Crazy Idea--Gas with its own Oxidizer?


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Cosmoline
January 3, 2006, 09:56 PM
The propane bullet thread got me thinking. What if you had a canister filled with a gas that had its own gaseous oxidizer. You could then rig a firearm that would accept a screw-in canister of this magic gas, then load it with raw bullets like an airgun. With each pull of the trigger, gas would fill a chamber behind the bullet and be ignited by an electric spark. Since only gas was burning, there would be no crud buildup in the chamber. Of course, heat would need to be sunk away from the chamber, but a radiator system of some kind might do the trick.

Is there such a gas, with the properties of smokeless powder?

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HighVelocity
January 3, 2006, 10:12 PM
Haven't you ever eaten at Taco Bell?


Seriously though... It's an interesting idea. It'd be like a rocket powered spud gun.

zahc
January 3, 2006, 10:16 PM
maybe nitrous oxide+some flammable gas?

forquidder
January 3, 2006, 10:22 PM
There are portable nail guns currently available which work on the same principle. You may not be able to obtain the same velocities as with smokeless powders.

Preacherman
January 3, 2006, 10:24 PM
Liquid fuel firearms work on a similar basis. I've not yet heard of this being applied to small arms, but several countries, including the USA, South Africa, etc., are working on a liquid-fuel system for artillery. This would do away with the "zone charge" system, in that you could pump in just enough of the propellant to achieve the desired range. The now-cancelled Crusader artillery project used this system, IIRC.

I don't think it would work as a gas, as the breech would have to be rather more complicated in terms of external lines, etc. Liquid can be pumped and stored under relatively low pressure. Gas would require significantly higher pressures. On the other hand, older air rifles used compressed air to power bullets up to about .40 caliber at close to 1,000 fps, so perhaps a compressed gas system might be feasible. One drawback, of course, would be the consequences if the gas tank was hit by a bullet (e.g. in military rifles, in a combat situation) - I guess this would take out both the weapon carrier and his buddies in one large explosion! Not good, that...

mete
January 3, 2006, 10:25 PM
Ethylene oxide + air !!! It'll get them all !

jerkface11
January 3, 2006, 10:27 PM
You'd want the oxidizer seperated from the fuel. If not you'd have a bomb not a gun. Sounds like more trouble than it would be worth though.

NMshooter
January 3, 2006, 10:27 PM
Here is something for you to research: Electro-Thermal Chemical guns.

The Crusader 155mm self propelled howitzer was supposed to use this technology.

Imagine .50 SLAP performance with .308 recoil...:evil:

txgho1911
January 3, 2006, 10:35 PM
I once lit a torch in shop class from the other end of a pipe. I think every teacher on that side of the school showed up to see who blew up.
Any flamable gas mixed to a clean porportion with oxygen will go bang. I can only imagine the thousands of combinations it would take to find the ones that compare to the powder burns.
Compare might be the wrong word. A gas mix would detonate from a spark. Not burn.

bogie
January 3, 2006, 10:35 PM
What sort of pressure is found in an automotive engine?

jerkface11
January 3, 2006, 10:36 PM
Why not skip the bullet all together and go with a shoulder fired chemical laser.

EddieCoyle
January 3, 2006, 10:40 PM
Here's one. (http://www.paslode.co.uk/frameset.php?p=catalogue&entry_id=1&subentry_id=0)

bogie
January 3, 2006, 10:55 PM
If it is possible to get a decent pressure going, I'd guess that it'd be VERY easy to rig a fast-cycling round ball mechanism. Granted, you're not going to have great ballistics or accuracy, but for something to deny area to personnel, it could be very cool...

====
You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home

jlbraun
January 3, 2006, 10:55 PM
The Army has experimented with using steam as a propellant. The idea was to load a canister of distilled water behind a projectile, then zap the water with a few million amps of electricity, flashing it to steam inside of a microsecond and firing the gun. It works really well - but how do you cart a million-amp generator around on the battlefield?

VARifleman
January 3, 2006, 11:06 PM
What sort of pressure is found in an automotive engine?
depends on the type. Gas would be somewhere between 9*14.7 psi and like 8*14.7 +27 psi (assuming approximately 8:1 compression with a 27 pound boost). For diesel it's in the 20s*14.7 psi.

This is before ignition.

Jim K
January 3, 2006, 11:33 PM
It has been tried, many times, but no one has been able to find any gas or liquid propellant that has anywhere near the amount of energy per weight and volume as plain old smokeless powder, not to mention the convenience.

