MANUFACTURER(S): Defcom LLC - USA
ACTION: Breech-Loading; Double-Action
SIGHTS: Flip-Up Type Iron.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Defcom XL79 Composite Single-Shot 40mm Grenade Launcher.
Entry last updated on 5/3/2019.
Authored by Dan Alex. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The XL79 Composite is a modernized form of the Vietnam War-era M79 single-shot grenade launcher. The M79 gave good service for its time, replacing the rifle grenade common to World War 2 American infantry. The system was designed as a rifle-style component with a break-action breech to house a single 40x46mm grenade projectile which provided the operator with direct and in-direct fire in support of allied actions. However, such a system precluded use of a serviceable secondary weapon, operators often times relegated to carrying a simple sidearm or combat knife. While the XL79 continues the trend, it brings about the concept of the M79 in an all-modern lightweight polymer body for ease of handling and transport. Compared to the original M79, the XL79 is some 50% lighter while firing the same 40mm low-velocity grenade common to the US military and forces all over the world. The XL79 is the product of Defcom LLC, a firm operating out of Commerce, Michigan, USA.
The Xl79 takes on a conventional shape sporting a rounded barrel assembly hinged to open forward and expose the breech. Loading and reloading is done in the conventional way by insertion of the 40mm grenade into the open breech. The system is then closed and made ready to fire as normal with the trigger of a double-action type featuring a safety mechanism. The barrel is attached to a small-area receiver managing a most compact form. The receiver features an integral pistol grip with trigger unit, the loop large enough for use by a gloved hand. A detachable flip-up type iron sight (ranged out to 425 meters) is fitted near the muzzle and folded down when not in use. This is coupled with a front iron sight as well for accurized fire at range. The weapon also sports an included skeletal shoulder stock which folds over the right side of the body. When collapsed, the XL79 becomes a highly compact weapon - a feature lacking in the original M79 series. Accessories rails are present along the top and front underside of the barrel to increase the weapon's tactical usefulness in the field. Twin sling swivels allow for a shoulder strap to be fitted.
Compared to the original M79, the XL79 is of a much lighter overall design reducing fatigue and improving transport efficiency. Overall weight is 3.1lbs (compared to the M79's 6.45lb mass). With the stock open, the weapon measures 24.75 inches against the M79's 28.75 inch running length. However, the collapsing nature of the XL79 improves portability to 16 inches while managing an 8 inch barrel (the M79 uses a 14 inch barrel length). The XL79 also featured far fewer moving parts and is designed to the specific US military and NATO criteria regarding barrel rifling, accessories support (via the included rail sections) and use of low-velocity 40mm grenades.
Defcom LLC markets the XL79 in three tactical finishes: matte black, matte desert sand and matte woodland green.