Cool Guns/Rockets, Missiles, and Grenade Launchers

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Designed in the 1960s by the USSR, the RPG-7 is probably the most distinctive rocket-propelled grenade launcher aside from the classic Bazooka. Its construction, like most Soviet weaponry, is incredibly simple; it's basically a steel tube with wooden guards. This also makes it incredibly cheap. Dozens of imitations exist; typically Chinese copies with one handle are used in movies when authentic two-handle launchers are not available. RPG, by the way, stands for Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot (hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher), though it is often backronymed as "rocket propelled grenade."

  • If this weapon is not in the hands of Soviets/Russians or the Warsaw Pact countries, it typically is in the hands of Middle-Easterners and in Africa. Wherever the AK-47 is, the RPG-7 will be as well.
  • Used when fighting Dirty Communists in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • The Joker uses one as part of the various War On Terror metaphors in The Dark Knight.
  • Hayden Tenno gets to use a weird version in Dark Sector, with one handle and what appears to be almost all of an RPG-2 joined upside-down to the front of the tube. It has an optic sight and fires guided missiles instead of unguided rockets.
  • Doctor Who. Ace takes out a Dalek with one in Remembrance of the Daleks, though it's supposed to be some sort of fictional British anti-tank weapon.
  • Water (1985). Two Cuban terrorists use one to interrupt a news conference by a British government mouthpiece.
  • Marty McFly sees one in his rear-view mirror in Back to The Future, carried by the 'Libyans'. He figures that getting up to 90 would be the best way to evade it. He was off by 2 miles per hour, of course.
  • Just one of the many heavy weapons used by Homura Akemi in Puella Magi Madoka Magica during the final battle against Walpurgis Night.
  • One of the weapons used in the Whateley Universe by the Syndicate minions in "Christmas Elves". Generator then uses one to bust Fey out of a trap impervious to Fey's magic.
  • Available quite uncommonly in 7.62 High Caliber. Considering the lack of armored vehicles to destroy, it mostly provides a way to deliver explosives at longer range.

A four-tube shoulder-fired incendiary rocket launcher, the M202 FLame Assault SHoulder weapon was designed to replace heavy and obsolete flamethrowers in the US inventory and first produced in 1978, being based on an experimental napalm launcher trialled extensively during the Vietnam War. The suitcase-sized 27-pound launcher is usually depicted in fiction as a regular rocket launcher rather than using the special thickened pyrophoric agent rounds it actually fires, and is favored by videogames looking for a modern-era BFG due to looking like someone ripped a rocket pod off a helicopter and gave it a pistol grip and sight. A similar Soviet weapon is RPO Shmel, which has only one barrel, but can also fire fuel-air warheads.

  • Most famously used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, particularly during the comically over-the-top Storming the Castle finale.
  • Appears in the James Bond videogames The World Is Not Enough and Nightfire as the "AT-420 Sentinel."
  • The missile launcher in Far Cry is clearly based on the M202, and in the console games was replaced with an actual M202.
  • Has an odd tendency to appear as the ultimate weapon in earlier Resident Evil games.
  • The Helghast rocket launcher in the first Killzone was based on it, but had only three tubes rather than four. This is of very little comfort if you happen to be staring down the barrel of one.
  • Carrie Fischer's prop rocket launcher in The Blues Brothers is obviously based on the M202.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops features the M202 under the suitably intimidating name of "Grim Reaper". Given the game's timeline placement in the Vietnam War, it might be meant to represent the earlier XM191 prototype, but no one questions that in the face of its destructive potential.

FGM-148 Javelin
Developed in the 90s to replace the unpopular and obsolete M47 Dragon launcher, the Javelin is a crew-served soft-launch missile system, firing a 127mm tandem-charge anti-tank missile designed to defeat modern explosive reactive armour. The weapon consists of a disposable launch tube and a CLU (command launch unit) which contains the optics and guidance system; this is detached from the empty tube after firing. The launcher can be set to direct engagement mode to attack point targets or helicopters, or set to climb and then descend on the target from above to attack the weaker top surface of armored vehicles.

