Sweden – Carl Gustav 84mm Recoilless Rifle

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:48 pm

The Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle is a shoulder fired, reusable anti-tank weapon. It can fire HEAT, HEDP, HE, illumination and smoke rounds.

Two men are needed to fire the Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle – a firer and a loader. With good training, a two-man crew can load and fire the Carl Gustav in seconds.

A bipod is available for firing from flat services.

The Carl Gustav (sometimes spelled “Gustaf”) fires a HEAT round that weighs 7.1 pounds (3.2kg) and can penetrate up to 15.8 inches (400mm) of armor from a distance of up to 765.5 yards (700m).

US Special Forces soldier firing a Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle during training in Iraq in 2010The HEDP round weighs 7.3 pounds (3.3kg) and can penetrate 5.91 inches (150mm) of concrete from a distance of up to 546.8 yards (500mm).

A HE round can be used against unarmored light vehicles

The backblast from the Gustav is significant and the area behind the firer must be clear of obstacles and debris, making it unsuitable for use in confined areas.

This anti-tank weapon has a 2x magnification telescopic sight with a simple graticule that is used for range finding.

The first prototype of the Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle was developed in 1946, and the weapon entered service in Sweden in 1948.

In 1964, a new variant, the M2 was introduced. It was made of light alloy and weighed 31.2 pounds (14.2kg).

The version that is currently in use, the M3, is much lighter – only 18.7 pounds (8.5 kg). The M3, which was introduced in 1991, has a thin steel liner barrel that is reinforced by an outer sleeve made of carbon fiber laminate.  Parts that were constructed from steel in earlier variants of the Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle are made of plastic or aluminum in the M3.

The Carl Gustav recoilless rifle has been used by many nations around the globe.  It was used by the British during the Falklands War in 1982. The M3 is used by members of the US Special Operations Command.