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LEARNING OBJECTIVES: List the two types of grenade launchers used by the Navy. Describe the controls of the M79 grenade launcher and explain the operating procedure.

The Navy currently uses two types of grenade launchers, the M79 and the Mk 19, Mod 3 machine gun. Both fire a 40mm grenade ammunition. However, the ammunition is NOT interchangeable. The linked rounds for the Mk 19, Mod 3 have a longer casing than those intended for use in the M79. For our purpose we will only discuss the operation of the M79.


The M79 grenade launcher (fig. 8-38) is a break-open, single-shot weapon. It is breech loaded and chambered for a 40-mm metallic cartridge case

Figure 8-38.-M79 grenade launcher.

with internal primer. Cartridges used with the M79 grenade launcher are shown in figure 8-39.


The safety (fig. 8-40) is in the safe position when pulled all the way back and in the firing position when pushed all the way forward.

The barrel locking latch (fig. 8-40), when pushed all the way to the right, permits the breech end of the barrel to be swung up into the open position. The grenade launcher cocks as it opens.

The trigger guard (fig. 8-40) is shown in lowered position. It can be released for setting to one side or the other by pushing back the cylindrical housing at the front. This makes it possible for a person wearing heavy gloves or mittens to fire the grenade launcher. The sighting equipment for the launcher is shown in figure 8-41.


The following procedures should be followed when loading and firing the M79 grenade launcher.

Preparation for Firing

Check the bore to be sure that it is free of foreign matter or obstructions. Check all ammunition to be sure proper type and grade are being used. Check for

Figure 8-39.-Cartridges used in the M79 grenade launcher: (A) Training practice rounds; (B) Multiple purpose and chemical rounds; (C) High explosive (HE) service; (D) Pyrotechnic and spotting rounds.

Figure 8-40.-M79 Grenade launcher controls.

Figure 8-41.-Rear sight assembly.

Figure 8-42.-Loading the M79 grenade launcher.

launcher to be sure that it is properly cleaned. Inspect for malfunction and other defects.


Point the muzzle of the launcher at the ground and clear the area of all personnel.

Figure 8-43.-Firing the M79 from the standing position.

Move the barrel locking latch all the way to the right and break open the breech. If the safety is not already on SAFE, this procedure will cause it to move to SAFE provided that the barrel locking latch is moved to its full limit of travel.

Insert the projectile portion of the ammunition into the chamber opening (fig. 8-42) and push the complete round forward into the chamber until the extractor contacts the rim of the cartridge case.

Close the breech.


When the launcher is fired, you must be in either a standing or prone position. In the standing position, the butt is placed against the shoulder. In the prone position, the butt is placed against the ground. (See figures 8-43 and 8-44.)

Figure 8-44.-Firing the M79 from the prone position.

A detailed discussion of sightsetting is beyond the scope of this course. However, to engage targets at ranges from 50 to 80 meters (165 to 265 feet), the rear sight frame assembly is placed in the lowered (called the "battle sight") position (fig. 8-43). Longer ranges are fired with the rear sight frame in the upright position (fig. 8-41) and the sight aperture bar set at the approximate target range of the scale. TM 9-1010-205-10 provides detailed instruction on use of the launcher's sights.

When firing grenades at targets within battle sight ranges (50 to 80 meters or 165 to 265 feet), the operator must be in a protected position. Targets that are within 80 meters (265 feet) of friendly troops must not be fired upon.

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