  • Seen in three missions in Call of Duty 4, where it's stuck in top-attack mode. It's shown similarly in Modern Warfare 2, even when attacking helicopters where the launcher should be in direct fire mode.
    • There is a direct-fire mode Javelin in Call of Duty 4, in the level "All In". However, it's out of the way, to the point where it's easy to miss. (It's on a balcony above where you take out the two BM Ps around the silos.)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots]] allows Snake to cart a Javelin around with him; it's shown as user-guided rather than fire-and-forget, and Snake discards the entire launcher after every shot rather than detaching the CLU.
  • The |2005 remake of The War of the Worlds features this weapon being used by US Army soldiers to bring down one of the alien tripods at the climax of the film when it's discovered its shields are malfunctioning.
  • America's Army has the Javelin as a playable weapon, and allows it to be operated in top-attack or direct-attack modes.

The M79 is a break-action single-shot 40x46mm grenade launcher, most resembling a sawed-off shotgun with a giant barrel and upside-down stock. First deployed during the Vietnam War with the aim of providing increased firepower to dismounted infantry without resorting to more cumbersome rifle grenade launchers, it was nicknamed the "Thumper" or "Blooper" due to the distinctive report. The M79 was a popular weapon among troops, but the weapon's size and weight limited it to designated grenadiers. It was largely replaced with the M203 underbarrel launcher as the latter came into service, since the M203 allowed the user to also function as a rifleman. The rather old-fashioned, no-nonsense look of the weapon means it's a popular choice as a personal BFG in both movies and videogames. A rare pump-action four-shot weapon based on the design also exists, known as the China Lake Launcher.

  • Cool Action: Snapping the M79 closed by flicking the barrel upwards after inserting a new round. There's a high chance anyone doing this will go on to fire the weapon one-handed.
  • Likely to be seen in any Vietnam War movie in the hands of a grenadier; in less realistic cases, it might be carried by a regular rifleman.
  • One of the most iconic uses is in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator uses an M79 to finally defeat the shape-shifting T1000. It was also the most powerful weapon in Terminator 2: The Arcade Game.
  • A favorite in the Syphon Filter video game series, particulary for its effectiveness against enemies wearing body armour or if the player just wants to see some bad guys fly. Gabe used it one-handed in the first three games but it was switched to a two-handed weapon in The Omega Strain.
  • A Scary Black Man uses one with uncanny accuracy on a name-calling VC infiltrator in Apocalypse Now.
  • Former Symbol agent Wan uses one during his introductory scene in Gasaraki.
  • In episode 3 of Black Lagoon Revy uses one of these to finish off Luak's ship as he tries to escape.
  • Appears in Left 4 Dead 2 and is devastating against massed hordes of zombies. Balanced by the fact that it is the only weapon that cannot be reloaded from found ammunition stocks.
  • Shows up in Far Cry 2, where it is incredibly useful because it provides much-needed punch for use against vehicles yet occupies the sidearm weapon category, and thus doesn't prevent the player from carrying assault rifles or shotguns.
  • It appears in several of the Resident Evil games, using real life explosive rounds, and fake ones like acid, napalm and freeze rounds. In the Resident Evil 3 novel, Jill uses one with 40mm buckshot rounds.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops has the China Lake version, given its propensity toward exotic prototype weaponry.
  • Fallout: New Vegas features both versions, the single shot M79 called the "Grenade Rifle" and the four shot version dubbed the "Grenade Launcher." The Lonesome Road DLC adds several upgraded versions with patriotic names and color schemes, like the red Rocket's Red Glare.
  • Available as one of two grenade launchers in 7.62 High Caliber, allowing for more precise firing of grenades at longer ranges.

