Testing GYROJET Rocket Guns – Why were they a commercial failure?

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Testing GYROJET Rocket Guns – Why were they a commercial failure?

three-two-one in the early 1960s a company called mb associates came out with a revolutionary new type of gun that actually shoots rockets yes those young rocket Rangers from the 1930s and 40s grew up became engineers and transported us all 500 years into the future more or less this was a big deal because it was like being able to buy a time-traveling DeLorean or a lightsaber today all you needed was $250 for the pistol or if you’re really cool for $300 you could buy the gyro jet rocket carbine now 300 bucks may not seem like a lot of money but that’s over 2400 dollars in today’s money on top of that the exotic rocket ammo made for these guns weren’t cheap either for the price of one gyrojet carbine you could get six military surplus shootable grade German Lugars which used ammo that was only 10 cents around in this article we have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shoot a gyro jet pistol and the even rarer gyrojet carbine will be able to show you how these guns actually work and maybe we’ll even clarify some of the rumors you’ve heard about these guns on the Internet now at this point you may be asking yourself where the heck did we find not just one but two examples of gyro jet rocket guns and even rarer an owner willing to let us shoot him well it all began with a message on facebook from a guy named Sean and to this day I have no idea why he contacted me maybe he contacted other channels and he just ignored him he only mentioned that he heard about me from a comment I left from a couple years ago on a forgotten weapons article and of course I couldn’t remember what I commented about but that’s what I said but one week to the day after he initially contacted me he drove the four plus hours through la traffic to get to us filmed for a few hours and then head right back through that mess again now Sean was also a pilot in the u.s.

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Navy and he flew turboprops and jets off nearly every aircraft carrier in the Pacific Fleet and he has to gyro jets now he has his own website website called really great gear and he will be posting a article of his own account of this gyro jet shoot so be sure to check his website out the design of the guns was actually the easy part the difficult part was designing a reliable self-contained rocket round the entire round is launched out of the gun so the gun doesn’t even have to have any means to eject a spent case the barrel of the gun isn’t even rifled spin stabilization is accomplished by a number of small jets or nozzles which are set at an angle and caused the round to spin at a very high rate like any rocket these projectiles start out rather slow and then build up speed as the fuel is depleted on the plus side the guns are almost recoilless the gyro Jets are also much quieter than a normal gun there’s no loud boom we didn’t even wear hearing protection the sound is pretty comparable to just lighten up a bottle rocket both the pistol and the carbine have a fixed magazine and have a maximum capacity of 6 rounds a gun must not be cocked the safety must be on and then you press that lever to open that slide and you load one round in at a time you’ll notice that the face of the hammer holds down the tip of the bullet in the magazine the location of the hammer is in a very unusual spot it’s designed to swing backwards strike the nose of the rocket round and the primer strikes a fixed firing pin at the rear of the receiver the next round that Danny is loading is a nickel-plated gyro jet this round actually got the attention of author Mel carpenter who has the most comprehensive book on gyro Jets and the other weird stuff that MBA made now Mel believes this round is an inert or dummy round and these were often used in the fancy limited-edition display boxes that they sold and according to Mel the brass colored one is zinc chromate and is even rarer now we forgot there was a slight assist on the magazine on the left so we fumbled around a little bit but you get the idea how this thing is loaded and for our tests were just loading one round at a time anyway now looking through the vent holes on the slide you can actually see if there’s a round in the chamber if you can call it a chamber the safety is labeled on and off when the safety is sled up in the on position a thin metal tab slides up between the round and the firing pin and prevents the gun from firing it doesn’t block the hammer or the trigger in any way but it does prevent the slide from opening if it’s in the off position we’ll be shooting at a distance of ten yards or thirty feet or 9.1 meters since the rounds were firing are quite scarce we wanted at the very least to capture the spent rounds and recover them Doug our test dummy is wearing two Kevlar vests and behind him is a ballistic fiberglass panel in case the rounds either pass through the Kevlar vests or fly just really wild do one Danny was even at the orange dot on the vests and he hit Shawn’s camera mount for his GoPro here we see the hammer slamming back hitting the nose of the gyro jet and setting it off well we’re also witnessing a malfunction the primary purpose of the hammer is to of course set the round off the secondary function that people don’t think about is it creates a resistance a slight delay so that the rocket has time to start burning and get enough energy to leave the barrel at a decent velocity the rocket is supposed to reset the hammer for the next shot but in this shot it just rebounded and never