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The current time is: 2/25/2018 12:46:57 AM
Ohio, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 43

How effective is the M433 Dual Purpose 40 mm grenade launcher projectile?
Posted on: 3/16/2017 12:12:14 PM
Most sources state the M433 D.P. 40 mm grenade launcher projectiles can penetrate 50 mm of steel and has a 5 meter casualty radius.


Its been a long time since I was in the Army. But from what I remember the explosion of the projectile seemed rather weak.

I never saw a test of it against steel. 50 mm penetration seems very good for such a small projectile.

The You Tube videos showing rounds impacting don't look very powerful either.

Is the M433 as effective as listed?

The M433 seems to me to be an odd projectile. Since it is dual purpose it has to compromise between penetration and blast / fragmentation effect.

Is there a pure armor piercing projectile for the 40 mm launchers? A projectile optimized for anti-armor would have better penetration.

There is a high explosive projectile for the 40 mm launchers. The M406 cartridge.


The M406 is listed as having the same 5 meter casualty radius as the M433. A high explosive projectile should have a better casualty radius than a dual purpose projectile, unless the M433 is more of a blast type projectile with little fragmentation effect.
Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.


top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major

Posts: 3851

Re: How effective is the M433 Dual Purpose 40 mm grenade launcher projecti
Posted on: 3/16/2017 2:46:24 PM
Hi 17thfabn,

 The public data for modern projectiles is generalized. The actual effectiveness is published, but in a classified joint service work.

 As to armor penetration. For a modern HEAT projectile, penetration of armor several times the core diameter is common. At first glance, a 50-mm penetration capability for the M433 is not out of the question. Complicating the situation is the type of armor struck (Chobham armor is far more resistant to HEAT projectiles than basic RHA), and, of course, the strike angle. Modern tank HEAT projectiles are still effective across many strike angles, but I don't know if that is the case for something more basic like a 40-mm grenade.

 From what I could tell from available information, HEAT (or DP) projectiles have something like 2/3 the fragmentation effectiveness of an HE projectile of the same diameter. The M433 is probably similar in this regard. It is possible the casualty radius is still five meters, but with less fragmentation and therefore less chance of causing a casualty within the five meter radius. Lots of variables in play.


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