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Khand-e

The Small Arms Thread, Part 8: 2018; ICSR to be replaced by US Army with interim 15mm Revolver Cannon.

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3 hours ago, Khand-e said:

@Sturgeon You have a good eye by the way, I went back today after reading up on them and it is infact a pre import model, apparently the guy who owned it sold it because he was near bankruptcy and unfortunately just had to sell a lot of shit according to the story.

 

Even before he told me it was rated at 90% condition, I would've easily believed him as I looked it over beforehand and It's in beautiful shape.

 

TLDR: I now have an RPK clone I guess, kind of wish it was an RPK-74M clone but hey, what can you do?

 

You actually have a legit M72, which is arguably cooler.

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Sorry for the delay, I was digging for info after reading the replies.  As usual I end up with more than needed because I find new stuff that distracts me*

 

On 3/2/2018 at 6:12 PM, Collimatrix said:

I think @Sturgeon will chime in on this program, as I'm sure he knows more of the details.  But basically this is in line with the series of extremely ambitious US small arms projects that don't really go anywhere.

Chamber pressure is an interesting topic, and one that is under-studied in small arms.  Tanks do run much higher chamber pressures in their guns, it's true.  I think some APFSDS rounds are north of 100KPSI, which is roughly double what a typical assault rifle round burns at.  But just scaling that technology down has some issues.

The first is that if you try to run those pressures with a conventional cased round the casing will weld itself to the chamber and stick.  Ammunition for the 120mm NATO and 125mm Russian guns is semi-caseless.  That works fine for a gun that's loaded manually, or even one that's serviced by an autoloader.  But is semi-caseless ammo tough enough to survive the breech of an autoloading weapon?  Try just cycling some rounds through an AR-15, they get gouged to hell just being run through the action.

 

Throat wear is another issue.  Tank guns aren't expected to shoot very often, so it's OK that those tubes only last a few hundred rounds.  They have magical fire control systems, so they hit what they are aiming at most of the time.  The interplay between chamber pressure and throat wear is very complex, but getting the propellant gas that hot is likely to cause some acceleration of throat wear.

Finally, running a gun at that pressure requires more care in the production and maintenance of everything.  Tank guns get babied and cooed over, infantry rifles do not.  Tank ammo is made extremely carefully and precisely, infantry rifle ammo is not.  Tank gun barrels are made entirely from electroslag refined steel, which is considered a strategic material.  In rifles only the bolts are.

 

Running the pressures into the stratosphere has a lot of mathematically attractive benefits, but the real-world challenges are considerable.

 

I think you're right on the gun pressures but I haven't bothered checking lately.  I find this interesting too given that a few weeks back on TFB there was a mention of the army Looking into combustible cartridges for small arms - whether the SBIR produces anything or not it's still an interesting coincidence, especially given Sturgeon's comments below. 

 

 

On 3/2/2018 at 6:24 PM, Xlucine said:

 

 

Upping the chamber pressure is possible without increasing ammunition weight much, if you can stop it welding the brass to the chamber/bursting the barrel. Getting a faster burning powder (or just putting loaded ammo into a tumbler and letting the powder beat itself to dust) will release more energy before the bullet has started moving appreciably, and so should improve efficiency giving more performance.

 

Adding weight and cost to the rifle is guaranteed, of course, so the total weight of the system will be more than the M4 (but hopefully less than a 60's tech gerpercer with the same sectional KE downrange)

 

You've got me interested, but my own mind draws a blank.  Could I persuade you to elaborate? 

 

On 3/2/2018 at 8:03 PM, Sturgeon said:

 

Keep in mind those are operating pressures not maximum average pressure (MAP). So the MAP for the new rounds will probably be 80-90KPSI.


Chamber pressure doesn't really depend on the internal volume of the case, it's a measure of force per area (the internal surface area of the case). And there are a bunch of different chamber pressure measurements.

 

Oops, you're right.  My bad.

 

Quote

What they are doing is exploiting two facts about CT ammunition, which is that there is no portion of the case that is unsupported and that the case is no longer subject to the plasticity of brass (which is in the 75,000 PSI+ chamber pressure range). Basically, if you run really high pressures with a brass case, depending on how that case is hardened, the brass will become plastic and braze itself to the bolt face. Bad. If your polymer case is sufficiently strong, then you avoid this both by using a different material and by having a round that is completely supported in the chamber.

 


And of course, if you can get away with it, more chamber pressure is better. Now, I think there are still a bunch of technical hurdles that you'd have to overcome to make this concept work, so I'm not really sure how successful it will be. And I've not heard terribly good things about how the program is being run.

