Big Bullets for Beginners

Guns are generally classified according to use, size, and tradition. This varies among the military services. The basic distinction is between small arms and artillery. Any gun below a 20-millimeter bore size is generally classified as a small arm. The US Army distinguishes among mortars, howitzers, and guns. Mortars give high trajectories with short range and are usually loaded from the muzzle. Howitzers give medium-to-high trajectories, and guns provide flat-to-medium trajectories of longer range. Bore size is usually given in millimeters. A gun can be considered as a particular kind of heat engine. In operation, the propellant charge located in the gun chamber is ignited by the primer. Gases produced by combustion of the propellant grains cause a rapid buildup of pressure. When a certain pressure is reached (shot-start pressure) which overcomes the forces of projectile weight and engraving of the projectile in the rifling, the projectile begins to move toward the muzzle which causes an increase in chamber volume. A maximum pressure is reached a few inches from the origin of rifling followed by a decrease in pressure all the way to the muzzle. At the muzzle, the pressure is 10 percent to 30 percent of the maximum pressure, depending on the geometry of the propellant grains. Artillery ammunition can be classified in many ways. Another classification is based on the manner in which the components are assembled for loading and firing. Complete rounds of artillery ammunition are known as either semi-fixed or separate loading. In contrast, small arms rounds are FIXED ammunition, with which it is not possible to adjust the amount of propellant in the cartridge case). Semi-fixed ammunition is characterized by an adjustable propelling charge. The propellant is divided into increments, or charges, and each increment of propellant is contained in a cloth bag. All of the cloth bags are held together by an acrylic cord, and are stored in the cartridge case. The primer is an integral part of the cartridge case, and is located on the base. Semi-fixed ammunition may be issued fuzed or unfuzed. Semi-fixed ammunition is used in 105mm howitzers. The ammunition is shipped in a wooden crate, with two fiber tubes in each crate. The fiber tubes are sealed at each end with tape. Upon removing the tape, the cannoneer will place the heavy end down first, and remove the projectile from the fiber tube. Next, the cartridge case is removed. Both the projectile and canister MUST REMAIN in their fiber cups until firing. Separate loading ammunition has four separate components: primer, propellant, projectile, and fuze. The four components are issued separately. Upon preparation for firing, the projectile and propellant are loaded into the howitzer in two separate operations. Separate loading ammunition is used in 155mm howitzers. There are two explosive trains in each conventional round of artillery ammunition; the PROPELLING CHARGE EXPLOSIVE TRAIN, and the PROJECTILE EXPLOSIVE TRAIN. The projectile reaches the target area by the power obtained from the propelling

charge explosive train. The function of the projectile in the target area depends on the type of projectile explosive train. The propelling charge explosive train consists of the primer, igniter, and propellant. The propelling charge explosive train is initiated by the primer, which is a small amount of very sensitive explosive. The primer is very sensitive to shock, friction, spark, and heat, and must be kept protected and away from other ammunition components. In separate loading ammunition, the primer is a separate item of issue. The igniter provides hot flaming gases and particles to ignite the propelling charge. The igniter consists of black powder or Clean Burning Igniter (CBI). The igniter is very hygroscopic and subject to rapid deterioration on absorption of moisture. If kept dry, however, it retains its explosive properties indefinitely. The igniter for semi-fixed ammunition is an integral part of the primer. It consists of a perforated tube filled with black powder and is permanently mounted in the cartridge case. In separate loading ammunition, the igniter is in a circular red pancake shaped bag sewn to the base increment of the propellant. When ignited by the primer, the igniter sends hot flaming gases around the charge to ignite the propellant. A propellant is a large amount of insensitive but powerful explosive that propels the projectile to the target. Semi-fixed ammunition propellant is generally issued with seven increments numbered 1 through 7, and connected by a thin acrylic cord. Each increment is a different size because each increment has a different premeasured amount of propellant. Increment 1 and 2 are single perforated and increments 3-7 are multiperforated. Separate loading ammunition propellants are issued as a separate unit of issue in sealed canisters to protect the propellant. The amount of propellant to be fired with artillery ammunition is varied by the number of propellant increments. The charge selected is based on the range to the target and the tactical situation. “Smokeless powder” propellant is actually neither smokeless nor a powder. It is called smokeless to distinguish it from black powder, and it consists of grains of various shapes and sizes, up to an inch long, depending on the weapon for which they are intended. These grains are either of nitrocellulose (“single-based” powder) or a mixture of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin (“double-based” powder). Nitrocellulose is created by soaking an organic cellulose product such as cotton or wood pulp in nitric acid. The resulting mixture is combined with chemical solvents, forming a doughy, pliable mass. This nitrocellulose is then extruded through a press into long cords, which are cut into grains of the appropriate size. The grains are then dried and the solvents removed for reuse.

Projectile Design

Since the first projectile was manufactured, the demand for greater accuracy and greater range has influenced projectile design. Without specifically constructed shapes and exterior parts, there would be no standard ballistic characteristics for any group or type of projectiles. A lack of ballistic standardization would prevent the computation of firing tables. Modern projectiles are designed for maximum stability and minimum air resistance in flight. Critical diameter is the smallest casing diameter that is needed to sustain a detonation. The critical diameter for an explosive is the minimum diameter mass of that explosive that can be detonated without being heavily confined. Two examples of these insensitive main charge explosives are PBXW-122 and PBXW-124. The composition of PBXW-122 by weight is 47% 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO), 5% cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX), 20% ammonium perchlorate (AP), 15% aluminum, and 13% binder. PBXW-122 has a critical diameter of 7 inches. PBXW-122 has a sensitivity of 130K bars (ELSGT). The composition of PBXW-122 by weight is 27% NTO, 20% RDX, 20% aluminum, 20% ammonium perchlorate, and 13% binder. PBXW-122 has a critical diameter of between 3 and 4 inches. The composition of PBXN-110 by weight is 86% cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX) AND 14% Binder. PBXW-122 has a critical diameter of 7 inches, which means that it cannot be detonated in less than a 7 inch diameter mass unless heavily confined. Future underwater and bombfill explosives will have critical diameters greater than one inch. Eyebolt Lifting Plugs and Fuze Well Plugs. A separate-loading projectile has an eyebolt lifting plug. Other types of projectiles have metal hex-head or plastic closing plugs. The plug is for lifting; to keep the fuze well clean, dry, and free of foreign matter; and to protect the fuze well threads. The plug is removed, and the appropriate fuze is inserted at the firing position. Some special-purpose semifixed projectiles are issued with the fuzes already assembled in the projectile. Ogive. The ogive is the curved portion of a projectile between the fuze well and the bourrelet. It streamlines the forward portion of the projectile. The curve of the ogive usually is the arc of the circle, the center of which is located in a line perpendicular to the axis of the projectile and the radius of which is generally 6 to 11 calibers. The ogival head is that particular part of a projectile from the forward end of the section of even diameter to the point, or from the beginning of the forward slope to the point. The purpose of the ogival head is, that it offers less resistance to the air in the flight of the projectile than any other shaped head, and at the same time masses a sufficient amount of metal at the point to give desired penetration when it strikes. Bourrelet. The bourrelet is an accurately machined surface that is slightly larger than the body and located immediately to the rear of the ogive. It centers the forward part of the projectile in the tube and bears on the lands of the tube. When the projectile travels through the bore, only the bourrelet and the rotating band of the projectile bear on the

lands of the tube. It is at the forward end of the section of even diameter or cylinder of the projectile, and is of slightly enlarged diameter over that of the rest of the projectile. It serves the purpose of providing a bearing surface on the forward part of the projectile and enables its more accurate seating in the gun bore; also it concentrates the spinning or revolution about the long axis of the projectile. Body. The body is the cylindrical portion of the projectile between the bourrelet and the rotating band. It is machined to a smaller diameter than the bourrelet to reduce the projectile surface in contact with the lands of the bore. The body contains most of the projectile filler. Rotating Band. The rotating band is a cylindrical ring of comparatively soft metal that is pressed into a knurled, or roughened, groove near the base of the projectile. It mates with the forcing cone of the tube to eliminate gas wash (blow-by) and to provide forward obturation. The rotating band, in conjunction with the rifling of the tube, imparts spin to the moving projectile. A properly rammed separate-loading projectile is held in the tube at all angles of elevation by the wedging action of the rotating band against the forcing cone. The diameter of the band is equal to that of the base of the grooves of the rifling in the gun tube or bore. The function of the band is to give to the shell, as it travels down the gun bore, the rotation or rotary motion required and which is secured by the lands of rifling cutting into the soft copper band. Chips cut from the rotating band by the rifling fall into small grooves around the circumference of the band. The forward edge of the rotating band is beveled, or slanted down, so that the projectile will start easily and there will not be too much strain on the rifling. When the projectile is seated in the gun, the bevel of the rotating band rests into and matches the bevel on the lands of the rifling. When the projectile is traveling down the gun bore, the joint between the lands of the rifling and the rotating band forms an effectual gas-cheek to prevent any gases from getting around in front of the projectile. Obturating Band. On some projectiles, there is a nylon obturating band below the rotating band to help in forward obturation. Two examples of 155-mm projectiles with this type of a band are the illuminating round and the high-explosive rocket-assisted round. Base. The base is that portion of the projectile below the rotating band or obturating band. The most common type is known as the boattail base. This type of base streamlines the base of the projectile, gives added stability in flight, and minimizes deceleration by reducing the vacuum-forming eddy currents in the wake of the projectile as it passes through the atmosphere. Base Cover. The base cover is a metal cover that is crimped, caulked or welded to the base of the projectile. It prevents hot gases of the propelling charge from coming in contact with the explosive filler of the projectile through possible flaws in the metal of the base.

20% RDX. Ogive. The critical diameter for an explosive is the minimum diameter mass of that explosive that can be detonated without being heavily confined. and 13% binder. A separate-loading projectile has an eyebolt lifting plug. there would be no standard ballistic characteristics for any group or type of projectiles. and 13% binder. and at the same time masses a sufficient amount of metal at the point to give desired penetration when it strikes. 20% ammonium perchlorate (AP). which means that it cannot be detonated in less than a 7 inch diameter mass unless heavily confined. Without specifically constructed shapes and exterior parts. It streamlines the forward portion of the projectile. Other types of projectiles have metal hex-head or plastic closing plugs. that it offers less resistance to the air in the flight of the projectile than any other shaped head. 20% ammonium perchlorate. and free of foreign matter. . 20% aluminum. The plug is for lifting. The composition of PBXN-110 by weight is 86% cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX) AND 14% Binder. PBXW-122 has a sensitivity of 130K bars (ELSGT). Two examples of these insensitive main charge explosives are PBXW-122 and PBXW-124. to keep the fuze well clean. Some special-purpose semifixed projectiles are issued with the fuzes already assembled in the projectile. Future underwater and bombfill explosives will have critical diameters greater than one inch. The purpose of the ogival head is.2. Critical diameter is the smallest casing diameter that is needed to sustain a detonation. or from the beginning of the forward slope to the point. Modern projectiles are designed for maximum stability and minimum air resistance in flight. The composition of PBXW-122 by weight is 47% 3-nitro-1. and the appropriate fuze is inserted at the firing position. The curve of the ogive usually is the arc of the circle. 5% cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX). The composition of PBXW-122 by weight is 27% NTO. 15% aluminum. The plug is removed. the center of which is located in a line perpendicular to the axis of the projectile and the radius of which is generally 6 to 11 calibers. Eyebolt Lifting Plugs and Fuze Well Plugs. The ogival head is that particular part of a projectile from the forward end of the section of even diameter to the point. the demand for greater accuracy and greater range has influenced projectile design.4-triazol-5-one (NTO). PBXW-122 has a critical diameter of 7 inches. A lack of ballistic standardization would prevent the computation of firing tables. PBXW-122 has a critical diameter of 7 inches. and to protect the fuze well threads.Projectile Design Since the first projectile was manufactured. PBXW-122 has a critical diameter of between 3 and 4 inches. The ogive is the curved portion of a projectile between the fuze well and the bourrelet. dry.

