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Weapon Evolution: Exotic Ammo

Знакомство с патронами

Gallery of experimental ammunition. From caseless and arrow-shaped, to multipulan and underwater.

The unitary cartridge invented at the beginning of the 19th century marked the beginning of the revolution in the arms business. Since then, its design has not undergone radical changes, however, many attempts were made to come up with something original, something more perfect.

Caseless and reactive.

Cartridge with a flying sleeve.

The AUPO cartridgeless 9mm cartridge was developed and tested in the first half of the 1980s by the Italian designer Bruno Chivolani. Especially for this ammunition, the company Benelli Armi has designed the submachine gun Benelli CB-M2.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

The 9mm AUPO cartridge consisted of an all-metal head and a hollow thin-walled rear part that had the shape of a cylinder.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
Scheme of operation of the percussion mechanism and the device of the cartridge of the submachine gun Benelli CB-M2.

The back of the cartridge, made in the form of a “glass”, served as a sleeve, inside it there was a propellant powder charge and a circular charge of flammable substance (capsule charge). The open rear part of the sleeve was closed by a burning diaphragm, which protected the charge from spilling and moisture during storage.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

The ignition of the priming charge was carried out by striking the striker against the wall of the cartridge in the region of the location of the priming composition, while the wall of the liner was slightly deformed, but did not penetrate through. The gunpowder charge completely burned in the barrel bore, while the bullet took off entirely with the "sleeve."

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
Benelli CB-M2
Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
Scheme from the 1981 patent illustrating the operation of the automation of the Benelli CB-M2 submachine gun.

In case of a misfire, the edges of the “glass” of this cartridge are slightly bent inward. For this ledge and hooks extractor hook. Upon successful ignition, the "sleeve" under the pressure of gases opens to the walls of the chamber, thus getting free from the hook of the extractor.

Cartridges with compressed charge.

In the early 60s of the last century, the German Ministry of Defense funded a research program for the development and study of sleeveless ammunition of intermediate calibers. Development work was carried out by Dynamit Nobel.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
From top to bottom: experimental 4.3 × 21 DAG and 4.7 × 21 DE11, final 4.73 × 33 HK.

Developed Dynamit Nobel ammunition, originally had a caliber of 4.3 mm, and the bullet was pressed into the front of the varnished powder checkers, to the back of which was burned primer. This cartridge had a significant drawback - with intensive firing, the powder charges in the chamber were self-igniting.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
Mauser G11 - an experimental sample chambered for 4.7x21 DE11, a competitor of the same-name rifle Heckler & Koch.

In 1975, the design of the cartridge was redesigned, and the caliber was increased from 4.3 mm to 4.75 mm. In December 1978, when the new HITP high-temperature powder was developed, consisting of HMX, cellulose with impurities and viscose yarn to increase the mechanical strength of the propellant charge.

NATO’s adoption of a 5.56x45 caliber NATO cartridge meant the loss of the ability to standardize a cartridgeless cartridge in the foreseeable future, and in March 1979 the German government stopped funding the development of the G11.

Companies Dynamit Nobel and Heckler & Koch continued the development of the G11 and the sleeveless ammunition at their own expense.

In 1981, comparative tests were carried out, during which it was found that a 4.7 × 34 mm cartridge, having the shape of a parallelepiped and a telescopic configuration, has several advantages over previously developed samples. By 1983, the final decision was made to switch to a new 4.73x33 mm cartridge.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

For him, a new powder based on nitramine with high moisture resistance and heat resistance was developed. The capsule composition was enclosed in a copper cup, which provides chemical insulation of the charge. Between the capsule and the bullet was placed an accelerator charge of quick-burning powder. The reduction of leakage of powder gases into the bore in front of the bullet was provided by a plastic cap and a high density of propellant charge. To increase the heat resistance of the propellant charge, its surface was subjected to pyrolysis — heat treatment without oxygen. The bullet was coated with solid molybdenum-based lubricant. The development of the final DM11 cartridge design was completed by 1987.