 

 

That actually sounds like a big deal if they can pull it off.  With the previously mentioned insulating qualities of CT ammo you have quite a few options for propellant (something closer to tank propellant impetus for example?  I think 'specific impetus' or 'force constant' are the correct terms.)  and helps explain CT requiring less propellant than modern ammo (or improve performance for the same amount of propellant.)   Do you know if the Carbine uses the same internal mechanisms as the light machine gun?  I can recall seeing a few different ideas for CT feeding and I know Textron had a particular one it went for.

 

Quote

 


Yes. The new round is some 6.5-6.8mm ultra high velocity thing.

 

I've heard various things, from 110 to 140gr 6.8mm EPRs, but in general it's supposed to have a very high muzzle velocity. The round is the brainchild of Dr. James Newill, and I believe Mark Minisi is working under him. Newill... Has a certain reputation for fantasy among some of my sources.

 

 

You've mentioned Minisi and the Magnum round before on TFB so I can see the correlation and association with others like DocGKR.  Newill is a new name but a search did turn up a few possibly interesting things like a design on small caliber ammo ballistics and a magazine article on small arms ammo design.   

 

Quote

That's exactly what they are doing. What kicked this off was the CT Carbine with an experimental ARDEC smart optic bolted to it. That optic is nowhere near ready for prime time, but you can't stop stupid.

 

Unless it allows fire on the move won't that impede mobility (further) and add more weight?  It's also interesting given mention of the third arm project: 

 

https://www.army.mil/article/201229/army_researchers_advance_third_arm_project_to_next_testing_phase

 

A device to allow troops to carry heavy guns and 20 lbs shields matches what the Army has been hinting at. But also makes it sound like they're partly/totally abandoning mobility in favor of range and firepower.  

 

In other news I see another update on TFB about the NGSAR with more info:

 

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/03/05/us-army-calls-next-generation-squad-automatic-rifle-prototypes/

 

The interesting bits from the Product Opportuinty Notice as posted on TFB:

 

Quote

The NGSAR is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) in Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). It will combine the firepower and range of a machine gunwith the precision and ergonomics of a rifle, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range, and lethality. The weapon will be lightweight and fire lightweight ammunition, improving Soldier mobility, survivability, and firing accuracy. Soldiers will employ the NGSAR against close and extended range targets in all terrains and conditions. The NGSAR support concept will be consistent and comparable to the M249 SAW involving the Army two-level field and sustainment maintenance system.

 

Quote

THE PON LAYS OUT THE ARMY’S DESIRED CHARACTERISTICS FOR THE NGSAR:

 


Weapon Weight: 12 lbs or less
Ammunition Weight: 20% less than equal amount of conventional brass cased ammunition
Length: 35 inches or less
Rate of Fire: ’60 rounds per minute with 3 round burst for 15 minutes without a barrel change or cook-off’ Dispersion: Semi-Automatic 7 inch Average Mean Radius 400 meters, & Automatic 14 inch Average Mean Radius 400 meters
Suppressor: Flash – 80% less than an unsuppressed M249
Acoustic – 140 decibels or less
Weapon Controllability: “Soldier firing standing with optic at a 50 meter E-Type silhouette given 3 to 5 round burst must be able to engage in 2-4 seconds placing two rounds 70 percent of the time on target
Lethality Requirements: Not published publicly

 

 

That sounds like to me they are emulating the Marine's ideas with the M27, but also aren't that attached to obscene 1200m ranges either.   On the other hand, didn't they try to make one rifle do everything with the M14 before? 

 

I also turned up this NDIA (I think it's the one referenced in TFB update) https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2017/armament/Beal.pdf

 

 

* I'm not kidding.   I actually 'rediscovered' a bunch of links I'd lost whilst digging and ended up with a ton of stuff that is only slightly relevant.  I'll post it after this on the off chance it might be of interest, but if not then it can be more easily split off where it belongs if it doesn't belong here (apologies if it doesn't) 

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So just sharing a bunch of aforementioned links that may be of interest:

 

First batch are a series of technical reports about a Knox Engineering company cartridge design for lightweight 5.56 NATO centering around 'enhanced propellant' and 'alternative cartridge case' (basically a straight-walled design):

 

ENHANCED PROPELLANT AND ALTERNATIVE CARTRIDGE CASE DESIGNS

The soldier on the battlefield carries a lot of equipment into combat. The ammunition load of 600 or more rounds of 5.56-mm ammunition is a burden to our soldiers. By the use of a higher thermodynamic efficiency and higher combustion pressure, the size of the current 5.56-mm brass cartridge case can be reduced, saving considerable weight and volume. This report describes the enhanced propellant, the novel cartridge case, and the results of ballistic testing.

