Index Home About Blog
From: (Arno Hahma)
Subject: Re: why caseless ammo?
Organization: University of Turku, Finland

In article <w5593B1w164w@upchrch.UUCP> upchrch!
(Joel Upchurch ) writes:

#I thought that I read that one of the problems with developing the G11
#was preventing cook off because there was no shell casing to protect
#the powder from the heat of the chamber.

That is right. They had to develop a new propellant to get along with
the problem. The G11 uses a LOVA-powder, no nitrocellulose in it at
all. That way, they were able to get the cook-off limit beyond that of
an ordinary assault rifle.

#It also seems to me that the
#ejection of the brass would cause a lot the heat generated to leave
#with the brass, rather than stay in the chamber.

You are perfectly right in that. The brass acts as an efficient heat
shield between the chamber and the powder and does remove considerable
amounts of heat from the gun, especially in the chamber area. If one
considers cook off, it is just the chamber area that is critical. The
cook off problem has been one of the major problems with caseless ammo
along with sealing the bolt-chamber interface.


From: (Arno Hahma)
Subject: Re: Scenario: One gun any enviorment
Organization: University of Turku

In article <34csdq$>,

##Got a hypothetical situation here. Suppose you had to pick one weapon and
##a limit of 20lbs of ammo. What would it be? The enviornment you prepare
##for could be anything: urban, jungle, whatever. Concealment is not

#I'd probably grab my scoped .30 cal bolt action, then handload ammo

How about the Heckler&Koch G11K3? 10 kg of ammo for that one
would be several thousand pieces and you'd be able to carry
a large amount all the time on top of the gun. G11 would give
you more firepower than any other gun can provide.


From: (Arno Hahma)
Organization: University of Turku
Date: 4 Dec 1994 17:53:22 -0500

In article <3brgq3$>,
Bev Clark/Steve Gallacci <> wrote:

#It is technically possible to make homebuilt caseless ammo, but the
#chances of doing it safely and with consistant results would be really

Adding to that, it would be extremely difficult and expensive. First of
all, controlling the particle sizes of the ingredients is incredible
demanding task and is still a headache for the factories making the

Then you have to mix the ingredients, homogeneously.  That's not
trivial either, we are speaking about submicron particles and highly
viscous binders with a lower than 15 % overall content. You need a
heavy duty extruder (cost maybe half a million dollars), that has
safety measures to handle an accidental ignition without blowing up to
pieces (at least, has a probability of surviving...).

Last but not least, where would you get the necessary materials for a
successful caseless propellant? The binder is usually cellulose
tributyrate and the oxidiser is hexogen. Some propellants are made of
long chain polyester resins and octogen (HMX). The newest ones with the
highest energy consist of an energetic binder (bis-azidomethyloxetane
polymer or glycidyl nitrate polymers) and maybe CL-20 as the oxidizer.
For those who don't know what CL-20 or HNIW is, go figure out :>.  It
is _very_ hard to make...

I think a better alternative is to make semi-caseless ammo.  Make a
case, that has only the base out of metal, the rest plain cardboard
(like shotgun cases). Then impregnate the cardboard with molten TNT
(and get the TNT content to approx. 40 %) and load the case with
regular smokeless powder. This way, you will get combustible cases,
that leave only the butt of the round left. This could be done at home,
the only problem would be how to ensure there is always the same amount
of TNT in each case (consistency problem).


Index Home About Blog