reset and for a gun that supposed to have no recoil look how much muzzle rise we had something went wrong now in defense of Danny he did have a good solid two-handed grip when the rocket ignites we see a much larger than normal blasts of flames coming out of the vent holes on the gun on the left side and of course we see that intense muzzle rise the rocket went high hit the camera mount went through the Hat went through Doug’s head went to the back of the Hat and then landed somewhere out in the field three days later daddy went back out there with a metal detector and went through that plowed field and found the round I can’t believe you found it this spent round holds the clue of what happened the primer blew out in this shot from pressure and created a fifth much larger nozzle which created all the undesired effects of this shot as I mentioned before the Jared jet guns themselves are pretty low-tech and there are some good articles out there by life-sized potato and forgotten weapons that discuss that the real rocket science went into developing the ammunition in order to give you an idea of the size of these gyro jet rounds let’s compare it to a 50 BMG bullet the Jared jet has more of a pistol bullet shape it is shorter but the diameter is almost exactly the same 50 BMG and it be precise it is one thousandth of an inch smaller so yeah in theory I guess this would be possible though the rocket rounds were pretty big in size the weight of an unfired round was only around 15.6 grams after the round was fired the weight dropped to thirteen point six grams this tells us the weight of the propellant was around two grams the rocket round ammunition we were using was over fifty years old but in remarkably good condition to protect the round from humidity and even direct immersion in water a reddish lacquer like substance called him a seal was painted over all openings so yes the rounds are sealed tight as a drum but the only question we can’t really answer is whether or not the propellant itself breaks down becomes less or even more potent over time okay Shawn the owner is gonna take a shot now now on a side note we naturally expected Shawn to take every single shot they were his guns it was his irreplaceable ammunition shot on other hand expected us to take all the shots and for some reason he just wasn’t interested really in shooting these things and we had to talk him into taking this one shot I think it went high now on this shot the chronograph read about a hundred and fifty feet per second but by Counting the frames we determined that the exit velocity of this round was only around seventy-five feet per second now the pistol shot with its blown out primer and kind of a out-of-control burn was 256 feet per second since the rocket rounds accelerate progressively outside the barrel we can only use these chronograph readings to compare one shot to the other but it also gives you an idea how low the velocity is initially now in this shot we have something that I would call a slow burn it started out slow and it continued to burn almost all the way to the 10-yard mark and you’ll understand and be able to see what I’m talking about in next couple shots where the rounds kind of go supernova at around five or six yards and then burn out these variations and burn rates contribute to the unpredictability of the Jireh Jets that Jerry jet was too hot to touch but it had enough energy to bury itself into the Kevlar vest in our past tests we’ve shot these vests with 45 appliances-repair-toronto.ca where they just bounced off the kevlar onto the ground Sean you ready ready there is a lot of heat that comes out of it finally in this shot we see how the gyro jet is supposed to function at only around five or six yards the gyro Jets thrust suddenly increases dramatically as a remaining fuel burns off that gerra jet has reached its maximum velocity and right after that it’s cruising along and actually decelerating yes this ammunition is over fifty years old we have to consider that but the chera jets use a single grain of propellant and trying to get every single round to burn at the exact same rate is next to impossible when I watch the piece of watermelon and I wasn’t sure but I thought it was a projectile good eye man I’m glad you’re walking I was aiming right here with the scope with the scoop a little to the right and that one was hit pretty straight though yeah okay and it could have been me as far as the elevation goes there are many problems with trying to make a spin stabilized rocket projectile as accurate as a traditional bullet most of the acceleration of the gyro jet occurs outside the barrel on top of that you have a variable unpredictable rate of spin even the most minut variations in the burn rate of the propellant will have dramatic effects on its ballistics a traditional firearm isn’t perfect either but the results are much more predictable all the variations we see occurring to the Jireh jet outside the barrel have already been predetermined by the time the bullet leaves the barrel of a traditional gun at traditional cartridge consists of a case a primer a bullet and hundreds of small grains of powder even with the most modern type of powder the burn rates of the individual grains may still vary some will burn fast some will burn slow but you have hundreds of them which kind of averages them out to a predictable velocity and pressure and all that stuff a traditional gun also uses rifle aimed to spin the bullet to stabilize it the twist rate of the rifling never changes of course but the spin rate of the bullet can vary depending on how fast the bullets traveling down the barrel control the velocity and you automatically