Serial Bullet?


#1

I need help from someone with both a military mind and a grasp of the English language. I have the first but not the second.

In military jargon, a Serial Bullet Rifle (SBR) or Serial Flechette Rifle (SFR)means one bullet or one flechette at a time. So why are they called “Serial” and not “Single”. Or did somebody simply type in the wrong word somewhere along the line, and it stuck?

Ray


#2

From my reading of “SPIW: The Deadliest Weapon That Never Was”, it appears that they were simply using “serial” as another word for “burst”; the first time I can see the word pop up was during 1968, when various programmes were joined together for study under the US Army’s “Future Rifle Plan”; this was after the first part of the SPIW programme had been a disappointing failure, but with several bright points of interest, and they were looking at three distinct plans based on the original SALVO recommendations: a serial bullet rifle (SBR), a serial flechette rifle (SFR), and a multi-flechette weapon that operated something like a shotgun, firing a “cloud” of flechettes all at once. Perhaps the “serial” designator was adopted primarily to distinguish the one-flechette-at-a-time “burst” SPIW from the multi-flechette version? Both were operating one the same idea; increasing hit probability by scattering the projectiles around the point of aim, but trying different methods to get there.


#3

SDC

Good points.

If you’ll look on page 105 of SPIW you’ll see some comments by GE Corp where they talk about using conventionally primed ammunition as adaptable “. . . to either a single flechette rifle (SFR) or a single bullet rifle (SBR) . . .” I’ve seen this same terminology used elswhere.

And I think the SBR concept was aimed at the 4.32mm (17 cal) cartridges. Were they intended to be fired in a “burst” mode?

Or maybe “Serial” meant “one of a series” such as the old Roy Rogers serials at the movies. (It just occured to me. What “Serials” did the Brits have??)

I still wonder if “Serial” wasn’t just another high class term to describe a simple concept. Kinda like Homologous to describe a bullet with the same shape as the M1 and M2.

Ray