Non-expanding modular bullet

- ALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS INC.

A non-expanding bullet platform may comprise a modular jacket having an internal nose cavity and an internal heel cavity. The cavities may be separated by a divider. The cavities may be filled with suitable materials to produce various types of non-expanding bullets, such as military ball, trace, armor piercing, etc. Inventive non-expanding bullets may comprise full metal jacketed bullets or may have exposed material. The inventive bullets may be non-expanding, wherein the diameter of the bullet does not substantially increase upon impacting soft tissue.

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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to bullets and more specifically to a bullet platform capable of being used to manufacture a plurality of non-expanding bullet types.

Bullets for use with firearms are generally known, and have evolved since the 1800s from the simple lead ball. Current bullets are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, with many specialized bullets optimized for particular applications. One type of bullet is the partition bullet, for example as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,003,420, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Hard jacketed bullets, developed to combat the problem of bullet deformation in the gun barrel, were found unsatisfactory because they would pass through the target without deformation, causing little damage to the target when compared to bullets without the hard jacket. A partition bullet generally includes a front portion which deforms upon impact with a target and a rear portion which does not disintegrate and provides for satisfactory penetration. The partition bullet provided for non-deformation in the gun barrel with deformation/expansion upon impacting a soft target.

The Geneva Accords on Humane Weaponry and the Hague Convention prohibit the use of certain types of ammunition in military applications. For example, the use of exploding, poisoned and/or expanding bullets is prohibited. Therefore, only non-expanding bullets are suitable for use in military applications. These bullets can include Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Military Ball, Armor Piercing (AP), Armor Piercing Incendiary (API), Tracer and any combination thereof which do not expand upon impact with soft tissue.

Full metal jacket bullets generally include a cylindrical outer jackets with an inner cavity filled with lead or other similar metals. A key characteristic of FMJ bullets is their inherent non-expanding design, which does not expand upon impact with soft tissue. Typically FMJ bullets have a closed tip. Some examples may include an open tip, generally to accept another component such as an armor-piercing tip.

Ball bullets fall under the category of FMJ bullets. While still referred to as “ball” type projectiles, current ball ammunition is not spherical in shape, but generally utilizes a pointed cylindrical spitzer shape and may include a boat-tail narrowing at the end. Ball bullets are generally free of exterior features which may be present in other types of bullets, such as exposed armor-piercing noses or open tips.

Armor piercing bullets can fall within the category of FMJ bullets. AP bullets may have an armor-piercing component exposed at the tip of the bullet, or may have a closed tip with the armor-piercing core component contained within the jacketed nose portion of the bullet. Armor piercing incendiary bullets may further contain an incendiary composition.

Trace bullets can fall within the category of FMJ bullets, and generally include a chemical trace formulation at the heel portion of the bullet. Upon firing, the chemical trace mix ignites, producing both visible and non-visible streams of light for a predetermined period of time.

Current non-expanding bullet designs and manufacturing techniques use dedicated tooling, machinery and processes to produce each individual bullet type/configuration. For example military ball bullets are produced using different tooling and techniques than a similar trace bullet counterpart of the same caliber. Even the bullet cups used to produce similar bullets may be different.

The individual materials, tooling and machinery used for each bullet type lead to high costs and require intense logistics to maintain control over the entire bullet production inventory.

There remains a need for a bullet platform and method of production capable of producing a broad variety of non-expanding bullets for military applications, which also reduces the amount of materials, tooling and machinery necessary to satisfy production requirements.

All US patents and applications and all other published documents mentioned anywhere in this application are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

Without limiting the scope of the invention a brief summary of some of the claimed embodiments of the invention is set forth below. Additional details of the summarized embodiments of the invention and/or additional embodiments of the invention may be found in the Detailed Description of the Invention below.

