US 3208386 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
v Sept. 28, 1965 o. w. SCHNElDER ETAL 3,208,336
STRIP BULLET Filed Dec. '4, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet l v INVENTORS. OTTOW W. SCHNEIDER HUBERT M. ROSS,JR.
Sept. 28, 1965 o. w. SCHNElDER ETAL 3,208,386
STRIP BULLET Filed Dec. 4, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 v INVENTORS. OTTOW w. SCHNEIDER HUBERT M. Ross, JR.
United States Patent 3,208,386 STRIP BULLET Ottow W. Schneider and Hubert M. Ross, Jr., Ridgecrest,
Calif., assignors to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy Filed Dec. 4, 1963, Ser. No. 328,130 1 Claim. (Cl. 102-91) (Granted under Title 35, U.S. Code (1952), sec. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
The present invention relates to a composite projectile and to a method of controlled fragment dispersion thereof.
Those concerned with the development of various types of projectiles have long recognized the need for a composite projectile which will give a shotgun effect when fired from rifled arms, and which permits ball ammunition to be fired with accuracy in the same weapons without cleaning or barrel change. The present invention fulfills this need.
The general purpose of this invention is to provide a unique type projectile so constructed as to fragment when fired from a gun.
An object of the present invention is the provision of a bullet for use in small arms which when fired at close range will separate and disperse into lethal fragments.
Another object is to provide a projectile as compatible in every way with conventional small arms as the present ammunition used.
A further object is to provide a whining projectile for psychological effect in law enforcement work.
A still further object of the invention is the provision of a method of controlling particle separation in rifled weapons.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof.
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the unassembled projectile;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the assembled projectile;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the fully formed projectile;
FIG. 4 illustrates the particle fragments of a disintegrated bullet;
FIG. 5 is a circular target framing a mansized silhouette showing dispersion from a .190" cup of a .45 cartridge;
FIG. 6 is another circular target framing a mansized silhouette showing particle dispersion using .195" cups on .45 caliber bullets; and
FIG. 7 is a circular target framing a mansized silhouette showing dispersion using .200" cups on .45 caliber bullets.
Referring now to FIG. 1 there is shown an unassembled projectile generally designated by numeral 10 comprising four, elongated metal segments 11 and a metal base cup or half jacket 12. It is to be noted that the number of segments may vary from two to many; the kill probability being related to the number of segments. Segments 11 are fitted compactly into base cup or half jacket 12 to form subassembly 10 as shown in FIG. 2, then swaged under sufiicient pressure to cause the exterior surface of segments 11 and cup 12 to coalesce and form a continuous smooth surface as shown in FIG. 3. When bullet or projectile 10 is fired from a rifled firearm, the projectile disintegrates into segments 11 of which it is made, each segment having an irregular form or shape such as shown in FIG. 4.
The projectile, referred to herein as a strip bullet, was made of several pieces of heavy metal wire of varying diameter, cut into various lengths determined by the caliber and weight of the bullet in relation to the purpose for which the bullets were to be loaded. For example, caliber .45 bullets weighing 240 grains were made of four pieces of diameter wire weighing 60 grains each. A 230 grain caliber .45 bullet was made of seven 35 grain pieces of 4*." diameter lead wire, about long. The pieces of wire were cut so that proper setting of the bullet swaging die would permit a small amount of bleed-off as each bullet was made. After a quantity of wire had been cut, the selected numbers of pieces were inserted in a predetermined-sized base cup or half jacket and swaged into the shape of a regular bullet. These bullets were seated in the predetermined-sized cartridge or shell case in the usual manner. When these were fired, the rifling twist of the weapon or firearm caused the bullets to be separated by centrifugal force. This resulted in a shotgun pattern. Bullets made without any device such as a cup at the base, separated uncontrollably and dispersed to about seven feet at a range of 25 yards. It was discovered that base cups or half jackets 12 as shown in FIG. 1, of dififerent depths would control the dispersion. The dimensions of the cup are critical and the depth must be machined accurately if all the bullets fired are to separate into segments or particles. A base cup of .190 depth for a .45 caliber cartridge will cause 98% of the bullet fragments to strike in a 5-foot diameter circular target at 25 yard range as shown in FIG. 5. FIGS. 6 and 7 show particle dispersion from cup bases of .195" and .200", respectively.
