One of the longest serving and most popular weapons in service with militaries around the world is the unique Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle.
The Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle has been in continuous use with militaries across the globe since 1948. Most of the world’s leading militaries use the weapon, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Israel, Germany and Japan. Manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics of Sweden, the Carl Gustav is a recoilless and reusable rifle that fires 84 millimeter shells at tanks and armoured vehicles. The Carl Gustav is one of the few weapons from the 1940s that is still in use in the 21st Century.
Due to its history and reliability, the Carl Gustav has earned much affection among soldiers around the world. Soldiers in Britain affectionately refer to the weapon as the "Charlie G," while Canadian troops call it "Carlo," and American soldiers have nicknamed it "The Goose." And, despite being labelled as a "rifle," the Carl Gustav is closer in function to a grenade launcher or a rocket launcher.
The Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle derives its named from the "Carl Gustav Stads Gevarsfaktori," a Swedish arsenal where the weapon was originally produced. The recoilless firing system has proved popular with soldiers around the world who like that there is very little kick back when using the weapon. The Carl Gustav is also known to have greater accuracy over longer ranges than other similar anti-tank weapons. The Carl Gustav can hit stationary targets from a distance of up to 700 meters. It can fire a maximum of six rounds per minute.
There have been several models and variants of the Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle over the years. The most recent version is used with the U.S. Special Forces and U.S. Army Rangers, who use it against armoured vehicles and fortified bunkers. The Canadian Army has successfully used the Carl Gustav against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The weapon can be fired from a standing or crouching position. It is typically operated by two soldiers – one who carries and fires the weapon and the other who handles the ammunition and loads the weapon.