 

 

DEVELOPMENT OF A LIGHTWEIGHT AMMUNITION CONCEPT USING AN ALTERNATIVE CASE MATERIAL AND ENHANCED PROPELLANT

Soldiers are carrying additional high technology equipment to increase effectiveness at additional weight. To achieve a significant weight reduction and to enhance soldier's effectiveness, the Joint Service Small Arms Program Office is developing a Lightweight Family of Weapons and Ammunition. The ammunition concept developed during this contract combines a lightweight cartridge case and a high-density consolidated propellant charge that substantially reduces the cartridge volume. This report describes the lightweight cartridge case development from conception , thermally consolidated propellant fabrication and testing.


They're very similar but many of the ideas seem to overlap with what we know so may be of interest even if they are over a decade old.

...

 

Component Technology Investigations for Light Machine Gun Applications

 

- 2005 NDIA presentation on LMG technology concerning lighter barrels and various catridge concepts (including the Knox one above, and aluminum cases.) 

...

 

Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (Formerly known as…Lightweight Machine Gun and Ammunition)

 

- 2005 presentation on LSAT for NDIA concerning machine guns.  Like alot of it more than a decade old, but the details are interesting all the same I think as far as internals and tradeoffs go.

...

 

ALTERNATIVE CARTRIDGE CASE MATERIAL AND DESIGN

Today's soldiers carry 92 to 105 lbs of mission essential equipment into combat. This overload causes fatigue, heat stress, and injury. Every soldier has to carry ammunition. A lightweight cartridge case would reduce theburden of the soldier. Frontier Performance Polymers Corporation addressed novel ways of designing a light-weight polymer cartridge case. In this report, Frontier Performance Polymers designed several plasticcartridge cases, conducted finite element analysis, failure analysis, addressed the high heat of the chamber,the material properties of polymers in its designs of the 5.56-mm cartridge case.


This one is more about polymer case designs and the challenges.  more than a decade old but may still be of interest again.

...

 

A new machine gun - the right weapon for today's environment

 

A General Dynamics 2012 presentation on Machine gun improvements and design and seems focused on the LWMMG concept.  Warning includes at least one mention of 'Tactical Overmatch'

...

 

LIGHTWEIGHT AMMUNITION DESIGN - 8550

 

- 2009 presentation by Colt on a 'hybrid' cased/caseless 'modular' design  and a polymer spiral case for .50 BMG ammunition.  Interesting for the 'modular' design being a 'caseless' cartridge inside a brass case with two giant holes cut in the side.

...

 

SHOULD THE U.S. ARMY ADOPT NEW 5.56MM AMMUNITION CARTRIDGE DESIGNS TO REDUCE OVERALL AMMUNITION WEIGHT?

In today’s conflicts, United States (U.S.) Soldiers are required to carry up to 80 pounds or more of combat gear into the fight, including an ammunition basic load of at least 210 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition. This ammunition weighs approximately 5.5 pounds, with roughly half of this weight from the brass cartridge case. As these cases are not normally recovered from the battlefield, it is weight carried that offers little return once the cartridge is fired. Given ongoing programs, patents, and technologies in development in both the Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial organizations to lighten the Soldier’s overall load, there now exists an opportunity to reduce the weight of this 5.56mm ammunition. This thesis will present the history and reasons for the adoption of the current 5.56mm ammunition, potential new lightweight ammunition options, and the developmental considerations associated with approving a potential lightweight ammunition type. This thesis will then show the selection and evaluation criteria for these potential ammunition designs. Next, these different designs will be compared to the current standard M855 5.56mm ammunition, then to each other, to determine the best overall recommended design. Finally, this thesis will discuss the implications of the recommended design, and suggestions for future study.


Found this in with what I was digging through, decided to keep it anyhow since it is something Sturgeon has interest in, although he may have already seen/read it.   Does cover some of the concepts mentioned above though as well (the colt modular concept, as well as aluminum, steel, polymer, telescoped, etc.)
 

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1 hour ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

 

You've got me interested, but my own mind draws a blank.  Could I persuade you to elaborate? 

 

 

 

Thought experiment; what happens if we take the same cartridge, same case, same propellant mass and chemistry, same projectile, only in one cartridge the propellant is more finely divided so that it burns faster?

