Colt’s Doing a Limited-Edition Run of Non-NFA 37mm M203 Launchers

The 37mm smoke and flare launchers come in two lengths, 9 and 12 inches. (Photo: Arms Unlimited)

In a refreshing first, Colt’s put together a limited-edition run of non-NFA launchers. Unlike 40mm launchers, which are considered destructive devices, these are built on virgin receivers with smaller-diameter 37mm tubes.

These launchers can be used to fire flares and smoke canisters as well as novelty payloads. They are not grenade launchers — but they look the part.

They are still considered firearms, of course — just Title 1. Each is serialized and must transfer through an FFL the same way rifles or shotguns are sold.

There are a small number of companies that make similar military-style launchers, but for purists, nothing tops having a Colt roll mark on the side. These are also marked “LAUNCHER, GRENADE M203 40MM” even though they are 37mm launchers and always have been.

Shown here with a rifle. (Photo: Arms Unlimited)

Launchers like these are used for training and for fun, but they also are highly collectible. Anyone looking to build the perfect armed forces replica rifle will want one of these.

For now, Colt is doing a limited run of just 300 37mm M203 launchers. They are making 150 launchers with standard 12-inch barrels as well as 150 with shorter, lighter 9-inch barrels.

All 300 are part of a dealer exclusive through Arms Unlimited. Arms Unlimited is one of Colt’s largest dealers. The parts will go on sale Nov. 15.

“For the first time ever the Colt M203 Grenade Launcher offered in 37mm, built in a lightweight, single-shot, breech-loaded weapon specifically designed to be attached to the M4 Carbine and the M16A2 and A4 Rifles,” says Arms Unlimited.”It creates a versatile combination weapon system, capable of firing both 5.56mm rifle ammunition as well as the complete range of 37mm ammunitions.”

A complete self-cocking firing mechanism, including barrel latch, trigger and positive safety lever is included in the receiver,” reads the description. This allows these M203 launchers to work completely independently, even if they are not attached to a rifle or carbine.

See Also: RAMBO, the 3D-Printed 40mm Grenade Launcher that Shoots 3D-Printed Ammo

Both versions have a suggested sticker price of $3,500 but the company is listing them for $2,000 each. That may seem steep for a range toy but they will sell out fast just the same. For some collectors, that pony stamp is worth every penny.

Hopefully Colt can produce more batches of these down the line. Launchers like these are a must-have for Colt clone builders even at that price — it would be a shame if people miss a chance to pick one up just because Colt only makes one run.

Colt has been on the hunt for new ways to drum up business for a long time. Ideas like these are great and show that the company is willing to listen to customers.

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • Randy July 27, 2019, 2:44 am

    See my comment

  • Randy July 26, 2019, 1:02 pm

    I see a lot of commenters leaving negative comments, ridiculing or otherwise disparaging other gun owners, BASED UPON PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND FEELINGS.

    Yes, you may not see a need or reason for this product or you may feel it is goofy or makes gun owners look bad in certain eyes, but, THOSE ARE YOUR OWN OPINIONS. There are others here who would look at some of your favorite firearms and think the same things, ever consider that?

    Perhaps someone looks at your muzzleloader and things that you are making gun owners look like primitive throwbacks who wouldn’t know the difference between an abacus and an IPad. Maybe, that Barrett 50BMG looks like artillery and you a wannabe Delta Operator. What about some of those bench-rest rifles? Ridiculous looking and what reason could thief be for sub-moa accuracy? I can see nothing practical, therapeutic, or recreational in owning and shooting one.

    What do I think when I see products like a grenade launcher, double barreled 1911, or bump stock? I see the end result of an AMERCIAN BUSINESSMAN’S plan to better his life, regardless of it is a product I’d buy or not.

    When I see the types of comments that I saw, today, I see anti-gunners getting their panties wet because they’ve further divided gun owners, making them ripe for the conquering.

    As for this product making gun owners look bad, I say,” BULLSHIT!”. We already look bad to anti-gunners just for owning guns, this won’t sway their opinion and the country is so highly divided on the topic, there are few on the fence, whose minds will be swayed by something like this, a mass shooting maybe, but not a new “toy” for gunners.

    Ultimately, I realize the type of people who leave the negative comments that I am speaking of, are also the type of individuals least likely to change their minds, but, hopefully the rest of you will see this product as nothing more than something available to you, should you choose to by it.

