Wiki, List) is an iconic weapon and is a close relative of the Bazooka.
Propellant Burn Rate
A fast burning propellant will be used up by the time the rocket leaves the launch tube so there's not a problem for the shooter. The Bazooka designers went to a lot of trouble to get a reliable very fast burning propellant for just this reason. The Panzerfaust (Wiki, Ref 1, Ref 4, Ref 13, Ref 14) also used a fast burning propellant. The YouTube: Firing A Panzerfaust, 3:05, shows the shooter dropping the just fired empty tube because it's very hot. Hence the wood on the RPG-7 launcher. The Panzerfaust has a one time use launching tube. Note that rockets with fast burning propellant are guided during the burn and leave the launch tube at high velocity where the rear fins will work.
Slow burning propellants require some way to protect the shooter from getting a face full of flames. The German Panzerschreck (Wiki) 1943 - 1945, used a conventional slow burning rocket propellant and protected the soldier with a metal shield with a sighting window. The MB Associates GyroJet has a slow burning propellant and can singe the hand of the person holding the pistol.
See Rocket Stability.
Launch Bore Diameter v. HEAT DiameterA big problem with the original M1A1 Bazooka was that the diameter of the explosive needed to fit into the 2.36" (60mm) tube since the round is loaded at the rear and comes out of the front of the tube. It turns out that was too small so the next generation Bazooka, the M20, had a 3.5" (89mm) tube. This was an improvement, but the projectile still needed to fit into the tube.
A way around the bore diameter limitation is to have the shaped charge outside and in front of the launch tube, i.e. front loading. The Panzerfaust pioneered this and the Russian designers of the RPG series weapons copied it.
Launch Tube increases Back PressureThe Folding Fin Aircraft Rocket (Wiki: FFAR) has folding fins because it's launched from a tube and by folding the fins more tubes can be fitted into a pod. Firing a rocket from a tube gives more muzzle velocity than firing the same rocket from a zero length launch rail or a rod. So for shoulder fired missiles using a tube has an rocket performance advantage, i.e. there is more pressure in the tube. See Rocket Launchers (Tube v. Rail).
RPG has been mistakenly translated into Rocket Propelled Grenade. This is true for the RPG-7, but the actual Russian words translate into " Handheld Antitank Grenade Launcher" (Ref 8). Note "Rocket" is not part of the name! This has caused a lot of misunderstanding.
The RPG-1 (Wiki) 30mm tube led to the RPG-2 (Wiki) 40mm tube which was much improved over the U.S. Bazookas in many ways. It's interesting that the tube inside diameter is 40mm. The RPG-2 has neither an expansion chamber nor a rear trumpet. It has a single hand grip. A literal translation of the Russian name is "Handheld Antitank Grenade Launcher". Notice the word rocket is not present and that's the case even though the letters are RPG, there is no "rocket" involved. It is really a recoilless rifle. In Ref 7 which shows slow motion of both the RPG-2 and RPG-7 firing you do not see any rocket, just the initial black powder blast, for the RPG-2, But the RPG-7 firing shows both the black powder launch and later down range the rocket. Note the PRG-7 has a much flatter trajectory. The RPG-2 is more like a mortar (Wiki).
Note male threads at rear to attach propelling black powder charge. See Fig 8T below for the RPG-7 projectile which may use the same threads?
Note there is no rocket nozzle at the back end.
Note there is no rocket nozzle. The body is called a "stabilizer tube"
There are numerous YouTube videos and web pages saying the RPG-2 is a rocket propelled grenade, but I don't think that's the case. If you have a de-mil RPG-2 round that I can study let me know.
This is a real RPG-7v that has been demiled by cutting a hole in the tube (hidden under the wood) and welding a rod (at the location of the firing pin) that prevents installing a rocket.
Introduced in 1961 and over nine million made since. Hence it's iconic status.