Base Cover. It serves the purpose of providing a bearing surface on the forward part of the projectile and enables its more accurate seating in the gun bore. The most common type is known as the boattail base. The forward edge of the rotating band is beveled. It mates with the forcing cone of the tube to eliminate gas wash (blow-by) and to provide forward obturation. The rotating band. Base. in conjunction with the rifling of the tube. It is at the forward end of the section of even diameter or cylinder of the projectile. so that the projectile will start easily and there will not be too much strain on the rifling. The function of the band is to give to the shell. there is a nylon obturating band below the rotating band to help in forward obturation. Body. On some projectiles. and is of slightly enlarged diameter over that of the rest of the projectile. The base cover is a metal cover that is crimped. gives added stability in flight. This type of base streamlines the base of the projectile. It is machined to a smaller diameter than the bourrelet to reduce the projectile surface in contact with the lands of the bore. imparts spin to the moving projectile. and minimizes deceleration by reducing the vacuum-forming eddy currents in the wake of the projectile as it passes through the atmosphere. as it travels down the gun bore. The body contains most of the projectile filler. A properly rammed separate-loading projectile is held in the tube at all angles of elevation by the wedging action of the rotating band against the forcing cone. Rotating Band. or roughened. When the projectile is seated in the gun. It prevents hot gases of the propelling charge from coming in . also it concentrates the spinning or revolution about the long axis of the projectile. When the projectile is traveling down the gun bore. It centers the forward part of the projectile in the tube and bears on the lands of the tube. only the bourrelet and the rotating band of the projectile bear on the lands of the tube. Chips cut from the rotating band by the rifling fall into small grooves around the circumference of the band. the rotation or rotary motion required and which is secured by the lands of rifling cutting into the soft copper band. The body is the cylindrical portion of the projectile between the bourrelet and the rotating band. When the projectile travels through the bore. The bourrelet is an accurately machined surface that is slightly larger than the body and located immediately to the rear of the ogive. groove near the base of the projectile. Two examples of 155-mm projectiles with this type of a band are the illuminating round and the high-explosive rocket-assisted round. or slanted down. The base is that portion of the projectile below the rotating band or obturating band. the joint between the lands of the rifling and the rotating band forms an effectual gas-cheek to prevent any gases from getting around in front of the projectile. The rotating band is a cylindrical ring of comparatively soft metal that is pressed into a knurled. caulked or welded to the base of the projectile.Bourrelet. The diameter of the band is equal to that of the base of the grooves of the rifling in the gun tube or bore. Obturating Band. the bevel of the rotating band rests into and matches the bevel on the lands of the rifling.

Spinning a projectile promotes flight stability. SPIN-STABILIZED PROJECTILES Most guns in use today use spin-stabilized projectiles. and its relative efficiency will be in a measure proportional to its carrying capacity. and incendiary). and stone shot being not only too light for good flight. using fixed. wooden beams shod with iron and often covered with inflammable material. and the latter. In the sieges of walled towns. in very early days. The rotating band is engaged by the lands and grooves. that of a hollow steel cylindrical case with pointed head.and spin-stabilized). Spinning is obtained by firing the projectiles through a rifled tube. and darts andjavelins thrown by hand. or from the muzzle of a Rapid-Fire Gun. Spin-stabilized projectiles are full bore .. Projectiles can be broadly classified according to three main types: spin-stabilized. and rocket assisted (both fin. as it is understood in modern times. The projectile. The principal function of the projectile is to carry its charge intact to the enemy's most vulnerable point. For guns of six-inch caliber and smaller they are called minor-caliber projectiles. and developed with the improvements in weapons using it. ballista. arrows from the long bow. At a nominal muzzle velocity of 2800 feet per second. spin rates on the order of 250 revolutions per second are encountered. The form of all projectiles is approximately the same. having a soft metal band near the base which takes the rifling of the gun and gives the projectile the twisting motion which keeps it steady during flight. came in with the use of gunpowder in warfare. early gave way to iron. antitank. Projectiles for guns of and above seven inches in caliber are called major-caliber projectiles. and catapults were used as a species of heavy with the explosive filler of the projectile through possible flaws in the metal of the base. finstabilized. Some very significant progress in projectile design has been made in the past few years.e. namely. The first projectiles used were stones thrown from slings (afterwards lead bullets were projected in the same way). antipersonnel. it is always the projectile. The projectile engages the rifling by means of a rotating band normally made of copper.Types of Projectiles A projectile or shell is a missle fired from the muzzle of a gun. the former to hurl large stones. Formal military classification is based on the intended use of the projectile and the composition of the explosive charge (i. but also deficient in tenacity. using separate ammunition. cartridge-case ammunition. Large Caliber Ammunition . whether issuing from the muzzle of a Breech-Loading Rifle. While lead answered all the purposes in small-arms. it was found too soft for battering with larger guns.

However. including armor-piercing projectiles. Finstabilized projectiles are advantageous because they follow the trajectory very well at high-launch angles. They perform very well at relatively low trajectories (less than 45° quadrant elevation). In order to improve the armor penetration of such weapons. a low rate of roll around the longitudinal axis is desired to minimize the adverse effects of mass and configurational asymmetries which may result from material imperfections and from manufacturing tolerances.7 to 40 millimeters have almost exclusively rifled barrels and generally fire various types of spin-stabilized projectiles. for instance. therefore. In this case. In high trajectory applications they tend to overstabilize (maintain the angle at which they were fired) and.(flush with the bore walls) and are limited approximately to a 5:1 length-to-diameter ratio. Normally. four to six fins are employed. FIN-STABILIZED PROJECTILES These projectiles obtain stability through the use of fins located at the aft end of the projectile. Automatic cannons having calibers ranging approximately from 12. wood or metal fitted around the projectile. In contrast to conventional spin-stabilized projectiles which derive their in-flight stability from the gyroscopic forces resulting from the high rate of spin. fin-stabilized projectiles are disadvantageous because the extra length of the projectile must be accommodated and the payload volume is comparatively low in relation to the projectile length. Fin-stabilized projectiles are ideally launched from smooth bore guns which. Such weapons are installed. Such projectiles vary from 10:1 to 15:1 in length-to-diameter ratio. Additional stability is obtained by imparting some spin (approximately 20 revolutions/second) to the projectile by canting the leading edge of the fins. is used to center the projectile in the bore and provide a gas seal. Although projectile spin does not contribute to the stabilization of finned projectiles. the finned projectiles are stabilized during flight by aerodynamic forces acting on the projectile. and they can be designed with very low drag thereby increasing range and/or terminal velocity. . successful employment means compatibility of the ammunition with the gun and feeder system. do not follow the trajectory satisfactorily. which in turn requires the necessary structural integrity to function reliably under all operating conditions specified for such weapons while at the same time providing a projectile accuracy which is equal to or better than that of spin-stabilized projectiles fired from the same weapon. on advanced battle tanks and commonly have calibers of 60 millimeters or more. Fin-stabilized projectiles are very often subcaliber. it is desirable to develop technology permitting successful employment from rifled gun barrels of fin-stabilized armor-piercing projectiles with their inherent high degree of terminal effectiveness. A sabot. due to the absence of rifling. do not impart a rolling motion.

the physical dimensions of sliding rotating bands. which occurs at a range of approximately 30 calibers from the muzzle. Fin-stabilized projectiles reflecting the current state of the art incorporate a sliding seat between the rotating band and the sabot body. In contrast. The degree of spin transmission within the seat of the rotating band is determined by sliding friction. Variations in projectile temperature from -40. The projectile assembly is symmetric to its longitudinal axis and is fired from the gun by means of a discarding sabot. These propellant gasses envelop the projectile temporarily in a reverse flow field. fin-stabilized projectiles consist of a subcaliber penetrator and a fin assembly of four or more fins attached to the rear of the penetrator. There are two problem areas encountered with this method of firing fin-stabilized projectiles from a rifled cannon. to +60. etc. upon exit from the muzzle of the gun the fin-stabilized projectile has a rate of spin equal to approximately 10 to 30 percent of that of a spin-stabilized projectile launched at the same muzzle velocity. Secondly. utilization of a .. Firstly. changes in Two important functions of the discarding sabot are to support and guide the subcaliber projectile along the centerline of the gun barrel during acceleration and to form a seal to contain the propellant gasses during travel in the barrel. to the sabot body. centrifugal forces acting on sabot components are very effective in initiating the instantaneous and symmetric separation of the sabot from the penetrator upon exit from the muzzle of the gun. In addition. are small. Thus.Commonly. As a it is difficult to control the spin reduction in the sliding seat with a degree of repeatability necessary to assure acceptable projectile accuracy over the entire range of operating conditions specified for military employment. do the aerodynamic forces become fully effective in sabot separation. Only upon entering into the ambient air.. thus resulting in rather delicate and vulnerable components. inclusive of their seats. With reduced projectile spin the centrifugal forces acting on the sabot components are reduced by the square of the spin ratio. finite manufacturing tolerances. which picks up the full spin. the sabot separation is neither as rapid nor as precise as with a nonslipping rotating band and is increasingly more dependent on aerodynamic forces. contamination by dust. The sliding seat is designed such as to reduce by approximately 70 to 90 percent the amount of spin transmitted from the rotating band. because of size limitations of ammunition of calibers up to 40 millimeters. The magnitude of the aerodynamic forces prevailing for sabot separation is only a fraction of the centrifugal forces available when launching at full spin and therefore a considerably more fragile sabot construction is required to assure its fracture and separation. salt and other substances entering between the rotating band and its seat. influence the friction coefficient in the band seat and with it the degree of spin transmission. The access of aerodynamic forces to the projectile is delayed by the efflux of high velocity propellant gasses upon exit of the projectile from the muzzle of the gun. C. The latter function is accomplished by the rotating band which engages the rifling grooves of the gun barrel and in doing so imparts spin to the projectile commensurate with the rifling twist of the barrel and the projectile muzzle velocity.

At the projectile base is an opening for a tracer cavity of adequate depth and diameter to provide a clear visual trace of the entire projectile trajectory. consisting of a combination of high strength steel or high density material as a penetrator swaged or inserted into a suitable jacket or sleeve material. with more lethal results. The sabot is necessary to transfer propellant energy but is a parasitic weight in terms of projectile target performance. This type of projectile has severely limited armor penetration capability at target engagement ranges beyond several hundred meters. and to discard shortly after exiting the muzzle. But materials used to fabricate sabots can only be as lightweight as they are strong enough to withstand great pressures and loads during gun-tube acceleration. which results in it losing less velocity from aerodynamic drag. To take advantage of the rod's high ballistic coefficient and to provide increased initial launch velocities. SABOT A sabot is a lightweight carrier used both to position a missile or subcaliber projectile inside a gun tube and to transmit energy from the propellant to the projectile. This type of full-bore projectile utilizes the high density or high strength penetrator and to some extent the jacket or sleeve material and its geometry to affect armor penetration. Reducing the sabot's weight allows greater projectile velocity. The weapons thus penetrate deeper. This is due to the high density rod's more efficient armor penetration geometry and the greater mass per cross sectional area of the sub-caliber rod flight projectile. One of the designs is of a conventional projectile shape and is full-bore diameter. due to its high drag configuration. Three types of armor piercing projectiles are currently utilized in small caliber gun systems. In general. sabots were designed to encapsulate the rod penetrator during handling. thus allowing only the rod penetrator to continue in flight toward the target. storage.nonslipping rotating band allows for the use of a stronger sabot which is advantageous when employed from high rate of fire cannons and their correspondingly high structural loads during feeding and ramming. where the thrower's arm movement acts as both the propellant-driving gas and the sabot's energy-gathering pusher. and gun firing. The lower projectile spin rate at muzzle exit and consequent reduction in centrifugal forces acting on the sabot decrease the rapidity and symmetry of the discard of the sabot components and therewith result in increased projectile dispersion. Fin-stabilized projectiles equipped with discarding sabots incorporating slipping rotating bands experience considerable variations in spin rate at exit from the muzzle due to deviations in the friction coefficient within the sliding seat of the band. It has been demonstrated that sub-caliber high density rod type penetrators are capable of penetrating significantly more armor than the full-bore projectiles at target ranges beyond several hundred meters. As a result the subsequent acceleration or deceleration of the projectile spin may result in conditions where the spin rate is equal to the nutation frequency of the projectile and resonance instability will occur. The sabot works much like a person throwing a dart. guns operate with a fixed mass to be propelled out of the gun's tube. One type of discarding sabot .