A brief abstract of the technical disclosure in the specification is provided as well only for the purposes of complying with 37 C.F.R. 1.72. The abstract is not intended to be used for interpreting the scope of the claims.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In some embodiments, the invention comprises a modular bullet platform which may be used to form a plurality of non-expanding bullet types. A modular bullet jacket suitable for use in a variety of non-expanding bullet types may be produced, thereby reducing the necessary tooling requirements to produce multiple bullet variants within a given caliber. A modular bullet jacket may further reduce the costs associated with developing new types of bullets.

In some embodiments, the invention comprises a method of forming a non-expanding bullet comprising providing a modular bullet jacket comprising a nose cavity and a heel cavity separated by a divider. A heel cavity fill material is inserted into the heel cavity. A nose cavity fill material is inserted into the nose cavity. A tip of the bullet is formed such that the bullet will be non-expanding upon impacting soft tissue. In some embodiments, the bullet jacket may form a closed tip or full metal jacket.

In some embodiments, the invention comprises a bullet comprising an outer jacket defining a first internal cavity and a second internal cavity. The jacket further comprises a divider oriented between the first internal cavity and the second internal cavity. A first fill material is oriented within the first internal cavity and a second fill material is oriented within the second internal cavity. The fill materials and design of the bullet tip result in a bullet that is non-expanding upon impacting soft tissue.

These and other embodiments which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages and objectives obtained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof and the accompanying descriptive matter, in which there are illustrated and described various embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A detailed description of the invention is hereafter described with specific reference being made to the drawings.

FIG. 1 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of a modular bullet jacket.

FIG. 2 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of an inventive bullet, which may comprise a military ball bullet.

FIG. 3 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of an inventive bullet, which may comprise an armor piercing bullet.

FIG. 4 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of an inventive bullet, which may comprise another embodiment of an armor piercing bullet.

FIG. 5 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of an inventive bullet, which may comprise an armor piercing incendiary bullet.

FIG. 6 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of an inventive bullet, which may comprise a tracer bullet.

FIG. 7 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of an inventive bullet, which may comprise another embodiment of a tracer bullet.

FIG. 8 depicts a partial sectional view of an embodiment of an insertable tracer module.

FIG. 9 depicts a sectional view of an embodiment of an inventive bullet, which may comprise another embodiment of a tracer bullet.

FIG. 10A shows prior art processing steps used in manufacturing various types of prior art bullets.

FIG. 10B shows some embodiments of processing steps used in manufacturing various types of inventive non-expanding bullets.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention may be embodied in many different forms, there are described herein various embodiments of the invention. This description is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the particular embodiments illustrated.

The term “non-expanding” as used herein is intended to describe a bullet capable of impacting soft tissue without experiencing a substantial deformation or an appreciable increase in the diameter of the bullet.

For the purposes of this disclosure, like reference numerals in the Figures shall refer to like features unless otherwise indicated.

In some embodiments, the invention may comprise a modular bullet platform from which a plurality of non-expanding bullet types may be manufactured. In some embodiments, the invention may comprise a method of manufacturing non-expanding bullets using a modular bullet platform.

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a modular bullet jacket 12 which may comprise a modular bullet platform capable of being used to form a variety of non-expanding bullet types. Non-expanding bullets according to the invention are preferably suitable for military use. The jacket 12 may have a generally cylindrical overall bullet shape and may be formed into a bullet having a standard spitzer type shape. Various embodiments of bullets formed using the modular bullet jacket 12 may optionally include a boat-tail narrowing at the heel, and may have varying ogive configurations.

A modular bullet jacket 12 may generally comprise an outer wall portion 16 and a divider 20. The divider 20 may divide an interior portion of the jacket 12 into a first internal or nose cavity 30 and a second internal or heel cavity 40. The nose cavity 30 may have any suitable volume relative to the heel cavity 40. In some embodiments, the internal volume of the nose cavity may range from approximately 10% to approximately 90% of the total internal volume of the jacket 12, with the heel cavity 40 generally comprising the balance.

