M202A1 FLASH— The Commando Bazooka

I have only seen this weapon twice in my life. The first was in a movie called The Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as retired Army Colonel John Matrix. The second time was in the Spring of 2016 while viewing the private museum of a very prominent MILSURP collector.

M202A1 in private collection.

At the time, I only recognized it as, “The Commando Bazooka”. And up until that very moment, I wasn’t even sure the device portrayed was real. Frankly I had serious doubts even back then.

Well…it turns out it isn’t a bazooka at all. But is known as the M202A1 FLASH: FLame Assault SHoulder Weapon. The device is loaded with incendiary munitions not high-explosives and is designed to replace the flame thrower! Go figure.

M202a1 front end. I’m impressed it still has the optical sight!

It has a 200 yard point-blank range, and effective range to 700 yards. That’s some long range flame throwing!

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it. Was surprised to learn what it actually was when researching this article. We would love to have a discarded one for the armory reference collection. And for the record, I have zero interest in ever firing a military or civilian legal flamethrower.


Honestly, I wouldn’t even want to be on the same range if someone else were operating it. Every weapon malfunctions at some point, and I want no part of whatever that means for this system.


“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • FYI – Here is a link to the training circular for the Flash,


    • Its forefather, the XM191 Multishot Portable Flame Weapon, was actually tested in Vietnam.

  • Jeffrey Scott Boyer

    A 4 shot LAW awesome

    • Basically. Uses the same caliber of rocket.


  • guns2317

    What a great find! I always thought that thing was something dreamed up by a Hollywood prop department.

    • See! I’m not the only one! I made him a solid offer, but he wasn’t interested in breaking up his collection.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  • Ramshovel

    We had 2 in our arms Room while I was assigned to the 4/7th Cav. in Korea. Fired two rounds out of it at Rodriguez Range. The most common malfunction, all 4 rockets would fire at once.

    • Is it reloadable like the Carl Gustav or disposable like a LAW?


      • Ramshovel


        • Good. Cheaper for me to buy. So…in training, would a unit ever place one back in the armory missing a few shots? Or would they shoot all the rockets if training?