Caseless


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Nolo
December 19, 2007, 10:03 PM
Does anyone know how far along Dynamit-Nobel got in developing the caseless ammunition for the G11?
Is it worth resurrecting that work, or would one have to start from scratch?

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R.W.Dale
December 19, 2007, 10:12 PM
Is it worth resurrecting that work, or would one have to start from scratch?

What would be the point? caseless ammunition is a solution looking for a problem.

Jim K
December 19, 2007, 10:13 PM
Last I heard they had about given up, due to the same old problems of breech sealing and durability of the ammo. As to them selling the info they have, money talks. I can pretty well say that if "one" wanted to continue the work, "one" would have to have a whole bunch of bucks for further R&D.

Jim

Nolo
December 19, 2007, 10:18 PM
What would be the point? caseless ammunition is a solution looking for a problem.
I have a design that would be benefited greatly by caseless ammunition. And caseless ammo is lighter and removes the extraction sequence, so there.

R.W.Dale
December 19, 2007, 10:21 PM
I have a design that would be benefited greatly by caseless ammunition. And caseless ammo is lighter and removes the extraction sequence, so there.

In 20 yrs man portable energy based weapons will make anything firing BULLETS obsolete anyhow.

Nolo
December 19, 2007, 10:23 PM
In 20 yrs man portable energy based weapons will make anything firing BULLETS obsolete anyhow.
I find that highly unlikely.
Nothing's as good at tearing matter up like other matter.

R.W.Dale
December 19, 2007, 10:26 PM
I find that highly unlikely.

I'll wager you would have said the same thing if 20yrs ago someone had told you that you'll have access to all the knowledge mankind has compiled throughout it's history instantly via a small box in your living room.

Nolo
December 19, 2007, 10:30 PM
Not with information on the Space Program, I wouldn't have.
Anyway, bickering is going to get us nowhere.
If your saying that firearms are going to be overshadowed by energy weapons then this whole bloody forum is pointless.
So it's moot. Either I'm wasting my time and that's fine or you're bananas.

mnw42
December 19, 2007, 10:34 PM
From what I have read; one of the major hurdles was heat. One of the benefits of metallic cartridges is that the spent casing absorbs a lot of heat - heat that removed from the system when the case is ejected. This was mainly an issue with full auto. I guess when they started developing caseless ammo they didn't realize just how much heat was removed.

Though, I still want my M41A Pulse Rifle...

mnw42
December 19, 2007, 10:38 PM
From what I have read; one of the major hurdles was heat. One of the benefits of metallic cartridges is that the spent casing absorbs a lot of heat - heat that removed from the system when the case is ejected. This was mainly an issue with full auto. I guess when they started developing caseless ammo they didn't realize just how much heat was removed.

Though, I still want my M41A Pulse Rifle...:D

akodo
December 19, 2007, 11:13 PM
I'll wager you would have said the same thing if 20yrs ago someone had told you that you'll have access to all the knowledge mankind has compiled throughout it's history instantly via a small box in your living room.

ha ha ha. yea...um, not even close yet.

trstafford
December 19, 2007, 11:27 PM
Recently watched a article on the latest high rate of fire weapons and was featured on latest CSI Miami though they gave it an anti-gun twist by making it look like the ultimate terrorist weapon. bullets are stacked in barrel and fired from front to rear electronically.

wideym
December 20, 2007, 12:10 AM
Don't you know that the antis would just call them the weapon of choice for criminals. (Caseless=no evidence) Just like they try calling FN 5.7 "the crimianls weapon of choice to defeat police body armor".

MachIVshooter
December 20, 2007, 12:10 AM
Recently watched a article on the latest high rate of fire weapons and was featured on latest CSI Miami though they gave it an anti-gun twist by making it look like the ultimate terrorist weapon. bullets are stacked in barrel and fired from front to rear electronically.

Metalstorm is closer to muzzleloading than caseless. Just doesn't use a chemical ignition source.

As mentioned, the three things that have plagued caseless ammunition are:

-durability; brittle and very succeptible to moisture

-breech sealing; can be fixed, but adds cost, weight and complexity

-chamber heat buildup; again, could be kept in check, but would require the addition of a cooling system that adds cost, weight and complexity

highorder
December 20, 2007, 10:46 AM
Quote:
In 20 yrs man portable energy based weapons will make anything firing BULLETS obsolete anyhow.

I find that highly unlikely.
Nothing's as good at tearing matter up like other matter.


but matter is only energy condensed to a slow vibration.

