DP-64: Russia’s Anti-Saboteur Grenade Launcher In Ukraine

On 20 March, Russia’s State news agency RIA shared a short report from Ukraine. In it an RIA reporter looked at an interesting double-barrel grenade launcher – a DP-64.

The DP-64 was developed in the late 1980s to combat Frogmen/demolition divers. It’s described as an anti-sabotage grenade launcher to protect maritime assets. Designed at NPO “Basalt” the DP-64 is manufactured by ZiD/Degtaryev in Kovrov. 

Factory photo of DP-64 (ZiD)

In the past 18 months ZiD appear to have removed the military products from their website but using archive.org we can look at earlier caches of the site. This version of ZiD’s website from April 2021 shows the DP-64 and gives a short description of the weapon (machine translated below):

“Designed to protect surface ships, submarines (in the surface position), as well as oil and gas production offshore platforms and the coastline by mobile patrols from attack by detected combat divers and saboteurs.

The grenade launcher operates according to the scheme of a dynamo rocket-propelled grenade launcher and provides single firing of FG 45 and SG 45 grenades. It is included in the ammunition load of combat surface submarines and boats.

High-explosive grenade FG-45, which is designed to destroy combat swimmers and signal grenade SG-45, which is designed to indicate the location of combat swimmers.

The grenade launcher is mobile and lightweight. Works in any climatic conditions, easy to operate and maintain.”

In the short report gives very few details and doesn’t even mention the weapon’s name. The video’s caption, however, notes that the DP-64 is being used by a VDV unit stationed at the Kakhovka Reservoir – possibly guarding the reservoir’s hydroelectric plant. A Russian combatant interviewed mentions that it has been used against ‘DRGshnikovs’ or sabotage and reconnaissance groups.

Still from RIA’s report giving a look at the DP-64 (RIA)

An b older Russian news report from around 2015, shows how the weapon is loaded and fired. It has a quadrant sight on its left side and its superposed barrels are loaded from the rear. It fires either fragmentation or indicator 45mm grenades. It has a range of up to 400m according to ZiD and is designed primarily for use against underwater targets.

The RIA news report is the first time I’ve seen a DP-64 in imagery from Ukraine. It is certainly one of the more niche weapons to appear. 

Specifications (from ZiD):

Number of barrels2
Weight of grenade launcher10kg
Maximum firing range400m
Overall length820mm

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DP-64 In Kakhovka, RIA, (source)

DP-64, ZiD site c. Apr. 2021, (source)

DP-64 Grenade Launcher, Arms-Expo, (source

‘Gift For Pirates’, Russian News Report, 2015 (source)

Special Boat Service [SBS] – Weapons Analysis

In this video/article we’re going to take a look at a short internal British Ministry of Defence film about the SBS called ‘Oil Safe’. Produced in 1980 by the SSVC, the Services Sound & Vision Corporation, the 11 minute film provides an introduction to the Special Boat Service’s capabilities and procedures for retaking off-shore oil and gas rigs seized in a potential terrorist operation. 

‘Oil Safe’ is not to be confused with another oil rig hijack film made the same year – ‘North Sea Hijack’ with Roger Moore.

It gives some insight into how the SBS would go about recapturing a rig seized by terrorists, showing in some detail the procedures used in operations associated with offshore gas and oil installations. The film takes us step by step through the operation from the moment the SBS are notified to the moment they exfiltrate after the operation to retake the rig is successful.

It’s definitely worth watching the whole thing, its available up on the. In this video we’ll take a look at some of the weapons featured in the film.

The first weapons we see are those of the SBS assault team as they are preparing their weapons and kit for the journey out to the oil rig. On the table we see no less than eight MAC-10s. While the MAC-10 would later be surpassed by the HK MP5 it was in service with UK special forces throughout the 1970s. Here it appears to be the assault team’s primary weapon.

The MAC-10, designed by Gordon Ingram, could be paired with a sound suppressor – but these do not appear in the film. The MAC-10’s small size and considerable firepower seem well suited to the team’s task.

