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Out With The Old, In With The New: Marines Test New Grenade Launcher Module

Out With The Old, In With The New: Marines Test New Grenade Launcher Module

Marines with Bravo Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion practiced handling and firing the M320 grenade launcher module at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 6.

2nd CEB is one of the first Marine Corps units to be issued the M320, which has already been in use by the U.S. Army.

The weapon system offers a multitude of capabilities, superior to that of its predecessor, the M203. One of the most notable differences is the M320’s ability to be fired as a separate weapon system, operating without being attached to a host weapon.

“The M320 definitely provides our Marines with a more efficient weapon system,” said Cpl. Nelson Gay, a squad leader with 2nd CEB. “The M320 has an increased rate of fire, and also allows the operator to acquire their targets much faster; used as either a standalone weapon or on a host weapon, it’s an accurate and efficient system.”

One of the discrepancies with the M203 was the leaf sight interfering with the weapons optics, said Gay. The sights on the M320 are more user friendly and flexible, increasing the chances of the projectile landing on target with the first shot.

The barrel of the M320 is loaded from the side, allowing for longer projectiles with increased velocity. This is different from the M203, which limits the size of projectiles the operator can use, due to the placement of the barrel on the bottom of the weapon system.

“The compact system can be utilized by Marines in smaller areas,” said 1st Lt. Samuel Womack, a platoon commander with 2nd CEB. “This enables targets to be engaged in whatever position the operator needs.”

The M320 can engage groups of enemy personnel, vehicles, bunkers, provide suppression and obscuration on objectives, and mark targets to assist in direct fire. From the defense, the M320 allows greater coverage in sectors of fire that direct-fire weapons cannot engage.

With the increased rate of fire and accuracy, as well as mobility, it increases the Marines efficiency while stopping enemy forces.

“The Marines are out here getting a feel for the M320 and I think that it’s proving to be an effective weapon system,” said Womack. “If these weapon systems can be employed with cohesion, it will enable our Marines to have greater lethality.”

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Comments

sgt tadicks - June 9, 2020

i went thru boat camp and camp mattews with the m-1 yeah i am that old

Joe Rainey L/Cpl 75-79 - June 9, 2020

I remember one of the drill instructors at Parris Island stating, ” the Marine Corps has done so much for so long on so little, that we can do anything with hardly nothing.” It became my favorite.

Joe Rainey L/Cpl 75-79 - June 9, 2020

I remember the drill instructors Parris Island stating, ” the Marine Corps has done so much for so long on so little, that we can do anything with hardly nothing.” It became my favorite.

Lloyd - June 9, 2020

I guess we were lucky in 1953. We got WWll stuff. Not that old then. Loved the M1 and the BAR. Even C rats not that old. Did not like B rats we got from the Army at Camp McNair.

Harry - June 9, 2020

We called it “The Thumper” The army even got the newer C-Rats!! Remember C’s dated 1957!! Same time frame army had C’s dated 60’s Harry

Lawrence K. Blair - June 9, 2020

THAT’s for sure. Our “Blooper” man, Cpl Steve HEREDIA, was a wizard with his M-79. “Steve, put one in that bunker over there ( 100 yards away)… BLOOP… WHAM!!!… RIGHT on ( and IN ) target! We were sure glad to have it !!! 3rd Herd,”Alpha Co.” 1/5,1970’71.
Semper Fi !!!

Cpl J. W. Hornsey Mike 3/1 CUPP RVN 1970 - June 9, 2020

Amazing all the comments on the Army getting everything first. I fully agree and to an extent with another comment about letting them work the bugs out. A friend of mine and I were recently disusing our time in Vietnam. The magazine thing came up. Was surprising how the Army and even the Australian and Korean units had 30 round mags and the Marines had 20’s. As far as the grenade launcher, I like the M-79 “blooper” myself.

Jim Borgan - June 9, 2020

In 1965 I remember being issued WW2 , M1 rifles in ITR at Camp Geiger. Army already had M-16’s. At least we got our M-14’s back when we went over to Nam.

Sgt. H. O. Zang USMC ’76 – ’83 - June 9, 2020

I do like the versatility this new weapon provides, as far as the stand alone feature. As for getting it second hand? What else is new?? I was a radio operator with 2/8 in ’77 and we were still using PRC 25’s that were decades older than my tender 19 years at the time, LOL. We were so used to second hand equipment that we were frequently quoting “We have done so much, for so long, with so little. We are now qualified to do anything, forever, with nothing.”. Some things just never change it seems. Semper Fi my brothers/sisters!!

GySgt Bruce V. Bennett USMC (ret.) - June 9, 2020

I like thew M-79 right off, better than any attached thing.

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