M3 Carl Gustav 84-mm Recoilless Rifle
by Tim Davis

The US Army Special Operations Command was looking for a replacement for its aging M67 90-mm recoilless rifle. As with the 90-mm, they wanted a highly effective weapon for close support that could be used against armor, bunkers, fortifications and buildings. Variants of the Carl Gustav had been in use with several NATO countries for years. British commandos used the M2 model with great success against Argentinean bunkers during the Falklands War in the early 1980's. The Carl Gustav seemed to be a logical choice and the M3 was soon developed.

The weapon is loaded by inserting a round from the rear into the breech. Although it's designed for use against tanks, it can also be used in a variety of other roles. It fires HE, HEAT, HEDP, Illuminating and Smoke rounds. The M3 was fielded with the Ranger Battalions in 1990 where it became known as the Ranger Antitank Weapons System (RAWS). Although the M3 is portable, it may also be seen mounted on a Ranger Special Operations Vehicle (RSOV).

M3 Carl Gustav Army Ranger Weapon


Primary Function Close support antitank
antipersonnel weapon
Manufacturer Sweden
Caliber 84-mm
Length 42 in
Weight 25 lbs
Range 1000 m
Sight Open or telescopic
Ignition Percussion
Muzzle Velocity 350 m/sec
Ammunition HEAT, HEDP, HE,
Illuminating, Smoke
Rounds per Minute 6


Gustav in action Army Ranger Weapon Gustav Army Ranger Weapon