In the 1980s, the G11 rifle (read more about it here) and cartridgeless cartridges were tested in the United States (as part of the Advanced Combat Rifle research program) and Switzerland. But in both cases, the military chose rifles for traditional design munitions. In 1988, the G11 rifle entered the army tests in Germany, held until 1990. Tests of various modifications of the rifle were held in parts of the mountain shooters and airborne forces. In 1990, the rifle was successfully tested and in September of the same year, the signing of a contract for the supply of 200 thousand rifles to the troops was being prepared. But the contract was not approved due to political and economic changes in the country that was on the verge of uniting with the GDR, after which the revision of weapons and ammunition was terminated.

Another similar cartridge was developed in the USA by the AAI Corporation in the early 1980s, for the Advanced Infantry Weapon System program (AIWS — a promising infantry weapon complex) search-oriented replacement for the M-16 rifle.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

It was developed several modifications. The main was the version with a 4.3-mm sub-caliber bullet with a lead core in the drop-down segment pan.

The propellant charge had a cylindrical shape and consisted of compressed tubular powder of short cutting mixed with collodion. A bullet was placed in the front of the charge, and a combustible primer ignited by a rubberized protective lining was placed at the bottom of the charge. The development of the cartridgeless cartridge was discontinued, since the AAI Corporation rifle did not pass the competitive selection and showed unsatisfactory results in terms of reliability and accuracy of the fight.

Bullet diameter:
4.3 mm
Cartridge length:
41.44 g
Length of propellant charge:
31.83 mm
Diameter powder checkers:
9.15 mm
Bullet weight:
1.8 mm
Chuck weight:
4.28 g
Initial bullet speed:

Jet Gyrojet

Perhaps the most well-known sleeveless circuit is a jet cartridge for the American MBA Gyrojet pistol.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Gyrojet jet bullets (13 × 50 mm) made of stainless steel had a low initial velocity and were stabilized only by rotation due to the deflection of a part of the powder gases in the radial plane, but the shot was almost noiseless, and at a distance of 55 m the energy of the accelerated bullet almost doubled exceeded the energy of a bullet fired from a Colt M1911 pistol.

7.62 mm underwater active-reactive cartridge

In 1967, the Soviet Navy ordered TsNIITOCHMASH to develop a complex of underwater weapons for combat swimmers.

The development of an underwater pistol and ammunition was launched in February 1968 by Shiriayev D.I. together with Matveykin S.I. - an engineer in the development of solid fuel engines. The project was based on the open patent documentation for the Gyrojet pistol.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

The cartridge consisted of a long steel tube with a sharp and heavy tip. In the tube was placed solid fuel checker. From the bottom of the tube closed the jet engine nozzle and the steel pan. On the rifles of the barrel, a tin lead belt led the initial spin of the bullet. The rocket was mounted in a brass sleeve with a bomber charge and a capsule "Zhevelo".

The first samples of the pistol and ammunition were ready by July 1968 and tested in Feodosia.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
Pistol D.I. Shiryaeva and various ammunition.

According to the test results, it was decided to abandon the concept of a reactive bullet and switch to the creation of ammunition, the stability of the movement of which in water would be provided by the effect of cavitation.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
Active-reactive cartridge in disassembly.

The developers abandoned the ignition system of the powder checkers through the throttle hole in the nozzle hub of the engine. Instead, an ignition system was developed for the marching powder checker from the front of the bullet using an inertial sinking capsule and igniter charge consisting of a charge of black powder DRP-2 and a pyrotechnic tablet V6M. The twist of the first non-cavitating active-reactive rockets on the trajectory was provided by longitudinal cuts forming a screw on the head bullet fairings. In cavitating rockets, the nose was made of steel or duralumin, had a sharp conical shape or a truncated cone shape. To accelerate the formation of a gas bubble around the rocket, a part of the powder gases was removed from the powder checkers through the holes in the rocket tip.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

In the end, the active-reactive ammunition was tested and ensured stable operation at depths of up to 17 meters, at a speed of 200 m / s, ensuring penetration of 25-inch pine planks at a distance of 25 meters. At a depth of 20 meters rocket quickly lost stability. This problem could be solved by increasing the initial speed of the bullet at 20 m / s, but by 1970 the work on active-reactive cartridges for the underwater pistol were rolled up, and a sample of the underwater pistol developed by Vladimir Simonov was adopted.

