|Weight: 45 lbs
Length: 5 ft
Operation: Shoulder fired; attached
monopod/bipod ; or M1917A1 MG tripod.
Projectiles: HE, 5.3 lbs; High explosive anti
tank (HEAT), 5.64 lbs; Smoke, 5.66 lbs
Range: 4300 yards.
Recoilless rifles are capable of
firing artillery-type shells at velocities and with
an accuracy comparable to those of standard guns,
but almost entirely without recoil.
The 57mm, shown above top being
used by Marines in Korea, was used about like a
bazooka. Although much heavier than the M9 2.36 in. bazooka, it could
nonetheless be fired from the shoulder. Much more
powerful than the M9, and with significantly
greater range, it was particularly effective early
in the Korean War when the 3.5 inch bazooka was
Unfortunately, our troops first in
the field against the T34, Task Force Smith at Osan, had
neither 3.5 in. bazookas, nor adequate supplies of
HEAT projectiles for the 57mm recoilless rifles.
During the Korean War there was
also a White Phosphorous (WP) round available, in
addition to the HE, AT, and Smoke rounds, for the
57mm "reckless". I toasted many MG
bunkers with them in 1950-52; as part of
G/2d/8th/1st Cav Div.