A modular bullet jacket 12 may comprise any suitable bullet jacket material, such as copper, steel, copper alloy such as gilding metal, copper-clad steel, etc. A modular bullet jacket 12 may be formed using any suitable process, including casting, forging, extrusion, machining or any other suitable metal forming process. In some embodiments, a tubular metal body may be provided and compressed to form the divider 20. Interior punches may be positioned within the internal areas of the tubular metal body during compression to maintain internal cavity volume of the eventual nose cavity 30 and heel cavity 40.

Various embodiments of a modular bullet jacket 12 may have varying wall thickness as desirable for the particular application of the eventual non-expanding bullet. In some embodiments, the wall thickness of the jacket 12 may change along the length of the bullet and/or along the length of the nose cavity 30 or heel cavity 40. In some embodiments, the wall thickness around the nose cavity 30 may be different than the wall thickness around the heel cavity 40. The shape and thickness of the bullet jacket 12 around the nose cavity 30 may be designed in conjunction with the material(s) used to fill the nose cavity 30 to produce a bullet which will be considered non-expanding when it impacts soft tissue. Thus, the fill material of the nose cavity and the construction and arrangement of the outer jacket preferably cooperate to make the bullet non-expanding. A closed tip or full metal jacket bullet with no other material exposed leads to a non-expanding bullet. Further, when harder, more rigid and/or less elastic materials such as bronze, steel, or other non-deforming and/or non-malleable materials are used to fill the nose cavity 30, a bullet is more likely to be non-expanding.

A modular bullet jacket 12 may be manufactured in a variety of sizes to satisfy various bullet caliber requirements. In some embodiments, a single modular bullet jacket 12 size may be used to manufacture a variety of bullet types of similar caliber, such as military ball, full metal jacket, armor piercing, armor piercing incendiary, tracer bullets, etc.

The nose cavity 30 and the heel cavity 40 may be filled with any suitable material(s) in any suitable configuration to produce various types of non-expanding bullets. In some embodiments, the nose cavity 30 may be filled with different material than the heel cavity 40. Some examples of fill materials which may be desirable for use in either the nose cavity 30 or the heel cavity 40 are lead; tungsten; various alloys of tungsten such as tungsten-tin, tungsten-bismuth-tin, tungsten-cobalt and tungsten-carbide; tungsten with polymeric and/or elastomeric bindings such as tungsten-nylon and/or tungsten-teflon; various types of bronze; zinc, various types of steel (hard and/or soft); copper; molybdenum; nickel; tantalum; various types of pewter; bismuth; etc., as well as any suitable combinations and/or alloys thereof. Tungsten and the various examples of tungsten alloys and/or tungsten with bindings may generally be substituted for lead when it is desirable to produce lead-free bullets.

Various types of chemical mixtures may further be used in the nose cavity 30 and/or the heel cavity 40. For example, suitable combustible chemical mixtures may be used to form tracer bullets and/or incendiary bullets.

FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of a bullet 10 manufactured using an embodiment of a modular bullet jacket 12. The bullet 10 may comprise a military ball type bullet and may have a full metal jacket, wherein the modular bullet jacket 12 extends to the tip 14 of the bullet 10.

The nose cavity 30 may be filled with any suitable fill material 32, such as lead, steel, copper, etc. Economics may be a leading factor in selecting a material for the nose cavity 30. When a relatively soft fill material 32 is used, such as lead or soft types of steel, the bullet jacket 12 is preferably designed having a proper thickness and shape, such as ogive, point diameter, meplat, etc., to prevent expansion of the bullet 10 upon impact with soft tissue. When harder fill material 32 is used in the nose cavity 30, such as tungsten, tungsten alloys and/or hard types of steel, the thickness of the jacket 12 may be reduced.

The heel cavity 40 may be filled with any suitable fill material 42, such as lead, steel, tungsten and other materials disclosed herein, etc.

