US 3726036 A
A launch assembly having a payload secured thereto so arranged to be discharged from a gun, such as a conventional rifle. The launch assembly is adapted to be mounted on the end of the barrel and to utilize forces generated in firing of a bullet, or missile, from the gun to effect the throwing of the payload. The assembly is adapted for selective variation in the range of throwing thereof under the control of the user. The launch assembly incorporates a unique bullet trap device that safely and effectively captures the propelled bullet.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Elite States atet 1 1 Jennings et al.
[4 1 Apr. 10, 1973  LAUNCH TUBE ASSEMBLY 1 Inventors: Norman L. Jennings, Keith J.
Conklin, both of Muskegon, MlCh.
 Assignee: Brunswick Corporation, Skokie, [IL
 Filed: July 9, 1970  Appl. No.: 53,423
 US. Cl. ..42/1 F, 102/652  Int. Cl ..F41c 27/06, F42b 11/42  Field 61 Search ..42/1 F; 102/652; 244/329  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,664,263 5 1972 Dl'iSCOII ..42/1 F 1,900,790 3 1933 Brandt... ....102/65.2 2,853,008 9 1958 Bowles... ....102/65.2 3,140,660 7/1964 Wyser ....102/65.2 3,439,615 4 1969 Forman et al. ....102 65.2 3,491,693 1/l970 Streckfuss et al. ....l02/65.2 2,421,752 6/1947 Jones ..244/3.29
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 605,919 1/1960 Italy ..42/1 F 591,485 4/1959 Italy I 42/1 F 604,510 1/1926 France ..102/65.2 742,470 12/1932 France 102/65 .2
Primary Examiner-Benjamin A. Borchelt Assistant ExaminerC. T. Jordan Att0mey-Donald S. Olexa, Jerome M. Teplitz, John G. I-leimovics, William G. Lawler, Jr. and l-lofgren, Wegner, Allen, Stellman and McCord ABSIRACT A launch assembly having a payload secured thereto so arranged to be discharged from a gun, such as a conventional rifle. The launch assembly is adapted to be mounted on the end of the barrel and to utilize forces generated in firing of a bullet, or missile, from the gun to effect the throwing of the payload. The assembly is adapted for selective variation in the range of throwing thereof under the control of the user. The launch assembly incorporates a unique bullet trap device that safely and effectively captures the propelled bullet.
10 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 1 O [975 SHEET 3 BF 3 INVENTORS Z m ZJQM ATTORNEY LAUNCH TUBE ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to ballistic structures and in particular to launch assemblies for throwing payloads such as grenades and the like.
2. Description of the Prior Art Ballistic devices, such as grenades, have conventionally been thrown by hand in front line combat. This method of throwing such grenades is limited to an effective range of approximately 35 to 50 yards. Illustratively, fragmentation, offensive, smoke, chemical, etc., types of grenades may be so utilized.
Because of the disadvantage of limited range, an effort was made to utilize grenade launchers developing increased range. One such launcher comprises a device adapted to be mounted on the muzzle of a rifle or carbine and has been used by military forces for about 33 years. A disadvantage in such devices, however, is that a special blank cartridge be used in lieu of the usual rifle cartridges. Thus, whenever the rifle is arranged for use in throwing a grenade, it is ineffectual as a conventional rifle due to the need for the insertion of the blank cartridge therein. Thus, this places a rifleman in a precarious position before and after the firing of the grenade by such a device because he is in effect disarmed.
More recently there has been an influx of devices that use live rounds of ammunition overcoming one of the prior art deficiencies. All of these devices comprise series of plates stacked in a housing tube. These devices rely on the stacked plates fracturing progressively to stop the bullet short of hitting the payload. However, these devices have several main or paramont disadvantages: (l) as the plates fracture to stop the bullet projectile, the bullet has a tendency to alter its flight path and can exit through the side of the housing tube and the payload is not launched; (2) there must be an excess of stacked plates to stop the bullet projectile but the number of plates required to stop the bullet is not accurately predictable; therefore, (a) the device cannot function to trigger the fuse of the payload and (b) accurate projecting of the payload is not possible.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an improved bullet trap in combination with an improved launch assembly for throwing payloads, such as grenades, from a gun eliminating the disadvantages of the above discussed rifle grenade throwers in a novel, simple and accurate manner.
