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The Small Arms Thread, Part 8: 2018; ICSR to be replaced by US Army with interim 15mm Revolver Cannon.


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The M2030 round.


Some intriguing ideas in this article.  The author was clearly an attentive student of arms design.


A round that is unstable when subsonic must hold great appeal to the designer of military ranges (after all, the cone-stabilised training rounds for tank guns have a similar property), but I cannot see it having as much appeal to those who must use it - especially with all the "individual weapons must be capable of delivering 5 million joules of energy at all visible ranges" rhetoric from the gerpercer crowd.



And from Putin's Mordor:


"Degtyarovtsy" are working on 2/bicaliber HMG/grenade launcher.




Squinting at the rims in that photo, it doesn't look like it'll be a straight barrel swap

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Holy hell! I went down to the hardware store with the naive belief that I could pick up some percussion caps for my muzzleloader with the intention of firing off some celebratory squib loads at the New Year party tonight. I had misplaced my tin somehow in the move although I've found enough black powder and musket balls to re-fight Gettysburg but no percussion caps.


Apparently they haven't had percussion caps in for months. And a quick look online shows the standard moaning and groaning about a shortage.


I understand there being runs on popular centerfire cartridges, .22 long rifle and what not. But percussion caps?

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Holy hell! I went down to the hardware store with the naive belief that I could pick up some percussion caps for my muzzleloader with the intention of firing off some celebratory squib loads at the New Year party tonight. I had misplaced my tin somehow in the move although I've found enough black powder and musket balls to re-fight Gettysburg but no percussion caps.


Apparently they haven't had percussion caps in for months. And a quick look online shows the standard moaning and groaning about a shortage.


I understand there being runs on popular centerfire cartridges, .22 long rifle and what not. But percussion caps?


Has the loon fringe started packing black powder?

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Is that a QLZ-87 variant the Kurds are using there?

Yeah, I mentioned it before in that Launchers thread I made regarding PLA man portable rockets and grenades, but prior to the QLB-06 being made for the purpose, PLA troops often used the 87 with the smaller 6 round drum as a makeshift M32 like launcher as opposed to a stationary one for a force multiplier on the move, however the very high (for a GMG) rate of fire of 480-510 rpm the qlz-87 has made this rather awkward for the purpose.

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So yeah, more copy paste wall, but this is another post I want preserved that I made in the original small arms thread regarding PLA grenade launchers, portable rockets and recoilless rifles, Olifant actually posted it on the firearm blog, but since the wot forum likes to delete things on a whim, I want the original saved here.


If you've seen it before, you can feel free to skip, I sort of revised some of the info compared to the original based on new data and correcting typos I found, so, without further ado....




So yeah, onto that whole infantry support weapons thing mentioned earlier, here's another series of "an effort post no one will read or discuss but I'm doing anyway because I'm dumb and enjoy wasting my time." Featuring: Types of launchers that explode for various reasons for various goals currently used in the world, lets begin shall we? Of course, in keeping up my traditional thread bias, I'll be using PLA launchers as the base examples, but providing the closest equivalents of the West and USSR/Russia. Now then, onto it.


Edit: added HN-6 because why not? (anything that's not Stationary only or vehicle mounted is game here.


New edit: Added the HJ-12 now that a live model has been shown off.



First off, this little oddity, The Type 79 Mini Rocket.




You may be wondering, "hey, where's the launcher?", well, that little green tube is the launcher, this thing is quite literally a pocket rocket, or, failing to use the little mini mortar thing, you can release the safety manually and throw it as a contact grenade similar to old Russian AT grenades of WW2 vintage, while It's intended more as a frag grenade, it has limited armor penetration of around 20-25mm supposedly. (need a clearer citation for this, data for this little thing is hard to find for some reason.)


Closest analogues - ....I have no clue.


Speaking of small, easily concealed devices, onto our next selection, the DFR-89 personal frag.incendiary launcher.




Yet another odd design, this 35mm launcher is really a device small enough to allow any soldier to carry one really, and supposedly has both HE-FRAG and Incendiary options. this resembles an old West German WP launcher used in Vietnam by the US and may be based on it as I've been told, these are supposedly quite rare to see in service still.


Closest analogues - DM-34. (perhaps the only one.)


QLB-06/QLZ-87B 35mm Grenade launcher




Contrary to the newer designation, the reason this is also reported as a variant of the older 87 is because basically, the 87 was originally supposed to be a point GMG, however, a lighter version using smaller drums for reduced weight was often used as a portable launcher, effectively making it a GPGMG (the hell?) however, a few things made it rather unviable for this, such as the relatively high rate of fire of 480-510 rounds per minute with a drum of only 6 rounds as opposed to the regular full sized drum of 15 rounds. The QLB-06 on the other hand was sort of purpose built for small squads as a light fire support weapon and semi auto only, and due to it's design, it's effective at up to 600m on point targets and 1000m on area targets, and features a wide choice of grenades, such as HE-FRAG, HE-I, HE-DP with high armor penetration (Supposedly 80mm RHA at the sacrifice of kill range), and Smoke, It's a pretty cool guy.