The M203 is a 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher developed by AAI during the failed SALVO and SPIW trials which were aimed at replacing the M16; the rifles themselves were discarded, but the underbarrel launcher concept eventually found its way onto the M16 and M4, replacing the stand-alone M79 grenade launcher. The M203 uses the rifle's magazine as a grip, and the sliding handguard is used to both cock the weapon and access the breech. While designed for the AR15 platform, conversion kits exist to fit it to many other rifles, or even turn it into a stand-alone weapon. Plans are currently underway to replace it with the M320 launcher, a side-loading underbarrel launcher with a number of advantages over the M203 such as double-action operation, accommodation for a wider variety of ammunition, and an integral sight. Similar weapons include the German AG36 and the Russian GP25 and GP30, which are muzzle-loaded and use caseless grenades.

  • Common in any depiction of the US military, and popular as an accessory to weapons in videogames; in multiplayer games, it has long been referred to as the "noob tube" due to the tendency of new users to abuse it.
  • 37mm flare guns that look similar to the M203 are a popular civilian-legal accessory for AR-15s, and these are usually the props used for M203 film and television appearances.
  • Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2, and Black Ops have this weapon as an attachment for most assault rifles, where it's a favorite (or much hated) weapon in multiplayer matches.
  • "Say hello to my little friend!"
  • Battlefield: Bad Company features this on most American assault rifles.
  • Mack Bolan used one even before the weapon was widely known.
  • The M203 and GP-30 show up in STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl as add-ons for most of the Western and Russian assault rifles respectively, though ammunition availability is fairly low for both.
  • Also as above, the M16 unlocked after beating Black difficulty mode in Black has an M203 attached.
  • Absolutely available in 7.62 High Calibre, though it negatively affects the balance of the gun it's attached to.
  • Eldritch has one on her M16A4 in the Whateley Universe. Watch out for a superpowered mutant who carries around an M203.

Revolver grenade launchers
There are a large number of launchers that use a revolver-style cylinder magazine, dating back to the Manville Machine Projector, a 1930s tear gas launcher; this formed the basis of the later Hawk MM-1 developed in the 70s. Modern examples include the Russian RG-6 launcher, essentually a frame holding six seperate GP30 launcher tubes, and the MGL-140 / M32, which is becoming an increasingly common sight in movies and games due to its tacticool appearance. Such launchers are very popular with police and anti-riot units due to their ability to fire a wide range of incapacitating rounds and sustained fire abilities, and 37mm launchers made by companies such as Enfield and DefTech are often seen in movies substituting for their more lethal cousins.

  • Riot launchers are likely to be seen in anything involving riot police or SWAT units.
  • In Terminator 2, a SWAT unit equipped with MM-1 launchers loaded with tear gas storms the Cyberdyne building. Arnold Schwarzenegger later takes one of the launchers for himself, at one point firing it point-blank at a hapless officer.
  • The Transformers movies feature a variety of revolver launchers used to fire the "special sabot rounds" which are the only thing that can harm the Decepticons.
  • The RGB-6 (a Croatian clone of the Milkor MGL) shows in Metal Gear Solid 2 as a usable weapon, and a Milkor MGL is used by Raging Raven in 4.
  • An RG-6 is available in STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl, called the "Bulldog 6" as part of the game's AKA-47 tendencies.
  • The 1980 movie of The Dogs of War had a number of "XM-18's" (actually Manville guns) used for the climatic attack.
  • The Demoman in Team Fortress 2 uses one as his primary weapon.
  • "You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling."
  • The RG-6 is one of two grenade launchers in 7.62 High Caliber and the only multi-shot explosive weapon.

Mark 19
Designed as a crew-served weapon to provide high firepower to infantry and light vehicles, this 73-pound blowback-operated 40mm grenade launcher first entered service during the Vietnam War where it was used on river patrol boats, and has been in use ever since. Capable of firing at around 350rpm, the weapon is accurate out to just under a mile against point targets, and can be mounted on a tripod; more commonly, however, it is mounted on ground vehicles or helicopters. The weapon's heavy weight is its principal shortcoming, and efforts are underway to replace it with a more sophisticated and modern weapon; the cancelled XM307 was one such attempt, while the Mark 47 Mod 0 is currently being evaluated as a possible candidate. The Mark 19 has been exported and copied extensively, and will likely remain in service in other countries for a long time to come.

