With the US Army fielding an Urgent Needs Statement, a contract has already been signed for 126 additional Carl Gustaf weapons systems manufactured by Saab of Sweden. The 84mm Recoiless Rifle replaced the obsolete, but functional, 90mm recoiless rifle in Ranger Battalion years ago where I started my Special Operations career. My first duty position: Tank Sniper.
Admittedly, the M3 Carl Gustaf isn’t the sexiest of weapons among the 75th Ranger Regiment’s rather extensive arsenal. This is especially true when you have to pack this giant metal tube into an AT4 jump pack with cardboard honeycomb and exit a C-17 during a Mass-Tactical airborne jump at night. Getting hung up in a MH-60 with the Goose slung over your back while fast roping and dangling 50ft in the air ain’t sexy either. Don’t ask me how I know that…
Otherwise, I think the Goose is way under-rated. With the Australian military also making a large purchase of ammunition for these weapons, it seems that the Goose is finally coming into its own.
More and more reports are coming out telling us that the Taliban in Afghanistan has finally figured out the limited range of American rifles and other small arms. Acting accordingly, we are told that they are maintaining as much stand off as possible when engaging US forces, remaining just outside the maximum effective range of our soldier’s ammunition while firing at them with heavy machine guns and RPGs. The Carl Gustaf has the potential to change that when employed properly. “Existing systems…such as the M141 Bunker Defeat Munition, M72 LAW, M136 AT-4 and the SMAW, are only effective inside of 500 meters. The Army says the Carl-Gustaf [max effective range 1,000m] is more effective than waiting on mortars and less expensive than artillery or Javelin missiles.”
Here is a bit from one of my Army buddies who used the Goose to do God’s work during the height of the Iraqi insurgency:
“It was mostly on my last deployment, which was in the Samara providence and we were doing a call out.” They would “have a terp tell everyone in the house to come out, and if they didn’t, then they were assumed to be hostile. So it would start with a long talk then a nine banger, then a frag to the side of the house, followed by more talking, then a few 203s on the side of the house, then some more talking, then finally we said, okay we are going to kill everyone in the house in a few minutes.” This is called escalation of force, if the terrorists don’t surrender themselves then we escalate the level of violence until they comply. “So here comes the goose. First we started with an HEDP round into windows or through doors (the goose is an amazingly accurate weapon, I had no problem putting a round through a window at 600 meters) but later we decided we wanted to use TP rounds (which are basically just 84 mm rounds with cement inside) to knock the doors off, then hit up the house with thermobarics. On these occasions, which were several, the damage was large enough to not follow up on the house for any Bomb Damage Assessment or anything of the sort. We would just leave and assume whatever little punks were in the house were all dead. I would say I’ve shot somewhere around 500 rounds out of the goose from TP, HE, HEDP, HEAT, smoke, flechette, thermobaric and all are extremely accurate and serve their purpose. Flechette is by far the most interesting, as it shoots out little nails and is strictly anti-personnel but will jack your world up.”
Hey Uncle Sugar, while you’re at it, the M2 scope is great and all, but how about taking a look at the Aimpoint FCS12 Fire Control System to help take some of the guess work out of calculating for ballistics during a fire fight! Check it out and get smart on the Goose and it’s ammunition!