APDS projectiles using high density rod penetrators have been developed for guns from caliber 5. APFSDS projectiles utilizing high density sub-caliber rod penetrators have been developed for both rifled barrel and smooth bore guns from caliber 25 millimeter through 140 millimeter. greatly reducing the overall accuracy. The difference in dimensions vary from round to round and hence result in a substantial variation of release forces. and these designs have permitted the incorporation of an adequate tracer cavity in the rear of the flight projectile without degradation of the rod's armor penetration performance. This uncontrollable variation in release force accordingly would dramatically and significantly change the separation point from one round of ammunition to another. The prior art pusher typically had a pyrotechnic delay column and expulsion charge adapted to explode after the assembled pusher/penetrator has been ejected from the gun barrel so as to axially separate the penetrator from the pusher.e.e. the grains of adjacent layers are arranged either at right angles or at some wide angle to each other. which must be laid down and oriented to yield maximal strength and handle maximal stress." It consists of highstrength carbon fibers. In the past. It has been demonstrated that armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) projectiles penetrate more armor at greater ranges than spin stabilized APDS projectiles. the search for lighter weight sabot materials focused on metal composites. the forces tending to hold the penetrator within the pusher. Researchers began to consider fiber composites for complex shaped structures that needed to survive multidirectional stresses. The tracer cavity in these projectiles significantly reduces the available high density rod material required for armor penetration. which utilizes a spin stabilized sub-caliber penetrating core as the flight projectile..56 millimeter through caliber 120 millimeter. i. The inherent problem with the prior art configuration was that there could. Previously. When layers are glued together. be significant differences in dimensions between the outer diameter of the penetrator and the inner diameter of the aforesaid recess. it can be machined into the . This is the Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) projectile. both pusher and penetrator typically being right circular cylindrically shaped members. Once a piece of the material has been fabricated. failing to produce a projectile having a low dispersion factor. Given aerodynamic considerations. i. the lightest weight sabots were made of aluminum.. Polymer is used to glue together layers of these fibers in a process similar to that used to manufacture plywood. which were being used extensively in thin structures for aerospace applications. Prior art delay discarding sabot projectiles has typically taken the form of a metal pusher having a forward facing recess surrounding a high density metal penetrator. because of normal machining/manufacturing variations. But researchers were continually frustrated by failure-metal composites simply were too brittle. Some engineers refer whimsically to a fiber composite as "string and glue. APDS projectile designs below caliber 25 millimeter do not allow the inclusion of a tracer cavity without degrading penetrator performance.projectile has been demonstrated in small caliber guns to provide increased armor penetration over full-bore projectiles. Attention then shifted toward polymer-based composites. due to the longer allowable penetrator lengths that can be launched and flown to the target with accuracy and stability.

and the like. armor is constantly being improved in toughness. . it is possible that the long rod remains unpenetrated if the fins remain at least partly locked to the penetrator or are only partly sheared from the penetrator as the penetrator moves through the armor. and (2) to allow for lighter mount and barrel design and reduce excessive muzzle flash and smoke by reducing the recoil and setback forces of standard gun systems. All of these changes require improvements in penetrators by increasing penetrating power and range. In other words. the use of new propellants. the full impact energy of the rod is not used in accomplishing its primary objective of passing through a given armor thickness. hardness. Thus. if armor is thick enough. higher strength stabilizing fins do not shear until a considerably higher force is applied between the rod body and the fin so that a substantial retardation force is present as the penetrator shaft enters the armor and the fins encounter the armor surface. It would. the use of new material such as tungsten and depleted uranium. The new propellants require the penetrator to withstand higher temperature in the gun tube since the rod and the guide fins are heated to higher temperatures. the fins tended to shear readily from the penetrator body when the fins reached the surface of the armor being penetrated and did not produce a substantial retardation force against continued movement of the penetrator rod into their armor. Long rod penetrators are well known and are adapted to penetrate armor. Long rod penetrators have stabilizing fins which are either welded to the penetrator rod or threadably fixed to the penetrator rod.required form. When using aluminum alloys. ROCKET-ASSISTED PROJECTILES There are two main reasons for developing rocket-assisted projectiles: (1) to extend the range over standard gun systems. As a result. Consequently. Normally. obliquity and is being constructed in multilayer fashion. In conventional long rod penetrators. Fairly thick pieces that can withstand high three-dimensional stress are used for sabot material. This problem is intensified when using stronger ferrous type materials for the guide fins and penetrator rod to accommodate new propellants which expose the assembly to higher temperatures. a portion of the energy which propels the rod into the armor will be used up by "dragging" the fins through the rod cavity in the armor or in shearing or tearing the fin from the rod. Such stabilizing fins are necessary to guide the penetrator in true flight to the target. Since the ranges are different. therefore. stabilizing fins which conventionally were made from aluminum alloys are now being made of ferrous alloys which have much higher strength and are capable of withstanding higher temperatures. new sabots and new stabilizing fin structures and materials. be desirable to reduce the retardation effect of the fins which may prevent the penetrator from moving as far through the armor as possible. However. one or the other establishes the performance of the rocket-assisted projectile under development although some compromise in the two approaches may be established by the design objectives. the above two objectives represent opposite approaches in the development of rocket-assisted projectiles. Such improvements are accomplished by adjustment of the length to the diameter ratio of the penetrator. of course.

In general. pyrotechnics. and shot. and cluster. fragmentation. shaped charge. For convenience of discussion. and (3) continuous-rod warheads (CRW). The basic function of any weapon is to deliver a destructive force on an enemy target. Shaped Charge . which are solid pieces of metal. (2) fragmentation warheads. High explosive warheads cause damage by concussion (blast effects) or by penetration of high-energy fragments. there are three types of high explosive warheads that employ the latter method to accelerate metal fragments generally including (1) directed energy warheads.Types of Warhead One basic classification of types of warheads or projectiles differentiates between shells that are hollow pieces of metal containing a filler charge of some sort. large caliber ammunition may be be classified into five major groups: blast (including air and underwater burst).Large Caliber Ammunition .

In this case. therefore. These warheads consist of a hollow liner of thin metal material backed on the convex side by explosive. High explosives have an extremely high rate of reaction and the presence of a detonation (shock) wave that moves faster than the speed of sound in the explosive material. arranging preformed fragments around the main charge explosive such as spheres or cubes. Fragmentation warheads are intended to defeat virtually all types of targets. Upon detonation.Warheads refers to Shaped Charge Warheads and Explosively Formed (a. rather. a detonation wave sweeps forward and hydrodynamically collapses the liner (in the case of a shaped charge) or deforms the liner (in the case of EFPs) along its axis of symmetry forming a directed jet or EFP which penetrates a localized area on a target of interest. and material properties. the detonation wave hits the liners perpendicularly (almost symmetrically to the axis of the liners).about. thus.340 m/s).a.k. which is typically made of metal. the fragmentation size. the detonation of a bomb projects the fragments in an approximate cylindrical pattern and a hand-grenade projects fragments in an approximate spherical pattern. Uncontrolled fragmentation patterns. and heavily armored targets. sandwiching an intermediate mesh material between the outer casing and the explosive core. the relative size and. The fragment distribution pattern is a function of the amount and nature of the explosive material (i. By controlling the fragment formation process. and the configuration (geometry. such as those used in general-purpose bombs. by a weld (in a zigzag/accordion pleat . around the circumference of a high explosive charge. the optimized bulk fragment distribution pattern over an area is constrained to maximize the defeat probability/lethality against an anticipated target set of known thickness. fragments from a fragmenting warhead have various distribution patterns and lethality characteristics. where metal liners/projectiles are distributed. producing a blast of rapidly expanding hot gases and casing fragments. how energetic the explosion is). As a function of design. The rapidly expanding gasses will compress the surrounding air and create a shock wave which propagates outwards at near the speed of sound in air (. This event forms fragments of random size and lethality. fragments tend to be lethal to a greater range than the blast effects for hard targets. the detonation of the secondary high explosive core generates a large amount of heat and gaseous products. Manipulating the fragment formation process can more predictably control fragmentation patterns and fragment uniformity. The Shaped Charge effects concept can be used in multiples. Upon detonation. forged) Penetrators (EFPs) that are directed in that the high explosive energy is focused on a liner. excluding overburden targets underground and underwater. For example. occur by the natural break up of the outer casing occurring from the detonation of the surrounding explosive charge. the metal warhead casing almost instantaneously catastrophically fails and bursts. the mass of the fragmenting material.e. The rods are alternately connected together. Controlled fragment formation can be accomplished in several ways including: designing pre-scored failure regions (grid patterns) on the outer/inner casing or outer surface of the explosive. and. Continuous-Rod Warhead (CRW) CRW technology incorporates two overlapping layers of ductile rods that are oriented around the circumference running parallel along the length of an explosive core. High explosive fragmentation warheads constitute one of the most widely used warhead approaches in all types of ammunition. end-to-end. the detonation does not collapse a liner along its linear axis of symmetry. initiation scheme) of the warhead. The energy of the fragments dissipate more slowly than the energy of a shock wave and. In fragmentation warheads. obliquity.

the continuous-rod payload rapidly expands radially outward. but without physical interconnections being established between adjacent rods.) before reaching the target. Upon detonation. the maximum initial rod velocity is limited to the range of 1050 to 1150 meters per second. which will randomly change their aerodynamic characteristics while unpredictably shifting the center-of-balance and. and the rods are interconnected. the rods tend to spread in the axial direction.720 entitled Rod-fragment controlled-motion warhead (RFCMW) discloses destructive fragments used in a warhead that are in the form of discrete tapered rods that are substantially the same length as the cylindrical warhead itself and are placed vertically around and parallel to the axis of the warhead. the distribution pattern is highly focused. its rotation will be significantly altered and cause a domino effect whereby the interrelated discrete rods tumble into each other and consume the effective warhead . During this expansion. because it is non-isotropic. If a single rod does not perform as designed or if one discrete rod prematurely encounters an obstacle (such as topography. To ensure that the rods stay connected at detonation.216.216. The detonation of the explosive charge will most likely cause spalling and material deformation of the tapered rods. The metal density of a normal fragmentation warhead attenuates inversely with the square of the distance (1/R. a tree. Additionally. the effective continuous coverage (end-to-end) radius is reduced.sup. the metal density of a continuous-rod payload attenuates inversely as the distance from the point of detonation (1/R). However. CRWs cannot produce as much destructive energy potential as fragmentation The ring expands from a highly compressed zigzag pattern to an expanded. The warhead system is designed to dynamically rotate the rods to form the expansion and kill radius/mechanism.S. almost flat.S. U. in comparison. Thus. Only one invention uses discrete rods in a fragmentation type of warhead and it closely mimics the physical architecture of the CRW (layers of rods that are oriented around the circumference and run parallel and along the length of an explosive core). The initial fragment velocities of fragmentation warheads are in the range of 1800 to 2100 meters per second. No. 4. bending or "unfolding" the welded ends to form a ring of interconnected rods. the propellering motion of each rod within the RFCMW must have the same angular velocity (and acceleration rate) to ensure the discrete rods do not rotate into each other. and. thus. 4. The propellering motion of the discrete taper rods requires a perfectly balance rod after that rod has experience some degree of deformation following the explosive detonation of the explosive core. zigzag pattern using an expansion mechanism similar to a half-plane pantograph. the explosive energy is focused in a single plane such that when the rods strike a target.2). No. etc. If the collective interrelated system of discrete rods under or over rotates.720 points to some deficiencies of the RFCMW concept as follows: the pattern of these rod-type fragments has been of such a discontinuous nature to results in a high likelihood of missing targets. rather than being driven radially. U. However. to increase the relative mass interacting with a target in a highly localized area. damage is produced by a cutting action giving it the nickname "flying buzzsaw". The propelling motion is empirically derived for each configuration and optimized to a 90 degree rotation for each discrete rod. Another major shortfall of the RFCMW concept is that a high explosive detonation event is used to form the geometric orientation of the rods through a dynamically controlled rotation of each discrete rod to provide the expansion mechanism. introducing random discontinuities in the propellering motion of each discrete rod. A ring of interconnected rods is produced about the axis of the weapon. Pat. Pat.

stair-step fashion to form a continuous spiral to defeat a target. it is doubtful that the warhead is relatively inexpensive as claimed--the warhead would be relatively expensive due to the understanding that the RFCMW requires relatively high control of rod material properties. parallel path and radial distribution. meaning the height of the warhead cylinder dictates the cylindrical height of the kill region. to create lethality at and somewhat beyond the full expansion diameter of the warhead. and to create unique target defeat mechanisms compared to that of the CRW or that of all known prearranged fragmentation warheads. such that at full expansion. and induce asymmetries such as spalling and material deformation following the warhead detonation. The radius at full expansion is mathematically derived from the diameter of the packaged warhead and the arc length of the discrete circular rod segments. This requires that each discrete rod rotates at the same angular rate while experiencing a uniform velocity ratio (uniform velocity to mass ratio) during and after an explosive event across the entire length of the discrete rod which has an unusually high aspect ratio (the claimed length-to-diameter ratio is 28:1) so that all portions are subjected to both the same an outward and angular velocity to arrive at an end-to-end disposition. The Segmented Rod Warhead (SRW) is a high explosive warhead designed to radially project mechanically and geometrically prearranged fragments. individual rods align themselves end-to-end in a helical. the adjacent. to create multiple impact sites within a projected height. in the form of multiple layers of discrete and helically wound circular segmented rods. and fabricated assemblies. helical spirally ring of interrelated and adjacent segmented circular rods upon detonation of the explosive core. The expansion mechanism is radial. while they are simultaneously and dynamically rotating about their respective precise center axes. and a potentially complex explosive initiation system to ensure effective results (also true for a CRW). in a prescribed. highly toleranced machined metal parts. it is desired to provide a radially expanding kill effect similar to the CRW by using geometrically prearranged segmented circular rods placed horizontally (perpendicular to the warhead axis) around a cylindrical warhead to produce a geometrically coupled. A further major shortfall in the RFCMW is the aerodynamic stability of this concept whereby the end effect must be achieved by a highly controlled formation pattern that is achieved by dynamic. rather than pepper a target with a distribution of fragments. to increase the effective mass on the target within a localized Time sequencing of six degrees-of-freedom motion must be achieved to propel the discrete rods radially outward. manufactured parts. The SRW focuses the available warhead energy on a localized area of a target in a non-isotropic fashion. Therefore. Other shortfalls of the RFCMW concept are as follows: the tapered rods will reduce the penetration capability at the thinned portion of the rods and therefore reduce the damage level to the intended target. Blast . highly controlled. asymmetries. This cumulative and synergistic effect greatly weakens a target by the concentration and interaction of mechanically arranged adjacent rod segments within the same localized failure region as compared to a wide spread distribution of fragments over a target of interest. and. balanced rotation that is highly intolerant of drift.

