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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 8/22/2006 3:41:12 PM EST
Retro Grenade Launcher

Might be possible to make a 37mm replica of one these, doesn't look too complicated

Link Posted: 8/22/2006 4:36:46 PM EST
Is that YOUR XM148???

Link Posted: 8/22/2006 4:43:32 PM EST
Nope not mine, but if I had 6K to spare.....
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 6:09:22 PM EST
My guess would be Vann of autoweapons.com in Phila. PA.

Nope not mine, but if I had 6K to spare.....
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 6:13:12 PM EST
Yep. Pic belongs to Autoweapons.com.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 7:54:40 PM EST
It would actually be pretty tough to copy. We had to fabricate the upper mounting brackets and they were a pain. The design is overly complicated (hence the replacement by the XM203 in 1969). Lots of small fragile parts, though the pistol grip for unlocking the barrel and loading is a nice feature. You worry constantly that something is going to break everytime you shoot it. The bottom pic is not the best, but it shows the launcher in the "open" position for loading:

Link Posted: 8/22/2006 8:56:36 PM EST
Yeah, the fragility of the design was perhaps the greatest reason for the XM148 being dropped, and its successor, Colt's CGL-4 losing out to the XM203.  Information exists that shows affected grenadiers were clamouring to have their M79s reissued within 6 months of the XM148 being fielded on a limited basis.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 1:21:04 PM EST
Yeah the reviews were really mixed. I think many appreciated the concept of the underbarrel system, but durability and use is another thing. I am comfortable with using it now as far as operation, but is much more complicated to use than an M79. The 79 you open it, insert the round, close it, push off the safety and fire. The XM148 you have to unlock and push forward the barrel, insert round (takes longer than on an M79), close barrel back and lock it in place, pull the cocking lever to the front of the magwell, slide the safety off, pull trigger back to deploy it and rotate it down (if you run around with it in the down "firing" position you WILL break it eventually) and fire. Once you have practice it is not bad, but definately too complicated for a general issue piece of equipment for a line infantry company. One of the most interesting love / hate relationships with them is in "elite" units. You see some in SOG (but primarily dedicated 79 grenadiers). The SEALs on the other hand tend to have more pics of them in use. As for line infantry units, most of the photos I have show them with the 1st Cav, 25th ID, and 173rd ABN. By far the unit that I have seen with the most M203's by 1970 is the 23rd ID.
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