Difference Between Bazooka and RPG (with Table)

Weapons are the most important things which are used in a war. The weapons are considered like the superpower in a war. The better your weapons are, the more you have the chance of winning the war. There are several types of weapons like guns, grenades, tanks, rocket launchers, and many more. Bazooka and RPG are the two famous and powerful rocket launchers.

The difference between Bazooka and RPG is that the bazooka is a tube in which the rocket comes out of it whereas the RPG is a tube in which the rocket is at the end also, the propelling charge for a bazooka is consumed before the projectile leaves the tube whereas in an RPG the initial charge comes out of the rocket which ignites a safe distance away from the one who is firing.

Comparison Table Between Bazooka and RPG

Parameter of ComparisonBazookaRPG
ArmyU.S. Army uses this weapon.Soviet Army uses this weapon.
First usageIt was first used in the year 1942.It was first used in the year 1961.
Placement of rocketThe rocket is present inside the tube.The rocket is present at the end of the tube.
RangeThe maximum range of Bazooka is 110 meters.The maximum range of RPG is 700 meters.
WeightThe weight of a Bazooka is 6.01 kgThe weight of an RPG is 6.3 kg.
CostThe cost of a Bazooka is $2400.The cost of an RPG is $2000.

What is Bazooka?

Bazooka is a shoulder type rocket launcher which is mainly used as an anti-tank weapon. It was used by the U.S. Army for the first time in World War II. This weapon consists of a smooth steel tube which is about 1.5 meters long. It is also open at both ends and has a handgrip, a shoulder rest, a trigger mechanism, and sights. It was officially titled the M9A1 Rocket Launcher but later it was given the name Bazooka after a crude horn of such name used by a comedian named Bob Burns.

The bazooka was mainly developed for attacking tanks and fortified positions at a short-range. It is capable of launching a 1.6 kg rocket having a diameter of 2.36 inches and a length of 19 inches. This rocket contains 22g grams of pentolite which is a powerful explosive capable of penetrating an armor plate having  5 inches of thickness. In order to escape the backblast, the firer used to hold the bazooka on his shoulder with half the tube projecting behind him.

Bazooka was a very powerful weapon and was used in many warks like

  1. World War II – This was the first war in which bazooka was used. The bazooka used was the one that had the basic design and was used as anti-tanks.
  2. Korean War – In this war, a new type of bazooka was used, known as “Super Bazooka”. This new Bazooka was larger and much better than the previous one and gave extreme success in the war.
  3. Vietnam War – In the beginning, stages of the Vietnam War, the super Bazooka was used but later the Vietnam people created their own weapon similar to Bazooka.

The firing of Bazooka requires two operators to work simultaneously. The one who pulls the trigger, known as the firer sets the launcher on his shoulder and usually takes a kneeling position now the loader inserts a rocket projectile into the breech end and removes the projectile’s arming pin.

The projectile is then inserted fully into the breech until it gets locked in place by an awaiting latch. A coiled wire is then uncoiled from the rocket’s fin assembly and wrapped around a contact spring found on the launcher. Now the loader is supposed to get a firing signal and then fires. The firer is also supposed to take care while firing so that no allies get hurt while back-blast.

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What is RPG?

A Rocket Propelled Grenade is a weapon which is a shoulder-fired missile weapon. It is used to launch rockets that contain a huge amount of explosives. This weapon is portable enough to be carried by an individual. It is often used as anti-tankers. These RPGs are connected to a rocket motor which pushes the RPG towards the target. Mostly these warheads are not reloadable but after new moderations, some of them can be reloaded.

The RPG is specially designed to hit its target perfectly. Therefore a warhead is used against tanks and other armors have a shaped charge explosive warhead. A shaped charge is an explosive charge shaped to focus the effect of the explosive’s energy to cause perfect penetration through the desired armor, shield, tanks, etc.

The grenade is separated into two parts, the warhead and sustainer motor, and the booster charge. Firstly a small strip powder charge is launched to reduce the backblast area so that the gunner doesn’t get harmed. Then at approximately 11 meters, the sustainer rocket takes charge, ignites, and then boosts the rocket’s velocity.

Now after the launch, the fins open that spin the rocket and stabilize its flight. The shape of the warhead penetrates the tank armor which doesn’t cause an explosion. The explosion actually happens because of the metal continuing out the other side of the target.

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Main Differences Between Bazooka and RPG

  1. Bazooka was used by the U.S. Army in 1942 whereas RPG was used by the Soviet Army in 1961.
  2. Bazooka was the first of its type whereas RPG was designed by making some modifications in the Bazooka.
  3. Bazookas hit the target with explosives that result in an explosion whereas RPG penetrates the target and the explosion is caused due to the metal continuing on the other side of the target.
  4. The range of Bazooka is 110 meters and it weighs 6.01 kgs whereas RPG is 700 meters and weighs 6.3 kgs.
  5. In Bazookas the rocket is placed inside the tube whereas in RPGs the rocket is placed at the end of the tube.
  6. The cost of one bazooka is 2400$ whereas the cost of one RPG is 2000$.


The Bazookas were the first on-shoulder rocket launchers that were used by U.S. Army in World War II. It is often used as anti-tankers. The RPGs were developed by the Soviet Army. It has warheads which are used for penetrating shield, tanks, etc.


  1. http://repository.sustech.edu/handle/123456789/13517
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=NDa1CwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=Bazookas+and+rpg&ots=xKg1x5CqfP&sig=aygJO5RistQ1c8hrnlxTdLz3BfE