The reflected pressure is a function of the pressure in the incident wave and the angle formed between the rigid surface and the plane of the shock front. or both. This latter particle velocity is associated with a "dynamic pressure. a reflected pressure is instantly developed on the surface and the pressure is raised to a value that exceeds the incident pressure. the accumulation of gases from the explosion will exert additional pressures and increase the load duration within the structure. A distinctive difference is that the reaction zone propagates at a rate greater than sound velocity in the unreacted material. When a high explosive detonates. the peak incident pressure at the front decreases and the duration of the pressure increases. In addition. Every material capable of detonating has a characteristic velocity that is under fixed conditions of composition. or both. in turn. In contrast. the combustion zone progresses through the material at a rate that is less than the velocity of sound in the unreacted material. it is converted almost instantly into a gas at very high pressure and temperature. When an explosion occurs within a structure.000 degrees celsius. convection. will be amplified by reflections within the structure. The violent release of energy from a detonation in a gaseous medium gives a sudden pressure increase in that medium. This pressure increase. The pressure disturbance. venting for relief of excessive gas or shock pressures. As the shock front expands into increasingly larger volumes of the medium. Gas molecules making up the front move at lower velocities. and radiation. The air surrounding the casing is compressed and a shock (blast) wave is transmitted into it. Typical initial values for a high-explosive weapon are 200 kilobars of pressure (1 bar = 1 atmosphere) and 5. In this process. and density. A deflagration is an exothermic reaction that propagates from the burning gases to the unreacted material by conduction. the weapon case expands and breaks into fragments. or both. If the shock wave impinges on a rigid surface oriented at an angle to the direction of propagation of the wave. travels radially from the burst point with a diminishing velocity that always is in excess of the sonic velocity of the medium. termed the blast wave. The energetic materials used by Department of Defense munitions produce an exothermic reaction defined either as a deflagration or a detonation. is characterized by an almost instantaneous rise from the ambient pressure to a peak incident pressure (Pso). the peak pressure associated with the initial shock front will be extremely high and. or shock front. temperature. may be provided by means of openings in or frangible construction of the remaining walls or roof. For structures that have one or more strengthened walls. Under the pressure of the gases thus generated. The combined effects of both pressures eventually may destroy the structure if it is not strengthened sufficiently or adequate venting for the gas and the shock pressure is not provided.A blast warhead is one that is designed to achieve target damage primarily from blast effect. This type of construction will permit . a detonation is an exothermic reaction that is characterized by the presence of a shock wave in the material that establishes and maintains the reaction." or the pressure formed by the winds produced by the shock front.

aircraft. These fragments are known as primary or secondary fragments depending on their origin. These fragments usually are small in size and travel initially at velocities of the order of thousands of feet per second. they usually do not fragment into the optimum fragment size for their given application or target set. . Also note that by strict definition. When the missile carrying the warhead reaches a position close to an enemy missile or other target. Although naturally fragmenting warheads are generally the least expensive method of high-volume warhead production. on the other side of the barrier. referred to as exterior or leakage pressures. Primary fragments are formed as a result of the shattering of the casing of conventional munitions. mortar rounds and small rockets. reentry vehicles. once released from their confinement. Strictly defined. Such applications generally require an optimum fragment size of approximately 15-30 grains. the target set for most gun-fired projectiles and mortar rounds includes personnel and other "light" targets such as trucks. The loads equate to 0.2 pounds per square inch (psi). fragments are often too large which results in inefficient warhead performance. These warheads are generally a compromise between cost and warhead case fragmentation performance. The fragments of the blast fragmentation type warhead. flechettes are shrapnel. Thus.44 kilopascals) and wind loads of 100 miles per hour (161 kilometers per hour). Specifically. Conventional structures are designed to withstand roof snow loads of 30 pounds per square foot (1. or both. An important consideration in the analysis of explosions is the effect of the fragments generated by the explosion. Naturally fragmenting warheads are primarily implemented in gun projectiles. however. A blast fragmentation type warhead is designed to destroy enemy missiles. These fragments are somewhat larger in size than primary fragments and travel initially at velocities in the order of hundreds of feet per second. For example. A hazardous fragment is one having an impact energy of 58 ft-lb (79 joules) or greater. Secondary fragments are formed as a result of high blast pressures on structural components and items in close proximity to the explosion. More precise usage would term the later a fragment wound. and other targets. a pre-scored or pre-made band of metal on the warhead is detonated and pieces of metal are accelerated with high velocity and strike the target. Fragmentation Warhead Common usage distinguishes between a gunshot wound and a shrapnel wound. This fragment size is difficult to consistently achieve with naturally fragmenting warheads. These pressures.the blast wave from an internal explosion to spill over onto the exterior ground surface. expand radially and act on structures or persons. fragmenrs from a random-fragmentation shell are not shrapnel. are not always effective at destroying the target and biological bomblets and/or chemical submunition payloads can survive and still cause heavy casualties. shrapnel means preformed fragments (the fragments exist already made within the explosive munition).

Small fragments have low mass and will not possess optimum amount of kinetic energy against a desired target compared to a larger mass fragment traveling at the same velocity. Herein lies the principle advantage of a fragmentation payload: it can afford a greater miss distance and still remain effective because its attenuation is less. Prior to construction of the warhead. however. and weight of the fragments. but because of low coupling efficiencies. shock waves strike the shell at differential increments of time. depending upon the specific design of the payload. thus allowing a preferentail rupture at the weakened area and thereby causing some amount of blast concentration in the vicinity proximate to the weakened area of the casing. Whereas the effects of an idealized blast payload are attenuated by a factor roughly equal to 1/R3 (R is measured from the origin). based on the desired warhead size and the object target . thus exceeds considerably the radius of effective blast damage in an air burst. shape. Therefore. On detonation of the charge. and the damage aspects of the bursting charge fragmentation. Configurations typically involve a single explosive burster charge surrounded by fragments. the science of the motion of projectiles.The study of ballistics. the advance of the shock front lags behind that of the fragments. has contributed significantly to the design of fragmentation warheads. causing preferential fragmentation in the resulting shell burst. The rate at which the velocity of the shock front accompanying the blast decreases is generally much greater than the decrease in velocity of fragments. and in particular. a considerable amount of explosive was required if desirably high fragment velocities were to be achieved with a limited number of fragments. Framentation warheads generally involve scoring or otherwise weakening the warhead casing. The fragments are propelled at high velocity. although target dependent. The balance of available energy is used to create a shock front and blast effects.using standard techniques for determination of required kinetic energy for defeating the target and kinetic energy to be available in the fragment from the mass of fragment and explosive charge to be used. bar. which occurs due to air friction. the size and shape of the fragments must be determined. and after a short distance they overtake and pass through the shock wave. Large fragments. Specifically. Fragments of nearly identical shape will disperse in a predictable pattern based on their orientation in the warhead and the configuration and method of detonation of the explosive charge in the warhead. terminal ballistics studies attempt to determine the laws and conditions governing the velocity and distribution of fragments. it is necessary to control the size. . To avoid random distribution of fragments propelled by exploding anti-property and personnel devices. and diamond shapes. Conventional bombs and warheads detonate in a manner that produces fragments of irregular size and shape. the sizes and shapes that result from bursting different containers. The radius of effective fragment damage. the attenuation of idealized fragmentation effects will vary as 1/R2 and 1/R. Approximately 30% of the energy released by the explosive detonation is used to fragment the case and impart kinetic energy to the fragments. plate.

the prior art devices produce fragments of a variety of weights and do eliminate the variations in kinetic energy resulting therefrom. however. Allowance for weight loss requires that the device be designed to produce larger fragments than will actually result. during the fragmentation process much energy is wasted on metal deformation. resulting in a reduced kinetic energy on the target. It is desirable to provide the device with means for increasing the amount of energy directed to fragmentation rather than being wasted in fragment deformation. Such a construction.offer more atmospheric drag causing the fragment velocity to slow down rapidly. fragmentation control has included providing grooves on either the external or internal surfaces of the wall of the case or a liner inserted into the case. a single warhead may be utilized against a variety of targets. the corners of the fragments are turned up which further increases drag. they are not completely satisfactory for several reasons. Fragmentation structures. Additionally. diamond shaped fragments have high drag coefficients. furthermore. in each case. Generally these grooves are longitudinal. . are employed by the military against a wide variety of targets where dispersion of fragments over a target area is required. This reduces the number of fragments available for a given warhead. or constitute a series of intersecting helical grooves designed to produce diamond shape fragments. This results in an increased burden of logistics and supply and is.. circumferential. the fragments are often much smaller than they ordinarily should be due to fragment weight loss during the fragmentation process. a warhead of larger dimensions is necessary than would be the case for one designed for the specific application. or both. The grooves create stress concentrations that cause the case to fracture along the grooves forming fragments. etc. one section being adapted to disperse fragments of one size and the other being adapted to disperse fragments of another size. First. result in rapid decay of fragment velocity. Military units have therefore been required to maintain supplies of several types of fragmentation warheads. Casings that are relatively thick are susceptible to producing fragments of varying shapes and weights. shape and weight are undesirable. where fragments of relatively greater size and mass are required. Second. Heretofore. mines. highly undesirable. While these devices have demonstrated the ability to create fragments. each type adapted for use against a particular type of target. It has been attempted to minimize this problem by constructing warheads having two sections. which as stated. Finally. portions of the warhead not designed for the particular application are largely ineffective. is inefficient in that. A problem which arises in their use is that fragmentation warheads suitable for use against personnel are generally not suitable for use against "hard" targets such as armored vehicles and emplacements. The helical grooves heretofore utilized are ineffective in controlling these fragment variations. In this manner. of course. It can be appreciated that inconsistant fragment size. in order to produce a given amount of destructive force. such as fragmentation warheads. Frequently.

the thermal conditioning processing steps are time consuming and expensive to implement. or it may be heated by fires started by incoming rounds. it is desirable that the ammunition be as resistant as possible to such heat and shock. Also note that by strict definition. Generally. forming fragments. fragmenrs from a random-fragmentation shell are not shrapnel. grid-like pattern is undesirably expensive. related problem present with any explosive device is the danger of accidental detonation of the explosive charge by either mechanical shock or heat. However.Other problems related to the construction of fragmentation warheads have involved the expense of machining or casting a multiplicity of grooves or openings in the metal casings to induce fragmentation of the casing in a desired pattern by establishing preferential fracture lines.. these grooves are longitudinal. machining. Strictly defined. Typically this type of artillery munition consisted of thin walled frangible . or both. In any case. Shrapnel Common usage distinguishes between a gunshot wound and a shrapnel wound. the molding. One prior approach to inducing fragmentation control to an integral warhead and missile structure has been to include grooves on either the external or internal wall surfaces of the structure to delineate fragments or projectiles in a combined warhead and missile structure. A further. stored ammunition may be jarred by incoming rounds or careless handling. More precise usage would term the later a fragment wound. When the explosives are detonated. or forging of metal structures into a desired. particularly when large quantities of weapons are to be manufactured. an inner casing having openings or grooves formed therethrough is disposed within an outer metal casing and configured such that it directs explosive shock waves from an internal explosive charge against the outer casing in a grid-like pattern. such that the outer casing is fractured along the grid lines. In all cases. designed to form rectangular fragments.e. While these types of warheads have provided somewhat of an improvement over single-wall naturally fragmenting warheads. or constitute a series of intersecting helical grooves designed to produced diamond shaped fragments. current dual-wall designs generally require thermal conditioning (i. Alternatively. Thus. flechettes are shrapnel. Explosives are installed in proximity to the grooves. Under combat conditions. the grooves create stress concentrations that cause the structure to fracture along the grooves. Still another approach is the dual-wall naturally fragmenting (and combination natural fragmenting and scored wall) warhead. both hot and cold temperature treatment) manufacturing methods to mate walls together with tight circumferential tolerances. for example. circumferential. shrapnel means preformed fragments (the fragments exist already made within the explosive munition). In application it has been shown historically that ammunition designed for the distribution of preformed fragments have been more effective against personnel and materials than explosive munitions dependant upon shell casing fragmentation for effectiveness.

