Marines with Bravo Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion practiced handling and firing the M320 grenade launcher module at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 6.

2nd CEB is one of the first Marine Corps units to be issued the M320, which has already been in use by the U.S. Army.

The weapon system offers a multitude of capabilities, superior to that of its predecessor, the M203. One of the most notable differences is the M320’s ability to be fired as a separate weapon system, operating without being attached to a host weapon.

“The M320 definitely provides our Marines with a more efficient weapon system,” said Cpl. Nelson Gay, a squad leader with 2nd CEB. “The M320 has an increased rate of fire, and also allows the operator to acquire their targets much faster; used as either a standalone weapon or on a host weapon, it’s an accurate and efficient system.”

One of the discrepancies with the M203 was the leaf sight interfering with the weapons optics, said Gay. The sights on the M320 are more user friendly and flexible, increasing the chances of the projectile landing on target with the first shot.

The barrel of the M320 is loaded from the side, allowing for longer projectiles with increased velocity. This is different from the M203, which limits the size of projectiles the operator can use, due to the placement of the barrel on the bottom of the weapon system.

“The compact system can be utilized by Marines in smaller areas,” said 1st Lt. Samuel Womack, a platoon commander with 2nd CEB. “This enables targets to be engaged in whatever position the operator needs.”

The M320 can engage groups of enemy personnel, vehicles, bunkers, provide suppression and obscuration on objectives, and mark targets to assist in direct fire. From the defense, the M320 allows greater coverage in sectors of fire that direct-fire weapons cannot engage.

With the increased rate of fire and accuracy, as well as mobility, it increases the Marines efficiency while stopping enemy forces.

“The Marines are out here getting a feel for the M320 and I think that it’s proving to be an effective weapon system,” said Womack. “If these weapon systems can be employed with cohesion, it will enable our Marines to have greater lethality.”

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  1. What has it taken so long to get this new weapons for our Marines, and the Army gets right away. Some thing wrong with this way of thinking. We lose Marines because then not have the right weapons to kill the people that are killing our Marines. Some one needs to talk to Pres. Trump, and have this fix right away.

    1. What’s wrong with the M203? It always worked for us.That army model looks like all kids of extra weight and attached stuff. I don’t know, but it doesn’t look too cool to me. GySgt BB USMC 9ret).

  2. In 1956 we were bitchin that by the time the Marine Corps got new weapons they were already obsolete! The more things change the more they stay the same! The Army is probably working with the 2nd generation of this weapon!

    1. Quit yer bitchin… at least the young DevilDogs have the equipment now. Let the army work out all the second gen bugs out first. Rather have older equipment and all fingers/hands/eyes..

  3. Back in 1971 or 1972, an Air Force plane landed at Iwakuni Japan. As an air traffic controller I was one of many who flocked to see our “New” Radar being delivered! The Air Force pukes on board asked , “What are you guys going to do with this piece of junk? The Air Force had junked this stuff YEARS ago!” To us, it was new, updated and fantastic! The Marines Always get the leftovers! However, we Always excell with whatever we are given! Semper Fi!

  4. Being an old Marine Brat and an 13+ year fly boy, I have to agree with the Marines. They are the front line fighters and they need the first rated new equipment just as fast, if not before all the others. I don’t like hearing of my Marines being killed just because we didn’t give them the best equipment first. All services have their own roles in battle, but it’s the one that goes in first on the ground that should get the most consideration from our Govt. and our leaders.. I have the 1/24 C company here with me locally and it scares me to death to send them into battle with the leftovers knowing they will be up front with that technology… Semper Fi brothers and sister.

  5. Things never change. We are always slow to get new stuff. All of the helicopter radios I worked on had tubes in them and that was 1984. The direction finders for the C130’s we had in Okinawa were so old the manual said Army Air Corps – 1946.

  6. As memory serves the only good thing about “inheriting” gear from the other services is they usually have plenty and their security is a joke. Would be nice to actually get some of the new stuff directly though….

  7. Real nice, but one of the biggest “regrettable readjustments” that the Corps ever made was phasing out the “Blooper”, i.e. M-79.. Never got to the 203 but the Blooper was solid, accurate, and effective.

    1. THAT’s for sure. Our “Blooper” man, Cpl Steve HEREDIA, was a wizard with his M-79. “Steve, put one in that bunker over there ( 100 yards away)… BLOOP… WHAM!!!… RIGHT on ( and IN ) target! We were sure glad to have it !!! 3rd Herd,”Alpha Co.” 1/5,1970’71.
      Semper Fi !!!

  8. Semper Fi,the Corps has always been a Nickel and Dime operation. Back in the 60’s we relished in the fact that the Corps didn’t get anything unless it was leaking oil. I was with a FMF rifle Company K/3/2 , when we were picked up by MT we were lucky, the Mfg. plates in the cabs were stamped US AIRFORCE ,1959-1960 !I was a Grenidier with an M-79, that was a nice weapon, one per squad, they were brand new to the Corps in 1962. We carried the M-79 And a 45 for personal weapon,I have to say I liked the 203 because it was mounted,and you had more Fire power.

  9. I do like the versatility this new weapon provides, as far as the stand alone feature. As for getting it second hand? What else is new?? I was a radio operator with 2/8 in ’77 and we were still using PRC 25’s that were decades older than my tender 19 years at the time, LOL. We were so used to second hand equipment that we were frequently quoting “We have done so much, for so long, with so little. We are now qualified to do anything, forever, with nothing.”. Some things just never change it seems. Semper Fi my brothers/sisters!!

    1. I remember the drill instructors Parris Island stating, ” the Marine Corps has done so much for so long on so little, that we can do anything with hardly nothing.” It became my favorite.

    2. I remember one of the drill instructors at Parris Island stating, ” the Marine Corps has done so much for so long on so little, that we can do anything with hardly nothing.” It became my favorite.

  10. In 1965 I remember being issued WW2 , M1 rifles in ITR at Camp Geiger. Army already had M-16’s. At least we got our M-14’s back when we went over to Nam.

  11. Amazing all the comments on the Army getting everything first. I fully agree and to an extent with another comment about letting them work the bugs out. A friend of mine and I were recently disusing our time in Vietnam. The magazine thing came up. Was surprising how the Army and even the Australian and Korean units had 30 round mags and the Marines had 20’s. As far as the grenade launcher, I like the M-79 “blooper” myself.

    1. We called it “The Thumper” The army even got the newer C-Rats!! Remember C’s dated 1957!! Same time frame army had C’s dated 60’s Harry

  12. I guess we were lucky in 1953. We got WWll stuff. Not that old then. Loved the M1 and the BAR. Even C rats not that old. Did not like B rats we got from the Army at Camp McNair.

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