The reason the M7 Grenade Launcher was used was because it has a longer range that if someone threw a grenade by hand.
The M7 was preceded by the M1 and the M2 Grenade Launchers which were for the M1903 Springfield and the M1917 Enfield rifles. To fire the grenade from the M7 launcher, the rifle had to have a special .30-06 blank cartridge. Injury could sometimes occur if the user doesn't put the butt stock of the rifle against the ground.
The major flaw of the M7 Grenade Launcher was that if it was applied to the rifle, the rifle would not be able to operate semi-automatically because the pressure that recycles the bolt is used for firing the grenade. The range of the M7 was about 301.7 meters and the M7 was attached to the M1 Garand via the bayonet lug. The M7 also had different grenades including fragmentation and anti-tank. even the Mk II Grenade, the standard US Army grenade, could be fired using a special adapter. This conversion of the Mk. II was known as the M17 Rifle Grenade.
The M7's main variants were the M7A1 and the M8. The M7A1 solved the M7's major flaw, but it did not see service in World War II because it arrived too late. The M8 was a version of the M7 that could attached to the M1 Carbine. Design changes were also made later on during the Korean War. During the Vietnam War, however, the M7 was rarely used due to the arrival of unmounted grenade launchers like the M79 or China Lake, and under barrel ones like the M203.
The M7 Grenade Launcher was entered service in 1943 and its variants were used up to the Korean War. The M7 saw use by American troops in both the Pacific and the European Theater. It provided a good way to take out pillboxes and sometimes even tanks. It was not distributed in extremely great numbers, but it was produced in great numbers.
- ↑ http://www.inert-ord.net/usa03a/usarg/spigots/index.html
- ↑ http://olive-drab.com/od_infweapons_grenade_launchers.php
- ↑ http://www.ww2gyrene.org/weapons_m7.htm