For simplicity's sake, let's ignore secondary effects like "LOL, the propellant peak pressure exceeds the yield strength of the cartridge and/or breech and the gun explodes itself" or "the burn rate of the propellant becomes more consistent by one sigma due to the effect seen in hi-lo pressure guns."

This is an interesting thought experiment because my reading leads me to the conclusion that the designers of tank guns know the answer, and the designers of small arms do not.

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6 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

That actually sounds like a big deal if they can pull it off.  With the previously mentioned insulating qualities of CT ammo you have quite a few options for propellant (something closer to tank propellant impetus for example?  I think 'specific impetus' or 'force constant' are the correct terms.)  and helps explain CT requiring less propellant than modern ammo (or improve performance for the same amount of propellant.)

 

CT ammunition uses less propellant because it is more thermodynamically efficient.

 

6 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

Do you know if the Carbine uses the same internal mechanisms as the light machine gun?  I can recall seeing a few different ideas for CT feeding and I know Textron had a particular one it went for.

 

The CT Carbine uses a rising chamber design, rather than a swinging chamber as in the LMG.

 

6 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

You've mentioned Minisi and the Magnum round before on TFB so I can see the correlation and association with others like DocGKR.

 

As far as I know The Dentist Roberts has no connection with these programs, although some of the people associated have similar views on ballistics, from what I hear.

 

6 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

Newill is a new name but a search did turn up a few possibly interesting things like a design on small caliber ammo ballistics and a magazine article on small arms ammo design.   

 

Good job finding those docs. Yes, Newill and Minisi both work for ARL, last I checked.

 

6 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

Unless it allows fire on the move won't that impede mobility (further) and add more weight?  It's also interesting given mention of the third arm project: 

 

https://www.army.mil/article/201229/army_researchers_advance_third_arm_project_to_next_testing_phase

 

Remember, ARDEC's primary function is to be welfare for smart people. The third arm thing isn't going anywhere.

 

6 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

That sounds like to me they are emulating the Marine's ideas with the M27, but also aren't that attached to obscene 1200m ranges either.   On the other hand, didn't they try to make one rifle do everything with the M14 before? 

 

I think the US Army is strongly considering a magazine-fed support weapon, yes - though NGSAR does not specifically outline that feeding mechanism.

It looks like the goal is 600 meters effectiveness against Level IV with tungsten ammo, which isn't so bad as I'd initially feared.

 

6 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

First batch are a series of technical reports about a Knox Engineering company cartridge design for lightweight 5.56 NATO centering around 'enhanced propellant' and 'alternative cartridge case' (basically a straight-walled design):

 

ENHANCED PROPELLANT AND ALTERNATIVE CARTRIDGE CASE DESIGNS

Quote

The soldier on the battlefield carries a lot of equipment into combat. The ammunition load of 600 or more rounds of 5.56-mm ammunition is a burden to our soldiers. By the use of a higher thermodynamic efficiency and higher combustion pressure, the size of the current 5.56-mm brass cartridge case can be reduced, saving considerable weight and volume. This report describes the enhanced propellant, the novel cartridge case, and the results of ballistic testing.

 

 

 

Knox blew up a lot of test barrels with their ammo, from what I hear.

 

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9A-91

2627246_original.jpg

 

7.62A-91

2627443_original.jpg

 

VKS Vykhlop

Spoiler

2627784_original.jpg

 

OTs-38 revolver

Spoiler

2628478_original.jpg

 

ASh-12 or now it is called ShAK-12. A little strange mag.

Spoiler

2628106_original.jpg

 

U-96 12.3 mm caliber revolver

Spoiler

2628858_original.jpg

 

PP-93

Spoiler

2629653_original.jpg

 

PP-90M

Spoiler

2630252_original.jpg

 

P-96M in 9x18 PM

Spoiler

2629977_original.jpg

 

ADS

Spoiler

2630530_original.jpg

 

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19 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

7.62A-91

2627443_original.jpg

 

Many thanks to Igor Korotchenko and you, for a photo of a rare carbine assault rifle A-91 in a 7.62 mm caliber.

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On 3/6/2018 at 8:20 PM, Sturgeon said:

Knox blew up a lot of test barrels with their ammo, from what I hear.

 


Someone still needs to interview Knox's George Reynolds before he gets too old and begins pining for the fjords.

