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Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: extremely low-drag bullet design
Date: 19 Apr 1994 01:14:27 -0400

In article <2oul41$> (Joe Dioso) writes:
#Questions: (1)  Does the retained velocity look reasonable? (2)  Has
#anyone created similar bullets in the interim?  (3) If one were to
#take a modern bullet known to be accurate (e.g., 30-cal Sierra
#Matchking) and bore a .10" hole through it, what kind of retained
#velocity could one expect at 1000 yards?
Well the answer to 2) is has been referred to as a ring airfoil.
Abe Flatau and others were working on a 40mm grenade version to give the
M203 and M79 launchers greater range and a flatter trajectory.  I don't
think the explosive version went anywhere, but there is a crowd-control
rubber version.
Flatau went on to apply the design to handgun bullets in hopes of improving
body armor penetration.  Prototypes were made in 9x19mm, .45 ACP and .45
Win Mag(!).  According to some sources, a demonstration was performed for
some top brass involving the Flatau .45 ACP round and a goat wearing a
Kevlar (Fritz) one side out the other.  Reportedly, some of the
officialdom lost their lunch.  What really held back development of the
Flatau round was the use of a steel ring in the would gouge the
the feedramps.
PMC (the Korean, now part-US, ammo company) somehow heard of the ring airfoil
pistol bullets, and without Flatau's permission, used the design (sans steel
cutting nose) in .38 Special and .44 Special loads.  These were known as
the 'Ultramags' in the US market.  Unfortunately, PMC had no idea of how to
market the bullets and they were eventually pulled from production in the late
'80s.  (Oh yes, Flatau came to a agreement over royalties with PMC concerning
patent infringement.  Furthermore, the first runs of Ultramags were labeled
as 'armor-piercing' because of their solid brass design, which led to a change
to solid copper.)
In the mean time, Flatau's true armor piercing design was developed by
various government agencies.  The ramp gouging problem was solved by extending
the plastic pusher sabot through the ring as a nose.  Reportedly, the 9mm
version now referred to as the Cyclone can penetrate 72 layers of Kevlar!
Some sources suggest that the ATF used the Cyclone round at Waco resulting
in friendly fire casualties.
D.E. Watters
College of Criminal Justice
University of South Carolina

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