    I guess I could have saved 5 minutes of my life by simply stating, “the arguments of a few gun owners demonizing this replica M-203 sounds a lot like the way anti-gunners speak when referring to “black rifles” , just saying.”.

    • JOHN AMATO March 27, 2020, 9:32 am

      Sounds like you could use a tranquilizer.

  • ejharb December 13, 2017, 3:10 pm

    This is what id call a redflag on your file in the database.anything other than smoke or flares and you risk a untaxed dd rap. This includes non lethal like bean bags or batons.
    I pass

  • Jim November 21, 2017, 5:04 pm

    What possible practical value is there for such an item unless we are in the midst of the zombie apocolypse? We can shoot flares up to scare away the deer when we are illegally night hunting? This is the kind of wahoo bs that only military wannabees would want to buy for their guns. I wouldn’t have one for my Colt M-4. Just more fodder for the anti-gun snowflake media.

  • HermCorps November 20, 2017, 2:47 pm

    Why is everyone so mad that some people would like to have a 37mm launcher? Granted they’re overpriced, but gun enthusiasts who enjoy shooting guns love stuff like this, cuz it fun! I’ll shoot one of those golf ball launchers for hours with a buddy n have a blast bro!
    Damn! These snobby ass gun owners must suck to hang out & shoot with… “…hmmF, I only buy top dollar 1911’s & real Colts from the ’70s. Only idiots & morons buy polymer handguns & stupid M4’s w/ a red dot & tac light…hmmf”…
    Uugh, im so sick of reading comments from BORING ass “old school, all steel” gun owners. Form ur own lil club somewhere & stay away from people who actually like to have fun when we shoot.

    • ejharb December 13, 2017, 3:15 pm

      Nothing wrong with it in my book but it will likely get you on some radars.

      Id love a 203 and a few dozen hedp rounds but im not interested in a vaca at club fed

  • Notso November 18, 2017, 12:22 pm

    Perfect for people with more dollars than sense.

  • Roy November 18, 2017, 12:21 pm

    More crap to make gun owners look like wackos. Sick to building quality, affordable (except for colt) firearms for responsible adults and stop building crap for “wanna be Rambo ” adolescents.

    • HermCorps November 20, 2017, 3:00 pm

      If u think gun owners look crazy cuz they would like to own a launcher that can’t fire a real grenade, then ur just a libtard in disguise. What u said is no different than someone saying an AR is an assault rifle cuz its black! Ur the no balls type. U would fold to a gun grab in a snap.
      Prolly boring as hell to shoot with too…if u find urself constantly at the range alone, now u know why. Just cuz u don’t like to have fun when u shoot, doesn’t mean people who do, are morons bro. Now go to another forum so u can tell everyone how stupid they are for not owning guns other than all steel 1911’s. &ake sure u tell the new guy what a retard he is cuz he asked which tac light he should get for his M4.
      …uugh, u guys get old, QUICK!

  • Roy November 17, 2017, 9:11 pm

    Yeah right…. I’ll keep my old Cobray 37mm that I bought for 300.00 dollars. What a rip off. Why not mass produce and sell more? Smh. I love my Colts, but that’s insane. I guess it makes a nice wall hanger. At that price, most if not all will be safe queens. Sad. It looks good, what a waste.

  • Scotty Gunn November 17, 2017, 6:03 pm

    Overpriced as usual. Colt goes for a few high dollar sales rather than volume. Since they are constantly flirting with bankruptcy, they might want to consider that it isn’t working.

    • Phillip Jarrett November 19, 2017, 10:25 pm


  • Fusedspine33 November 17, 2017, 1:38 pm

    I have never understood the Colt business model. A brand name is only as good as the company backing it up. They need to move to a friendly state and build products people want at reasonable prices. If an M-4 can be had for $600 then how do they justify the prices they charge. A SAA clone can be imported for $600 but theirs is twice the price or more. They missed the chance to be the leading provider for SASS. Never will understand.

    • Larry November 17, 2017, 3:39 pm

      The problem with Colt is they lost their testicles back in the 90’s and bent over for the anti-gun crowd and their lawyers. They even used their own lube to ease insertion. They went LE/military sales only for a while because they were scared to death they were going to get sued. Fired all their union employees too. It’s a damn shame. The only way I’ll ever have ANY respect for Colt is if they bring back their OLD business model you speak of. Otherwise – fluck ’em!

