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The Impact of Materials on the Launch Dynamics of Small Caliber Projectiles



Traditional small caliber projectiles employ a copper based jacket and a lead alloy slug. These materials are low cost, readily available, adaptable to a variety of manufacturing techniques, and result in a low cost to the consumer. The manufacturing usage and postconsumer disposal of lead and lead-based products is a growing environmental concern worldwide. As a result it is extremely possible that future small caliber projectiles will utilize environmentally friendly materials. In this research the impact of materials on the launch dynamics of small caliber projectiles will be examined. Computational mechanical modeling will be conducted to determine the impact that material properties have on the launch dynamics and predicted dispersion. The modeling will examine typical commercial two-piece projectiles in two calibers 5.56mm and 7.62mm. The results of the study will discuss the in-bore balloting behavior and predicted dispersion for the lead and green projectiles of differing material properties.

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