Recall that in the project of a gas-electric submachine gun HMS-710 some original ideas were proposed. So, gas cartridges were suggested to be placed in a non-standard design shop perpendicular to the barrel axis. In this case, the ammunition was placed inside a relatively large gas chamber. Pressing the trigger gave the command to the electronic control system that applied the impulse to the electric igniters of the cartridge cells. The burning propelling charge knocked the irritating substance out of the sleeve, after which it had to exit the gas chamber through the barrel. Such a structure of weapons precluded its alteration under live ammunition, and in addition, to a certain extent, simplified operation.
Product GR-40 in the basic version. Photo Strangernn.livejournal.com
Being a submachine gun, the product HMS-710 was distinguished by sufficiently large dimensions that could impede its use in self-defense with constant wear. This shortcoming was one of the reasons for the emergence of a new project in which it was planned to minimize the dimensions of the weapon. The result of the subsequent design was the appearance of the gas sprayer GR-40. It differed from its predecessor in reduced dimensions and smaller ammunition. At the same time, compactness and reduced ready-to-use ammunition under certain conditions could not be considered a disadvantage.
One of the main requirements for a civilian self-defense weapon is small size. In this case, however, the reduction of dimensions imposes restrictions on various design features and may lead to a decrease in some characteristics. In the case of the GR-40 project, a way was found to reduce the negative impact of downsizing. For this purpose it was planned to use the developments according to the existing project of a gas-electric submachine gun. Compact weapons should have received a similar cartridge and similar fire control systems. Finally, all the structural elements were to be placed in a relatively small package.
Requirements for the ergonomics of weapons led to the creation of an unusual architecture. The appearance of the product GR-40 resembled a flashlight, being completely different from pistols or revolvers under a gas cartridge. Due to this, the device fits well in the hand and provides a certain ease of working with it. In addition, the characteristic shape of the product made it possible to easily transport in various cases, holsters or even just in your pocket.
The front of the gas sprayer GR-40 had a cylindrical shape with notches for more convenient work. Cartridges were placed in it, and there were four holes for shooting in the butt. The main body of the product differed in a more complex form. Its lower part was made as part of a cylinder, and the front section was slightly thicker than the rear. The front part of the hull received a large upper influx, on which the weapon controls were placed. The rear part of the body was made in the form of a cylinder with inclined grooves on the sides and a straightened upper surface. The rear part of the GR-40 also received an axle for mounting a strap, which makes it easier to carry and use the product.
GR-40 and its original packaging. Photos Shop.gun.ru
From the point of view of common features of the design, the GR-40 was a tubeless gas sprayer without ammunition systems and with electronic firing control. It is noteworthy that with the cardinal processing of the form factor, the new weapon retained some ideas and solutions from the previous project. It was decided to re-use the barrelless system with a fixed placement of cartridges and electrical ignition. It is this architecture of weapons that allowed us to obtain the optimal ratio of dimensions and combat characteristics.
As ammunition, the GR-40 product was supposed to use RP-70E (idle) and RP-80E (gas) cartridges. Both cartridges were created on the basis of existing pistol ammunition. A propellant powder charge and, in the case of a gas cartridge, a certain amount of irritant were placed in a standard cartridge case. The dulce of the liner was sealed with a plastic stopper that was broken through when fired. In the bottom of the sleeve provided a hole for the installation of the primer with electrical ignition initiation.
The device for spraying the GR-40 did not receive traditional type of ammunition systems. All ready-to-use ammunition had to be placed in the chambers in preparation for the shooting and be there before firing. To install the cartridges in the front end of the body of the product there were four cells of a certain depth, at the bottom of which were placed the contacts of an electric igniter. After installing the cartridges on them should have put on the cover. Its main part was a cylinder with four longitudinal channels that perform the functions of a chamber. In its place, the cylinder was fixed with a casing with a thread that engages with the housing.