Henry Shrapnel.shells which were randomly filled with spherical shot and fired directly at a target. the shell was weakened by cutting four grooves extending from the fuse hole to the opposite side of the shell. The shrapnel shell was invented in 1784 by Lieut. whose walls are thinner than in the case of ordinary shell. varied slightly in construction and general contour as well as in the . The improved shrapnel was also capable of being more accurately directed. shrapnel is the most prominent. several types of explosive shells are used. The first shrapnel shells were made of cast iron. but a later development was to use steel and elongate the body. shells exploded by means of a timing fuse. In order to overcome the defects mentioned. Boxer separated the bullets from the bursting charge by a sheet-iron diaphragm. as the shell. Col. Boxer. and were the predominate type used for hundreds of years. By the end of the nineteenth century shrapnel shells. Of these. the shrapnel and lyddite are the two principal types used. because of its destructive power and its interesting mechanical construction. Shells of spherical shape were first fired out of plain-bored guns. and shells exploded by percussion only. In the shell made by Col. shells exploded by either a timing or percussion fuse. The bursting charge may be located either in the front or in the rear of the shell. For field or artillery operations. In naval warfare shrapnel is used against attack by torpedo boats or small boats. The bursting charge may also be contained in a central tube. In naval. Although this type of shell was an improvement over the grape and canister previously used. and the powder or explosive charge was mixed with the bullets. This shell was called a diaphragm shell to differentiate it from the first shell of this type. and is designed for that purpose. reducing it in diameter. The diameter of the bullets was also reduced so that a greater number could be contained in a slightly smaller space. This first shell was spherical in shape. on bursting. coast defense and artillery operations. the chief ones are: the armor-piercing shell. as is the case of navy shrapnel. which may be placed either in metal or wooden frames or plates or in a matrix of resin. and was adopted by the British Government in 1808. projected the bullets in all directions and there was also a liability of premature explosion. the lead bullets were hardened by the addition of antimony. Shrapnel is designed for use against troops in open country or for clearing covered spaces. made to pierce armor plate before exploding. which was made of wood and covered with sheet iron or steel to take the rifling grooves. which may be larger than that used in field pieces. and upon the advent of the rifled gun it was necessary to add a circular base. and as the bursting charge was small. Each different shell has some definite function to fulfill. its action was not altogether satisfactory. as used by the different governments. destructive effect over a considerable area rather than penetrative power being desired. With this in view the fuze is so adjusted that the projectile bursts in close vicinity to the target and scatters its fragments and the balls.

A base exploding charge activated by a fuse when the shell was in the proximity to the target dispenses the flechette clusters and support assemblies.000 steel-wire.990 John F. Some designs employ a solid type structure surrounding the explosive core. A further improvement in the art was seen in U. Screwed into the front end is the combination timing and percussion fuse which can be set so as to explode the shell at any desired point. achieved by high density material and low cross-section area in the direction of travel.656 R.P. but depends. This type of flechette packing has been the conventional standard for artillery and rocket munition use since it's invention. Upon detonation the darts.S. and to have high explosive launch velocity. is one. The projectile itself comprises a forged shell that carries the lead bullets and bursting charge. which splits into fragments at specially weakened points when the charge is set off. designed to pierce heavy armor plate. Armor-Piercing Projectile Armor-Piercing Projectile. Pat.constituents entering into their different members.S. projectile. such as found protecting the vital parts of dreadnoughts. or flechettes. and from which the flame for exploding the bursting charge is conveyed through a powder timing train and a tube filled with powder pellets down through the diaphragm to the powder pocket. Pat.767. rockets and the like have an annular body with an explosive charge in the center and rows of fragments or rods assembled around the center and contained in a thin outer cylindrical casing. J. In the area of field artillery. known in the art as flechettes. Rose in which the munition consisted of preformed fragments consisting of small finned darts. but it lacked effectiveness in long-range applications.956. fin-stabilized darts. of course. A completed shrapnel comprises a brass case carrying a detonating primer and the explosive charge for propelling the projectile out of the bore of the gun. Anti-personnel fragmentation munitions are designed to destroy or maim personnel or to damage material enough to render it inoperable. on the caliber of the projectile and velocity with which fired from the . bombs. 3. the flechette or beehive round is an example of an anti-personnel warhead. known and abbreviated as an A. This was an improvement over similar munitions using spherical shot for target saturation with preformed fragments. being assembled in round clusters and stacked within a semi-frangible shell body in layers separated by metallic disks and support rings. Zeamer in which the spherical shot was replaced with cylindrical slugs in closely arranged and stacked in self supporting vertical columns within a semi-frangible shell casing having a predefined release control. for example. To penetrate an armored target when the fragments are thrown out by the high explosive. are sprayed radially from the point of detonation. No. as may be implied from the name. 2. No. Conventional fragmentation type of warheads. The payload in this projectile consists of 8. The depth to which this projectile will penetrate armor is greater than that of any other manufactured. It is extremely effective against personnel in the open or in dense foliage. An further improvement in the art was seen in the U. normally within sixty feet of the ground. such fragments are designed to have as high a ballistic coefficient as possible.

but was defeated by a 6-in.plug. second.842 ft. protection for the personnel. capped A. steel shield for the US government. a form combining strength and sharpness. This protection is afforded to as great an extent as possible on early 20th Century warships by the armor-belt. arranged to explode them the instant after impact. They were fitted with percussion fuses.M. Palliser. protection for the floatability and interior mechanism of the vessel. combined with the racking effect of the great bursting charge. per second. where actual perforation of the belt armor can be obtained. face-hardened by the Harvey process. C. with this object in view. it was admirably adapted to resist the few rounds that the heavy guns of battleships might be expected to deliver during an attack of comparatively limited duration.. in that it contained a bursting charge. and was disposed either in a single thickness or successive layers sandwiched with wood or concrete. which was subsequently closed by a strong screw. by the end of the 19th Century forged steel projectiles were divided into shot and shell. would serve to put a warship out of action. and fuzed. and the cavity was made merely for the purpose of obtaining a better forging. which involves that of the gun-positions and armament . greater explosive charge. As steel improved. extending the whole length of the ship. patented in 1887 a method of chilling the heated surface of a plate . was usually considered unsuitable for employment in inland forts. and armored conning-tovvers. but a sufficient number of hits. with its heavy walls strong enough to stand the shock of impact. or steel. For use against war vessels. no explosive then known was sufficient in power to burst the shot. and an instantaneous fuse.800 ft. it was found that the shot could be exploded. At the end of the 19th Century only at shorter ranges can the belt armor of the heavier warships be pierced. turrets. A projectile fired from a high-power 14-inch gun will penetrate armor plate over 16 inches thick at a distance of 9000 yards. When these projectiles were first made.G. for bursting charges. Tresidder. The first armor-piercing shell were designed by Sir W. The earliest armor. barbettes. gunshields. Chilled iron. For these longer ranges. At the near ranges. was made of wrought iron. and later of Dunnite. the armor piercing shot is used. Chilled iron was never employed for naval purposes. on account of its liability to break up when subjected to a continuous bombardment by the armor-piercing steel projectiles of guns of even medium calibre. With the invention of Maximite. They were filled with powder introduced through a hole in the base. up to a striking velocity of nearly 1. per second. then. with ogival shaped heads. was attacked by 5-inch and 6-inch armour-piercing shot. and. efforts were made to impart an even greater hardness to the actual surface or skin of compound armour. the side-armor and casemate-armor. A 4. shot with a striking velocity of 1. the former ws a misnomer as the shot is really a shell. Armor serves two purposes: first.5-in. and. and all armor piercing projectiles are now loaded with the bursting charge.P. The only difference between the shot and shell is that the latter has a cavity accommodating a bursting charge approximately three times as large as that in the former. the shell is used with its thinner walls. and proved capable of keeping out the 5-in. mild steel or compound armor was preferred. Captain T. both for ships and forts.gun. The latter includes protection of the hull and machinery. where wrought iron. and were made of chilled iron. At the longer ranges only the lighter armor can be pierced. and warship armor continued to be made exclusively of wrought iron until 1876 when steel was introduced by Schneider. the protective deck. On the other hand. of England. and supplied with a delayed action fuse which holds up the explosion of the bursting charge until the projectile has had time to penetrate to the vitals of the vessel. J.

Over the ogival head and point is a cap. its want of homogeneity. Krupp plates are made of nickel-chrome steel and undergo a special heat treatment during manufacture. the armor-piercing having thick walls and being loaded with explosive "D. soft steel and is rigidly secured to the projectile proper by an undercut score in the head. thus causing a difference in chemical composition between the front and back of the plate. forging-dies being used. ferro-chromium. In 1889 Schneider introduced the use of nickel in steel for armor plates. Chemical and physical tests are made for the purpose of insuring. chromium. The process in question consisted in carburizing or cementing the surface of a steel plate by keeping it for a fortnight or so at a high temperature in contact with finely divided charcoal. discard taken from the base ends of projectiles. In this process the soft steel cap is . and in the year 1891 H. The end of the Cap is very blunt. The resisting power of the non-cemented Krupp plates is usually regarded as being considerably less than that of the cemented plates. wrought iron in crucible process). and may be taken on an average to be 2-25 times that of wrought iron. after which they are sent to the machine shop. remained. Carbon may also be added. From the machine shop the shells go to the treating-house. which penetrated to a considerable depth. and while not specifying the amount of carbon. being rather more than 2 with plates from 6 to 8 in.J. and nickel of the entire lot. first. or resistance to penetration as compared with wrought iron. The inherent defect of compound armor. ingots are reheated and forged to a desired form under a hammer. or chromium. Harvey of Newark. which is not permitted to vary more than a certain specified amount from the mean percentage of means of jets of water under pressure. so that the heated surface absorbed a certain amount of carbon. ferro-silicon. At the time of the Great War manufacture of armorpiercing projectiles began with ingots of the necessary size and containing the required extra metal formed in projectile molds. i. ferro-manganese. and in 1891 or 1892 the St Chamcmd works employed a nickel steel to which was added a small percentage of chromium. where they are specially hardened and where their bases are annealed. varied with the thickness of the plate. and projectile scrap." detonated by a delayed-action high-explosive exterior fuse called the Semple tracer detonator. A typical armor-piercing projectile had the same general dimensions and the ogival head and point described for projectiles in general. which shortly became combined.uniformity in each lot. nickel. The charge is made up of from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of pig iron or wrought iron (pig iron in open-hearth process. the entire weight of the projectile is utilized. metallic nickel. introduced a process whereby an all steel plate could be face-hardened in such a way that the advantages of the compound principle were obtained in a homogeneous plate. The weight of the explosive. a specimen from each heat is analyzed and the percentage determined. After casting. that when fired.. The figure of merit. A. The theory or reason of the soft steel cap on armor-piercing projectiles is. or other hardening element. which is sufficient to fragment the shell. possessed about twice the resisting power of wrought iron. After final treatment the shells are subject to the immersion test in hot and cold water. little metal being in front of the point of the projectile. This is made of comparatively. to bend in the armor plate to a degree near its breaking point. if necessary. This point is extremely hard and well tempered. thick and rather less for the thicker plates. Steel plates treated by the Harvey and Tresidder processes. The blanks are then annealed to take out stresses.. By the time of the Great War practically all Naval projectiles above 7 inches in caliber were either armor-piercing or highcapacity.e. N. is from 2 to 3 per cent of the gross weight.

Now. including the protective deck. Since the thickness of plate to be penetrated was not great. Around 1900 the problem of penetrating the sides of armored vessels being so difficult. At low striking velocities. in order that the projectile may have penetrated the decks of a warship. but are provided with a delayed action fuze. forward end of the Cap another small. Although forms for caps which increase the efficiency of armor-piercing projectiles had been worked out in all nations in an empirical manner. and their effect is very destructive. and it is not expected that penetration will be effected under such conditions unless the projectile considerably overmatches the armor. striking. and no advantage is given by it 10 the shot. hence they have great interior capacity. the available vyeight left for deck protection was comparatively small. By the time of the Great War it had been established beyond doubt. Deck piercing projectiles for coastal defense mortars wre similar to the armor piercing shell in that they had thin walls. which covers the engine rooms and magazine. When the weight of guns. another blow on the armor plate. probably in the neighbourhood of 1700 ft. and gives a considerably higher striking velocity at equal ranges than an uncapped projectile. the walls of the shell for these mortars need not be very thick. machinery. gives a better trajectory to the projectile. The cap also fails as a rule to benefit the projectile when the angle of incidence is more than 30 degrees to the normal. The point of the projectile now pierces the already scaled plate and the projectile itself enters through and explodes in the rear of the armor plate. this last cap being hollow. Summing up on the use of the combined soft steel cap. attempts were made to perforate their decks. tapering cap gives a range equal to or greater than that attained by the ogival-headed projectile. the difficulty of hitting the object . and a large bursting charge. the vertical fire of shell from heavy rifled mortars was directed. To overcome this difficulty there is screwed on to the blunt. inasmuch as the point of the projectile is very hard and sharp. by exhaustive experiments. that under certain conditions capped shell may even pierce armor that has the balance of power. as has been explained before. Against these decks. armor for which uncapped shells are no match under the same conditions. This is probably because the velocity is sufficiently low to give the cap time to expand and so fail to grip the point as the latter is forced into it. the cap fails to act. the hard sharp point cutting right through the soft steel cap. in a sense. soft steel cap. before the fuze operates to explode the bursting charge. but this is compensated for by increasing the number of mortars. It is also known as a thimble from its shape and its hollowness. The only difficulty in the satisfactory use of this soft steel cap now presents itself. The disadvantage is. the whole projectile continues its motion forward. Projectiles striking armor at an angle of more than 10° from normal are subjected to severe cross-breaking stresses. It is made hollow in order that no metal be massed in front of the point of the projectile. This cap is sometimes designated as a wind-shield for the reason that it brings the projectile practically to a point. or on the inside of the vessel. and hence a thickness of about 4-1/2 inches of protective deck was about all that can be carried. case . The very blunt end or large flat area at the head of the projectile offers too much resistance to the air in its flight and therefore materially reduces the effective range. the long. there was no unity regarding theories as to the manner in which the caps attain their results. which is objectionable. and reduces to a negligible quantity the air resistance encountered by the blunt end of the Cap.crushed down around the sides of the ogival head of the projectile. and armor carried by ships of the day was considered. per second. carry heavy bursting charges. High Explosive(HE)".

