The EX-41 Shoulder Fire Grenade Launcher[1] was a prototype American pump-action grenade launcher designed and manufactured by NOS Louisville and Picatinny Arsenal with further development by Knight Armament Company in 1995. A design by NOS Louisville, the EX-41 was an attempt at combining the best traits from single-shot and automatic grenade launchers.

History[edit | edit source]

The EX-41 was designed in an attempt to develop a multiple shot grenade launcher, following in the veins of the China Lake and T148 grenade launchers; at that time, the standard grenade launchers in use were the M203 and Mk 19 grenade launchers. This project was headed by Naval Ordnance Station Louisville under a directive by the United States Marine Corps, with the goal of combining the traits of the Mk 19 and M203 into one package.[2]

One prototype was built in 1995 by NOS Louisville and tested; this prototype was named the EX-41. The EX-41, while effective, was heavier than 7 kilograms (15 pounds) as specifications required and did not have the required effective range of 3,000 metres (3,300 yards; 1.9 miles). Improvements had to be made if the weapon was to be adopted; as such, NOS Louisville sent the sole EX-41 prototype to Knight Armament Company to add a flash suppressor and modify the design of the feed tube in November 1995.[1] These improvements never came to be and the sole EX-41 prototype remains under KAC ownership.[2]

The weapon was not well-liked by those who shot it, with KAC employee Trey Knight likening shooting the EX-41 to being "punched in the face".[3]

Design Details[edit | edit source]

The EX-41's form factor was quite similar to that of a shotgun, with a tube magazine located underneath the barrel. The weapon features iron sights, but also optics of an unknown make.[2] The weapon also features a hydraulic buffer system.[3]

Ammunition[edit | edit source]

The EX-41 uses specialized 40mm grenades developed by Indiana Ordnance. The grenades were a hybrid between low- and high-velocity grenades; this was intended to reduce recoil to an acceptable level but have the grenades retain a useful exiting velocity from the muzzle.[2]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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