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Carl Gustaf Recoilless Rifle

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The Carl Gustaf Recoilless Rifle (sometimes spelled Carl Gustav) is an 84mm anti-tank weapon developed in 1946 by Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors Carl Gustaf AB (now part of SAAB-Bofors Dynamics), based on their work in 1940-42 on the 20mm Pansarvärnsgevär m/42, a shoulder-fired recoilless anti-tank rifle that was obsolete by the time it was ready for production, with only around 1,000 being manufactured. The larger 84mm launcher was intended as an equivalent to WW2 shaped-charge anti-tank launchers such as the Bazooka, Panzerschreck and PIAT. Unlike these weapons, it is a rifled gun firing a spin-stabilised projectile. The 84mm caliber is said to have been a result of the design team using barrels from four old m/1894-06 8.4cm rifled cannons from a fortress in Tingstäde, Gotland in their initial prototypes.

As a recoilless rifle, on firing the weapon discharges material (in this case, propellant gas) from its rear venturi tube of equal mass to the projectile, resulting in a net force close to zero. A host of different projectiles are available for different applications, with various antitank HEAT rounds including standoff rod and tandem-charge rounds for defeating explosive reactive armour, anti-personnel HE and anti-personnel / light vehicle / fortification HEDP rounds, and tactical smoke and parachute flare rounds.

The initial M1 version was adopted by the Swedish military in 1948 as the 8,4 cm Granatgevär m/48 (Grg m/48), and the first export version, the M2, was first produced in 1964. Since then it has been adopted by numerous countries and been through two further revisions, with the lightened M3 (m/86 domestically) entering production in 1991 and the shorter M4 being produced in 2014: the United States Army is currently evaluating the latter under the name M3E1 as a possible replacement for their stocks of M3s. Japanese arms manufacturer Howa produces a licensed copy of the M2, the Howa 84 RR.


(1946-1964 (M1), 1964-present (M2), 1991-present (M3), 2014-present (M4))

Type: Recoilless rifle / rocket launcher (HEAT RAP round is rocket-assisted)

Caliber: 84x246mm R

Length: 42in (1065mm) (M1/M2), 44in (1,130mm) (M3), 37in (950mm) (M4)

Weight Unloaded: 31 lb (M1/M2), 22 lb (M3), 15 lb (M4), + 2 lb for optional bipod

Feed System: Manual single-shot loading via hinged venturi tube

Fire Modes: Single shot

Crew: Typically 2

The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle can be seen in the following films, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Carl Gustaf M2

Carl Gustaf M2 - 84x246mm R

The M2 was the first export version of the Carl Gustaf, introduced in 1964 and replaced by the M3 in 1991. A variant called the M2-550 featured a new optic scope which included a laser rangefinder; this was also compatible with the original M2's scope bracket mount, and is no longer marketed as a separate model.


Title Actor Character Notation Date
Men of War Dolph Lundgren Nick Gunar 1994
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris JGSDF personnel Howa 84RR 1999
Battlefield Earth Kim Coates Carlos 2000
LOC Kargil Indian Army soldiers 2003
Sunil Shetty Sepoy Sanjay Kumar
War of the Worlds US Army soldiers 2005
Samurai Commando: Mission 1549 JGSDF Howa 84RR 2005
Postal Seen in bunker arsenal 2007
Terminator: Genisys Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator 2015


Film Title Character Notation Date
Patlabor: The Movie JGSDF soldiers Howa 84RR 1989
Mad Bull 34 NYPD ESU officers 1990
Saikano JGSDF soldiers Howa 84RR 2006
The Skull Man 2009
Canaan 2009
Coppelion Oyakata Kurobe 2013
Ibara Naruse

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Tomb Raider III Rocket Launcher 1998
Operation Flashpoint 2001
Time Crisis 3 Unusable 2003
World in Conflict 2007
Far Cry 2 Carl G Rocket Launcher Incorrectly shown firing laser-guided ammunition with manual detonation capability 2008
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Carl G Fires HEAT, HE or "Fulton" rounds 2010
Squad Carl Gustav M2 2015
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Carl Gustaf 2016

Carl Gustaf M3

Carl Gustaf M3 - 84x246mm R

The M3 is a broad package of improvements to the Carl Gustaf including a new lightweight carbon-fibre tube replacing the older model's steel, a new scope bracket design, redesigned iron sights, and an integral carry handle. Adopted by the United States military as the M3 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS) or Ranger Anti-tank Weapons System (RAWS).


Title Actor Character Notation Release Date
The Last Stand 2013

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Carl-Gustaf M3 EU faction 2005
Battlefield: Bad Company 2008
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 M2 Carl Gustav AT shown with fictitious homing capabilities 2010
ArmA II M3 MAAWS Operation Arrowhead expansion 2009
SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALs MAAWS Pick-up weapon only 2011
Call of Duty: Ghosts MAAWS w/ laser sight Incorrectly holds 2 guided rockets 2013
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare w/ laser sight 2014
Far Cry 4 Used as menu icon for "LK-1018" weapon 2014
Squad M3 MAAWS 2015
Far Cry 5 "RAT4" 2018
House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn Rocket Launcher With built-in crosshair 2018
Insurgency: Sandstorm M3 MAAWS 2018
Far Cry New Dawn Scope and SACLOS functionality 2019
Ghost Recon Breakpoint 2019

Carl Gustaf M4

Carl Gustaf M4 - 84x246mm R
Carl Gustaf M3E1 with Aimpoint FCS12 digital fire control system - 84x246mm R. This weapon is currently in US Army and Marine Corps service.
Carl Gustaf M4 fitted with a Saab 557B- 84x246mm R

The latest version of the Carl Gustaf, this variant is shorter and lighter than the M3 (and less than half the weight of the M2). It is designed for connectivity with "intelligent" computerized sighting units and future programmable ammunition, and includes an automatic round counter to simplify maintenance of the weapon's bore liner. The M4 was adopted by the Slovak Republic in 2015 and is currently undergoing trials with the US Army under the name "M3E1" as a possible replacement for their existing stocks of M3s.

In September 2017, the US Army purchased 1,111 M3E1 launchers and issued an Urgent Material Release to field them as soon as possible, with the US Marine Corps following suit in November with a plan to acquire 1,200 launchers, with one to be fielded by each USMC infantry squad. The USMC is also considering the weapon as a replacement or supplement for the Mk 153 SMAW in combat engineer units.

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
ArmA III "MAAWS Mk4" Mod 0 variant with optical sight, Mod 1 variant with fire control system Added in 2018 update 2013
Far Cry 5 "RAT4" Grips reversed, M3-style front sight Incorrectly fires guided missiles 2018
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare "Strela-P" 2019
Battlefield 2042 "Recoilless M5" 2021
Far Cry 6 "RAT4" Scope and SACLOS functionality 2021
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II "Strela-P" 2022

See Also

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