Marine Corps Weapon Systems: M203 Grenade Launcher

The M203 is a single shot, under-barrel grenade launcher that attaches to the M16 or M4 assault rifle. This weapon is used when direct fire is not immediately accessible and Marines need to quickly engage enemy targets, blow up doors, destroy bunkers, and/or damage soft-skinned vehicles. This weapon it usually carried by the fire team leader. Marines will become familiar with this weapon while attending the School of Infantry (SOI).

Characteristics of the M203 Grenade Launcher

Single shot, special purpose individual weapon.

  • Primary Function - Infantry weapon for close fire support
  • Length - 15 inches
  • Weight - 3 pounds
  • Muzzle Velocity - 250 FPS
  • Maximum Effective Range- 150 meters
  • Maximum Range- 400 meters
  • Rate of Fire:
    Cyclic - 5-7 RPM
  • Types of Grenades Fired - High Explosive, Illuminating, Smoke, Buckshot Direct Fire, CS Gas

To learn more about the M203, please click here...

Marine Corps Weapons System

Reviewed by CH

M203 Grenade Launcher

In the early morning fog, Sgt. Radmila M. Allen, team leader with 3rd Platoon, Company A, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, acquires her target before firing the M203 grenade launcher during a live-fire range at the Verona Loop training area, near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. on Jan. 14, 2015.
—USMC photo by Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders

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