I want to know about his 30mm single-shot and semi-auto underbarrel grenade launcher designs for the US Army back in the 1970s.  I believe that he was also behind Knox's  standalone semi-auto 30mm grenade launcher that was flogged for several years by Honeywell and then ATK before the OICW program finally drove a stake through its heart.  Most folks know him now for the current Armalite AR30 and AR50 rifles.

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"Hey Hans, do you think we should sell those Engländers a new rifle to replace their rusty old barely-working Verbrechengegenergonomischen?"

 

"Nein, nein, nein! Hecklernkochen already possesses contrakten for zee L85! We must milken der Inselaffen for every schnitzel! Bring out ZEE AUS 3!"

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Just so everyone is on the same page, here is why the L85 should have ended at A1:


When an army is looking to improve its equipment, there is a perennial debate between getting a completely new design or upgrading the existing design.  A new design usually offers more potential, but an upgraded version of the old design usually has at least some parts commonality with the existing spares pool, some commonality of production with the existing production line, and users will usually be familiar with the old design.  Therefore, upgrading the old design is usually the lower cost and lower risk alternative to purchasing an entirely new design.

 

Except with the L85 none of that is true.

 

L85A1 and L85A2 have almost no parts commonality.  This is because the L85A1 was a garbage rifle made of garbage parts, and all the parts needed to be replaced.  By "all the parts" I mean that the barrel, bolt carrier group, piston, charging handle, trunnion, gas block, hammer, firing pin, bolt hold open and magazine are all new.  All of these new parts are color-coded or marked to prevent armorers from installing old parts, both because they are crap and because in some cases they will not interchange.  L85A2s are made by un-folding L85A1s, pulling out everything inside, re-folding the receivers (correctly this time), and filling them with a compliment of entirely new parts.  So much for being able to re-use the existing pool of spares.

The British SA-80 production line was shuttered decades ago.  It was not re-opened.  There is no savings from re-use of existing tooling.  The L85A2 was reverse-engineered from the L85A1, and then made to actually work.

The L85A2 does have the same controls as the L85A1, but the controls are crap.  The fact that it's the same crap is not a compelling case for keeping them around.

 

L85A3 appears to be a new-built receiver with a new railed handguard and L85A2 parts inside (possibly with some small improvements on those).  It's likely that making an L85A3 is cheaper than making an L85A2, since L85A2s were made out of extensively re-manufactured L85A1s, and that remanufacturing process was so involved that it was so involved that it was cheaper to make new guns.

 

So L85A3 is an improvement, but it's still a far less effective solution buying Colt Canada C7s the way the SAS did.

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11 hours ago, LostCosmonaut said:

I'm guessing the SAS has a bit more freedom in their procurement (like most special forces units seem to).


The story at the time was that the SAS spent more money in testing the candidate weapons than they did in purchasing the selected L119A1.

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Regarding the apparent ~$13 unit cost of XM1158.

 

I was going through past year editions of Army Mantech's annual brochure, and the FY15 one mentioned a new start of "7.62mm Advanced AP Penetrator & Assembly Cost Reduction", the following three issues have had a 'tungsten carbide penetrator & assembly cost reduction' section.

 

FY16

FY17

The current FY18 brochure specifically mentions XM1158.

 

I also found an army.mil article that talks a little bit about it and has better pictures.

Quote

The focus on improving small arms ammunition began in earnest around 2008, when the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCOE), representing the voice of the user, received mixed reviews in post-combat surveys regarding legacy 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition. This triggered the MCOE to generate small caliber family of ammunition capability development documents for 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and .50-caliber ammunition. These documents established the Army's requirements for small caliber ammunition to reduce or eliminate existing operational capability gaps and ensure overmatch in future combat environments through the foreseeable future. These requirements formed the basis for multiple research and development (R&D) programs to improve lethality, survivability, mobility and training flexibility.

As with many innovative products or systems, advancements can result in price increases. Over the last decade, improvements in small caliber ammunition have required modifying critical projectile components with state-of-the-art designs and complex shapes, such as a modified projectile jacket with an exposed tip to achieve consistent soft-target effects, and advanced materials such as tungsten carbide to achieve enhanced hard-target terminal effects at greater distances. This in turn has required research in advanced manufacturing techniques including machining in a pre-formed state, called "green machining," advanced grinding and multistage projectile assembly operations that the ammunition industry previously was not required to use.

By leveraging $5 million of multiyear RDT&E funding from ManTech, PM MAS, in partnership with the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), funded two major initiatives to assist the industrial base in developing and refining advanced manufacturing processes to provide higher-performance ammunition to the warfighter at an affordable cost.

