Aimpoint and the RPG, Mythbusters and the RPG

Mythbusters loves to test firearms myths and we love them right back for it.  Their upcoming myth for next week is the question we’ve all been furiously asking since the show started, “Can you shoot down an RPG with small arms fire?”  Well, maybe it’s just been us…

But honestly, we’ll take any excuse to see Kari the Mythbusters play with an RPG.  And now we want to see that episode.  The one in this trailer.

It looks like they’ve got the world-standard RPG-7 there.  Developed at the start of the ’60s, the first RPG-7s went into service in 1961, and is the direct successor to the Russian RPG-2, first issued in 1949, after the world recognized the brutal effectiveness of the German Panzerfaust.  Despite their similar appearance, the Panzerfaust is pretty rudimentary compared to the RPG.

Primarily, the Panzerfaust armed itself as it left the tube.  So don’t drop ’em.  Also, the Panzerfaust used a single charge to propel the warhead out of the disposable tube, where the RPG uses a second-stage motor to accelerate and stabilize the warhead.  The RPG tubes are reusable, too.

The RPG-7’s warhead is also incredibly fast, topping out at 294m/s, slightly faster than the Carl Gustav’s 290, the Western successor to the Bazooka and later the M67.  Both are effective to about 400m, or damn, that’s still really far away.  Given the quality of modern tank armor, both the RPG and the Carl Gustav have found their niche as support weapons, anti-vehicle weapons, and portable long-range explosion-delivery systems.

As handy as they are, they are both products of the Cold War, which means their iron sights just don’t cut it anymore.  Why Aimpoint, look at what you’ve got there

“The Aimpoint FCS12 is a Fire Control System for weapons like the recoilless Carl Gustav and panzerfaust as well as Automatic Grenade Launchers and other support weapons [i.e. RPGs]. The operator aims at the target on a direct line-of-sight, which allows both eyes open. The optical axis between the eye and the target is not broken or linked by use of prisms.The sight contains an eye safe 1550 nm LRF (Laser Range Finder), a ballistic computer with the capability to store up to 50 different ballistic algorithms, and a parallax free optical channel with unlimited eye relief.

“The FCS12 compensates automatically for the ballistic drop of projectiles at measured distances, factoring in variables such as: rotational (spin) drift, propellant temperature and terrain angle.”

So yes, we will take one for product evaluation.  Uh, feel free to include some Gustavs and RPGs, too.  We will absolutely be responsible to the utmost of considerations.  Promise.