The "V" in RPG-7V means it has the mount for optical, IR or passive night vision. This RPG-7V does not have the letter "N" so the mount for a 1PN51 or other Night vision sight is not present. The launcher contains neither battery nor compressed gas so is reusable without needing external supplies. The firing mechanism is similar to a firearm, i.e. hammer hits striker which hits primer on rocket.The front of the tube is 40mm (actually 39.9 mm) inside diameter going back 10". This section acts as a barrel to guide the rocket.
The expansion chamber is 2.3" ID for a length of 12". This is where the booster gas expands lowering the pressure.
At the back of the expansion chamber there's a restriction that's less than 40mm ID.
The rear to 40mm ID section that's 6" long that leads to the cone.
The rear trumpet cone is about 6" long with a mouth that's 3.25" ID. I think the purpose is to make this a recoilless system (Wiki). Note if the tube was closed on the rear end there would be massive recoil (Wiki). also see Wiki: Rocket engine which is concerned with maximizing thrust which would help the RPG-7 counter recoil.
The flat flange is 4.5" OD.
AirTronic makes the PSRL-1 (Wiki) which is a made in America version of the RPG-7.
9733039 Debris control apparatus, Ryan Mezynski, Mike Byars, Airtronic USA, 2017-08-15, -
adds hinged caps to front and rear tube openings.
There already are slip over front and rear caps.
It turns out that there is a green PGO-7 sight that looks like it should work, but the mounting rail is too small to fit the RPG-7v.
Source: Numrich Sarco
Instead of using a very fast burning propellant, like in the Bazooka, a booster charge is used to push the round from the tube and the rocket motor ignites after the round is 5 or 7 meters away.
See Figures 6, 7 & 8 below.
Some comments related to Ref 1 are about "windmilling". The idea that a cross wind pushes on the large tail fins turning the rocket into the wind. This is opposite to how wind effects bullets. Also note some missiles, like the Shrike, that have the fins at the center of mass would move sideways because of wind rather than turning like a missile with tail fins.
When the primer fires it lights the time delay fuse for the rocket motor and instantly sets off the explosive gas generator (probably black powder) that launches the rocket from the tube. The rocket motor must have a hollow core to allow gases to exit at the front end of the rocket through the angled nozzles.
See Ref 20 YouTube Cleaning and repair.
RPG-7 Cleaning Kit
This fits into the front of the barrel pretty much like the rocket body including a small pin to locate it in rotation (see Fig 2 below). It is for the PGO-7 since the iron sights are non adjustable.
The cross hairs are at the very front (see Fig 2 below) and at the back there is an "X" shaped peep hole (Fig 1 below). BUT . . . you can not get your eye behind the sight tool when it's installed in the RPG-7..
Fig 1 Has (+) shaped hole in back end.
Fig 2 Front end has locating pin for rotational alignment
At very front there are 4 notches, probably for cross hairs.
This probably would work for any RPG with a 40mm bore.
Note it is not seated because the DeMil rod welded at the firing pin location prevents a rocket or sight tool from fully seating.
Night Vision Sights: Floodlight IR NSP-2 or PGN-1 Starlight
YouTube: RPG 7: Zeroing, (Ref 19) - method 1: make cross hairs on both ends of tube when these are aligned with a target at 130m the top, by itself, cross should point to the same target.
Fig 1 Packing leaves something to be desired
Fig 1 Maybe a PGO-7 but does not fit RPG-7
Sight mounting rail too small.
Fig 2 The front sling swivel and rear cone lip punctured the box.
Fig 2 Maybe a PGO-7 but does not fit RPG-7
Sight mounting rail too small.
Fig 3 Right side
Fig 3 Maybe a PGO-7 but does not fit RPG-7
Sight mounting rail too small.
Fig 4 Left Side
Fig 10 PGO-7B kit
Fig 5 Close up of markings and Dovetail (Wiki) optical sight mount
Fig 12 missing cold weather extension cable.
