Can I own an M203 40mm grenade-launcher?
If your state allows Destructive Devices, you can own a fully-functional M203 40mm grenade-launcher.
Do I need to be an FFL to get an M203?
Only if your state says you must be.
How does an M203 40mm Destructive Device transfer?
Any FFL/SOT can transfer 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 transferred to your FFL/SOT, they'll transfer it on a Form 4, no different than any other NFA item such as a suppressor, SBR, SBS, or machine-gun.
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.
Is one route faster than the other?
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 on a Form 3. However, as a private citizen, the Form 1 route is exponentially faster.
If I Form 1 a receiver into a Destructive Device, will I have to engrave it?
Yes. If you Form 1 an M203, ATF will consider you a secondary manufacturer and will require you to engrave it.
Can I switch barrels between different models?
A: The 12" and 9" barrels are fully 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.
Can the rail-mounted model be mounted to any rail platform?
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.
Is there an accuracy or performance difference between the 12", 9", and 7" barrels?
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.
Will the M203 chamber and fire all 40mm rounds?
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 most 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.
Is 37mm and 40mm ammunition controlled by the ATF?
Yes. Unless explicitly exempted by the ATF, non-shotgun ammunition over 0.50 caliber is considered explosive materials by the ATF and requires both a Federal Explosives License (FEL) to acquire and must be stored in an explosives magazine. However, components for the ammunition is not controlled.
Can I assemble my own 37mm and 40mm ammunition without an FEL?
Assembling 37mm and 40mm ammunition is no different than mixing Tannerite or other binary explosives. Provided it is for private, non-commercial use, under federal laws you can manufacture your own explosive materials. However, state & local laws may be different. Additionally, the assembly and use of them for monetized YouTube videos is considered commercial use of explosives. Finally, any ammunition with an explosive charge will most likely need to be registered as a Destructive Device in and of itself.
Do I need any tools to assemble the 37mm and 40mm ammunition?
No, .38 S&W blanks can be inserted in the base of the rounds without any tools.
Can I assemble the ammunition for later use?
Not unless you are able to store the ammunition in an ATF approved explosives magazine. The assembled ammunition is considered explosive materials and should be used immediately after assembly.
What type of ammo is available for my M203?
Generally M781 ”chalk” rounds and various impact munitions are available on the market.
Can I fire the various 37mm rounds through an M203?
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.
Can I get 40mm high-explosive rounds?
In theory, if you had a Federal Explosives License and were willing to transfer each round as an explosive Destructive Device that must be transported and stored as High-Explosives, yes. As a practical matter, it is extremely unlikely anyone will be willing to sell you less than 5,000 at a time.
Is the M203 a good choice for law-enforcement as a less-lethal launcher?
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.
Do you sell the 37mm "flare launchers"?
No. We Are “Texas Machine-Gun & Ordnance”, a purveyor of ordnance and firearms, not “Texas Mall-Ninja & Gun-Show Accoutrements” purveying toys and trinkets.
Do you have H&K M320s?
No. All M320s are manufactured in Europe and are therefore imported NFA items which can only be owned by FFL/SOTs.
Do you have Colt M203s?
No, Colt does not generally sell M203s to the general public aside from limited runs, which are actually made by other manufacturers. So you’re basically paying a premium for someone else’s M203 with the Bankruptcy Bronco slapped on the side.
PO Box 295, Three Rivers, TX, 78071 (TX) 122 Hall Rd, Melrose, FL, 32666 (FL)
(210) 460-3715 (TX) (352) 247-2716 (FL)
Copyright © 2023 Ordnance Services LLC, DBA: "Texas Machine-Gun & Ordnance" and "TXMGO", a Texas Limited Liability Corporation and subsidiary of Tiger-Wolf Armament & Explosives LLC - All Rights Reserved.
TXMGO is registered as a Manufacturer, Exporter and Broker of Defense Articles under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); and can facilitate the export of firearms, explosives, and Defense Articles in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations. No firearms, explosives, Defense Articles or intellectual property related to them can be exported without authorization from the US Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) for United States Munitions List (USML) items or the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry Security (BIS) for Commerce Control List (CCL) items.