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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149665 Find in a Library
Title: Phantom Ammo: The Advent of Caseless Ammunition
Corporate Author: Violence Policy Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Violence Policy Ctr
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: Violence Policy Ctr
1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Suite 1014
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The use of caseless ammunition by criminals may complicate the work of criminal investigators; whereas in standard ammunition the propellant is contained in metal casing with the bullet at its front end and the primer at its rear, hardened chemical propellant replaces the casing in caseless ammunition.
Abstract: The German firm of Heckler and Koch was the first to develop successful caseless ammunition for the G11 military rifle. The square cross-section round of the G11 consists of a nitramine-based solid propellant body, a single 51-grain bullet projectile, primer, booster, and plastic end cap. All ammunition components are consumed when the rifle is fired, except for the plastic end cap and the copper booster cup which exit the muzzle upon firing. The Austrian firm of Voere plans to export its VEC-91 electronic caseless rifle. Unlike standard firearms, the VEC-91 uses an electrical charge from two 15-volt camera batteries to fire the ammunition. Instead of a metallic cup in the primer like the G11, the VEC-91 has microcrystalline antimony and potassium picrate that form a semiconductor. The Glock 17 handgun uses a significant amount of plastic in its structural design. The marketing of caseless ammunition for rifles, handguns, and other weapons may portend a sea change in ammunition technology. In addition to its effect on individual police department investigations, caseless technology may be devastating to Federal Bureau of Investigation operations that attempt to link unrelated shootings in specific regions using firearms ballistic evidence from local, State, and Federal law enforcement authorities. Additional study of caseless ammunition is recommended until public safety risks posed by the new technology are determined. It is also suggested that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms be given statutory authority to regulate the availability, manufacture, distribution, and sale of firearms technology that poses a threat to public safety. 10 endnotes and 3 illustrations
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Ammunition; Austria; Criminal investigation; Evidence identification; Firearm imports/exports; Firearms; Germany; Handguns; Science and Technology; Violence prevention
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