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Milkor MGL

A U.S. Marine looks through the M2A1 reflex sight on a newly-issued M32 MGL (MGL-140) in Iraq, 3 September 2006.
Type Grenade launcher
Place of origin South Africa
Service history
In service 1983–present
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Andries C Piek[1]
Designed 1980
Manufacturer Milkor (Pty) Ltd, MKEK[2]
Produced 1983–present
Variants See Variants
Weight 5.3 kg (11.68 lb)
Length 778 mm (30.6 in) stock extended / 565 mm (22.2 in) stock folded (MGL)
812 mm (32.0 in) stock extended / 711 mm (28.0 in) stock folded (MGL-140)
Barrel length 300 mm (11.8 in) (MGL)

Cartridge 40×46mm grenade
40×51mm grenade (SuperSix)
Action Double action
Rate of fire 3 rounds/sec (MGL) (rapid fire)
18-21 rounds/min (sustained)
Muzzle velocity 76 m/s (249 ft/s) (MGL)
Effective firing range 375 m
800 m (ERLP ammunition)
Maximum firing range 400 m
Feed system 6-round, revolving, swing out-type cylinder
Sights Armson OEG Collimator sight in quadrant, M2A1 reflex sight (M32)

The MGL (Multiple Grenade Launcher) is a lightweight 40 mm six-shot revolver-type grenade launcher (variations also fire 37/38mm) developed and manufactured in South Africa by Milkor (Pty) Ltd. The MGL was demonstrated as a concept to the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1981. The operating principle was immediately accepted and subjected to a stringent qualification program. The MGL was then officially accepted into service with the SADF as the Y2. After its introduction in 1983, the MGL was gradually adopted by the armed forces and law enforcement organizations of over 50 countries. Total production since 1983 has been more than 50,000 units.

The MGL is a multiple-shot weapon, intended to significantly increase a small squad's firepower when compared to traditional single-shot grenade launchers like the M203. The MGL is designed to be simple, rugged, and reliable. It uses the well-proven revolver principle to achieve a high rate of accurate fire which can be rapidly brought to bear on a target. A variety of rounds such as HE, HEAT, anti-riot baton, irritant, and pyrotechnic can be loaded and fired as fast as the trigger can be pulled; the cylinder can be loaded or unloaded rapidly to maintain a high rate of fire. Although intended primarily for offensive and defensive use with high-explosive rounds, with appropriate ammunition the launcher is suitable for anti-riot and other security operations. A newly patented modification allows the MGL to fire less lethal (very low pressure) rounds.

Design details

Operating mechanism

The MGL is a low-velocity, shoulder-fired 40 mm grenade launcher with a six-round spring-driven revolver-style magazine capable of accepting most 40×46mm grenades. The spring-driven cylinder rotates automatically while firing, but it must be wound back up after every reloading.


The MGL grenade launcher consists of a lightweight, progressively rifled steel barrel, sight assembly, frame with firing mechanism, spring-actuated revolving cylinder magazine, and a folding stock. The weapon has a fire selector safety switch just above the rear pistol grip which can be operated from either side. The launcher cannot be accidentally discharged if dropped.

A South African soldier equipped with a Milkor Y2 MKI MGL. Variants have been in South African Army service since 1983

The launcher is loaded by releasing the cylinder axis pin and swinging the steel frame away from the cylinder. The rear of the cylinder (including the pistol grip) is unlatched and pivoted counter-clockwise to expose the chambers during reloading. By inserting the fingers into the empty chambers and rotating the aluminium cylinder it is then wound against its driving spring. The grenades are then inserted into the chambers, one-by-one (because the cylinder cannot be removed), the frame closed, and the axis pin re-engaged to lock. When the trigger is pressed a double-action takes place and the firing pin is cocked and released to fire the grenade. Gas pressure on a piston unlocks the cylinder and allows the spring to rotate it until the next chamber is aligned with the firing pin, whereupon the next round can be fired. If a misfire occurs the trigger can be pulled repeatedly.


Some models of the MGL are equipped with the Armson Occluded Eye Gunsight (OEG), a blind collimator sight which provides a single aiming dot. The shooter aims with both eyes open and the effect is to see the aiming spot superimposed on the target, both target and aiming dot being in sharp focus. The launcher is also fitted with an artificial boresight which can be used to zero the sight. The OEG sight includes a tritium radio-luminous lamp which provides the spot contrast and which has a life of approximately 10 years. The Armson sight was designed to be used to determine the range to the target and instantly adjusted. It enables the user to increase the hit probability at ranges up to 375 m. The range quadrant is graduated in 25 m increments and aim is automatically compensated for drift.


Each MGL is supplied with a sling, a cleaning kit and a user's manual.