Also on the table are numerous L9A1 Browning Hi-Powers, a Remington 870 shotgun, a pair of AR-15s, an L1A1 self-loading rifle and an anti-riot Grenade Discharger – for CS gas. The Colt AR-15 was favoured for its firepower and light weight. The SAS and the Royal Marines’ Mountain & Artic Warfare Cadre favoured the AR-15 for the same reasons. Colt Model 602, 603 and 604s were the most prevalent models. In the film the rifle is seen with both 20 and 30 round magazines.

During the operation to retake the rig we see the team armed with the MAC-10s, AR-15s and Hi-Powers. The terrorist seen guarding the rig’s landing pad is shot by a member of the SBS armed with the Remington 870, another terrorist is shot by two SBS members with Hi-Powers who raid the rig’s cafeteria.

The terrorists are portrayed as being armed with a magazine-less M1 Carbine and a Luger P08 pistol. After the terrorists are neutralised the film explains that their weapons are taken by UK Police as part of an investigation into the seizure of the rig. Royal Marine Commandos who arrive by helicopter following the SBS’ initial assault are armed with L1A1 SLRs and L2A3 Sterling submachine guns.

Check out our earlier article/video analysing a 1984 British Army video on the SAS here.

I highly recommend watching the full film over on the Imperial War Museum’s online archive.

Support Us: If you enjoyed this video and article please consider supporting our work here. We have some great perks available for Patreon Supporters – including early access to custom stickers and early access to videos! Thank you for your support!


SBS Procedure: Part 3 – Oil Safe, SSVC/UK MoD via IWM, (source)

Fighting of Film: The Long and the Short and the Tall (1961) with Robert Lyman

This week we follow a British sonic deception unit on a doomed patrol through the Malayan jungle. Richard Todd, Laurence Harvey and Richard Harris clash as morale crumbles and questions arise over what to do with a captured Japanese prisoner. We’re joined by the brilliant historian Robert Lyman to discuss what the film gets right and wrong. Load up your mules, straighten your webbing, adjust your radio set and join us for a special look at 1961’s The Long and the Short and the Tall.

The episode is also available on all other podcast platforms, you can find them here.

Here are some stills from the film:

If you enjoy the podcast then please check out our Patreon here. Be sure to follow Fighting On Film on Twitter @FightingOnFilm, on Facebook and don’t forget to check out www.fightingonfilm.com.

Thanks for listening!

Early Access to New Videos!


I’m pleased to say we’re introducing a new perk this week, Armourer’s Bench Patreon supporters will now be able to watch new videos early!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been hard at work making videos which I’m looking forward to sharing with everyone. If you’d like to watch them early, ahead of their YouTube release, then head over to the TAB Patreon page and sign up for as little as $1. There are lots of other thank you perks too!

The first video, available now, is the conclusion to our weapons of the Rhineland Campaign series with a look at the use of the iconic Vickers Machine Gun!

Become a Patron today to get early access to future videos! You can find the Vickers Gun video here.

Thanks for your support!

West Indian Soldier – National Army Museum Exhibition

In August I had the opportunity to visit the National Army Museum in London and take a look around some of their current exhibitions. One of these was one titled “West Indian Soldier” which ran from 19 May through to 31 October. The museum described it as a special exhibition to explore the role of West Indian Soldiers in the British Army over the past 300 or so years. 

The exhibition was much smaller than I had expected, comprising of just one smallish room but nevertheless efforts had been made to combine items artefacts, art work and videos in an engaging way.

It covered the origins and creation of the various West India Regiments that have historically been a part of the British Army and looks at the West Indies contribution in conflicts ranging from the Napoleonic Wars through to the Great War and the Second World War as well as looking at the continuing service of personnel from the West Indies today with some video interviews with former and serving personnel rounding out the exhibition. The exhibition looked at the experiences of both black and white West Indians who served in both the West India regiments and the wider British army as a whole.

Inside the exhibition (National Army Museum)

The exhibition explains that the West Indian Regiments were formally a part of the British Army and not a colonial unit or militia. It does not side step slavery’s role in the West Indian regiments‘ history with various letters from the 1760s through to the 1800s illustrating how slaves were bought to fill the regiment’s ranks. Some 13,000 newly enslaved men were bought over 50 years up until 1807 and the British abolition of slavery.

