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Latest update 09.09.2001
Questions and Answers
Part 14. Answered by: P. T. Kekkonen
British Bulldog revolver
A friend asked me to identify a pistol that he found in his grandfathers stuff. I believe it to be a 11 mm revolver made in Belgium called the British Bulldog. It is a small pocket revolver with a gate opening for loading and a bar that goes into the center of the cylinder is pulled out and rotated to extract empty shells. Any info on this gun would be great.
There are 16 pages full of Bulldog revolver drawings on
the book "ASE-ATLAS" by ALEXANDR
B. ZHUK. On some pages of this book are drawn as many as seventeen somewhat different
models of "American", "British" and "Belgian Bulldogs". It
is impossible mission to identify some individual revolver without seeing it.
In Belgium was at least a hundred little anonyme gun manufactures producing cheap pocket revolvers and shotguns. It is impossible to identify exactly the British Bulldog revolver, if the name of manufacturer is not engraved or stamped on it. Usually it was not. The "British Bulldog" was not a trade-mark of a revolver, but a pattern or a family of pocket-sized revolvers, made by (mostly) anonyme Belgian firearms plants, usually located in Liege/Herstal region.
Some Bulldogs were made also in France and original models actually in Britain. Bulldog handguns are more or less faithful copies of WEBLEY "Metropolitan Police" or "Royal Irish Constabulary" revolvers, but calibers of them varied from 5 mm to 11 mm (if not up to .476 Eley or .577 Boxer) European, British or American cartridges. Those same Belgian firms produced also "American Bulldog" revolvers, chambered for the short revolver cartridges popular in USA. There were, of course, produced the "Belgian Bulldogs" too.
PS. Book "ASE-ATLAS" is available in Finland from ASE-LEHTI/ KIRJAMYYNTI. Text is in Finnish but alphabetic order is along with Russian alphabet. Drawings are magnificent! E-mail address of the distributor is: firstname.lastname@example.org .
0309 MMI; PT
Gun & ammo
Hello PT and thank you for your answers and tips on 30-06 subsonic loading. This time I have some questiones concernig a gun and some ammunition that my late grandfather left behind. I have attached some pictures, but will give a description of the stuff as well.
The rifle is said to be a SAKO, and the caliber is 9,3 x 53R. What can you tell me about this gun and approximately how old it is? It has a very strange looking, but slick fuctioning bolt. The ammunition is decribed as follow (from left to right on the picture).
1) 8.15 mm bullet diameter, soft point, head stamp P162 IVe1 4 40, green ring around primer 2) 8.15 mm bullet, FMJ, head stamp: hlb St 1 43, red ring around primer 3) 8.15 mm bullet, FMJ, head stamp: cg St+ 12 41, red ring around primer 4) 8.15 mm bullet, FMJ w/black tip, head stamp: p249 IXg1 13 40, red ring around primer 5) 8,18 mm bullet, tapered cartridge, head stamp : R.W.S 72 x 8.18 I would very much like to have some answers as to what this ammo is and if they are some kind of specials.
Sincerely, Lars (PV), Norway
Without a picture of your 9.3 x 53R rifle it is impossible to say anything about origin of your "sporterized" military rifle, intended for moose hunting. (I presume - without more exact knowledge - that the rifle is an old "war horse"). Re-boring and re-rifling (or re-barreling) might be done by SAKO Oy, but there were many small gunsmithing shops in Finland, which made the sporterizing of service rifles. Actions of them were most usually Russian Mosin & Nagant Mod. 1891 or -91/30, but Japanese Arisaka Model 1897 and especially Model 1905 rifle/carbine actions were not uncommon.
(Rifles and carbines M/-05 were bought by Germany for White Finns before and during Finnish Independence War/Civil War in 1918. Old models were donated by Russian Bolsheviks to Red Finns. They were presumably captures of Russo-Japanese War 1904 - 05 from Manchurian battlefields). Many other actions were also sporterized, like Winchester Model 1895s (captured from Russians during the 1918 War), Swedish Mauser model 1896 and even the Austrian Mannlicher Model 1895 rifles with a straight-pull bolt action. Sporterizing of old service rifles is still continuing: Many Winchester Mod. 1895 rifles are re-barreled to shoot .45-70 Government cartridges; usually handloads since factory-loaded cartridges "have not enough bullet's energy for moose hunting" accordig to our Game Act (copied from Swedish Game Act).
Since 1962 until 1993 hunting of moose, whitetail deer and bear was banned with handloaded cartridges in Finland, but when this insane ban was criticized by periodical hunting magazines since late 1970s (in my writings, of course!), this ban was finally revoked in 1993, along with many other bans and restrictions, which were consequences of unlimited dictator-like authority of the game-legislator TAUNO V. MAKKI (who was a bosom friend of contemporary president URHO K. KEKKONEN) - and the corruption.
But back to the sporterizing: Especially Japanese rifles had too thin barrel for shooting with 9.3 x 53R cartridges, designed by SAKO Oy sometimes after the Finnish Third Independence Struggle (in 1941 - 44). PLEASE NOTE: These cartridges are still in production by Sako, but with just one rather miserable old-fashioned softpoint bullet type; not with 9.3 mm BARNES X or NOSLER PARTITION bullets. The most productive sporterizing workshop, ASEPAJA AARRE VIITANEN in Kauhajoki, modified almost 9000 Arisaka rifles and sold them with a stamped trade-mark: "JAPPI". Gunsmith A. Viitanen bought a bore drilling & reaming machinery about 50 years ago, and was so able to drill the barrels from the steel bar-stock. Now he could make the moose rifles too; no more just 7 x 54 mm small game rifles by re-boring and rifling.
(Since 1933 until 1962 moose hunting was banned with a rifle, caliber 8 mm or less. All kind of hunting was banned with 7.62 x 53R caliber military rifles; at least these rifles in possession of Army personnel and members of Finnish Civil Guard, the Suojeluskunta. That's why the Finns use caliber designation 8.2 x 57 mm from 7.9 x 57 JS Mauser cartridges and 8.2 x 53R from the "factory wildcat", based on the necked-up 7.62 x 53R case. Caliber designation is actual or approximate diameter of a bullet, not a bore diameter. 8.2 mm softpoint BULLET was legal for moose hunting. Designation .308 means also bullet diameter, while .30 or .300 is a nominal bore size).
Among the privately-owned gunsmithing shops was also TAMPEREEN ASEPAJA, which made sporterizings but designed also the actions of .22 rimfire rifles or centerfire target & hunting rifles. Best known design of TAP was, however, the famous JATI-MATIC submachine gun. First prototype of it was shootable in 1980. Activity of TAP was suppressed by "hoplophobic" (or actually "MISOHOPLIC") Finnish authorities. AARRE VIITANEN closed his shop in the late 1983, when Finland was associated to the f..king bureaucratic organization known as C.I.P. which prevented production of truly accurate rifles for sales by their norms and standards.