Fig 13 Use "+" for >0 deg C and "-"for colder.
Fig 8 Nose cone w/trigger, shaped charge, rocket motor, rocket body, tail fin/booster charge. max dia 85mm (3.35")
Note the olive drab rocket body has a male thread at the rear that attaches to the propulsion charge.
The hole in the rocket male threads is to allow fire to ignite the time delay.
The rocket nozzles are at the front of the rocket tube and are angled out.
Fig 8T showing threads between rocket and propulsion charge
Fig 9 with Sling
Fig 16 Cold weather battery extension cable
Fig 10 Sling hook makes good tool to remove trigger group.
Flat to press pin down, tip of "J" to pry pin up.
Fig 17 Zero is "+" at top center.
Fig 11 Trigger Group - Safety shown in FIRE position.
Fig 12 Left Side: with PGO-7 optical sight, sling & rocket
Fig 13 Right Side
Fig 14 Six nozzle Rocket body with safety cap that covers primer &
Green Shipping Tube for explosive charge that pushes rocket out of tube
Green Small Unknown function shipping tube - Let Me Know what it's for.
Fig 15 Front sight - looks wrong, nuts should be tight on both sides of post.
8297193 Surrogate RPG, Vencore (Foster Miller), 2012-10-30, - for testing RPG defeat technologies
2409427 Equilibrated rocket shell, Fonberg Zygmunt, App: 1943-07-01, W.W.II, Pub: 1946-10-15, - "It is known that up to now rocket shells have been very inaccurate if the action of propulsion has been maintained after the shell has left the slide or barrel which has directed the shell's initial movement. The present arrangement of giving a rocket shell a rotative movement eliminates the above mentioned inconvenience. The shell's rotative movement can be produced by spades (blades/fins) K4 placed at a proper angle as Shown in Figure 1 and the initial direction can be given by a well known barrel (not shown) inside of which the shell moves. The shell has to be given sufficient propulsion and rotative movement while in said barrel to maintain its direction."
2412173 Projectile, Winslow B Pope, Sec of War, App: 1944-02-22, W.W.II, Pub: 1946-12-03, - "Various devices of the reaction propulsion or rocket type have been heretofore proposed, among which there is one type which embodies a tubular casing secured to the rearward end of the projectile proper for housing the propelling charge and having its trailing end contoured to provide an axially opening Venturi passage. In such a device, the gases flowing through the Venturi passage, due to uneven burning of the charge, or for other reasons, may flow slightly off center through the Venturi passage. Such off-center flow or shifting of the flow of gases from truly axial flow during the flight of the projectile will cause the projectile to deviate from a true predetermined course."
2421522 Rocket projector and projectile, Winslow B Pope, Sec of War, App: 1944-08-23, W.W.II, Pub: 1947-06-03, - rocket in recoiless gun tube - "It is the object of the present invention to provide a new and novel arrangement whereby a rocket projectile may first be set in fight by means other than its propelling charge and at a predetermined point in the flight, or distance from the objective, the propelling charge of the rocket projectile ignited with the result that the speed of travel of the projectile is increased, thus providing for greater striking force or range or both." - This is the RPG-7 idea.
When propellant (26) explodes it both pushes the rocket (39) out of the rifled barrel and hot gases exit the de Laval nozzle (Wiki) balancing recoil.
Note Goddard's 1913 patent 1102653 uses explosive disks (12) and the de Laval nozzle (11) where the length of the nozzle is at least three times its maximum diameter. He uses separate directed explosives to get the rocket spinning.
Way more complex than the RPG-2 or RPG-7, but pretty good for 1913.
2834255 Recoilless firearm and ammunition therefor, Musser C Walton, Army, 1958-05-13, - looks like a rocket in a rifled barrel.