The West Indian Regiments took various forms over the years and the exhibition did a good job of explaining this and some of the key parts of their role and history. The exhibition has a number of highlights including a number of Victoria crosses including that of Lt. Frank de Pass. De Pass was of West Indian decent and was posthumously awarded the VC in late 1914. The colours of the 4th West India Regiment are also on display along with uniforms, correspondence and a striking portrait of a private from the 8th West India Regiment, painted in 1803. 

Notably the exhibition also outlines how during both world wars the War Office did not make use of the West Indies regiments as combat troops in several theatres, instead often using them a labourers. Often as on the Western Front where they were tasked with dangerous work in ammunition dumps. 

I would have preferred to have seen an exhibition with a slightly larger scope but despite its small size the exhibition outlined the regiments’ history and the important, interesting and often under-appreciated role the West Indian’s soldiers played in the history of the British Army. Perhaps this is something that can be revisited approaching the West India Regiments’ 230th anniversary in 2025.

Additional Reading:

‘West Indian Soldier Exhibition’, National Army Museum, (source)

West Indian Soldier Exhibition Virtual Tour, National Army Museum, (source)

‘West India regiments: the story of slavery in the Army’, Forces News, (source)

‘The West India Regiments’ , National Army Museum, (source)

‘The West Indian Soldier’, The West India Committee, (source)

‘The Story of the British West Indies Regiment in the First World War, Imperial War Museum, (source)

‘West Indian Soldier: Interactive Timeline’, National Army Museum, (source)

If you enjoyed this video and article please consider supporting our work here. We have some great perks available for Patreon Supporters. Thank you for your support!

John Browning’s 1895 Slide-Action Prototype

By 1895 Winchester had been considering a slide-action rifle for some time, in 1882 William Mason had begun work on one (US Patent #278987) to counter Colt’s slide-action Lightning only to drop it. Finally in 1890, Winchester introduced a slide-action .22 calibre rifle developed by John Browning. The Model 1890 became extremely popular.

Between 1887 and 1895 Browning patented four slide-action rifle designs. The first of these, US patent #367336, was granted in July 1887, this was followed in 1888 by US patent #385238. In September 1890, the Browning brothers were granted US patent #436965, which along with the previous 1888 patent protected what became the Model 1890. Three years later Winchester introduced the Model 1893 pump action shotgun, that would eventually evolve into the famous Winchester Model 1897.

Right-side close up of the rifle with its action open (Matthew Moss)

Finally, April 1895, Browning filed a patent for a design for a .30 calibre rifle which was granted in September 1895 (US patent #545672) This patent covers the rifle we’re examining here. The rifle itself is a slide or pump action in long barrelled configuration which Winchester described as a ‘Musket’.

The September 1895 slide-action design was purchased by Winchester but like so many other Browning designs, it never entered production and Winchester purchased the design purely to secure it and prevent other rival manufacturers picking it up. Winchester instead went with a lever-action design, patented in November 1895 (US #549345), which became the famous Winchester Model 1895.

A left-side view of the rifle’s receiver with Browning’s patent overlaid (Matthew Moss)

The September 1895 slide or pump-action rifle design had a laterally camming locking breechblock. As we can see, externally Browning’s toolroom prototype looks somewhat similar to the contemporary Winchester Model 1895, with a single-stack integrated box magazine but with a pump sleeve rather than a lever. 

An action-bar connects the slide/pump to the front of the breechblock/bolt carrieron the right-hand side of the rifle. The slide handle itself is made of a U-shaped piece of metal which wraps around the rifle’s forend. The slide has been roughly cross hatched to improve grip. There is a channel cut into the furniture for the action arm’s attachment point to travel. The slide is attached to the arm by a pair of screws.

A close up of the rifle’s slide/pump handle (Matthew Moss)

However, Browning developed this prototype to allow loading of the magazine from below rather than through the top of the receiver. He added a hinged floor plate, with a spring loaded follower, that allowed loose rounds to be dropped into the magazine and then closed.

As we open the magazine, hinging the cover plate down, we see the carrier flip down against the plate to allow loading. The rifle was designed to be loaded from below with the bolt forward.

