Handheld anti-tank grenades RPG-6 and RPG-43 (figs. 1 and 2) are designed to combat enemy armoured targets (tanks, armoured cars, armoured pillboxes). RPG-6 can penetrate up to 100 mm of armour, RPG-43 can penetrate up to 75 mm of armour.
The mass of an armed RPG-6 grenade is about 1100 grams, the mass of an RPG-43 is about 1200 grams.
RPG-6 and RPG-43 are HE type impact grenades: they explode when they hit a solid object.
When an RPG-6 or RPG-43 grenade hits armour, it destroys the armour, kills the crew, destroys equipment, or can ignite fuel or detonate ammunition.
Throwing the grenades should only be done from cover or from a trench in order to keep the grenadier from harm.
It is necessary to throw the grenade with great force so that it hits the tank or armoured car with its flat end. If there is strong wind, throw the grenade with even more force to give it the proper trajectory.
It is not sensible to throw an RPG-6 or RPG-43 grenade at the tracks or the suspension of a tank, instead of an RPG-40 grenade that is much more effective in this case.
Design of Handheld Anti-Tank Grenades
Design of the RPG-6 grenade
Components and mechanisms
The grenade consists of a hull, handle, and fuse (fig. 3).
The handle (fig. 5) makes throwing the grenade more convenient and holds the impact mechanism, stabilizer, and safety mechanism. It consists of the hull, an eye, and a nut. The nut welded to the end of the handle attaches the handle to the hull. The side of the handle has: a round opening for the striker safety pin, an eye for a locking pin that keeps the safety lever on the handle, and an indentation for the lever. The upper part of the handle has two openings for the stabilizer ribbons.
The striker mechanism is inside the handle and consists of the casing, a cup, a nut, a striker with a striker pin, a safety pin, a ball bearing, and a safety cap with a cord.
The casing holds the striker mechanism. The middle part has two round openings, one for the pin, the other for the ball bearing.
The cup welded to the casing connects the casing and the handle and is a stopper for the safety spring. The cup has an opening in the center so the striker pin can hit the detonator capsule on impact.
The nut holds the case and the cup to the handle hull.
The striker and pin ignite the detonator capsule.
The safety spring prevents the striker from hitting the detonator prematurely.
The ball bearing holds the striker in the upper position when the grenade is thrown after the pin fell out but before the stabilizer is fully deployed.
The safety cap locks the ball bearing in the hull. It has two openings, one for the pin and one for the cord which is used to pull the safety cap away in flight.
The stabilizer consists of two large and two small fabric ribbons. One end of the large fabric ribbons is attached with a nut and rivets to the handle, the other end is attached to the bottom of the safety lever. The cord of the safety cap is tied to the middle of one of the large stabilizer ribbons.
The safety mechanism of the handle consists of the safety stopper, spring, safety lever, and pin.
The safety stopper consists of a pin and a cap that keeps the striker in the upper position until the grenade is thrown.
The spring shoots off the stopper and lever when the grenade is thrown.
The lever covers the handle of the grenade and extracts the stabilizer from the handle when the grenade is thrown, and also to hold the safety stopper in the grenade handle.
The pin holds the lever in place until the grenade is thrown.
The fuse (fig. 6) is the instant type. It is meant to detonate the explosives. The fuse consists of a cap that holds the plug, detonator capsule, and a secondary detonator.
The cap holds all the elements of the fuse, the detonator capsule triggers the secondary detonator, which, in turn explodes the grenade.
The plug holds the detonator capsule in the cap.
Work of the parts and mechanisms of the RPG-6 grenade
The striker, with the help of the pin, safety spring, and ball bearing, is held in the upper position. The stabilizer ribbons are in the handle and are held by the bottom of the safety lever. The striker pin is in the striker opening, held in by the safety lever, which is held in place by the plug. The sides of the plug are expanded, firmly preventing it from falling out. The safety spring is compressed.
To load the grenade:
- Screw off the handle of the grenade (fig. 7).
- Insert the fuse into the grenade (fig. 8)
- Screw the handle into the grenade (fig. 9)
- Hold the grenade in your right hand so that the lever is pressed firmly against the handle.
- Holding the grenade in your right hand, use your left to take out the plug (fig. 10)
- Swing energetically and throw the grenade towards your target.
- Having thrown the grenade, take cover immediately.
- Unscrew the grenade handle (fig. 15)
- Ensure that the hull contains the safety spring and the detonator pin, visually inspect them or carefully push on the spring with your finger.
- Screw the fuse onto the pin as far as it will go (fig. 16).
- Screw the handle onto the hull as far as it will go (fig. 17).
- Take the handle in your right hand, pressing the safety lever tightly against the handle.
- Holding the grenade in your right hand, pull out the safety pin (fig. 18).
- Swing and energetically throw the grenade at your target.
- Having thrown the grenade, immediately take cover.
Handling the RPG-6 and RPG-43 grenades
RPG-6 grenades are shipped in parts, and RPG-43 grenades are shipped assembled (handle is screwed into the hull). Fuses are shipped separately from the grenades.
The soldier carries RPG-6 and RPG-43 grenades in assembled state, but without a fuse. When receiving RPG-6 grenades, he must screw in the handle.
In order to avoid accidents in handling grenades, hand out real grenades only to trained soldiers, while ensuring the following safety precautions:
- Carry grenades in the grenade bag, with fuses kept separately from the grenades, each fuse wrapped individually in paper or a rag.
- Do not take apart the grenades or fuses and do not attempt to resolve defects. Report all defects to your commander.
- Keep the grenades and fuses away from fire, heat, moisture, and dirt. If the grenades or fuses are wet or dirty, wipe them down with a rag as soon as possible and dry them in sunlight or in a warm room. Keep them away from fire.
- Keep the grenades, and especially the fuses, away from shocks and impacts which can damage the grenade or activate the fuse.
- Store the grenades and fuses separately, arm them only before throwing or on special orders from your commander.
- Preparation of grenades for arming, arming, and throwing should only be done according to these instructions.
- Familiarization with the fuse, grenades, and learning how to throw them should only be done with training (dummy) grenades.
- Arm and disarm grenades in a situation that does not endanger others.
- In battle, keep all grenades and fuses (aside from grenades and fuses issued to soldiers) in factory packaging.
- If the hull of the grenade has some rust, but it can be wiped away, use the grenade. If the rust penetrated the hull of the grenade, do not issue it and destroy it with explosives. The fuse opening should be clean. In an RPG-43 grenade, the fuse opening should have a safety spring and a detonator pin. If those are absent, do not issue the grenade.
- The handle should be functional and not have deep dents. The alignment pin should enter the opening in the hull (in case of the RPG-43, it should enter an opening in the cup and not let it rotate, the connector should be held in place by a pin). The striker and the detonator pin should sit tightly in the RPG-6 handle and not move if the grenade is shaken. If there is a defect, do not issue the grenade.
- The safety pin ends must be moved apart and must not have a crack around the bend..
- It is forbidden to take apart the handle of the grenade or the fuse.