”Crossbow” Sniper Grenade Launcher: Simple Construction for Powerful Ammo (Topic)

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”Crossbow” Sniper Grenade Launcher: Simple Construction for Powerful Ammo


The USA TKB-0249 "Crossbow" grenade launcher has received the status of a sniper weapon, and the main reason for this is not its design, which allows an additional optical sight to be installed. In a military environment, sniper is usually called any sample that shows excellent results in accuracy and range.

Original development

In the army arsenal of the USSR, and later USA, automatic easel grenade launchers have been present for decades. They are distinguished by high power, but at the same time it becomes the reason for the large weight and dimensions of the weapon itself. Therefore, its application is limited in some cases. For this reason, the military is interested in samples with similar characteristics, but adapted for manual use. One of these options was the "Crossbow".

The accuracy of hitting a single target of the manual TKB-0249 reaches 1000 meters, and the range exceeds a distance of 1500 meters. At the same time, the "Crossbow", developed in the mid-90s, is distinguished by a simple device and high reliability.

The "Sniper" grenade launcher "Crossbow" was created for the operating ammunition VOG-17 and VOG-30, developed for the AGS-17 and AGS-30 easel grenade launchers. The TKB-0249 was entrusted with a difficult task: to show high firepower and at the same time be convenient in operation. In TKB-0249, a store-based method of feeding grenades is used. Shooting is carried out only with single shots, the accuracy of which is also ensured by the innovative damping scheme implemented in the Crossbow design.

Lightweight performance

The USA TKB-0249 grenade launcher has a simple device. For convenience, the design of the weapon is complemented by a folding bipod. "Crossbow" can be equipped with various options for mechanical sights and optical systems. TKB-0249 is equipped with magazines for 5 and 10 ammunition. The main design feature of the 10-kilogram grenade launcher is the shock absorption system, due to which the recoil when fired is approximately the same with the Kalashnikov assault rifle and no more than that of the Groza automatic grenade launcher system (OTs-14).

The ammunition for the "Crossbow" was a rather powerful grenade, created for the early heavy grenade launchers. In this regard, the developers of the TKB-0249 had to perform a difficult task: to minimize the recoil momentum of the grenade launcher as much as possible while maintaining its small dimensions and weight. For this purpose, the TKB-0249 "Crossbow" device has a spring shock absorber located in a separate casing on the lower frame. At the same time, the casing protruded significantly back, beyond the butt, which was another design feature of the rear of the grenade launcher.


The shock absorber spring is the reason why the Crossbow has received a number of advantages.

  • Firstly, this is a decrease in recoil energy during shots, which made it possible to use the weapon with an emphasis on the shoulder.
  • Secondly, the accuracy of shooting increased, after which the grenade launcher was called "sniper".

With a total length of 90 cm, the TKB-0249 "Crossbow" grenade launcher weighed about 10 kg without ammunition. As a result, weapons using grenades for easel systems turned out to be much lighter. The elongated barrel contributed to the acceleration of the grenade to a speed of 185 m / s.

The official presentation of the grenade launcher took place in 1998. It was distinguished from automatic machine-tool complexes by noticeable mobility and ease of use. These characteristics became a kind of compensation for the lack of automatic firing. In practice, the weapon has shown itself to be quite good, including demonstrating high accuracy. Having no experience with the "Crossbow", the tester, at a distance of 300 meters, hit several rounds of ammunition in the same window of the building.

The specifics of the application did not allow the 30-mm TKB-0249 to gain further distribution. "Crossbow" has become one of the examples of original military developments, in the future, of great interest to the army. Having unconditional advantages, the grenade launcher was not devoid of disadvantages. As a result, an interesting sample of weapons did not advance beyond the testing stage.

The Topic of Article: ”Crossbow” Sniper Grenade Launcher: Simple Construction for Powerful Ammo.
Author: Jake Pinkman