Caseless ammunition.

I’ve been hearing about caseless ammunition for years now, and almost always in glowing terms. Today I read this article about it’s use in a military rifle (the G11) designed for the German army. Again the news seems to be all good. So why hasn’t this ammo made its way into the civilian market, or into the armies of the world?
I don’t see why the technology couldn’t be developed for hunting rifles and handguns. One negative would be the lack of shell casings for law enforcement to peruse, I guess.
Let me say that I’m not a military type, nor do I own any firearms. I’m just curious. And I like gadgets.

This gun uses caseless ammo.

I am guessing its a cost/benefit thing. You can’t do reloads with caseless ammo. I’m not sure what the ammo costs.

Some of the main arguments against caseless ammo have to do with the benefits of the case. The brass is a good heat sink that helps prevent cookoff after several rounds have been fired. That is, after a shot has been fired the ejected brass carries much of the heat out of the chamber. Secondly cased ammo is more environmentally secure, there isn’t as much concern about weather damage. The case also allows a loose propellant with better ignition and burning characterist than a monolithic grain. and lastly you generally don’t have to worry as much about wear and tear on the individual rounds when you use cased rounds, you won’t be wearing off bits of propellant in normally or roughly handling cased ammo as you might be with caseless.

Of course the requirements of re-engineering guns for the limited (the few who want the absolute latest gear) civillian market as well as the costs of R&D to produce reliable caseless ammo and build the manufcturing facilities for an unsure market for the new civillian guns means you won’t have too many takers.


Ver-ry funny.

I had similar thoughts, but more along the lines of the cost of putting such weapons into production. People who buy guns will buy whatever is available. If a new type of gun doesn’t increase total sales, it probably won’t get developed.

Just as Dancer_Flight said, above.

      • The Voere caseless sporter has been around a while now, available in the US to ordinary gun-owners since maybe 1996? I think. It has never sold well because it is expen$$$ive, like $2000 for the gun and $8=$12 each for the caseless propellants, and it doesn’t really do anything significantly better than a conventional firearm would. But I have seen the rare discussion among owners on US-centric gun boards, apparently if you have the cash you can get your mitts on one:
        -This is the only caseless firearm I have ever heard of being sold in the US. The only other gun I recall that used caseless ammo was the already-mentioned HK G91, and it was never sold as a regular firearm. As I remember it has a 3-round burst, qualifying it as a machine gun. -And it also has a high-capacity magazine, but soon that won’t be a reason . :smiley:
  • The main reason caseless ammo has not caught on within the US civilian market is two things inter-related: those being high cost of guns and ammo, and limited calibers available. Ideally Voere would develop a caliber nearly-identical to the 22LR, and then they would get some of the huge 22LR market volume, and be able to drop costs. In theory, caseless ammo should end up being cheaper than brass-cased. And to that end, there are now under development plastic-cased ammo that uses a brass head with a plastic body.

The “holy grail” is to develop a gun/caseless ammo that has dimensions identical to a conventional caliber, so that you can fire either regular or caseless ammo out of the same gun.

I would think that the 22LR market would be the biggie for this type of round, even though the rounds are already pretty cheap. Me and a couple of friends used to have no trouble going through a couple hundred rounds in a day’s shooting. That’s a lot of useless spent casings. These rounds could be packaged in packets of 10-20 rounds which could be inserted directly into the gun’s magazine.
From the OP link;

What I don’t get is that it puts some of the propellant ahead of the bullet. What does that do? You might have to look at the schematic on the link to see what I’m talking about. DougC’s link show’s the projectile get’s chambered ahead of the propellant.