M65 Recoiless Nuclear Rifle

by Dhiram Shah

Yes you heard it right, A nuclear rifle. Developed during the Cold War 60’s it could fire a 155mm nuclear warhead with a yield of 0.1 kiloton which is equivalent of 10 tons of TNT or the same as a MOAB (GBU-43/B). However the M65 had a range of only 3 miles which was its main disadvantage because if the wind is blowing towards the crew they will be affected by the radioactive fall out. Reminds me of the Chinese Nuke Cannon from Command and Conquer Zero Hour.


  1. buckminster

    Check your arithmetic –
    1 kiloton = 1000 tons
    0.1 kiloton = 1/10 kiloton
    = 100 tons of tnt

  2. "gunner"

    this is “old news”, the m-65 was never seriously considered as a tactical battlefield weapon for the reasons stated in the write up. why use a nuke when other weapons, without the associated hazards of initial radiation and lingering fallout, will do the job. even the non nuclear “moab” has limited tactical uses, but is better than a nuke for territory you might want to take and hold after the dust settles.

  3. "gunner"

    additional comment: you might also look up “atomic annie” the nuclear cannon of the same era. if memory serves it had a range of 20 to 30 miles, required two prime movers and a large support crew, was not only “roadbound” but could only operate on a limited range of roads that could support its weight. into the bargain the russians had it targeted from day one when it entered service. these days it a museum exhibit.


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