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Automatic grenade launcher


The AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher is a Soviet answer to the US Mk.19

Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1971
Caliber 30 mm
Cartridge 30x120 mm
Cartridge weight 350 g
Weight (with sight and tripod) 31 kg
Weight of loaded ammo box 14.5 kg
Length 840 mm
Barrel length 290 mm
Muzzle velocity 185 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 400 rpm
Practical rate of fire 50 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity belts with 29 rounds
Sighting range 800 / 1 700 m
Maximum range 1 700 m


   In the late 1960s during Vietnam War the US Armed Forces adopted an Mk.19 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. This powerful weapon recommended itself well during the War in Vietnam. Soon after the Soviet Union adopted a similar 30-mm automatic grenade launcher. It is known as the AGS-17 Plamya. It was developed in the late 1960s by the KBP design bureau and adopted by the Soviet Army in 1971. It has been widely exported and has fought in numerous wars, earning for itself the reputation of being a reliable, effective weapon. The AGS-17 is still in production today.

   The AGS stands for Avtomatischeskyi Granatmyot Stankovyi (which is Russian for automatic grenade launcher mounted). This weapon is capable of quickly firing large numbers of grenades.

   The AGS-17 is a blowback-operated belt-fed weapon with a removable rifled barrel 29 centimeters in length. This weapon is fired from an open bolt. Iron sights, adjustably sighted out to 800 meters, come as standard, although optical 2.5x magnification sights are generally used. Maximum sighting range with optical sight is 1 700 m.

   The AGS-17 Plamya is normally deployed on a foldable tripod with a range fire for both direct and indirect fire. The AGS-17 is fired using dual grips.

   This automatic grenade launcher can fire two types of 30x120 mm grenades - the VOG-17M high-explosive fragmentation round and the improved VOG-30. The VOG-17 grenade has a claimed kill radius of 7 m. The grenades are fed in 29-round belts housed in a circular detachable magazine, commonly referred as the "snail". Each AGS-17 grenade launcher is equipped with 3 magazines.

   Since it entered service the AGS-17 has proved its worth in a number of conflicts, including the War in Afghanistan, Chechen Wars, and Syrian Civil War. It still serves in over 15 countries and is licensed produced by Bulgaria, China, Cuba, and Iraq.




   AG-17: version for use on armored vehicles and helicopters. It is electronically fired and has a heavier barrel and higher cyclic rate of fire. It is also known as AG-17A.

   AGS-30: entering service in 2002, the AGS-30 is an improved version of the original AGS-17. It is nearly twice lighter, more accurate, and has a longer range, thanks to the improved VOG-30 round, longer barrel and softer recoil. The AGS-30 is in service with Russian Army and some special units of Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is fielded alongside the AGS-17, but for some reason it could not entirely replace its predecessor. The AGS-30 is also used by some other countries.

   AGL-30: Bulgarian designation.

   M93: Serbian and Montenegrin designation. Another name used is BGA 30.

   30 KrKK AGS-17: Finnish designation.


Related Weapons


   Mk.19: effective out to 1 600 meters, the Mk.19 entered US service in 1968. It uses a 40x53 millimeter grenade that can penetrate up to 50 mm of rolled homogeneous armor. The Mk.19 can be used on a wide variety of vehicles, helicopters, and small vessels.

   Heckler & Koch GMG: the GMG (Grenade Machine Gun) is an improved and lighter version of the Mk. 19 chambered in the same caliber (40x53 mm). It is reliable and more accurate, utilizing a closed bolt system.

   Type 87 or QLZ-87: Chinese gas-operated automatic grenade launcher that uses 35x32 mm grenades. These grenades are very effective, penetrating up to 80 millimeters of armor and possessing a kill radius of about 10 meters.


The Tiger

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