Three ways the Carl-Gustaf M4 has improved

With modern warfare placing increasing demands on soldiers, Saab’s Carl-Gustaf M4 shoulder-launched weapon has been designed for optimal handling and comfort in all conditions.

Good ergonomic design is important in any setting – but on the battlefield, it could mean the difference between success and failure. That was Saab's thinking when we developed our Carl-Gustaf M4.

“To provide effective defense, armed forces need a multi-role weapon system that is easy to handle and transport,” said Peter Hellekant, Customer Support Manager at Saab's Dynamics business area. “That’s why, the CGM4 is as user friendly as possible, while also designed to work in high-tech, modern conflict environments. It comfortably fits soldiers of all sizes wearing various types of combat gear and working in different climates.”

Three major improvements
Saab looked at the working conditions of typical soldiers to identify ways of improving the CGM4’s handling and reducing the risk of muscle strain and tension. Three of the major changes to the design include:

  1. Making the foldable front grip and shoulder support adjustable;
  2. Relocating the optical sight; and
  3. Fitting with a quick-release harness.

“These changes helped us take a huge leap forward in terms of user friendliness, and the feedback is very positive,” said Hellekant. “There is always tension, adrenaline, and pressure in combat situations, so it's reassuring to know that your weapon is comfortable to operate and doesn’t place extra strain on your body.”

Prototypes tested on user panels
Finding the optimal design for the CGM4 involved creating several different grip, shoulder-support, and carrying-handle prototypes, and then testing them on user panels with soldiers of varying genders and body types. The tests identified the optimal position for the optical sight, front grip, and shoulder support, as well as several other improvements. A longer carrying handle now makes it easier to hand the CGM4 over to a fellow soldier and to carry the weapon with two hands. A sliding safety catch makes it easier to switch between armed and safe modes while wearing any type of glove. Meanwhile, sharp edges have been removed from the cocking lever to provide a better balance of grip and comfort.