"REMOV" for finding a picture of the Vietnam-era Three-shot Grenade Launcher. The photo is NOT Ralph Zumbro. The original title was M-75th Ranger, 199th Bgd, Mark Johnston.
Many years ago I read Ralph Zumbro's rightly acclaimed book Tank Sergeant. One thing that interested me was several references to a three-shot grenade launcher. I assumed that this was some kind of field improvisation, but how you could join several M-79s or M-203s together without the result being unwieldy escaped me. Recently I've been lucky enough to talk to Mr Zumbro, and one of the first things I asked him about was this weapon:-
One of our drivers in RVN had one. It had a three-shot Harmonica type magazine that slid back and forth through a fixed, slotted breech and was moved by a scroll spring. You could load any two chambers while keeping one in firing position. HELLUVAWEAPON, that's probably why they only made just a trial batch. My buddy got one off a dead infantryman.
When I heard about this it occurred to me that such a configuration could be used as an underbarrel weapon-in fact it might be easier to reload from a prone position than the current M203.
Mr. Zumbro has expanded this idea further by suggesting that the underbarrel weapon have a three shot cylinder. This would be turned manually, so the Grenadier can "dial-up" the most suitable round loaded. Each cylinder would have a switch on its side that operates a simple ejector.
The capability to quickly select different types of ammunition may also have police applications.
Sever writes:- I think I may have found some stuff on that three-shot grenade launcher mentioned on the Scrapboard, at
For some reason Security Arms uses java to display their images so it might take a few seconds to load.
Kudos to Dino Snider who has discovered this weapon was called the T148A1. This site indicates that it had an unloaded weight of 6.72 lbs. and 8.5 lbs. loaded.
Once I had a name I located some better photos of the weapon. Version on the right and the one in the photo above have a ladder sight. The version on the left has a more complicated sliding sight that might be based on that of the M79. The buttplate on the right may be from a Garand rifle.