Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024) Special Forces
Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

M67 Recoilless Rifle

Portable Anti-Infantry / Anti-Armor Weapon [ 1963 ]

Despite its entry of service in the early 1960s, the M67 Recoilless Rifle has managed a healthily long service tenure and is still being encountered today.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/27/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The recoilless rifle became a prominent battlefield anti-tank weapon during the 1950s and 1960s as enemy tank armor (primarily Soviet in nature) became increasingly effective. In the U.S. Army, the recoilless rifle followed the storied Bazooka series of World War 2 (1939-1945) and encompassed such designs as the M67. The recoilless rifle received its name from its action which reduced recoil effects of the exiting projectile by expelling some of the resultant propellant gases out of the rear of a launch tube. Today's best modern interpretation of such a weapon is the Swedish M2 Carl Gustav 84mm. Comparable weapons of the period included the famous Soviet RPG-7.

The M67 was born from design work in the 1960s and entered service in time to see combat action in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). The weapon system was essentially composed of a long, Bazooka-like launch tube with integrated sighting device (telescopic with stadia line rangefinding) and grip-handle trigger area. Due to its "recoilless" design, no complex recoil arrangement was needed which simplified both general operation and serial production of the weapon. A hinged assembly at the rear of the tube allowed access to the breech for reloading. Projectiles were 90mm in caliber was originally intended for anti-armor work but soon found to have value in tackling fortifications. An anti-personnel round also allowed for engagement of dug-in enemy troops at range. A standard M67 operating crew numbered three and a bipod and monopod support pairing was provided along the weapon's length. A heatshield served to protect the primary firer from the heat being generated by the launch tube during firing. Overall system weight was 38 lb with an overall length of 53 inches.

The 90mm projectile was issued as a single-piece munition and its spent shell casing was ejected from the rear of the launch tube after firing. Reloads were dependent upon existing in-the-field stocks. Rate-of-fire was one round-per-minute with five rounds-per-minute made possible under extreme circumstances. Maximum engagement ranges reached 2,300 yards. M371 designated practice projectiles while the M371A1 HEAT was the primary "High-Explosive, Anti-Tank", shaped-charge projectile. M590 served as the anti-infantry flechette round.

Despite its relative effectiveness on the battlefield, the M67 proved a cumbersome weapon being both long and heavy. Three crew had to be committed to the system for efficient function. As such, troopers generally favored their old, improved Bazooka forms (primarily the M20) which were far more portable and achieved similar results against infantry with its 60mm rocket projectile. Additionally, the M67's action resulted in a considerable (and dangerous) amount of back-blast which could end up endangering crewmembers or allied forces nearby. Despite this, the weapon maintained a battlefield role for decades after its adoption. It managed a frontline U.S. military presence into the mid-1970s though many were held in reserve or storage and still operated by specialist forces. From this point on, the M47 "Dragon" and Hughes TOW anti-tank missile systems took over the portable anti-armor role.

Beyond actions in the Vietnam War, the M67 saw use in the Salvadorian Civil War (1979-1992) where the U.S. supported the Salvadorian government. With the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the need for a portable anti-fortification/anti-personnel weapon became apparent once more and existing stocks of M67s were brought back in force, serving elements such as the storied 101st Airborne. M67 service continues today (2015) nearly 50 years since introduction of the weapon. Amazingly, as an anti-armor weapon, there is little information regarding its use or effectiveness again enemy tanks.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


State Factories - USA
Afghanistan; El Salvador; Philippines; South Korea; South Vietnam; United States; Vietnam
Operators National flag of Afghanistan National flag of the Philippines National flag of South Korea National flag of the United States National flag of Vietnam
Service Year
United States
National Origin

Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.

1,345 mm
(52.95 inches)
Overall Length
1,345 mm
(52.95 inches)
Barrel Length
37.48 lb
(17.00 kg)
Empty Weight
Recoilless; Reusable Launch Tube
May not represent an exhuastive list; Calibers may be model-specific dependent; Always consult official manufacturer sources.
Single-Shot; Reusable Launcher
Integrated Telescopic.

Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information.

5,576 feet
(1,700 meters | 1,859 yards)
Max Effective Range
215 ft/sec
(66 m/sec)
Muzzle Velocity

M67 - Base Series Designation

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon representing special forces
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


1 / 1
Image of the M67 Recoilless Rifle
Image from the United States Army image archives.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)