RPG Accidents – They Happen


Blackheart International showed me this this battlefield recovery of an RPG7. Remember, RPG (PG-7) rounds are always armed. This is what happens when a bad guy gets shot and then falls forward. Don’t stand close to the RPG gunner.

21 Responses to “RPG Accidents – They Happen”

  1. Rob says:

    I’m not buying that story. The PG-7 doesn’t arm until around 5 meters clear of the launcher, and impact will not detonate the warhead prior to that unless the round is unstable due to age or improper storage. That looks more like a burst booster or sustainment motor.

  2. DGR says:

    Dont discount it to soon. They arnt known to buy the newest gear, some of those things have been sitting in a box for multiple decades.

  3. Nate says:

    Isn’t it the RPG-3 rounds that are always armed?

  4. Rick says:

    PG7 rounds have setback armed fuzes and are NOT always armed.


    • SSD says:

      Which rocket are you speaking of?

      • Rick says:

        I have seen hundreds of rounds (heat, he, bounding etc). I admit I am not 100% familiar with all of them, but I have yet to come across any that are “always armed” . With an impact or pibd fuze that would equal a death sentence for anyone assigned the weapon system.


  5. Joe says:

    Impact grenades are unarmed until they are actually fired because any accidental contact might set them off. The rocket uses inertia to activate a arming system which typically is around 11meters. See this video for a thorough run through of the RPG-7 ( The damage to the RPG tube in this picture could have been causes by any one of a number of reasons but a man holding and falling forward seems pretty unlikely. If this was a misfire I’m sure the guy who fired it is no longer with us.

    • Dmitry says:

      Rounds arms of 2-18 meters after shot. This type of damage I have seen once – than one idiot shot in ground when holded RPG-7 near ground surface and run. Shell self detonated.

  6. Rob says:

    The PG-7 is not always armed.

    The PG-7 and PG-7V use the VP-7 fuse, the PG-7VM and PG-7VS use the VP-7M, and the PG-7VL uses the VP-22 fuse. All operate identically and differ only in dimensions and powder charges. The fuses are two-part point initiating, base-detonating, piezoelectric ignited. The base portion of the fuse contains an inertial safety switch that is mechanically closed at booster burnout; the same action also initiates the self-destruct powder train that makes properly functioning PG-7 series rockets go boom 4-6 seconds after launch.

    • Rob says:

      The Army reported a 5 meter minimum range for the PG-7 all the way back in 1971, so it’s not like this is a new discovery. For what it’s worth, I’ve personally seen vehicles struck by PG-7 launched too close to arm.

  7. noble6 says:

    that’s make a very nice lamp pole idea

  8. Erik says:

    Seems like some folks are trying to say every rocket is built perfectly. Ever see dozens of them dud on impact? I have…remember one sticking out of a back of a car that did not explode, one in a chest cavity, and a pile of them that did not second stage. So if s

    • Erik says:

      So if some dud would you say some can blow at anytime, yeap!!! Year of manufacture, country of manufacture, day of the week and amount of vodka when built? Not sure some folks that are talking absolutes from a basement in the lazy boy should call bs on something that they did not see happen. Stop with this cut and paste from some wiki also as an absolute and I heard in a barracks shitter one time…next you will be telling me we didn’t go to the moon.

      • Rob says:

        I’ve seen stuff dud, and I’ve seen unstable stuff go off (like an Iraqi ASP that cooked off…there were secondaries for two days). That isn’t the point.

        When someone tells me PG-7 rockets are always armed it makes the rest of their story sound suspect. As for the gratuitous personal remarks…I didn’t need to look up anything on a wiki from the Lazy Boy in my basement. I can get all the info I need from the PG-7V and PG-7VR cutaway boards at my office, or from former Easter Bloc weapons charts in the filing cabinet by my desk.

  9. Rick says:

    I didn’t go to the moon but I did attend and graduate NAVSCOLEOD.


  10. Rick says:

    I will admit I do not have the 60 series publications in front of me, but there are set conditions for when any piece of ordnance is in the armed condition and set actions that we as EOD techs will take. RPG warheads are NOT always in this condition.

    Any questions?


  11. JP says:

    Rick and Rob are correct. This is the first I’ve ever even heard someone suggest that the PG7 variants are always armed. Never even heard it as a rumor.