case 1300: return "HE. case 1665: return "HE. case 1620: return "HE. such as armor. These decisions usually occur during the early design phases of the ship acquisition process. Bomblets". must be sufficiently hardened to withstand designated threat levels. Since the installation of survivability improvements into existing ships has proven very expensive. case 1635: return "HE. case 6000: return "Mines". The Chief of Naval Operation’s (CNO’S) goal is to maintain ship operational readiness and preserve warfighting capability in both peacetime and hostile environments. Warships are expected to perform offensive missions. case 3000: return "Illumination". sustain battle damage and survive. case 1200: return "HE. Flechettes". Shaped Charge". General Purpose". the minimum design capability required shall. These shall be implemented through appropriate ship and equipment specifications and the application of the principles of separation. case 4000: return "Practice". Survivability is defined as the capacity of the ship to absorb damage and maintain mission integrity. Fragmentation". case 1685: return "HE. case 2000: return "Smoke". case 1660: return "HE. Directed Fragmentation". Antipersonnel". They provide a basis for establishing survivability performance standards and are not intended to describe conditions of readiness or misfin impact. Hallow Charge". case 1680: return "HE. Blast Fragmentation". Focus on incorporating survivability features in the early phases of ship design will ensure an affordable balance of desired upgrades in the Top Level Requirements (TLRS) for each new ship class. Survivability weapons effects and operational environments are categorized in terms of the three levels of severity described below. mechanical and electrical components. case 1625: return "HE. Enhancement techniques. structural integrity and combat systems capability. arrangements and personnel protection form an integral part of this effort. comprised of combat systems and vital hull. a forward fit strategy is necessary to achieve high pay-off results. Double Hallow Charge". case 5000: return "Kinetic". Steerable Darts with HE". maneuverability. Semi-Armor Piercing. Shaped Charge Fragmentation". the total ship. The ability to effect major survivability improvements becomes difficult once the fundamental design trade-off decisions have been made. case 1400: return "HE. case 1645: return "HE. Plastic". Tungsten Ball". case 1500: return "HE. redundancy and arrangements of critical components and systems. Antitank". Ship protection features. shielding and signature reduction. case 1630: return "HE. Survivability is considered a fundamental design requirement of no less significance than other inherent ship characteristics. case 1650: return "HE. case 1675: return "HE. together with installed equipment hardened to appropriate standards. in addition to the inherent sea . Incendiary". such as weight and stability margins. case 1615: return "HE. Semi-Armor Piercing (SAP)". Rod Penetrator".1100: return "HE. Darts". case 1655: return "HE. As such. Ship survivability features shall provide affordable protection to support sustained mission capability: Level I . Blast Penetrator". In this category. case 1610: return "HE. case 1640: return "HE. Continuous Rod". constitute a minimum baseline of survivability. DC/FF training and associated maintenance of ship survivability features are also essential elements to ensure sustained capability.low represents the least severe environment anticipated and excludes the need for enhanced survivability for designated ship classes to sustain operations in the immediate area of an engaged Battle Group or in the general war-at-sea region. Major overhaul and modernization programs shall incorporate survivability enhancement features wherever practical and affordable. such as equipment separation and redundancy. case 1600: return "HE. case 1670: return "HE. Fragmentation".

forcing it out of the way. Some guns whould be loaded with armor-piercing and others with semi-armor-piercing shells. being tough and having good penetrating power. The term came into use in the early 19th Century." The term common shell was preferred by the early 20th Century US Navy. Level II moderate represents an increase of severity to include the ability for sustained operations when in support of a Battle Group and in the general war-at-sea area. armorpiercing shells would be used exclusively. With the exception of canister. If an antagonist possesses no thin armor. Level III . cast-steel. The loading may rupture bulkheads by causing the connection to the deck to fail. including decontamination stations.S. but when opposing battleships. they do not pierce it. The forged-steel shell.piercing shells. medium-caliber guns. which are unable to pierce thick armor. Common shell have been made of cast-iron.high. It creates a shock wave and a large amount of high-pressure gas. both kinds of shells may be employed. the DC/FF capability to control and recover from conflagrations and include the ability to operate in a high latitude environment. while against unarmored ships common shell and shrapnel would be employed. shall include the requirements of Level II plus the ability to deal with the broad degrading effects of damage from anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMS). signature reduction. common or semi-armor piercing. the most severe environment projected for combatant Battle Groups. the later having a higher proportion of explosive fill and a corresponding thinner case. Navy for the large caliber guns : Armor-piercing. posing a blast/fragmentation threat to structures and vital systems. The use of commercial construction practices may affect the pressure at which the bulkheads fail because the connection details are different. but when they strike unarmored parts they do more injury than the armor piercing. Semi-Armor Piercing (SAP) Common Shell Semi-Armor Piercing Warheads are designed to penetrate into the target and detonate. all other shells contain bursting charges. One predominant class of threat weapon in the early 21st Century is the anti-ship cruise missile carrying a semi-armor piercing warhead designed to penetrate the hull and detonate inside. expanding the damage area. semi-armor-piercing. and shrapnel. however. When semiarmor-piercing shells strike armor. fragmentation protection. torpedoes and mines. this can rupture bulkheads and doors.keeping mission. and canister. When contained. The specifications for the former . collective protection system. provide for EMP and shock hardening. allowing fire and flooding throughout the ship. shrapnel. In an attack upon an ironclad possessing no unannored superstructures (monitors). In the early 20th Century three kinds of projectiles were in use in the U. individual protection for CBR. would be loaded exclusively with semi-armor. In an attack upon earthworks the semi-armor-picrcing shells would be used . This level shall provide the ability for sustained combat operations following weapons impact. As a rule the latter would only be used in the attack of exposed bodies of men. which present large unarmored surfaces. By 1898 five kinds of projectiles were used in the US Navy — armor-piercing. conventional and nuclear blast protection and nuclear hardening. and remained in use through the early 20th Century. but only heavy plates. Capabilities shall include the requirements of Level I plus primary and support system redundancy. common cast-iron. The US Navy differerntiated between the common shell and high explosive shell. but naturally the bursting eñ'ect of the semi armor-piercing shells is much greater than that of the armor piercing. improved structural integrity and subdivision. has sometimes been called "the semi-armor-piercing shell. A common shell is a hollow cylindrical casting having an ogival head. and forged-steel.

and in the Spanish-American war at Santiago. for example). It is made of chrome steel. and remain in a condition for effective bursting. as its effect extends over the whole surface of the ship. either by bursting during flight or at rest. shipping. even if it strikes on the most heavily armored part. For the moment. at the battle of the Yalu. with a core of moderate dimensions. Hits from armor piercing and common shell may be easily distinguished also in the lightly protected parts by the difference in the damage inflicted. The semi-armor-piercing was formed hollow. according to the nature of ordnance from which it is fired. The same thing was observed in the Chino-Japanese war. and does not depend either on the angle of impact or on the range. no fuse was used. When such shell is filled with common powder the heat engendered by passing through the armor is depended on to explode the shell just within the ship. Armor-piercing projectiles of the early 20th century were made solid. 1904. It is used particularly in the field when the enemy is sheltered from direct fire. the penetration of armor seemed unattainable with present equipment. such as against men in masses. and requires in its manufacture to be treated with great care to secure the combined hardness and toughness to enable it to pierce solid armor without fracturing and carry its explosive charge intact into the interior of the ship. A common shell is filled with powder which forms the bursting charge. and material generally. The armor piercing shell with its small bursting charge produces a comparatively slight effect. for even if it does penetrate. or forged-steel shell. The use of this shell is for all purposes where great destructive effect is required. was hit by five common shell. through which water is irresistibly forced. must pass through half a caliber of face-hardened armor and remain in a condition for effective bursting. and envelopes the ship for quite a long time in a dense suffocating atmosphere. A very good example of this was the Retvizan which on February 26. driving into the ship rivets and portions of the hull. Besides this it discharges an immense amount of gas heated to an enormous temperature which consumes everything. the armor was not pierced. at a range of nine miles. but the concussion was such that a leak appeared which was overcome only with the greatest difficulty. when the shell acts as a mine. or against cavalry to frighten the horses and create confusion. Russian war experience in 1904 showed that a common shell. Before the Great War the study of projectiles in France and Germany developed from . but even the light armor was pierced on extraordinarily few occasions taking into account the enormous number of hits (the case of the Orel. sets up such a concussion that the protecting armor is shattered and cracks appear in the side of the ship. The common shell causes damage over a surface of 100 square feet. the only effect is a shower of splinters. In the early 20th Century warship provided one thickness of armor for protection against armor-piercing projectiles and another for defense against common shell. one of them striking on the most heavily armored part near the waterline. and is fitted with either a time or percussion fuze. or practically so. it makes an exceedingly small hole and as its burst takes place after penetration. This then is one consideration which will influence the choice of weapon for coast armaments. buildings. a small core being formed to give the best results in the forging process. Semi-armor piercing. From these considerations. At the battle of Tsushima there was not only no penetration of the heavy armor. large enough to hold an explosive charge that will insure the bursting of the thick walls of the projectile. it would appear that the only possible projectile against a ship is the common shell with instantaneous fuze.require that armor-piercing shell shall perforate face-hardened armor-plate of thickness equal to the caliber.

different definitions of effectiveness. High-capacity shells are otherwise fitted with base plugs. in March 1917. The German shell does not pass through a plate of special steel 20 mm. when the Navy railway battery was proposed. not to pierce heavy armor plate. as compared with a relative weight of from 2% to 3% of bursting charge in an armor-piercing projectile. The bursting charge in both the common and high explosive shell is exploded by percussion fuse. cruisers. At the bottom of the cavity is a metal box containing a smoke-generating substance. The wisdom of this move was later demonstrated.. either by actual bombardment by the fleet or by use of naval guns ashore. In the early 20th Century the US Army classified shells as common shell and high explosive shell. and the delivery of this entire order was completed in December. which has been duly adapted to receive it. Fragmentation bombs are very small explosives dropped in clusters against troops and ground targets. With this end in view the walls of the shell are made thinner than those of armor-piercing projectiles and the seat of the bursting charge very much larger. and "hardened" ground targets. To fight tanks the Germans therefore developed a special projectile. according to French definitions. of the same types as armor-piercing projectiles of corresponding calibers. tracers. it had been apparent to the US Navy that naval guns might be called upon to participate in land operations. but to destroy the upper works of battleships and pierce comparatively thin armor.000 special high capacity. Prior to the Great War. Semi-armor-piercing (SAP) bombs are used against carriers. in diameter. 1917. In the United States at the beginning of the 20th Century the bursting charge consisted of "Explosive D" and weighs up to 10% of the entire weight of the projectile. It will easily be understood that different types of shell developed in the two countries. the chief object of which is to destroy material objects at a distance. and the design of suitable projectiles was developed. etc. when it passed through a pine panel 41 mm. high-explosive projectiles. In the 21st Century. High-Capacity Shells High-capacity shells have the same external appearance as an armor-piercing projectile without a soft steel cap. This box is separated from the explosive by a layer of pitch. The US Army's common shell [which was more or less obsolete at that time] was a hollow cast-iron cylinder with an ogival head and contains a bursting charge of black powder. and these . Immediately that funds were available therefor. and are designed. for the Navy's standard 14-inch guns. A massive ogive of hard steel is screwed on the shell body. but was made of steel and contains a bursting charge of high explosive (a picric acid compound). The front of the ogive terminates in a flat nose 20 mm. thick. A fragment was effective. the Bureau of Ordnance. General-purpose (GP) bombs are used against unarmored ships or ground targets for blast or fragmentation. The standard design for metalpiercing ammunition includes a hardened steel penetrator encased by a soft metal jacket to prevent damage rifling in the base of the weapon as the ammunition is discharged. thick. The high explosive shell is of practically the same shape and dimensions as the common shell. In Germany the standard thickness was much less (about one-half). The jacket is usually composed of a soft metal called gilding metal while the nose or piercing end is steel or some other hard metal. fuses. Either shell may be characterized as a flying mine. The jacket also operates as a windshield by reducing aerodynamic drag thereby control the amount of energy lost between the nozzle of the gun and the target. This projectile is derived from the model 1915 explosive shell which was transformed into a semi-armor-piercing shell. contracted for a supply of approximately 3. These shells are made for large-caliber guns only. although either may be used effectively against troops.

