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    Caseless ammo?

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    SWAT Pointman

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    Post  SWAT Pointman on Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:25 am

    Assuming the Russian military isn't already looking at caseless ammo, do you think it would be worthwhile for them to develop firearms that accept caseless ammo?
    GarryB
    GarryB

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    Post  GarryB on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:54 am

    Caseless ammo has a lot of potential and a few serious problems that need to be ironed out.

    I would say that first of all the cartridge case used in ammunition is heavy and not cheap and adds bulk to the standard round of ammo. On the plus side it absorbs heat and removes that heat from the chamber when it is ejected and of course it forms a gas seal when the weapon is fired. It also protects the propellent from the elements including rough handling and some abuse.

    At the moment the US is looking at plastic case ammo that will retain the gas seal on firing, but is much cheaper than brass, and also lighter, yet protects the propellent from moisture and the elements.

    For the Russians the cost of shell cases is not so extreme as they use cheaper mild steel cases instead of brass, but their rimmed 125 year old 7.62 x 54R round is probably in need of replacement first... they seem to be happy with the performance of their 5.45mm assault rifle round.

    One solution to protecting caseless rounds from the elements is to use sealed magazines, which is the equivalent of making the ammo cheap and the box it comes in more expensive because it is basically an ammo mag that comes factory sealed.

    The main problem is that the propellent needs to be hard enough to withstand bumps and bangs without breaking or catching fire, and it also needs to burn up completely within the chamber during firing.

    Personally I think the conservative Russians might look at a two step process in the next 5 years they will go for improved powders to increase performance of all ammo, and then in 2018-2020 they will introduce something really radical like liquid propellent or an EM boosted weapon.

    The advantage of liquid propellents would be in terms of power... liquid explosives are more powerful than solid or powdered explosives, but also in terms of safety because the liquid could be separated into two inert components that only become dangerous when mixed together... or a binary explosive.

    Each chemical might not even burn on its own, though that is not to say it is not poisonous, and you might have one component in the butt stock and the other in the front stock around the barrel to keep it cool. All you would need then is a hopper feed for your projectiles with an electronic meter putting the right mix of fluids in the chamber and bam.

    Together with modern sniper optics you could have the computer mix the propellent charge based on the type of target and distance and air temperature and humidity, etc etc.

    It wouldn't be that hard to have two projectile feeds for different bullet weights, or even to have two different calibre barrels, with a small calibre long barrel for a range of long range targets and a shorter larger calibre barrel for closer range targets.

    The fluid could have a pressurised system of delivery with a pump attached to the mechanism so everytime the weapon is cocked it pumps air into the two fluid reservoirs... with an automatic relief valve to prevent it getting too much pressure.

    It would also need to be certain that the binary fluids have a very very low freezing point.

    It is hard to guess what they will do without knowing what their options are and the progress that has been made in each area.

    I remember them saying the new from scratch weapon family don't use gas operation or blow back like conventional weapons and use a new method of operation... Liquid? EM?

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