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.

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PDW again   Small Arms <20mm

Started 20/12/20 by DavidPawley; 41898 views.

From: stancrist


It's not a stupid idea.  The 6.8mm projectile developed for NGSW is about as pointy as possible.


From: poliorcetes


I meant pointy as a needle, not only a nice BC. Like, reducing impact surface as much as possible, less than 1 mm^2


From: renatohm


You mean like an APFSDS? I guess that it has been debated here that such formats aren't really useful below some 25 mm, and APDS not good below 12.7.

For rifles and LMG, the 6.5 pictured above is basically as good as it gets.


From: poliorcetes


No, I mean the same specifications as XM1186 but with a pointier point, so to speak. With the least possible point surface


From: roguetechie


You quickly run into issues with both length to diameter ratio and aerodynamic issues.

Bullets are like aircraft In that their exact shaping determines how much drag they will experience across the various velocity regimes.

What's ideal at 3300 feet per second isn't the same as what's ideal at 1500 feet per second, so you wind up making compromises to get acceptable and stable flight characteristics across the entire range of velocities your projectile could be traveling at when it impacts the target.

As you've pointed out though, you also have to consider it's impact characteristics too.

This puts you in a position where you need to have acceptable terminal performance and flight characteristics throughout a pretty large velocity window.

Because of this, no matter what you're doing it will be a compromise.

In the case of making the bullet tip needle fine, this can create drag and or stability issues that you don't want.

This is why bullet tips are shapes as they are. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the term specifically for the bullet tip shape and fineness ratio at this time though.

I'm sure someone else will come in and expand on what I've said though.


From: graylion


This is my current bullet shape. full spitzer, no meplat.

And yes, I agree that CTA would make it possible to have the spitzer actually be 'spitz' (pointy in German).

Hardened Steel penetrator with polymer rest of bullet. My current v0 is 4100 fps, Which I am sure could even be improved upon with CTA and higher pressures. Mind you, I am at ca 560 MPa.

  • Edited 12 March 2021 13:30  by  graylion

From: poliorcetes


I would like to understand that aerodinamic issues: a really pointy bullet would not be so much different compared with a pitot tube on a mach 2 fighter...

Msg 7776.312 deleted

From: renatohm


The Pitot tube isn't expected to keep its shape upon impact...

I seem to recall that pointy projectiles tend to break apart even at very shallow impact angles, which means that their usefulness may actually backfire if the impact angle isn't perfectly aligned.


From: EmericD


poliorcetes said:

Looking that old 6.5 CT cutaway, I had a simple and possibly stupid idea: since bullet tip is totally surrounded by plastic case... why don't make it as pointy as possible, in order to improve slightly aerodinamics and armor penetration?

Depends of you definition of "as pointy as possible".

We tried bullets with "needle shape" ogive with Sears-Haack profile. They should be babied during the whole manufacturing process, babied during the packaging process, babied during the cartridge loading process, they don't bring any exterior ballistic advantage compared with bullets with a meplat of 0.8-1.2 mm, and the tip is so fragile that there is no terminal ballistics advantage.

If you can damage the bullet tip just by dropping the bullet on hard ground with an impact velocity of a few m/s, this tip will not bring you any advantage at impact velocity of several hundreds of m/s.

It's a known fact that the best penetration results are achieved with pretty blunt cores with a ballistic cap.