In some preferred embodiments, a military ball type bullet 10 may comprise lead in both the nose cavity 30 and the heel cavity 40; copper in the nose cavity 30 and lead in the heel cavity 40; and steel in the nose cavity 30 and copper in the heel cavity 40.

In some embodiments, the bullet 10 may have a boat-tail shape 46, reverse ogive or narrowing toward the rear end.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of a bullet 10 manufactured using an embodiment of a modular bullet jacket 12. The bullet 10 may comprise an armor piercing bullet and may include a penetrator 24.

A penetrator 24 may comprise a relatively hard or hardened material such as tungsten, tungsten carbide, hardened steel, depleted uranium or other suitable materials of high hardness/density which allow a bullet to penetrate armor.

In some embodiments, a penetrator 24 may be located at the front of the bullet 10 and may be exposed, wherein the penetrator 24 extends forward outside of the jacket 12. An exposed penetrator 24 may comprise the tip 14 of the bullet 10 and may form a sharp point. A rearward portion 28 of an exposed penetrator 24 may be oriented within the nose cavity 30 of the modular bullet jacket 12, and a forward portion of an exposed penetrator 24 may extend forward of the nose cavity 30. An exposed penetrator 24 may also include a shaped edge portion 48 to form a smooth outer transition from the exposed penetrator 24 to the jacket 12 material as the length of the bullet 10 is traversed.

In some embodiments, a penetrator 24 may extend for a portion of the length of the nose cavity 30. The rest of the nose cavity 30 may be filled with a filler material 32 which is desirably inexpensive, such as lead or steel.

In some embodiments, the nose cavity 30 may be entirely filled with penetrator 24 material.

The heel cavity 40 may be filled with any suitable filler material 42. The bullet 10 may also have a boat-tail shape 46, reverse ogive or narrowing toward the rear end.

In some preferred embodiments, an armor piercing type bullet 10 may comprise hardened steel or tungsten alloy in the nose cavity 30 and lead, copper or steel in the heel cavity 40.

FIG. 4 shows another embodiment of an armor piercing bullet 10 manufactured using an embodiment of a modular bullet jacket 12. The bullet 10 may include an embodiment of a penetrator 24 that is generally cylindrical in shape. The penetrator 24 may comprise the tip 14 of the bullet 10 and may have a conical front portion 36. The penetrator 24 may be exposed at the front end and may extend through the length of the nose cavity 30. A back end of the penetrator 24 may abut the divider 20. A front portion of the jacket 12 may close around the penetrator 24 and may abut a side portion 38 of the penetrator 24. Portions of the nose cavity 30 not occupied by the penetrator 24 may be filled with any suitable fill material 32.

Various other embodiments of bullets 10 suitable for piercing armor may include a penetrator 24 having any suitable size and/or shape. A penetrator 24 may have any suitable orientation within the bullet 10. In some embodiments, a penetrator 24 may have exposed portions which extend beyond the bullet jacket 12. In some embodiments, a penetrator 24 may be entirely contained within other bullet material, such as the jacket 12 or fill material 32.

FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of an inventive bullet 10 which may comprise an armor piercing incendiary (API) bullet. The nose cavity 30 may include a penetrator 24 or armor piercing component as herein described. The bullet may further include an incendiary composition 52.

An incendiary composition 52 may have any suitable orientation within the bullet 10 and is preferably located near the front of the bullet 10. In some embodiments, an incendiary composition 52 may be exposed at the tip 14 of the bullet 10 and may extend past the jacket 12. Any portion of the nose cavity 30 not occupied by the penetrator 24 or other fill material may also be filled with the incendiary composition 52.

