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M18 57mm Recoilless Rifle

Recoilless rifles are capable of firing artillery-type shells at velocities, and with an accuracy, comparable to those of standard guns, but almost entirely without recoil. This RCLR is a breech-loaded, singleshot, man-portable, crew-served weapon. It can be used in both antitank and antipersonnel roles. It can be fired it from the ground, using the bipod or the monopod, or from the shoulder. The most stable firing position is the prone position.

The 57mm was used about like a bazooka. Although much heavier than the M9 2.36-inch bazooka, it could nonetheless be fired from the shoulder. Much more powerful than the M9, and with significantly greater range, it was particularly effective early in the Korean War when the 3.5-inch bazooka was unavailable. Had the 57mm teams been issued sufficient HEAT projectiles, they would have had the capability to stop a T-34 tank. Unfortunately, the first troops in the field had neither 3.5-inch bazookas, nor adequate supplies of HEAT projectiles for the 57mm recoilless rifles!




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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:45:35 ZULU