The infantry is loaded down with all sorts of weapons and gear, some of it loved and some of it absolutely hated for being unnecessary weight. But while the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle weighs nearly 20 pounds and each round is almost 10 more, the infantry still loves the darned thing.
Why? Because it’s lethal, accurate, has long-range, and is reliable. Check it out:
1. The Carl Gustav has a longer range than many American rifles and gives infantrymen the capability of killing enemies at up to 3,000 feet.
2. The accuracy of the weapon comes from its rifled barrel, but Gustav rounds fly relatively slowly. Hitting anything mobile at over 1,500 feet requires skilled firing.
3. Interchangeable weapon sights allow shooters to choose between iron sights, magnified optics, or low-light aiming devices.
U.S. Paratroopers assigned to 173rd Airborne Brigade fires the M3 Carl Gustav rocket launcher at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Aug. 18, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Army Visual Information Specialist Gerhard Seuffert)
4. Despite the heft of the nearly 10-pound Gustav rounds, the shooters feel little recoil thanks to a large blast that balances the forces (and creates an awesome fireball).
5. Saab-Bofors produces 10 types of ammunition for the weapon — everything from airburst high-explosive rounds to anti-structure munitions that bring down buildings.
6. The Gustav has been manufactured in four major variants, each lighter than the previous. America mainly fields the M3 which weighs 19 pounds.
7. The Carl Gustav is relatively simple and easy to use. It’s basically a barrel with grips, weapon sights, and a hinge for loading ammunition. This allows new shooters to quickly train on its use.