wz. 1974 Pallad Grenade Launcher
Wz. 1974 Pallad grenade launcher was developed in late sixties to replace the not entirely successful wz.1960 and wz.1960/72 grenade launching adaptations of the AK rifle. Initially called wz. 1970 the combination of a AKM rifle and a 40 mm grenade launcher was eventually accepted by the military as wz. 1974. A stand-alone variant wz. 1983 Pallad D was developed later. Pallad is as single shot, manually operated weapon. Its rifled barrel is made of strengthened aluminum while the rest of the mechanism is made of steel. The right side of the receiver holds a bolt handle and a sliding safety button. The trigger lever is on the upper left side of the receiver. A manual safety lever sits on receivers left side. The weapon can be opened for reloading by pulling down a handle located on the right side of the receiver. The breach-block rotates downwards and any round or cases present in the chamber are ejected. Pallad lacks a conventional trigger. It is fired by sliding down and holding a safety button located on the right side of the receiver and pressing the trigger with the left-hand thumb. Quadrant sights mounted on the left side of the barrel are marked up to 430 m for direct fire and 170 - 400 m for indirect fire.Wz. 1974 can be attached to any full-size AK-type rifle (AK-47, AKM, AK-74 and their copies, wz. 88 Tantal, kbs wz. 96 Beryl). The only adaptation needed to be done on the rifle is the replacement of the standard forward foregrip with a modified one equipped with a special slot in its rear. The grenade launcher is then attached to the foregrip and to the bayonet lug.The 40mm ammunition used works on a hi-lo pressure principle. The reloadable aluminum case is divided into two chambers: a high-pressure chamber that holds a shortened 7.62 x 54R rifle case with propellant. The walls of the high-pressure chamber have six small holes through which gasses "slowly" flow to the low-pressure chamber. The pressure in the low-pressure chamber is 5-6 times lower than in the high-pressure chamber. This system, while complicating the case allow a much thinner and lighter barrel to be used as well as lowering the recoil.Three types of ammunition were developed:NGO-74: a high-explosive anti-personnel grenade. It's made of pre-fragmented steel hull covered by an aluminum casing. A time delay fuze arms the grenade 20-30 meters from the barrel. The lethar radius is around 180-200 meters.NGC-74: training round with a flash charge instead of explosives.NGB-74: training round without any charges used for zeroing-in and target practice.Variants:Wz. 1974 Pallad: underbarrel versionWz. 1983 Pallad D: stand-alone variant equipped with a folding metal stock and a pistol grip. The stock is a standard AKMS stock with a thick butt plate to reduce recoil of the lighter weapon.
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