In 1946, two Swedes named Hugo Abramson and Harald Jentzen designed the Carl Gustaf, which at the time appeared to be just another recoilless rifle like the famous bazooka. Many of these weapons fell out of use in the following decades as anti-tank missiles took over.
But the Carl Gustaf stuck around — and for a different role than Abramson and Jentzen had planned in the 1940s. For one, it’s now just as much an anti-infantry weapon owing to its range, low cost and types of ammunition.
Soldiers are fond of the 84-millimeter Carl Gustaf, and it’s easy to see why. The weapon is quite practical for dismounted infantry — especially at long ranges — and creates a thrilling blast, so it’s fun to shoot. The U.S. Army had a handful in service with Special Operations units, and they proved so popular that the Army began distributing them widely.
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