M25 Grenade Rifle

320px xm25 july 2009

(From: http://www.pmulcahy.com/best_stuff_that_never_was/best_gls_that_never_were.htm)


The M-25 is a child of the XM-29 OICW – it is the grenade launcher component, upsized into a weapon using 25mm grenades that are related (but not the same) as those of the XM-307 OCSW. As such, the M-25 is an advanced, “next-generation” support weapon – and one whose real-life price is quite high.

The M-25 uses an external design similar in appearance to that of the also ill-fated XM-8 assault rifle; it is a smooth, sleek, lightweight polymer shell. The M-25 uses a bullpup design instead of the XM-8’s sliding-stock design, with a recoil pad on the buttplate. Feed is by a polymer 8-round magazine; case ejection may be set up for left or right-handed shooters. Many of the metal parts are of the M-25 also made from light alloys, with heavy steel being kept to a minimum (such as the barrel and other high-wear parts).

Atop the receiver is an advanced target acquisition/fire control sight, incorporating a thermal imager/optical sight (with 2x magnification for both), powered direct-view optics (called under the Twilight 2000 v2.2 rules an image intensifier), a laser rangefinder, and a compass. The data that the sight provides is tied together by a ballistic computer; this computer computes a fire solution, sets the fuzes of the rounds about to be fired, and then presents the information to the shooter on a unified display inside the sight. The shooter can accept the provided fire solution or modify some or all of it as necessary.

The M-25 might be simply an advanced, rather small-caliber grenade launcher, were it not for the equally-advanced ammunition fired by the M-25. Initially, the XM-25 was to use the same ammunition as the XM-307 OCSW, but due to the higher power of the XM-307’s ammunition, infighting between Alliant and General Dynamics (working on the XM-307), and repeated delays in the XM-307 itself, a compromise was made. The fuzes of the M-25 and XM-307 are identical, and the warheads are almost identical (though the warheads of the M-25’s ammunition are a little smaller). The case and propelling charge, however, is quite a bit smaller than that of the XM-307, with a 40mm-long case being used. This drops the velocity (and range) of the M-25’s ammunition quite a bit (it’s considered a low-velocity round), but it makes the recoil manageable and still provides the M-25 about double the effective range of the M-203.

The fire control system of the M-25 not only sets the fuze of the grenade’s warhead to explode at the proper range, but also (depending on the target and warhead) the proper height above the target (in the case of the HEAB or Thermobaric rounds). This gives the M-25 the “Airburst” portion of its designation – the grenades are meant to be primarily used to explode above the heads of their targets, causing the maximum damage to entrenched or exposed troops, soft-skinned troops and materiel. The airburst abilities of the ammunition means that the small 25mm grenade is able to cause damage equal to or greater than the 40×46mm round currently used by most of the world’s 40mm grenade launchers. The ammunition can also be set for point detonation (on contact with the target) or point detonation delay (delaying the detonation a few milliseconds, in order to go through a window or doorway) if desired or if the computer has a glitch or damage and cannot be used. The rounds shown below are those currently being tested; in addition, two training rounds have also been designed.

Designation Ammunition Load Magazine Barter
M-25 25×40mm Low-Velocity 6.35 kg 8 $3410

M25 Grenade Rifle

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