When comparing Soviet small arms to those made in the
West, one cannot help but notice a distinct difference between the
two. In a nutshell, Soviet arms are Spartan - anything but fancy.
On the other side of the ledger, Western small arms tend to be
prettier and pricier, especially U.S. versions.
And often, weapons manufactured in the West tend toward
the complex - and breakable.
But then, frills are not restricted to small arms. Take
a peek at U.S. jet fighters, heck, any of the host of weapons in
Western arsenals versus those found in Soviet arsenals - from
tanks to aircraft.
aircraft, tanks and ships are ergonomically designed to better 'fit'
their operators and have a tendency to be way
computerized. Soviet aircraft, tanks and ships are less so,
infinitely more manual in nature. Is it that Comrade Boris is less
interested in his soldiers', naval personnel, air crews' and marines'
health and welfare? Perhaps. But Boris isn't stupid. He knows that
computers can go haywire, and although it may be more physically
demanding for crews to operate manually, it may be wiser in the long
run - say, if Mikhail's jet fighter's computer systems go down.
Comrade Boris is old
school, a proponent of the KISS principle: "Keep it simple,
stupid..." Or, the Kremlin's unique version, KISCS: "Keep
it simple, Comrade
Stupid." Generally speaking, the weapons of the Soviet Union
are no frills and functional - take the AK-47, perhaps the
all time - or
the GP-25 and GP-30 grenade launchers. They may not be pretty, but
Similar in design to
the M203 in U.S. arsenals, the grenade launcher mounted beneath the
M16 battle rifle, the GP-25 is a 3.3-pound (unloaded) Soviet grenade
launcher affixed to the underbelly of the 7.62mm AKM or the 5.45mm
AK-74 Kalashnikov assault rifle. The GP designation is Russian for
Podstvolnyj - under-barrel,
grenade launcher. This baby is styling - it has a recoil pad!
Adopted by the Soviet army, the GP-25 was developed by
Mikhail and the boys in the mid- to late-1970s. The GP-30 is a
fiscally more responsible version that weighs less and is less
Like the U.S. M203, the GP-25 and its progeny, the
GP-30 fire 40mm rounds, specifically the VOG-25 and the VOG-25P
caseless, fragmentation grenades. No case, no need to pull a spent
Of note, the VOG-25P has a nasty built-in feature: When
it hits, it bounces and explodes three feet off the ground - about
midway up a man's frame. Way nasty. Shades of the Bouncin' Betty
Grenades are loaded
from the front; the sights are located on the left
side of the gun.
A difference between
the GP-25 and the GP-30, other than size: the GP-30s sights are on
side of the launcher, making it easier for us right-eye-dominant
shooters. So much for you lefties.
Oh, and the GP-25 and GP-30 is effective to about 500
feet (150 meters).