DSG Technology MEA Supercavitating Rifle Ammo

Norwegian company Defense & Security Group (DSG) has developed a line of ammunition that can be fired into water or from underwater to above the surface without changing its trajectory.

Our friend David Crane at Defense Review has written an extensive article about the Supercavitating round …

With DSG Technology’s MEA Supercavitating Rifle Ammo, you can fire at an underwater enemy target from above the water, an above-the-water enemy target from below the surface, or at an underwater target while you are also underwater. For example, a U.S. Navy SEAL diver can perform an underwater approach on an enemy vessel and engage targets of opportunity while he’s still submerged several meters underwater. The only caveat is that he’ll have to compensate for optical refraction to hit the target. The same thing goes for engaging underwater targets from above the water.

The bullet design is scalable, so they could potentially build a underwater 30mm or 127mm cannon for anti-torpedo or submarine use.

[ Many thanks to JTolliver for emailing me the link. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • That’s a weird neck crimp.

  • Jim

    Wouldn’t your gun blow up when firing it underwater anyway?

    • Jim, surprisingly many guns can safety be fired underwater, provided they are full of water (no air pockets). (Don’t try this at home!)

  • Andrew

    THIS IS AWESOME

  • A 30x173mm supercavitating round was developed for the US Navy’s Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS). The performance requirements for the Mk 258 Mod 1 cartridge stated:

    “The ammunition must be capable of entering the water at an angle of 60 degrees from the horizontal and continue in water to a range of 75 feet. The velocity after traveling 75 feet in water must be greater than 3000 feet per second. The kinetic energy of the projectile after 75 feet of water travel must be greater than 46,000 foot-pounds.”

    Development of the program was reportedly cancelled over a month ago, but here is an old briefing on the program:

    http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2003gun/jen.pdf

  • ThomasD

    “allowing an operator/shooter to fire the ammo from above the surface into the water at a very low angle of attack, as low as two degrees in choppy water and 7 degrees into glass-smooth water without ricochet.”

    Seven degrees without ricochet is simply amazing. But, given that the tip is actually a teeny tiny wadcutter it does make some sense.

    An aside, Lord how I’ve grown to hate that ‘operator’ terminology. Tacticool has permeated everything else, but why does it have to ruin a perfectly functional language. Anyone pulling the trigger is clearly and most simply described as a shooter, anything else is superfluous.
    /rant off.

    • Bill Unverferth

      Blame Tom Clancy

  • armed_partisan

    That’s pretty cool, if it works. Sure would be useful for harbor patrols.

  • Skeptic

    Bunk!!!! I have no doubts about the claims of maintaining trajectory when fired into the water or out of the water. But the claims about a diver firing it underwater at targets of opportunity leaves me wondering who designed the marketing campaign. Water is not compressable. Rifle chamber pressures are in the 50-60 thousand PSI range and probably more under water, where the bore is full of water and the chamber supported by being surrounded by water. Turning this kind of shock wave loose in close proximity to a diver is going to be bad ju-ju for the diver. Enough to rupture internal organs. Use on an unmanned underwater vehicle would work alright, but not handheld.

  • Lance

    Looks simular to the M-855A1 ball bullet maybe we should try A1 ammo under water. LOL

  • Matt G.

    Very cool

  • Komrad

    Skeptic
    the Russians had special firearms to fire underwater that used long darts but a normal 7.62×39 casing
    I think that the lower calibers (5.56 and 7.62) would probably be fine, but anything larger would cause issues

    the PSI would not increase underwater and the pressure wave would dissipate quickly with distance
    they wouldn’t say you could use them underwater if you couldn’t
    besides, I’ve seen people fire guns underwater on youtube (highly unadvised)

  • ThomasD

    A quick search shows YouTube has multiple clips of weapons being fired underwater. Most being low powered handguns.

    I’d tend to agree that having a .50 BMG go off nearby underwater is probably not good for one’s bare eardrums at a minimum. But then again I suspect the developers are envisioning the .50 being fired either from above the waterline or mounted to some sort of underwater vehicle.

  • bull

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MA1IFKwdAQ sadly he didnt fire off more rounds… but you gotta love the soundtrack!

  • Pedro C.P.

    The Russians tried a more conventional solution for the problem. Since the shape of conventional bullets isn’t suitable for high speed and stability underwater they simply changed it to something that is. A harpoon/spear. And by bonus that increased the mass of the “bullet” what reduces speed so the bullet won’t disintegrate and allows it to have enough inertia to travel a decent distance.

    The brilliant the brilliant thing of the supercavitating bullet is that you pretty much retain the air ballistics of a normal bullet and also avoids all that cumbersomeness of the spear bullets. My only concern is that those bullets are probably quite strong since the tip is receiving all the pressure of the water so it can’t deform, otherwise it would scape the bubble and loose the trajectory or disintegrate. And it will also have to be nose heavy in order to be stable.

  • Matt G.

    As cool as this is I can’t find one single video of it beig shot underwater. You’d think a company would spread such a video far and wide.

  • Some manufacturers have a better method of dealing with enemy divers: high explosives. High explosive grenades have been designed to be tossed or launched into the water rather like mini-depth charges. At a given depth or time fuse, the grenades explode. The over-pressure will absolutely ruin someone’s day.

  • bbmg

    Didn’t the Russians already develop a similar dual medium cartridge for use in the ADS? http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/ads-dvuhsredny-e.html