  • A frequent sight in movies and videogames set during or after the Vietnam War; it's not so frequent to see it actually fired in a movie, however.
  • Far Cry featured a curious depiction of the Mk 19 as a single-shot weapon with an automated rangefinding system. Far Cry 2 featured a more accurate depiction mounted on trucks and boats, but for balancing purposes the rate of fire was toned down to about one shot every 2 seconds.
  • Seen in Jurassic Park III mounted on Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles.
  • Usable in Battlefield 2.
  • Call Of Duty 4 features the Mk 19 during the Shock and Awe mission.
  • America's Army features the Mk 19 as one of the weapons on the CROWS turrets.
  • Phoenix Force. A Mk19 mounted on a Fast Attack Vehicle is used to decimate a small army in "Aswan Hellbox".

Literally “Armor Fist” in German, this was the anti-tank weapon of the German Army in WWII. It consisted of a small pre-loaded steel launch tube that fired a shaped-charge explosive warhead specifically designed to penetrate tank armor. Operated by a single soldier, it was also the first such weapon designed to be disposable, the spent tube was simply thrown away after firing. It was easy to manufacture, simple to use, and at only 11 pounds weight, very light compared to the damage it could cause. Excepting the notoriously tough-to-kill Russian T-34, almost any Allied tank could be destroyed by a solid hit from the Panzerfaust. The final mass-produced versions were nominally accurate to 100 meters and could defeat up to 8 inches of armor. The overall simplicity also encouraged them to be issued to everyone and anyone from regular soldiers to the most poorly-trained conscripts. As the conflict drew to a close, some civilian volunteer units were equipped with nothing but this weapon. The distinct profile ( somewhat resembling half of a giant cotton swab) makes it instantly recognizable and can be the defining “Oh Crap” moment when someone pops out of cover with one and takes aim.

  • Just about every WWII video game has this filling the "rocket launcher" slot for the Axis side, usually opposite the Allied Bazooka.
    • Medal of Honor
    • Call of Duty
    • Return to Castle Wolfenstein, though it's incorrectly shown to be a rocket, leaving a flame/smoke trail behind it during flight, in reality, it used only a black powder charge for launching.
  • The Principality of Zeon and their remnants (and their remnants' remnants) from the Gundam metaseries make use of giant robot-sized ones. From when the Zaku I and the Zudah were competing to be Zeon's main mobile suit up to the conflict over Laplace's Box, the Zekes have it as a mainstay in their armouries.

M1 / M9 / M20 Bazooka
The M1 rocket launcher was developed in the US; while the basic idea of a rocket-powered recoilless infantry weapon had been around since World War 1, the weapon was not first issued until 1942. The name 'bazooka' came from how it resembled Bob Burns's 'bazooka' instrument in the 30s, and the name stuck so well that any biggish gun or rocket launcher risks being called a bazooka. The M9 version used an optic sight, reinforced tube and a more powerful rocket, while the M20, introduced during the Korean War, used a much larger round with increased range. Soviet soldiers found it a very welcome change from obsolete anti-tank rifles when it was provided to them by Lend-Lease, and the Germans soon produced their own version using a massive 88mm round, the Panzershreck. The Bazooka was ultimately phased out during the Vietnam war, replaced by the M72 LAW disposable launcher.

  • More or less any WW 2 movie or videogame which contains tanks will also contain bazookas to fire at them.
  • Used by Easy Company soldiers against German tanks in Band of Brothers.
  • Used in all the WW 2 Call of Duty games by the player and other squad members; usually the M1, though the M9 is used in World at War.
  • You end up using (and taking fire from) Bazookas towards the end of the War segment in Conkers Bad Fur Day. It's in the multiplayer modes, too.
  • Saving Private Ryan One is used by Sgt. Horvath to destroy one of the German armored vehicles during the climactic assault. He then fires it again at a Tiger tank, against which it does no good.

