M203 40mm Grenade-Launcher Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is Robert O'Rourke really 2019's M203 Grenade-Launcher Salesman of the Year?
A: Yes. Robert saying you can't own a grenade-launcher was a godsend to us and boosted our M203 sales through the friggin' roof.
Q: Can I own a legit M203 40mm greande-luancher?
A: As long as your state allows Destructive Devices, you can own a fully-functional M203 40mm grenade-launcher.
Q: Do I need to be an FFL to get an M203?
A: Only if your particular state says you have to be.
Q: How does an M203 40mm Destructive Device transfer?
A: Any FFL/SOT can transfers up to 2 Destructive Devices a year on a tax-free Form 3. We provide the FFL/SOT a memo to sign, submit the Form 3, and it's approved just like any other Form 3. Once it's arrived to your FFL/SOT, they'll transfer it on a Form 4, no different than a suppressor, SBR, machine-gun, or whatever.
Q: What is the Title 1 receiver vs Destructive Device?
A: ATF says "If the particular feature that causes a firearm to be regulated by the NFA is eliminated or modified, the resulting weapon is no longer an NFA weapon." With an M203, the feature that makes it an NFA item, the barrel being over 0.5", isn't installed: it's not a Destructive Device and thus not an NFA item. It's merely a firearm receiver, no different than an AR-15 receiver without a barrel. This means that it can transfer like any other non-NFA firearm via a 4473 over-the-counter transaction from any FFL without any NFA paperwork. However before the barrel can be installed, it must be registered as a Destructive Device via an ATF Form 1.
Q: Is one route faster than the other?
A: Currently ATF's eForms is approving From 1 submissions to assemble Destructive Devices in about 30 days. On the other hand, Form 4 transfers of Destructive Devices are taking anywhere from 180-365 days. If you are an FFL/SOT, we can just transfer up to 2 Destructive Device directly to you. However as a private citizen, the Form 1 route is exponentially faster.
Q: If I Form 1 a receiver into a Destructive Device, will I have to engrave it?
A: Yes. If you Form 1 an M203, ATF will consider you a secondary manufacturer and will require you to engrave it. Are the black helicopters going to come for you if you don't? Probably not. But we highly recommend that you follow the law 100%. We recommend Texas Tactical Gear and Weapon Genetics for all your engraving needs.
Q: Can I switch barrels between different models?
A: The 12" and 9" barrels are full interchangeable on the standard barrel and rail-mounted M203s. However the 7" barrel on the "Shorty Forty" is proprietary and cannot be changed for any other barrel length.
Q: Can the rail-mounted model be mounted to any rail platform?
A: Yes, the rail-mounted models will attach to any standard rail system. However we HIGHLY advise against mounting it on anything other than a high-quality free-float rail system that is secured to the receiver. The recoil of the M781 rounds is stout and places strain on the mounting system. Using a clamshell type mount and especially an MLOK or KeyMod mount will almost certainly cause the weapon to sheer off while firing.
Q: Is there an accuracy or performance difference between the 12", 9", and 7" barrels?
A: Theoretically there probably is a difference between them, but it's not something that's going to be noticeable. The 40x46mm round is a very low-pressure round and barrel-length doesn't have much of an effect on accuracy or range.
Q: Will the M203 chamber and fire all 40mm rounds?
A: The M203 is designed for the 40x46mm round such as the M781 "chalk round" and M433 HEPD round. Many of the specialty less-lethal rounds in both 40mm and 37mm will chamber and fire in the M203. However some of the longer rounds such as rubber-baton rounds will not fit in the M203 due to them being longer than the open breach. The 7" model has the shortest space to insert a round, but we have found it will chamber and fire the majority of the rounds we have tried. One thing to be aware of is that the M203 has small lips on the breach of the barrel that can catch on the flat-front end of the specialty 40mm and 37mm rounds that we have.
Q: What type of ammo is available for my M203?
A: Ordnance Lab did a whole video on the topic, which you can see here.
Q: Can I fire the various 37mm rounds on your website such as your impact rounds through an M203?
A: Yes, generally 37mm rounds will chamber and fire in a 40mm launcher. However use caution when inserting them into the M203 barrel, as the lips on the side can catch on the flat front of the rounds.
Q: Can I get 40mm high-explosive rounds?
A: If you're seriously willing to buy at least 5,000 of them, we can probably make it happen. Pretty much nobody is going to sell you retail quantities of M433 HEDP rounds.
Q: Is the M203 a good choice for law-enforcement as a less-lethal launcher?
A: Though the M203 can be used for that application, we believe there are better weapons for that niche application such as our ALS TAC-40 less-lethal launcher. The M203 is explicitly a labeled as a grenade-launcher, which can be used to cast a negative narrative of a militarized agency using "grenade launchers" as opposed to less-lethal launchers. Additionally due to the loading mechanism of the M203, it can accept fewer types of less-lethal rounds. And finally the cost of an M203 without a stand-alone platform is almost double that of the ALS launcher.
Q: If M203s are out of stock, can I pre-order one or get on a watchlist waiting list for one?
A: 90% of problems in the gun industry and 99% of the drama on the internet, seem to stem from a business having a customer's money, and no product to give the customer. We want to avoid that fate, so we only accept orders when we actually have the products in stock. Trying to manage a waiting list for all the people wanting M203s would be way too much work and would mostly just piss people off if we forgot to notify them. So we don't have a waitlist. When items get back in stock, we'll post it on the website and social media, and it's first-come-first-serve on the website.
Q: Do you sell the 37mm "flare launchers"?
A: No. We're "Texas Machine-Gun & Ordnance", not "Texas Gun Show Trinkets & Toys for Kids". We sell legit ordnance and explosives, not "flare launchers" and other mall-ninja accoutrements.
Q: Can I get one of those overpriced & overrated H&K M320s?
A: No, we don't sell overpriced & overrated Teutonic Space Magic.
Q: Do you have Colt M203s?
A: No, we don't overpay just to have a stupid pony on the side. We are a proud Lewis Machine & Tool distributor, not a purveyor of Bankruptcy Broncos out that aren't even physically manufactured at the stables of Hartford Poverty Ponies.