M7 GRENADE LAUNCHER
(FAY & SCOTT)
for M1 Rifle
BRIEF OVERALL HISTORY
The M7 was the first rifle grenade launcher adopted for the M1 Rifle. While spigot type rifle grenade launchers had been developed for previous rifles, the M1 Rifle presented a new challenge with its semi automatic function. Merely placing a launcher on the muzzle would over gas the operating system likely causing injury and failure of the rifle. A way to vent excess gas was needed. This was done by the adoption of a vented gas cylinder lock screw that was opened when the launcher was attached. This new lock screw and the M7 launcher would be adopted in 1943 and serve through WWII.
This launcher was made by Fay & Scott, which is marked on the underside of the latch arm along with the model (M7 Grenade Launcher) and what rifle it was for. Interestingly, the model nomenclature is different than that on the M7 produced by KN. Fay & Scott was a machining company that had been around since 1881 and made ordnance for the US during both World Wars.
LAUNCHER BODY WELDS
On top of the latch arm is a flaming bomb US Ordinance stamp. My guess is this is an acceptance stamp. If you know, send me a message.
The numbers 1 through 6 mark position rings on the launcher. These are used in determining range along with the angle of the launcher and the type of monition. The numbers correspond with the inset ring above each number.
FM 23-30 HAND AND RIFLE GRENADES
War Department 14 Feb 1944
By Michael Popernack