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Why did the Gyro-Jet concept fail?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by .cheese., Jul 7, 2008.

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  1. .cheese.

    .cheese. Member

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    [​IMG]

    I was thinking about this. Why did the concept of self-propelled small-arms projectiles fail? The Gyro-Jet failed, why?

    It never even made its way into long guns. What was wrong with the idea?
     
  2. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    For those of us who are unfamiliar with the Gyro-Jet concept, is there a link that we could check out before we offered theories? ;)

    EDIT - That said, my first guess would be costs of manufacturing/design. If each cartridge is self-propelled, you're going to have to design a process to manufacture them, test them, and quality-control them. Then, you're going to have to design the weapons that fire them, or a way to retro-fit existing weapons so that they can fire them. Then, you're going to have to market these systems, either to the public at large, or to the military/police forces, which is will include a whole 'nother set of hassles and hurdles.

    But that's just a guess. :)
     
  3. christryker

    christryker Member

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    Actually there was a rifle concept but that failed aswell.
     
  4. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    cost - Each round was expensive THEN, imagine the price NOW.

    power - The gyrojet round reached full velocity a number of feet AFTER it left the barrel. At usual handgun self-defense ranges the gyrojet round could be surprisingly impotent.

    QC issues - the rounds required some pretty serious quality control. They had (comparatively) stringent requirements for machining.
     
  5. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    They didn't really offer any advantages over conventional arms/ammo did they?
     
  6. hqmhqm

    hqmhqm Member

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    One thing is that it doesn't reach full velocity until maybe 25 or 50 yards if I recall correctly. Not much use in many situations.

    Now if they had a hybrid where you fired a rifle bullet which then ignited after 100 yards and kept a flat trajectory, that would be cool.
     
  7. christryker

    christryker Member

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    I found this in the wikipedia article.

    [​IMG]

    One "carbine" like rifle, one "sniper" and two pistols.
     
  8. SDC

    SDC Member

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    Accuracy was also a major concern; since the rockets had a lower velocity than bullets do, and they didn't reach their maximum velocity until well after they exited the barrel, they were very susceptible to cross-winds. I wouldn't volunteer to get hit with one, but you were much less likely to get hit with one in the first place.
     
  9. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    The Gyrojet rocket must contain all its propellant. That limits the power. If the fuel burns unevenly, that affects the center of gravity. Rotation was achieved by angling the vents in the base of the projectile.
    After the fuel was burned, you had a hollow projectile: poor sectional density ( lot a wind resistence for a relatively light weight, low velocity round). Very strange idea, it is amazing they were even made and sold at all.
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I wonder if modern technology could solve these problems. Obviously price would go way up but for military applications you could even have guided bullets that would be little missiles.
     
  11. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    Too expensive and inaccurate. Some type of pistol firing bullets with explosive tips would be a good idea though.
     
  12. .cheese.

    .cheese. Member

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    Exactly. With the advent of nano-technology, I would imagine guided small-arms projectiles using the Gyro-Jet concept would be possible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrojet

    I didn't realize there had been rifles too.

    This quote from the article kind of sums up the answer to my question I gues:

    Would mating the concept of an improved Gyro-Jet type of projectile with the electronically fired Metal Storm product concept result in any kind of significant step forward in weapons technology?

    Perhaps one day there could be a Metal Storm type product with each projectile self-guiding?
     
  13. stevereno1

    stevereno1 Member

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    Shooting USA did a spot on the Gyro-jet. It seems that the reason that it failed was because it was an inaccurate, expensive, peice of junk. I hope that you have gotten the correct answer.
     
  14. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    Inaccurate and expensive. Only pluses are:
    1. Cool concept
    2. Almost no recoil.
     
  15. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    I went to high school with the daughter of the inventor- Mainhardt. The application was space (you know, "The Final Frontier"). Supposedly, with the Cold War, astronauts would need side arms to defend American assets from Commie Cosmonauts. We were supposed to colonize the moon and we should have been on Mars by now. Space stations were to be big and active. It was conceivable that battle could be fought up their. A good sidearm would be essential.