1980s was a disastrous decade to Finnish firearms industry; not only to the small custom gunsmithing shops: Famous TIKKAKOSKI Oy was merged in SAKO Oy and forced to end firearms production. State-owned VALMET TOURULA WORKS also merged in Sako and it's firearms production was gradually suppressed to the end. Original name of Tourula Works was VALTION KIVÄÄRITEHDAS; STATE'S RIFLE FACTORY, but the misohoplic State of Finland was determined to get rid of the small arms production.
"MISOHOPLIA": What is it?
A mental disorder. Derives from ancient Greek words "MISOS": "hatred" (for something or somebody). "HOPLOS/HOPLIS": "weapon(s)". "..IA": "disorder/ sickness". Formerly used term: "HOPLOPHOBIA" (coined by JEFF COOPER, as far as I know) is somewhat incorrect diagnosis, meaning just "fear of weapons". Misohoplics HATE weapons and the persons willing to possess the firearms or other weapons. Highest degree of misohoplia was the (U.N.- supported!) plan to collect privately-owned firearms and destruct them by burning at the stakes. It was no more a symptom of any "phobia" but a sign of much more serious madness.
(My friends! Please, tell this to Jeff Cooper: "Doc" P.T.Kekkonen is diagnosed the pestilent sickness of our enemy. He know also the correct medicine: A soft metal with specific gravity 11.34 grams per cubic centimeter. Chemical symbol: "Pb". Parenteral application. Dosage: "Quantum Satis" - usually in capsules).
About the cartridges: Most of them are 7.9 x 57 mm JS (Mauser) military ammo. Last one is designed for hunting guns with "break loading". Many of them were shotgun-rifle combination guns or drillings.
1) 7,9 mm TM-bulleted cartridge. Issued to German troops for hunting only; not for warfare. Producer: Presswerk GmbH, Metgethen, East-Prussia. Loaded in April 1940. (TM means Teilmantel; "partially jacketed" with a soft point of naked lead or with a soft copper "ballistic tip").
2) Usual ball cartridge. Producer: Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbrietzen GmbH, Selterhof, Germany. Steel case with (usually) single slightly enlargened flash hole, although it has a Berdan primer. Loaded in January 1943.
3) Usual ball cartridge. Producer: Finower Industrie GmbH, Finow, Germany. Reinforced steel case. Loaded in December 1941. Finower cartridges were very accurate. Issued usually for the snipers and for target practice of sniper aspirants.
4) Tracer bullet gartridge for snipers; "practice tracer". Producer: Finower Industrie GmbH, Finow, Germany. Loaded in 1940.
5) Civilian cartridge 8 x 72R SAUER. Derivation of century-old 9.3 x 74R FOERSTER cartridge (which is still well-known and popular especially in Central-Europe, where hunting is a hobby of wealthy aristocracy only). The cartridge is not necked-down like usual "wildcats" but it's case is tapered from rim to mouth. Producer: Rheinisch-Westwälische Sprengstoff, Nurenberg or Troisdorf, Germany. Loading date unknown. (It was mandatory to stamp it on the heads of military cartridges only). Production of 8 x 72R Sauer is ended several decades ago. Cartridge was designed about in 1910. It became never as popular as the "big brother" 9.3 x 74R, which is still going strong.
2908 MMI; PT
Sound trap idea
I would like a conformation of your mailing address in order to send you some "support". I also have made a suppression device of my own. I am waiting for some time to do testing would you please offer some comments. I made it for a single shot bolt action .22 using subsonic ammunition. I will send you sketch but in case you can't open it I will offer a brief description:
At a distance of 85mm from the crown starts a row of 5 ports (under the barrel) measuring 3mm with a spacing of 8mm on center. The row of ports is encased in a 50 mm copper sleeve that runs 90 deg to the rifle bore. It's sleeve's upper end is capped off flush with the top of the barrel and the lower end tapers down to 3/4" female pipe thread (the distance from the top of the barrel to the pipe thread is 110mm) the pipe thread now couples to the middle of a 260 mm X 60mm "Resonance" chamber filled loosely with soft cellular foam. The resonance chamber runs parallel to rifle bore center line.
Question is: What material should be in the chamber, should I port the chamber, should I baffle any or all of it, would it suppress better if it blew off into a larger chamber? This isn't designed to be concealed in any way so size isn't critical. I relies this isn't "Normal" but I wanted to try to build a different mouse trap. Any thoughts or referrals would be greatly appreciated.
Mike, in Canada
The only way to support our activity outside Finland is to send cash (paper money) to our postal box. Address is:
GOW, P.O. BOX 525, FIN-80161 JOENSUU, FINLAND, EUROPE.
Canadian dollars are also welcome; not USDs only. Annual fee is 20:00 (twenty) CAN$. Majority of our non-Finnish visitors are forgotten the support fee, a.k.a. "The Debt of Honour"! Our economic situation is again very "frustrating".
I can imagine your suppressor concept by the written description and found it be excessively large and complicated. Swiss designer THURLER patented about similar device in 1911 for military rifles, shooting full-power loads. It was a muzzle-can, however. Heat absorbing material were metal chips, presumably of aluminium. The suppressor for .22 rimfire rifle, shooting subsonic ammo, needs definitely no cellular foam material in chamber surrounding the barrel. The "muzzle can" part of a suppressor is essential! Gas exhaust ports through the barrel wall are unable to eliminate the muzzle blast of even the .22 LR subsonic cartridge. Length of the suppressor jacket ahead of barrel muzzle may be as short as 3 inches (75 mm) if there is a gas expansion chamber around muzzle end of the barrel.
(See construction of BR-Tuote Reflex suppressor). The gas bleed apertures or ports through barrel wall are beneficial, if they are drilled (AND REAMED!) just ahead of the cartridge chamber. Two ports with diameter 4 mm, located at the breech end of barrel (less than 50 mm ahead of the point of a chambered bullet's point) are enough for deduction of the bore pressure and bullet velocity so that any & all "standard velocity" cartridges shall become TRULY subsonic cartridges. The powder gas, bleeding through these ports, should be trapped into the gas expansion chamber around the breech-end of a barrel. Don't fill this chamber with any material lessening it's volume! Now you need just a little, thin muzzle-can (like PARKER-HALE MM1) mounted on the rifle. It is "horribly silent"; more noisy when the hammer or striker is dropped on the breech-bolt than when the cartridge is discharged (unless your rifle is autoloading).