It is the object of this invention to provide a new and novel bullet trap device that can be used in combination with a unique launch tube assembly for throwing payloads, such as grenades, from a standard gun using a standard round of ammunition. The bullet trap functions to confine a bullet projected in a desired path and to absorb a significant and predictable amount of the bullets kinetic energy.
It is another object of the invention to combine the bullet trap with a new and novel launch tube assembly so that the distance of the payload attached thereto can be selectively controlled.
And still another object of the invention is to provide means within the launch tube for triggering the payloads fuse from the predictable action of the bullet trap.
More specifically, the present invention comprehends an improved launch assembly adapted to throw the payload by means of the energy developed in firing a conventional bullet from a firearm such as a rifle. Thus, the rifle may be combat ready at all times eliminating the disabled condition attendant the use of the prior art rifle launchers wherein special blank eartridges were required to replace the usual cartridge.
The present launch assembly utilizes both the kinetic energy of both the fired bullet, or missile, as well as the pressure force energy of the combustion products of the firing.
The launch assembly is adapted for selective control of the range of throwing of the payload by new and improved means permitting facilitated adjustment thereof. More specifically, the invention comprehends providing such a launch assembly utilizing a tubular connector with means for varying the length of the connector portion fitting over the gun muzzle thereby to control the range. The range may further be controlled by selective utilization of flight stabilizing fins.
As the launch assembly is thrown by forces generated in the firing of a conventional bullet, the firearm may be used in the conventional manner against the persons shoulder thereby providing substantially increased accuracy in the use thereof.
The payload may be any form of conventional payload including the various above discussed grenades and anti-vehicular weapons.
The invention further comprehends provision of means in the launch assembly to effectively preclude a failure of throwing of the payload notwithstanding a seizure of the muzzle by the tube portion of the assembly thereon. The launch assembly can be arranged to automatically ignite the fuse of the payload and the danger attendant a nonthrown ignited payload on the gun muzzle is eliminated by the assured throwing of the payload.
The invention further comprehends a sub-device or subcombination wherein the launch assembly includes a bullet trap for catching the fired bullet or missile and converting a portion of the kinetic energy thereof and means for utilizing the gases generated into throwing of the assembly. Means are provided for guiding the fired bullet coaxially into the bullet trap to assure proper controlled translation of the firing forces and to plastically deform the bullet trap so that it will catch the bul' let safely and prevent shattered particles from rebounding out of the trap.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a launch assembly embodying the invention mounted on the muzzle of a rifle;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary diametric section thereof;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged diametric section of one embodiment of the bullet trap thereof;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged diametric section of one embodiment of the bullet trap thereof;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary diametric section similar to that of FIG. 2 illustrating the arrangement thereof upon the assembly being thrown from the rifle muzzle;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view illustrating the fracturing of the assembly in the event of a seizure of the connector portion on the muzzle;
FIG. 7 is a side elevation of a modified form of coupler between the launch tube assembly and the payload;
FIG. 8 is a side elevation of a modified form of launch assembly embodying the invention;
FIG. 9 is a partial side view of the end of a launch tube with fins thereon;
FIG. 10 is a front forward end view of the launch assembly of FIG. 8 with the fins secured in a wrapped retracted position;
FIG. 11 is a chart illustrating a series of different trajectories in providing controlled throwing of the payload by the launch assembly.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the exemplary embodiments of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, a launch assembly generally designated 10 is shown to comprise a ballistic device adapted to be mounted on the muzzle 11 of a firearm, such as a conventional rifle. Illustratively, the rifle may comprise a standard M16 United States Army automatic rifle utilizing a 55 grain bullet to provide a muzzle velocity thereof of approximately 3100- feet per second. Assembly 10 is adapted to utilize energy developed in firing a bullet from a gun to throw a payload generally designated 12, which illustratively may comprise a grenade. Payload 12 may comprise any suitable weapon including grenades characterized as a fragmentation, anti-tank, chemical, offensive, smoke, incendiary, illuminating, practice, pyrophoric, chemiluminescent, insecticidal, etc. Launch assembly 10 may be utilized to throw such a payload which, illustratively, may weigh at least approximately 1 lbs., substantial distances. The payload may be thrown selectively different distances as will be brought out more fully hereinafter and illustratively, an 8-oz. payload may be thrown thereby distances of approximately 800 feet or more. The maximum distance that a payload may be thrown can be calculated by an energy balance between the total weight of the launch assembly with payload and the bullet weight and muzzle velocity.
