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LAWS Rockets Anyone?


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Hi everyone,

 

Im new to the forum-I posted a message in the introductions area.

 

I recently purchased a LAWS Rocket tube; it looks pretty complete, it is only missing the clear front sight. Ive been trying to read-up on these, and it seems information is very basic and thin. Mine came with a manual dated 1982 and a nice display stand. As Ive understood, these are usually dated, but I cant seem to fine the date on mine. I believe this is an M72A1- I think I saw that stamped on it towards the front.

 

I wanted to post and have those that know chime in and fill me in on the history and details, things to look for and such. For example- the missing clear front sight- I read that after use, these were removed due to the radioactive luminous paint used for the sight markings- is that true? Id love to get/ have made a replacement at some point.

 

Ill post a picture soon.

 

Thank you!

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When I was a LEO in the 70's and 80's,The boys from Ft.Sheridan would pick up any ordnance that we found or had turned in. They said the reason they took the LAWS was because of the sights radioactivity. Same story,must be true. ;)

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Ah yess the LAW. It was 1983 and it had been a couple years since I worked with one.

We had some training rockets in the armory. I picked it up and went to extend it. Like I said it had been awhile. The detent button to

collapse the tube is under a rubber cover. I mistakenly had my finger pushed down on that latch and my finger tip was down in there

because the rubber covering the spot was ripped. Stuck my finger in by mistake and extended the tube which resulted in a

piece of metal slicing under my fngernail almost the whole way leaving just a tiny bit of nail still attached.

I learned the hard way to pay attention.

At that time.... all them had front sights. I never saw one that didnt.

They prob didnt mind nuking us. Our main training area was a coupe miles downwind of a nuclear power plant.

lol I used to wonder if we were guinee pigs of some sort.

lol

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Congratulations , now you can add $500-750 value to the launcher by finding the 66mm rocket.....I saw an original inert ONE a few years ago at auction , it brought $500 plus....probably in the $800 range plus today....rare birds, have not seen one since then. post-180924-0-98576800-1564252526_thumb.gif

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Hi everyone,

 

Im new to the forum-I posted a message in the introductions area.

 

I recently purchased a LAWS Rocket tube; it looks pretty complete, it is only missing the clear front sight. Ive been trying to read-up on these, and it seems information is very basic and thin. Mine came with a manual dated 1982 and a nice display stand. As Ive understood, these are usually dated, but I cant seem to fine the date on mine. I believe this is an M72A1- I think I saw that stamped on it towards the front.

 

I wanted to post and have those that know chime in and fill me in on the history and details, things to look for and such. For example- the missing clear front sight- I read that after use, these were removed due to the radioactive luminous paint used for the sight markings- is that true? Id love to get/ have made a replacement at some point.

 

Ill post a picture soon.

 

Thank you!

Yours is most likely a M72A2, A1 models didnt have the limited light sight and where not stamped, they had a sticker with model number on it like the first gen M72s. The M72A2s were stamped/stenciled. Regarding the sight, only A2 and A3 models had the limited light sight and not all A2s or A3s had it. Only for a few years was it SOP to destroy the sight after use and also they would replace the sight before use as well. The Army found it a waste of time to destroy them so in future models of the A3 they just cut the radioactive part out and replace with wire metal on the plastic sight. You can find many A2s and A3s with sights intact and some without. It's a common break point, so it was most likely just broken and not purposely removed. Its radioactive properties was very low, no more dangerous than a watch with tritium markers. It had a short half life as well. The only danger is if it got smashed into small particles and it was ingested or inhaled, which you can imagine didnt happen ever. So years after they decided it was a non issue. There is plenty of information out there about the M72 LAW weapon system, there has been a few books that included its history and use, some articles as well. They are still being used today as well.

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Yeah that is a M72A1. Paper labeling the right side, should say it right on it. Does it have a date on it? Or could you post a close up of the label? Also photo of the front sight? I'm interested to see if the date is an in between date from models A1 to A2. Also can tell you if the sight was removed or broken from a photo of it.

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The M72A1 is harder to find than a M72A2, but it dosen't make it more valuable. To most people it's just the same as a A2, only to advance collectors would it be more sought after. The 6/70 is the date as you suspected, it's a late model A1 and was even safety checked later on. I know this because it was stamped w/coupler, which was the improved safety measures implemented after learning the safety issues reported by soldiers in country. So yours is an inbetween model, late production A1 that had the safety improvements done after the A2 model was released. So it was sitting in inventory even after that A2 model started production and they went back and did the safety improvements on it. My guess is that they knew it was unsafe and held it back to do the safety improvements before releasing it for use. All this is fairly common for A1s but most were used before they could get the safety improvements unfortunately.

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Thank you Kaptainssurplus. I appreciate your insight into the history and changes of the line, which I think is really interesting.

 

Can you tell me what was deemed unsafe on the A1, and how the coupler fixed the issue? How did the A1 differ from the original M72?

 

I know that the original LAWS had issues in Vietnam; I remember reading about the Battle of Lang Vei, and how several rockets failed to function. Did any of this trigger the A1 update?

 

Thanks for all your knowledge!

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