0309 MMI; PT
"Perversed" bullets and the Haque dictates
I noticed with some interest the use of reversed projectiles in military weapons. It was known for persons to pull and reverse military 7.62 mm NATO ammo projectiles in Vietnam - but not for silencing/suppression purposes. (Moi? Mais non!)
It was only ever done for the first round loaded in the chamber as it didn't feed reliably from a magazine but caused massive knockdown power, similar to using a softpoint or hollowpoint projectile. Of course you're probably "technically" not breaking the Geneva Convention because you're still using a standard Full Metal Jacketed Spitzer projectile... As for accuracy, at combat ranges accuracy changes are immaterial. I wouldn't do it too often on a fine sniping weapon though, as the hot gasses will ablate the bore.
Comments. This trick has been well-known since 1899, presumably in all the battle-fields of the world - especially since adoptment of the Spitzer bullets on military rifle cartridges. (In Germany: 1904, in USA: 1906, in Russia: 1908, in Britain: 1914...et cetera). The Spitzer bullet is a pointed projectile with a plain or usually somewhat concave base. (Russian bullet "L-pulya" had a rather deep conical base cavity, like a Minié bullet. So had also the Finnish 7.62 mm "S-luoti").
The Dum-Dum bullet "a METAL jacketed projectile with the lead core exposed on it's POINT, or the jacket weakened with slashes/incisions" was banned by the First Haque Peace Convention in summer 1899; NOT by Geneva Conventions! (This is an usual delusion even on the scientific articles; not only on the pulp-novels). The "Dum-Dum prohibition" REALLY does not ban use of the reversed Full Metal Jacketed bullets for any kind of warfare! Also, it doesn't ban use of lead projectiles (without any jacket, or with a paper or plastic jacket).
1st Haque Peace Convention banned also aerial bombings "from the balloons", but because the serviceable dirigibles ("Zeppelins") and aeroplanes were not yet invented in 1899, all the belligerents carried out aerial bombings against military objectives and even the civilian targets - already during the First World War. "Pumagi pumaga, a praktika yest praktika" said a Russian Red Tsar, JOSIF V. STALIN: "Papers are paper, but the practice is practice!". The participators in Haque Convention were mostly members of contemporary very most arrogant European "cream of the cream" aristocracy: Diplomatists who were BORN to become diplomatists! Just the German delegation had some military experts among it. Aristocrats, of course!
Delegation of USA had also an expert of wound ballistics: Captain WILLIAM CROZIER (1855 - 1942). He lectured - hour after hour - about the tricks "how to evade a Dum-Dum prohibition". Diplomatists yawned (most of them didn't simply understand the ballistic terminology) - or felt sick if they were able to comprehend even the essentials of the lecture. No suggestions of Capt. Crozier were accepted to the communiqué of Haque Convention. Delegation of USA went home before the end of Convention. I cannot understand, why the US warriors didn't use softpointed or hollow-point rifle bullets, even in the Korean War fifty years ago or in the Viet-Nam conflict! They were never bound to the dictates of Haque Conventions 1899 and 1907, and opponents of them were Communists: Not human beings at all!
On our GOW/Finnish (SUOMEKSI) site is an article "HAAG 1899" about the tricks carried out during a full century, to evade the "Dum-Dum prohibition". I am very sorry, but I have not enough time to re-write this long article also in English! (And my motivation for writing in English is once again fading away: Too many visitors are forgotten their "Debt of Honour"; our nominal annual fee! Is it too arduous to draw a bill/banknote from a cash automat, get an envelope & stamp, and type or write with long-hand our P.O. Box address?!). Drawings and other illustration of "Haag" story may be, however, interesting.
Use of real EXPLOSIVE bullets was banned already in 1867 - 68 by the Declaration of St. Petersburg, with many interesting exceptions: Use of explosive or incendiary projectiles with the weight less than 400 grams is BANNED just against the non-covered personnel (wearing an uniform) or their "beasts of burden" in the ground warfare between REGULAR ARMIES of civilized states. Use of these projectiles is ALLOWED in civil wars, counter-insurrection operations or fighting against the insurgent natives in the colonies, and against criminals/ culprits. It is also ALLOWED to use explosive bullets against COVERED enemy personnel or beasts of burden, as well as against buildings, trains, all kinds of motorized vehicles, balloons, dirigibles, aeroplanes, ships and steam-boats or motor-boats.
It is a well-known fact that Soviet-Russia violated St. Petersburg's Declaration during the wars in 1939 - 45 more frequently than other nations of the world did altogether! Example given: ADOLPH HITLER allowed issue of cartridges with explosive/incendiary 7.9 mm "B-Geschossen" to the German infantry NOT until February 1945, just a couple of months before fall of the True Germany. Issue of these cartridges was allowed just to the snipers, for use in the Eastern Front only..!
0409 MMI; PT
Replica scope for a Parker-Hale Whitworth replica rifle
Thank you for your response. Do you know of the scope manufacture that made the Repro scope and mount for the Parker-Hale rebirth Whitworth for the Gibbs Company?
Sorry, I don't know exactly! LYMAN PRODUCTS Corporation made in 1977 - 78 the 33.75 inches long scopes with 4 x magnification and a fixed cross-wire reticle for their Centennial Rifle. (Just a batch of 1000 rifles were made by STURM, RUGER & Co. I don't know, how many scopes were produced by Lyman). Also I don't know, whether these scopes were mounted on the PARKER-HALE/ GIBBS Co. Whitworth replica rifles. Mounts for them were presumably made by Parker-Hale. You should try to contact them yourself and ask. (I am unable to consult any producer of guns, ammo or equipment, due to my lack of direct contact with Internet or e-mail).
I have also a very faint recollection that a Japanese manufacture of optics, TASCO, has produced sometimes the replica scope sights, with brass tubes and fixed cross-hair reticles for reproduction rifles. Shorter variation of these Tasco brass-tube sight is about authentic for the Whitworth repro, if mounted on the left side (NOT on the top) of a rifle. As far as I know, there were long top-mounted and shorter side-mounted scope sights for Confederate States of America's Whitworth sniping rifles; some of them were imports from Europe, some others captured from Yankees. Majority of CSA snipers shot, however, by use of the open iron sights or tang-mounted high peep sights on their Whitworth rifles.
0109 MMI; PT
Needs a full-auto Stechkin APS!
1) I discovered your site, and I would obtain some info concerning our common passion. Here in Belgium we have the government collectors agreement to buy all "historical" weapons. I have now a Finnish "Luger" and the holster marked: J T R. Could you help? I suppose it would be: Jääkäri Tampere Rykmentti, right?
2) Another important request: Could I buy in your country, with my agreement, a "Stetshkin sarja-automaattpistooli" in his original configuration? Not like in Germany, single shots! Any address would be upmost appreciated.
