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Carl Gustaf M4

Anti-tank recoilless rifle

Carl Gustaf M4

The Carl Gustaf M4 is a versatile squad-level anti-tank weapon

Caliber 84-mm
Cartridge 84x246 mm R
Cartridge weight 3.1 - 4 kg
Weight (empty) less than 7 kg
Length less than 1 000 mm
Muzzle velocity 230 - 255 m/s
Rate of fire up to 6 rpm
Sighting range ?
Range of effective fire (against tanks) up to 400 m
Range of effective fire (against buildings and stationary targets) 700 - 1 000 m
Armor penetration 400 - 500 mm


   The Carl Gustaf M4 is an 84 mm man-portable recoilless rifle. It was developed and is produced by SAAB Bofors Dynamics, a Swedish defense giant. This weapon is multipurpose and can be used to destroy a wide range of targets at distance of up to 1 000 m. Various versions of Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles have been in service since 1946. All previous versions are combat proven were used in various wars, including recent military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Libyan and Syrian civil wars.

   The latest version of the rifle, the Carl Gustaf M4, was introduced in 2014 at the AUSA event. This weapon has just received its first order from Slovakia to arm the Slovak Armed Forces. As its predecessors it is expected to have a strong demand from export customers.

   The new version is touted as highly flexible and compatible in the battlefield. The Carl Gustaf M4 in general a squad level anti-tank weapon but it is also effective against other stationary and moving targets.

   This recoilless rifle can be fitted with intelligent sighting systems such as optical 3x magnification sight, laser rangefinder and image intensification system apart from original iron sights. Also, the new system is developed to shoot at night with the help of a tracer round.

   The Carl Gustaf M4 is a very versatile weapon. This recoilless rifle can fire a wide range of 84 mm munitions, such as high-explosive anti-tank rounds, anti-structure rounds, multi-role rounds, high-explosive anti-personnel rounds, smoke rounds, illumination rounds and other. It is compatible with ammunition of the previous M2 and M3 models. This wide range of munitions makes the weapon effective in support role.

   According to SAAB Bofors Dynamics the Carl Gustaf M4 has five major improvements over its predecessor. These include compatibility with intelligent sights, an adjustable shoulder rest for better ergonomics, reduced weight, faster reload and integrated shot counter for improved logistics and maintenance.

   The SAAB Bofors Dynamics is working on improving the effectiveness of the rifle by integration of smart munitions. The Carl Gustaf M4 has a round management function so intelligent sights can program the rounds. For example high explosive round can be set to detonate on impact or airburst.

   This weapon has an effective range of up to 400 m against tanks, and 700 m against buildings and stationary targets. Some types of ammunition have a rocket booster for extended range to up to 1 000 m.

   A standard HEAT round penetrates 400 mm of rolled homogenous armor. Round with a tandem HEAT warhead penetrates up to 500 mm of rolled homogenous armor behind explosive reactive armor.

   This weapon weighs less than 7 kg and is less than 1 000 mm long. This recoilless rifle is highly reliable and has a lifespan of 1 000 rounds. The length of the M4 was reduced in order to suit urban terrain. The weapon also has a reduced weight due to the use of lighter components such as carbon fiber and titanium liner.

   The Carl Gustaf M4 has a hinged breech feeding system. This weapon is normally operated by a crew of two, including gunner and loader. Rate of fire is around 6 rounds per minute. However, if required, it may be also used by a single operator.

   The previous version, the Carl Gustaf M3, is used by United States Army's Special Operations Command. The M3 is used by many countries such as Australia, Brazil, United States, Canada, India, Pakistan, Germany, Israel and many more.


Rahul Singh Dhari


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Carl Gustaf M4

Carl Gustaf M4

Carl Gustaf M4

Carl Gustaf M4

Carl Gustaf M4

Carl Gustaf M4

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