I’m not sure if this is theater for the credulous press or the top brass at the LAPD really are as stupid as stupid as this piece makes them seem. In a bit of anti gun theater the LAPD produced a pair of “rocket launchers” obtained at a recent gun buy back. Upon examining the video what I saw was a pair of empty AT 4 tubes.
The AT 4 is an antitank rocket invented in Sweden and made in Sweden and the US. US forces used it in Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. (The US Army calls it “Lightweight Multipurpose Weapon M136.”) You can not reload the AT 4; It’s disposable. Once you have fired the missile that comes with it the remaining tube is an inert non-weapon, not even heavy enough to make a decent club. Even if you managed to get another rocket from somewhere the tube is not strong enough for a second shot.
But the CNN field reporter calmly assures us that since it’s “US made” it must have been smuggled in from somewhere. The “International Security Expert” LAPD has consulting for their gun buyback makes sonorous noises about an “RPG Launcher” and “assault weapons.” As someone hired to undermine the Second Amendment he’s earned his thirty pieces of silver. Candy Crowley and the field reporter wonder about how many other rockets got smuggled in.
Well… Maybe someone did smuggle in a pair of working AT 4s. After all, our borders are so porous you can smuggle in an entire Tyrannosaurus skeleton. And maybe Los Angeles is such a war zone that someone fired off a couple of antitank rockets without anyone noticing. Or maybe.. Just maybe.. something that’s been happening since we changed from having mobs to having armies happened. Perhaps these were expended units smuggled from a military base in the States and sold to a surplus store to raise quick cash a couple of days before payday.
It’s an INERT SHELL weighing about six pounds. It’s less dangerous than an empty steel ammo can, which has sharp corners. It’s only good as a display piece in somebody’s man cave, whence someone probably liberated it to trade in for gift cards right before Christmas. Don’t believe me? Here’s FM 3-23.25, “Shoulder-Launched Munitions,” in PDF format. In chapter 2 you’ll find that if you have to retreat and leave a bunch behind the fastest way to destroy a bunch of AT 4s is to fire them. They are then useless as weapons. If you go all the way down to Appendix B you’ll see a heavier metal lined thing that looks like an AT 4, the M237. It has a narrow opening and won’t handle the real 84 mm rounds, just skinny little practice rockets. Sections about the M237 with the skinny little practice rockets (“subcaliber munitions” in the manual) is also the only place where you will find anything about reloading anywhere in the manual.
The gun grabbers count on the media being ill-informed and shrieking over and over in a horrified voice “They had ROCKET LAUNCHERS!” They also count on people believing that corporate media tell the truth. You likely already knew how unlikely it was that major media would tell the truth about guns while they’re not just cheer leading, but actively pushing an anti gun agenda.
Or it could just be that everybody involved was just plain stupid. There’s one way to find out. Someone living in Los Angeles who still has Christmas paper rolls may want to spray paint the inner cardboard tubes olive-green and scrawl “ROKIT LUNCHER” on the side in Magic Marker to sell at the next LAPD gun buy back.