Various sizes and lengths of wire can be used, depending on the purpose for which the load is intended. Heavier strips, reducing the number in a projectile to 5, 4 or even 3 strips increase fragment penetration. The 4-piece bullet shown in FIGS. 14 had ample penetration with reasonable dispersion.
These strip bullets may be manufactured for any predetermined sized cartridge. This bullet is actually more or less a self-starter and can in many instances be merely dropped into the mouth of the primed shell or case before the seating plunger is forced down. The bullets should be seated friction-tight, and this is done through proper resizing and expanding of the shell or case. Most bullets are merely seated into the case mouth friction-tight, but some are held in the neck of the cartridge case by crimping. Seating the bullet is an important operation having much to do with the performance of the finished cartridge.
The first bullets tested consisted of seven pieces of A5" diameter lead wire weighing 35 grains each. These were pressed into the shape of a solid bullet, loaded and fired. On leaving the barrel of the gun the pieces separated and made a pattern about seven feet in diameter at twenty feet. The pieces penetrated a %iI1Cl1 pine board and slightly dented a second pine board. This was thought to be too much dispersion, so it was contemplated that the dispersion could be tightened with slower-twist barrels.
Several dispersion control methods, other than a slower-twist barrel, were tried, including varying the depth of the base cup or half jacket. As hereinabove stated, it was found that the dimensions of the cups or half jackets are critical to the control of the dispersion pattern of the segments. Short cups produced less control over the pattern, longer ones, even the .195" depth caused approximately one-half of the bullets to stay together and reduce the number of fragments; however, the pattern was reduced.
Tests were made in which the direction of twist of the pieces of lead making up the bullet was selected; that is, ten rounds with right twist, rounds with essentially no twist, ten with left twist. Fired from an M3 submachine gun, the right twist bullets made a significantly smaller group or pattern. The left twist appeared to spread out more and the straight bullets were in between. With limited testing facilities and using about 100 bullets it was found that the three types made about evenly divided patterns. Apparently, the twist of the pieces of lead did not significantly change the dispersion pattern.
Bore leading has always been more or less of a problem. In the original strip bullets, with no base cups or gas checks, and using plain lead wire, the bores of the guns were difficult to clean after about 20 rounds. Leading interferes with the accuracy of bullets. A light copper plate (.0005) on the bullets reduced the fouling somewhat, but on some of the strip bullets the cop per was slightly blistered, and left copper fouling in addition to the lead. It was found that leading was about as well controlled with the .190 base cups and no plating or gilding. Possibly a change in the lead composition used in manufacturing the bullets may be the answer to the fouling problem. Another method to decrease leading was tried which consisted of cutting a grease cannelure around the bullet. These grooves were filled with lubricant and when fired, leading was nearly eliminated. However, this was viewed as only a temporary solution due to the problem of handling the soft lead bullets.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claim the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is: A firearm projectile consisting of a bundle of seven compacted lead wire segments, each about long, /8" diameter and about grains in weight; and a gilding metal base cup about .190" in depth firmly fitted around one end of said bundle; said bundle and said cup being swagcd into the shape of a bullet which when fired separates into segments by centrifugal force due to the rifling twist of the firearm.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 216,974 7/79 Rice "102 91 914,992 3/09 Taylor 102 91 1,892,152 12/32 Jones 102 91 2,345,619 4/44 Moore 10-2 92.5 2,762,108 9/56 Friedman 29-13 2,958,115 11/60 Lyon 29 1.3 3,003,420 10/61 Nosler 102 91 3,097,603 7/63 Harper "102 FOREIGN PATENTS 72,702 1/94 Germany.
BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner.