For the Man who has Everything: RPG-7 Trainer

Ordnance.com offered this on GunBroker (it will either sell, expire or roll over to a new listing today). It’s a live RPG-7V trainer that shoots, not rocket-propelled grenades, but 7.62 x 39mm rounds. It’s regulated to shoot to the same point that the normal PG-7V grenade hits, with  tracer ammo, but it’s all-around a great procedures and marksmanship trainer for this ubiquitous AT weapon. (And anti-personnel weapon. And anti-helicopter weapon. And anti-anything-worth-shooting weapon. And we-Afghans-are-celebrating-a-wedding weapon. And… well, you get the point).

This one’s been modified a little to color within the lines of the National Firearms Act of 1934. First, it can’t load or fire a live PG-7V or other rocket-propelled grenade round, only the subcaliber device. Second, ATF interprets a subcaliber device as a “firearm,” not any specific kind of firearm… but installing it in an RPG-7V, even one that’s been modified so that it cannot fire live rounds, creates a “short barreled rifle.” (Hey, Congress writes the laws and the ATF has to work with them). This is not some experiment that they think will be approved by ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch, but they have the FTB letter.

The shipping/handling case is also a creation of Ordnance.com. It’s an elegant set-up with laser-cut foam for the launcher, subcaliber round, ammo and accessories. The Russians and Soviet satellite forces used to ship these things in wooden crates, like everything else. Russia has plenty of lumber.

This RPG-762 kit contains the following items:

RPG-762 Rocket Launcher Training Kit

  1. Aluminum hard case, with wheels
  2. RPG-7 Rocket Launcher
  3. Optical Sight with soft case
  4. Bipod assembly
  5. Sling
  6. PG-7 7.62x39mm Subcaliber Firearm
  7. 7.62mm BoreSnake bore cleaner
  8. 15 rounds of 7.62x39mm Spotter/Tracer Ammunition
  9. 30 rounds of 7.62x39mm Tracer Ammunition
  10. Letter from the BATFE which states the launcher is not a destructive device

Overall, the kit is in museum quality condition. The Bulgarian RPG-7 rocket launcher started out as a demiled unit, and we painstakingly reactivated the fire control and have restored the launcher to like-new condition. External finish is not painted, but is a beautiful and very durable glossy powder-coated finish.

The launcher is only capable of firing the PG-7 subcaliber unit, and cannot fire live rockets. The unit was evaluated by the Firearms Technology Branch of the BATF, and it is not classified as a destructive device, but rather a trigger mechanism for the subcaliber firearm. A copy of the BATF’s determination letter will be included with the sale. The subcaliber firearm, which is chambered in 7.62x39mm, is classified as a “firearm only” by the BATF, so the subcal unit must be transferred/shipped to your FFL dealer. You will then go fill out a 4473 form and pick the subcal unit up……just as you would any other regular firearm. There is no special NFA paperwork involved in the purchase or transfer of this kit.

The subcal unit has been modified to work with the launcher, and is also approved by ATF. The subcal unit is not classified as a rifle or a pistol, but just as a “firearm”. The original barrel length was less than 16-inches, so it has been permanently lengthened, so ATF would not classify the subcal unit as a short-barreled rifle, when used in conjunction with the RPG-7 launcher.

The kit is extremely fun to set-up and shoot, and is a fantastic training aid to practice firing the real RPG-7. It is also a stunning display piece, and would be a beautiful display in your office, gun store, firing range, or man cave! The rifling in the subcal unit is over-broached, which makes the grooves extra deep. This was to allow additional blow-by of the propellant gases, and gives the 7.62mm projectile the same trajectory as the real PG-7 rocket propelled grenade that the RPG-7 fires.

You have to admit, that is a solution that is at once ingenious and simple — a Russian solution an American engineer would never think of!

The optics are in beautiful condition, and the optical sight has been sighted in with the subcal unit, and is surprisingly accurate. If you click on the video link below, you can view a YouTube video of us setting up the kit and firing it…..this video will do a better job of explaining how the kit works, than our written description here, so please take a look at the video and the photos. As mentioned previously, the subcal unit will need to be shipped to your FFL dealer. The hard case, along with all of the contents will be shipped directly to you, via UPS Ground insured.

Here’s the video, that they mention above, of this exact system in action :

Just the thing for the advanced Russian small arms collector. The launcher works with the enclosed subcaliber device / dummy round exclusively, and it can be aimed with the optic (ISTR the nomenclature is RPO-7?) or with the back-up iron sights. Yes, every RPG-7 since they were introduced some 55 years ago has BUIS… Ivan had BUIS before BUIS was cool. (The prismatic optic is extremely robust, for what it’s worth).

We’re yuuuuge RPG-7 fans here. It’s a simple weapon, but a reliable, dependable, accurate and powerful one that the US still doesn’t have a real counterpart for, a half century later. We half considered just buying this thing, rather than blogging it and letting one of you guys grab it. But we’ve decided to sleep on it. (And, funny thing: this post was a hasty fill-in because the long, technical post we worked on all day yesterday was not coming together in time. Yet, we like it better than the one we worked on much longer).