1) Wrong! Abbreviation "T R" means "Tykistö Rykmentti" (Field Artillery Regiment). There was a "Jääkäri Tykistö Rykmentti" in Finland until 1924.
2) There are not many firearms importers in Finland able to import and export Soviet/ Russian special firearms, like full-automatic Stechkin APS, in our knowledge. (A vast majority of Finnish firearms importers avoids any connections with GOW). The most probable source of APS in Finland is Mr. P. J.Virtanen. His e-mail home page address is http://personal.inet.fi/yritys/pj-waffen-guns .
Connect also with ASETALO Oy. This company is nowadays a sole importer of some Russian Tula (Tulskiy) firearms in Finland.
1108 MMI; PT
Finnish 47 mm rifle grenades and mortar bombs
I am searching for any information about Finnish rifle grenades used during the Winter War. What I know to date is this: * A rifle grenade launcher adapter did exist, was possible of a spigot-type, and was possibly designated AL-36 * The grenade fired was the Model 32 Egg Grenade, possibly with a fin attachment * Finnish Army TOE of the period confirms that such grenade launchers existed... at least on paper!
That's it! That is all I have been able to find. I would like to know the following: * Year of introduction * Numbers produced * Manufacturers * Design specifications * Use in the Winter War? Can you help?
P.S. By the way, you wouldn't happen to know anything about a light mortar tested by the Finnish Army and National Guard some time in the mid-30s? Possible designation was Model 35, and as far as I know it was never accepted for service. It also fired the Model 32 Egg Grenade, which indeed appears to have been derived from a 47 mm mortar bomb!
Finns didn't use rifle grenades in remarkable quantities during Winter War, since the deep snow annihilated effect of tiny 47 mm grenades. Actually, effect of even the 81 mm mortar bombs was questionable, because point-detonating fuzes of them were'nt sensitive enough. Manufacturing licence of fuzes was bought from France, i.e. from a "warm country", where use of Stokes-Brand mortars in the ambient temperature MINUS 40 degrees Celsius (also -40 degr. F) was "non-probable" if not "impossible". Why just French fuzes? It is still a dark mystery! There are persevering hearsays about bribery, but nothing is possible to prove today, 65 or 66 years later.
In mid-1930s tested especially Finnish SUOJELUSKUNTA (Civil Guard a.k.a. National Guard) the rifle grenades and grenade launching adapters model VIVIEN-BESSIÉR, plus very awkward-looking rifle carriages. Vivien-Bessiér device was a tube, mounted on the rifle muzzle like a suppressor. Original V-B grenade had a central longitudinal bullet passage. It was launched with bulleted cartridge. Bullet "triggered" the time-fuze with fixed 5 seconds delay before explosion of a grenade. V-B grenades were efficient for trench-warfare during the First World War, because they air-bursted above enemy trenches - if they were launched with a correct elevation to the KNOWN range (and if the time fuze fuctioned correctly, which was not always quaranteed during hasty war-time production).
Soviet-Russian designer M.G. DYAKONOV "improved" the idea of Vivien-Bessiér in 1932 with a Stalinistic principle: "Lushshye vsjeh dlya Svataya Voyna!" ("All the best for a Holy War" - for the Worldwide Socialistic Revolution). In theory, the Dyakonov's rifle grenade was ingenious: Bayonet-mounted tube on the rifle model 1891/30 was rifled. (Adapter tube of V-P design was smooth, unable to gyro-stabilize the grenade in it's flight). Rifle Grenade D-32 had the projecting lugs fitting into rather steep and deep rifling grooves of the launcher tube.
Grenade D-32 had a londitudinal bullet passage like a tubular bullet, lined with a steel tube, in it's center axis. Inside diameter of the passage was similar to the diameter of Russian/Soviet rifle bullet "L pulya obr. 1908 goda", backed with 3.2 grams of powder. Every ballistician presumably knows that the kinetic energy of a rifle bullet is mere 1/3 (slightly more or less) from the "calorimetric" energy of a powder charge, while the usually wasted "muzzle blast energy" may be 45 to 50 per cent from the chemically bound, a.k.a. calorimetric energy of the powder charge. In theory there is much more energy available for launching of the rifle grenade than for propelling of bullet, but the rather short grenade launching tube is not a "2nd class Perpetuum Mobile". Like in all machines, there is a minor gain and major loss of energy. Considerably less than 30 % from the energy of a muzzle blast might be gained as a kinetic energy of the rifle grenade.
Therefore designer Dyakonov added a booster charge into the base end of his MINIÉ-bullet shaped grenade. It was placed into the skirt of grenade when needed. To the short ranges were grenades launched without a booster, which was needed for long-range shooting. Grenade filling was tri-nitro-xylene in chrystalline form. Shell was of cast iron, usually tin plated and pre-fragmented with the grooves like a British "MILL's Bomb", but the grooves are less deep and more narrow. The time fuze was ingenious (but just in theory). It was adjustable like fuze of an artillery shrapnel shell but located on the rear end of grenade. Graduation of rotating adjustment ring was from ½ second to 12 seconds with 1/4 second steps. (This mentioning is from my memory. Forgive possible slips, please!). Timing was very precise, because the blackpowder "vein" was circular; not like the powder filling of BICKFORD's cord.
Along with a grenade launching tube were issued a special sight with elevation scale (clamped on the left side of Soviet 1891/30 rifle) and a bipod. Shooting from a shoulder-supported rifle might be about a suicide because of the recoil, especially when the grenade was equipped with a booster charge (almost as heavy as the charge of a 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant cartridge with "L-pulya obr. 1908 goda"; bullet weight 9.65 grams, charge weight 3.2 grams of nitrocellulose rifle powder).
According to official directives the rifle butt was leaned on the rear edge of a pit, dug on the soil and supported with a board if the soil was soft. D-32 grenade was designeded to air-burst 2 to 6 meters above the trench of an enemy, but the theory in a designer's office is just "a grey theory" and the practice on the war theatres is a crude PRACTICE.
There were very precise tables of elevations and timings of the fuzes issued for the users of D-32 rifle grenades, with and without the booster propellant charges, but without a modern pocket calculator it was simply impossible to adjust the correct flight time of a grenade and elevation of a launcher in the battlefield conditions. The grenade was simply a "too much too early" innovation; expensive to produce and almost useless in hands of average privates. Finns captured the grenades D-32 and the launcher kits (tubes, sights, bipods and timing/elevation "tablichas") during the Winter War, but they found very soon that "the Revolutionary Innovation of a Soviet Genius" was useless for the actual battle.
