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Anti-Tank Rifle Grenade (ATRG) [ 1950 ]

The ENERGA anti-tank rifle grenade was of Belgian origination and adopted by several leading world powers of the period - including the United States and United Kingdom.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/26/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

With the arrival of the tank on World War 1 (1914-1918) battlefields, there proved a need to develop portable armor counters beyond traditional land mines and artillery pieces. Anti-tank rifles were the beginning and these were soon joined by rifle-launched grenades also intended for the anti-tank role. World War 2 (1939-1945) saw widespread use of rifle grenades and several anti-tank models were featured in the conflict (including anti-personnel forms). During the post-war years, with war against the Soviet Union (with their large fleet of heavily-armored tanks) a very real possibility across Europe, the "ENERGA" Anti-Tank Rifle Grenade emerged from Belgium. Its design was attributed to Edgar Brandt, the same French engineer responsible for the famous line of Brandt infantry mortars which were widely adopted and copied the world over. Production was handled by Mecar SA and service entry was during the early 1950s. The weapon was adopted by several foreign military powers including the United States and Great Britain.

The ENERGA rifle grenade was given a missile-style form with a conical warhead, rounded, tapering body, cylindrical tail section and finned tail arrangement. The fins added the needed stability during the grenade's flight path. The warhead filling consisted of 314 grams of Pentaerythritol Teranitrate - otherwise abbreviated as "PETN" - which gave the grenade considerable explosive power. Penetration of armor was rated up to nearly 8 inches thick - though environmental factors and angle of attack were key considerations. Overall weight reached 765 grams and the grenade featured a length of 425mm with a diameter of 75mm. Effective range was approximately 100 meters.

Such anti-tank weapons were not strictly limited to armor-defeating use for their penetration values and damage capabilities proved capable of engaging fortified structures as well - suitable for tackling dug-in foes under concrete protection. Beyond the standard ENERGA grenade form there was the "Super ENERGA" which added a small rocket booster element, increasing engagement ranges and penetration values.

In the U.S. Army inventory, the Belgian ENERGA became the "M28" and these were in action during the Korean War (1950-1953) when it was discovered that World War 2-era anti-tank rifle grenades then in service proved lacking against stouter Soviet-originated tank armor used by the North Koreans and China. Similarly, the weapon was adopted by the British Army under the designation of "Projector No. 4, Rifle, Mk V". South Africa produced a localized, slightly modified ENERGA form as the "R1M1" under the Denel brand label. These featured the same penetration value as the Super ENERGA but held a much lower effective range of just 75 meters (as opposed to 200 meters). For the Americans, the M28 was succeeded by the M31 HEAT rifle grenade. Anti-tank rifle grenades like the ENERGA were largely superseded by more potent, man-portable, shoulder-fired weapons like the disposable M72 LAW or reusable 84mm "Carl Gustav" which could engage both armor and fortifications with greater power. These weapons did, however, require line-of-sight fire.

The ENERGA name stemmed from the Liechtenstein design concern of "Anstalt fur die ENtwicklung von ERfindungen und Gewerblichen Anwendungen".©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Belgium national flag graphic


Anti-Tank Rifle Grenade (ATRG)

National flag of Bangladesh National flag of Belgium National flag of India National flag of South Africa National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States Bangladesh; Belgium; India; South Africa; United Kingdom; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Anti-Armor / Anti-Tank / Anti-Material
Designed to engage and defeat armor / enemy tanks at range.

Overall Length
425 mm
16.73 in
Barrel Length
425 mm
16.73 in
Empty Wgt
1.69 lb
0.77 kg



Single-Use; Impact Detonated

(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

Cartridge relative size chart
*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.
Max Eff.Range
656 ft
(200 m | 219 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
246 ft/sec
(75 m/sec)

ENERGA - Base Series Name; 200mm armor penetration with 100 meter effective range and 300 meter maximum range.
"Super ENERGA" - Rocket-boosted variant; 275mm armor penetration with 200 meter effective range and 550 meter maximum range.
R1M1 - South African Variant; production by Denel; 720g weight with 275mm penetration, 75 meter effective range and 375 meter maximum range.
Projector No.4, Rifle, Mark V - British Army Designation
M28 - U.S. Army Designation
M29 TP ("Training Practice") - U.S. Army training version of the M28.

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