RPG-7 Rocket Launcher
The RPG-7 (CHICOM Type-69) is a muzzle loaded, shoulder fired antitank grenade launcher. The VC and NVA used the RPG7V, a Soviet produced short-range, anti-Armour, rocket-propelled grenade, from 1967 against armored vehicles, defensive positions, personnel and even helicopters.
This smoothbore, recoilless weapon consists of a launcher tube fitted with a simple iron sight or a more sophisticated telescopic range-finding sight, and a HEAT rocket grenade projectile with a caliber of 40mm. The RPG-7 has an effective range of 300 meters against moving targets and up to 500 meters against stationary targets.
The projectile explodes either on impact or at its maximum range of 920 meters.
A Polish soldier with a RPG-2 launcher.
The RPG-2 (Russian: РПГ-2, Ручной противотанковый гранатомёт, Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot), and its predecessor the RPG-1 (the German Panzerfaust), were man-portable, shoulder-launched rocket propelled grenade weapons. The chief attributes of the RPG-2 were robustness, simplicity, and low cost. However its short range and inaccuracy led to its eventual replacement by the more effective RPG-7. Widely distributed to allies of the Soviet Union, it was also produced under license by other countries, including China and North Vietnam. Widely used against the U.S. military in the Vietnam War, its Vietnamese variants were called the B40 and B50.
Developed in 1947 and first delivered to the Soviet Army in 1949, the RPG-2 was deployed at a squad level. Although the RPG-2 could be operated by one man, standard military practice called for a two-man crew: a grenadier carrying the launcher and a purpose-built backpack containing three grenades and an assistant armed with a rifle and carrying another three-grenade backpack.
A cutaway of a PG-2 rocket grenade.
The RPG-2 rocket launcher is a simple 40 millimeter steel tube into which the PG-2 82 mm diameter rocket propelled grenade is fitted. The center section of the tube has a thin wooden covering to protect the user from the heat generated by a rocket launch. The wooden covering also makes using the weapon in extereme cold conditions easier.
Only one type of grenade, the PG-2 HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank), was used in the RPG-2. The propellant was in a cardboard case that had to be attached to the grenade before loading. Once attached to the propellant charge the grenade was inserted into the smoothbore launcher from the front.
To fire the RPG-2 the grenadier cocked an external hammer with his thumb, aimed, and pulled the trigger to fire. Upon launch six stabilizer fins unfolded from the grenade.
The weapon was accurate against stationary targets only up to 150 meters and against moving targets at ranges of less than 100 meters. It had a muzzle velocity of 84 meters per second and could penetrate armor of up to 180 millimeters (7.17 inches) in thickness.