Bullet diameter:
7.91 mm
Cartridge weight:
32.0 g
Cartridge length:
? 210 mm *
Average bullet weight:
26-28.5 g
Brand gunpowder:
Average weight of powder charge:
Initial bullet speed:
200 m / s ***
Average accuracy of R 50 at a distance of 5 m:
? 90 cm **
Punching action:
Inch pine board at 10 meters at a depth of 5-40 m
4 inch boards at 25 meters to 17 meters depth

* - The length of cartridges varied depending on the modifications.
** - Data for non-co-sample.
*** - Data for cavitating samples.

One is good and two is better. Multiple ammunition.

The SSB (Salvo Squeeze Bore) bullet was first patented in the late 1960s.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

SSB is a complex of several submunitions, conical hollow or conventional bullets, which are mounted on each other and fixed in the sleeve. This design allows you to combine submunitions, for example, the front may be made of heat-treated steel, and subsequent ones - from soft copper or with the addition of a tracer composition. SSB has a high stopping power (OD), as it affects a larger target area than a conventional bullet.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Initially, not cheap SBB bullets were not widely spread due to the fact that they do not have radical advantages in terms of armor penetration and stopping effect over conventional bullets.

In the USSR, this topic was dealt with by TsNIITOCHMASH, duplex cartridges developed there were accepted for service.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
The 12.7x108 / 1SL cartridge was intended for the YakB-12.7 machine gun mounted on Mi-24D helicopters.

The cartridge is equipped with two armor-piercing incendiary bullets 49.4 mm long each. Each bullet consists of a bimetallic shell and a steel core in a lead shirt. The core and shirt are truncated from above, and an incendiary composition is pressed into the gap formed between the core and the bullet shell. The first bullet is mounted in the cartridge case with a reinforced crimp into a double flute on the bullet. The second bullet is located inside the liner, with the nose part entering the conical recess of the core of the first bullet, and is additionally secured by centering the liner at three points.

Bullet diameter:
13.01 mm
Cartridge weight:
145 g
Cartridge length:
145.5-147 mm
Bullet extraction force:
250-450 kg
Average bullet weight:
31.0 + 31.0
Powder marks:
Average weight of powder charge:
4/1 fl
15.0 g
Accuracy of the battle of the 1st and 2nd bullets R 50 at 300 m:
? 50 cm
Bullet speed V 25 :
710-740 m / s
Maximum pressure of powder gases:
3100 kg / cm 2
GRAU Indices:

The concept of multi-bullet cartridges turned out to be tenacious and returned to it repeatedly. With some of these munitions, we still face.

Swept cartridges

According to historical sources, the arrows tried to charge smooth-bore weapons in the 17th century, and even these hand-made and placed in wooden cylinders gave some advantage in firing range.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

The peak of research in this area was in the 60s of the twentieth century. In the USSR, this topic began to be dealt with at the Scientific Research Institute-61 (later - TsNIITOCHMASH). The result of the work was the cartridge OPS (feathered substage rifle) and machine AO-27.

OPS (coded designation 18ЕЛЦ) consisted of a brass sleeve with a length of 43.6 mm with a Berdan cap, a boom length of 50 mm made of 50 steel (bullet weight 2.3 g, feather diameter 7.62 mm, body diameter - 3 mm) two-sector pallet weighing 0.2 grams.

The tail feathers of the first arrows were made of plastic, until a relatively inexpensive technology for the manufacture of all-metal arrows by stamping was worked out. The coupling of pallet and bullet elements was ensured by annular knurling on the body of the boom and the inner surface of the driving elements. The sub-caliber bullet was guided along the barrel channel by a leading type pallet with a complex-shaped profile.