3738219 Recoilless firearm and cartridge therefor, V Febres, 1973-06-12, - cited by 23 patents - and cites:
1380358 Non-recoil gun, Charles J Cooke, 1921-06-07, -
2405414 Recoilless gun mechanism, Carolus L Eksergian, App: 1944-04-05, W.W.II, Pub: 1946-08-06, - maybe the Garl Gustaf 8.4 cm (Wiki)?
2466714 Recoilless firearm and ammunition therefor, William J Kroeger, Musser Clarence Walton, 1949-04-12, - US M40 (Wiki) ?
2489747 Reduced recoil type gun, Burney Charles Dennistoun, App: 1944-09-01, W.W.II, Pub: 1949-11-29, -
2489748 Controlled pressure gun, Burney Charles Dennistoun, App: 1945-09-06, W.W.II, Pub: 1949-11-29, -
2515180 Shoulder gun of recoilless type, Maurice E Barker, App: 1945-12-05, W.W.II, Pub: 1950-07-18, - looks like shotgun with added "J" bend exhaust pipe.
2696760 Recoil compensating device, Musser Clarence Walton, App: 1946-07-13, W.W. II, Pub: 1954-12-14, -
2924149 Recoilless gun with reverse gas flow, Musser C Walton, 1960-02-09, -
2925014 Anti-recoil arms, Abramson Hugo, 1960-02-16, -
3026775 Recoilless rifle with a vena contracta orifice, Musser C Walton, 1962-03-27, -
3118376 Recoilless rifle ammunition, D. Bendersky, Army, 1964-01-21, - looks like mortar round
3128670 Flashless non-recoil gun and round, Blacker Latham Valenti Stewart, 1964-04-14, -
3380340 Recoil-free weapon, Bergman Johan Erik Herman, Haglund Nils Edvard, Foersvarets Fabriksverk, 1968-04-30, - Miniman (Wiki) ?
9068807 Rocket-propelled grenade, Toby D. Thomas, Richard L. Green, Jonathan H. Record, Robbie S. Strauch, David L. Hunn, Lockheed Martin, 2015-06-30, - this is in the form a 40mm grenade and could be fired from the M79, M203 &Etc.
Launchercites 32 patents for simulators, some for MILESCN100545572C/en The practice training set that is used for rocket launcher, FNUE, 2009-09-30, - looks like PRG-7 rocket
3916759 Rocket launcher, Navy, 1975-11-04, - has the look of a simple mortar
2972933 Missile hand launching system, General Dynamics, 1961-02-28, - looks like the RPG-7 (which was introduced in 1961, but the RPG-2 dates to 1947-1954).
Cites 11 patents:
194489 Improvement in revolving fire-arms, T. M. Wallis, 1877-08-21, - stock and long barrel add-ons for revolver
455279 Combined Carrying Box and Firing Chute for Rockets, P. Cunningham, 1891-06-30, -
1397698 Gun, Oscar V Payne, Auto Ordnance, 1921-11-22, - Thompson Sub Machine Gun
2095490 Rocket assembly, Joseph B Decker, 1937-10-12, - tube holds 3 sky rockets for signaling
2337145 Firearm, Albree George Norman, 1943-12-21, - uses electromagnet so trigger pull is smooth and light
2383471 Firing grip, Joseph M Colby, 1945-08-28, - do not recognize it
2435217 Firearm and stock structure therefor, Jr Cleves H Howell, 1948-02-03, - two pistol grips for M1 Grand (Wiki)
2496316 Rocket projector, Leslie A Skinner, Edward G Uhl, 1950-02-07, - M1A1 2.36" Bazooka - patent drawings
2568455 Rocket launcher, Frederick C Lindvall, Paul E Lloyd, Navy, 1951-09-18, - shipping case acts as launcher for 3 rockets
FR1029435 Apparatus for launching signal rockets and others, 1953-06-02, - a flare pistol that grips the flange at the base of a 10 Ga (?) flare, i.e. no barrel.
