recoilless rifle(redirected from Recoiless rifles)
recoilless rifle,light artillery piece, without recoil, usually operated by two men. An American invention, it was used as an infantry weapon for attacking fortifications such as pillboxes and bunkers during the last months of World War II and later in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Unlike standard artillery pieces it does not need a recoil mechanism and thus is light enough to be carried by one man. Recoilless rifles use a perforated artillery cartridge case that allows a portion of the propellent gases to escape through vents in the breech of the gun, thereby greatly reducing the recoil.
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recoilless rifle[ri′kȯi·ləs ′rif·əl]
A weapon consisting of a light artillery tube of the recoilless type and a very light mount.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.