In the illustrated embodiment, muzzle ll comprised a muzzle similar to a conventional M16 automatic rifle. The muzzle is provided with a conventional flame quencher, or flash deflector, portion 13 defining the distal end of the muzzle. Launch assembly 10 includes a tubular housing 14 having a trailing portion 15 concentrically mounted about the flash deflector portion with a small annular clearance 16 therebetween. The launch assembly is secured to muzzle 11 by means of a elastomeric cap 17 having a frustoconical rear portion 18 wedgedly fitting the outwardly tapering frustoconical bore end surface 19 of muzzle 11. Cap 17 includes an axial bore 20 adapted to permit the passage of the fired rifle bullet into a bullet trap device 21 coaxially carried by the connector 23 located at the forward end or portion 22 of tubular housing 14; the connector 23 effectively closes the leading end 24 of the tubular housing 14. One means of securing the connector 23 to the housing 14, as shown in FIG. 2, is provided by an annular or segmentally formed crimp 2S. Crimp 25 also provides a detatchment zone for separating connector 23 and the bullet trap device 21 from the housing 14 in the event that the trailing portion 15 of the housing seizes on muzzle 11. As shown in FIG. 6, in the event that a portion of housing 14 seizes on any portion of muzzle 11 when the rifle is fired with a live round, there is sufficient kinetic energy that is not absorbed by device 21 and generated by combustion gases to straighten out the crimp 25. Thus, projecting of the armed payload 12 is accomplished a safe distance to protect the person firing the weapon. Other means of securing the connector 23 to the housing 14 may be utilized to provide the same safety feature such as tack welding, gluing, swaging and the like.
Connector 23 is provided with a threaded bore 27 adapted to receive a threaded coupling 28 with a fuse well 28A for firing the payload l2. Coupling 28 connects the payload to launch assembly 10, as best seen in FIG. 2. Thus, the payload 12 coupled to the launch assembly 10 may be readily substantially instantaneously installed on the rifle muzzle by a simple movement of the trailing end 15 of housing 14 concentrically over flash deflector portion 13 of muzzle 11 until cap 17 frictionally engages the muzzle in bore portion 19 whereby the assembly is temporarily held in place on the rifle permitting the user to manipulate the rifle with the assembly thereon without the assembly falling off. Thus it is possible to handle the rifle in the ordinary manner prior to aiming and tiring the rifle in the conventional manner from the users shoulder.
Fuse well 28A may comprise any conventional type fuse, such as a delay, percussion, pyrotechnic, impact, time delay, altitude, combination, etc., adaptable for the type of payload 12 being used.
As discussed above, bullet trap 21 is adapted to catch the fired bullet from muzzle l1 and to translate a portion of the kinetic energy not being absorbed thereby into throwing of the payload 12. Launch assembly 10 further is adapted to receive the products of combustion resulting from firing of the bullet and to translate the pressure forces thereof into augmented throwing of the payload. The construction and functioning of launch assembly 10 and bullet trap 21 may best be seen by reference to FIGS. 3 and 5. As shown in FIG. 3, bullet trap 21 includes a tubular member 29 which may be formed of a relatively rigid but not brittle material such as steel. A cylindrical plug 30 is provided in the trailing end 31 of a through bore 32 of member 29. A cylindrical guide element 33 is disposed forward of plug 30 within the bore 32 and a closure 34 is installed forwardly of guide 33 in the forward end 35 of bore 32. Guide 33 is provided with a rearwardly widening conical recess 36 extending partially through the guide as seen in FIG. 3. Closure 34 is provided with a forwardly projecting firing pin portion 37. Plug 30 may be preferably formed of a relatively soft material such as a synthetic plastic. Illustratively, the plug may be formed of nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, etc. It is desirable that the plug tend to close the opening, such as opening 38, formed by the passage of the bullet therethrough as shown in FIG. 5 to prevent fragments of the bullet from rebounding rearwardly.