A lot of people mention rockets, but a rocket is not really propelled by the gas like a bullet is. The gas builds up slowly and as it exits the back of the rocket, the rocket moves from the recoil, not because the gas "pushes" on anything. Odd as it seems, it was recoil that put men on the moon.

Jim

Cosmoline
January 3, 2006, 11:44 PM
Odd as it seems, it was recoil that put men on the moon.


Actually, after some of my personal experiences this doesn't surprise me :D With Buf Bore out of No.1 Ruger Bits of my shoulder wanted to go to the moon, or at least back to the parking lot.

Taurus 66
January 4, 2006, 12:33 AM
Ok does anyone know what this guy's doing with propane tanks and the rest of his contraption??

http://www.airsoft-innovations.com/vids/lifetest.avi

GregGry
January 4, 2006, 02:42 AM
I have 2 paslode cordless nail guns, one being a finish nailer, and the other being a framing nailer. The framing nailer can shoot a nail approx. 25 to 40 yards if its shot at an upward angle. If your within 6 to 10 feet, you could plink cans with it, not much more though :p.
From the smell of the gas I would think its either propane, or possibly butane.

The idea of gas fired arms is intriguing, however its not econmical. You can hold 14 rounds of .45acp in a hand held pistol, with basically everything you need in your hand (ammo is in the gun, pull trigger, gun fires). For 4$ you have 14 shots. With a gas system, it would be likely that you need a tank for both the fuel, and a tank of something like N20. A pistol that would normaly fit in your hand no stings attached, has become a pistol that fits in the hand, has strings attached, and you now have tanks you have to wear. I don't doubt that some explosive gas combined with n20 could shoot a bullet fast, but it would be to big, to dangerous, and to expensive.

The future I see in arms technology, is in lazer type arms, and rail gun type arms. The biggest problem for both of thoes being lack of availible energy. Until we can design something that can hold megawatts of energy, yet fit in something the size of even a back pack, thoes two arm types will never exist on a portable scale.

Rem700SD
January 4, 2006, 03:37 AM
Taurus,
It looks like he's doing and endurance test of his airsoft.

I'd have to say that the laws of physics are largely against any portable gas/liquid gun. I think the biggest obstacle is that the gas mixes detonate vs. powders with a controlled burn rate.
I would like to see some developement of some more advanced ammunition though. Imagine a sealed, sabot round with a small liquid/gas capsule(think primer) in the base. It would use a piercing firing pin like that used in quartz lighters, and the whole cartridge would come out of the bbl. The propellant would be similar to a model rocket engine or a modern black powder charge, covered with a thin polymer. All would fit into a cylindrical, tapered-nose cartridge. I know the G-11 was a flop, but has anyone else thought of this yet?

bogie
January 4, 2006, 11:00 AM
depends on the type. Gas would be somewhere between 9*14.7 psi and like 8*14.7 +27 psi (assuming approximately 8:1 compression with a 27 pound boost). For diesel it's in the 20s*14.7 psi.

This is before ignition.

What do you think it is _after_ ignition? I'd like any projectile thrower to be developing at least 10,000 PSI...

bogie
January 4, 2006, 11:05 AM
What I was envisioning would be a hopper-fed area-denial weapon... Sort of like a close-range minigun.

If we can make a BB gun that'll kill a squirrel, why not up the projectile size to .25 or .32, and add more power via burning the "air" in the thing's chamber?

Crosshair
January 4, 2006, 01:59 PM
The major problem is getting the "gas" to burn slow enough to get a decent pressure curve. The gas in the chamber would likely detonate or burn very quickly on firing while smokeless just burns in a controlled maner allowing higher velocity.

Thefabulousfink
January 4, 2006, 02:12 PM
A little while back, my dad came up with an idea for a propellent system. Imagine an ink-jet printer, they can be set to inject a very specific amount of ink very quickly. Now place two of those jets in the chamber of a firearm and set them to inject the proper proportions of nitric acid and glycerol(sp) or any other two stage explosive. You could then adjust the amount of explosive loaded behind each shot by electronically adjusting the jets (I know, Smart gun - Batteries = Dumb papperweight). It would also be a viable form of caseless amunition.

So, what do you think?

bogie
January 4, 2006, 02:22 PM
Okay - picture this... The receiver is similar to an auto's cylinder...