Browning’s September 1895 patent (US Patent Office)

In the patent description Browning explained that his aim was to improve breech-loading box-magazine firearms by designing:  

“…a simple, compact, strong, highly effective, and safe gun, containing comparatively few parts and constructed with particular reference to provision for charging the box-magazine with cartridges from the bottom of the frame of the arm while the breech-bolt is in its closed position, so that the arm may be charged without operating its action mechanism or disturbing the cartridge in the gun-barrel, if one is there.”

Browning’s September 1895 patent (US Patent Office)

From the original patent drawings we can see the flat spring which acted on the carrier running below the barrel, ahead of the magazine. Inside the magazine are a pair of what Browning refers to as ‘spring fingers’ these act on the cartridges inside the magazine and keep them properly aligned, seen here in Fig.7 of the patent. In Fig.8 we can see what Browning calls a ‘box-like guideway’ which guide the rims of the cartridges, “preventing the cartridges from being displaced while being fed upwards.”

The rifle’s breechblock locked into a recess in the left side of the receiver, tilting at an angle with the rear of the breechblock canting to the left. When the pump handle was pulled rearwards the breechblock cammed laterally to unlock the action, extracted and ejected any spent casing and when the slide/pump was returned forward a new cartridge was picked up from the magazine, chambered the breechblock locked again ready to fire. The rifle’s hammer was cocked by the rearward movement of the breechblock.

A left-side view of the rifle with its action open, note the complex machining on the rear of the breech bolt (Matthew Moss)

Externally, the slide-action’s receiver looks similar to that of the production Model 1895 but internally they are very different. The action is certainly less open than the Model 1895’s but the lateral locking mechanism is less robust. Additionally, with no lever, as in the Model 1895, the slide-action rifle lacks the safety mechanism which prevents the action from opening accidentally.

A view inside the open magazine with the floorplate hinged open (Matthew Moss)

The model is in the white and while externally the machining and tool work is very neat, inside the action we can see where the cuts in the receiver wall have been more crudely made. In terms of design, the slide-action prototype was certainly simpler and had fewer working parts than the Model 1895 lever-action.

Winchester purchased the .30 calibre slide-action design but never produced it, it is believed that only Browning’s prototype was built to prove the concept. The prototype was part of Winchester’s collection and may now be found at the Cody Firearms Museum.

Check out our earlier videos on Browning’s lever-action box magazine-fed prototype and his en bloc clip-fed prototype.

If you enjoyed the video and this article please consider supporting our work here. We have some great perks available for Patreon Supporters. You can also support us via one-time donations here.


‘Box Magazine Bolt Gun’ J.M. Browning, US Patent #545672, 3 Sept. 1895 (source)

‘Box Magazine Firearm’, J.M. Browning, US Patent #549345, 5 Nov. 1895 (source)

John M Browning: American Gunmaker, J. Browning & C. Gentry (1964)

Winchester Repeating Arms Company, H. Houze, (2004)


This is just a quick update on TAB’s status as we haven’t been able to post a video in several weeks. This is for a number of reasons, Vic is currently editing quite in-depth videos on both the AR-10 and the G11 – two important subjects we want to cover in detail – and they are taking a little time to complete. In the meantime I (Matt) had planned to upload several shorter videos (on coastal artillery and the M45 .50 cal Quadmount) I filmed on recent travels. Sadly, however, my computer is in for repair and I won’t be able to edit or finish them until next week at the earliest.

TAB is a labour of love and we don’t always have the time to devote to it that we would like with our day to day work often having to come first. What we would like to achieve going forward though is weekly videos. We have plenty of footage and now that I am also, when I get my computer back at least, able to edit we should be able to increase the number of videos we post. We have further collections in mind to visit in the near future, time and funds permitting, and we hope to have even more interesting content filmed soon. 

As for the helpful feedback we’ve received in comments and in private we’re very receptive to this and as we stressed at the very beginning of the TAB project it’s a learning curve! We will be striving to improve our techniques and how we present during future filming trips. It’s still early days!

Thank you for your patience and your support so far. We’re really pleased with the reaction we have received with thousands of views and hundreds of subscribers over on YouTube. You can also stay up-to-date via the TAB Facebook page. We have lots planned and look forward to bringing it to you soon. 

Thanks again!