  • Darryl Mueller November 17, 2017, 10:56 am

    A M203 receiver is in itself a firearm. You can buy a M203 receiver and it is no different than any other firearm receiver. It only becomes a Destructive Device when you install a 40mm barrel on it. Colt is probably using a standard M203 receiver and installing a 37mm barrel to keep it a title 1 firearm. I would theorize that you could file a form 1 to manufacture a destructive device and replace the 37mm barrel with a 40mm once it is approved. This is unlike a cheap 203 flare launcher which won’t accept real M203 barrels of either diameter, which is why it is not considered a firearm. The Colt is still pricey as you can buy an LMT 40mm M203 for under $2K

  • Donald Robinson November 17, 2017, 10:53 am Here you can get the same thing for less then 1/4 the price

  • Sal November 17, 2017, 10:12 am

    What you guys don’t seem to understand is the 40mm versions sell for over $4,000 whenever they come on the market, and those require the hassle of NFA paperwork + 10 months of waiting. These are identical and probably just repurposed contract overruns from what is seems after talking to Arms Unlimited. They accept a 40mm barrel so if you decide to do a Form 1 you can switch barrels quite easily

  • Mike November 17, 2017, 9:47 am

    For the, WGAS file.

  • Ro November 17, 2017, 9:03 am

    Colt just like the NFL, never again.

  • Barbara Fee November 17, 2017, 9:02 am

    Since they only launch flares and smoke, why the FFL need? You don’t have to transfer a flare gun and smoke grenades are legal, at least where I live.
    I’ve seen 37mm for sale from other manufactures without requiring FFL are these different?

  • Larry November 17, 2017, 8:36 am

    For Cripes Sake Colt! This is to be marked to the general public, and not part of one of Your lucrative military contracts where 51% of congress has been given a six digit campaign contribution. A novelty item only, that should retail for about $75.00.

  • Gun guy November 17, 2017, 7:21 am

    Wow, another overpriced toy from colt, big surprise! I wonder if a few of these have a golden ticket attached? Just like the USMC 1911 selling for $5500, this faux 203 is a waste of money.

  • Area 52 November 17, 2017, 6:38 am

    This item reminds me of the soda can launcher that had to be redesigned becasue the first version was declared a NFA item if attached to the rifle. 2K for a ninja toy and a title one weapon on top of that? No thanks. I could see Feinstien and her cronies adding this device to their bumpstock ban.

  • Overload in CO November 17, 2017, 4:01 am

    This doesn’t pass the smell test.
    why a title 1 firearm? You can buy 37mm flare guns without a background check.
    How is it classified? Not a pistol or rifle as it’s above .50 caliber. Not a shotgun as barrel and overall length are too short. An AOW like the Shockwave? Ok, maybe, but does it stay that way when you attack a shoulder stock (AR15) to it?

  • Blue Dog November 15, 2017, 4:29 pm

    For when the chainsaw bayonet just isn’t enough?
    In the same week, GunsAmerica has published this article, touting the reissue of a grenade launcher that one might attach to their AR-15, and an article hectoring USA Today for making claims about chainsaw bayonets. That is quite the juxtaposition.

  • billybob November 14, 2017, 9:00 pm

    To Little to Late ! Gun buyer have not forgot about how they were treated !

    • The Original Brad November 17, 2017, 3:29 am

      Too little too late! Gun buyer\’s have not forgotten how they were treated!

      • The Original Brad November 17, 2017, 3:31 am

        Weird – a \”\\\” got inserted into my \”buyer\’s\”. I wonder if it will happen again…

        • The Original Brad November 17, 2017, 3:33 am

          It did! The text editor and comment program needs work.

      • Rattlerjake November 17, 2017, 8:17 am

        If you’re going to correct someone else be sure you’re right. There is NO (‘) in gun buyers because it is plural not possessive! And what’s with the (\)?

  • Mark November 14, 2017, 11:12 am

    Colt should spend it’s time and energy putting out Pythons which their customers have been asking for, rather than fake stuff like this.

    • Cam November 14, 2017, 1:13 pm

      If they are making these POS for the want to be mall ninja and want $3,500 list can you imagine how much they would try and charge for a python with all the hand fitting and polishing required to make a real quality product. It would make the price on a Korth look like a high point.

    • Cyrus November 17, 2017, 10:58 am

      Exactly! Total waste of time on this launcher. Please press the No Sale Button and then get back to making the Python! I imagine when they finally get around to making the Python again – they will make it a limited edition at $5,000 – $10,000 a piece which will freeze out just about all of us!

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