The RPG-7 is one of the most iconic anti armor weapons in history, I dare say. It is widely available all over the world and it’s so simple a child could use it, but oh boy is it an impressive weapon up close. The Russian acronym for the weapon is Ruchnoi Protivotankovyi Granatomyot which basically translates to anti-tank rocket propelled grenade, although it usually takes more than one to disable a tank let alone destroy it. They are used by Peshmerga forces primarily against VBIEDs because they are far more prevalent in the war against Daesh and cause devastation on a much larger scale. They are also used against enemy occupied structures, bunkers, transport vehicles and if it cannot be avoided… tanks. The launcher has a 40mm caliber tube and weighs in at roughly 15 pounds. It has an effective firing range of 200-300 meters with an absolute maximum range of around 900 meters, good luck hitting an intended target at extreme ranges. The warhead comes in several different shapes and sizes (40-105mm) depending on where it was manufactured, it must be prepped accordingly before it is capable of being fired. The rocket fly’s at 115-300 meters per second dependent on weather conditions, humidity and barometric pressure play a large role.
A backpack usually accompanies the system itself carrying 3 rockets and corresponding charges for each warhead. This charge contains propellant as well as a pair of collapsible fins that extend when the RPG is fired. To prep the rocket for use, a tube shaped charge must be screwed into the rear of the warhead. Before inserting it into the launcher, a pin must be extracted from the tip otherwise it will not explode upon impact and essentially would have the effect of a paper weight moving at an incredibly high speed. There is a notch at the front of the tube that lines up with a dimple on the rocket, these must merge for it to be seated properly. In conjunction with all this, the safety should be on and the hammer must be locked to the rear before insertion.
The RPG-7 is not an extremely accurate weapon but it is not as inaccurate as Hollywood would lead you to believe, errors in accuracy are largely in part due to end user error or a damaged rocket, like if it were dropped and dented. As always the marksmanship principles apply and will make a huge difference. Clear back-blast and let her rip!
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