MK19 Grenade Launcher

MK19 Grenade Launcher

MK19 Grenade Launcher mounted on vehicle in Iraq
MK19 Grenade Launcher mounted on vehicle in Iraq

Features: The 40mm MK19 machine gun, MOD 3 is an air-cooled, disintegrating metallic link-belt fed, blowback operated, fully automatic weapon and is crew transportable over short distances with limited amounts of ammunition. It can fire a variety of 40mm grenades. The M430 HEDP 40mm grenade will pierce armor up to 2 inches thick, and will produce fragments to kill personnel within 5 meters and wound personnel within 15 meters of the point of impact. Associated components are: MK64 Cradle Mount, MOD 5; M3 Tripod Mount; and the AN/TVS-5 Night Vision Sight. The MK19 also mounts in the up-gunned weapons station of the LVTP7A1 model of the AAV and vehicle ring mounts.

MK-19 40mm
MK-19 on MK64, MOD7 mount

The MK19 40mm grenade machine gun (GMG) is an air-cooled, belt-fed, blowback-operated, fully-automatic, crew-served weapon. Ammunition is belt-fed through the left side of the weapon by a disintegrating metallic link belt.

MK19 Sight Systems: The MK19 has a blade-type front sight attached to the top cover assembly and a leaf-type rear sight (with an adjustable range plate) mounted on a spring dovetail base. the rear sight range plate is incremented in 100 meter intervals from 300 to 1500 meters. Range changes are made using either the slide release or the elevation wheel. The rear sight is also adjustable for windage.

Two soldiers see the awesome fire power of a MK19 40mm automatic grenade launcher .
Two soldiers see the awesome fire power of a MK19 40mm automatic grenade launcher .

The MK19 supports the Infantryman in both the offense and defense. It provides the rifleman with the heavy volume of close, accurate, and continuous fire necessary to accomplish his mission in the attack. The long range, and final protective fires delivered by this gun form an integral part of the units defensive fires.

Several improvements to the MK19 system have been initiated. An improved mount is being developed which will provide a more stable platform assuring decreased dispersion and increased accuracy. A materiel change to the MK64 is being developed with a new MK175 pintle adapter and case catch bag. A new two-piece cocking lever is being developed which may help prevent out of battery detonations.

MK19 with top cover open
MK19 with top cover open

A program has been initiated by USAIC to investigate and develop a sight and/or bracket to allow engagements out to the maximum effective range of the ammunition (2057 meters). Training devices being developed include a gunnery trainer which works with the Military Police Shoot / Don’t Shoot Situational Training Device and a stand alone trainer

MK19 on tripod with ammo box
MK19 on M3 tripod with ammo box

Background: The MK19 was originally developed to provide the U.S. Navy with an effective riverine patrol weapon in Vietnam. A Product Improvement Program was initiated in the late 1970s resulting in the MK19 Mod 3.

MK19 40 Ammo Types

MK19 40mm ammo types
MK19 40mm ammo types

Mk19 Ammo Types: The MK-19 fires sixtypes of cartridges: M430I / M430A1 high-explosive dual-purpose grenades, M383 high-explosive grenade, M385I / M918 training practice, and M922 M922A1 dummy rounds.

The Mk19 40mm round has an effective casualty radius (ECR) of 15 meters.

MK19 Weapon Data

  • Mk19 Manufacturer: Saco Defense Industries
  • Mk19 Length: 43.1 inches (109.47 centimeters)
  • Weight:
  • Gun: 72.5 pounds (32.92 kilograms)
  • Cradle (MK64 Mod 5): 21.0 pounds (9.53 kilograms)
  • Tripod: 44.0 pounds (19.98 kilograms)
  • Total: 137.5 pounds (62.43 kilograms)
  • Muzzle velocity: 790 feet (240.69 meters) per second
  • Bore diameter: 40mm
  • Mk19 Maximum range: 2200 meters
  • Maximum effective range: 1600 meters
  • Mk19 Rates of fire:
  • Cyclic: 325-375 rounds per minute
  • Rapid: 60 rounds per minute
  • Sustained: 40 rounds per minute
  • Unit Replacement Cost: $13,758

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