Ranger Weapons Systems from World War II to today
RANGER EQUIPMENT – WHATEVER IT TAKES
Rangers will use any means at their disposal to achieve victory.
Over the course of Ranger history, from Rogers Rangers to today, Rangers have improvised equipment to suit their combat needs. This has been evident from the use of hatchets by the Early Rangers, to creating field expedient breaching charges and adapting lights for urban operations in Operation Just Cause. Indeed, the Ranger’ ability to adapt and improvise weapons systems and other pieces of equipment to fulfill a narrow requirement has resulted in improved equipment across the entire Army.
Weapons Systems from World War II to today.
- M1911A1 Pistol: served the Rangers from World War II to Grenada.
- Berretta M9 Pistol: has served Rangers from Panama to today.
- M3 Greasegun: used in Korea and Vietnam as a compact, yet effective firearm.
- Thompson Submachinegun: was used from World War II, by all 6 Ranger Battalions and the Marauders, Korean War Rangers and Vietnamese Ranger Companies and Ranger Advisers (BDQ).
- MP5SD: used by 1st and 2nd Ranger Bns for training throughout the 1980’s.
- M1 Garand and M1 Carbine: served Rangers in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
- M14 Rifle: employed in Vietnam and Grenada.
- M21 Rifle: employed during the pre-Regiment Bn days and in Grenada.
- M24 Rilfe: currently in use as a sniper system.
- M16 series rifles, M16A1 and M16A2: used by Rangers in Vietnam, Iran, Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf, and Somalia.
- CAR15/XM177: the first compact modern rifle employed by Rangers, from Vietnam to Somalia.
- M4A1 Rifle: saw it’s first combat with Rangers in the airborne assault into Afghanistan.
- M79 Grenade Launcher: used extensively by Rangers throughout the Vietnam War.
- M203 Grenade Launcher: has been in use by Rangers since the early 1970’s.
- MK19 40mm Grenade Launcher: used on Ranger vehicles since the mid-1980’s to the present.
- Browning M1917A1 .30 caliber water-cooled machinegun: employed by Rangers and Marauders during World War II.
- M1919 .30 Machinegun: used extensively by Rangers and Marauders of the 2nd World War and the Korean Ranger Companies.
- M1918 BAR: was used by the Rangers of World War II, the Korean War and during the period leading up to Vietnam.
- M2 .50 Machinegun: has been employed by Rangers from World War II to the present day.
- M60 Machinegun: the principle Ranger machinegun from Vietnam to the mid-1990’s.
- M240G Machinegun: the current machinegun for dismounted use by the 75th Ranger Regiment.
- M249 Light Machinegun (SAW): a light machinegun employed at the squad level in the 75th Ranger Regiment.
- 60mm Mortar Systems have been used continuously since World War II.
- 81mm Mortar Systems have been used since WWII and are once again an organic weapon system.
- The 120mm Mortar is a relatively new item to the Ranger inventory. This system is transported using the MORSOV – Mortar specific Ranger Special Operations Vehicle or with a cart system during dismounted operations.
- M9A1 Bazooka: was used during WWII and the Korean War.
- M67 90mm Recoiless Rifle: most effective use by a Ranger occurred in 1983.
- M136 AT4: system was adopted after the DRAGON was phased out.
- Carl Gustav 84mm AT weapon: has been the standard Ranger Crew served AT system since the 90mm RR was phased out.
- Javelin AT system: first employed by Rangers in late 1996.
- M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW): has been used by Rangers since the Vietnam War.
Other Munitions and Explosives
- Bangalore Torpedoes was used during World War II for breaching wire obstacles on the beaches of Normandy.
- Field Expedient Breaching Charges are the current favored method of breaching obstacles.
- M18A1 Claymore Mine was used very effectively by Rangers throughout the Vietnam War.