control the spin rate and that can be simply done by using good quality ammunition that gives you consistent velocities shot after shot once the bullet leaves the barrel of a traditional gun it’s pretty much just coasting and decelerating but there’s still a lot of complicated physics involved just in that now let’s take a look at the Jairaj yet round it looks simple enough doesn’t it the Jarrod’s yet round has a steel case often plated in copper to prevent rust they used a pistol primer which was the only part they didn’t have to make and that was set into a steel plug which contains the rocket nozzles the drilling of the rocket ports was very tedious and required them but most of precision an employee would take one of the plugs put it in an indexing turret pretty much on a drill press drill the tiny holes with a custom-made taper drill bit then he would index the turret 90 degrees drilled the next hole and so on since their drill added angle the drill bits would snap all the time the later production Jerry jets only have two holes because this process was just so tedious the majority of the space inside the case of the Jura jet was taken up by the nitro cellulous propellant grain these grains were extruded in one long stick and then trimmed to the approximate size resized to get the proper outside diameter and then put on a lathe to kind of form the correct shape to fit inside the case the propellant grain was hollow and inside that they had what they called an igniter sometimes they use gun cotton other times they use a treated paper similar to flash paper the primer alone would not ignite the propellant grain evenly so the purpose of the igniter is to get the entire length the entire inner surface of the propellant grain burning evenly as the grain burns from the inside out the surface area increases progressively as well as the thrust until the fuel is completely consumed alright let’s head out take one more shot and we’ll see if we learn anything else about these fascinating rocket guns it’s a pretty textbook shot it I think everything went as well as possible many people have the idea that these things have a long delay but when you’re shooting it you don’t really notice any delay it’s like shooting an airsoft gun another idea people have is a gyro a jet is non-lethal at close range but what is close range we see the rocket accelerate to maximum velocity in just a few yards in this shot yes it does remind me of the enterprise going into warp speed one internet rumor is that you could actually stop the bullet with your hand as it comes out of the barrel well I think that is possible I think you’d also risk breaking bones in your hand but if you want to try the theory be my guest now we did find the gyro Jets very stable in flight the spin rate was much higher with the gyro Jets in any round we’ve ever seen flying at that velocity every round that we shot actually fired so they are pretty reliable but we can’t confirm that they are pretty inaccurate and unpredictable luckily we had the forethought to put that ballistic paneling behind the dummy this actually gives us a lot of good information about how much energy the gyro jet had on impact the gyro jet embedded itself very deeply and made a larger bulge in the back of the panel than a nine millimeter the gyro jet is supposed to have the same energy as a 357 Magnum but a 357 magnum will go through that fiberglass panel the gyro jet was very mushroomed and if it was made out of a stronger material a thicker steel I think it would have passed through the fiberglass panel even though our ammunition was over 50 years old our results were congruent with independent and military testing at the time when these guns and ammunition were still very new today the few gyro Jets that were actually made and sold are in museums or private collections very few if any will ever be shot again again we want to thank Sean for his generosity and kindness for letting us not only film um but also shoot them I would also like to thank Mel carpenter also known as mr. Jairaj jet for his support and help in making this article he has a fascinating book on the gyrojets and the other oddball stuff that MBA made milk did tell me that if you buy the book and request him to sign it he’ll happily do that our IndieGoGo campaign for the posters is coming to an end soon we have not reached a hundred percent of our funding yet so if you’re on the fence or dragging your feet I suggest buying it really soon before the campaign ends and if we don’t reach our goal don’t worry you will have all your money refunded I hope that doesn’t happen though okay compass is away now go click that’s hot thirteen point six so it lost to two grams of weight or so at least two grams oh that’s one thing I was curious about it was fifteen point six or eight because they’re all different interesting the exciting part still photography but what else could you ever do this yeah yeah for everybody you know okay where did hit Danny oh here if you’d have missed a little further he would hit this one yeah here it is right here the best caught it so far I’ve been the most accurate believe it or not only because I was holding it to the right so far yeah the wind yeah you always blame the wind all right I’m not gonna grab that dude because it is hot our background back stops working so far this caught it fiberglass panel caught it I’m glad we put that panel there my goodness man it’s really smelling like fireworks it’s cool you felt the hot blast over your hands right or okay I notice it was like like a light up a fire becoming it delayed ignition you know it’s kind of like that any hotter it burn the hairs off your hands I think so