World's FIRST Automatic Railgun Tested by US Navy

Yes, you don’t own a flying car, but at least some of the promises of the future are coming true: The United States Navy has successfully tested its railgun prototype in multi-shot (autoloading) mode, earlier this summer. Although the US Navy has been testing railguns since 2006, this latest test was the first time such a weapon had fired multiple shots in quick succession, thanks to an autoloading mechanism fitted to the rear. You can see the railgun in action in the video below, released by the Office of Naval Research:

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.223 Timbs: A Very Brief History

In a recent Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers post, we discussed the .223 Timbs, a pseudo-wildcat load of the 7.62x25mm Tokarev that uses a sabot to fire a 50gr .22 caliber projectile at 2,000 feet per second or more. At the time, very little information was publicly available regarding the origin and purpose of the .223 Timbs, and what we knew at the time could just be summed up as “it was developed by Joseph Timbs and Quality Cartridge.” After the article ran, it gained the attention of none other than Joseph Timbs himself, who reached out to The Firearm Blog, and gave us the bar booth version of the story.

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 014: The .223 Timbs (7.62x25mm Tokarev w/ Sabot!)

What do you get when you take the venerable speedster 7.62 Tokarev, and load it with a muzzleloader-style sabot and 50gr .22 cal projectile? You get one of the most interesting pistol, submachine gun, and personal defense weapon ammunition concepts there is!

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 013: The .22 TCM and .22 TCM 9R

It has been a little while since we visited the subject of modern personal defense weapon calibers, so to start it off again we’ll be taking a look at a new high velocity round that is only a few years old: Armscor’s .22 TCM. This round was reportedly developed by Fred Craig as a high velocity caliber for the 1911 platform, and picked up by Philippine company Armscor. Originally called the “.22 Mini Mag”, the .22 TCM (Tuason-Craig Magnum, after Craig and Armscor’s president) is designed to fit inside the magazine well of a 1911 and function from .38 Super 1911 magazines. Although a pistol round, the .22 TCM is based off the .223 Remington case, shortened by about three quarters of an inch. Thanks to the thick web of its parent case, the .22 TCM is capable of handling high pressures of 40,000 PSI. A version with a shortened projectile, the .22 TCM 9R, is compatible with shorter 9mm magazines for weapons like the Glock 17.

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 010: The 9x19mm and 9x21mm Russian Special AP

One potential solution to the problem of a suitable anti-armor pistol and submachine gun round is to take the existing ammunition system and introduce one or more new kinds of ammunition which provide additional armor piercing capability through higher muzzle velocity and tougher core material. This is the route taken in Russia, where in the mid-1990s was introduced several loads for the Western 9x19mm caliber, as well as a new but fairly conventional round, the 9x21mm, also with optional AP load.

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 007: The 7.62x25mm Tokarev

Since we’ve discussed the .30 M1 Carbine caliber, it is probably only a matter of time before someone mentioned another .30 caliber round used by the Allies during the Second World War, that being the 7.62x25mm Tokarev. The round is a turbocharged derivative of the 7.63 Mauser, itself a hopped up variant of the very first successful rimless pistol cartridge, the 7.65 Borchardt. It was adopted in 1930 by the new Soviet Russian government for use with the Tokarev TT pistol, and later was also used in the PPD-40, PPSh-41, and PPS-43 submachine guns. Outside of Russia, it has been a popular cartridge as well, being used by the Vietnamese, Czechs, Yugoslavs, and most notably, the Chinese (with whom it remains in service today).

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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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Nosler Releases The Brand New 22 Nosler | Fastest .22 Cartridge For The AR-15 Platform |SHOT 2017

Early this morning I woke to a brand new press release detailing the latest factory produced wildcat-style cartridge offered by our friends over at Nosler. They claim that the new cartridge will boast velocities that rival the 22-250 cartridge while fitting into an AR-15 platform.

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[Knob Creek 2016] .5 Vickers High Velocity from 1935

One of the interesting finds pointed out to me by an ammunition collector at Knob Creek is this interesting tidbit of history. The .5 Vickers is a semi rimmed round that was invented in the last year of World War One by necking down a .600 Nitro Express round. It was intended for the water cooled Vickers heavy machine gun and was initially needed for anti-aircraft gunners to take down German bombers over London that could sustain multiple hits from the .303 cartridge being fired by Vickers anti-aircraft crews at the time. Although the round is the same caliber as the 50 BMG, the two are not interchangeable.

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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 provide many of the benefits of saboted projectile ammunition without the drawbacks is the idea of having a malleable projectile that is forced through a conical section of bore, squeezing it down to a smaller shape. This increases, to a degree, the swept volume of the barrel, while not requiring any discarding sabot and not producing “wasted” energy that goes into propelling the mass of the sabot out of the barrel.

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Understanding Transonic Flight

The flight of a rifle bullet may seem to be a simple thing – it flies through the air at high speeds, steadily losing velocity and energy until it either impacts the dirt or simply falls out of the sky. In fact, though, there is a lot of complex fluid dynamics to absorb to fully understand the flight of a bullet through the air, especially as that bullet drops below Mach 1.3 (about 1,450 ft/s) and encounters the transonic flight regime. To help us understand what happens better, we’ll turn to an instructional video from the 1950s from Shell Oil; while it covers the flight of then-high-performance aircraft, not bullets, the basic principles still remain the same. I highly recommend my readers watch the video first, before reading my discussion of it:

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Winchester Expands Blind Side Shotgun Ammunition

Winchester is once again expanding their ammunition lines by offering the new Blind Side shotgun ammunition in 12 and 20 gauge in their high velocity line.  With up to 15% more pellets per shell, it idea is that it increases the kill zone by putting more pellets in the air at a higher velocity.  Their hexagonal shot allows for more pellets to be packed into a shotgun shell.

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