Shoulder-Fired Grenade Launcher


Jun 27, 2021
In August of 1864 Ralph Graham of Brooklyn, N.Y., patented this " and useful Improvement in Firearms for Projecting Grenades or Small Bomb-Shells." Graham applied for his patent in October of 1863, and why it took the Patent Office nearly a year to issue the final paperwork is uncertain. The basic principle was not new---British Brown Bess flintlock muskets with detachable muzzle cups predate 1750---but (based on the text of his patent) Graham's embodiment was handier and easier to use. Were any built beyond the prototype stage? Who knows?

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First Sergeant
Jan 27, 2015
San Antonio, Texas
Flintlock grenade launchers (or 'hand mortars') were popular in the late 17th / mid 18th centuries.
At the time of the Great Northern War, the Russian artillery of Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, had some troops armed with flintlock hand mortars and a sort of pole axe. The axe was used as a sort of "monopod" and the bell-shaped muzzle of the flintlock launcher nestled into an upper part of the blade between the toe and the eye as a support. For hand-to-hand fighting, the axe was used as a battle axe or pole axe...


Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Mar 22, 2009
Collierville, TN
Never seen anything like it. Took me awhile to study the drawing before I realized most of the gun is the stock---only has a short "barrel".