During the Cold War decades, the automatic grenade launcher became a viable battlefield weapon system, replacing past reliance on rifle-launched grenade projectiles or squad-level field mortars. While most of the classic designs emerged from Milkor of South Africa, a few were also born in the Soviet Union and the United States. For the latter, one of the products became the Hawk MM-1 developed by Hawk Engineering Company. It was chambered for 40x46mm grenade projectiles, fired from a semi-automatic action, and fed from a 12-round rotating drum arrangement. The type is believed to have seen some military service with a few African forces and is rumored to have been operated by American special forces for a time.
The technical categorization of weapons such as the MM-1 is "Multiple Grenade Launcher" (MGL) due to their voluminous, repeat-fire nature as well as their relative portability. In the hands of an infantryman, such a weapon would replace a primary service rifle due to weight and size of the ammunition in use. Nevertheless, the lethality and firepower inherent in the MGL weapon system is a welcomed sight on modern battlefields where grenadiers can destroy light fortifications and vehicles, provide suppression fire, or dislodge dug-in enemy forces at range. Effective range (to a point target) for the MIM-1 was listed at 500 feet with a target area engagement range out to 1,150 feet. Chambered for the 40x46mm grenade - the same as featured in the Vietnam War-era M79 and the underslung M203 - the MM-1 could accept other grenade projectile rounds of the same caliber beyond the standard High-Explosive (HE) variety. Indeed, the weapon's roots were laid in a riot control tear gas-dispensing weapon of World War 2 vintage and not so much a weapon of war. The MM-1 was given some rifle-like qualities, particularly the stand-alone pistol grip at rear and the foregrip ahead of the cylinder.
Internally, the MM-1 was given a clockwork spring mechanism which was manually wound up during the reloading process. The weapon was of a break-action arrangement and opened at the rear to expose the awaiting cylinder chambers. The weapon's semi-automatic action was used to rotate the cylinder (to present a grenade projectile to the striker) when firing. The lengthy reloading process, coupled to the weapon's cumbersome nature, made it a limited-value system for many frontline armies of the day. Many powers elected to coupled a single-shot grenade launcher as an under-barrel installment with their existing assault rifles (as in the M203 with M16 assault rifle).
Brazil; Egypt; El Salvador; South Africa; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.
635 mm 25.00 in
12.57 lb 5.70 kg
Semi-Automatic; Revolving Cylinder
One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moved bolt.
(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)
Rounds / Feed
12-Round Rotating Drum Magazine
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources. **Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
740 ft (226 m | 247 yd)
MM-1 - Base Series Designation
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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.
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, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.