Tests have shown the efficiency of the development, the complete separation of the lead pallet from the boom at a distance not exceeding 50 meters from the barrel muzzle, a high initial speed of the bullet - 1085-1100 meters per second.

According to the tests of the “automatic-cartridge with arrow-shaped bullet” complex, at the stage of the chief designer, its advantage over the AK-47 was overwhelming, with the exception of two points — the stopping effect and the value of the cartridge.

For the stopping action, the feathered bullet to a large extent did not meet the requirements of the military, and this alone was enough to leave the topic in the research and development category, and the cost of the cartridge OPS was more than twice as high as the standard one.

As a result, automatic machine AO-27, and the cartridges for it remained in the stage of experimental development. The armament complex with sub-caliber bullets was not adopted.

After that, Dvoryaninov V.N. completed the work on the design of such ammunition.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Soon R & D “Foil” (machine gun) and “Finval” (rifle) were opened within the framework of which Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant developed weapons, and TsNIITOCHMASH munitions with subcaliber arrow-shaped feathered bullet. The specialists of Izhmash developed a sniper rifle based on the SVD and a peresstvolyenny machine gun SG-43. The machine gun and rifle had their own barrels and muzzle nozzles for breaking the elements of the pallet that were separated from the bullet.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

In the course of development, various variants of cartridges were worked out: experienced two-gun and three-needle arrow-shaped cartridges, tracing bullets and bullets with various types of tail plumage. According to reports, the production of arrow-shaped bullets was established at the plant number 60 in the city of Frunze, and cartridges were loaded with the use of the sleeves of the factory number 188 (Novosibirsk). The latest known models are dated 1980 year release. According to available data in the open press, the final version of the cartridge with a swept sub-caliber bullet had a combat accuracy comparable to the gross rifle cartridge with an LPS bullet, but significantly exceeded its production cost. None of the prototypes of weapons and ammunition went into mass production.

Overseas development in this area have done about the same way. One of the most famous American fired ammunition is the .330 Amron Aerojet cartridge (8.38x69 mm) tested under the SPIW program.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Cartridges non-classical layout.

Tround cartridge

In August 1958, David Dardik patents a “open-chamber firearm” (Dardick open chamber gun) - a kind of hybrid of a pistol and a revolver and the so-called tround cartridge.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

It was made of aluminum, and then of high-strength plastic, and was originally produced in .38 (9 mm), .30 (7.62 mm) and .22 (5.56 mm) calibers, according to its characteristics, the corresponding 38 SW Special cartridges , .32 SW long and .22 LR, and the dimensions of the plastic sleeves of all calibers were the same.

Tound ammunition could re-reload using standard pistol primers with a diameter of 5 mm, and bullets of the appropriate caliber. The sleeve had internal annular grooves, limiting the bullet landing and providing a boost pressure sufficient to completely burn the powder.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
At the top is one of the Gyrojet carbines, at the bottom is the H & R SPIW revolver rifle.

During their development, Dardik's ammunition underwent a lot of modifications, so among the four main participants in the American SPIW program to develop a promising semi-automatic rifle chambered with a subcaliber arrow-shaped bullet, there was also a tround cartridge (Harrington & Richardson).

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

5.56x36 Folded

In 1965, the Frankford Arsenal design engineer, Andrew Grande, patented a cartridge of a very unusual shape. A key element of the new concept was the abandonment of the classic liner shape, replacing it with a plastic capsule containing a powder charge on the side of the bullet.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Such an unorthodox configuration of the cartridge made it possible to reduce its dimensions and implement a scheme for frontal combustion of a powder charge, which made it possible to reduce the erosion effect of the powder gases on the bore. Also, in theory, reducing the length of the weapon chamber reduces the mileage of the moving parts of the weapon, which allows for a higher rate of fire at lower speeds of moving parts, reducing shock loads and the mass of weapons.

From 1965 to 1983, U-shaped cartridges were tested in various calibers: 4.32 mm, 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, 12.7 mm and 30 mm, but they did not find its military or civilian use.

