The book "Constructions of cartridges": discussion

Dear forum members,

I think it is timely to start a new topic for discussion of the book “Constructions of cartridges”.
The first members of the forum have already familiarized themselves with the content of the book; therefore it is time to start an interesting and useful discussion and answers to questions.

I ask forum members to share opinions and ask questions.

Mikhail Grinberg


I too bought a copy & received it today.

Upon a quick look through it I was disappointed. The drawing are not specific to a cartridge but to a general type of cartridges. ie perhaps an AP drawing shows a bullet with a core but not a US Cal. .30, vs a .303" MK 1 AP bullet in core placement, core shape or filler types. Although he does cover some slight variations of filler placement, but again not related to a specific round but as a overview of a variation of possible construction.

So pretty basic stuff, to my mind, however it does cover a number of types, multi-ball AP APT & etc & etc.

The text seems to draw basic requirements for defining different cases, bullets and such. And it does seem quite complete in the definitions of the items discussed, or perhaps I should say well defined.

All this said, look at cartguy’s copy, before you buy, it might be just what interests you or answer questions you might have.

The one area that struck me that might be of interest to the collecting field was the information about primer mixtures, incendiary mixtures, tracer mixtures, etc. On rare occasions you see a reference somewhere to one of these, IM11, R242, etc., but never any explanation. If you have a large reference library of military manuals, which fortunately I do, you can dig out the information about them, but this book lists what was used in what, then there’s an explanation of the chemical compound differences between those various designations. I’m sure that will be of use to someone in the community.

Pete, I guess we need to be fair here. You should have read the introduction to the book and the samples more carefully.
The books was introduced as a technical baseline publication and not as a catalog of existing cartridges.
Two very different things and the reason why I decided that I do not need it.

I did read that, but had the impression it went deeper, and I knew it wasn’t a catalog of existing features, but again, had the impression it would be broader or should I say more comprehensive in coverage.

My illustration on the AP bullet for example; only lead is mentioned as a filler, other materials have been and are being used, but no mention. I was hoping for a more complete coverage, the why of my being disappointed.

50m2hb is correct that the formulas / mixtures he lists are quite interesting and not commonly found. I should have also mentioned that as a plus.

Pete, I understand your point but assume that these could be classified things (while normal primers are less confidential I guess).

The discussion touched upon a very important theme. I consider it necessary to explain the features of my book again.

There are several variants for studying objects, including cartridges. Accordingly, there are several kinds of books.

In one of the kinds of books, an aggregate of individual objects, in this case, cartridges of specific calibers is considered. The main part of existing books are books of this kind. At the same time, the features of cartridges, technical solutions used, their advantages and disadvantages remain unclear. The easiest way to specify that the construction of cartridge is very simple, there is nothing but a cartridge case, primer, powder and bullet, that everуthing is clear everything and needs to proceed to consider the characteristics of specific types of cartridges, which can also be found in the web, C.I.P. Tables, SAAMI Standards, publicly available materials of the US Army and so on. The book turns into a reference book. This is not even a catalog, because the catalog involves the systematization of information. Photos can be placed in the book, but all cartridges of the same kinds have no visible differences, so the photos do not give any information. The reader only needs to find the necessary page in the book and a few numbers of interest to him. And that’s all. But such reference books are also needed, of course.

In another kind of books, the general principles of the structure and functioning of objects, in this case, various kinds of cartridges are considered. There are very few such books.

Methodologically, it is necessary to study objects from the general to the particular. Without understanding the general principles of the structure and functioning of cartridges, it is impossible to understand the construction of each specific type of cartridge. And a significant part of the issues under consideration is not at all obvious.

My book is about the general principles of the structure and functioning of various kinds of cartridges, an understanding of which is necessary for understanding the features of their construction, technical solutions used, advantages and disadvantages, features of the interaction of the cartridge and its components with weapons at the shot. The reader must think and analyze. This is not a reference book. The book must be read in full. The book is intended for trained readers with relevant knowledge and experience, with knowledge of special terminology. But a significant part of the forum members meet these conditions.

I belatedly respond to the comment by reader relating the constructions of armor-piercing, armor-piercing-incendiary, and armor-piercing-tracer bullets.

You should not establish a connection between one of the variants of the construction of armor-piercing bullets, specified in the book, and specific type of a bullet. It is not the subject of the book.

Issues related to the construction features of armor-piercing bullets cannot be considered simple. If they were simple, then all armor-piercing bullets would be the same.

The book contains a description of the following of the variants of the construction of armor-piercing bullets:

  • Bullets with a core fully occupying the internal volume of the jacket;
  • Bullets with a hollow space in the forward portion of the bullet;
  • Bullets with lead filler in the forward portion of the bullet;
  • Bullets with lead filler in the rear portion of the bullet.
    In addition, bullets are manufactured with a pointed and flat core.

In this regard, the question arises about the reasons for the manufacturing of armor-piercing bullets of various constructions. The fact is that bullet penetrating ability is determined by many factors, the main ones being the caliber of the cartridge, the firing range and the properties of the armor. The combination of these factors determines the choice of construction of armor-piercing bullet. But with one combination of factors, bullets of one construction have the advantage, while with another combination of factors, bullets of a different construction have the advantage.

These questions deserve more detailed consideration, but this requires a separate book.