Getting acquainted with the history of small arms, you can find a lot of interesting and unusual developments that attract increased human attention. One such example is the Gurojet rocket pistol. Created in the early 1960s by the designers of the American company MB Associates, the pistol actually fired miniature rockets. The reason for such an unusual design decision is the desire of the developers to combine high efficiency and low noise when firing in one sample.
To be completely precise, the development of MB Associates engineers was not a pistol in the truest sense of the word. It was a very peculiar launcher for launching small solid rockets or jet bullets, made in the form factor of a standard self-loading pistol. It is known that several rocket pistols could be with the US military in Vietnam. However, they themselves acquired firearms, and the use of an unusual pistol in combat conditions was episodic. At the same time, the model also did not “take off” in the civilian market, since back in 1968 the federal government banned the use of firearms with a caliber of more than 12 mm in the civilian sector, which, in fact, put an end to the entire development, even without taking into account a large number of obvious shortcomings of the Gyrojet rocket pistol.
Gyrojet pistol device
The engineers at Mainhardt Biehl Associates turned to the idea of creating an unusual firearm because of the desire to combine low noise during firing and high efficiency of the ammunition used in one sample. With the successful development of the project, the firearm would definitely find its niche in the market, being in service with the fighters of various special units. To achieve their goals, firearm designers Robert Maynard and Arthur Biel decided to turn to non-standard ammunition. Cartridges for unusual firearms were small-sized rocket shells, which were made of stainless steel. To launch unusual cartridges, the designers created a multi-shot launcher, which outwardly resembled a pistol of impressive size with a conspicuous detail in the form of a perforated barrel. The holes were needed to remove powder gases, but at the same time they created big problems with the use of firearms. The shooter constantly had to ensure that the barrel was not clogged with foreign objects, dirt or sand. The length of the pistol was approximately 300 mm.
The Gurojet launcher itself was made of aluminum, while the lining on the pistol grip was wooden. The improvised pistol received an integral magazine, designed for 6 missiles, its location was classic - in the pistol grip. The magazine could be equipped only with individual reactive cartridges and was carried out through a cover sliding back, located at the top of the firearm. This created great inconvenience for the shooter, as he could not simply take and replace the magazine with a new one, which reduced the rate of fire of the pistol. The fixed drummer was installed at the rear of the launch tube - the barrel, and the trigger was located in front of the store.
At the moment when the shooter pulled the trigger, the trigger turned on its axis up and back, after which it hit the head of a small rocket. From the impact of the trigger, the miniature rocket moved back, and the primer located in its tail section was impaled on a fixed, motionless drummer. After that, the powder charge was ignited and the process of rocket acceleration along the barrel began. During the movement, the rocket turned the trigger in the opposite direction, cocking it. At the same time, the shooter could cock the trigger manually, for this he could use a special lever located on the left side of the pistol - the launcher.
Ammunition for rocket pistol
As ammunition for the Gurojet rocket pistol, small rockets (reactive bullets) with a pointed tip of 13 mm caliber (13x50 mm cartridge) were used, stainless steel was used for their production. The defeat of targets by reactive bullets occurred in the same way as with conventional pistol bullets due to the impact of kinetic energy. At the same time, the burning time of the powder charge in the rocket ammunition was about 0.1 seconds. At the time of departure from the barrel of the pistol - the launcher, the speed of the rocket bullet was only 30 m / s, this is a very low value. The main problem was that the bullet reached its maximum power at a noticeable distance from the pistol, which made it ineffective in close combat. This was due to the design feature - the rocket ammunition accelerated smoothly.
As noted above, at the exit from the barrel, the jet bullet had a speed of only 100 feet per second, at a distance of 23 feet the speed increased to 984 feet per second. The bullet reached its maximum speed and kinetic energy at a distance of approximately 65 feet by the time the powder gases were completely burned, then its speed was 1247 f / s.
One of the problems of the ammunition was the lack of a stabilizing tail in flight. Although experiments in this direction were carried out, a similar ammunition for Gurojet was never created. At the same time, the tested ammunition had a very low accuracy, which could hardly be called satisfactory. When firing at distant targets, a significant spread of hits of jet bullets, which were stabilized in flight only by rotation due to the deflection of part of the powder gases in the radial plane, made the firearm ineffective and inaccurate. According to the manufacturing company, at a distance of 100 meters, the bullet deflection was from two to three meters, and in some cases it was even more impressive.
Instead of an afterword
Developed in the 1960s, the unique Gurojet rocket pistol has left its mark on gun history. During tests carried out at distances up to 180 feet, the energy of a miniature rocket fired from a pistol was approximately twice the energy of a bullet that the shooter fired at the target from a Colt M1911 pistol (chambered in 11.43x23 mm). The firearm met the main declared requirements - low noise when firing, practically no recoil, powerful lethal force of ammunition. When firing from the Gurojet rocket pistol, the soundtrack was reduced only to the low hiss of a flying rocket. This could include ease of operation and repair due to the small number of parts, including moving parts. This is where the positive qualities of the gun ended.
The unusual firearm had a large number of obvious flaws that outweighed the advantages. The pistol, created by the designers of MB Associates, turned out to be ineffective in close combat, since the missiles needed time to pick up speed. This virtually eliminated the use of the Gurojet rocket pistol as a firearm of last chance at minimum firing distances, as pistols are often used in real combat conditions. In addition, the “improvised bullets” had a large dispersion due to the lack of stabilizers, and the pistol itself was distinguished by its impressive dimensions. Also, experts attributed low reliability and a small magazine capacity (only 6 rocket cartridges) to the disadvantages of unusual firearms. One of the problems was the frequent misfires of new firearms. During the tests, there was approximately one misfire for every 100 shots, this exceeded all values \u200b\u200ballowed in the firearms business. It is worth emphasizing here that such misfires were recorded during firing in virtually ideal conditions; in the actual combat use of firearms, their number could increase significantly. At an important moment, the firearm could simply let the shooter down, for which in battle people pay with their own lives.
All of the above for a long time cooled the interest of gunsmiths in such models of firearms. Until 2018, enthusiastic designers from the American company TAO Fledermaus developed and tested several 3D printed jet bullets. The first tests could hardly be called successful, but the TAO Fledermaus designers have not yet lost interest in the development of such ammunition.