Caseless/Expellable/Folded (of interest or not ?)

This is a picture of some new rounds that I’ve acquired and will be researching.

Is putting a pic like this of interest to the posters here, sort of a show and tell without the tell :)

Pictures are always good. Especially of stuff like that. Now, you just have to keep us updated on your research. :-)

I agree with Slick Rick, thats what this site is all about.


They’re all very interesting Simon. Any idea of the difference between the yellow & blue Folded Path specimens? I have the yellow variation but I know absolutely nothing about them.
I wish I’d spotted that caseless dummy before you too!

Folded Ammunition is a unique concept in ammunition design that relocates the propellant charge from the conventional position behind and coaxial with the projectile to one beside the projectile. For a given energy, output, conventional axially symmetric ammunition cartridges do not provide the most efficient geometrical shape for a minimum system parametric profile (system length, weight and bulk). Reconfiguration of the cartridge using the folded ammunition approach makes possible now what had previously been unattainable in the way of weapon/ammunition system optimization.

5.56mm x 25 folded
The blue one is ball and the yellow one is tracer, both have brass primers and F A 1976 as a headstamp.

You were unlucky on the caseless dummy…I was faster then a Rat out of an Aquaduct that day ;)

Excellent information - thank you both! Gyrojet’s complimentary report must raise the question as to why the Folded Path program was dropped.
Simon, what’s the caseless round with the yellow splodge on it’s side?


I think that it is a 4.3mm x 21 Caseless (Form A1). The yellow splodge is a 3mm x 6 primer.

Here’s my only sample of a folded round, in 5.56. It’s noted to be from Grand Technologies Group, Inc. of Jenkintown PA,(although an FA 1976 h/s) apparently a company vested in design and manufacture of folded ammunition and weapon systems.
As noted in extracts from a brochure, this system afforded:
Reduced Bolt Stroke (not that there’s anything wrong with that)
Reduced Gun Length (ditto)
Reduced Gun Weight
Reduced Gun Bulk (?)
Rate of Fire Increase (!!!)

My sample is cream colored, but aware that, after seeing a few at SLICS, there was a veritable rainbow of color options, probably depicting the loads in most instances. One of the reasons ordnance types should NOT be colorblind.

And thanks again to CSA for my one and only sample.

different 5,56 folded cartridges

5,56 caseless


What is a grass green one in 5.56mm?

OK Simon, you can’t show without tell. So tell me, what is the third from the left? Is it a consumable case? I have the others but not that one.

I’d venture a guess that the reason the folded ammunition concept was dropped is because it was stupid concept. There’s no polite way to put it.



For those so inclined, a trip to Google Patents and entering 3,857,339 will find a few pages of pics depicting various drawings regarding the round and feed systems. Note that this particular patent was from Dec. '74.

While I normally agree with EVERYTHING Ray opines about, I’ll inject that it wasn’t such a terrible(stupid concept) idea maybe, so much as pontentially very expensive. As when it comes to swapping out entire weapon systems from small arms to tanks to aircraft and the like. Ya know, the whole brass cartridge has served us pretty well, to date. That don’t fix it/ain’t broke scenario. I’m pretty sure about that. And I’m not changing my mind. So don’t even try.

Here’s the pistol that was used to test the folded cartridges.

It’s for sale BTW. Great condition. Only used once.



I guess Simon’s gone back into his aquaduct so I’ll answer on his behalf!
Third from left is the 5.56 x 33mm Expendable Case made by Remington in about 1976. I’ve also seen it referred to as ‘Expellable’ however I’m pretty sure Expendable is the correct term.

Thanks Jim. I wonder if Expendable and Consumable are the same thing?

It is 7pm there and past Simon’s bed-time, so I’ll give him a pass for now.


Morning Rat Fans,

I’ve Id’d the 2 on the left as:

5.56mm x 24 Caseles
No headstamp Ball White/Tan “primer” manufactured by Remington
5.56mm x 25 Caseless
No Headstamp Ball Red “primer” manufactured by Remington

I hope I’m correct :)