For example, PM MAS and ARDEC have been able to drive down the unit cost of tungsten carbide components by using ManTech resources. Because of the hardness of tungsten carbide, manufacturing it has historically involved lengthy grinding operations. Using these labor-intensive operations resulted in one part completed every 15 minutes, and the unit cost exceeded $20 per part, mainly because existing manufacturing methods for tungsten carbide material were not optimal for complex shapes and configurations.

Using ManTech funding, the team engaged with several small businesses, via market surveys and competitive bids, to incentivize development and improvements in novel and advanced tungsten carbide manufacturing techniques. This funding allowed the small businesses to invest in developing alternative manufacturing processes that have the potential to be leveraged for other military applications as well as commercial ventures, all while reducing investment risk on their end. Ultimately, PM MAS and ARDEC selected a green machining process as the most viable approach to drive down component costs. The process is a powder metallurgy technique where chalk-like pre-forms of tungsten carbide powder are shaped before sintering, a heat treatment process that binds the powder particles together to produce a hard, dense material. Traditional tungsten carbide manufacturing involves sintering simple stock shapes, such as bars or rods, and then hard-grinding the final shape into the material.

Green-machining decreases the product cost by increasing the efficiency of producing complex shapes and configurations. More than 30,000 components were produced from October 2015 through December 2016 using this method. These improvements reduced manufacturing time from one part every 15 minutes to two parts every minute. It reduced the projected unit price to less than 25 percent of the original cost--resulting in a potential savings of more than $300 million over the expected 20-year life of the program.

Following the initial success in developing a more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing process for complex tungsten carbide components, PM MAS and ARDEC again leveraged ManTech resources to implement improvements in 7.62 mm bullet assembly. Typically, small caliber bullets are assembled on a bullet assembly machine (BAM), where a copper cup is drawn into a bullet jacket that encapsulates the other bullet components (penetrator and slug) and ultimately a small caliber projectile is produced. Because the design of small caliber ammunition has not changed since the early 1980s, legacy BAMs also have remained relatively unchanged, resulting in less than optimal operational availability, higher scrap rates and less flexibility in tooling changes for different ammunition types.

By leveraging ManTech funding, the team developed a new tooling package that uses a higher-precision BAM to eliminate many of these inefficiencies. This 21st century BAM, with enhanced controls for precise assembly, is anticipated to maintain the existing rate of 60 parts per minute with higher operational availability, lower scrap rates, more process feedback to the operator and the ability to make faster tooling changes. More importantly, as the manufacturing equipment becomes available to the industrial base for full-rate production, the higher precision means better-quality ammunition delivered to the field, more quickly and at a lower cost.

 

 

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Wow those are a gold-mine of info and not just for the tungsten carbide stuff either (there's tons there too, like penetrator images, the implied cost savings, etc.)    There's also stuff in their about the dual-purpose grenades and body armor and a different (interim?) lightweight case.   

 

From the FY2018 brochure Ramlaen posted:

 

tungsten carbide penetrator:

https://imgur.com/a/mXmcY

 

Light weight casings (10% only)  

https://imgur.com/a/9hE43

 

I'm guessing the FY2016 link is the 'before' image (with a penny for scale) and the FY2018 image is the finished product (which resemble the EPR arrowheads)  I wonder if it would be possible to derive anything about the proposed round from this? 

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5 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

Regarding the apparent ~$13 unit cost of XM1158.

 

I was going through past year editions of Army Mantech's annual brochure, and the FY15 one mentioned a new start of "7.62mm Advanced AP Penetrator & Assembly Cost Reduction", the following three issues have had a 'tungsten carbide penetrator & assembly cost reduction' section.

 

FY16

FY17

The current FY18 brochure specifically mentions XM1158.

 

I also found an army.mil article that talks a little bit about it and has better pictures.

 

 


I see the steel case project isn't dead, either.

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    • By LostCosmonaut
      There are many who feel that the 5.56 NATO is a superlative rifle round. Much has been said about larger alternatives to 5.56, such as various 6.5mm and 6.8mm rounds among others. Less has been said about smaller rounds. Off the top of my head, I can recall that there was a German 4.6x36mm round, used in the HK36, and the British 4.85x49mm round. Neither of these rounds managed to gain widespread acceptance. My knowledge of the voodoo that is ballistics is somewhat limited, so I'm uncertain as to whether these failures were caused by flaws with the rounds themselves, or because they were below some lower limit of effective bullet size, beyond which performance decreases rapidly. Could we see a resurgence of these concepts in the future, or do they represent an evolutionary dead-end?
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