66-MM LIGHT ANTITANK WEAPON SYSTEM, M72 SERIES (LAW)
The LAW is a lightweight, self-contained antitank system, consisting of a rocket packed within its own launcher. It is considered ammunition, rather than an individual arm, and is designed to be carried and used by designated personnel in addition to their individual weapons. The LAW will provide increased firepower against targets, ranging from personnel to heavy tanks.
Figure 3-110.-Quadrant sight assembly. 3-55
Figure 3-111.-M72A1 rocket launcher in CLOSED position.
When the launcher is issued, it serves as a watertight packing container for the rocket (fig. 3-111); however, when the launcher is placed in the FIRING position fig. 3-112), it serves to ignite and guide the rocket on its initial flight toward the target. Once the launcher is fired, it is designed to be discarded.
The 81-mm mortar (fig. 3-113) is a smooth-bore, muzzle-loaded, high-angle-of-fire weapon. It consists of a mortar barrel with a baseplug and a fixed firing pin for drop firing. The mount consists of a biped with traversing and elevating mechanism. A spring type of shock absorber absorbs the shock of recoil in firing. The baseplate is a unit that supports and aligns the mortar. For firing, the baseplug of the barrel is passed through the yoke of the biped mount, secured to the shock
absorber and mounted into the baseplate. For transporting, disassemble the mortar into three groups: barrel, biped, and baseplate. A telescope sight, the M53, is provided for adjusting elevation and direction. The mortar can be hand carried as three separate one-man loads.
The mortar is fired by inserting a complete round into the muzzle, fin assembly down. The elevation of the barrel causes the round to slide toward the base of the barrel. On reaching the base, a propelling charge on the round is ignited by the firing pin. The pressure of the gas produced by the burning propelling charge drives the round up and out of the barrel. The fin assembly stabilizes the round in flight.
The mortar can deliver fire at ranges up to approximately 4,737 meters. The sustained and
Figure 3-112.-M72A1 rocket launcher in OPEN position. 3-56
Figure 3-113.-The 81-mm mortar M29.
maximum rates of fire are related to the type of round and charge being used.
The complete mortar weighs 93 pounds. This includes the barrel (28 pounds), the biped (40 pounds), and the baseplate (25 pounds). The overall length is 51 inches and the maximum width is 21.6 inches.
A variety of shells and fuzes have been developed to make the 8 l-mm mortar a versatile weapon. It can be used as either an offensive or a defensive weapon.