An incendiary composition 52 preferably comprises a combustible mixture which will ignite when the bullet 10 impacts a target. An incendiary composition 52 may comprise any suitable mixture of incendiary materials. In some embodiments, an incendiary composition 52 may comprise a magnesium and/or zirconium compound, mixtures of phosphorus and aluminum, thermite, or any standard incendiary mixture composition including approximately 50% barium nitrate and 50% magnesium aluminum alloy; approximately 50% potassium perchlorate and 50% magnesium aluminum alloy; approximately 10% potassium perchlorate, 40% barium nitrate and 50% magnesium aluminum alloy; approximately 24% barium nitrate, 50% magnesium aluminum alloy and 25% ammonium nitrate; approximately 40% barium nitrate, 50% magnesium aluminum alloy and 10% iron oxide; approximately 50% potassium perchlorate and 50% magnesium aluminum alloy; approximately 51% barium nitrate and 49% magnesium aluminum alloy; approximately 50% barium nitrate and 50% red phosphorus, etc.

FIG. 6 shows another embodiment of an inventive bullet 10 which may comprise a trace bullet. The jacket 12 may taper to a closed tip 14.

The front portion of the bullet 10 may be similar to a military ball type bullet as described herein with respect to FIG. 2. The nose cavity 30 may be filled with any suitable fill material 32 as described herein. When a relatively soft fill material 32 is used, the jacket 12 is preferably designed having a proper shape and thickness to prevent expansion of the bullet 10 upon impact with soft tissue.

The heel cavity 40 may contain trace mix material 56. Upon firing the bullet 10, the trace mix 56 preferably ignites, producing both visible and non-visible light as the trace mix 56 burns. In some embodiments, a trace bullet may include a closure disk 58.

A trace mixture 56 may comprise any suitable composition to produce visible and/or non-visible light. A trace mixture 56 may comprise pelletized component materials or in some embodiments may comprise loose fill which may be consolidated under pressure. Some examples of suitable materials which may be used in trace mix 56 are strontium nitrate, barium nitrate, magnesium powder, calcium resinate, strontium peroxide, polyvinyl chloride, powdered magnesium-aluminum alloy, barium peroxide, bituminous solvent type coating compounds, vinyl alcohol acetate resin, etc.

Some more specific examples of a trace mixture 56 are: approximately 9% calcium resinate, 28% strontium peroxide, 28% magnesium powder and 35% strontium nitrate; approximately 17% polyvinyl chloride, 28% magnesium powder and 55% strontium nitrate; approximately 18% polyvinyl chloride, 28% magnesium powder and 54% strontium nitrate, etc. In some embodiments, a trace mixture 56 may produce mainly infrared light, for example a mixture of 40% barium peroxide, 40% strontium peroxide, 10% calcium resinate and 10% magnesium carbonate.

FIG. 7 shows another embodiment of a bullet 10 which may comprise a trace bullet. The bullet 10 may comprise an inventive trace module 70 which may be inserted into the heel cavity 40 of the modular bullet jacket 12.

An insertable trace module 70 may generally comprise a reservoir 72 which may be cylindrical in shape and filled with any suitable trace mixture 56. The reservoir 72 may comprise any suitable material, such as metals, plastics, ceramics, etc. In some embodiments, it may be preferable for the reservoir 72 to be made from a strong and/or durable material that will resist the high stresses experienced during projectile launch and/or resist the heat generated as the trace mixture 56 bums. In preferred embodiments, the reservoir 72 may comprise a metal such as steel.

A trace module 70 may be secured within the bullet jacket 12 using any suitable method, such as chemical bonding, swaging, crimping, friction fitting, etc. In some embodiments, the bullet 10 may have a crimped end portion 68. Thus, a trace module 70 may be inserted and preferably friction fit into the heel cavity 40, and the end portion of the jacket 12 may be crimped to cone over the trace module 70.

A trace module 70 may be separately manufactured as a self-contained unit and stored until being inserted into a bullet 10.