These rifle grenades were - as far as I know - only type of the r-grenades tried to use by Finnish troopers during the Winter War. The Soviet Designer of Merit, M.G. Dyakonov, designed also an all-steel hand grenade with a handle, type RGD-33. It is said that Dyakonov-designed hand grenades killed or wounded more Red Army conscripts on the exercise fields than enemies during the Soviet Great Patriotic War (1941 - 45), including the unsuccessful attempt to march through Finland into northern Swedish iron-ore mining areas, and finally to Norwegian fiords in 1939 -40. (This pitiful campaign, "an Infamous War" according to the modern Russian historicians, is known as the Russo-Finnish Winter War. Occurrences of it are well-known, but the final aspire of J.V. STALIN is exposed since 1941 by no other media but GOW).
A Soviet hand grenade model 1933, design of M.G. DYAKONOV.
Sectional drawing, and a drawing of grenade with the detachable fragmenting sleeve fixed.
Without this sleeve the grenade was an "offensive grenade" with a reduced
Preparations for use of RGD-33. Note that the
primer/detonator/delay column was istalled just before the fight. Later Soviet hand
grenades F-1 and RG-42 were ready for use after removal of the safety pin and release of a
safety lever. (Drawings from user's instruction table of RGD-33. Date unknown).
The Finnish 47 mm rifle grenades and the smoothbored launhcing tubes of them were rejected soon after Suojeluskunta's trials in 1935 - 36. They were designed in England in 1932. The fuze of them was a simplicity itself, designed for hand grenades. When the steel safety pin was removed, just a "shearing wire" of copper, diameter about one millimeter, kept the striker away from a flash cap, igniting a 5.5 seconds delay charge of compressed blackpowder, which in turn exploded a detonating primer and the booster charge of high explosive, like compressed TNT for the sure detonating of less sensitive cast TNT main charge. The Finnish "egg hand grenades" were activated by a blow with the fist on a broad rear end of the striker, when the steel safety cotter-pin was pulled away.
Idea of this extremely simple activation of a hand grenade was derived from French "Citrón Foug" grenades, designed during the early phase of First World War. Those lemon-shaped hand grenades were somewhat risky to carry. They had no safety pin, but just a steel cap on the striker end, sealed with a paraffine wax. If the "lemon" grenade was dropped from waist-height on the hard surface, the striker might ignite it's time fuze. The accidents led to the idea that a time fuze of a rifle grenade could be activated by the rapid acceleration of a grenade, when it was launched from an adapter, mounted on the rifle muzzle.
Finnish rifle grenades were at first egg-shaped with the steel base plates on their rear ends and somewhat modified fuzes on the point end. They had eight seconds delay from the launhcing to the explosion. Unlike the Vivien-Bessiér grenades or Soviet D-32s, they had not a bullet passage. It was necessary to shoot them with non-bulleted propelling cartridges. The Suojeluskunta-designed rifle carriage was big and high - not suitable for use in the real warfare. Probably it was built for test-shootings only, before interruption of fruitless trials. This was presumably the "AL-35 Grenade Launcher", you mentioned. The famous Finnish firearms designer AIMO JOHANNES LAHTI had no connection with this unsuccessful project. He was designer of the Army firearms. Suojeluskunta had their own constructors like NIILO TALVENHEIMO (ammunition), CARL PELO and HARRY MANSNER (firearms). The "biological father" of rifle grenade concept is unknown to me.
Egg-shaped grenades were also unstable in flight. The flight-time was variable and trajectories of grenades were accordingly variable. Sometimes they exploded in too high altitude to be effective. Sometimes they were sunk into the soil or snow before explosion and the 47 mm shell (designed to be primarily a HAND grenade) is truly inefficient when exploded in the soil or snow. The rifle grenade project became abandoned at least three years before the Winter War. Presumably no Finnish rifle grenades were "shot in anger" during this war. Soviet-Russians abandoned also their D-32 rifle grenades and launcher adapters & other equipments soon after the Russo-Finnish Winter War. Germans captured during the 1941 - 44 war presumably no more Dyakonov launchers and grenades than Finns during our "105 Glorious Days" between 30th November 1939 and 13th March 1940.
A miniature mortar, shooting 47 mm hand grenades equipped with 8 seconds time fuze was really designed in Finland, probably by TAMPELLA Oy, a famous producer of mortars and artillery pieces. (TAMPELLA had a plant known as "SOLTAM" in Israel, when export licences of military firearms were hard to get in Finland during the "Hippie Era", due to the noisy protests of "peace movement", which was never grown strong but it was very noisy, supported by Soviet communists and international "new leftist" movement, born in USA during and after the Viet-Nam conflict).
This little mortar, portable in the rucksack by one man, was a derivation of the most original Stokes mortar: It's projectile had a tail without fins. Into the tail tube was istalled a bulleted rifle cartridge (or a rosette-crimped propellant cartridge, captured from Russians during Winter War, designed for a signal flare launching adapter, bayonet-mounted on the muzzle of Mosin-Nagant Model 1891/30 rifle. Finns made also two types of these flare thrower devices, but they were unable to substitute the a 4 gauge signal flare pistols). Finnish bulleted rifle cartridge with a LAPUA D-166 bullet (weight 13 grams) had a correct powder charge (2.6 grams) for launching the 47 mm grenade, but it was also possible to use a cartridge with Finnish S-bullet or Russian L-pulya; bullet weight 9.65 grams and powder charge ca. 3.2 grams. The heavier charge split sometimes the tail tube, but this incident was harmless.
There were elevation and adjustment tables for use of both D-166 bulleted and S (L) bulleted cartridges. Last mentioned ammo gave somewhat extended range, of course. (Original 3 inch Stokes mortar "bomb" had a 12 gauge blank shotshell in it's tail tube and a time fuze. It was also designed to burst in flight above enemy trench, but second generation of the mortar shells had fin-stabilization, "arrow-like" flight and a point-detonating fuze). Finnish improved grenade for 47 mm Kranaatinheitin Malli 1941 (47 krh -41) was no more oval or "egg shaped" but cylindrical, and it's cast iron shell was fluted with straight longitudinal grooves. It might be stabilized in flight like some shotgun slugs - by air resistance and mass-stabilization, a.k.a. the "shuttlecock principle".
Unfortunately, I have never seen and held in my hand a filled 47 mm krh grenade with it's 8 seconds time fuze (of brass), but I presume that the point-end is somewhat heavier than the tail end, generating a mass-stabilization. There were, however, presumably never tried to adopt a "iskusytytin" (impact fuze; preferably very sensitive one) for these grenades. Finnish 47 mm krh -41 mortar had a gas bleed regulator system on the breech end of barrel for adjustment of muzzle velocity. It was essential, because functioning delay of the time fuze was fixed; adjustable with no other way but use of a hand grenade fuze (delay 5.5 seconds) instead of 8 seconds fuze. Parts of these fuzes were same, with the exception of a delaying column, which was more long.
