An exhibition of weapons and material from the Brigade 'Galicia' VII (BRILAT)

The light weapons of the Spanish Army: a first-hand review

Last Sunday I was at an exhibition of material from the Brigade "Galicia" VII (BRILAT) of the Spanish Army in Pontevedra.

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This exhibition has been organized for years on the occasion of Armed Forces Day, and allows citizens to see first-hand the weapons, vehicles and other materials that our soldiers use daily. One of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition can be being able to talk to the BRILAT members (really nice people) and listen to their explanations about each weapon and equipment. You can see here some photos of the exhibition and some notes.

We start with infantry weapons. Here we see the Heckler & Koch G-36E, the standard assault rifle of the Spanish Armed Forces. It is of 5.56 mm NATO caliber. It has a folding stock. I attest that it is very light: without charger it weighs only 3.3 kg.

The disassembled G-36E. A BRILAT soldier told me that they train to be able to assemble it with their eyes closed in just 20 seconds.

A G-36E with a red dot sight (on the left) and a 3x magnification scope (on the right: here it is folded down). In the handguard it has a Picatinny rail to attach accessories.

A G-36E equipped with an AG-36 grenade launcher. It is a 40mm caliber, the German equivalent of the famous M-203 grenade launcher on the M-16 rifle.

The Heckler & Koch USP is the regulation pistol of the Army. A compact and very light weapon: only 748 grams without magazine. It is 9mm Parabellum caliber. A BRILAT soldier showed us how to assemble and disassemble (it seems easy when you see them do it).

An MG-42 machine gun , as the German MG-3 is still known in Spain. It is a modernized version of the famous German machine gun from World War II. It has a 7.62 mm caliber and is fed by tape. Here we see one mounted on a tripod.

Another MG-42, in this case with the bipod extended. Next to the machine gun we see the spare barrel.

A very interesting booth at the exhibition was the portable anti-tank weapons. Here we see in the first place an Instalaza C90 grenade launcher, an Instalaza Alcotán 100 grenade launcher and in the background a Spike missile launcher.

Here we see an Instalaza C90, an orange stripe. It is a disposable 90mm grenade launcher. Grenades can be of several types: anti-tank, anti-bunker, anti-personnel, fumigants, anti-armor and training. I had the opportunity to look through its optics, very basic and without a laser rangefinder. This deficiency, as a BRILAT soldier told me, gives it an advantage: it is not detectable by vehicles that have laser rangefinder detectors, so it is a very effective weapon for ambushes.

The Instalaza Alcotán 100 is very similar to the C90, but with the difference that it is of 100 mm caliber and the sight, which has a laser rangefinder, is reusable.

One of the most interesting stalls was that of the select marksmen of the "Isabel La Católica" Regiment No. 29, where they displayed four rifles of various types. From left to right we see a Heckler & Koch G-36E with telescopic sight, an Accuracy International AW.308 , an Accuracy International AX.MC 338 and a Barret M-95.

In this photo we see on the left the Heckler & Koch G-36E and next to it the Accuracy International AW.308, the latter with a camouflaged finish. The G-36E is like your regular Army rifle, with a 5.56mm caliber, but with a different stock and a Schmidt & Bender 1.5-6x20 scope. It is the weapon used by the observers who accompany the select shooters.

Another image of these two weapons. The AW.308 is in .338 Lapua Magnum caliber and has a range of 1,500 meters. Here it is seen equipped with a Schmidt & Bender Mk-II telescopic sight. Directly in front of the sight is a Simrad KN-200F Mk-III night scope.

The shooter showed me this training cartridge they use in the AW.308, and even loaded it and pulled the trigger. It has a spring so that the firing pin of the rifle does not suffer so much when firing "dry" shots.

The Accuracy International AX.MC 338 is a prized jewel among select shooters. It is in 338 Lapua Magnum caliber and has a range of 1,500 meters. Here we see them with the stock folded, as it is loaded in a backpack, and with a Schmidt & Bender 3-27x56 PM II High Power telescopic sight.

A frontal photo of the AX.MC 338 , in which we can see the suppressor on its barrel and its night vision, located in front of the telescopic sight. This viewer allows the recording of videos, something ideal for reconnaissance missions.

The Barret M-95 is an anti-materiel precision rifle. It has a 12.7 mm caliber. Here we see him with a Swarovski Optik Habicht PF 10X42L telescopic sight.

Another image of the M-95, in which we can see on the left its magazine (with capacity for five cartridges) and one of its large 12.7 mm caliber cartridges.

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