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Colt Is Offering A Limited Run Of Civilian M203 Grenade Launchers To A Few Lucky Collectors
Have you ever daydreamed of blowing the feet out from under a gaggle of drug-smuggling goons like Thomas Jane in The Punisher? Or watched Predator with envy as Arnold Schwarzenegger lit up the Central American jungle? If so, you’re in luck: Colt Defense is rolling out a handful of genuine mil-spec, production-standard M203 under-barrel grenade launchers to the civilian market for the first time ever.
Colt has produced a limited run of M203s that are legal for civilian ownership, offered through ArmsUnlimited, one of the company’s major law enforcement distributors, starting on Nov. 15.
Standard-issue 40mm launchers are classified as “non-sporting” firearms and “destructive devices” by the National Firearms Act, sold solely to military and law enforcement agencies around the world. But Colt’s new M203s sidestep the ban with a 37mm barrel that makes the launchers Title 1 firearms, which don't require NFA registration. The new launchers will be able to fire a variety of non-lethal 37mm flare and smoke rounds.
While this isn't the first 37mm M203 to hit the market, it is the first from the original manufacturer. M203 clones have been available for years, but the company's small factory-run of M203 launchers offers die-hard Colt fans and collectors an extremely rare opportunity.
The iconic M203 has seen action with U.S. troops in every conflict since the Vietnam War. The original M203 was a result of the Army's 1967 Grenade Launcher Attachment Development (GLAD) program established after the failure of Colt’s original XM148. Ironically, the Department of Defense selected a new design from defense contractor Aircraft Armaments, Inc., but AAI didn’t have the production capacity to meet the DoD’s demand of the first 10,000 weapons due to the company’s research focus. As a result, the Pentagon returned to Colt to produce the M203.
The M203 underbarrel grenade launcher as offered for sale on ArmsUnlimited's websitePhoto via ArmsUnlimited
With decades of service in Grenada, the Gulf War, and the post-9/11 campaigns Iraq and Afghanistan, both the Army and Marine Corps are looking to replace the M203 with the new Heckler & Koch-designed M320, which has already seen action in Afghanistan. The Army aims to field nearly 80,000 M320s in total in the coming years.
The new civilian-legal 37mm M203s are roll marked with the official Colt Defense markings: "LAUNCHER, GRENADE M203 40MM," followed by a unique serial number. The ArmsUnlimited listing does not say whether the launcher ships with a leaf or quadrant range sight.
Colt has produced a limited run of just 300 37mm M203s, offered in two barrel configurations — 9 inches and 12 inches, starting at around $2,000. ArmsUnlimited also offers a Colt-made mounting kit for the M203 at a reasonable $20. Regardless of price, this is exciting news for any avid Colt collector who can’t turn down the chance to assemble the iconic, manufacturer-correct, AR-15/M203 combination.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.
Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).