I also see directed energy weapons comming into play. they will make caseless ammo an unnecessary half step; kind of like Remingtons electronically fired conventional cased ammo.

Pigspitter
December 20, 2007, 11:10 AM
In 20 yrs man portable energy based weapons will make anything firing BULLETS obsolete anyhow. Tell that to the mosin fans.

MrAcheson
December 20, 2007, 11:20 AM
And caseless ammo is lighter and removes the extraction sequence, so there.
Caseless does not remove the extraction sequence. People think it does, but that's only because they haven't thought the design through properly. You still need a good extraction path if a round fails to fire, fails to feed properly, or if you need an empty chamber for any reason (like storage and safety). And you want a good one you can do quickly in the field, not some convoluted disassembly process.

JesseL
December 20, 2007, 11:20 AM
Don't you know that the antis would just call them the weapon of choice for criminals. (Caseless=no evidence) Just like they try calling FN 5.7 "the crimianls weapon of choice to defeat police body armor".

It's easy to make predictions when it turns out that they came to pass (http://www.vpc.org/press/9307case.htm) 14 years ago. :neener:

hksw
December 20, 2007, 01:03 PM
In 20 yrs man portable energy based weapons will make anything firing BULLETS obsolete anyhow.

Resurrect this thread 20 years from now (even 10 years from now to note progress). It will be interesnting to see.

(I'm in the, 'yeah, right' side of the argument.)

I'll wager you would have said the same thing if 20yrs ago someone had told you that you'll have access to all the knowledge mankind has compiled throughout it's history instantly via a small box in your living room.

I would have said the same thing when they said we would be driving flying cars by now back then.

iamkris
December 20, 2007, 02:00 PM
Caseless ammo certainly is feasible but just not, as yet, practical. The advantages are clear...lighter weight and lack of a need of an extraction cycle. As mentioned above, however, the biggest issues are:


Sealing of the breach
Heat dissapation (e.g., the ejected brass carries away heat from the system)
Durability of the ammunition
Moisture resistance of the ammunition


As anyone who's been an actual practicing engineer for any amount of time knows, just because it is possible doesn't mean it is the best solution at the time/most cost effective (I was an engineer for 6 years in the defense industry before I recognized 15 years ago that you can make a lot more money on the business side).

A lot like electric cars...they are possible but they aren't practical (that's why hybrids have taken over that market)...too many negatives outweigh the positives. Also my issue with the mandates to increase use of corn-based ethanol and biodesiels. There are too many negatives (e.g., energy yield on these are low, drives up the cost of land and food prices) to overcome the positives...but as is typical with governments, they don't think that through.

Back on topic...caseless ammo hasn't yet overcome its negatives. I also think that we'll still be shooting solid projectiles in 20 years. In fact, I think if energy weapons take over...all the fun will be gone.

Nolo
December 20, 2007, 03:26 PM
I'm really only concerned about the ammo itself, sealing the breech and other firearm-related issues are things I'm currently dealing with over the course of my design.
So durability is an issue for the ammunition?
Heat buildup is an issue for the ammunition? I think I can already deal with that.

CWL
December 20, 2007, 06:15 PM
Durability was and still is the main issue of perfecting a caseless ammunition system.

There are limits to sealing the propellant portion of caseless ammo but still have it be completely combustible. You will need a material that will be able to hold together ammunition after it has been subjected to:
1. years of storage in extremes of heat, cold from deserts to arctic conditions.
2. humidity, fresh water, salt water, used in coastal/river environments.
3. resist fuels, chemicals and solvents it may encounter during storage & transportation
4. resist all solvents leeching from the gun itself (CLP, lubes, regular oils and hi-tech penetrants).
4. shock and vibration resistance, can it be kicked out the back of moving C130s or not shake apart in trucks & AFVs going overland inplaces like Afghanistan?

The modern brass-cased cartridge excels at remaining stable under all wartime conditions. Caseless is not even close yet.

Caipirinha
December 20, 2007, 07:40 PM
In 20 yrs man portable energy based weapons will make anything firing BULLETS obsolete anyhow.

Between that and the flying cars, just think what the drive-by shootings will be like! It'll revolutionize gang-banging!:D

JHansenAK47
December 20, 2007, 08:03 PM
In 20 yrs man portable energy based weapons will make anything firing BULLETS obsolete anyhow.

