Developed in the late 1940s, the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle is a portable 84mm anti-armor weapon that can be used against tanks, fortified positions, and enemy infantry.
The Gustaf is still in use today, although it has gone through a few upgrades over the years.
The most current version is the M4 (or M3E1 in the US), which made its debut in 2014. War in Afghanistan brought a new interest in the iconic recoilless rifle for it’s effectiveness at eliminating targets behind cover from distances over 300m.
Instead of firing a $80,000 javelin or missile from an aircraft, ground troops could eliminate the threat with the Carl Gustaf M3E1 using a projectile that cost just a few hundred dollars. With rocket-boosted ammunition, the M3E1 has an effective range of 1,000 meters.
Overall, the basic design has hardly changed in 70 years. The M3E1 is slightly smaller and lighter and features a variety of ergonomic improvements to meed the demands of modern military headgear equipment. “Intelligent” sights further improve the M3E1’s anti-personnel capabilities by allowing the shooter to set air-burst rounds to explode at a certain elevation over precise positions.
Learn more about the latest version of the Carl Gustaf and see it in action in the video below.