In front of the product body placed controls. On the protruding influx of the upper surface of the body there was a large square button responsible for firing the shot. In order to improve ergonomics a little, the trigger button was made of red or other bright plastic, while the body was black. Immediately in front of the frame that protects the button from being accidentally pressed, put the engine fuse. He had the opportunity to move to the right or left relative to the longitudinal axis of the weapon, allowing you to fire or blocking the descent. The readiness of the sprayer for operation was confirmed by a light indicator, also placed in front of the button.
Blank cartridge RP-70E. Photo Patronen.su
In the front compartment of the case, next to the controls, there was a relatively simple electrical circuit responsible for firing shots. The back of the case, which facilitates the retention of weapons, was given to the placement of the battery compartment. Its dimensions allowed the installation of a single AA-size battery. The battery cover was located on the bottom surface of the case.
The maximum simplicity of the design, as well as the intended method of application led to the rejection of the use of any sighting devices. Directing weapons at the target was offered solely by the skills of the shooter. In this case, the main purpose of the product, as well as the estimated short shooting distances, fully contributed to this application of the sprayer.
The total length of the GR-40 device (excluding the carrying strap) was 125 mm, width - 32 mm, height - 33 mm. The mass in combat position, with a battery and ammunition, reached 300 g. The firing range and other combat characteristics corresponded to the capabilities of other samples of tubeless gas weapons under similar ammunition.
Marking the type of product and manufacturer was applied to the right side surface of the influx of the release button. In the top row was stamped with the serial number of the product, and the bottom indicated its type and caliber: Iceberg GR 40 cal. 9 mm.
To prepare the gas sprayer ГР-40 for use, it was necessary to open the bottom cover and place the battery in the battery compartment. It was also required to remove the cover with the chambers, unscrewing it from the case. Four RP-70E or RP-80E cartridges were placed in the cells. Both the use of identical cartridges and the combination of different types of ammunition was allowed. Due to this, the shooter could affect the attacker with the help of noise and flash, the charge of an irritating substance or the consistent use of cartridges of both available types. After returning the cover to the place of the weapon was ready for use.
The front part of the weapon with sockets for the installation of cartridges, the contacts of the electric igniter are visible. Photo Casatic.livejournal.com
Before the shot, it was necessary to turn off the fuse by sliding its engine. After that, you could point the weapon at the target and press the shutter-release button. Pressing the button gave the command to the control electronics, through which it supplied the current to the electric igniters. With a series of button presses, the automatics consistently produced four shots from all the available cameras. Then the shooter had to remove the lid, remove the empty cartridge cases and install new cartridges.
The ammunition set of the device, ready for use, consisted of only four idle or gas cartridges. At the same time, a sufficiently economical charge of the power supply was ensured. According to reports, one AA battery should have been enough to execute 10 thousand shots. Thus, only one battery could last for several years of weapon operation, regardless of the intensity of its use. Moreover, it was not excluded that there was no need to replace the battery during the entire service life.
By the mid-nineties, the gas sprayer GR-40 underwent the necessary procedures, after which it was allowed to mass production and sale to the public. Product GR-40, as well as RP-70E and RP-80E cartridges were included in the State Cadastre of civil and service weapons and ammunition for it. The novelty quickly attracted the attention of potential buyers, resulting in a significant sales volume. At the same time, the product received mixed reviews. Both advantages and disadvantages of the original design were noted. Nevertheless, a certain number of sprayers GR-40 was in operation and helped the civilian population to deal with the threats characteristic of not the most peaceful period of domestic stories. Like many other means of self-defense of similar class and purpose, the GR-40 was sold without a license.
The development of the means of self-defense did not stand still, which is why many of the samples quickly became obsolete, giving their place in the market to newer developments. The same thing happened with the product GR-40. Around the end of the nineties, this system was no longer displayed at exhibitions devoted to weapons and security systems, and was also removed from mass production. Probably, some of the dispensers produced were still in use, but the emergence of more advanced means of self-defense did not contribute to their continued use.
