A video posted to social media on November 25, 2016, shows Shi’a militia fighters making use of what appears to be an improvised grenade launching device attached to the muzzle of a DShKM-type heavy machine gun (HMG), while engaging Islamic State militants near Deir ez-Zor airport in Syria. The device appears to be a scaled-up version of cup-type launchers used to propel grenades from rifles or shotguns. These smaller devices have been manufactured for military and law enforcement use in the past, and improvised examples of these have been documented in a variety of conflict zones, including Syria.
The examples seen in Syria have been used with different conventional and improvised munitions, propelled by a blank cartridge. These are often ball (FMJ) or other common cartridge types modified by removing the projectile and crimping the case neck. In some cases, powder loads have been adjusted. The repurposing of an HMG and its ammunition offers a considerable range advantage over the smaller designs and may provide improved reliability over some improvised mortar designs. In this case, the munition appears to be relatively sizable and is therefore likely to offer enhanced lethality.