FIG. 8 shows another embodiment of a trace module 70. In various embodiments, trace modules 70 may be manufactured in various sizes/diameters to satisfy varying caliber requirements, which may range from .22 caliber or less to .50 caliber or more. A trace module 70 may have any suitable height dimension and may contain any appropriate amount of trace mixture 56 as required by the bullet in which the trace module 70 will be installed, and the intended mission for the bullet. Design of the trace module 70 may be scalable such that various embodiments of a trace module 70 may be suitable for use in projectiles of all sizes and for all mission requirements.

In some embodiments, the reservoir 72 may include a bottom 74 and may thus comprise a cup in which the trace mixture 56 may be packed. In some embodiments, the reservoir 72 may be formed and/or shaped by machining, for example from a billet of material.

In some embodiments, the trace module 70 may include an igniter composition 62 such as 91% strontium peroxide and 9% polyurethane. An igniter 62 may ignite at a lower temperature than the trace mixture 56 and preferably ensures proper ignition of the trace mixture 56. An igniter 62 may be located toward the rear of the bullet/trace module 70.

In some embodiments, a trace module 70 may further comprise a subigniter 64, which may be oriented substantially between an igniter 62 and the trace mixture 56.

Various embodiments of trace mixture 56, igniter 62 and subigniter 64 compositions may be selected for the various requirements of the trace bullet, such as visible/non-visible light, color, burn time, etc.

In some embodiments, a trace module 70 may further comprise a closure disk 58, which may help to protect the trace materials from the environment and may prevent the trace module 70 from losing trace mixture 56. A closure disk 58 may extend shelf life and may ease installation of the trace module 70 into a bullet jacket.

FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of a trace bullet 10 comprising an embodiment of a trace module 70.

In some preferred embodiments, a tracer type bullet 10 may comprise steel, lead or copper in the nose cavity 30, and a suitable trace mixture 56 in the heel cavity 40 or a suitable trace module 70 comprising a suitable trace mixture 56 in the heel cavity 40.

Further embodiments of bullets 10 according to the invention may utilize any suitable features of any embodiments of bullets 10 described herein. For example, an armor piercing tracer bullet may be made using suitable embodiments of the nose cavity 30 as described with respect to armor piercing bullets, and suitable embodiments of the heel cavity as described with respect to tracer bullets. An armor piercing incendiary tracer bullet may be made using suitable embodiments of the nose cavity 30 as described with respect to armor piercing incendiary bullets, and suitable embodiments of the heel cavity as described with respect to tracer bullets.

The present invention may reduce the number of individual tooling steps required to produce a variety of bullet types.

FIG. 10A shows some examples of prior art processing steps used in manufacturing various types of bullets according to prior art methods. FIG. 10B shows some examples of processing steps used in manufacturing various types of bullets according to some embodiments of the inventive method using a modular bullet jacket. Each box may represent an individual unit operation or metal forming step required to produce a bullet or its sub-assembly.

A prior art sequence 80 for manufacturing prior art military ball ammunition may require ten separate processing steps as shown. An inventive sequence 90 for manufacturing military ball ammunition utilizing an inventive modular bullet jacket may first comprise a modular jacket forming process 78, which in some embodiments may comprise five individual drawing and staking steps as shown. The inventive sequence 90 may further comprise operations to form the military ball bullet from the modular jacket, for example as shown using five further steps.

Process steps across the various ammunition lines may be reduced as the various lines for a given caliber may all utilize the same modular jacket forming process 78, therefore using only one type of modular jacket per designated caliber. Design of the modular jacket may be scalable such that various embodiments of a modular jacket may be suitable for use in manufacturing projectiles of all sizes and for all mission requirements.

A prior art sequence 82 for manufacturing prior art tracer ammunition may require twenty-two individual processing steps as shown. An inventive sequence 92 for manufacturing tracer ammunition may comprise the modular jacket forming process 78, followed by operations to form the tracer bullet from the modular jacket, for example as shown using eight further steps.