for use in similar guns. The shell cap Is similar in shape to those on the Mark I and Mark III. the lead pin is bent or crushed. Shaped Charge The discovery of what is variously referred to as the shaped charge effect. the cavity effect. They are essentially "blind" or "dummy" shells.projectiles were used in France by that battery. Mark II. and. which number was in excess of the Navy's needs for its own batteries. Its forward movement. Within one month of the placing of this contract. in this connection. this explodes the fulminate. This type of projectile was exceedingly useful for such purposes and gave excellent range qualities. These projectiles are never fitted with fuses and have no bursting charge. The action of the spring throws off the safety pin. which releases the detonator. is provided with a special front cap and auxiliary safety wire. is retarded by the cushion of air underneath it. Similarly. Dr. there being but little clearance between the detonator and the booster cup tube. however. the hollow charge effect. It is interesting. thus withdrawing the other end from the hole in the safety pin. These projectiles were assigned to the 7-inch tractor mounts. in turn detonating the main charge. A hole 3/16 of an inch in diameter and 1/4 of an inch deep is drilled into this surface to provide a grip for a wrench. A cylinder 3/16 of an inch long projects from the base of the cone. it was decided that a high capacity. high-explosive projectile would be exceedingly effective for the high power 7-inch naval guns which were being made available for use ashore. the bureau placed orders for a considerable quantity of such projectiles. in order that it may also be used in connection with the vertical release mechanism. Charles Munroe. The high-capacity drop bomb.13 inches at its largest diameter. discovered that if a block of guncotton with letters countersunk into its surface was detonated with its lettered surface against a steel plate. their only requisites being shape and weight. in the 1880s. the letters were indented into the surface of the steel. on April 25. Rhode Island. dates back to the 1888 in the US. 1918. which is now inside the booster cup. The essential features of this effect were also . to receive the jaws of the release mechanism. At a point 1/2 inch from the front end a recess is cut around the conical portion/ 1/4 of an inch wide and 1 inch in diameter. or the Munroe Effect. but do have tracers when used in night practice. but can be filled with any substance which will give the shell the desired weight. and the primer strikes the firing pin. They have the external appearance of a capped armor-piercing projectile. while working at the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport. It is a steel cone. As soon as the bomb has assumed a vertical position the detonator slides forward. The booster charge is thus detonated. and is threaded to a diameter of 1-3/8 inches to fit into the front bushing. when that project was launched. to note that the Navy turned over to the Army approximately 50 per cent of these projectiles. BLIND OR TARGET projectiles are made of cast steel or cast iron. The cavity is filled usually with sand. When the bomb Is released from the plane a pin on the release mechanism is caught in the loop of the safety wire. The flash from the primer Ignites the black-powder train. The only use of these projectiles is in target practice. In this manner the detonator Is seated gently on the lead safety pin. When the bomb comes in contact with any object the detonator Is driven forward by inertia. deliveries of projectiles had commenced. 15/16 of an inch high and 2.

Charles Munroe (1849-1938). When this warhead strikes a target. and its relative density towards that of the target material. Unfortunately for the inventors. explosives experts soon figured out that a shaped charge was responsible for the amazing penetration results. A shaped charge warhead consists basically of a hollow liner of metal material. he was a consultant to the US Geological Survey and the US Bureau of Mines. the jet is broken into many small particulates that show much less penetrating power than a continuous jet. hemispherical. This pressure produces stresses far above the yield strength of steel.500 meters per sec. Since the jet stretches during its flight. the fuze detonates the charge from the rear. and authored more than 100 books on that subject. Von Foerster was the true discoverer of the modern hollow charge [Hohlladung]. The penetration depth of the jet depends on the length of the jet upon impact. Germany. This produces a velocity gradient that tends to stretch out or lengthen the jet. Velocity of the tip of the jet is on order of 8. usually copper or aluminum of conical. and Great Britain followed as early as 1940. and it was temporarily forgotten. A detonation wave sweeps forward and begins to collapse the metal cone liner at its apex.500 meters per sec. The collapse of the cone results in the formation and ejection of a continuous highvelocity molten jet of liner material. as well as chemistry. while the trail-ing end of the jet has a velocity on the order of 1.) between 1892 and 1898. Domestically. The jet is then followed by a slug that consists of about 80% of the liner mass. They tried to sell the design to foreign arms manufacturers. and detonating device are included. He was the recipient of numerous honors from governments and scientific societies. A container. fuze. The slug has a velocity on the order of 600 meters per sec. At larger standoff. The worlds first anti-tank weapon using the hollow charge was the German "Panzerfaust" [Armoured fist]. although no great use was made of it. claiming that a new explosive had been discovered. Munroe was considered one of the world's authorities on explosives. the Soviet Union. pressures in the range of hundreds of kilobars are produced at the point of contact. and they went ahead and copied it. The United States was the first to use these shaped charge in the late 1930's as an anti-tank weapon. including an appointment in 1900 by the Swedish Academy of Science to nominate the candidate for the Nobel Prize in chemistry. A pair of Swiss inventors were the first to think of using the well documented Munroe Effect to penetrate armor plate. When the jet strikes a target of armor plate or mild steel. a better performance is obtained using a standoff between the perforating charge and the target. backed on the convex side by explosive. and the target material flows like a fluid out of the . or other shape.observed in about 1880 in both Germany and Norway. was head of the Department of Chemistry and the Dean of the Corcoran Scientific School at Columbian University (which became George Washington University in 1904. the inventor of smokeless gunpowder. Munroe served as president of the American Chemical Society and fellow of the Chemical Society of London.

the greater the standoff distance (distance from target to base of cone) the better. then depth of penetration will be reduced. During its descent the flare is kindled. Therefore. It can be very dangerous. Spin-stabilized projectiles generally cannot use shaped-charge warheads. and will rekindle upon subsequent exposure to air. extreme caution in their handling is required. The depth of penetration into a very thick slab of mild steel will also be greater than that into homogeneous armor. Smoke--These munitions are used primarily to screen troop movements and play a vital role in battlefield tactics. • • • Illumination--These warheads usually contain a flare or magnesium flare candle as the payload. This phenomenon is called hydrodynamic penetration. Because these flares are difficult to extinguish if accidentally ignited. Jet precision refers to the straightness of the jet.path of the jet. The illuminating warhead is thus of great usefulness during night attacks in pointing out enemy fortifications. yellow. red. divergent) The longer the jet. cannot be extinguished by water. Markers--White phosphorus is commonly employed as a pay-load to mark the position of the enemy. This is a function of the quality of the liner and the initial detonation location accuracy. The effectiveness of shaped charge warheads is reduced when they are caused to rotate. A larger diameter hole will be made in mild steel than in armor plate because the density and hardness of armor plate is greater. or marking targets. which is expelled by a small charge and is parachuted to the ground. green. the greater the depth of penetration. There is so much radial momentum associated with the flow that the difference in diameter between the jet and the hole it produces depends on the characteristics of the target material. illuminating. A black powder charge ignites and expels canisters that may be designed to emit white. . or violet smoke. Particulation is a result of the velocity gradient in the jet. The material can self-ignite in air. In general. Copper sulphate prevents its re-ignition. which stretches it out until it breaks up. If the jet is formed with some oscillation or wavy motion. Pyrotechnics Pyrotechnics are typically employed for signaling. the depth of penetration depends upon five factors: • • • • • Length of jet Density of the target material Hardness of target material Density of the jet Jet precision (straight vs. especially in heavy concentrations. This is true up to the point at which the jet particulates or breaks up (at 6 to 8 cone diameters from the cone base). Body contact can produce serious burns.

a tank or artillery piece. Recent advances in medium caliber. i. such as personnel. which allows for a greater margin of error in delivery. The cannister round differs from a shrapnel round in that the later is a long range munition that has a bursting charge that detonates in proximity to the target. and multiple flechette rounds have greatly increased the survivability of the modern armed vehicle against ambush. Once in the air. armored ve-hicles. as opposed to defeating tanks. However. these munitions have their limitations. armored personnel carriers. It may be fired from. the payload may comprise round tungsten balls. Since this ammunition functioned substantially at the muzzle of the . or other vehicle targets. The advantage of this type of warhead is that it gives a wide area of coverage. As is well known in the art.. It was discovered early. Thus the expedients of the so-called "grapeshot" and the like were developed.Cluster Cluster munitions are canisters containing dozens or hundreds of small bomblets for use against a variety of targets. for example. in the use of cannon and artillery pieces. spreading the bomblets out in a wide pattern. is to disperse the payload upon exiting the gun tube and achieve maximum dispersion thus eliminating the maximum number of enemy personnel. or ships. steel rectangular prisms. As with a shrapnel round. The goal of this type of ammunition. while the former is a short range spontaneously disperses the chargo at the moment of exiting the gun tube. This principle was extended further with the development of modern cannister ammunition wherein a shell body was designed specifically for containing a multiplicity of fragments and adapted for firing at point blank range. Canister The APERS [anti-personnel] canister is a gun launched ammunition (round).e. the fragments will disperse in relation to the twist of the rifling in the weapon. much like a shotgun. 20 to 30mm ammunition designs have brought about significant improvements towards this end. For instance. The canister is designed for defeating groups of personnel at various ranges. wherein a large number of fragments of various forms or shapes were loaded in the weapon and fired at point blank range. The cannister round is the antipersonnel round that essentially bursts at the muzzle. or flechettes. aircraft. that they were no defense against close-up charge of troops. The ammunition is designed to open substantially immediately after exit from the muzzle of the weapon. Effective close-in support of men and material is a mandatory requirement for modern gun systems. controlled fragmentation high explosive rounds. the canisters open.

by the Napoleonic era. in order to put their men and horses hors de combat. fire in which the target is in view of the gun. meadows. partly by ricochet. Up until the Crimean War (1854). It is only firm even ground which gives good effect. An 1856 handbook noted that the canister is broken by the shock of the exploded charge in the piece. at extremely close ranges of 200 yards or less. on the other hand.weapon its beneficial anti-personnel effect could not be utilized at ranges other than essentially point blank. They strike the object partly directly. with a short range. while. tall tubers. the balls are thrown free. Canister shot may be used against the enemy's artillery in the last stages of an attack. and even fields of corn considerably diminish the effect of this fire. Against field entrenchments. those with a flatter trajectory. The range of smoothbore cannon gradually increased over the years until. Canister consisted of a tin cylinder in which was packed a number of iron or lead balls. The large balls of the 12pounder overcome the obstacles of the ground easier than do those of the 6-pounder. using a single propelling charge. commonly used canister." that is. each taking its own path. As the number of balls which issue from the piece is very considerable. and as. villages. when musketry fire is incapable of doing so. cannon could fire about 300 yards. especially in quick firing and when the object is in motion. and grapeshot against cavalry and infantry formations. 70 percent of all cannon shot fired was solid ball shot. chain. But as early as the 1740s artillery gunners had various types of artillery rounds at their disposal. Canister shot fire is more equally and surely effective than shrapnell fire . Prior to the 20th Century field artillery firing was by "direct fire. In emergencies double loads of canister could be used at ranges less than 200 yards. they easily stick or lose their force. artillerymen often loaded double charges of canister. Upon discharge the cylinder split open and the smaller projectiles fanned out. it is obvious that the effect of this nature of fire is more dependent upon the nature of the ground than any other. in consequence of their diminutive size. It is always to be preferred to shrapnell fire . freshly ploughed fields. The cannister round is effective from 250 to 500 meters. Canister was an extremely effective antipersonnel weapon. ledges of earth. Heavy rounds that exploded on contact were used primarily by howitzers while artillery guns. One Grape Shot round fired by 19th century Artillery against the advance of Infantry was made up of 36 large metal balls. and the balls spread themselves out in front of the muzzle in the shape of a cone. Once fired. when the ground is soft or uneven. it is particularly effective when it can be thrown in on the flank of an enemy's battery. explosive shell and shrapnel had not been invented. and skirts of woods a lively canister shot fire should precede the storming columns of the infantry. ditches. In the 19th Century. the heavier calibre is superior to the lighter by an average of about 200 paces. or about the range of the Roman ballistae. with an effective range of 400 yards. To prevent a thick swarm of tirailleurs from penetrating into the battery it is often the last resort. Field Artillery guns in the 18th Century were small. The use of canister artillery rounds was reported as early as the year 1410. Solid shot and grape were alone used.