Unless the gas bleed apertures were all closed, the "47 mm krh -41" was very unpleasant weapon to shoot from the prone and knelt positions. A blast of high-pressure powder gas was able to deafen the shooter, temporarily - or permanently. As far as I know, the 47 mm kranaatinheitin malli 1941 was never produced in quantity or issued to troops - even during the trench warfare ("asemasota-vaihe") of 3rd Finnish Independence War, which was mainly a trench war since early 1942 until June 1944. "47 krh -41" was presumably designed hastily during the truce between Winter War and it's "Continuance War" in 1941 - 44, for the desperate last stand of Finnish people. (It was not known that Germany was a would-be ally of Finland before the end of our Winter War. This fact is revealed by the mass-media just some months ago).
The mortar is a "kranaatinheitin" - literally "a grenade launcher", abbreviated "krh" in Finnish. Word "kranaatti" means the explosive or incendiary shell of an artillery piece, anti-tank rifle, a mortar bomb or even the hand grenade, if the caliber of firearm is 20 millimeters or more. If less, the projectile is either "luoti" or "ammus". Last mentioned word means a projectile in general; even the "dust size" single pellet of shotgun's payload, with less than one millimeter in diameter.
2308 MMI; PT
MKS and durability of suppressors
1) Have you seen any articles or reports on the Interdynamic MKS rifle? It was developed by Interdynamic AB of Stockholm as a light and compact 5.56 x 45 mm rifle. The MKS was an unusual design, looking more like a large machine pistol more than a rifle. I was interested in finding any type of comment on it's ergonomics, since the magazine well was in the pistol grip!
2) I have entered a debate with one of my friends about the longetivity of suppressors, i.e., how many rounds can you put through a suppressor before it is no longer effective to reduce sound. My friend believes it's maybe three bursts from an automatic weapon or a very limited number of shots through a semi-automatic weapon. I believe she is getting this assumption from outdated information, although I have heard are some commerical disposable sound suppressors, and the type she is thinking of are improvised silencers. I know that suppressors used to have baffles made from wire mesh or even leather, but most suppressors are now are made from steel, like much of the suppressors on your website or one the SD version of the MP5.
1) Brother of Interdynamic AB's manager is my friend. He told that Sweden is a least possible country for export of innovative firearms: "There are too many hoplophobic social-democrats in the administration of Sweden; no matter what is a coalition of the Cabinet". MKS was a stillborn idea, although it was a real innovation. It was simply born in wrong country and in wrong era of world history (just like me). The chapter about MKS was published on the year-book "JANE's INFANTY WEAPONS" in mid-1980s. No other information about this technically and ergonomically sound assault rifle design has appeared to our knowledge.
2) Mild steel is truly an ideal material of suppressors, designed to be long-lasting. Some "silencers" are really designed to suppress the noise of ONE shot only, when just one shot is needed to "eliminate physically" some hostile individual. Suppressors for target practice and/or hunting (where allowed) must be designed to stand several thousands of full-powered rifle shots and countless number of handloaded shots of true "silencer cartridges" with subsonic bullet velocity; also known as "silent without suppressor" (SWOS) loads. Aluminium alloys are also long-lasting, if not cleaned with water solutions of strong basic chemicals (sodium bicarbonate; sodium or potassium hydroxides; ammonia). Aluminium alloy baffles may, however, melt or "burn away" entirely when the long bursts are shot through a suppressor, mounted on a machine gun or assault rifle.
Aluminium is O.K. for handgun suppressors, but the probable material for next generation lightweight suppressors is "Polymer 66", trade mark "Nylon", also as the jacket material. It's molecular structure contains some water. Therefore the lead and bullet lube fouling shall not cling on the Nylon surface as easily as on the other materials. Strong alcalic detergents are also "poison" to the aluminium. Entirely non-metallic suppressors are maintenance-free if the baffles are designed to be "self-cleaning". Powder charges/ muzzle pressures should be low. Non-metallic suppressor is good for firearms shooting .22 Rimfire non-magnum ammo, preferably subsonics.
Mild-steel suppressor (BR-Tuote) was once shot red-hot with a Finnish M 62 assault rifle; 30 rds bursts. Pauses between them were no more long-lasting than the magazine changes (less than five or six seconds). Firing was continued until the first fault was noted from a suppressor: A welding seam was slightly hair cracked. Accuracy of last bursts was also somewhat deteriorated, but it was not a sign of faulty suppressor.
Bore of assault rifle was simply destructed unserviceable by the heat of shooting. The cracked seam was welded again, remnants of the burned paint were brushed away and suppressor was painted again. Then the suppressor was sold to a customer who was willing "to buy a proof-tested suppressor". (Today are BR suppressors Parkerized, i.e. iron/manganese-phosphate coated; no more painted).
Similar endurance test was carried out several years earlier for Finnish VAIME suppressor (with cast aluminium baffles) in Namibia by a gunwriter and firearms designer W.A. HUNDT. Test gun was an assault rifle, caliber 5.56 x 45 mm NATO. After shooting ca. 200 shots of full-auto fire, there was noted a heavier than usual recoil "kick" and a big bright bluish-white fireball flashing from the front end of suppressor, which turned to be a megaphone. Aluminium baffles were burned (almost exploded) away without any sign of danger beforehand.
New Finnish JET-Z (AU) suppressor is not yet endurance tested, as far as I know. It is designed to stand most horrible .30 caliber Magnum charges, loaded by "kamikaze-handloaders" with too slowly-burning powders along with recommendations of VihtaVuori. In the rifle with shortened barrel (Finnish allowed minimum barrel length is 400 millimeters) may just 80 per cent of some "slow" powder burn inside the bore and 20 % from the charge burn inside the suppressor. JET-Z suppressor is about twinfold as expensive as BR Telescope Reflex suppressor with similar performance, because it's baffles are turned and milled from a solid steel bar-stock to somewhat complicated shape.
"Test-shooting of BR muzzle-can for Russian Maxim-Sokolov.
Finnish test-shooters starts their career in young age. This boy was three years in age at
the moment of photographing and therefore somewhat flinchy."
For the endurance test of JET-Z may be needed a water-cooled MAXIM machine gun and MANY 200 rds belts filled with 7.62 x 54R cartridges. A risk is that the Maxim shall become ruined rather than JET-Z. When a BR suppressor was mounted on the muzzle of a Russian Maxim gun, the rate of fire was increased from inherent 450 - 500 rounds per minute to almost a thousand rpm! JET-Z has somewhat smaller inner volume than BR's muzzle can for Maxim, and therefore it may be still more efficient "muzzle booster". There is also another perpetual problem: "Who pays the test cartridges?"