In some further embodiments, an inventive sequence 92 for manufacturing tracer ammunition may comprise a modular jacket forming process 78 followed by a step of inserting a tracer module 70 (see FIG. 8) as herein described.

A prior art sequence 84 for manufacturing prior art armor piercing ammunition 84 may require ten individual processing steps as shown. An inventive sequence 94 for manufacturing armor piercing ammunition may comprise the modular jacket forming process 78, followed by operations to form the armor piercing bullet from the modular jacket, for example as shown using five further steps.

Therefore, when using prior art processes 80, 82, 84 to manufacture three bullet types of a similar caliber, a total of forty-two or more individual tooling operations may be required (i.e. ten steps for military ball; twenty-two steps for tracer; and ten steps for armor piercing). The inventive modular bullet jacket may reduce the number of individual tooling operations to twenty-three or less, as all of the bullet types may utilize the modular jacket forming process 78 (five steps for jacket forming; five additional steps for military ball; eight additional steps for tracer; and five additional steps for armor piercing).

Various embodiments of inventive modular bullets 10 have been successfully tested.

Modular Armor Piercing Ammunition

Prototype Modular Armor Piercing bullets were fired into ¼″ Cold Rolled Steel Plate at a range of 100-yards. A satisfactory number of bullets penetrated steel plate, thereby satisfying a claim of armor piercing ability. The testing was documented in an engineering journal and witnessed by two technicians.

Modular Ball Ammunition

Prototype Modular Ball bullets were fired into ballistic gelatin (simulation of soft tissue) at a range of 5 meters. The bullets were recovered with evidence of non-expansion. The testing was documented in an engineering journal and witnessed by three technicians.

Modular Trace Ammunition

Prototype Modular Trace bullets were fired at night at an outdoor range. All of the bullets fired exhibited a light trail leaving the muzzle of the weapon's barrel. The testing was documented in an engineering journal and witnessed by two technicians.

In some embodiments, the invention may comprise a method of making modular bullets as herein described, for example according to the following paragraphs.

  • 1. A method of forming a non-expanding bullet comprising:
    • providing a modular bullet jacket comprising a nose cavity and a heel cavity separated by a divider;
    • inserting a heel cavity fill material into the heel cavity;
    • inserting a nose cavity fill material into the nose cavity and forming a bullet tip such that the bullet will be non-expanding upon impacting soft tissue.
  • 2. The method of paragraph 1, further comprising forming bullet jacket to comprise the bullet tip such that the bullet comprises a full metal jacketed bullet.
  • 3. The method of paragraph 1, wherein the heel cavity fill material comprises a material selected from a group consisting of: lead, copper, tin, polymeric matrix material, elastomeric matrix material, hardened steel, tungsten, tungsten-carbide, depleted uranium and bronze.
  • 4. The method of paragraph 1, wherein the nose cavity fill material comprises a material selected from a group consisting of: lead, copper, tin, polymeric matrix material, elastomeric matrix material, hardened steel, tungsten, tungsten-carbide, depleted uranium and bronze.
  • 5. The method of paragraph 1, wherein the nose cavity fill material comprises a hardened penetrator.
  • 6. The method of paragraph 5, wherein the nose cavity fill material comprises a material selected from a group consisting of: hardened steel, tungsten, tungsten-carbide, depleted uranium and bronze.
  • 7. The method of paragraph 1, further comprising providing an incendiary composition in the nose cavity.
  • 8. The method of paragraph 1, wherein the heel cavity fill material comprises a chemical trace composition.
  • 9. The method of paragraph 1, further comprising providing an insertable trace module comprising a cylindrical reservoir and a chemical trace composition, and inserting the trace module into the heel cavity, wherein the chemical trace composition comprises the heel cavity fill material.
  • 10. The method of paragraph 9, further comprising crimping a tail end of the bullet over a portion of the trace module.
  • 11. The method of claim 1, further comprising forming a reverse ogive at a rear end of the bullet.

