Swords were replaced by pistols as symbols of military
leadership. Pistols are rarely used in combat because they have limited utility.
A far more effective compact weapon is a 40mm pistol. These simple,
lightweight, single-shot, multi-role weapons are now for
sale on the civilian market for just $60 each. This is just a shorter version of
the M79 that was very popular during the Vietnam war. The US military's current
M203 is also made of aluminum, so there is little difference with the Airsoft
"game" pistol pictured, if any. The kick is big, so two hands should
used. Since the barrel is half as long, velocity/range is cut in half but still
far more than a pistol, and recoil is less than the M203 since a shorter barrel
allows more gas energy to escape.
encounters, a 40mm buckshot round is extremely effective and far more
likely to hit a target with the first shot. In urban combat, this pistol could
fire explosive grenades down a hallway or through a window. They can fire HEDP
rounds to blast open doors or cars, or to punch a hole in a light armored
The variety of 40mm rounds allows them to fire signal or
illumination flares. In non-combat roles, they can fire a beanbag round to knock
someone down, or tear gas to disperse crowds. While they are larger than
military pistols, they are lighter, more intimidating, and far more useful for a
variety of roles.
According to the U.S. ARMY FIELD MANUAL FM 3-22.31 40-MM GRENADE LAUNCHER,
there are 8 different rounds for the M203:
- (M433) High-Explosive. Dual Purpose Round. The HEDP round has an olive
drab aluminum skirt with a steel cup attached, white markings, and a gold ogive
(head of the round). It penetrates at least 5 cm (2 inches) when fired
straight at steel armor at 150 meters or less, or, at a point target, it
arms between 14 and 27 meters, causes casualties within a 130-meter radius,
and has a kill radius of 5 meters.
- (M406) High-Explosive Round. The HE round has an olive drab aluminum skirt
with a steel projectile attached, gold markings, and a yellow ogive. It arms
between 14 and 27 meters, produces a ground burst that causes casualties
within a 130-meter radius, and has a kill radius of 5 meters.
- (M583A1) Star Parachute Round. This round is white impact or bar alloy
aluminum, with black markings. It is used for illumination and signals and
is lighter and more accurate than comparable handheld signal rounds. The
parachute attached to the round deploys upon ejection to lower the candle at
7 feet per second. The candle burns for about 40 seconds. A raised letter on
the top of the round denotes the color of the parachute.
- (M585) White Star Cluster Round. This round is white impact or bar
aluminum alloy, with black markings. The attached plastic ogive has five
raised dots for night identification. The round is used for illumination or
signals. It is lighter and more accurate than comparable handheld signal
rounds. The individual stars burn for about 7 seconds during free fall.
- (M713) Ground Marker Round. This round is light green impact aluminum with
black markings. It is used for aerial identification and for marking the
location of soldiers on the ground. It arms between 15 and 45 meters. If a
fuse fails to function on impact, the output mixture provided in the front
end of the delay casing backs up the impact feature. The color of the ogive
indicates the color of the smoke.
- (M781) Practice Round. Used for practice, this round is blue zinc or
aluminum, with white markings. It produces a yellow or orange signature on
impact, arms between 14 and 27 meters, and has a danger radius of 20 meters.
- (M651) CS Round. This round is gray aluminum with a green casing and black
markings. Though it is a multipurpose round, it is most effective for riot
control and in Urban Operations. It arms between 10 and 30 meters and
produces a white cloud of CS
gas on impact.
Buckshot Round. This round is olive drab with black markings. Though it is a
multipurpose round, it is most effective in thick vegetated areas or for
room clearing. Inside, it has 20 metal pellets, each weighing 24 grains,
with a muzzle velocity of 269 meters per second. The round has no