Guide 33 is preferably formed of a tough material having a high energy absorption ratio. Illustratively, the guide may be formed of an AISI 4100 or 4300 series steel or the like. The conical surface 36 is adapted to cause the fired bullet to remain centered coaxially relative to the bullet trap thereby effectively precluding the bullet flying outwardly laterally from the device and assuring a positive impact thereof against the closure 34 which is adapted to complete the catching of the bullet in the bullet trap 21. To this end, closure 34 is preferably formed of a relatively soft material, such as soft metal, including aluminum, mild steel, copper and the like, or a suitable relatively tough but soft synthetic thermoplastic having a high energy absorption characteristic. The assembly of plug 30, guide 33, and closure 34 may be retained within trap 21 by suitably crimping the opposite ends of tubular member 29 as at 39.
When a bullet is fired into trap 21, it is captured and a major portion of the bullets energy is absorbed therein by the plastic deformation of the closure 34, the tubular member 29 and the guide 33 in cooperation with each other. Although several internal parts of the trap 21 may exceed their elastic limits, the major energy absorbing components are guide 33 and tubular member 29; the energy absorbed by member 29 is translated into only plastic deformation thereby con taining all the parts of the trap 21. By selection of the proper materials (depending upon the bullet weight and muzzle velocity) a very light weight catcher 21 can be provided significantly reducing the overall weight of the launch assembly thereby providing the ability to project a given payload farther than the prior art means. The plug 30 prevents the shattered bullets particles from rebounding out of the bullet trap 21.
As best seen in FIG. 5, the combustion pyrotechnic gases 40 produced in the firing of the bullet pass from muzzle 11 into tubular housing 14. As the trailing portion 15 of the tubular housing has a relatively close fit with the flash deflector portion 13 and the forward end of the housing is effectively closed by connector 23, gases 40 are trapped within the housing and the pressure forces thereof cause a forward movement of the launch assembly from the muzzle. Cap 17 becomes dislodged from the end of the muzzle bore 19 permitting the free movement of the launch assembly from muzzle 11 as shown. At the same time, bullet 41 having ruptured and passed axially through plug 30 is guided by surface 36 of guide 33 into axial abutment with closure 34. The kinetic energy is partially absorbed by the bullet catcher 21 and the remainder is translated into a forward movement thereof which, in turn, is transferred to payload 12 through the connector 23 and coupling 28. As shown in FIG. 5, the impact energy of bullet 41 causes a forward displacement of closure 34 forcing firing pin portion 37 thereof into firing relationship with fuse well 28A. Thus, the payload fuse can automatically ignite simultaneously with the throwing of the payload from the rifle muzzle as a result of the catching of bullet 41 in the device 21.
The pressure forces of gas 40 continues to urge the assembly forwardly from the barrel muzzle 11 until the trailing end 15 of housing 14 leaves the forward end of the muzzle. The pressure forces continue to propel the assembly forwardly by their reaction rearwardly in the manner of a rocket exhaust in spewing outwardly from the rear end 15 of the housing subsequent to the movement of the housing from the muzzle. Cap 17 may be ejected by the force of the gases moving outwardly from the trailing end 15 of the housing.
The length of housing 14 may be varied to control the throw of the payload. Control of the length of housing 14 may be provided by means of a plurality of fracture lines, such fracture lines 42, 43, and 44 as shown in FIG. 8, in the trailing portion 15 of the housing 14. Illustratively, the overall length of housing 14 as shown in FIG. 8 may be 7 inches with the fracture lines being spaced 1 inch apart. Thus, if the user wishes to shorten the housing to a 6 inch length, he merely breaks off the trailing portion at fracture line 42 to provide the desired 6 inch overall length. Similarly, by breaking off the trailing portion at fracture line 43, he will provide a 5 inch overall length housing and breaking off the trailing length at fracture point 44 will provide a 4 inch housing.
A further control of the throw of the payload may be obtained as discussed previously by providing suitable flight stabilizing fins 45 or 45A on the mid-portion of the trailing end 15 of housing 14, as shown in FIG. 8 and 9. The fins are preferably installed forwardly of the forwardmost fracture line 44 when the fracture lines are utilized to provide the controlled length feature discussed above. Thus, the fins may be used in conjunction with any of the different length configurations obtainable. The use of fins 45 or 45A can effectively increase the throw and the accuracy of the payload by launch assembly 10.
