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Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)

Multirole, Shoulder-Fired Recoilless Rifle

Sweden | 1948

"The Carl-Gustav 84mm recoiless rifle design is a popular and widely used multi-purpose weapons platform appearing with various military groups across the globe."

Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
787 ft/sec
240 m/sec
Muzzle Velocity
The physical qualities of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
1,130 mm
44.49 in
O/A Length
1,130 mm
44.49 in
Barrel Length
18.74 lb
8.50 kg
Hinged Breech; Percussion Firing Mechanism
84x246mm R
Single-Shot; Reusable Launch Tube
Iron Sights; 3x Optical.
Notable series variants as part of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948) Multirole, Shoulder-Fired Recoilless Rifle family line.
M1 - Production beginning 1946; entered Swedish Army service in 1948.
M2 - Appeared in 1964; "improved" M1 model.
M3 - Appeared in 1991; reduced overall weight; alloy/plastic construction replacing steel components; reinforced outer sleeve.
M3 MAAWS - US Special Forces Designation of Carl Gustav M3 model.
Panzerfaust Carl Gustaf / Leuchtbuchse 84mm - German designation.
Sumitomo FT-84 - Japanese license-production Carl Gustav designation.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/10/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The global reach of the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle emphasizes the popularity of the weapon, appearing in three major variants and in use by standard military and special forces alike for some sixty years. The system has been noted from the start for its accuracy, impressive range and firepower since appearing with the Swedish Army in 1948. The system earned its distinct name from the production facility from whence the initial rifles were produced - Carl Gustafs Stads Gevarsfaktori in Sweden - a facility now owned by Bofors.

When introduced, the Carl Gustav was similar in most respects to weapons such as the American Bazooka, British PIAT or German Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons. The Carl Gustav was a recoilless rifle design featuring a rifled barrel which instantly differentiated itself from its contemporaries. The rifled barrel allowed for stabilization of the ammunition to occur through the barrel, negating the need for spring-loaded fins to be used once the projectile reached flight (a popular feature in other systems). This operation allowed the Carl Gustav's projectile greater range and firepower and quickly made it a favorite amongst its users.

Since its inception, the Carl Gustav went on to become a pivotal offensive arm of military forces around the globe (even seeing license-production in Japan with Sumitomo). The M1 appeared in 1948 and was followed by the improved Carl Gustav M2 in 1964. The M3 followed decades later in 1991 and featured a host of improvements, chief among these being a reduction in overall weight in part to the replacement of internal steel components. The Carl Gustav remains in operational service in its varied forms and is a particular favorite with special forces groups including the United States Special Operations COMmand (USSOCOM) units.

The rifle can fire all types of ammunition beyond its primary anti-armor projectiles and include illumination, anti-structure, smoke, practice and anti-personnel (flechette) projectiles. A crew of two is required for optimal service though the simplicity of the system allows for a single operator/firer at the cost of rate of fire. Optical, laser rangefinder and image intensification sights (along with the standard iron sights) can be mounted and greatly improve the weapon for a variety of specialty roles as needed. Ammunition is reloaded through a hinged breech on the side of the tube. The basic main tube features a pistol grip, a forward grip, shoulder strap and optional bipod along with standard iron sights.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Bofors Anti-Armor AB, Saab Bofors Dynamics - Sweden / Sumitomo Heavy Industries - Japan
National flag of Australia National flag of Austria National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of Chile National flag of Czechia National flag of Denmark National flag of Estonia National flag of modern Germany National flag of Greece National flag of India National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iraq National flag of Ireland National flag of Israel National flag of modern Japan National flag of Jordan National flag of Lithuania National flag of Malaysia National flag of Myanmar National flag of the Netherlands National flag of New Zealand National flag of Norway National flag of Peru National flag of Poland National flag of Portugal National flag of Singapore National flag of South Korea National flag of Sweden National flag of Thailand National flag of Turkey National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States National flag of Zambia

[ Australia; Austria; Brazil; Botswana; Cambodia; Canada; Chile; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; Denmark; Estonia; Germany; Greece; India; Indonesia; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Lithuania; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Singapore; South Korea; Sweden; Thailand; Turkey; United Kingdom; Zambia; United States ]
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
Close-up detail view of an unattended Carl Guztav anti-tank recoiless rifle
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
Side profile view of a soldier firing off a Carl Gustav recoiless rifle
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
Braylon Edwards of the Cleveland Browns (dont ask) handles a Carl Gustav recoiless rifle
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
A soldier prepared to fire his Carl Gustav recoiless rifle
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
Close-up detail view of the launcher front and optics system of the Carl Gustav recoiless rifle
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
An unloaded Carl Gustav recoiless rifle; note rifling within
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
An empty Carl Gustav recoiless rifle held by a soldier; note internal rifling and optics
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
Rear view of a Carl Gustav recoiless rifle
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Image of the Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
Side view of a Carl Gustav recoiless rifle being readied by a soldier; note foreground soldier lobbing grenade

Going Further...
The Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948) Multirole, Shoulder-Fired Recoilless Rifle appears in the following collections:
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