18 thoughts on “For the Man who has Everything: RPG-7 Trainer

  1. Simon

    The Brits had something similar with a 22LR round. Obviously, it is not as nice as a tracer round, but it did the same job. That was in the late 1970s. If I search around I might find something about it.

  2. Steve M.

    Gunbroker can truly turn up some interesting items. Neat-o.

    So this is another one of those cheap Russian tricks. I can’t imagine what our training devices cost. Certainly not the cost per round of 7.62×39.

    As far as our weapons go, isn’t the Carl Gustav supposedly going to see more widespread use in the Army? I understand they are two different weapons, but is the CG at least a step in the right direction? Questions from the clueless…..

    1. Hognose Post author

      The limitation of the CG is that the round’s got to fit inside. The beauty of the RPG (and why the Russians had no compunction about lifting the Panzerfaust idea, even from the hated Teutons) id that the warhead’s outside, and so length and width are, essentially, free. So you get things like tandem charges, hyperbarics, even larger Monroe effect ‘heads, etc.

      We have a subcaliber device for LAW and another for AT-4 that work OK. In fact, there’s a sub device for the CG but I dunno if the US uses it. The US Army generally designs and locates ranges, and schedules range time, so that it no trip to the range for 1 hour of shooting can be done without at least one whole day of screwing around. So they try to pack all shooting for the year into one training week, as if shooting is something extra special and not part of a soldier’s everyday job. Sad!

      1. Steve M.

        Hognose,
        I never considered the benefits of an exposed round. I was always hung up on my simpleton thought that the CG was better because the tube is rifled.

        I appreciate the unbiased descriptions of various weapons on this site. I also appreciate the responses to the slower students in the class.

    2. William O. B'Livion

      I fired an AT-4 simulator sometime in the distant past that used a 9mm tracer, IIRC.

  3. TRX

    > a Russian solution an American engineer would never think of!

    Since the grooves were broached, that meant a custom broach had to be made. Likely more than one, until they found the correct amount of depth to give the results they wanted. Each time with weeks or months of lead time in the toolroom, and then an afterlife as a custom tool that would have to be stored for future use.

    An American engineer, generally thinking about things like cost and time-to-market, would simply have drilled vent holes in a standard barrel until the ballistics were what he wanted.

  4. BillC

    That guy from Ordnance dot com is hold the RPG waaaay wrong. the right had holds the forward grip with trigger, while the left hand hold the read grip with the left arm across the chest. It bugs me every time when I see somebody holding the RPG like a jagaloon.

    Also, the RPG-7 is probably, reusable, lightweight anti-armor (or anything depending the projectile or rocket loaded) system out there.

    1. Ti

      I learn something new everyday here. Don’t jagaloon the launcher. I’m sure you guys train on them in the sandbox. Has anyone ever fired one in anger at the enemy? Any stories?

      1. BillC

        Wow, auto correct hit me hard on that post. Most of the General Purpose Forces don’t train, or know much about the RPG-7 (like the launcher is the RPG-7 while the ammo is generally the PG-7v (which is a rocket) or OG-7(which is not a rocket)), despite its widespread use around the world. Training would require a lot launchers and even more of the PG-7 rockets (which really doesn’t exist outside of Bulgaria or Iran). Plus it would encourage battlefield pick-ups of launchers and ammo of dubious quality and origin.

        I can tell stories of being shot at from the RPG-7, but none about shooting one.

        I heard a couple years ago the US Army was looking into Airtronic USA Inc.’s RPG-7 as part of the annual Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (where pictures showed service members still holding it wrong). But that was more of a looking into the weapon, rather than a serious inquiry for fielding.

        1. Ti

          Thanks for sharing. Makes sense now, – dubious quality. Like salted ammo or booby-traps no need to even go there.

  5. Docduracoat

    I WANT one!
    And the shotgun mortar you showed earlier
    And a 40 mm under barrel grenade launcher with chalk rounds

  6. S

    Ian at Forgotten Weapons has a vid of an original of these. Laziness, and cowardice in the face of the post- approval routine for our overworked host, dictate you dig the link up yourself.

    Btw, a combo of the Jap knee mortar and the RPG7 would send that colossal waste, the 25mm airburst GL, to the dustbin of history, no? Ian mentions the RPG built-in self destruct timer being used to good effect; 60 years and many millions of dollars cheaper.

  7. Jonathan

    I like the idea of this and looked seriously at it – but for way less than the money they are asking, I could buy a demiled RPG-7 launcher, do a Form 1 to activate it, and then buy the same subcaliber device, from Ordnance or someone else.
    It is nice, but not $4500 nice – my way would have less than $2000 in it, a lot less if I found one of the cheaper subcaliber devices (there are multiple variants).

  8. Greg

    Never fired the RPG-7 – only the Carl Gustav (& M72) – but one thing I do remember is that the firer’s legs shouldn’t be under the freaken Venturi when prone!

    Speaking of sub-cal devices, while playing a small part in introducing the 20mm sub-cal round for the M3 CG down here, there was a ‘teachable moment’ in the difference between (& assumptions underpinning) how the Army does Range Danger Template construction vs. how the Air Force does it!

    Cool toy, though.

  9. Buckaroo

    $6000?? Just grow a beard, get a tan, and go down to your local mosque and make some discreet inquiries. I bet for $6K someone could arrange for you to get a dozen of the real thing.

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