Carl Gustav


The M2 Carl Gustav is the primary section level anti-tank recoilless rifle used by Canada's Land Force which employs two kinds of ammunition for the weapon. The primary round is the High Explosive Anti-Tank commonly referred to as HEAT. The HEAT round is used to destroy enemy main battle tanks. The effective range of this round of ammunition is 700 metres. The second round of ammunition employed is the High Explosive Dual Purpose Round (HEDP). This round was specifically designed to destroy bunkers and fortified positions. The effective range for this round is 500 metres.

The Carl Gustav is best served by a two man crew. One fires the recoilless rifle and the other carries ammunition and loads. The weapon is fitted with iron sights, and it is equipped with a 2 power optical sight with a 17 degree field of view. This is fitted with a temperature correction device, and luminous front and rear adaptors are available for night work.

The Carl Gustav can be fired from the standing, kneeling or prone positions. When fired on flat surfaces the weapon is supported by a flexible bipod immediately in front of the shoulder piece.

For training, the Carl Gustav can be used with a sub calibre training device (SCTD - old type). The SCTD fires a 6.5 mm Tracer round especially designed to match the ballistics of the HEAT round. This will permit training on the Carl Gustav on a conventional rifle range and it helps reduce the cost of training. The latest sub calibre training device (SCTD -new type) uses a 7.62mm cartridge for its' adapter. Both of these SCDT's are in use today and can be used in either system.

The M3 Lightweight Carl Gustav is a lightweight version of the M2 recoilless rifle. The weapon is built on a steel liner which carries the rifling and is covered with a carbon fibre winding. The venturi is made of steel. All external parts are made of aluminum or plastic. The M3 will accept and fire all existing types of Carl Gustav ammunition, without any change in performance. This weapon has also been seen firing the FFV 469B - Smoke round and the FFV 545 Illumination round. (Although these rounds are not "common issue" (nor, doctrinally supported)). The weapon complete weighs 9 kg.

A comparison of the M2 in-service 84 mm Carl Gustav with the M3 Lightweight Carl Gustav
Statistics M2 M3
Recoilless rifle length 113 cm 107 cm
Recoilless rifle weight 14.2 kg 8.5 kg
Total 18.5 kg 12.5 kg
Year procured 1965 1991
Sights: Telescopic, Luminous and Open
TP w/o Trace
Range: 500 - 700 m

The following information details some additional ammunition, and a sight system, trialed by the CF for the 84 mm. I am not sure which of the ammunition types were in fact retained for use with this weapon.
HEAT FFV 651 - 400m at 290 m/s with 400 mm armour penetration
HEAT FFV 551 - 700m at 260 m/s with 400 mm armour penetration
HE FFV 441 - 1000m at 240 m/s (Impact burst, impact burst above tgt or airburst)
SMOKE FFV 469B - 1300m at 240 m/s
ILLUM FFV 545 - 2100m at 260 m/s (Illuminates 400-500 radius)
HEDP FFV 502, (1000m at 240 m/s) High Explosive Dual Purpose. It is for FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Areas. The US term is MOUT or Military Operations in Urban Areas) and can fire as a HEAT round or as a delay action round.
FFV 522 TPT round (rumoured good up to 1000 m)