.45acp SCMITR (scimitar) projectile dissection


#1

Maybe of interest to .45 auto & specialty projo collectors, here are some photos of a pulled and dissected SCMITR projectile and all of its component parts with measurements:


A complete SCMITR cartridge


Here is the complete projectile as it would be when in the casing. You can see the plastic pusher plate (which is actually cup-shaped with the open side facing down), the steel buffer disc, and the two-part plastic sabot with steel dart. The OAL of the projectile including the dart is 24.24mm, without the dart it is 19.42mm. The diameter of the sabot at the base is 11.05mm, and is 11.21mm at the top near the dart’s point. The total projectile weight is 37.5gr.


Half of the sabot is moved aside here showing the steel disc and the shape of the dart. The discoloration across the dart is a mystery to me; it is right at the point where the dart becomes thicker near the tip.


Here are all of the component parts separated, you can just barely see where the dart becomes thicker near the tip at this angle.


Here is a close-up of the dart showing it’s two bent stabilizer fins, each bending in a different direction to facilitate spin. The total length of the dart is 18.95mm. The thickness of the dart at its base near the fins is 0.22mm and its thickness near the thicker pointed tip is 0.91mm. The dart weighs about 5.0gr


Here is a shot of the projectile without its pusher discs, and this angle somewhat shows how the top of the plastic sabot is concave. The base of the plastic sabot is flat where it meets the metal disc. This shot also shows the deep groove running around the sabot where the casing is crimped deeply into it. The deep crimp can be seen in the first shot of a complete cartridge.

A very neat specialty cartridge!


#2

What was the intended purpose of this round?

It looks like a 1980s “wonder bullet” design.


#3

It was an experimental US military design that would supposedly be useful to the tunnel-rats in Vietnam at the time, as well an anybody wanting to penetrate body armor or helmets with a low-recoil and low muzzle-flash cartridge. It was tested in Vietnam in the early to mid 1970’s from what I have heard, but it never went into full production and is a collector cartridge now. Ability-wise, it can zip through Kevlar and typical helmets, but it’s energy declines rapidly at longer ranges due to its very light weight. But, it was meant as a close-quarters projectile anyway. Some people think it might have been used as an anti-skyjack round, but I have heard most collectors dispute this and have said it was not used as such, which makes sense since the steel dart would rip straight through an aircraft fuselage.


#4

Good information DK, thanks.