Loading 40 mm grenades into the launcher.
A Video of U.S. Marines training with the M32A1

Several upgrades were made to the original design in the last decade. After over 12 years of production and more than a decade of user feedback from different countries around the world it became evident that a redesign of some component groups would make the weapon even more user-friendly and reliable, while at the same time simplifying maintenance. This development, known as the MGL Mk 1 was introduced to the market in 1996. All weapons previously supplied can be upgraded to the Mk 1 configuration. Parts, such as the steel barrel, are interchangeable with a minimum of workshop modifications involving a few special tools and cutting dies.

Two "product improved" variants were introduced in 2004. The first is the Mk 1S, which replaces the aluminum frame of the Mk 1 with a stronger stainless steel body, a conventional trigger unit, and Picatinny rail support at the top, sides and bottom of the forend. The second variant is the Mk 1L, also known as the MGL-140 because of its 140mm cylinder, with the same features as the Mk 1S, but with a 140 mm (5.5 in) long cylinder to fit special-purpose grenades such as tear gas canisters and less-lethal impact rounds that are too long to fit in the other models' shorter cylinder. The MGL-140/Mk 1L also features a sliding buttstock.[3]

In 2005 the U.S. Marine Corps procured 200 US-made (Milkor USA, Inc.) MGL-140s, designating it the "M32 Multiple shot Grenade Launcher" (M32 MGL, or M32 MSGL). They were initially field tested in 2006. The US Marine Corps M32 version is equipped with the M2A1 reflex sight.[4] It is a "AAA" battery–powered sight with infra-red settings for night operations. It has Picatinny rail attachment and elevation adjusts in 25 meter increments and compensates for drift.[5]

Mark 14 MOD 0: a variant developed by Milkor USA, Inc. for USSOCOM. Compared to the M32, the Mk14 features a shorter barrel (8 inches instead of 12). The Mk 14 weighs the same as the M32. Its receiver, stock and other parts of the weapon were made stronger in anticipation for “medium velocity” round sought by USSOCOM.[6] It is important to note that Milkor Pty, South Africa is not connected to Milkor USA, Inc. in any way currently. While these companies share a history, there is no business connections between the two companies. Also, of note many of the photos used on this page are of the US Made 40mm MSGL's that belong to Milkor USA, Inc.

In 2006 the Milkor 37/38mm Multiple Anti-Riot (MAR) replaced the Milkor 40mm Less-Lethal Yima. The MAR is a lightweight shoulder fired 6-shot launcher, adapted to fire the standard 37/38mm less lethal riot control rounds available today.[3]

The Milkor 40mm SuperSix MRGL was developed in 2012 and features a new recoil reduction system, redesigned stock, strengthened construction and new optics.[7] The SuperSix MRGL is capable of firing a wide range of standard (LV) and medium velocity (MV) munitions, which enables the user to engage a wider range of targets than possible with previous launchers and its range reaches a distance of 800 to 1 200 metres.[8] Rounds can be fired in rapid succession of 6 rounds in less than 3 seconds (operator dependant) and has a standard 6-shot area coverage of at least 20m x 60m.[9]


See also


  1. ^ "Milkor South Africa - Company Profile". MILKOR. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  2. ^ a b "MKEK - Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b ", Milkor MGL Mk.1 40mm grenade launcher". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  4. ^ John Pike. ", Home :: Military :: Systems :: Ground :: Small Arms :: Grenade Launcher : - M32 Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher Mk 14 Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Acoratex, M2A1 Reflex Sight, page 17
  6. ^ Use of multi-shot grenade launchers to grow, 3 February 2009.
  7. ^ "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Guy Martin. "Milkor showcasing new products". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ "Grenade Launcher MGL" (in Spanish). Indumil. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  13. ^ a b c d Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  14. ^ "Metallic d.o.o Brochure". Metallic d.o.o. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  15. ^ "Armament of the Georgian Army". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Multi Grenade Launcher 40 mm". Ordnance Factory Board. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ IBP USA (2007). Malaysia Army Weapon Systems Handbook. Int'l Business Publication. pp. 71–73.  
  19. ^ "MGL". 
  20. ^ "home". 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ [3]
  23. ^ "Turkey Army Turkish Land Forces modern military equipment armoured vehicle . Equipements vhicules b - Army Recognition". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "SLAHLAR". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Marines Get New Six-Shot 40mm Grenade Launcher: Meet the M32 MGL". Defense Review. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  27. ^ "Viện Vũ khí thuộc Tổng cục Công nghiệp Quốc phòng Việt Nam đã chế tạo thành công súng phòng lựu cỡ 40mm" (in Vietnamese). Dat Viet. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 

External links

  • Milkor (Pty) Ltd
  • Martin Electronics, Inc. – 40 mm ammunition
  • M433 40 mm HEDP grenade specs
  • The Infantry's Explosive Punch (Asian Military Review article)

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