1908 MMI; PT
Valmet 412 monoblocks
I own a Valmet 412 with 28 inch 12 ga. barrels. I 'm curious to know if monoblocs are available to make up a double rifle barrel set in .416/.500 (yes, I know it's a large bore, but my retirement plan stayed in South Africa when I moved back to the U.S. in 1994) which has gotten good reports as a buffalo killer. Many thanks.
Regards. John (American-Finnish).
Finnish SAKO Oy has been distributor of Valmet 412 since the late 1980s. Today Sako is a part of Italian BERETTA company and distributor of Beretta shotguns, but Sako Oy may have spare parts for Valmet 412 still available. The e-mail address of SAKO is email@example.com .
If the monoblocs are no more available (they were made in Italy during the many years before Beretta-Sako fusion), ask for 9.3 x 74R spare barrels for your 412. This 101 years old German "9.3 mm FORESTER" cartridge is also a fine buffalo (and even the elephant) killer, when loaded with a Full-Metal Jacketed bullet, shot on the forehead of attacking buffalo or on the ear-base (aural orifice) of a buffalo from the side. DO NOT try to kill it with a hit through lungs or heart! Those hits are fatal, but the Cape buffalo shall toss you death before it's own death. And NEVER trust upon the effect on anything, but a FMJ bullet or a non-expanding projectile of SOLID copper, brass or iron (mild steel).
A well-known Finnish gunwriter TIMO HYYTINEN tried to kill a Cape buffalo with a famous Sako Hammerhead bullet, but the buff didn't even note the hit. It became furious (not from the hit, but a blast of a rifle) assaulting towards Timo. His hunting companion was - fortunately enough - armed with a 9.3 x 74R caliber double-barreled rifle, loaded with RWS cartridges "mit Vollmantel Geschossen" (with Full Metal-Jacketed bullets). Just one hastily pointed shot stopped the attack of furious buffalo, although it hit ca. two inches below it's eye. It was not a perfect hit, but good enough to kill a buffalo immediately.
I have seen many times the stuffed head of that "Cape Longhorn" on the wall of Timo's home - and photograph of it on the Sako catalogue, or periodical hunting magazines on the advertisements of Hammerhead bullets. Jess, the very first hit through lungs of the buffalo was shot with a Hammerhead, but rest of the story was entirely different. Instructive? I hope so!
PS. To the visitors less conscious of zoology: The Cape buffalo is entirely different from the American bisons, which were slaughtered almost to the extinction with .44 Henry rifles and even the percussion revolvers. South-African buffalo is able to fight back - and it knows the term "revenge".
2308 MMI; PT
CYRILLIC LETTER/NUMBER STAMPS
Looking for a source for Cyrillic Letter/Number Stamps for remarking the Mosin Nagant Sniper bolts i recreate. Can you help?
You may find Cyrillic letters from some (if not any) encyclopedia. Headwords are: "Alphabets", "Cyrillics" or "Russian language". Numbers are similar to those in Civilized/ Western world. Code letter(s) and numbers are in the single line on all the bolt parts. I am unable to tell source of Cyrillic stamp sets. We must hope that some exporter/importer of them tell to us his/her address. You may also engrave the letters on the bolts.
1508 MMI; PT
Drift Chart for a Whitworth Rifle
Do you know where I can find a copy of the drift table chart for a Whitworth rifle. I heard it came with the gun when sold back in the 1860's?
Sorry, I dont know, but I hope that some of our visitor possessing this card is kind enough to send the text of it to us or copy of it by e-mail or to our P.O. Box. The Whitworth Rifle, rejected by British Government, but adopted for sniping by Confederate States of America during the lost Independence War of CSA is very interesting piece of equipment.
There is some information about comparative shooting tests of .577 caliber Enfield rifles versus .451 caliber Whitworths (still muzzle-loaders. Sir JOSEPH WHITWORTH designed also a breech-loader variation especially for export to CSA), on the book "GUN AND ITS DEVELOPMENT" by W.W. GREENER. Difference of accuracy was amazing! Some Whitworth rifles of CSAn snipers were equipped with scope sights. The bullet hole on the death body of Yankee General SEDGLEY was probably small, and hexagonal in shape. His last words were: "Those f..king Rebs can't hit even an elephant at this dist..!" (800 yards!) You may see that we have eager interest in old hexagonal-grooved military rifles and artillery pieces with mechanically fitting projectiles.
1508 MMI; PT
Stock carving of Finnish M91 rifle
My excellant condition Finnish M91 rifle on a Remington receiver has the initials E.K. rather crudely carved into the left butt, looks like the work of a bored soldier who had no fear of retribution by his sargent. Others I have spoken with have similar markings on a few rifles, such as E.R. etc. Could you comment on what these are?
Best Regards, Sam
Carving is presumably done by some individual. "Official" markings of rifle stocks were burned with a hot brand iron and they were never crude. Most usual brand was a letter "S", with three lines above them and usually surrounded with an escutcheon. It was a brand of Suojeluskunta = Finnish Civil Guard. Some unit brands were also burned or impressed with the steel stamps, but never carved, as far as I know. Crude carving may be done during Finnish Independence War/ Civil War/ Red Rebellion in 1918 by some private of the Red Guard, which was equipped with Mosin-Nagant M91 rifles too.
1408 MMI; PT
PPSh 41 manufacturer
I have a PPSh 41 manufactured in 1953 in an Eastern country. The code on the receiver is 11 (eleven). Would it be possible to know which country it was? Thanks for answering if you can.
If the code stamp is encircled with a circle, looking like a rifled gun muzzle, your PPSh is made (or assembled) in Bulgaria. In the Bulgarian factory number 10 assembled and finished 9 mm Makarov pistols are of very good quality. Unfinished parts of them were presumably imported from Soviet-Russia. Some other Communist Block manufactures could, however, also stamp their products with factory codes only. Polish Radom is said to also have used number 11 inside a plain circle. The "gun muzzle" stamp around figures 11 designates the Bulgarian production.
1808 MMI; PT
Chatellerault rifle MLE. 1892
I am looking for any information I can find on the weapon mentioned in the subject. The only information that the owner supplied is: Chatellerault MLE. 1892, MA-C1897, Serial [?]: 95127
Specifically we are looking for where it was made, where it was used, how much it would be worth on today's market [just a guess], what calibre it would be [or what calibres were available]. Anything else that you would deem important would be helpful. I await your reply and I remain:
Manufacture d' Armes de Chatellerault was (or is) a French firearms manufacture. It designed one famous light machine gun and a tank/fortification machine gun with 150 rds drum magazine; not the rifles, but it produced rifles designed elsewhere, including a lot of Belgian & Russian Mosin - Nagant Model 1891s, until Russian firearms manufactures were tooled-up to yield them in Russia.
