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How To Load & Fire The M18 57mm Recoilless Rifle

Without saying a single word, the man in the video shows us how to properly load and fire a M18 57mm Recoilless Rifle. First-off, he fires the weapon from a fixed position and then, he takes the weapon off of the tripod and fires it from his shoulder. One thing that you’ll notice right away, is that this particular weapon is breech loaded (from the rear). This weapon was originally conceived of in 1943 and was used towards the end of World War II.

Each U.S. rifle company in the Korean War was authorized three M18 recoilless rifles. Veterans of the Korean War have mentioned the use of the M18 against enemy machine gun nests.

During the Vietnam War, although obsolete as an anti-tank weapon, the M18 was still used by ARVN and its allied forces in an anti-personnel role. It was able to use the NATO-standard M74 tripod. US Navy Swift Boats used paired mounts containing triple-mounted M18s and a .50 M2HB Machine gun on the bow. It was used for fire support or demolishing obstacles.

Here’s some info on this weapon:

The M18 recoilless rifle was a 57 mm shoulder fired anti-tank recoilless rifle used by the U.S. Army in World War II and the Korean War. Recoilless rifles are capable of firing artillery-type shells at reduced velocities comparable to those of standard cannon, but with greater accuracy than anti-tank weapons that used unguided rockets, and almost entirely without recoil.

The M18 was a breech-loaded, single-shot, man-portable, crew-served weapon. It could be used in both anti-tank and anti-personnel roles. The weapon could be both shoulder fired or fired from a prone position. The T3 front grip doubled as an adjustable monopod and the two-piece padded T3 shoulder cradle could swing down and to the rear as a bipod for the gunner. The most stable firing position was from the tripod developed for the water-cooled Browning M1917 machine gun.

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