Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 009: The .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire

So far in the Modern PDW Calibers series we’ve talked about small caliber, high velocity PDW rounds like the 5.7mm FN and 4.6mm HK, and we’ve tackled larger, punchier calibers like the 10mm Norma Auto and the 7.5mm FK. However, we still have not tackled the very extreme low end of the spectrum, that is rounds that are so small and impotent that many question their usefulness as antipersonnel rounds at all. However, small size brings with it some benefits in recoil and round weight, so it’s worth taking a closer look at this kind of round.

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 004: The 7.5x27mm FK Brno

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these Modern PDW Calibers installments, but we’re back, and today we’re looking at a very new round on the market, one that is currently making some pretty big waves in the pistol world. I am talking of course about the 7.5x27mm FK Brno, designed for the CZ-75-derived FK Field Pistol from the company that shares its name. A high velocity .30 cal pistol round is not a new idea, having predecessors in the .300 JAWS, 7.62×25 Tokarev, and others, but what makes the 7.5 FK so interesting is just how powerful it is: A 103 grain monolithic bullet is advertised as leaving the 6″ Field Pistol barrel at an incredible 2,000 ft/s! This means that, if the company’s performance claims are true, the FK Field Pistol is ballistically the equal of the old WWII-era M1 Carbine!

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Modern Historical Intermediate Calibers 011: The 5.56×38 FABRL

Among the interesting concepts that were tested in the mid-late 20th Century is that of an extremely light for caliber, very long bullet made in part of a lightweight material like aluminum and plastic. The 7.92×40 CETME, which if I can find a specimen I will cover later on, is one example, but starting in 1972 the now-closed Frankford Arsenal began experiments on 5.56mm cases loaded with super-long projectiles with von Karman ogives, with the aim of creating a lightweight round using a low-density projectile and an aluminum case. Original testing was conducted with full-length 5.56mm cases and two lengths of bullets, but eventually a shortened brass case and a 37gr bullet with the same shape as the shorter initial test bullet was created. As a solution to the problem of burn-though with aluminum cases, the Arsenal developed a plastic insert called a “flexible internal element” (FIE), and the brass cased rounds developed for ballistic testing also had FIEs. This shorter round in both aluminum and brass cased forms was called the 5.56x38mm FABRL, which stood for “Frankford Arsenal – Ballistics Research Laboratory”, and this at some point was made into a backronym for “Future Ammunition for Burst Rifle Launch”.

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