New hypervelocity experiments


Interesting article, I wish it went more into the ammunition, but I’m guessing it’s all still very developmental.

Looks like there’s one example of a telescoping chamber and a mention of modern squeezebore experiments!

Fascinating article! Thanks for posting!

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The primer is usually the weak part of a cartridge and pressure above 75kpsi tend to rupture it.
So if they go past 100kpsi then electric ignition maybe?

The next problem is getting nitrocellulose powder to burn faster yet attain a progressive nature.
And i presume they use lots of nitroglycerin to dope the powder and then maybe some additional nitroguanidine to make it triple-base powder.

We shall see where it will go in the end.

Chickenthief, from Artillery we know gas tight priming systems for a longer time.
Isn’t there a way to hande this with small arms too?

Alex, do you know of any online documents showing development of gas tight priming for artillery? I would like to learn more about this. Thanks!

Larry, there are plenty of designs actually.

You may check on TM 43-0001-28, Artillery Ammunition, 1977 and there the propellant primers for the 155mm howitzer.
Also check:
OS 9-20, Artillery Ammunition, 1941

Very interesting Thanks

Alex, thanks for the references. Is it the plunger that makes the primer gas tight? I can see if the primer were ruptured the plunger would be forced back against the case possibly forming some seal to reduce escape of powder gases.


Larry, yes, different systems are around.

  • The one you are showing here where the gas pressure is pressing the plug back and provides for the seal.
  • A system similar to the above where the “plunger” is resting on a thin recess faced to the breech face and is getting pounded by the flunger moving back and is providing for a plastic seal then.
  • There is also a variant with a ball inside a conical hole where whan fired the flash passes forward and the gas pressure then is forcing the ball back into the cone and shuts the flash channel for good.

When you check the docs I listed you should find all 3 of these.
And I would not exclude that there are more systems.

Alex, I found the 1977 copy of TM 43-0001-28 and it has better illustrations than the 1994 copy I was using. Now I can see some of the other designs:

And a better illustration of the M82 I posted above:

On your earlier note about incorporating artillery primer features into SAA, it seems the limitations would be size, weight and cost. But it seems that there is no fundamental reason why the same sealing methods could not be used.

The only online copy of OS 9-20, Artillery Ammunition, 1941 I have been able to find is a partial copy that stops at page 80. Would you have a source for the full manual?

And for anyone looking for TM 43-0001-28, Artillery Ammunition, 1977:

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Larry, yes, mine also ends with page 80.
And if one has the complete manual on hand it would be great to have (in digital).