Total assemblies, payload 12 coupled to connector 14, were assembled on the end of a conventional M16 automatic rifle. The rifle was loaded with a standard 55 grain bullet round with the bullet having a muzzle velocity of approximately 3100 feet per second. A variety of payloads, tube lengths and tube materials, elevation angle of the rifle and tubes with and without stabilizing fins were thus fired. In Table I the average distances of throw are listed for a number of examples fired wherein the tubular housing 14 does not contain stabilizing fins.
TABLE I Payload Angle Type of Weight of Shot Tube Distance 8 oz. 45 4 alum. 354 ft. 8 02. 40 4 alum. 386 ft. 8 02. 45 5 alum. 435 ft. 8 02. 45 5 fiberglass 540 ft. 8 oz. 45 6 alum. 630 ft. 8 02. 45 7 alum. 665 ft. 13 '4 oz. 30 4 alum. 206 ft. 13 A oz. 45 4 alum. 255 ft. l3 4 oz. 45 5 alum. 245 ft. 13 '15 Oz. 45 5 alum. Y 380 ft.
In addition, a number of similar examples were also fired but with thin resin impregnated fiberglass fins. In Table II the average length of throw for these examples are listed.
TABLE II Payload Angle Type of Weight of Shot Tube Distance 6 oz. 45 4 alum. 568 ft. 8 oz. 45 5 alum. 675 ft. 8 oz. 45 5 fiber' 670 ft.
glass 8 oz. 45 6 alum. 795 ft. 8 oz. 45 7 alum. 770 ft. 3 02. 45 6 alum. I ft. 8 02. 45 8 alum. 868 ft.
It can readily be observed that stabilizing fins provide a longer throw distance for the same payload and tube length as shown in FIG. 11. However, it is not always desirable to obtain the longest throw distance and therefore the stabilizing fins may easily be removed in the field if desired. Alternatively, the fins may be left in place and the angle of shot altered to compensate for distance control.
To facilitate handling of the launch assemblies with fins 45, or 45A, the fins may be wrapped circumferentially about the tubular connector as shown in FIG. 10, and secured in the wrapped configuration by suitable means such as adhesive strips 46. Illustratively, the fins may be formed of flexible resin reinforced fiberglass. In lieu of the tape retaining means, a paper tube may be provided around the fins to maintain them in the retracted position of FIG. 10. Still further, a solid cone construction, slitable fin construction, or other suitable stabilizing configuration may be utilized in lieu of fins to provide the desired stabilizing function. Thus, the user may selectively utilize the fins to obtain the desired longer range or retain them retracted to obtain a desired shorter range.
As shown in FIG. 7, a modified coupling 128 may be utilized in lieu of coupling 28. As discussed above, the invention comprehends the use of any suitable type of fusing tube installed in fuse well 28A with suitable types of payloads. In illustrating the invention, the fuse coupling 128 is threaded to simply provide a connection between the payload l2 and the launch assembly 10 if the payload has a separate fusing mechanism such as a contact, impact or altitude fuse. Thus, when coupling 128 is used the projecting firing pin portion 37 is not required. Other suitable coupling means may be utilized within the scope of the invention as desired.
Housing portion is illustrated as being right circularly cylindrical for use with the illustrated flash deflector portion 13 of muzzle 11. Obviously, where other types of muzzle constructions are employed, such as those utilizing sights, the configuration of connector portion 15 may be suitably modified to accommodate the modified muzzle construction.
The centering action of guide surface 36 further assures free movement of the launch assembly from the muzzle by effectively maintaining the launch assembly coaxially of the muzzle and thereby maintaining the desired clearance space 16 between housing portion 15 and flash deflector portion 13. As discussed briefly above, should for some reason the housing portion 15 seize or bind on the muzzle, the crimp at the leading end of housing 14 and connector 23 shears, straightens or fractures as shown in FIG. 6, to permit throwing of payload 12 from the muzzle and thereby prevent the dangerous condition of an activated grenade remaining on the end ofa uscrs rifle.