Modéle 1892 rifle (or a Mousqueton Artillerie, with a shortened barrel) was designed by French General A.V. BERTHIER. It has a three rounds box magazine instead of tubular magazine of contemporary LEBEL Model 1886 rifle. Caliber is 8 mm Lebel (only); presumably no more available. Forget the shooting if there are Mannlicher-type three round clips (chargers) no more available. The magazine is unable to feed cartridges without those clips.
This musketoon is made in 1897. Estimated collecting price of the musketoon is US $ 300:00 in "NEAR MINT" condition and USD 200:00 if the wooden parts are slightly battered and the original blueing is worn away from corners of the receiver. There is a story about Berthier rifles, musketoons an carbines published on the GOW/Universal on some old Kickback Q & A chapter, but I am unable to tell, which one.
1808 MMI; PT
"Long case" problems of .30-06 subsonics
I have tried some loads, and are working with the information on the web. I have tried some loads for my .30-06, but encountered some problems. First I shot over my Chronograph, and then later I noticed some terrible vertical stringing when using the 150 grs Lapua Lock Base bullet. The hits separated in two "layers" (hi and lo) about 1 ft apart. Maybe the velocity was marginal or the bullet too heavy? I will try some loads also with the 123 grs S374 bullet to see if that looks better.
Well, I will tell you more about my testing later.
Sincerely, Lars (PV), Norway.
Bullet weight 150 grains was and is a standard projectile weight for .30-06, although original cartridge .30-03 had still a round-nosed bullet of .30-40 Krag, with a weight 220 grains. Rifling twist of .30-03 and .30-06 rifles (1 - 10") was chosen for stabilization of those 220 grs projectiles. It is steep enough to stabilize any & all bullets with a lead alloy core, weighing 150 grs, at all possible muzzle velocities.
Your problem, a "two groups mystery", is usual when cartridge case length is more than 51 - 54 millimeters and when the powder charge of subsonic load fills less than 1/3 powder space of cartridge. Name of the game is POWDER POSITIONING: If you shoot - say - five rounds of cartridges with the powder charge in REAR END of the case (close to the primer's flash hole) and another five shots with cartridges having the powder charge in MOUTH END of a case (close to the bullet base), you'll get two small groups on the target at 100 meters range. Dispersion of hits may be less than one minute of angle (less than 30 millimeters at 100 meters) in each group of five shots, but the group may be 300 millimeters or even more separated from another group, usually over and under.
A Chronograph shows not alarming extreme spread of bullet velocities, but you must remember that vibration of rifle barrel starts from the very moment when a hammer or striker of a rifle is released from grasp of the sear. A millionth of second delay between hit of firing pin and ignition of the tiny powder charge may cause considerable vertical dispersion of shots, because the barrel is vibrating and in the worst possible case it is bent muzzle upwards when a bullet emerges and muzzle downwards when another bullet emerges. Amplitude of barrel vibration may be very low, but mere five minutes of angle upwards AND downwards means almost a foot of vertical distance at 100 meters between the centers of separate groups, if some bullets starts from muzzle which is on the topmost end of vibration and some other bullets emerges from the downwards bent muzzle.
If the position of powder charge is always same, the delay between firing pin hit and ignition of powder charge is always equally long. Barrel is also bent always as much and towards the same direction, when the bullet leaves muzzle. "Name of the Game is THE SAME" is a common slogan of bench-rest shooters. They have no problems due to the variable powder positioning, because they'll cram their cartridge cases full of rifle powder. Shooter of subsonic rifle cartridges must keep in mind some special tricks of powder positioning, until some cartridge case manufacturer starts production of plastic-lined shells with considerably reduced powder room. (LAPUA: "Never!" SAKO: "Never! Not invented by OUR ingenious cartridge designers!").
A well-known trick is use of "disposable case filler", a wadding of some fibrous material like cotton, kapok or Dacron. Some friends of mine use a disposable ear-plug as an over-powder wad in subsonic .308 Winchester or .30-06 and 7.62 x 54R Mosin & Nagant cartridges; also those loaded for suppressed rifles. Dacron fibres are recommended for them, because they'll melt easily by heat of powder flame. Remnants of Dacron (a tiny bead of solid polymer) shall fly out from the muzzle behind a bullet, and also through a suppressor.
Ideal wadding material is, however, self-consuming "collodion wool": Cotton nitrated to 11 % content of nitrogen, bound in NO2 molecules. The first polymer or plastic (Celluloid) was made from collodion wool, which is rather inexpensive material. Because of it's fibrous structure it burns about as rapidly as the best brands of smokeless powders recommended for subsonic rifle cartridges, leaving no solid or corrosive residue. But it is, of course, unavailable to the common people - although collodion wool is completely safe to store when moistened with water and actually less dangerous to handle than usual gasoline, which is available to anybody.
Use of wadding, including a foam-plastic ear plug, shall retard the handloading procedure of subsonic cartridges. There is fortunately another way to position a little powder dose in the cartridge case, known in Finland amongst the target rifle shooters as long as the smokeless powders are used in the handloaded cartridges for target practice. (Since more than a hundred years ago!). Some old riflemen had still in my youth a rite-like habit to erect the rifle muzzle upwards (despite of shooting range rules) and "slap the girl's butt" with a palm of hand. This rite was from force of habit, a way to settle the powder charge to the primer-end of cartridge, already needless but impossible to weed out.
Next generation of riflemen did no more learn this rite, and it was forgotten - until needed again, almost 20 years ago, when the use of subsonic rifle cartridges became introduced in Finland. It is also possible to settle or position the powder charge into the frontmost end of cartridge before slow and steady movement towards the target. It makes no difference, whether the charge is leaning on the bottom of a cartridge case or on the bullet's base. But it is ESSENTIAL that the powder is about in the same place in every cartridge just before the shot.
In hunting situations or during other "field activities" the available time may not allow positioning of powder. For these special purposes are cartridges with over-powder wadding "must". On the target range is shooting not as busy, especially with subsonic cartridges, and therefore the old trick of target shooters, settling of the charge, is still or again applicable.
PS. I must apologize the excessively long delay of my answer. "Ukko Ylijumala", also known as "Perkunas" or "Thor" (deity of the thunder), brought about a blackout of GOW sites and still more long-lasting interruption of email. A stroke of lightning slayed also an 18 yours old boy not far from our rural "telegraph office". There were registered 7000 strokes of lightning reaching from cloud to earth during one storm and three consecutive thunder storms during the same day.
Hot humid weather has been like the climate of South-American jungles. I like a room temperature 17 degrees Celsius; not 33 degr. C, which I feel "somewhat incomfortable".
2407 MMI; PT.
GOW - Press to update! (c) Feliks
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