AIWS cartridge.

In 1970, Mauri Goldin, the designer of the American company Hughes Tool Company, patented the design of the cartridge with a triple sleeve in the form of a parallelepiped and a system of a weapon without weapons.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

The bullet in the AIWS cartridge is located in the central chamber, and the powder charge is placed in two side chambers. This configuration of the cartridge allowed for the storage of 54% more ammunition in a given volume compared to traditional cartridges of the same caliber, and also provided significant savings in weight, which was comparable with the advantages provided by sleeveless ammunition. In this case, the plastic sleeve provided the necessary obturation of the powder gases, protection of the propellant charge and the capsule composition from the effects of the environment. The rectangular profile of the liner made it possible to develop a high-capacity magazine and a simple, compared to conventional weapons, a system for feeding cartridges into the chamber and extracting a spent cartridge case.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

In 1986-88, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company and its weapon division HTC under contract with Picatinny Arsenal took part in the American Advanced Infantry Weapon System program for the development of a promising infantry complex and a cartridge for it.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

As part of this program, ammunition of 8.6 mm nominal caliber (a plastic sleeve containing 2 6.0 mm caliber bullets), 11.0 mm with five sub-caliber feathered arrow-shaped bullets and 9.0 mm with three sub-caliber props were developed bullets. But the assault rifle did not pass the competitive selection, and the development of ammunition was discontinued.

5.56x30 AIWS

Bullet diameter:
5.7 mm
Sleeve length:
30.77 mm
Sleeve width:
23.11 mm
Sleeve thickness:
7.6 mm
Bullet weight:
4.43 g
Chuck weight:
9.71 g
Starting speed:
850 m / s

Perforated chucks

Comp bullet

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

With this high-precision machine, several interconnecting holes are made in this pool.

When fired by the Comp bullet, powder gases pass through the holes in the bullet walls and reduce friction against the rifling of the barrel. According to the developers' assurances, the holes also play the role of a kind of muzzle brake and reduce the recoil from the shot.

7x56 Broadway Trust with perforated sleeve.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

In 1941, Sir Dennis Burney (Dennis Burney), proposed to the Minister of Supply of Great Britain a project to develop portable recoilless anti-tank guns. With the support of the state, the joint company Broad Trust Company (BTC) was founded.

Initially, the development was carried out in the design of ammunition caliber in the range of 20-88 mm. The use of "perforated" liners should have reduced the recoil when fired to values ​​that allow shooting with hands and develop a sufficiently powerful and light anti-tank gun. Gradually, the focus of development shifted to the design of smaller-caliber rifles.

After a series of unsuccessful development of large-caliber recoilless rifles, in 1942 work began on designing a small-caliber rifle chambered for 6.35 mm caliber, but, faced with the problematic of creating an effective tracer, the caliber of the cartridge was increased to 7 mm.

A 7-mm caliber cartridge had a composite (two-part) brass sleeve of a bottle-shaped form (a version of the cartridge was also worked out with a solid perforated sleeve). Several rows of through holes were drilled in the upper part of the sleeve. The upper part of the sleeve was screwed into the lower part, in which a groove was made to form a collar to grip the sleeve with an extractor. In the chamber of the gun, the lower part of the sleeve was located in its narrow part and expanded at the time of the shot, providing an obturation of the powder gases, and most of the powder gases were etched through the holes in the walls of the upper part of the sleeve into the chamber of the increased volume. This made it possible to release excess pressure, which ensured a significant reduction in the recoil momentum when fired.

The cartridge was loaded with a powder charge brand NRN 150 weighing 9.72 grams, which allowed the bullet to develop an initial speed of 783 m / s. The powder charge consisted of white spherical granules and was loaded into a cartridge case in a cellophane bag. Development and testing continued until March 1948, when it was decided to discontinue funding for the project, followed by the closure of BTC.