With what power source AA batteries? You would need a big heavy battery that would go dead. Even if they made the gun they don't have a power source for field use. Energy weapons would be vehicle mounted. Then again conventional vehicle mounted weapons are fairly lethal. So their virtues would have to outweigh the vices. I don't see any energy weapons in the infantry for at least the good part of a century.

Historian
December 20, 2007, 08:17 PM
Boys, If I may digress a moment. 120 years ago if we had used the present to predict the future and that future came to pass, we'd now be up to our necks in horse manure. (Which, after reading this discussion we may be anyway:))

Historian

"Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it,"

ROMAK IV
December 20, 2007, 09:39 PM
I think the problem with caseless ammunition is one of relaibilty. It isn't well known, but the original F-15 was supposed to have a gun with caseless ammunition. Besides weight, disposing of storing spent cases from high speed automatic weapons is quite a problem. It ended up that the F-15 used a more conventional vulcan cannon, that uses a more reliable electronic ignition. I think the problms may eventually be solved, but whether they are economically sound remains questionable. Not to get too far off the subject, but I believe the polymer partially cased 223 on the market, made by PCA, IIRC, is a step forward. I would like to see it being made in other calibers. Besides saving reatively expensive brass, the overall weght savings could be substancial and enable far more rounds to be carried.

Nolo
December 20, 2007, 09:50 PM
Well, the primary reason that I'm interested in caseless ammunition is because I'm working on a design that needs a straight-walled, relatively simplistic ammunition type to work. In order to seal the breech the bolt needs to be able to slide over the round without catching. I think polymer-cased ammo would be able to do it, if I seated the bullet all the way into the case, 7.62x38R-style.

benEzra
December 20, 2007, 10:13 PM
Just a physics geek point here, but a conventional rifle is really a directed energy weapon, i.e. a really, really heavy particle beam. :) A rifle bullet is basically only a carrier for kinetic energy, and the beauty of the system is that the bullet is simultaneously the energy conversion mechanism AND the energy transfer mechanism. The downsides are that a bullet is "lossy," in that it rapidly sheds energy to the surrounding air (guns work best in a vacuum), and because the bullet is extremely heavy compared to, say, a particle beam, it is orders of magnitude slower than a beam using lightweight particles (never mind photons).

Personally, I think beam weapons will become viable for large antiaircraft/antimissile emplacements a LONG time before they will become viable as rifle-type weapons, due to power supply issues. An antiaircraft/antimissile emplacement can use a really big generator set or landline to power it, but a rifle has to be powered by something you can carry. So far, it's hard to beat nitrocellose/nitroglycerin deflagration as a compact, reliable, and easily harnessed energy source. It's hard to imagine a $10.00, 1-lb battery that could deliver thirty 2000-joule shots in quick succession and have a full-charge storage life measured in decades, but a loaded 30-round STANAG magazine can do just that...

mp510
December 20, 2007, 10:51 PM
think the problem with caseless ammunition is one of relaibilty. It isn't well known, but the original F-15 was supposed to have a gun with caseless ammunition. Besides weight, disposing of storing spent cases from high speed automatic weapons is quite a problem. It ended up that the F-15 used a more conventional vulcan cannon, that uses a more reliable electronic ignition. I think the problms may eventually be solved, but whether they are economically sound remains questionable. Not to get too far off the subject, but I believe the polymer partially cased 223 on the market, made by PCA, IIRC, is a step forward. I would like to see it being made in other calibers. Besides saving reatively expensive brass, the overall weght savings could be substancial and enable far more rounds to be carried.
I don't recall that ammo ever having been affordable at all. And, it wasn't useable in HK's and other guns with fluted chambers. And, Polymer being an oil based product is only going to further increase in price.

Just a physics geek point here, but a conventional rifle is really a directed energy weapon, i.e. a really, really heavy particle beam. A rifle bullet is basically only a carrier for kinetic energy, and the beauty of the system is that the bullet is simultaneously the energy conversion mechanism AND the energy transfer mechanism.
I have zero physics experience, however, a bullet is more than an energy transfer device. Granted, energy deposit is important for knockdown, however you are totally overlooking the actual trauma a bullet can cause. A hole in somebody's heart can be fatal, as can a hole in a lung and a severed spinal cord won't be too fun either. A bullet in the brain will either lead to death or very serious permenant disability (most likely). It is more than energy transfer.

HorseSoldier
December 20, 2007, 10:52 PM
Does anyone know how far along Dynamit-Nobel got in developing the caseless ammunition for the G11?
Is it worth resurrecting that work, or would one have to start from scratch?