2742820 Contact and stop mechanism for launchers, Brown Robinson, Hugh E Metcalf, John F Brooks, Army, 1956-04-24, - for the M20 3.5" - patent drawing
Sensor20090226109 Low cost threat detection sensor, Michael Warren, Max Amon, Robert F. SANDH Jr., Lockheed Martin, 2013-09-03, - "... intended to detect and identify locations of incoming munitions fire such as RPGs, anti-tank missiles, and other such weapons..." "...detection of incoming munitions fire and, more particularly, to methods and devices for detecting incoming fuel-burning munitions such as rockets and missiles" Works by looking for Potassium spectral line(s). (NIST) uses narrow 770nm (yellow) filter.
M1A1 2.36" Bazooka
M20 3.5" Bazooka
M2 60mm Mortar
AN-M8 Pyrotechnic Flare Pistol & Gyrojet & Sedgley Mk IV & Mk 5
China Lake Patents: Proximity Fuzes, Sidewinder, Shrike, &Etc.
Hammerlli M150 Free Pistol
FN FAL ".308 Match" Rifle, AR15/M16/M4 parts table with optical sights, Ballistics info.
Daisy BB Rifle
Pop Guns & Water pistols
Radar Warning Receivers: Police Traffic Radar Warning Receivers, HARM, Flares, Chaff,
Survival Kit with M-186 Pocket Pen Gun flare launcher
Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum Revolver
IntroductionRef 2. RPG 7 (soviet), 13:16 -
2:23 Dummy Round
3:47 Safety Cap - Stories
5:00 "Not an OSHA approved weapon"
5:19 Surprise: heavier than expected
5:41 Removable Sight
5:48 Backup Iron Sights
6:32 Exception to 500m max range: self destruct safety timer at 950 yards (or 920 yards?).
8:22 cushion, Battery Container & illuminated reticle
9:05 Windage adjustment - View of reticle
9:30 Not complex, but efficient, functional & easy to use. RPG-7 is a gold standard for this
9:55 Mount optic
10:04 Paint - this particular RPG-7 from movie Black Hawk Down (Wiki, IMDB)
10:20 Training Rocket used 7.62x39 ball cartridge that fires through hole in front.
11:40 The Training Rocket is a Title 1 Firearm.
11:50 Blank 7.62x39 - test firing
12:56 ending comments
There are many interesting YouTube comments.
IntroductionRef 3. Tradoc Bulletin 3: Soviet RPG-7 Grenade Launcher, Nov 1976, 43 pgs (rpg-7.pdf) -
0:20 Launcher construction
1:00 Rocket two parts: Warhead & Starting Motor- Safety cap covers primer
3:14 Types of Rockets/Warheads
3:29 PG-7R Tandem used against tanks with reactive armor (Wiki)
3:54 Medium HEAT Warhead PG-7M
4:11 Updated 1989 HEAT PG-7L,
4:34 TBG-7V Thermobaric
4:44 OG-7 Shrapnel (all 40mm dia) no rocket motor, just the gas generator charge.
4:54 Prep Backpack
9:12 Backpack differences: 3 Rocket carrier or 2 Rocket & Cleaning Rod for Shooter, Spare parts bag,
11:23 Trigger Group
RPG-7 | The 60-year old enemy of the armour, 13:22 -
00:00 IntroductionRef 5. Soviet Weapons Systems of The Cold War (1960-1978) - RPG-2 - RPG-2 History, Development & Use (derived from Panzerfaust (Wiki) - RPG-2 Photos - RPG-2 ammo -
01:24 Historical background
02:11 Programme history: Panzerfaust, 1944: RPG-1, 1947: RPG-2, 1961: first RPG-7 delivery,
02:54 Main variants, local production models, clones, derivatives (RPG-7D, model TIP-57, ATGL-L, Type 69, PG-7, Sageg, Al-Nassira, MA-10, AG-7, Sinar, PSRL-1, B41, N-2, AGI 3x40)
04:03 Design 07:03 Specifications
07:32 PG-7V, PG-7VL, PG-7VR, OG-7V, TBG-7V rockets
08:37 Combat experiences
Ref 6. FM 100-2-3 The Soviet Army: Troops, Organization, and Equipment, June 1991, Army, 456 pages (fm100-2-3.pdf) - Antitank pg 283 -
Ref 7. YouTube: Vietnam War Weapons: RPG-2 & RPG-7 Film (1967), 19:06 - note the comments about the trajectory are consistent with the RPG-2 being a recoilless rifle and the RPG-7 being a rocket powered projectile.
