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Military Guns and Ammunition

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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons, particularly in larger calibres (12.7+mm).

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Forums obsession with defeating level 4 armour   General Military Discussion

Started 23-Oct by NealB4Wilson; 1064 views.
NealB4Wilson

From: NealB4Wilson

23-Oct

I think it has been at least two years of discussion about how the army needs to find a way to defeat level 4 body armour. Even the military has been suckered into this useless dream. I find it weird to say the least that so much time and energy has been wasted on it when history has already provided us the answers countless times. Don't strike where your enemy is strong, strike where he is the weakest. So shouldn't we only be worried about defeating level 3 body armour at worse? Also is it even possible to cover the whole body with level 3 anyway and if military start increasing the area covered by level 4 plates to counter this. I don't think it will be a optimal solution anyway because of the huge increase of weight for the individual soldier.

Not only that but ceramics will disintegrate after multiple impact anyways

Steel bullets are king and hit probability is more important that defeating level 4.

If I had to focus on designing a new bullet my principles would be this

Longer bullets are better for FF and penetration, what is the minimum calibre to have a length to calibre ratio of 6-1? That allows a suitable rifling twist rate. 

my guess would be 0.250 inches  

explore use of progressive rifling and polygonal rifling to reduce barrel ware 

increase the pressure to at least 75kpsi with goal of 100k but be willing to use the 80/20 rule 

Use a neckless steel case

explore the economics and technical possibility to use polymer to engage the rifling instead of copper if not use copper washed mild steel   

Thoughts and opinions cheers!

Red7272

From: Red7272

24-Oct

Most of the target is less well armoured and plates are not effective versus fragmentation and overpressure. In the short term plates can be ignored.

Longer term will depend on the evolution of technology and alternative forms of attack. 

autogun

From: autogun

24-Oct

Actually, the obsession with defeating body armour with small arms didn't come from this forum, but from the US Army's initial rationale for requiring such an unexpectedly high performance for the NGSW ammunition. 

The question of how to defeat body armour is certainly an issue, but I think it's fair to say that the consensus of this group has always been that adoption of a magnum-class rifle as the standard infantry weapon is not the way to do it.  Inevitably, such a development would prompt improvements to body armour, potentially leaving the rifleman with a rifle which can't penetrate armour but is massively overpowered for anything else.

It seems that the US Army has absorbed that problem to some extent, as they have stopped talking about penetrating armour and are now focusing on the benefits in long-range hit probability when coupled with advanced sights. The current word is that the performance required has been scaled back somewhat from the initial reports.

NealB4Wilson

From: NealB4Wilson

24-Oct

Completely agree, my post was made in the context of what a squad of infantry men could utilise sadly as we all know squad HE capabilities isn't accurate enough atleast economy to win engagements and isn't weight efficient enough to win protracted engagements.

In regards to future, small ugv carrying a truck load of pgm. For indirect fire maybe a greater utilisation of thermobaric munitions instead of shrapnel?

NealB4Wilson

From: NealB4Wilson

24-Oct

This forum was definitely speculating about the problem long before the US army ever started to think about it. And wasn't it the same with the overmatched crisis aswell?

It's almost like the people who create US army procurement programs have no technical ability what so ever. The round and bullet is not at all optimised for long long hit probability. Let's both hope the round has a useful feature in the future of been able to penetrate advance forms of soft flexible body armour.

Red7272

From: Red7272

24-Oct

NealB4Wilson said:

Completely agree, my post was made in the context of what a squad of infantry men could utilise sadly as we all know squad HE capabilities isn't accurate enough atleast economy to win engagements and isn't weight efficient enough to win protracted engagements.

Well squads don't fight in isolation. All the usual supporting arms are still effective, and outside places like Mali, small arms are the cause of only a fraction of the casualties occurring in combat. Even the, systems like the GM94 and the BUR are decades old now and could easily be the basis for more advanced and more widespread alternatives to brute force armour penetration. 

QuintusO

From: QuintusO

25-Oct

It's the industry's and Army's obsession, not mine or really anyone else on this forum so far as I can tell.

You should look at the Exploring the Design Space thread. I've been hacking at this problem for years, would save you a lot of guesswork.

QuintusO

From: QuintusO

25-Oct

The US Army has been openly thinking about it since before 2015, so you might be underestimating that.

EmericD

From: EmericD

26-Oct

I think that you first need to define your action length, then your bullet design (length & weight).

Bullet diameter will only be a second-order parameter.

Now, if you want some historical results, in 1902 the French army was very close to replace the 8 mm Lebel round with a 6 mm cartridge (6.28 mm bullet diameter or 0.247"). The 34.4 mm long bullet (L/D ~5.5) was a steel rod with a thick copper plating, and started as a 3.5 cal. ogive + 1 cal. shank + 1 cal. boat-tail design (called balle n°30) launched at a MV around 870 m/s, but when the MV was raised to 915 m/s severe copper fouling arose and the bullet design was changed to a 3 calibres ogive + 1.5 cal. shank (with a long groove) + 1. cal boat-tail.

The weight of this bullet (called n°29.5) was 6.4 g (99 gr) and needed a 150 mm twist rate for proper stability. Good flight characteristics were achieved up to 2400 m.

Bullets up to 36 mm long (L/D ~5.75) were tested with good results, but they were discarded because they simply took too much space and would need an action length much longer than 82 mm, while bullets shorter were less effective.

I think that a L/D of 5.5 is already at the edge of the "design space", as it needs a 1-in-25 calibres twist rate for proper bullet stability.

renatohm

From: renatohm

26-Oct

Not to mention that you still have to save some length for tracers, especially steel cored ones...

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