The M203, or at least the concept, seems like a good idea, providing extra firepower to the squad without sacrificing a rifle, but from what I've heard about the M203 in particular it sounds like quite the POS. Like I've heard that it's incredibly dangerous to have a round in the chamber unless you're about to fire it as the safety is poor. I've also heard that sometimes the mechanism which holds the chamber shut breaks easily, etc. For anyone who has ever carried an M203 is it really that bad of a weapon or are these just cases of poor maintenance or old weapons? Also, I know there are other posts about so and so should replace the M203 but is there any definite plan to replace it.
It's great weapon. Yea, I'd imagine that running with an explosive that, if detonated in fairly thin steel tube (if you're running the gun will probably be at your chest) would make bite sized pieces of you, plus an interesting splatter. my honest opinion (as well as a common sense of safety, and putting others at risk) is, if you're running around with an armed 40mm you deserve what ever happens, and hopefully you don't kill someone else.
Also probably bad maintence, and in some cases, I'd imagine old weapons, but I don't think that a 40mm won't function correctly because it's not exactly "cutting edge". Replacements, yes. GL36, XZ25 airburst, or something along those lines.
It uses only HE rounds. And there's a new multi-launcher, the GL32. Earlier models of the M203 were prone to breakage at the breech locking mechanism as well as breaking apart when fired, thus causing injury to the firer. I have heard of people that have broken one in the past.
The problems with breakage were a result of the barrel assembly being made of cast aluminum. They are currently (if not already) being replaced with milled aluminum barrels, which are much stronger and eliminate the problems of the cast barrel assemblies. Once you have gotten used to they are accurate and definitely an asset to any rifle squad. You can mill a forging, casting or bar-stock, and from the outside they will look the same. However, the micro-structure of the aluminum forging will have a finer and better grain alignment.
The next best thing would have been to machine the barrel from bar-stock, the weakest - castings. But it makes a world of difference in the strength of the part. Once again, experience is the better weapon on battlefield then facts are, in a certain sense because it is nice to know how the enemy has! Anyway, I've fired an M-1 Garand and a M1903A3 over 100 times, but does that make me some type of expert or Marine Sniper? No it doesn't, so just shut your goddamn little mouth and learn something for once?! You go on and on with you don't get any respect. I respect what they do, not who they are.
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info/. WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing, war gear, and combat accessories on the market.