@3:20 when the RPG-2 is fired in slow motion there is no rocket exhaust, i.e. it's a recoilless rifle, not really a RPG firing a round similar to a mortar. In fact it looks very much like a mortar where the propelling charge is in the space behind the warhead and the fins with the key difference being the rear end of the launch tube is open.Ref 8.
@10:22 RPG-7 - "rocket assisted" specifically mentioned and is visible. self destruct at 4 seconds.
Restoration of RPG 2 Vietnam War Rocket* Launcher, 14:45 - "RPG stands for Handheld Antitank Grenade Launcher and not rocket propelled grenade." There is no rocket on the RPG-2 because it's a recoilless rifle. @12:07 -how it works & the nameThe PRIG; An Anti Armour Weapon that Fired…Cookies!?, 8:36 - Projected Recoilless Improvised Grenade (PRIG)
Ref 8. Forgotten Weapons: M20 75mm Recoilless Rifle: When the Bazooka Just Won't Cut It, 10:58 - 75mm projectile,
Ref 10. MOBAT, WOMBAT, CONBAT | Anti-Tank Chats, 16:41 - history of reocilless guns (Wiki) - requires 5X the normal amount of propellant,
Ref 11. Cheap, Effective, Everywhere: The RPG-7 | Anti-Tank Chats, 20:56 -
0:00 IntroductionRef 12. Small Arms Review: Raffica Special - The RPG-7 System -
6:20 Features - 65mm expansion chamber
Ref 13. The Panzerfaust(s): From PzF 30 to 250, 17:45 -
Ref 14. Blood & Gold (IMDB, Netflix) has a scene where a woman reads the instruction label and fires one.
Bring Up The PIAT! - A Bridge Too Far Scene Analysis, 6:17 -RPG 7: OG 7V + storytime, 12:45 -
Ref 17. Makeshift Fire Extinguisher RPG Warheads In Ukraine, 6:24 -
Ref 18. Preston Stewart: US RPG (AirTronic PSRL-1),
Ref 19. RPG 7: ZEROING, 9:04 - all with target at 130 meters.
@0:0 Hand made Cross Hairs front & back method,Ref 20. RPG 7: Cleaning and repair, 7:23 - Firing first generation rocket.
@3:03 using the bore sight tool by looking from the back of the launcher,
@4:33 Making the adjustments to the PGO-7 sight - windage (Wiki),
@5:12 + and - Temperature on elevation knob,
@6:14 zeroing the elevation,
@6:51 Front iron sight has summer/winder offset like the PGO-7, use Kentucky Windage after first shot to correct for iron sights not being zeroed.
@1:19 Cleaning in the shower- WD-40 let it sit for a little bit . . .Ref 21. RPG 7 night vision (unboxing), 7:18 - 1NH93-2PNr (NPZ Optics)
@1:56 Cleaning Rod: Scraper, T-handle & rod for cloth, but you can wrap a baby wipe around each of the 3 scraper fingers instead. They will be coated with black powder residue. A piece of dry cloth draped over the rear cone is pushed with the scraper to clean off the remaining WD-40 & baby wipe oil.
@4:06 Summary of cleaning
@ 4:31 Trigger Group Maintenance - replace firing pin group (pin, spring & nut).
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