Posts by Nathaniel F

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.

The long-necked Colt 7.62mm round on the left combines the principles of triplex and squeezebore rounds (together called "salvo-squeezebore"). When fired from a modified M60 with a tapered muzzle, it would spit out three 55gr .224" caliber projectiles per shot. In the center is the duplex (not squeezebore) M198 7.62mm round, and on the right is the M80A1 EPR round, for comparison.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 007: Squeezebore Ammunition – Celeritas Et Accuratio

Previously, we discussed the benefits of and challenges facing saboted projectile ammunition, including the advantages of decoupling the diameters of the bore and the projectile, and the problems of accuracy during sabot discarding. One concept that could possibly [Read More…]

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BREAKING: The Next French Infantry Rifle Is German – Heckler & Koch Reportedly WINS French AIF Rifle Competition

According to an as of yet uncorroborated report from the French publication RETEX MAG, the next French rifle will be a variant of the German-made Heckler & Koch HK416. The report cites notices sent out to the five participants in the French Army’s AIF (Arme [Read More…]

Multiplex rounds, left to right: .30-06 long neck duplex, .22-06 long neck duplex, .25 Winchester FA T115 short neck duplex, .25 Winchester FA T127 long neck duplex, Colt 7.62 salvo squeezebore triplex, 7.62mm M198 duplex ball, 9.53x76mm Winchester quadruple flechette, .330 Amron Aerojet triple flechette.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 006: Multiplex Projectile Ammunition – Two, Three, Four for the Price of One?

After World War II, US Army analysts determined that the effectiveness of the infantryman was not as closely related to their marksmanship discipline as had been previously thought. It seemed that instead, the random environmental circumstances and effects, plus the [Read More…]

Caseless rounds, left to right: 7.62x34mm Frankford Arsenal caseless, 5.56x24mm FA caseless, 5.56x25mm Hercules caseless, 4.7x21mm H&K/DAG early caseless, 4.7x33mm HK/DAG G11 caseless.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 005: Caseless Ammunition – Lightening the Load, Pt. 3

Previously, we discussed trying to lighten the soldier’s load by making the cartridge case out of different materials, including aluminum and compositing the case out of polymer and metal. Yet, wouldn’t the lightest possible case configuration be… [Read More…]

Flechette rounds, left to right: XM645 with glass polyester sabot, XM645 with compressed sabot, XM110 with GP sabot, 10gr SPIW flechette and sabot above, XM144 with GP sabot, 10gr SPIW flechette above, .330 Amron Aerojet triple flechette, 9.53x76mmR Winchester quadruple flechette, AAI 5.56x45mm ACR flechette, Steyr 5.56x45mm ACR plastic cased telescoped flechette. Sabot rounds, left to right: XM645 SPIW flechette with compressed disintegrating puller sabot, XM645 SPIW flechette with glass polyester disintegrating puller sabot, 5.77/4.32 Frankford with polymer cup pusher sabot, 5.56x45mm AAI ACR flechette with petal-type puller sabot. Far right is a pulled SPIW sabot and flechette.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 003: Sabots – Performance-Enhancing Shoes for Your Bullets

One of the problems of small arms ammunition is that of swept volume. That is, the most ballistically efficient projectiles are the longest and thinnest ones, which cut through the air more easily than squatter, fatter projectiles. Yet, the best projectiles from a [Read More…]

So far, the polymer composite case has only found purchase with low-power specialty ammunition, such as the plastic blank and fired 7.62mm UTM marking round, both on the right. Several commercial composite cased rounds have been tried, including the grey .223 Remington PCA ammunition. In the 1970s, Frankford Arsenal and AAI experimented with composite cased ammunition, represented by the white cased round in the middle. On the left is a standard Korean-made M855 round.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 002: Polymer-Cased Composite Ammunition – Lightening the Load, Pt. 2

In the last installment, we talked about the growing need throughout the 20th Century to reduce the weight of the cartridge case, to lighten the burden of the soldier. Experiments in aluminum have thus far proven unsuccessful, but another material is even more [Read More…]

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Lightning Review: Sticky Holster LG-2 for Glock 19 (and Other Pistols) – The Best “Universal” Holster There Is?

The Glock 19, along with its close clones and equivalents, is in my opinion the ideal “universal” civilian pistol. Small enough to carry concealed, but large enough to shoot well, the Glock can serve equally well as an every day carry gun or as a home [Read More…]

The lead-free M855A1 5.56mm cartridge.

BREAKING NEWS: Liberty Ammunition LOSES M855A1 EPR Appeals Lawsuit in Federal Claims Court, US Army CLEARED

The United States government has won a major firearms-related victory in Federal appeals court today, regarding claims of patent infringement by Liberty Ammunition, LLC. Liberty had claimed that the US Army’s M855A1 EPR and M80A1 EPR projectiles infringed on its [Read More…]

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Business Insider’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad List of Weapons the Military “Should” Bring Back

Earlier this week, Business Insider released an article written by Christian Lowe entitled “6 weapons the US military should bring back from the dead“ with a very self-evident, but interesting premise. However, the weapons (all firearms, oddly) that the [Read More…]

Aluminum cased rounds, left to right: .30 T65 Light Rifle aluminum experimental, .280/30 British aluminum experimental, 6x50mm SAW aluminum experimental, 9.53x76mm Winchester quadruple flechette, .330 Amron Aerojet triple flechette. Today, aluminum cases are only used in low pressure applications, like the Omark Industries short range training round on the far right.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 001: Aluminum Cased Ammunition – Lightening the Load, Pt. 1