Closest analogues, gonna go with the XM25 for the west as far as intended function goes, maybe something closer to the Milkor MGL or RG-6 if you want to compare it to another 6 shot "dumb launcher".


Type 70-1 62mm Rocket Launcher.




Some people think that ultra light, small rockets like this are obsolete these days on the modern battlefield, however, I have to disagree, in many low intensity conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, you're not facing the most advanced MBTs and IFVs in the world that can shrug them off, like 99% of any vehicular threat can easily be disabled or destroyed with a LAW, plus it can flush enemies out of certain fortifications if needed, and infact the M72 of Vietnam vintage is still in limited service, albeit with many upgrades, this is basically the same thing, It's a very light launcher that's very easy to train with that almost any soldier can use or have on hand in a low intensity conflict, or even in a hot conflict, you'll have a very light, compact weapon that can still be a threat to lighter vehicles, so while I certainly think such launchers aren't an answer to everything on a battlefield and need to be supplemented with more capable systems in some situations, they still have their place. While it can be used as an anti fortification and infantry weapon as said before, It can penetrate an estimated 300mm of RHA.


Closest Analogues - Easily the M72 and RPG-18/22/26 series.


FHJ-84 62mm Incendiary launcher




Also known as the bane of terrible NATO players in Wargame: Red dragon everywhere, this is a rather nasty piece of hardware, as it fires either WP Smoke rounds or rounds that burst into a fiery death cloud of metallic incendiary based gel, the obvious use here is against groups of infantry in cover or to get rid of that whole pesky buildings and foliage things to hide in, DO NOT QUOTE ME ON THIS, but I've heard it can also fire standard HEAT rounds similar to those used in the 70-1, but considering the 70-1 is a disposable launcher, I'm taking the truth of that one with a grain of salt.


Closest analogues - The M202A1 Flash of Vietnam vintage, which also used a metallic based gel incendiary. (in this case, Trimethylaluminium which is also pyrophoric) and Russian RPO-Z


DJZ08 80mm Multi Purpose breaching launcher.




So, this is another special purpose launcher, and while can be used against light-medium armor in a bad situation, albeit with very erratic performance on slopes due to the design (300mm at 0 degrees, and a mere 25mm at 65), It's intended purpose is simple: Breech walls, including those made of things Concrete, Brick, or other hard materials and cut through rebar reinforcement, while murdering the crapout of anyone on the other side and making a hole large enough for troops to enter following the impact, It's a very odd design, featuring a Heat warhead in front, and a delayed fuze HE warhead on the back, whats odd is, according to what I've heard, this supposedly had magnesium and thermate in both warheads added to cut through rebar and create a genuine molten metal jet (as opposed to standard HEAT where it's mostly just confusion by the abbreviation) to increase the chance of detonating or igniting anything on the other side that will catch, does this work? hell if I know.


Closest analogues - gonna go with the Matador system used by Germany, Spain, and Israel, and the AST version of the M136.


PF-89 80mm HEAT launcher.




So, now we start getting into heightened conflict level anti armor weapons, many countries now use disposable AT launches such as these to give troops a chance against all but the toughest of armor, This is your run of the mill heat warhead, it hits a thing, the fuze detonates the high explosive in the back of the charge, the inverted cone embedded facing inwards in the explosive (usually copper) is inverted outwards and launched forward at up to 30 kilometers a second by the sheer force, bad things happen to whatever is in it's way, simple, you see. the launcher is then thrown out as it's served it's purpose of likely preventing something such as an armored push or use in an ambush. armor penetration of the base model is estimated to be around 400mm


Closest analogues - AT4/M136, too goddamn many RPG variants to list that fit the role and are disposable.


PF-89A 80mm HEAT-MP




So killing vehicles is good and all, but what if you want to kill vehicles and everyone around them and also decimate bunkers? Well, that's where HEAT MP warheads come in, while they don't penetrate as deep due to the shallower, thinner cone as seen below (penetration is roughly cut in half to about 200mm)




(Standard PF-89 missile on the bottom, A variant on top)


It carries a tougher nose allowing to smash through certain objects before bursting and a higher explosive/fragmenting material content, so this can more of less be described as jack of all trades launcher.


Closest analogues: M136 HEDP, RMG


PF-89B 80mm Tandem HEAT




So, a long time ago, some jerks decided to make tanks and other heavy vehicles have tougher armor, and also add reactive armor on top of that, which counters HEAT warheads in the art of "blowing them the hell out of the way when activated", however, reactive armor is not a very smart guy, he is easily tricked, hence, someone, somewhere got the idea to use a more powerful warhead then usual in the back, and a decoy small warhead in the front to trigger the reactive armor while allowing the big boom to go through uncontested.


In all seriousness, yeah, this is a tandem version of the PF-89 above with an updated warhead, Penetration is around 650mm plus it gets through that mean jerk invention of RHA.


