GM-94 grenade launchers in use with Russian forces in Crimea

N.R. Jenzen-Jones

Recent images from the Russian seizure of the Crimean peninsula have highlighted the range of weaponry employed by Russian forces and combatants variously identified as either pro-Russian militias or private security contractors. Kater reports indicate they may have been members of Russia’s GRU special operations forces. Amongst the weapons observed is the GM-94, a pump-action grenade launcher chambered for a proprietary 43 mm cartridge. These polymer-cased rounds are available in HE, HE-FRAG, thermobaric, illumination, smoke, and various less-lethal loadings. The GM-94 is fed from a three-round tubular magazine (3+1 capacity) located above the barrel, and the weapon features a double-action trigger and manual safety. One of the GM-94 grenade launchers pictured above is fitted with an EOTech type holographic weapon sight.

GM-94 grenade launcher. Image copyright Alexander Garr.

The presence of these weapons would be consistent with claims of Russian special operations forces (broadly referred to as Spetsnaz) or Russian-backed private security contractors operating in the region. Regardless, it is important to note that the GM-94 has been observed in several other countries, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and even Libya.

Numerous other weapon systems have also been observed in the hands of pro-Russian forces in civilian clothes or unmarked uniforms, including AK-74M, AKS-74N, AKMS, and AS “Val” rifles, SVD, SVDS, and VSS sniper rifles, PKM and PKP machine guns, GP-25 and GP-30 underbarrel grenade launchers, and PP-9 “Klin” submachine guns. Many of these weapons have been seen fitted with post-production accessories, including rails, foregrips, PBS series suppressors, and various optics.


Original source for image at top unknown. Taken from here.