Staff Writer (Updated: 10/26/2015):
The GM-94 is arranged as a conventional firearm with a standalone pistol grip with trigger unit, shoulder stock, receiver, barrel and magazine. The trigger ring is large enough to allow for a gloved hand to be used. The weapon's overall arrangement follows that of a conventional pump-action shotgun in that the barrel is mated to a tubular magazine holding the grenade projectiles. However, the AN-94 features the magazine over the barrel (as opposed to under) with loading of the weapon managed through a hinged gate found at the top of the receiver (again, as opposed to under). Up to three 43mm projectiles can be stored in the magazine with a fourth projectile made "ready-to-fire" in the chamber below. The GM-94 is fielded with a basic steel skeletal shoulder stock that conveniently folds over the receiver for a more compact form when traveling or when forced to action in confined spaces. The folded shoulder stock also doubles as an ad hoc carrying handle when on the march. The barrel is surrounded by a noticeably ribbed casing which provides the forward horizontal grip position while acting as the needed pump-action slide facility. Sighting is through standard fittings across the top of the receiver with a flip-type rear. The weapon weighs in at 4.8 kilograms and, with a full four-round load, 5.8 kilograms. It is finished in an overall non-reflective black coating.
In practice, the GM-94 is a very portable, lightweight system affording its operator an effective engagement range of 300 meters and maximum engagement range out to 500 meters. Base grenades project a lethal kill radius of 3 meters which safeguards the operator, especially in confined spaces, where the GM-94 allows engagement of a target or area from as little as 10 meters away. The weapon has proven very robust to date and can be fired from wet or dry conditions. Additionally, the availability of various grenade types allows the launcher to be utilized by military and law enforcement elements, the latter by way of tear gas rounds, bean bag slugs and other "less-than-lethal" projectiles. For military service, various grenade types are available which provide tactical flexibility against all manner of targets - personnel in close-quarters, dug-in foes and even lightly armored vehicles. However, the system does showcase some detractions including its rather cumbersome size which precludes the operator from having his primary weapon trained at the same time (compared to an underslung launcher fitting). Additionally, there is a considerable amount of recoil noted in the action during firing especially when compared to the smaller 40mm launcher types favored by the West.