Gyrojet: 60s jet pistol with incredible destructive power

Missiles operating on jet propulsion, used by mankind has the devil knows how many years. And it was only a matter of time when, in the process of miniaturization, they would be reduced to the size of standard cartridges. But the weapon using jet thrust has not gained wide popularity. For example, a jet pistol created in the early sixties Gyrojet he could not realize his full potential. And what was the idea … But about everything in order.

So. The sixties of the last century. US company Mainhardt Biehl Associates develops a pistol for launching solid mini-rockets. Or bullets on the jet propulsion. And they even get something. At least, all the basic requirements – a powerful destructive force, low recoil and noise, ease of operation and repair, were able to comply. It turned out the most simple design with a minimum of moving parts, shooting with almost no recoil. As for the sound of the shot, only the hissing of escaping reactive gases was heard. And the power was really impressive – from 55 meters 13 mm a bullet pierced a sheet of metal that the M1911 Magnum of .45 caliber could not pierce. Cool? Cool. But…

The main “but” was in the design itself Gyrojet. While in conventional pistols the striker stupidly hits the capsule, in this design the hammer directly hit the cartridge that hit the fixed drummer, ignition occurred, the bullet began to slowly fly out of the barrel, pushing the trigger back to its original position. That is, the usual way was turned upside down. As a result, even in the Gyrojet, which was just commissioned, misfires were an extremely frequent occurrence — about one per hundred shots. And that number grew as the gun was used.

Go ahead. Yes, the reactive gases provided phenomenal stopping power. But precisely because of them, it was necessary to install a perforated barrel, which was hammered at any opportunity, which could lead to its rupture when firing.

Removable store Gyrojet did not have. You had to push each of the 6 rounds apart. And after all of them were shot (this was even signaled), you just had to send the cartridges through the sliding cover manually. And one by one. Which significantly reduced the rate of fire weapons.

The maximum speed of the rocket was reached with a span of about 20 meters. That is, a newly fired bullet could literally be caught by hand. At long distances – yes, it is fast, strong, powerful and in general. But for melee Gyrojet was not adapted. And for the distant, to be honest, too …

The fact is that the missiles were stabilized only by reactive gases. Therefore, a deviation of 3 meters per 100 meters was the norm. And the longer the shooting distance was, the worse the situation was.

That is, it turned out the weapon, with tremendous destructive power, but with low accuracy, low rate of fire, high chances of misfire and various difficulties in operation. Not surprisingly, the American officers who were given him out during the Vietnam War, rather quickly abandoned him.

After that, it was decided to transfer Gyrojet civilian as weapons for self defense. But in 1970 a law came out restricting the use of large-caliber (more than 13 mm) weapons. And even an attempt to re-equip the jet pistol under a 12-mm cartridge did not lead to anything.

Even an attempt to transform a Gyrojet from a pistol into something like a carbine did not help, by supplying it with a full-fledged butt, sight and an elongated barrel. This weapon was called MBA Gyrojet Carabin, but it has not gained popularity either.

So alas. One of the first attempts to create a really effective jet pistol not a success. However, gave a large number of reasons for reflection.


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