The launcher itself is composed of a steel alloy tube, 140 cm in length and 2.3 kg in weight, which incorporates backblast diffusers, a trigger mechanism and a 4x power telescopic sight. The round fired is a 60mm hypervelocity spin-stabilized rocket, weighing just 2.2 kg, armed with an impact-fused supercritical High Explosive Armor Piercing warhead. The rocket has an accurate range of approximately 400m and a maximum range of 2,000m.
Though the M5 RPG has little chance of penetrating modern medium and heavy tank armor, it is both popular and effective in its secondary role against infantry in cover within bunkers and building strongpoints. Some Marines in the field, despite its low-tech design, have found the M5 to be more useful than other anti-armor weapons such as M78 PIG.
Two M5 RPGs make up part of a standard Rifle Platoon's organic support weapons.