M203 M16a2

40mm XM174 Automatic Grenade Launcher


A requirement was stated by United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam in 1964, based upon requests from the field, for a weapon system which could be vehicle-mounted and provide a high volume of area fire for counterambush. A request for such a system under ENSURE procedures was formalized 8 March 1966. Tests were conducted on four different 40mm grenade launcher systems. The systems included high and low velocity type weapons, each of which was hand-cranked. These tests eliminated all but the XM174 automatic, low-velocity launcher. Ten of these weapons arrived in the field on 10 May 1968 accompanied by a project engineer from United States Armv Weapons Command (USAWECOM).

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