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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Washington, DC 20226

October 14, 2004

Improperly Destroyed Russian GP-30 Grenade Launcher Classified as a Destructive Device

The Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) recently examined a Russian GP-30 40mm grenade launcher that is currently advertised on the Internet as being deactivated and approved for sale to customers in the United States. The grenade launcher has not been properly destroyed and can be readily restored to firing condition.

The FTB evaluation identified a Russian GP-30 40mm grenade launcher as a single-shot, muzzle-loaded, 40mm grenade launcher. Marks of identification were found on the mounting bracket attached to the top of the barrel. These include the Cyrillic characters, Сделано в России and Макет МТВТ. Other marks include the letter “T” within a circle and triangle (Tula Factory proof) and the following letter, and alphanumeric, combinations: “E” within a circle, “510”, “O” within a circle, “A” within a circle, “10” within a partial circle, and “8” within a circle. Markings will vary.

The FTB examination found, further, that a latch mechanism on the mounting bracket is apparently designed to disable the device unless the unit is attached to a compatible rifle. However, this mechanism can be bypassed by manually depressing the latch spring, meaning that the device could be hand operated while detached from a rifle.

Also, the rifled barrel was approximately 4-11/16 inches in length. The bore diameter was 1.617 inches. The barrel is removable from the breech and the breech removable from the receiver. Two holes were drilled into the barrel beneath mounting bracket. Each hole is approximately 5/16 of an inch in diameter.

In addition, FTB found that the breech is a component part of the receiver assembly. The breech is secured to the front of the receiver by two pins, one of which also serves as the safety selector. These pins are secured to the receiver by a sliding metal retainer on the right side of the receiver. A section of the firing pin has been spot welded into the firing pin cavity in the breech face. A sliding ejector is positioned on the left side of the breech.

The rear of the breech is marked “070”. Two holes are present on the sides of the breech, one at approximately the 8:00 o’clock position and one at approximately the 4:00 o’clock position. Each hole measures approximately 5/16 of an inch in diameter.

The trigger and sear mechanisms are installed within the receiver. Affixed to the rear of the receiver is a soft rubber grip. The safety selector is found on the left side of the receiver, forward of the trigger. The selector lever markings are “п р” and “о ґ”.

On the basis of the examination, FTB has determined that the minimal alterations to the barrel and breech mechanisms are insufficient to render the weapon properly destroyed. Generally, proper destruction of a destructive device entails torch cutting the breech, cutting a hole equal in diameter to the bore in the high-pressure chamber area, and welding an obstruction in the barrel. The submitted GP-30 40mm grenade launcher could be readily restored to shoot by removing the spot welded firing pin and improvising a new one. The repair of the holes in the barrel is unnecessary for rehabilitating the device into a functional weapon.

In conclusion, the Russian GP-30 40mm grenade launcher is a defense article that was manufactured at the Tula Factory in Russia. This article, or any component part, is restricted from importation into the United States pursuant to the Voluntary Restraint Agreement (VRA) with Russia, 18 U.S.C. § 925(d)(3), and 27 CFR § 447.52 (formerly 47.52). Also, despite the alterations to the device, it remains a “destructive device” as defined in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(f) and, therefore on these grounds as well, is restricted from importation into the U.S. for commercial sale.

Photos of the device obtained during the examination are below.

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Russian GP-30 40mm grenade launcher

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Barrel alteration (interior view)

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Barrel alteration (top view)

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Breech (forward view)

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Breech (rear view, showing spot welded firing pin)

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Inert 40mm grenade