5-1. The M72A2/A3 LAW is a lightweight, self-contained, antiarmor weapon consisting of a rocket packed in a launcher (Figure 5-1). It is man-portable, may be fired from either shoulder, and is issued as a round of ammunition. It requires little from the user—only a visual inspection and some operator maintenance. The launcher, which consists of two tubes, one inside the other, serves as a watertight packing container for the rocket and houses a percussion-type firing mechanism that activates the rocket.
5-2. The trigger housing assembly (which contains the trigger assembly) is on the upper surface of the outer tube. So are the front and rear sight assemblies, the trigger arming handle, and the launcher's rear cover.
5-3. The inner tube telescopes outward toward the rear, guided by a channel assembly that rides in an alignment slot in the outer tube's trigger housing assembly. The channel assembly also houses the firing pin rod assembly, which includes a detent lever assembly. The detent lever assembly moves under the trigger
Figure 5-1. The M72A2 or M72A3 LAW.
assembly in the outer tube, locking the inner tube in the extended position and cocking the weapon. All this must occur before the weapon can be fired.
5-4. The rocket is a percussion-ignited, fin-stabilized, fixed munition. The rocket is attached by the igniter to the inside of the launcher. The rocket consists of a 66-mm high-explosive antiarmor (HEAT) warhead; a point-initiating, base-detonating fuze; and a rocket motor. Six spring-loaded fins are attached to the rear of the rocket motor. These fins are folded forward along the motor when the rocket is in the launcher. When ignited, the propellant in the rocket motor burns completely, producing gases about 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit (760 degrees Centigrade). The gas pressure pushes the rocket toward the target and exits to the rear of the launcher as the backblast.
Was this article helpful?