The metallic cartridge case was invented in the 1840s, and – starting in the 1860s – its military application brought with it a host of of advantages for the soldier: Now, ammunition was self-contained, weatherproof, and durable. Yet, despite it being a [Read More…]

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Modern Historical Intermediate Calibers 020: The 7.62x45mm Czech

After World War II, the nations of the world retired to lick their wounds and rebuild, but their arms engineers also began thinking about the next war. The war have brought forth a storm of new technologies and inventions, and one of the most significant in the field of [Read More…]

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Modern Intermediate Full Power Calibers 019: The Russian 6x49mm Unified

What happens when you take the two concepts of a traditional, full-power rifle and machine gun round, and a small-caliber, high-velocity round, and smash them together? You get one of the most extreme military small arms calibers ever developed, and one of the last [Read More…]

.30 caliber rounds: .30-06 M2 AP, .303 Mk. VII, 7.5x54 Balle C, 7.9x57 sS Patrone, 7.62x54R LPS Ball, 7.62x51 NATO S Patrone (Austria). webcontent-440x164 The 7.92mm Kurzpatrone 43 (middle right) was developed from the larger 7.92mm German infantry cartridge, represented by the 154gr S Patrone (left) and 198gr sS Patrone (middle left). The 7.92x33 Kurz, as it's more commonly called today, is still used by some forces that retain the WWII-era Sturmgewehrs that fire it. The primary producer of ammunition for these weapons today is Prvi Partizan, which made the cartridge on the far right. 5.8x42DBP-10 On the right are two types of 7.62 NATO round, the M80 and M80A1, alongside two of its predecessors. Center left is the .30 T104 ball cartridge using the 1948 T1E1 case. Left is the .300 Savage, which was the starting point for what became the 7.62 NATO. The 4.85 British (center) was developed in the UK and competed in the NATO trials that eventually standardized on the Belgian 5.56mm SS109 load (left). Like the similar German 4.9x45mm DAG (right), it is based on the 5.56mm case. The 5.56mm alongside two of its .17 caliber variants. Center, the 4.32x45mm Frankford Arsenal, Right, the German 4.3x45mm DAG. Two .280/30 cartridges, and their immediate ancestors. The .280 concept was inspired by the German 7.92x33 Kurz caliber on the far left, but demands for standardization in testing with the US-developed .30 T65 cartridge (center left) resulted in rounds after 1949 using the same case head as that round. 0810162235bn On the right are the two major iterations of the 6mm SAW, the 45mm steel cased version, and the 50mm aluminum cased version. In the middle is a modified .25 Winchester experimental round used for ballistic testing in the early part of the SAW program. On the far left is 5.56mm M855, which became the eventual chambering for the resulting M249 SAW. The 6x35mm KAC/TSWG flanked by its parent, the .221 Remington Fireball on the left, and the 5.56x45mm on the right, which it is designed to duplicate from shorter barrel lengths. SmUqdwT A 5.45x39mm 7N6 cartridge, flanked by two of its predecessors. The 5.6x39mm (left) was developed from an early Soviet ballistic test round using the 7.62x39mm case head, which was designed to duplicate the performance of the early .222 Remington Special (right), later renamed the .223 Remington. l5vjyzz machinepistols

Cracking the Machine Pistol’s Code: Is a Useful Fully Automatic Handgun Possible?

In a previous article on TFB, we compared a Mauser 712 Schnellfeuer to a Glock 17 with an auto sear, and along the way discussed how very limited the usefulness of the modern machine pistol is. Fully automatic pistol-sized weapons have been around for over a hundred [Read More…]

5.56mm (left) alongside some of its competitors. The .25-45 Sharps flanked by the 5.56mm M855 and Mk. 262 rounds. 7.62x40 WT next to its parent, the 5.56mm. On the right are two .300 AAC Blackout rounds, alongside the green-tipped 5.56mm and shorter .221 Remington Fireball that serves as the round's parent case. Two 6.5 Grendel rounds and related cartridges. Left to right: 7.62x39mm, .220 Russian, 6.5 Grendel 123gr SMK, Wolf 100gr FMJ. Tx5w8Jr Three 6.8 SPC cartridges and their parent round. Left to right: .30 Remington, 6.8 SPC 115gr Sierra BTHP, 110gr Hornady OTM, XM68GD 90gr soft point. The EPM (left) alongside the older tan, green, and black follower 30 round USGI magazines.

BREAKING: US Army Introduces New Enhanced Performance Magazine for M4/M16 Series Rifles

The US Army has taken one more step towards further improving the reliability of the controversial M16 and M4 series of rifles, according to a TACOM announcement. The Army is introducing a new pattern of magazine to supplant the older black, green, and tan follower [Read More…]

7.62x39 and two of its derivatives. Left to right: Commercial FMJ, Yugoslavian M67, 5.6x39mm/.220 Russian, 6.5x38 Grendel. .22 1895 US Army Experimental The author's beloved 1990 manufacture SIG P220 DA/SA handgun. I carry a Glock, though. 0721160110 weights-664766_960_720 Various 5.56mm rounds, left to right: 55gr M193, 55gr French ball, M855 (made in Korea), Mk. 262 Mod. 1, Mk. 318, M855A1