An alternative embodiment of the bullet trap 21a is shown in FIG. 4. The tubular member 29a has a through bore 32 with a guide element 33a disposed forward of plug a within the bore 32. Guide 33a is provided with a rearwardly widening conical recess 36a extending partially therein and a forwardly projecting firing pin portion 37a. At the ends 31a and a of the tubular member 29a the edges of the'bore 32 are crimped inwardly at 39a to retain the guide 33a and plug 30a therein. Bullet trap 21a is secured in bore 23a of connector 23 by any suitable means including swaging, press-fitting, bonding, etc. Bullet trap 21a functions similarly to bullet trap 21. The payload, the gun, the bullet and the muzzle velocity determine which device is optimum for each set of conditions.
The use of launch assembly 10 is extremely simple. The user merely mounts the suitable grenade and fuse on the forward end of the launch assembly as by threading the fuse into threaded bore 27 of the connector 23. The assembly is then slipped over the muzzle 11 of the rifle barrel to the position of FIG. 1. Retainer 18 (which is adaptably shaped for each gun) of cap 17 releasably secures the assembly to the rifle barrel permitting the user to handle and sight the rifle in the conventional manner. As the launch assembly utilizes the standard rifle bullet for effecting the throwing of the payload, no other change in the arrangement of the rifle need be effected whereby the rifle is maintained ready for combat use substantially at all times in contradistinction to the prior art launchers wherein the rifle is effectively disabled as a personnel weapon by the requirement of the replacement of the standard bullet by a blank cartridge.
The user may aim the rifle in the conventional manner with the butt thereof against his shoulder to effect the throwing of the payload. As discussed above, high accuracy in the range of throwing of the payload is obtained by means of the users control of the stabilizing flight means and the length of the housing portion 15. The payload may vary substantially in weight and type while yet the launch assembly is adapted for effectively throwing the payload over a controlled substantial range greatly enhancing the military capability of the rifle user. The user can also control the accuracy of the payload delivery by varying the trajectory angle.
The foregoing disclosure of specific embodiments is illustrative of the broad inventive concepts comprehended by the invention.
1. A launch tube assembly for use in throwing a payload by means of a standard gun having a standard barrel arranged to discharge a standard bullet from an end thereof, said assembly comprising:
a tubular housing having one end adapted to be coaxially mounted, at the distal end of the exterior surface of the barrel end;
means for carrying the payload on the housing;
means disposed within the housing for catching and trapping the bullet and translating a portion of the kinetic energy thereof into forward throwing of at least a portion of said housing and the payload carried thereby; and
resilient constrictible means positioned in said housing between the distal ends of the barrel and the catching and trapping means releasably engaging the interior of the distal end of the barrel for effectively containing pyrotechnic combustion products therein until the assembly moves substantially fully off the barrel end.
2. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein said translating means further defines means for translating pyrotechnic combustion energy developed from explosively propelling the bullet to augmentation of said forward throwing.
3. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein said housing defines means extending freely concentrically about said barrel end adapted to permit the entire housing to be thrown with the payload.
4. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein said housing is provided with means defining a fracturable portion disposed forwardly of the barrel end and adapted to fracture in the event the portion of the housing extending about the barrel end fails to move freely therefrom in the throwing operation.
5. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein said housing is provided with outwardly projecting flight stabilizing means.
6. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein said housing is provided at said one end with projecting flight stabilizing means.
7. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein said tubular housing includes a tubular guide end having a preselected substantial length closely spaced coaxially about said barrel end and effectively containing pyrotechnic cumbustion products until the assembly moves substantially fully off of the barrel end.
8. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein said tubular housing includes a tubular guide end having a preselected substantial length closely spaced coaxially about said barrel end and effectively containing pyrotechnic combustion products until the assembly moves substantially fully off of the barrel end, said guide end having means for facilitating removal of a preselected end portion thereof to permit facilitated control of the length thereof providing said containing of the combustion products, thereby to control the range of throw of the launch assembly.
9. The launch assembly of claim 1 further including flight stabilizing means and means for retaining said flight stabilizing means in a retracted position prior to said throwing thereof.
10. The launch assembly of claim 1 wherein means are mounted adjacent said catching and trapping means for preventing the fired bullet fragments from rebounding out of the catching and trapping means.