I found some little spring clips that look like they snap over a2 flash hider. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Wow, it's been a minute. I do recall that the spring clip thingie went behind the A1 flash hider, and I don't see why it wouldn't have worked as well with the A2 flash. Beyond that, the launcher was a deal that slipped down over the muzzle/flash/spring, and then you put a grenade in that, and then there was some kind of band you wrapped around the grenade spoon, and then you pulled the pin and launched. IIRC the shock of launching dislodged the retaining band, and the spoon flew off, and then the whole mess exploded downrange (hopefully).

I hope this is right. It's been almost 50 years, and we only trained on them for one day, and only with smoke grenades. Someone else might have better information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, it's been a minute. I do recall that the spring clip thingie went behind the A1 flash hider, and I don't see why it wouldn't have worked as well with the A2 flash. Beyond that, the launcher was a deal that slipped down over the muzzle/flash/spring, and then you put a grenade in that, and then there was some kind of band you wrapped around the grenade spoon, and then you pulled the pin and launched. IIRC the shock of launching dislodged the retaining band, and the spoon flew off, and then the whole mess exploded downrange (hopefully).

I hope this is right. It's been almost 50 years, and we only trained on them for one day, and only with smoke grenades. Someone else might have better information.
Thanks Do you know where I could get one or a designation or anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, it's been a minute. I do recall that the spring clip thingie went behind the A1 flash hider, and I don't see why it wouldn't have worked as well with the A2 flash. Beyond that, the launcher was a deal that slipped down over the muzzle/flash/spring, and then you put a grenade in that, and then there was some kind of band you wrapped around the grenade spoon, and then you pulled the pin and launched. IIRC the shock of launching dislodged the retaining band, and the spoon flew off, and then the whole mess exploded downrange (hopefully).

I hope this is right. It's been almost 50 years, and we only trained on them for one day, and only with smoke grenades. Someone else might have better information.
Was it one of these?
 

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I think it looked more like this one:

 

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The M16 really wasn't intended for rifle grenades; that was abandoned very early in the program. Yes it does have a 22mm muzzle device, and yes a rifle grenade will fit, but there's nothing stabilizing it on the back end, and if you launch one...well, that's where your troubles will begin. The M16 doesn't have a gas cut-off, so launching a grenade is ABUSIVE to the action, and the recoil from the rifle grenade was quite famous for breaking stocks and forends. Also, launching grenades is a good way to break a trigger finger.

The Army realized the M16 was crap at rifle grenades and decided to go a different direction and never looked back. The rest of the world took a good 20 years to catch up, but very few militaries still use rifle grenades to any significant degree.
 

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Now that you mention it, Kevin, I'm beginning to doubt that I ever actually fired an M16 rifle grenade, though I'm familiar with the little steel "hula skirt" adapter for them--I know my outfit had a number of M16 with those on them.

OTOH, I have distinct memories of shooting the XM148 40mm grenade launcher at least twice. On the first occasion, smoke or training grenades set the range grass afire a few hundred yards downrange, and the instructors had to run around stomping fires out. The other occasion involved launching parachute flares from them at night. I might even still have one of the mini-parachutes around here somewhere.
 
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Right when the M16 was adopted the US realized the rifle grenade’s days were numbered. While there are anti-personnel rifle grenades, the primary purpose for rifle grenades was the anti-tank role. By 1960 tank armor was so thick a US rifle grenade just couldn’t penetrate the armor. So what do you do?

Well the Swiss doubled down and made 1kg rifle grenades, but they were the only country that had a rifle that could launch such a large rifle grenade. The US saw the rifle grenade was going to be a losing game, so they started developing the LAW. The Russians were well ahead of the curve, they saw the RPG was the future very early on…of course, they have much more experience with infantry fighting tanks.

Much of NATO tried to extend the life of rifle grenades by making them very big, but then adding rocket assist. Problem is, the rocket doesn’t help the rifle grenade clear the rifle, so those heavier grenades were still completely abusive to the rifles. The French are still using rifle grenades, but not in an anti-tank role.

The joint where the AR receivers come together is a very questionable area for rifle grenades. But you have upper & lower aluminum receivers joined by a steel cross pin. The pin area elongated, and then eventually the section of the upper that went down into the lower would break off.
 
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