40MM Grenade Mortar

Since April, a Ukrainian unit has shared a number of short videos showing a small mortar capable of firing 40mm grenades.

From their patches and TikTok username, 16batzsu, the men’s unit appears to be the 16th Separate Rifle Battalion. They appear to be part of the battalion’s embedded mortar battery and are seen operating other larger mortars and automatic grenade launchers in numerous videos.

A close up of the small mortar (via 16batzsu)

On the 11 February, 16batzsu shared a video showing a small mortar with a stainless steel insert seen dropped into a small hand-held mortar. The same video was shared on their YouTube account under the title ‘New Toy’. While the resolution of the video is low it clearly uses the same barrel sleeve principal seen in later videos. In replies to comments 16batzsu explain that the small mortar has a range of 2km and is 30mm in calibre. This suggests that the weapon may launch 30×29mm VOG grenades normally fired by AGS automatic grenade launchers. Unlike the later 40mm mortars it does not appear to have a bipod. No further videos featuring the 30mm mortar have been shared.

A still from a video showing a 30mm handheld mortar (via 16batzsu)

The first video providing a close up look at the 40mm mortar was shared on the 26 April, with the small mortar in a pit next to an 82mm mortar. The mortar uses 40mm high velocity grenades which are slid into the base of a rifled steel barrel sleeve. The rifling is needed to both maximise the grenade’s range but also impart spin which arms grenade. The loaded sleeve is then dropped into the mortar tube, the grenade’s primer presumably strikes the mortar’ firing pin and the grenade is ignited firing it out of the mortar. The sleeve remains in the tube.

A closeup of the inside of the barrel sleeve, note the rifling (via 16batzsu)

In terms of size the small mortar looks similar to the Ukrainian 60mm KBA-118, however, the base plate, bipod and tube differ. Despite similarities I haven’t been able to find an exact match to a mass-produced mortar. The weapon appears to be well made and the examples seen in the videos appear to be near identical suggesting they may be a locally developed and produced weapon.

In a pair of videos posted on 3 May, we get a closer look at the weapon and a member of the unit explains the principal behind how it works. The tube has a pair of parallel cuts which allow the steel barrel sleeve to be removed. The video shows a pair of the small mortars and also shows the rifling inside the sleeve. The sleeve appears to have approximately 16 rifling grooves and on its exterior are three rings cut into the top end of the sleeves outer surface to aid removing it from the mortar tube.

A 40mm high velocity round about to be loaded into a rifled barrel sleeve (via 16batzsu)

Finally, in a video posted on 9 May, we can clearly see the mortar fired a number of times. The operators can also be seen loading the 40mm grenades into the rifled barrel sleeves. One man loads the three tubes while another fires the mortar. The spent grenade cases are removed with the aid of a metal ramrod. The 40mm grenades which appear in the video are high velocity high-explosive dual-purpose (HEDP) grenades of the type used with Mk19 automatic grenade launchers. The reason the sleeve is rifling is to arm the grenade’s fuze when the round is fired. These include grenades like the US M383, M384, M430 and M677 as well as German DM111 and DM 112.

A still of a 40mm grenade being loaded into a barrel sleeve (via 16batzsu)

So what is the small mortar for? Why not just use the unit’s Mk19 automatic grenade launcher? My initial theory was that the barrel sleeve might provide an increase in range over the Mk19 though the 2,000 metre range mentioned in one of the videos suggests the mortar has a range on parr with the Mk19. Another theory is that the unit’s Mk19 may be inoperable and they still have a supply of 40mm grenades to use. The grenades are also perhaps more readily available and cost-effective than small mortar rounds. It could also potentially have the effect of mimicking drone-dropped 40mm munitions, keeping enemy combatants on the look out for drones. As a harassment weapon the small mortar seems to have potential, allowing its operator to fire from cover while being relatively lightweight allowing it to shift firing positions quickly. The accuracy of the weapon is difficult to gauge but with the aid of an observation drone rounds could be walked into the vicinity of a target. The mortar is a very interesting piece of innovative engineering.

Thank you to Ukraine Weapons Warfare for bringing the original footage of the mortar to my attention.