Piston comes back, hole opens, ball is inserted, piston strokes forward, jamming ball in rifling.

Piston comes back while valve injects fuel mix.

Piston strokes forward, sparker fires, ball goes one direction, piston the other. Repeat.

c_yeager
January 4, 2006, 02:57 PM
Im not sure that there is an actuall advantage of this over the conventional method. One would need a power source to cycle the weapon and to ignite the fuel mixture. Then you would need two seperate storage cylinders for the gases. It would seem to a large and overly complex system, and all for no actual purpose that couldnt be more easily fulfilled with conventional arms.

Jim K
January 4, 2006, 03:06 PM
I am getting a sense of "diggie vouse" here. One of the ideas dates to the Volcanic, a predecessor of the Winchester, another is the same idea as the old Gyrojet revived.

Rocket type projectiles failed for two reasons. The first is that they are worthless at close range since the projectile does not have time to build up velocity. The second is that they are not accurate since a guidance system can't be built into something as small as a handgun bullet.

Other types of caseless ammo usually fail because of problems in breech sealing, priming, and other factors, including standing up to rough handling. About every 5 or 10 years, we read in the gunrags that someone has a new caseless ammo system and that it is a miracle, will instantly make all conventional guns obsolete, has been tested by somebody's army, etc., etc. Then it is never heard from again until the next cycle when we read that someone has a new caseless ammo....

Jim

Thefabulousfink
January 4, 2006, 03:26 PM
True...in no way am I saying we should all throw out our old bullets and start tearing apart our printers, it had just struck me as an ineresting concept. Just because it may not be feasable now doesn't mean that we should dismiss it outright. Plenty of crack-pot ideas have paved the way for brilliant advances, look at the volcanic compared to the winchester and the old pepper-box compared to the modern revolver.

old4x4
January 4, 2006, 04:24 PM
In the last Popular Mechanics, there was a blurb about a new paintball gun that would use propane w/a spark rather than CO2. No thanks...:eek:

72Rover
January 4, 2006, 05:04 PM
The closest compound to this is hydrazine (N2H4), which is used in the maneuvering jets on the shuttle and other spacecraft. Fuel and oxidizer in one compound (vacuum of space and all) but it still needs an ignition source. Hydrazine is nasty, dangerous stuff. You could make a small amount by mixing ammonia with bleach. Try not to poison youself.... :uhoh:

dfaugh
January 4, 2006, 05:13 PM
+almost any liquid, gas or solid propellant...About 50% increase in "efiseincy"

Vern Humphrey
January 4, 2006, 06:10 PM
Liquid fuel firearms work on a similar basis. I've not yet heard of this being applied to small arms, but several countries, including the USA, South Africa, etc., are working on a liquid-fuel system for artillery. This would do away with the "zone charge" system, in that you could pump in just enough of the propellant to achieve the desired range. The now-cancelled Crusader artillery project used this system, IIRC....

The Crusader, which I worked on, did not use gaseous or liquid propellants. The US Army had abandoned research on liquid propellants long before the Crusader reached the point of consideration.

Grape Ape
January 4, 2006, 06:24 PM
It might be doable using a mix of air and nitrous oxide for the oxidizer. Since nitrous oxide doesnít breakdown and release its Oxygen until you get it pretty hot. This lack of oxygen would delay the burning of some of the fuel, thereby spreading out the pressure curve some.

Using a fuel like propane or butane that liquefies at a fairly low pressure would lighten the tanks (thinner walls). And using the recoil energy to compress air for subsequent rounds might save the need for a third tank.

But it still doesnít seem that practical to me, and Iím that F Troop would require enough paperwork to ruin all the fun. :(

bogie
January 4, 2006, 07:43 PM
Ahh... But the fuel source could run the dealie too, at least until it got going... I actually think that one could probably, with the correct cam, build the thing onto half of a V8 engine...

cracked butt
January 4, 2006, 08:14 PM
There isn't enough chemical energy in any gasses to make it work.

Molecules in solids are packed very tight compared with gasses, so more energy can be contained. How smokeless powder works is that when its burned, It gives off a large amount of nitrogen and oxides of nitrogen, the tightly packed nitrogen molecules in the solid become much more loosely packed molecules in a gas form, producing a very high pressure- add heat to the gas from the burning, and the pressure goes up even further.

Burning a gas to produce another gas doesn't give off an appreciable change in pressure as compared to burning a solid propellant.

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