M3 Carl Gustaf guns are only used by Special Forces. However, with the insurgents in Afghanistan becoming familiar with the limitations of the M-16 rifles used by the army, the well-reputed M3 guns will now become standard issue for all regular units in the U.S. army.
Also called MAAWS or the Multi Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System manufactured by a Swedish company is known for being a ‘recoilless rifle’. M3 guns can fire an 84 mm projectile up to a mile. It weighs about 15 pounds and can take out tanks.
The ‘recoilless’ ability is one of its best features since soldiers just need to set the big gun above the shoulder then fire.
The M3 recoilless rifle will be a game changer for US war fighters with its cannon-caliber according to John Belanger, spokesperson for Saab, manufacturer of the gun. Belanger added that the weapon system would reduce the cost and dependence of soldiers on air support and artillery. With M3s capabilities, commanders can now deploy units in various combat environments. The gun both features portability and lethality, which units usually have to trade-off when being deployed.
MAAWS can target up to 1,250 meters range and comes with night vision scope, which makes the recoilless rifle effective day and night compared to the previous standard weapons systems used by soldiers before which can only target up to 300 meters range
The rifles are also positioned above the shoulders so the propelling force when firing escapes out and not absorbed by the body. The M3 rifles look and function like rocket launchers.