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PK-14 Directional Mines In Ukraine

Recently another interesting anti-tank mine was spotted in use in Ukraine. The Estonian PK-14 or M14 directional mine appeared in photographs which were shared online around 9 September. The PK-14 is a directional mine capable of penetrating about 50mm of armour at a distance of 50 meters.

Photos of the PK-14 in the field were shared for the first time on 9 September (via Social Media)

Unlike the German DM22, which is also in service with Ukrainian forces, the PK-14 utilises the Misznay–Schardin effect with 1.5kg charge of PBX used to create an explosively formed penetrator. The PK-14 is capable of damaging most light IFVs and AFVs. It can be set up on a small tripod or even mounted to a tree, telephone poll or post – useful for attacking targets from above.   

The Estonian defence company who manufactures the mine list it as both the PK-14 and M14.  The mine is produced by Terramil under license from another Estonian defence company, Eesti Arsenal, who also offer several training systems.

The PK-14 assembled (nucking_futs_yuri)
The PK-14 assembled, tripod in the tall configuration (nucking_futs_yuri)
The PK-14 assembled, tripod in the low configuration (nucking_futs_yuri)

The PK-14 has a diopter sight which attaches to the top of the mine and allows it to be laid across the expected path of a target. The sight itself is a inexpensive moulded plastic tube with a narrow aperture which was described to us by an American serving with the Ukrainian armed forces as looking “like a scope you would find on a cheap toy gun at the corner store”. The mine’s casing is cleverly designed with a series of grooves that allow the sight to be slid into place and for the mine itself to be mounted on its tripod.

The PK-14’s sight tube (nucking_futs_yuri)

This instructional video from the manufacturers shows how the mine can be set up. The mine is command-initiated using a shock tube integrated system (STIS). This means that the mine isn’t tripped by a wire like the German DM-22 or by movement as in the Russian PTKM-1R, but in person by an operator. In practice the operator would set up the mine at a location the enemy is expected to pass, unspool the shock cord back to a concealed position and wait for the enemy vehicle to move within range of the mine.

In theory it is possible to rig the mines up with a makeshift pressure plate detonation system you could take the pressure plate from a conventional anti-tank mine like a TM-46 or TM-57 and wrap some detcord with a blasting cap at the end around it so when a vehicle rolls over it detonates the mine. The mine can be set up to strike from above so it hits the tank’s weak top armour or buried in the middle of the road so it can strike up through the vehicle’s belly armour.

The PK-14’s basic components (nucking_futs_yuri)

Special thanks to nucking_futs_yuri, who is best known as the turret gunner who ran an M2 Browning and was handed some AT4s by his vehicle crew when he called for more ammunition in a recent viral video. Yuri has provided photos and video of a PK-14 in his units inventory. Check out his video showing the components of the mine here.

It’s a small, affordable mine but it is currently unknown how many PK-14 mines have been sent to Ukraine but Estonia, along with the other Baltic states, has been a significant supporter of Ukraine since before Russia’s invasion in February. Estonia began procuring the mines for the Estonian Defence Force in 2015.

nucking_futs_yuri’s video showing the components and set up of the PK-14

In terms of how they may be deployed in Ukraine, the small size and light weight of the PK-14 may be useful for small Ukrainian reconnaissance and special forces teams operating behind Russian lines. Yuri explained that they’re preferred over convention Soviet TM mines as they’re lighter, he stated that:

“normally we each take 2 or more with us, set up our ambush and wait. We could mount them high if need be and get the top of the turret or even bury them in the middle of the road… so it explodes under the center of the tank.”

Check out Yuri’s YouTube channel and Instagram page.

Update – 7/2/23: A recent photograph of a PK-14 in the field.

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PK-14 Landmine, CAT-UXO, (source)

‘The “smart” mines produced by an Estonian company will receive their first combat missions in Ukraine’, Forte, (source)

Anti-armor mine PK-14, Terramil, (source)

PK-14 Side Mines, Eesti Arsenal, (source)

Swedish PV-1110 Recoilless Guns In Ukraine

On 18 August Russian Telegram channels began sharing photographs of weapons claimed to be captured from Ukrainian forces, near Sloviansk, including a DShK, a damaged MG-42/59 and most interestingly a Swedish PV-1110.

