Tag: cartridge

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Where to Draw the Line? Managing the Weight of Next Generation Universal Calibers Using a Weight Calculator

How can one balance the trade-offs inherent in ammunition design to create a true one-caliber infantry weapon system that is both effective and lightweight? This is a question I’ve been exploring for close to a decade, and writing about for over four years. The [Read More…]

.264 USA 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…]

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…]

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…]

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 7.62x39 and two of its derivatives. Left to right: Commercial FMJ, Yugoslavian M67, 5.6x39mm/.220 Russian, 6.5x38 Grendel. ammo1

Hunting Tips (from a girl): Is there such a thing as a do-it-all round?

One of the common questions seen in hunting groups on social media is some variation on asking what caliber is best for X animal. It pops up everywhere and instantly results in dozens of opinions, all backed by the commenter’s claim of extensive knowledge and [Read More…]

PHOTO_20160627_233051 That is what happens when a wound channel collapses on itself so quickly that it sets the air on fire. 0831150951c22 gerrperrscherr

Caliber Configuration Podcast with Yours Truly at Gun Guy Radio

Back in March, I wrote a post on caliber configuration, or the effort to create and standardize effective and economical ammunition for infantry small arms. As mentioned in the post itself, it was written as a more in-depth companion article for a podcast recorded by [Read More…]

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Kramer Defense Files Patent for Bolt Heads for Cartridges Larger Than 6.8mm SPC, Wildcat World Reacts

Kramer Defense, the company that introduced the 6.8x45mm UCC cartridge based on the .378″/9.6mm diameter case head of 5.56mm, filed a patent on Aug 14, 2014 (approved Sept. 1, 2015) that has recently sent shockwaves through the 6.5 Grendel and cartridge [Read More…]

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Trench Art

In the trenches of World War I, there was a lot of boredom, idleness, and malaise, punctuated by brief stretches of terrible violence and death. Out of the former came what’s come to be known as “trench art”: handcrafted art made from available [Read More…]

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Life of a cartridge

Here is the opening sequence from the movie Lord of War showing the life of a cartridge from a Soviet factory to use in an African conflict. The movie tells the story of the fictional character Yuri Orlov who loosly is based on real life arms dealer Viktor Bout. I [Read More…]