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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good Day,
I was lucky years ago to find a US T119 grenade launcher and recently found another of the Italian military versions. These were manufactured by Mecar in Belgium. It was tested by the US military in order to interface with the T28 Anti-Tank rifle grenades or the Energa rifle grenades. The T119 was not adopted by the US in-lieu-of the M7A1 and A3.

The T119 series isn't super rare but it is relatively seldom seen in collecting corners.

Mecar made many different versions of the basic launcher to include a clamp-on version for the No4 Mk2 Enfield (that did not include the flip up sight).

I've seen another Italian version that Mecar made (probably under contract for the Italians directly) with a white boarder around the "PER FUCILE CAL .30M1". My version appears to have been one where the original markings were milled out and re-stamped.

Billiy Ricca has a very good commentary section on the Mecar launchers for those who wish to know a bit more about this M1 Garand grenade launcher variation.
http://www.billricca.com/m7a3_gren_launch_history.htm


Regards,
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
MECAR No.94 Anti-Tank Practice Rifle Grenade & L1A1 Practice Grenade

Good Day,
I pulled out a few of my ENERGA inert practice grenades. Originally manufactured by MECAR of Belgium, the ENERGA was used as a front line grenade by England, Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa and other nations through the 70’s/80's and remained in reserve stores through the 90's. It was a shaped-charge anti-armor grenade designed to be fired from just about any 7.62x51mm rifle. Some required adapters, but most European armies standardized their flash suppressors to 22mm in diameter so that rifle grenades could be used universally between NATO forces. In this case, I used one of my M1 Garand T-119 launchers.
The No.94 had been trialled from 1950 to 1954 and was introduced into the British service officially (i.e. via War Office Lists of Changes) in December 1955. My 75MM Anti-Tank Practice Rifle Grenade, No. 94 (ENERGA) is an early version with a steel head, black with white markings and a yellow band dated 12-55. The steel head is marked:
GREN RIFLE ATK
94 PRAC MK2
(MECAR) 12-55
The other round is the rarer Grenade, Practice Marker L1A1 which had a rubber body with a colored chalk powder marker head. Red, blue, and green chalk have been noted but there are probably other colors as well. I've been told that these are rarer because replacement clear plastic nose cone's are very difficult to find.
Best Regards,
Michael
 

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Michael:

Thanks for the photos. Very scarce, very cool stuff!
 

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Was there any cast Aluminum ones ever made, that had a cavity in the nose for a blank to be inserted in and detonated on impact via a piston after being launched? A 2 blank system, one for launching and one for a report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you have a picture of this device? I'm not familiar with such a training device that could be launched from a rifle. I've seen hand tossed devices but not rifle launched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
MECAR (T-119) M1 Garand rifle grenade launcher & Italian inert practice grenade

Good Day All,
It took some effort but I was able to acquire a Italian inert practice rifle grenade reminiscent of the British Grenade, Practice Marker L1A1. This example has an orange chalk head (to clearly mark the impact location), is dated 1978 and stenciled;
"BOMBA C.C. DA FUCILE DA ESERCITAZIONE SUPER ENERGA"
I'm not sure if it was made by MECAR but unlike the British and US M29 practice rounds, the fins are made of plastic so I can imagine not many survived. Additionally, pictured is the cork plug that is installed in the spigot
For this photo display, I utilized the correct post war Italian direct fire 7,62 rifle grenade sight marked;
TROMBONCINO "ENERGA" PER FUCILE
s.a. GARAND cal. 7,62 NATO-TIPO 2-

In order to estimate the range to the target with this sight, the rifle was adjusted and aligned with the sight arc corresponding to the estimated range (on the ladder). This coincided with the ogive of the grenade when aligned on the target. I've 'ranged' the practice grenade for 100 meters based on the sight ladder.
Both are installed onto my Italian Breda 7,62 (TIPO2) M1 conversion. I won't be launching off of this setup but have no doubt it would work.

I was also able to acquire two more variants of the MECAR T-119 style M1 grenade launcher. One came from a pawn shop not that far from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and is marked;
T-119 LAUNCHER for M1 RIFLE
Compared to my other example of this type used by the US, this example has the MECAR company symbol preceding the nomenclature. The font is subtly different (note the "f" and "a"). Additionally, there is a small flaming bomb on the inside of the heavy rolled base.
The last (and most difficult to find) variant was a West German version that is marked;
GEW. KAR. 30 M1 GAR.
The MECAR company logo followed the roll stamped nomenclature. The origins of this launcher begin in May 1955, when the West German government became a member of NATO and in November the Bundeswehr was formed. They predominantly utilized US equipment (including M1 Garands) until starting in 1959 thru 1961, they were able to replace American weapons in their possession with G1 and later G3's. It’s likely during the late 50's, the Federal Ministry of Defense issued a requirement for a quantity of MECAR T-119 style grenade launchers. I cannot find the figures of how many were purchased. I would appreciate anyone who can provide more insight into their use.

Like other US & Italian MECAR launchers I've observed (except the 7,62 version), the range leaf of these latest variants are also marked in yards.

I look forward to any additional questions and comments.

Thank you,
Michael
 

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:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Italian and German Super ENERGA practice Anti-Tank rifle grenade

Good Day All and Happy New Years Eve,
I was able to finally acquire the inert (practice) Italian Super ENERGA Anti-Tank rifle grenade round. It is marked:
BOMBA DE FUCILE C.C
INERTE
DA ESERCITAZIONE

There are also marking on the reverse that indicate manufacture in 1964. It's likely these were primarily used with BM59's but Italian M1 TIPO2 rifles probably saw use as well. Below the A/T rounds is the body of a Italian rifle launched Illumination round.

Additionally, I was able to secure a West German example of the Super ENERGA A/T inert rifle grenade and fuse guard. It was probably used for educational purposes and not for live fire demonstrations although it could have supported this. Despite later (and predominant) use of the German G1 & G3 rifles, the W. German Bundeswehr (Heer) utilized the M1 and a copy of the MECAR version Garand grenade launcher and its likely training with the Super ENERGA (dated 1/60) likely did occur with an M1. Any additional information would be welcome.

Best Regards,
Michael
 

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Very nice collection. Here's a few Rifle Grenades that I have acquired lately. The one most fitting for this thread is the ENERGA T-41 which was adapted as the US M28 HEAT Rifle Grenade.

l to r
British No. 27 Combination Hand and Rifle Grenade (used by AEF)
US M9A2 AT Rifle Grenade
ENERGA T-41/M28 HEAT Rifle Grenade
US M31 HEAT Rifle Grenade
 

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