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Thread: Smart ammunition Left, right, on target The Economist.com

  1. #1
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Smart ammunition Left, right, on target The Economist.com

    Quote Originally Posted by T.C.
    Now a protoype self-aiming bullet developed at Sandia National Laboratories, an American weapons-research lab in New Mexico, might allow any soldier to match such feats. Modern bullets gain their accuracy from a technique known as rifling, whereby the barrel of the gun that fires them has a series of spiralling grooves etched into it. These cause the bullets to spin, and that spins stabilises their flight path. Rifling offers a huge improvement over old-style smoothbore guns such as muskets, which were notoriously inaccurate at even comparatively short ranges.

    Sandia's researchers, though, have plumped for an old-style smoothbore barrel. That is because, instead of spin, their bullet is stabilised by four steerable fins at its rear. Those fins are linked to a computer chip that is, in turn, linked to an optical sensor on the bullet's nose. A laser is shone at the intended target, the bullet is fired, and the chip uses the fins to adjust the bullet's trajectory in mid-flight, a system similar in principle to the one used on anti-aircraft missiles.
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/claus...art-ammunition

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Sandia has been working on this ammo for several years. It seems to me like an improvement of the old MB Gyrojet (1965-1969), which fired a 12mm (.51cal) projectile and was the first hand-fired weapon (I know of) to use caseless, rocket-type ammo. At that time it reportedly had a perfectly flat trajectory out to around 500 yds, but then dropped like a rock. The pistols are rarely seen today, and the carbines are even more rare. The smooth-bore MB Gyrojet held six rounds in a magazine, had an under-hammer firing system, which was reset by the projectile moving forward over it when fired. Stabilizing spin was achieved via 3 (as I recall) canted ports in the base of the projectile. I think the main reasons the Gyrojet was not successful was it's unorthodox appearance (very space-age looking for the time), the cost of the ammo for it (about $3.00 a round - which was simply outrageous back then), and the fact that it wasn't particularly accurate, (which some people feel is important - especially at $3 per round. It's nice to hit what you're aiming at). Some MB guns were supplied to the Army for very limited field testing in Vietnam. I saw one in a San Diego gun shop back in the 60's and thought it was amazing-looking. Things may have turned out differently for the Gyrojet if they had had access to the micro-computer technology of today. Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 06-15-2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: typo
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  3. #3
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    At that time it reportedly had a perfectly flat trajectory out to around 500 yds, but then dropped like a rock.
    Believe nothing that you read or hear without verifying it yourself unless it fits your preexisting world view. Flat until momentum is exhausted is the conventionally naive concept of ballistics.

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Believe nothing that you read or hear without verifying it yourself unless it fits your preexisting world view. Flat until momentum is exhausted is the conventionally naive concept of ballistics.
    As I said, "At that time it reportedly had a perfectly flat trajectory"... simply restating the manufacturer's claim in an article, as I recall it. Pax...
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    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Peace is not advanced by repeating popular errors, ignorance being the most refractory force in the universe.

    http://www.deathwind.com/project.htm

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Peace is not advanced by repeating popular errors, ignorance being the most refractory force in the universe.

    http://www.deathwind.com/project.htm
    Well, isn't that nice! And the "popular error" to which you refer is WHAT? The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about. Pax...
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    As I recall, Gyrojet's did have a pretty flat trajectory on account of being rocket powered rounds. Essentially a pistol sized RPG.

    That's not to say they were known for stopping power, accuracy, or in any way being particularly useful. But flat trajectory does sound reasonable.

    Reviving the concept for modern times sounds intriguing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    As I recall, Gyrojet's did have a pretty flat trajectory on account of being rocket powered rounds. Essentially a pistol sized RPG.

    That's not to say they were known for stopping power, accuracy, or in any way being particularly useful. But flat trajectory does sound reasonable.

    Reviving the concept for modern times sounds intriguing.
    That's right. They gained velocity to the target until the propellant was exhausted. They're useless for CQC because of the low muzzle velocity. It takes a bit of distance to build the energy required to be effective.
    Last edited by georg jetson; 06-18-2012 at 06:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Believe nothing that you read or hear without verifying it yourself unless it fits your preexisting world view. Flat until momentum is exhausted is the conventionally naive concept of ballistics.
    This is irrelevant to a self-powered projectile. Momentum increases until the propellant is exhausted. While under power a flat trajectory is possible if properly designed.

  10. #10
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    This is irrelevant to a self-powered projectile. Momentum increases until the propellant is exhausted. While under power a flat trajectory is possible if properly designed.
    Right, A reaction force vector or an aerodynamic force against gravity. Neither applies to the Gyrojet, without wings and nozzles only to spin the projectile.

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