    I also recall when an "agent" from the Soviet Consulate attempted to purchase one of these at the San Francisco Gun Exchange (this must have been 1965 0r 1966). Nate Posner, the owner, a die-hard, true blue American, personally arrested Mr. Commie and held him for the FBI and the SFPD. I believe he had a "Special Police" star from the City. You had to know Mr. Posner to really appreciate this. He was one crusty old guy. I used to hang around his store when I was a youth of 13 to 15.
     
  16. Stebalo

    Stebalo Member

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    The gyrojet suffered from very poor accuracy, best claimed accuracy was 30inches at 100 yards which was probably optimistic.

    Not sure when ammo stopped being produced but with passage of the 68 GCA, the 13mm caliber was classified as a destructive.
     
  17. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    Blacksmoke reminisced:

    Thanks for the interesting sidelight on this. A little extra historical flavor is always appreciated.

    I can just imagine the character of this "character."

    Makes me wish we had more folks around like that nowadays.

    I was fascinated by the Gyrojet concept when it first came out --really a neat idea, but as pointed out, impractical, inaccurate, and expensive according to reports back then.

    However, even "way-out" ideas tend to advance other technologies by getting folks to think divergently.

    But a lot of "way-out" ideas are implemented and start-up companies are formed solely to attract investors.
     
  18. ColinthePilot

    ColinthePilot Member

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    The gyro-jet didn't actually fail entirely. The military uses them as signal flares now. Since they are self propelled, they can penetrate jungle canopies and still signal rescuers. I know they are still produced because I fired one in training about 2 weeks ago. As for the history, I was told they were developed to be under-water weapons, but failed in that realm, and were adopted as signaling devices.

    Heres a video from the same USAF survival school I just attended.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeQOemeXvQI
     
  19. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    I had heard that Ronald Reagan had one.
     
  20. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

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    The Gyro-Jet firearm was a weapon that was ahead of its time. This accounts for the considerable cost and other problems associated with it. Now, the question of a modern Gyro-Jet firearm is an interesting one that certainly deserves discussion.

    I recall discussing this firearm some time ago, perhaps on another forum. The responses I received were quite interesting. I hope this thread stimulates some great discussions about such weapons.


    Timthinker
     
  21. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    From the Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground.




    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  22. GNLaFrance

    GNLaFrance Member

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    Hmm. Were they thinking that a self-propelled rocket round would be more efficient in vacuum than a standard one? I don't see how. And since the Gyrojet round was lightweight, it wouldn't be as effective against armored space suits or anything else that had been "hardened" than a good AP round.
     
  23. Firethorn

    Firethorn Member

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    You have to remember about Microgravity as well - the reduced recoil of the round would greatly reduce the chance that the firing astronaut goes sailing off into space.

    As for armoring - well, armoring takes mass, and you only really need to break the seal in space, then the hostile astronaut is more concerned with resealing his suit than fighting.
     
  24. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Member

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    From what I've heard, the rocket requires several yards to reach its peak velocity. If you shoot someone point blank, it probably won't even break the skin.
     
  25. jason10mm

    jason10mm Member

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    Seems to me there are almost no advantages to the concept and lots of disadvantages. Adding an explosive component to small arms probably violates all sorts of Hague Conventions, not to mention trying to make an explosive round that can also penetrate far enough to be useful could be problematic. Either you get gruesome shallow surface wounds that are not immediately fatal or overpenetrations that then cause damage downrange. Not to mention the surgical nightmare trying to extract unexploded ordnance from injured folks and the "landmine" style long term hazard of unexploded ordnance lying over the battlefield.

    Barring some revolution in defensive technology (shields or something) I don't think we are going to see the end of conventional cartridge design, particularly as recoil management technology progresses and we can use heavier bullets at faster speeds to defeat known armor and improve accuracy and lethality with minimal modifications to our current weapons tactics.

    About the coolest high tech weapon thing I've seen is the distance detonated grenade like the OICW. That way you could negate lots of cover, particularly if the explosion could be directed downward or to the side to hit guys behind walls or around corners with minimal risk to things in the surrounding area. I could see some type of aerodynamic minigrenade that could propel itself or glide like a frisbee towards the target in order to maintain a flatter trajectory while still having low enough velocity for guidance and command detonation at the appropriate range.
     
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