The Pansarvärnspjäs 1110 or PV-1110 is a recoilless gun developed by Bofors which saw service with the Swedish military between 1959 and the late 1990s/early 2000s. While not the only recoilless rifle/gun in use in Ukraine, others include the Carl Gustav and SPG-9, the 90mm smoothbore PV-1110 is perhaps the rarest. With sources suggesting that fewer than 2,000 PV-1110s were manufactured this would make the PV-1110 one of the rarest anti-tank weapons in use in Ukraine.

A Swedish PV-1110 claimed to be captured from Ukrainian forces (via Russian telegram channels)

Developed in the early 1950s it was adopted by Sweden in 1959, the PV-1110 could be mounted on vehicles but also on a wheeled carriage with the barrel suspended from an ingenious ball joint mount. In the photographs of the captured example, showing its serial number #5936, we can see this two-wheeled carriage for the weapon. 

The ball joint was intended to compensate for firing from an uneven position. The PV-1110 weighs in at around 260kg (just over 570lbs) and has an optical sight on the left side of the barrel as well as a spotting rifle, based on the Ag m/42 chambered in 7.62x51mm, mounted on top. The PV-1110 has an effective range of up to 1,000m but engagement of moving targets is limited to around 700m according to the Lithuanian Army. With a good crew it is capable of firing up to 6 rounds per minute. The older m/62 HEAT round could penetrate up to 380mm of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA), the m/77 can penetrate up to 500mm and the m/84, the most modern and capable round can penetrate up to 800mm of armour. It’s unknown what ammunition has been provided for the guns.

A Swedish PV-1110 claimed to be captured from Ukrainian forces (via Russian telegram channels)

While it could be suggested that recoilless guns and rifles like the PV-1110 are obsolescent the continued use of the SPG-9 shows they still have their uses. The PV-1110’s low-profile combined with its still quite effective penetration means its still a viable weapon against most armoured vehicles its likely to encounter.

Following on from the first sighting in Ukraine on 22nd August footage of a PV-1110 firing from a defensive position surfaced and we can see the gun on its very recognisable mount.

Still from video of the PV-1110 in Ukraine, c.22 August 2022

But how did Ukrainian forces come by their PV-1110? There were likely transferred from one of the Baltic nations which have supplied Ukraine with considerable military assistance. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia all received a number of PV-1110s from Sweden when they were retired from service. It is unclear how many weapons each of the three countries originally received.

Troops of the Lithuanian National Defense Volunteer Force training with the PV-1110 c.2014 (Lithuanian Army) 

The Estonian Defence League reportedly had over 100 in inventory as of 2018 while the Latvian National Guard have a similar number. Lithuania’s Army and National Defense Volunteer Force have previously been seen to be equipped with the PV-1110 in recent years but they have reportedly since been placed in wartime reserve storage. No country has publicly confirmed the transfer of the PV-1110s, so with the Baltic nations slowly removing the guns from service it’s likely that the PV-1110s either came from the remaining guns held by the Swedish Army or from the stores of Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia. Regardless of their origin they represent one of the rarest recoilless guns in service in Ukraine.

Update 18/10/22:

Some recent footage of the PV-1110 in use in Ukraine. It is unclear where or when this footage was filmed but it surfaced on social media around 15 October. I suspect it was filmed during training rather than when in action. Regardless, it represents one of the few pieces of footage we have of the Swedish recoilless guns in action in Ukraine.

Update 25/01/23:

The recently raised 47th Separate Assault Brigade have shared several photographs of a PV-1110 on their social media pages, between 10 and 15 January. The photographs were likely taken during training. The first is a point-of-view shot down the weapon’s barrel while the second is a side profile shot – both taken during firing.

Update 2/05/23:

Recent video of a Pv-1110 shared by Ukraine Weapons Warfare.


Pansarvärnspjäs 1110 Avvecklad, Soldf.com (source

Prieštankinis beatošliaužis pabūklas PV1110, Lithuanian Army, (source)

Lithuania Volunteers Train with PV-1110, Lithuanian Army, (source)

90mm Recoilless Rifle promotional video, Bofors, (source)

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