GR-40T and its ammunition. Photo Casatic.livejournal.com
In 2009, the Iceberg concern presented its new development, created on the basis of an already well-known sample. By this time, the gas weapon of self-defense gave up a significant part of its share in the so-called market. traumatic systems. The Moscow company took into account the existing trends, resulting in a new project. The self-defense firearm tubeless GR-40T was launched on the market. When working on a new project, its authors decided to dispense with its considerable complication and managed with the minimum necessary number of innovations, which affected the final appearance of the products.
GR-40T, unlike its predecessor, is intended for the use of "traumatic" cartridges. In such munitions, developed on the basis of RP-70E and RP-80E products, a spherical bullet made of rubber is used instead of the charge of the irritating substance. The bullet has a caliber of 9 mm and a mass of 0,7 g. The preservation of the barrelless architecture of the weapon did not allow to bring the main parameters of the fire to a high level. So, the initial speed of a rubber bullet was declared at the level of 165 m / s. The muzzle energy of the munition, respectively, is just X. 9,5.
Except for the new cartridge, the “traumatic” version of the gas sprayer did not receive any significant innovations. In terms of product design, the GR-40T and the GR-40 are as similar as possible. Moreover, on the devices sold from the end of the last decade, there was an old label in which there was no new “T”. This suggests that at least part of the new self-defense systems was the GR-40 in the original modification, which was delayed in the warehouses of the manufacturing company. This means that products not sold in the nineties were tested and showed the ability to work with a new cartridge, and then were certified and re-entered the market for civilian weapons. It should be noted that after such a return, weapons could no longer be bought without any permits. Now, the potential operator was required to complete all the procedures specified in the existing legislation.
The self-defense weapon of the barrelless GR-40T entered the market in the 2009 year, but the triumphant return failed. An interesting sample once again attracted attention, but did not win noticeable popularity. Sales of such products left much to be desired. In addition, small demand hit the proposal, which is why it is now quite difficult to find the GR-40T in the gun shop. Thus, it can already be considered that the products of the GR-40 and the GR-40T took not the most pleasant place in the history of domestic self-defense weapons, remaining curious, but unpromising technical curiosities.
Cartridge with a rubber spherical bullet. Photo Casatic.livejournal.com
Like other developments in various fields, gas sprayers and self-defense weapons developed by the Iceberg concern had pros and cons, but their specific ratio led to a sad result. The undoubted advantage of the GR-40 and the GR-40T can be considered small dimensions and weight. In terms of ergonomics, these systems bypass another weapon of a similar class. In addition, the basic modification is able to solve the tasks, affecting the enemy with a flash and noise or a dose of irritating toxic agent.
At the same time, the weapon had cons that could outweigh all the advantages. So, effective self-defense with a gas spray could interfere with its form factor. A product that looks like a flashlight or other device is unlikely to have a noticeable psychological effect on the attacker, stopping it in time, which affects the results of the collision. Also a minus can be considered a combination of small ammunition and difficulty reloading, limiting the possibility of self-defense in some situations.
The development of the 2009 of the year retained the advantages of its predecessor, but at the same time it received new characteristic flaws. The main thing is the absence of barrels, which prevents obtaining high combat characteristics. A light bullet weighing 0,7 g, flying out of a weapon at a speed of just 165 m / s cannot have a noticeable impact on the target. The muzzle energy of the GR-40T bullet reaches the entire 9,5 J, which is not enough for a real stopping action. Moreover, for insufficient impact on the target, systems that have a lot of energy are exposed to criticism. In this case, the GR-40T looks like a completely useless device that is not even able to exert a psychological effect and scare the attacker.
The specific and ambiguous appearance and characteristics of the products of the GR-40 and GR-40T led to a logical outcome. This weapon was sold to citizens for some time, but further reduction in demand led to its disappearance from the shelves. An attempt to use original ideas and solutions did not produce noticeable results. Currently, the gas sprayer and the “trauma” at its base may be of interest only to collectors of the original weapon. Other potential buyers who needed self-defense had made their choice a long time ago, leaving the GR-40 and the GR-40T in vain.
Alekseev I. The underwater part of Iceberg // Arms, 1997. No.3.