Case. but they were superseded when the infantry man with his rifle can in some respects do the work better. For the guns and the 12-pounder howitzer. attached to a sabot and filled with tad-iron shot. and spherical case of field artillery lost ground in the field They were more especially formidable and useful when musketry fire was only available up to 200 yards. or CANISTER. on the other hand. canister. and of course in weight. In the Union Army of 1861 there were four kinds of projectiles used in field service. By around the year 1900 Case-shot. it may be necessary to use shell and solid shot to dislodge him. when the attacks of the enemy's troops are to be beaten off.s placed on the sabot. The Enfield rifle in the hands of the infantry was . even on haru open ground. to 1 Ib. the OANISTER. These shot vary in diameter. Unless protected by barricades it is not probable that the mob will long withstand the fire from the skirmish line.shot is chiefly used in the close defence of works. The canister takes its designation from that of the piece for which it is prepared. the civil authorities are powerless to suppress violence. If the mob is not behind barricades the artillery should use canister (canister being less destructive to property than grape. At long ranges its place is taken by Shrapnel Shell. Canisters for guns contain 27 shots each . For this reason they have little effect beyond 300 yards. viz : the SOLID or BOUND SHOT. the projectile is separate from the charge. and in number according* to the size of the gun. As a last resort the military force has been duly and properly called upon. and the SPHERICAL CASE SHOT. The CANISTER consists of a tin cylinder. and consisted of a sheet-iron or tin cylinder filled with bullets varying from an oz. For 32-pounder and 24pounder howitzers. the lower tier rests on a rolled iron plate. and at sea against a boat attack. or iron. solid shot. They are packed in sawdust in four tiers . the cartridge and the projectile are attached to the same sabot. with the calibre and description of the piece. to the interest of the artillery not to deprive themselves of this last decisive measure. and the cartridge is attached to a block of wood called a cartridge block. but with a low velocity. by making use of that nature of fire too early . and the interstices between the balls are packed with shavings and sawdust. and the canister is closed with a sheet-iron cover. the SHELL. The cylinder is closed by discs of wood. and the bullets spread over a wide area. its walls are strengthened by loose pieces of iron. The projectile is attached to a block of wood called a SABOT. Under 600 paces it is annihilating. those for howitzers contain 48 shots the defence of a battery. or against cavalry. for an unprofitable canister shot fire causes the enemy to undervalue it. it may in unfavourable ground be ineffective . which is best suited to their action. tin. and decides the fray in a few minutes . On discharge the canister breaks up at once. An 1878 treatise considered the situation when an armed and turbulent mob exists in a large city. which . and probably more effective for this purpose at close range). therefore. Over time the grape. was an artillery projectile for use at close quarters. making together a round of fixed ammunition. in weight. or shell. it is. at greater distances. If the enemy is protected by defenses.

by the absence of contact when tank and infantry units move together. We feel what he really fears is the cannister round and its effect. which bursts approximately 200 m. wet meadows. Solid. "The NVA/VC have shown a reluctance to engage tanks where they can be avoided. The shock effect of even a single tank in guerrilla warfare was apparent in Vietnam. as the Japanese swarmed over the tank to emplace a charge in order to destroy it. the canister contains approximately 800-1000 tungsten balls. Williams. in front of the gun when the fuse is set at zero. as this powder requires that the projectile close the barrel more tightly than canister is capable of doing. a companion light tank would fire the "buckshot" round directly at the heavier one. to a degree."' A year later. whereas snow. * In World War II the Bougainville operation began with initial landings taking place on 1 November 1943 and. acted as bait. sand. . The thumbnail-size projectiles would slaughter the attackers but could not penetrate the armor of the vehicle. The small dispersion. The effective range of the modern 105 mm canister is out to 500 meters. stated. Commanding Officer. The cartridge is fired from standard United States Government military equipment with rifling typically used for firing 105 mm ammunition. In a preferred embodiment. said: "Captured documents and interrogation reports disclose that the enemy is afraid of tanks. In canister. Fairfield. 69th Armor. ploughed and cultivated land reduce their range. Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. and flat trajectory of its individual bullets made canister very effective against standing targets at short ranges. Since the introduction of smokeless powder. but usually he either was put in a position where he had to fight or felt that he possessed sufficient strength to defeat the American force. It is large enough to carry a payload capable of incapacitating an advanced squad of 10 men wearing winter gear. Jr. Marines on Bougainville used a "buckshot" antipersonnel round fired from tanks with deadly effect. the range of canister has decreased." Obviously. Lieutenant Colonel Paul S. ended on 28 December 1943..capable of making a greater proportion of destructive hits between 600 and 1100 yards on a column of men than the artillery with their spherical case. which are expelled upon muzzle exit. In the Great War canister had been replaced by shrapnel. 1st Battalion. The range of these ricochets depends upon the character of the ground. This [feeling] has been justified. The 105 mm canister has a plastic slip band in order to control the spinning of the projectile. the contained bullets have a smaller initial velocity than the case. the superficial direction. closing on known Japanese positions. There is no fuze on this round. Medium tanks. while commanding the same battalion. level ground. or a gentle downward slope increase their range. the enemy did fight armored and cavalry units. They richochet on striking.

and the velocity lost to air resistance is generally 375 fps. and the 70mm Hydra-70 FFAR. More precise usage would term the later a fragment wound.Flechettes Common usage distinguishes between a gunshot wound and a shrapnel wound. Unlike rifle bullets. at one end of which are disposed guiding fins. flechettes are not spin stabilized. A flechette is a common military missile which is shaped generally similar to a dart or arrow.317 for a Shrapnel-shell on Sept. Flechettes have a performance criteria very different from the conventional rifle bullet. such as thin armor. Flechettes are launched individually toward a target from a launcher having a bore. flechettes for each type of target have conventionally been needed. Flechettes are fin stabilized steel projectiles similar in appearance to arrows. per 100 Meters of flight. During the Korean War the Chinese army tactic of human wave attacks against US lines of defence prompted interest in flechette projectiles in single and multiple projectile systems for small arms and antipersonnel (APERS) use. however. FFAR (folding fin aircraft rocket). Thus. it has a relatively long slender body. In combat situations wherein both harder and softer targets are anticipated. often having explosive components. as well as the 105mm M101A1/M102 howitzer.75 in. . Such flechettes are less effective against softer targets because they tend to pass through the target quickly with minimal damage. they are often ineffective against harder targets because of the tendency to fracture or bend upon striking such targets. For example. of Grand Rapids. The flechette's long body looses rigidity on target impact and bends into a hook. some flechettes are designed to behave as hardened penetrators to breach harder targets. Also note that by strict definition. CAWS (close assault weapons system). often breaking off the fin portion creating an additional wound. 1917. Strictly defined. This shell was an early embodiment of a flechette warhead. Flechettes are typically designed with the intended target in mind. 2. Supplying. but use fins to achieve level flight. Typical modern flechettes are small light weight steel projectiles. 18. Flechette munitions include projectiles for use in the M16 rifle.340. fragmenrs from a random-fragmentation shell are not shrapnel. and deploying multiple types of flechettes based upon the perceived or anticipated target may lead to logistical difficulties. and 12 gage shotgun. Other flechettes are designed to damage softer targets by fracturing or bending as they strike the target. flechettes are shrapnel. shrapnel means preformed fragments (the fragments exist already made within the explosive munition). storing. Other conventional approaches to damaging both harder and softer targets have included the use of other types of penetrators.e. William C. Michigan was granted patent 1. which are more expensive to deploy than flechette-based weapons. Ingram. i.

armor-piercing projectiles described in that patent. Thus. thus adversely restricting the sectional density of the projectile. the diameter of the launcher bore must be no smaller than that of a circle defined by the diameter of the guiding fins. Owing to the configuration of the flechette. having a density of approximately 16 to 19 g/cm. or shoe. it is essential to fire projectiles having short times of flight resulting from high projectile velocity.3. comprises at least two pieces of a hard material placed over the exterior of a front portion of the body of the flechette as a covering before the flechette is launched. they are difficult to launch from a launcher having a bore. Otherwise. To achieve high hit probability performance against fast-flying enemy aircraft. Although high explosive projectiles have good terminal effectiveness against aircraft. the long time of flight requires very large lead angles and superelevation angles. should consist of a high density material. The interior of the sabot conforms to the shape of the exterior of the body of . this reduces the lead angle and superelevation angle requirement. A sabot. the terminal effectiveness of this type of ammunition against aircraft-type targets is unsatisfactory.Ground-based air defense gun systems of 20 mm and larger calibers presently in service employ conventional high explosive projectiles for defeating a target. However.. such as a tungsten alloy for example. high speed aircraft. while providing the desired hit probabilities. These components are rather voluminous and of low weight. in order to minimize velocity loss subsequent to launch. Armor-piercing projectiles are of limited terminal effectiveness against soft targets such as high speed aircraft in that the projectile can hit the target causing superficial damage without destroying it. i. The desired short times of flight can be attained through the use of sabot-launched subcaliber projectiles having a high muzzle velocity. High explosive projectiles contain a fuse mechanism and a high explosive filler. The diameter of the bore is generally far greater than that of the body of the flechette. In turn. and so a sabot is used to retain the flechette within the bore. the guiding fins of the flechette define a diameter which extends well beyond the diameter of the body of the flechette. High velocity projectiles with short times of flight are essential for achievement of high hit probabilities regardless of the degree of sophistication of the fire control system.e. the subcaliber projectiles should have a high sectional density. ability to hit the target is a prerequisite. these angles are of such magnitudes that even with the use of sophisticated fire control systems the resultant hit probabilities are inadequate. Specifically.sup. These features and related exterior ballistic characteristics are found in advanced discarding-sabot. In employment from ground-based guns against low flying. For ground-based gun fire to be effective. their inherent exterior ballistic performance is such as to result in poor hit probability in employment against high speed aircraft. In the case of advanced ground-support aircraft. The resultant ballistic coefficient is such as to induce a high degree of velocity decay as a function of range and correspondingly long time of flight. the flechette will not fit through the bore. Furthermore.

A problem arises with the use of a sabot. This is considered necessary. tending to retain the sabot in place about the flechette. a radial force is exerted between the flechette and the sabot. and has a diameter greater than that of the guiding fins. and so has a slight freedom to separate while in the bore. Any separation of the pieces of the sabot is also extremely undesirable. and the bottom of the cup toward the rear thereof. forcing the rigid sabot against the flechette leaves a small space between the exterior of the sabot and the interior of the bore. thereby holding the sabot in place. such as a rubber band. together with the rear portion of the flechette including the guiding fins. is encased within a cartridge which serves to hold the sabot and flechette together. and much of that force is applied to the sabot. Additionally. The obturator also serves to fill the small space between the sabot and the interior of the bore. the existence of the small space between the sabot and the bore means that the sabot is not retained tightly within the bore. The exterior of the sabot generally conforms to the shape of the interior of the bore. falls to the ground. having served its purpose. so that the sabot will not dissipate the propulsive energy applied to its rear end during launching. Additionally. for example. In some applications. In some applications. this is accomplished by providing a slight tapering at the rear of the sabot. The sabot. the sabot has an exterior diameter which is equal to or slightly less than that of the bore. A common configuration of the front end of a sabot is that of a cup. such as.the flechette. or obturator. Any difference in dimension leaves a small space between the sabot and the interior surface of the bore. The pressure of the air on the bottom of the cup after launching peels the sabot away from the flechette. with the rim of the cup at the front end of the sabot. namely retaining the sabot in place with respect to the flechette during launching. and will permit the sabot to release the flechette. through which a portion of the propulsive force may leak. Also. a portion of the (axial) propulsive force is translated into a radially inward retaining force. Conventional sabots are made of a hard and inelastic material. The rear end of the sabot. the cartridge will retain therein gunpowder or other propellant with which the flechette is launched from the bore. since it serves to dissipate a portion of the propulsive force. and so generally are extremely rigid. to exert a radially inward retaining force. and so seals off the bore from any leaking of propulsive energy about the sabot. is affixed about the sabot. fiberglass-reinforced plastic. so that once the flechette/sabot assembly leaves the muzzle of the launcher. thereby permitting the flechette to fly toward its target unfettered by the sabot. through which a portion of the propulsive force may dissipate. The use of . or between its pieces. Furthermore. the sabot is aerodynamically peeled away from the flechette. since it will further permit some dissipation of the propulsive force therebetween. This tapering has a disadvantage. a retaining member. To counteract such a tendency. the sabot tends to slip off the flechette. The front end of the sabot conventionally is configured aerodynamically. When the propulsive force is applied to this tapering. Since the force applied to the sabot/flechette assembly during launching is directed axially thereto.

instead of by a friction grip. In the prior art. which transfers the rotation to the flechette by mechanical engagement with the fins of the flechette. with a resulting large proportion of mass and energy in the sabot. the energy of each is determined by their relative mass to one another. A further problem with all sabot launched projectiles is that since the sabot and projectile exit from the barrel at the same velocity. since the sabot serves no useful purpose as a projectile. One consequence of using a flechette however is that the combined weight of the sabot and flechette is very light when compared to a conventional bullet of the same diameter and length so that a special automatic gun must be used to function with the reduced impulse. Painting and Marking All projectiles are additional retaining member is also a disadvantage. since it increases the cost of the assembly. The heavier the sabot is in relation to the projectile. the greater is the percentage of lost energy. both as a means of ready identification and as a rust preventative. so that the flechette gets a relatively small amount of the total energy and is therefore the least efficient of the sabot type projectiles. the body diameter (shaft) of a flechette is small in comparison to the sabot diameter. however. and therefore a low coefficient of friction material can be used for the sabot with a resulting low friction loss in the barrel. and adds to the labor involved in its construction. It is known to use a plastic sabot to surround a flechette and to have the barrel rifling only engrave the sabot. The basic colors used for many years were olive drab (OD) for high- .

Projectiles containing high explosive TNT Amatol. Illuminating rounds are now painted basically white or olive drab. For example. the basic color for chemical shells. and the smoke rounds are painted green. type of cannon used in. gray for chemical rounds. blue for practice rounds. illuminating and smoke rounds are no longer painted gray.explosive rounds. Projectiles containing low explosives (black powder) are painted red. ammunition lot number. Projectiles containing chemicals (gas or smoke) are painted blue-gray. Color coding of recently produced projectiles is somewhat different. kind of filling. and black for drill rounds. etc.) are painted yellow. Projectiles are also stenciled to show the caliber. The basic color for dummy ammunition has been changed to bronze. . A system of contrasting color markings or bands in addition to the basic color has also been used to identify the particular type of high explosive or chemical used as a filler. etc.