Closest analogues: M136 HP, RPG-27


PF-89-1/2 PF-97 80mm (possibly also 93mm) Thermobaric launcher (?)






Disclaimer: the following may be slightly confusing, as, I've had alot of contradicting sources say the PF-89-1 and 2 are thermobaric versions of the regular PF-89, however, that the PF-97 is just an updated version, or the same thing, however, I then found this little data sheet that indicates the latter is actually a separate 93mm device. (sorry for the crap image quality on this one.)




Maybe they both exist, or just one as 80mm and someone confused the 97 with the RPO-A which is the same caliber, who knows? anyway....


These are Thermobaric launchers, also known as "yet another thing the UN hates", they work by creating a super hot overpressure wave by the following, a small charge breaks open the case, releasing the finely dispersed fuel mist that mixes perfectly with the surrounding oxygen in the air, the second sets it off, this creates a very large over pressure wave in the area without the dangers of shrapnel hitting you far away but having devestating effects in the local area, and even being able to inflict severe burns on those not caught directly in the cloud or their lungs if they inhale the burning fuel, generally, these are quite a but more effective then standard explosives for most intents and purposes such as anti personnel and demolition work, particularly because thermobarics work at their best in tight areas, of all the ways to get killed on a battlefield, this would probably rank pretty high on the list of things you don't want to die to.


PF-98 120mm Anti Tank launcher






Affectionately known as the Queen Bee, this is a company/battallion level piece that can halt even the toughest of armor and troop advances, It's a recoilless rifles that can either be shoulder launched or mounted on a low or high sitting tripod, seeing as how aiming old era RRs of this size would be a  pain in the [edited], this one has quite a bit of things to help out, such as a X4 adjustable night vision sight with easy to use range correction, and a laseer rangefinder and ballistics calculation and fire control computer that links to an LED display for the gunner and can help make corrections for him.


It fires 2 rounds, one of which is a tandem heat charge that penetrates 800mm behind RHA, the other is a rather "[edited]you" piece that, I'll use someone elses description of courtesy of sinodefense which wiki ripped off of of course.


"The multipurpose high explosive round has a warhead with 120 steel balls and incendiary material. This round is capable of piercing 400 mm armor (under 55 degrees). Due to the fragmented nature, it kills the crew inside, or produces fragments to kill other personnel within 25 m of the point of impact. The maximum range is 1,800–2,000 m."


So yeah, it can also stop infantry quite well.


Closest analogues: honestly, this is a strange one, but, want to go with the Carl Gustav and SMAW, despite their smaller size, they mostly fill the same functionality and design, just not big enough to tackle MBTs from the front.


HN-6 72mm Surface-to-Air missile.




So yeah, you might've heard of this, as it's older brother, the FN-6 managed to cause a minor what the hell moment in certain news agencies when Syrian rebels managed to obtain some and promptly record themselves shooting down 2 Mi-17 Helicopters of the Syrian government last year with said equipment. Secret weapon trades or weapon theft theories aside, This is your typical MANPAD for all your low altitude air defense needs, Not much is known about the missile it uses, it's believed to be a standard HE FRAG using an annular blast type warhead similar to US Anti air missiles including the Stinger, and have a delayed impact fuze and possibly a magnetic influence secondary. It uses a digital infrared seeker because aircraft happen to do things that generate lots of heat and stuff, but also has a UV guidance option and resistance to countermeasures, the sight is optical with adjustable zoom, night vision enabled, and linked to fire control much like the Queen Bee, and it has an optional IFF screen attachment to prevent friendly fire incidents, note that variants using the IFF screen are instead called the FY-6, FY-16, and HY-6 respectively.


Closest analogues: FIM-92 Stinger, SA-24 Igla-S


HJ-12 135mm Top Attack capable ATGM.




And, here we have the latest vision for the PLA's long range, infantry portable anti tank weapon, while it can be guided on a normal trajectory, this also features a top attack capability to strike at the very thin roof armor of AFVs much like the US Javelin system. Originally, this was intended to be unveiled early last year at a French airshow, but they denied it to be shown after the rather baffling decision by the Chinese reps decision to try and bring a fully live system for the show as opposed to a mock up (one can only imagine why this was an issue), however, it was finally shown in November at the Zhuhai airshow which is where the photo above was taken. the missile has a range of 2-4km depending on terrain and fire mode options and features a combination of infrared imaging and CCD guidance to track targets. the missile operates on a fire and forget "lock on before launch" target lock mode as it's target aquisition method with a x4-x6 zoom FLIR capable vision device to help the operator find targets, it can be fired from inside buildings and can penetrate 1,100mm of RHA plus ERA in direct fire mode due to it's tandem charge design, the fuze is simply an impact design and the system can either be fired with or without the tripod mount. one interesting note is that, unlike some certain similar systems, it does also feature HEI-FRAG, Thermobaric and full on Incendiary missile options for targets like bunkers or buildings.


Closest analogues - FGM-148 Javelin, 9K1152 Metis-M


So, this new quote system is fucking weird, but there we go. hope you enjoy it...again.

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