Bullet diameter: 7.02 mm
Cartridge length: 76.86 mm
The diameter of the cartridge sleeve: 7.94 mm
Sleeve length: 56.0 mm
Diameter of liner flange: 15.65 mm
Bullet weight: 10.82 g
Chuck weight: 19.94 g
Starting speed: 783 m / s

Silent cartridges

7,62х63 Snake

7.62х63 Snake is one of the special cartridges for silently flameless shooting with a cut-off of powder gases.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

In the 1950s, at the request of the KGB of the USSR, work was begun at the Scientific Research Institute-61 to create a special silent two-charge pistol and cartridges for it. The complex consisted of a special C4 pistol and a silent PZ cartridge (“Snake” cartridge).

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

The 7.62-mm ПЗ cartridge consists of a steel sleeve with a small taper, inside of which are located: a KVM-3 primer-igniter in a sleeve with a movable hammer (screwed into the bottom part of the sleeve and providing an obturation of powder gases from the capsule side) -125 and piston-pusher. The cartridge is equipped with a 7.62 mm PS bullet.

When fired, the movable drummer of the cartridge produces a pin on the primer that ignites the powder charge. The pressure of the powder gases drives the piston, which pushes the bullet into the barrel bore, giving it an initial airspeed of 170 m / s. When the extreme upper position is reached, the piston rests against the narrowing of the liner walls and stops, ensuring the locking of the powder gases inside the liner and the noiselessness of the shot. The length of the spent cartridge case with the piston coming out of it is 82.3 mm.

Training and training cartridges

Wooden cartridge 6,5x55 mm Mauser. Of course, he is not able to hit the target - the bullet is completely destroyed when leaving the bore of the weapon.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Modern training cartridges are often made of plastic.

Training cartridge L14A1 7.62x54 mm caliber with a tracer bullet. In this cartridge, only the bottom of the sleeve and the internal element of the bullet are made of metal.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Plastic cartridges are used by the military in training exercises, in the civilian market, they are also in demand - for recreational shooting. They are equipped with a small charge of gunpowder, which makes shooting relatively safe.

The only significant drawback of these ammunition is that in most self-loading rifles and pistols it is necessary to send the next cartridge manually - automatic due to the reduced weight of gunpowder and the low mass of the bullet does not work reliably.

G2R RIP - New Expansive

Expansive bullets themselves are not so unusual, but the latest development of G2 Research has definitely earned its place in this material.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

According to press releases, the small teeth of this bullet create a turbulent flow in flight, help stabilize the bullet and make it more accurate, and when hit like a hole saw, cut through clothing, glass, drywall and even sheet metal, allowing the bullet bottom to hit the target more confidently.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

G2R RIP is a lead-free, one-piece bullet weighing 96 grains, divided into 9 trihedral teeth. The initial speed of the bullet - 386 m / s. Muzzle energy - 660 j.

In the near future, G2 Research is planning to launch the production of .380 ACP, .357 SIG, .40, .45ACP cartridges, as well as rifle cartridges equipped with such a bullet.

The cost of such cartridges is reported to be about $ 2 apiece. In addition to the high cost of the shortcomings of this ammunition include a potential chance of premature disclosure of teeth.

Controlled bullet

The product Sandia National Laboratories, demonstrated to the general public in November 2011.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

At the tip of the bullet is a tiny optical sensor that detects a laser beam illuminating a remote target. The microcomputer processes the signal from the sensor and rejects the miniature stabilizer planes, changing the flight path. The bullet is able to independently correct the flight 30 times per second throughout the entire flight time at a speed of more than 600 m / s. In flight, the bullet is stabilized not by rotation, but by aerodynamic planes, which makes it possible to more accurately orient the optical sensor and control the flight.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

Experimental gun .45 caliber

Experimental pistol .45 caliber, Czechoslovakia, 1960-70. It seems to be not fake.

Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны
Эволюция оружия: Экзотические патроны

96 grains = 6.22069536 grams

"In the USA and Great Britain, the gran is still used in certain areas. For example, in military affairs (mainly in the field of small arms) to measure the weight of bullets and powder charges."