The above disclosure is intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive. This description will suggest many variations and alternatives to one of ordinary skill in this field of art. All these alternatives and variations are intended to be included within the scope of the claims where the term “comprising” means “including, but not limited to”. Those familiar with the art may recognize other equivalents to the specific embodiments described herein which equivalents are also intended to be encompassed by the claims.

Further, the particular features presented in the dependent claims can be combined with each other in other manners within the scope of the invention such that the invention should be recognized as also specifically directed to other embodiments having any other possible combination of the features of the dependent claims. For instance, for purposes of claim publication, any dependent claim which follows should be taken as alternatively written in a multiple dependent form from all prior claims which possess all antecedents referenced in such dependent claim if such multiple dependent format is an accepted format within the jurisdiction (e.g. each claim depending directly from claim 1 should be alternatively taken as depending from all previous claims). In jurisdictions where multiple dependent claim formats are restricted, the following dependent claims should each be also taken as alternatively written in each singly dependent claim format which creates a dependency from a prior antecedent-possessing claim other than the specific claim listed in such dependent claim below.

This completes the description of the preferred and alternate embodiments of the invention. Those skilled in the art may recognize other equivalents to the specific embodiment described herein which equivalents are intended to be encompassed by the claims attached hereto.

Claims

1. A bullet comprising:

an outer jacket defining a first internal cavity and a second internal cavity, the jacket having a divider oriented between the first internal cavity and the second internal cavity;
a first fill material within the first internal cavity; and
a second fill material within the second internal cavity;
wherein the bullet is non-expanding upon impacting soft tissue.

2. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the first fill material and the construction and arrangement of the outer jacket cooperate to make the bullet non-expanding.

3. The bullet of claim 2, wherein the outer jacket further comprises a closed tip, and the first fill material comprises a material selected from a group consisting of: lead, copper, tin, polymeric matrix material and elastomeric matrix material.

4. The bullet of claim 2, wherein the first fill material comprises a material selected from a group consisting of: hardened steel, tungsten, tungsten-carbide, depleted uranium and bronze.

5. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the jacket comprises a material selected from the following group: copper, gilding metal and copper-clad steel.

6. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the first fill material comprises a material selected from a group consisting of: lead, copper, tin, polymeric matrix material, elastomeric matrix material, hardened steel, tungsten, tungsten-carbide, depleted uranium and bronze.

7. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the second fill material comprises a material selected from a group consisting of: lead, copper, tin, polymeric matrix material, elastomeric matrix material, hardened steel, tungsten, tungsten-carbide, depleted uranium and bronze.

8. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the first fill material and the second fill material comprise the same type of material.

9. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the first fill material comprises a hardened penetrator.

10. The bullet of claim 9, wherein the penetrator is exposed.

11. The bullet of claim 9, further comprising a third fill material within the first internal cavity.

12. The bullet of claim 11, wherein the third fill material comprises an incendiary composition.

13. The bullet of claim 9, wherein the penetrator extends from said divider to a tip of the bullet.

14. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the second material comprises trace mixture.

15. The bullet of claim 14, further comprising a trace module within the second cavity.

16. The bullet of claim 15, wherein the trace module comprises a substantially cylindrical reservoir and the trace mixture.

17. The bullet of claim 15, further comprising an end portion that is crimped about a portion of the trace module.

18. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the outer jacket completely encases the first material.

19. The bullet of claim 1, wherein the first material is not lead.

20. The bullet of claim 1, further comprising a reverse ogive at a rear portion of the bullet.

Patent History

Publication number: 20070017409
Type: Application
Filed: Jun 20, 2005
Publication Date: Jan 25, 2007
Applicant: ALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS INC. (Edina, MN)
Inventors: Daniel Mansfield (Prairie Village, KS), John Westbrook (Lee's Summit, MO)
Application Number: 11/156,774

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: 102/518.000
International Classification: F42B 30/00 (20060101);