Army, Marines getting away from brass case ammo.

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by Texas10, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Texas10

    Texas10 Gold $$ Contributor

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    The future is here, and the military is getting serious about abandoning brass as the material of choice for ammo casings. Polymer has long been the material under consideration for the future, and it's about to arrive on the battlefield as early as 2023.

    All 50 cal, 7.62mm and 6.8mm ammo is being looked at seriously to reduce loads carried by infantrymen on the battlefield. They're talking 30% wt reduction over brass, but in reality aren't we talking about a few grams of wt per cartridge?

    Someday I suspect it will trickle down to the commercial market, but not anytime soon so don't go out and hoard all the brass you can find. We'll all be long gone before plastic replaces all casings.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/50-years-army-marine-corps-095548994.html
     
  2. Forum Boss

    Forum Boss Administrator

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    This effort (to develop polymer-cased ammo) has been underway for some time... but metal will not be abandoned completely it seems. The new SIG .277 fury round developed for the U.S. Military features a hybrid case, but not polymer with brass lower section. Instead it is mostly brass, but with a harder "alloy" from the head and rim. This allows the case to accept extremely high pressures -- way higher than typical SAAMI maxes for other cartridges.

    This is worth reading. I think there may be applications for hunters. Get large magnum velocities with a standard short action receiver shooting a medium-sized cartridge.

    Story link (click and then scroll down): https://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2020/01/shot-show-2020-day-one-opener/

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. JASmith

    JASmith

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    That hybrid steel-brass concept is indeed intriguing!
     
  4. Gappmast

    Gappmast Gold $$ Contributor

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    I understand the steel base for more pressure. What changes will they make to the primer so it can handle more pressure.
     
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  5. Shawnba67

    Shawnba67

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    On the issue of wieght, I have a friend who is a sherriffs deputy. The switched to one of the new all copper duty rounds like 60gr I think. He said it made a considerable difference in his duty belt wieght. They only carry 3 mags I think? So for a soldier it may well make a carriabilty difference.
     
  6. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    What happened to the plastic .223 ammo of a few years back? The ranges used to be littered with it. It wasn't recyclable and faded fairly quick. Call me a cynic but from what I've seen over the years, military procurement and selection is driven more by political considerations than efficiency. In other words, which senator's turn is it to get a government contract. The military industrial complex's tentacles are in EVERY state and senatorial district.
     
  7. rr2030

    rr2030

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    Out of pure curiosity, I discovered the case of the round used in the M1 Abrams is consumed during firing. All that is left is the base and its reusable.
     
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  8. ebb

    ebb

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    ^^^^^ I ain't reloading for that.
     
  9. wkdickinson

    wkdickinson Gold $$ Contributor

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    Many years ago I read an article in Precision Shooting Magazine (I think), about H&K having developed a "case-less" cartridge/weapons system. Basically, this was a rigidly "formed" powder charge with a bullet glued to the top of it, with the whole thing being encased in some film that protected it from water etc. I believe the cartridge was ignited electrically. I thought this was an amazing concept. However, if I recall correctly the thing they could overcome was heat. Apparent, in a conventional weapon, something like 50 to 60% of the heat is carried out of the weapon by the brass case. With no case, all that heat got left in the weapon - something they apparently were never able to overcome.

    I wonder how they've solved that issue with the polymer case.
     
  10. IdahoSharpshooter

    IdahoSharpshooter Gold $$ Contributor

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    Who says SIG ain't a great copycat? There was a company called "Steelheads" IIRC; about forty years ago pioneered these in 270 Win. They've done a fantastic job copying the Glock polymer concept as well. I will give them credit for infusing their race gun frames with tungsten, though.

    ;)
     
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  11. cjames

    cjames Silver $$ Contributor

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    If it saves weight, even a small amount if it's reliable and won't gum up chambers, troops will love it and rightfully so. Humping a combat load is no joke, especially up hill. I've seen guys throw cigarette packs down on the ground trying to lighten the load on a hump, back in the day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
  12. GerryM

    GerryM

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    I remember seeing military 762.51 ammo that was brass at the lower part and some
    Kind of nylon for the main body
     
  13. WhiskyTahoeFoxtrot

    WhiskyTahoeFoxtrot Gold $$ Contributor

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    Yet
     
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  14. GotRDid

    GotRDid Silver $$ Contributor

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    If those were blue in color, they were short range polymer practice rounds. The bullet was molded into the end of the case, and weighed perhaps 10 grains. Still quite deadly within 25 yds.
    The olive drab cases of same construction were typically blanks.
    Still have some of the loaded blue variants.
    GotRDid.
     
  15. GotRDid

    GotRDid Silver $$ Contributor

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    20200405_215230.jpg 20200405_215215.jpg HK caseless above. 51.5 gr .195" diameter bullet. Will have to explore a bit on specs; yes, caseless is not a new technology.
    GotRDid.
     
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  16. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    Brass acts as a heat sink. This removes some of the heat from the action of a machine gun. Polymer doesn't.
    Caseless rifle/ammo not new. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/AD0845570

    SIG patent application entitled MULTI-PIECE CARTRIDGE CASING AND METHOD OF MAKING, notethat the patent application also describes a multi-piece pistol cartridge case. SIG Cartridge Case Patent Application 2019, US20190226817A1.pdf

    The alloys used in the case head and body can be very different then brass that we are used too. The patent is saying pressures as high as 120,000 PSI for rifles.

    The hybrid case gets rid of most of the extraction issues of the higher pressure.
    20200322_094941 (1).jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
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  17. ED3

    ED3 Gold $$ Contributor

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    From the little I read of the recent attempt- because the polymer case is a better thermal insulator, the heat generated by the powder burning within the cartridge is not transferred to the chamber as much as it is with brass casings, thus the chamber stays cooler.

    https://www.military.com/daily-news...rps-are-closing-dumping-brass-cased-ammo.html

    Their words; not mine.
    The H & K G11 case-less ammo was intriguing, but apparently could not handle the rigors military use.
     
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  18. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    Just consider all the fuel savings that are possible with a 30% payload reduction transporting ammo around the world! My only concern is the recycle-ability of it. Polymers usually aren't very energy efficient to recycle. Brass is very recyclable. It would be interesting to see if this ammo would be an actual "carbon footprint" reduction or not when considering the full lifespan.
     
  19. XTR

    XTR Gold $$ Contributor

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
  20. ED3

    ED3 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'm curious as to where you found "...a 30% payload reduction transporting ammo around the world..."


    Given the polymers are long chain hydrocarbons, I'm not sure the environment wins, in either manufacture, or (lack of) disposal.
     

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