LAW Rocket
The M72 LAW (Light Anti-Armor Weapon) is a Vietnam-era development focused on cutting down launcher weight and size when compared to the WWII Bazooka while still allowing a soldier to carry enough firepower to knock out armored targets. It consists of a single unguided 66mm rocket enclosed in a collapsible launch tube. Once fired, a set of fins on the rocket deploy to stabilize it in flight, and it is fused to detonate on contact with the target. Like the Panzerfaust, the design is geared towards simplicity and cheap construction, with the tube being discarded after firing. Tests have been underway since The Eighties to find a successor, ( Such as the more-powerful AT-4 ) but the LAW’s low cost and easy “everyman” use means it will probably be staying in service for the foreseeable future. A common sight in action movies as it gives the hero the ability to single-handedly deal some serious damage like blowing up vehicles and small structures. The relative ease of finding a spent launch tube on the collector’s market to use as a prop also helps. Some fictional depictions make the mistake of depicting it as reloadable but this is only possible with training versions that do not fire the actual armor-piercing rounds.

  • In Ronin, one is employed to blow up a carload of mooks during the car Chase Scene.
  • Chuck Norris uses one to deal with the Big Bad at the end of Invasion USA.
  • Rambo used this to destroy a helicopter in the second movie.
  • Dirty Harry in The Enforcer
  • “D-Fens” Foster fires one in Falling Down
  • Call of Duty Black Ops - Available in both single and multiplayer modes. The game makes the mistake of showing it as capable of locking on to aircraft, though the opportunity to do so only occurs in online play.

A surface-to-air missile system that entered service in the 1980s and was used to devastating effect by Afghan resistance fighters against the Soviets. The FIM-92 man-portable version, although by no means the only MANPADS in service, is one of the best known. An air-launched version, the AIM-92 or ATAS, also exists for use by helicopters and Predator UAVs, and the M6 Linebacker, Humvee and AN/TWQ-1 Avenger vehicles are also able to launch Stingers.

  • Features in Licence to Kill and a key point of the plot, as well as the focus of a stunt involving an 18-wheeler going up on 9 wheels.
    • In GoldenEye, Q mentions that the BMW Z3 he's giving bond has stinger missiles behind the headlamps, not that it is actually possible considering that the missiles are half the length of the car and there is nowhere for the back blast to go.
  • One is used to destroy a Goa'uld fighter in Stargate SG-1.
  • The Stinger appears in both the original Metal Gear Solid and MGS2, where it is required to shoot down aircraft, and the only weapon effective against Metal Gears. It's also available in MGS4 though due to the lack of bosses that require it, it isn't particularly useful.
    • Weapons expert and ally Nastasha Romanenko also tells you that her favorite weapon is the Stinger, her favorite novel is a thriller called Stinger, and her favorite cocktail is a stinger. She says she just really likes stingers.
  • Doctor Who. In "Army of Ghosts" the British army blows up a Cyberman with one, even though it's an AA weapon.
  • In the climax of the Desperate Escape chapter of Resident Evil 5, an enemy wields this weapon against the protagonists.
  • Deconstructed as a Cool Gun in Tom Clancy's Executive Orders. Someone asks why this wasn't used to bring down the kamikaze who plowed into the Capitol; he's reminded that it probably would not have really matterred at that point in its flight plan.
  • In Charlie Wilson's War, the main plot was about the titular character assisting the Afghan mujahideen by supplying them with Stinger missile launchers. These played a major role in shooting down the much hated Soviet Mi-24 Hind gunships.
  • Towards the end of True Lies, terrorists fleeing in a van attempt to shoot down an attacking Marine Corps Harrier jet with a Stinger, but fail miserably, the backblast actually taking out one of their own guys.
  1. I'm seeing where it uses either #4 shot and 00, need more clarification on this