Volcanic bullets.


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Warren
August 6, 2004, 07:53 PM
From another thread.

VOLCANIC CARTRIDGE - Cartridges designed for early Smith and Wesson (later Volcanic Arms) guns. They are deeply concave-based lead cartridges containing powder and primer within their bases. They are an evolution of the Hunt Rocket Ball


I was aware of the Volcanic but did not no why they failed as a product. After looking it up I found it was because that it did not generate enough power.

With modern materials and engineering could something like this be brought to market and succeed?

There are certain easy to make solid rocket fuels that could be used inside the bullet. Place a primer over the back and you have a mini-Gyrojet.

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Dave Markowitz
August 6, 2004, 08:29 PM
The problem with a rocket propelled projectile on this scale, whether Volcanic, Gyrojet, or something else, is that they take too long to reach peak velocity. They are also very inaccurate compared with conventional small arms.

Jim K
August 6, 2004, 08:33 PM
The problem then was sealing the breech and things have not changed a lot. There have been a number of caseless rounds developed and introduced, but they have all sunk out of sight for one reason or another.

The breech sealing problem can be (and has been) solved. But a round of ammunition needs to take a beating, plus feed through a magazine. The usual caseless round is a bullet with a glob of propellant attached to its rear end, rather like a percussion revolver paper cartridge. Ignition may be by external force (the Daisy VL round was fired by a jet of compressed air) or by a primer contained in or on the propellant. In military tests, caseless rounds usually worked OK so long as they were handled very carefully; rough handling, as might be the case in shipping, often ruined them.

The Gyro-Jet of course works on a different principle; the round is a miniature rocket propelled not by pressure within the chamber (as in the Volcanic) but by the recoil caused by ejecting gasses to the rear, like a true rocket.

Jim

SDC
August 6, 2004, 08:39 PM
It wasn't just low power and obturation, it was also the fact that these rounds were very fragile; the propellant was sealed in the base of the bullet by a thin cork wad, and if that wad became wet or damaged (for example, by being loaded roughly), the the round would fail to fire. The advent of the rimfire cartridge solved most of the ammo problems, but the convenience of a 16-shot .44 Henry rimfire still made up for the fact that the .44 was drastically under-powered, compared to the other possibilities that were available.

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