What the designer smoked: an unusual firearm
Not only military robots, drones, combat lasers, and other ultra-modern technical solutions can be interesting. This post is about a few witty designs that don't have a single gram of electronics. A hybrid of a pistol and a revolver with a “triangular” cartridge, a three-barrel Soviet submachine gun and caseless cuckoo clocks are military wonders of the middle of the last century that would look great in a science fiction film.
In the 1950s, they experimented with alternative machine gun ammunition in the United States. It seems, then, it was noticed that if the cartridge had a triangular sleeve, it would occupy less space in the store. No one seriously considered this idea until the American David Dardick decided that the "triangular" cartridge is ideal for a weapon that combines the simplicity of the design of a revolver with a large ammunition of the gun.
In 1958, Dardik patented an open chamber gun under a Tround cartridge (from Triangular Rounds) with a plastic sleeve in the shape of a Relo triangle . I will call the weapon of Dardik a revolver, but this is a convention. It was a hybrid design that Uncle Colt would not have dreamed of in a nightmare.
In the handle of the Dardik revolvers is an integral store for 11, 15 or even 20 rounds depending on the modification. It is charged through a special window on the side of the weapon.
From the store, the cartridges under pressure of the spring are fed into the drum of the revolver. The holes in it are bored and devoid of an outer wall. Part of its function is performed by the cartridge case itself, which restrains powder gases, and partly by the pistol frame, which prevents the cartridge case from deforming when fired.
After pulling the trigger, the drum rotates a third of a turn, the cock cockes and descends - all due to the muscular strength of the shooter. The cartridge case is ejected by centrifugal force, a new cartridge arrives at the barrel line.
Dardic designed weapons for the civilian market and did not hesitate to talk in advertising about the main advantage of his invention. Bullets of various calibers were easily placed in standard massive sleeves: .38 (9 mm), .22 (5.56 mm), .30 (7.62 mm). Know only change removable trunks. The inventor even made an accessory that turned the revolver into a light carbine.
However, Dardik's revolvers did not gain popularity. The high price of the weapon and its unusual cartridges is blamed for this.
Interestingly, 10 years after the cessation of sales, Harrdton & Richardson gunsmiths turned to Dardik for advice . They needed help creating a rifle to compete in the SPIW ( Special Purpose Individual Weapon)), dedicated to ways to radically improve infantry weapons.
The H&R SPIW experimental rifle was supposed to use a Tround cartridge with three dart bullets, similar to those feathered sub-caliber shells that are currently being produced in armored vehicles.
The rifle was removed from the competition. The design was dangerously unreliable. Harrington & Richardson did not bother to close the chamber. Only plastic sleeve prevented the breakthrough of powder gases in a dangerous proximity to the shooter's face.
Sweep and multi-bullet cartridges - a topic that deserves a separate story. Here I will only note that several bullets in one ammunition fired with one shot should in theory be more hefty than a burst of three shots due to less withdrawal of the barrel from the recoil.
However, there was an even more radical way of increasing accuracy while maintaining fire density - volley fire from several barrels at once. And although some Russian-language sources say that the H&R SPIW had three trunks, this is most likely an inaccuracy. Common sense, the available images, the design of the cartridge and one of the patents suggest that the barrel was still one, but three-channel.
Three-barrel machine gun TKB-059
There are other multi-barrel machines. One of them - a three-barreled, was assembled in Tula under the leadership of German Alexandrovich Korobov in 1962.
The prototype known as the ZB Pilot device had three separate barrels, borrowed part of the units from the Kalashnikov assault rifle, but had a bullpup layout that was ultra-modern by the standards of the time - an integrated magazine for 60 rounds was located behind the handle.
From the available photographs it can be seen that the prototype is made rather roughly and is nothing more than a demonstration sample.
Nevertheless, Korobov was given the task of finalizing the design and in 1966 he demonstrated to the military the TKB-059, a fantastic assault rifle in which there was nothing left of Kalashnikov. Today it can be seen in the Tula Museum of weapons.
The TKB-059 case is divided in two. Internal mechanisms are a single unit, rolling along the guides in the body of the weapon under the action of recoil - the so-called montage automation system. Cooldown energy is used to reload weapons.
With a weight of 4.15 kg, the machine has 45 rounds of ammunition.
TKB-059 passed state tests and showed better accuracy than the modified Kalashnikov assault rifle, but was not accepted for service. The unusual design would have confused anyone, but rather the matter was due to objective reasons - the difficulty of loading stores, the inability to fire alone and the lack of “demand”. According to the characteristics of the military, he also arranged for AKM.
Assault rifle Heckler & Koch G11
Another development that I would like to talk about is the German G11 rifle under a cartridgeless cartridge. Its development began in 1967 when the German Ministry of Defense was looking for a replacement for the aging Heckler & Koch G3.
Heckler & Koch considered the idea of reducing the mass and dimensions of ammunition due to the abandonment of the sleeve promising. Light and compact cartridges would allow soldiers to carry more ammunition, and also had to revolutionize the design of automatic weapons, which would no longer need a mechanism to eject shells.
The cartridge of the future, according to the Germans, was a bullet pressed into an explosive charge. Its creation was entrusted to the company Dynamit Nobel AG .
The early versions of the cartridge had a caliber of 4.3 mm and consisted of varnished powder bombs with a bullet glued to the front. However, they self-ignited, having fallen into a chamber overheated by intense firing.
This problem was solved only in the 80s by designing a telescopic 4.73 mm DM11 cartridge based on heat-resistant HMX .
A series of prototypes under the DM11 cartridge included a pistol, a machine gun, a submachine gun, but gradually the work was reduced to the only assault rifle - Heckler & Koch G11. Its design is monstrous in complexity.
Like the Korobov assault rifle, the G11 is built according to a gun monitor, but this is the only thing that makes it similar to its analogues. The Heckler & Koch G11 was ironically nicknamed “German Cuckoo Clock,” and for good reason. The inside of the rifle really resembles a clockwork.
I do not presume to exhaustively describe what is happening inside the case during the shot. Even the G11 disassembly video does not give a complete picture of the mechanisms.
The bottom line is as follows. A box magazine of 45 or 50 cartridgeless cartridges is inserted from above, along the barrel. Ammunition from it is fed vertically down and fall into a key structural element - a rotating cylinder. It serves as a chamber chamber. The cylinder rotates 90 degrees, the cartridge is in line with the barrel. The drummer fires, a shot occurs.
Oddly enough, the G11 came to military trials. The Germans with enviable persistence continued to develop until the 90s of the last century. It seems that only the final standardization of ammunition within NATO was able to stop them .
In 2004, US military contractors for the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies program purchased schemes, documentation, and other project developments.. The further fate of G11 is unknown. Developments could be classified or completely forgotten, the latter more likely.
Only in a parody of the bright world of the future G11 could be adopted.
But Heckler & Koch G11 left a mark in popular culture. It can be seen in the comedy action movie The Destroyer (Demolition Man, 1993), games such as Fallout 2, Jagged Alliance 2, 7.62 High Caliber, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and even in the anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion and Darker Than Black. Not such a bad end, if you think about it.
PS I rarely write large texts about weapons, but I regularly write on the GunFreak Telegram channel . If the topic interests you, welcome.