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U.S. WWII M1A1 Bazooka Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher

Item Description

New Made Item: An IMA exclusive item, you won't find this anywhere else in the USA! Full size, 1:1 scale, steel and wood replica of the U.S. WWII M1A1 Bazooka. For a few years awful reproductions were available, so we decided to exclusivity manufacture our own non-functioning reproduction of the legendary "Bazooka" M1A1 Rocket Launcher. It was copied directly from an original in the IMA collection.

This is a stunning reproduction of one of the most iconic WWII anti-tank weapons and will become the centerpiece of any world war two collection. This item requires no type of license as it is totally inert and incapable of ever being converted to an explosive device.

Features include exact 1:1 scale, correct OD Green paint, real wood furniture, replicated battery light, shoulder stock battery compartment, replicated electronics, and high quality steel construction. These were usually issued with M1 Garand Rifle web slings, which we have available on our website.

History of the Rocket Launcher, M1A1 "Bazooka"

The development of the bazooka merged the development of two specific lines of technology: the rocket-powered weapon, and the shaped-charge warhead. The rocket-powered weapon was the brainchild of Dr. Robert H. Goddard as a side project (under Army contract) of his work on rocket propulsion. He worked during World War 1 on the development of a rocket launcher for the war, however the prototype was demonstrated only 5 days before the Armistice that ended the war, and development ceased. His colleague Dr. Clarence N. Hickman, who had worked on the project, was later made head of the National Defense Research Committee in the 1940's, and development was restarted.

Shaped charges are essentially explosives with voids inside to direct the explosive force in a specific direction, with a contingent of explosive energy. The common term in military terminology for shaped charge warheads is high explosive anti-tank (HEAT). Development took place United States for an anti-tank shaped charge hand grenade, but the resulting M10 grenade was difficult to throw by hand, and too heavy for a rifle grenade launcher. The only effective way to use it was to place it by hand, which was not a very appealing proposition. A lighter M9 grenade was produced for rifle use, but did not have the power needed to penetrate thicker armor, so a rocket-powered delivery system was investigated.

In 1942, U.S. Army Colonel Leslie Skinner received the M10 shaped-charge grenade which was capable of stopping German tanks. He gave Lieutenant Edward Uhl the task of creating a delivery system for the grenade. Uhl created a small rocket, but needed to protect the firer from the rocket exhaust and aim the weapon. According to Uhl,

"I was walking by this scrap pile, and there was a tube that... happened to be the same size as the grenade that we were turning into a rocket. I said, That's the answer! Put the tube on a soldier's shoulder with the rocket inside, and away it goes."

By late 1942, the improved Rocket Launcher, M1A1 was introduced. The forward hand grip was deleted, and the design simplified. The production M1A1 was 54 inches (1.37 m) long and weighed only 12.75 pounds (5.8 kg).

The ammunition for the original M1 launcher was the M6, which was notoriously unreliable. The M6 was improved and designated M6A1, and the new ammunition was issued with the improved M1A1 launcher. After the M6, several alternative warheads were introduced. Many older M1 launchers were modified to M1A1 standards in July and August 1943, with batches of M6 rockets also being modified with the latest ignition systems to be able to be fired from the modified M1 launchers; these rockets were designated M6A2.

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