Caseless ammo is the preferred ammunition source for the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2007smallarms/5_9_07/Spiegel_820am.pdf) program working on a replacement for the SAW. If I had to guess, they'll probably end up with the more mature cased telescoping ammo, approach, if either of them works, but the payoff is bigger with caseless.

What would be the point? caseless ammunition is a solution looking for a problem.

51% reduction in ammunition weight is a pretty big gain, if it can be done without sacrificing reliability and such. The experimental caseless their looking at for LSAT is 10.2 pounds for 600 rounds linked, versus 20.8 pounds for M855 linked.

jerkface11
December 20, 2007, 10:59 PM
Let's split the difference between the directed energy and the caseless and go rail gun.

GunTech
December 20, 2007, 11:10 PM
Caseless rounds in modern form have been around since WWII, without having much real sucess. As noted, heat extraction, obturation and durability are all real problems.

A plastic encapsulated round like the Highes 'chicklet' might work for you application, or something like the plastic case used in the Steyr ACR

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7a/Steyr_ACR_ammunition.jpg/200px-Steyr_ACR_ammunition.jpg

The future is probably not in the directed energy weapon or rail gun. These are only superior linear, point target weapon. You have to have a clear line of sight to the target and can only attack a single target.

The military is much more interested in smart munitions like the OICS/SABR. A small explosive round with an electronic fuse offers a much increased chance of hit. Even with a laser rifle, you still have to have a clear target and have to aim precisely.

With a smart projectile, you just range the target, fire and have to get the round close. You can attack targets behind cover or in foxholes. You only have to get sort of close.

http://www.secretweapon.com/

http://world.guns.ru/grenade/gl13-e.htm

mljdeckard
December 20, 2007, 11:20 PM
The Metalstorm that was mentioned from CSI Miami is a weapon system that stacks bullets in tubes and fires them electromagnetically. A bunch of small-arm caliber rail guns bundled together, and fired repeatedly, stimultaneously. Fun to look at, but it's not really practical for manportability, for the same reason energy weapons aren't. (yet.) The energy source. You need some serious sustainable high voltage. (And ow do you carry the ammo for a gun that makes a vulcan look slow?) Metalstorm is more suited to being an automated entry denial machine. Think about replacing CWIS cannons on ships with them.

But imagine this. If the energy source for an energy beam weapon can be contained to say, the size and weight of a Barrett .50, you would have a weapon that is silent, unaffected by weather, humidity or gravity. Once it's zeroed, no more math, windage, or bullet travel time. Locktime becomes irrelevant. It could make a cauterized wound channel, in a variety of shapes and patterns. Depending on the duration and controlability of the beam, it could sever. You could set up the optics so that you designate a target, and when the upper third of the center of mass comes into view, it fires itself.

I mean, think about it, how old is the combination of heavy metal bullets, rifled bores, Boxer priming, and brass casings? Every other aspect of warfare has moved so much further than small arms.

(And why are energy weapons limited to single targets? Like any other weapon, it is limited to how much energy it can contain.)

benEzra
December 20, 2007, 11:31 PM
I have zero physics experience, however, a bullet is more than an energy transfer device. Granted, energy deposit is important for knockdown, however you are totally overlooking the actual trauma a bullet can cause. A hole in somebody's heart can be fatal, as can a hole in a lung and a severed spinal cord won't be too fun either. A bullet in the brain will either lead to death or very serious permenant disability (most likely). It is more than energy transfer.
That's why I specified rifle, rather than handgun or shotgun. Given efficient energy transfer, most of a small-caliber rifle's antipersonnel effects will be the result of energy imparted to tissues (causing acceleration and fragmentation) rather than direct blunt-object trauma. The lighter and faster the bullet, the greater the relative contribution of energy effects. Rigid FMJ can mitigate those effects by greatly reducing energy transfer.

An arrow is an example of a low-energy, high-momentum projectile; a 40-grain JHP at 3800 fps is at the mostly-KE end of the spectrum. Most gun/bullet combinations will fall in between those two extremes.

BTW, the difficulty in efficient energy transfer is the big difficulty with flechettes. They tend to go straight without yawing, which means they can cause simple penetrating trauma but don't transfer much energy unless they hit bone.

jerkface11
December 21, 2007, 11:30 AM
A laser wouldn't leave a cauterized wound. It would cause a steam explosion and blow a gory crater in the target.

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