Military Review

How to invent liquid powder, or machine gun on kerosene

How to invent liquid powder, or machine gun on kerosene

In the summer of 1942 in the village of Bilimbay, a group of engineers at the aircraft factory evacuated from Moscow tried (privately) to find a means of significantly increasing the muzzle velocity and, consequently, the armor-piercing bullets and shells.

These engineers graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics of Moscow State University, knew mathematics and mechanics satisfactorily, but in the field of firearms weapons were, to put it mildly, amateurs. Probably, that’s why they invented a weapon, “firing kerosene”, that if a decent artilleryman, tell him that, then he would only cause a grin.

At first, the long-known electric gun scheme in the form of two solenoids, the fixed part — the barrel — and the mobile — the projectile, was subjected to calculations. The result was such required power that the size and weight of the capacitor grew unacceptably. The idea of ​​a power gun was rejected.

Then one of these engineers, who had previously worked at a reactive scientific research institute in the S. P. Korolev group on powder cruise missiles and who knew about the regressivity of the pressure curve of powder gases in the missile chamber and the bore of the weapon (at the RNII, he sometimes thumbed through Serebryakov’s “Internal Ballistics”) He proposed to design an instrument charged by ordinary powder, but with a charge distributed along the bore in separate chambers communicating with the bore. It was assumed that as the projectile moves along the barrel, the charges in the chambers will in turn ignite and maintain the pressure in the projectile space at about a constant level. This was to increase the work of the powder gases and increase the muzzle velocity with constant barrel length and the maximum allowable pressure in it.

It turned out cumbersome, inconvenient in operation, dangerous, etc., as a result of which the scheme was also rejected. After the war, in a magazine or newspaper, there was a photograph of such a gun, created by the Germans and, apparently, also rejected.

Our efforts were rested in a dead end, but rescued the case. Once, on the shore of a factory pond, a liquid-propellant rocket engine was being tested, tested at a nearby plant, by the chief designer Viktor Fedorovich Bolkhovitinov, where the BI-1, the first Soviet fighter with a rocket engine, was then created.

The rumble of the RD suggested us to use in the firearm instead of gunpowder the fuel of liquid missiles with continuous injection into the projectile space for the entire duration of the shot.

The idea of ​​"liquid powder" attracted the inventors by the fact that the specific energy of the known liquid mixtures, say, kerosene with nitric acid, significantly exceeded the energy of the powder.

There was a problem of injecting fluid into the space where the pressure reached several thousand atmospheres. Rescued the memory. Once upon a time one of us read a translated book from English by PU. Bridgman's “High Pressure Physics”, which describes devices for experiments with liquids under pressure of tens and even hundreds of thousands of atmospheres. Using some ideas from Bridgman, we came up with a scheme for supplying liquid fuel to the high-pressure area by the force of this very pressure.

Having found the schematic solutions to the main issues, we started designing a liquid weapon (unfortunately, immediately automatic) for a ready-made barrel of a Degtyarev anti-tank gun of caliber 14,5 mm. They carried out detailed calculations, in which my now deceased comrade in RNII, a prominent scientist-engineer Yevgeny Sergeevich Schetinkoi, who then worked in the design bureau of V.f. Bolkhovitinov, provided invaluable assistance. Calculations yielded encouraging results. Quickly made drawings of the "liquid automatic weapons" (JAO) and put into production. Fortunately, one of the co-authors of the invention was the director and chief designer of our plant, so the prototype was made very quickly. Due to the lack of regular bullets, the PTRD sharpened self-made red copper, loaded their weapons and 5 March 1943 of the year in a dash made of casings of destroyed cupolae (the aircraft factory was located on the territory of the former pipe mill) tested a “kerosene” machine gun. An automatic queue of shots should have followed, equal to the number of bullets invested in the magazine box. But not followed. There was only one, judging by the sound, a full shot.

It turned out that the column of bullets in the barrel was subjected to such pressure of gases from the side of the projection space, which jammed the mechanism of automatic feeding of bullets and a component of liquid fuel.

The mistake of the inventors who decided to create a machine gun immediately before the finishing of the single-shot system was noted in his (mostly positive) review of the invention of the deputy. Artcom Chairman, Lieutenant General E.A. Berkalov. We immediately took it into account.

The red copper bullet of the first liquid shot pierced the 8-mm steel plate and was stuck in the brickwork to which the plate was leaning. The diameter of the hole significantly exceeded the caliber of the bullet and had, from the side of the impact, the crown of steel that was clearly visible in the photo was facing the bullet, which was reformed into a “mushroom”. Scientists artillerymen decided that the splash of material at the entrance of the bullet into the plate, apparently, should be explained by the high meeting speed, as well as the mechanical properties of the plate and the bullet.

The model of the weapon from which, according to artillery scientists, the first in stories Shot liquid "powder", stored in the museum of the plant.

After the first, not quite so successful (automaton failed) test of automatic liquid weapons on March 5th 1943, we started working out a shotgun from a PTDD with a unitary cartridge filled with liquid fuel and oxidizer components instead of gunpowder. For a long time homemade copper bullets were fired, but with the return of the plant from the evacuation of 1943 to Moscow in the summer, with the help of the workers of the Central Committee, I. D. Serbin and A.F. Fedotikov, received a sufficient number of regular anti-tank rifle cartridges and began firing "liquid powder" already on armor plates of armor-piercing incendiary bullets. Bringing the thickness of the punched plates to 45 mm, the charge from 4 grams of kerosene and 15 grams of nitric acid, instead of 32 grams of regular powder charge, we made a detailed report and sent it to Stalin.

Soon, an interdepartmental meeting was held in the Arms Commissariat under the chairmanship of General A. A. Tolochkov with the participation of representatives from the aviation industry commanderies, armaments, ammunition and the Artillery Committee. The decision was made: to NCal to submit working drawings and technical conditions to the People's Commissariat of Weapons for the production of a pilot plant for studying the internal ballistics of the LAO; The People's Commissariat of Arms is to manufacture a plant at one of its factories and transfer it to the People's Commissariat for ammunition for research. The general scientific management of all the work, as far as I remember, the meeting entrusted Artcom.

... time has passed. And once, after a number of approvals, links with the plant, with the Scientific Research Institute of the Ammunition Narkomat, we finally received an invitation to be defended by one of the employees of this Research Institute, Doblisham, the thesis on the topic “Internal ballistics of a gun ...” (the surname of one of the inventors - according to the tradition of gunsmiths: “Mosin rifle”, “Kalashnikov assault rifle”, “Makarov pistol”, etc.). Protection was successful. The authors of the invention were mentioned in the report, the applicant noted their merit. More years passed, about ten years after the invention of the JAO, the authors were invited to defend the second dissertation. At this time, adjunct of the Academy of Lieutenant Colonel I.D. Zuyanova on the topic with a title about - "Theoretical and experimental studies of artillery systems on liquid explosive mixtures." The authors of the invention read with pleasure in the abstract of thesis I.D. Zuyanoea their names, the good word. The dissertation was led by Professor I.P. Grave.

The secretary of the party committee of our plant, N.I. Shishkov. A. A. Tolochkov after the debate, after the speech of Professor I.P. Grave gets up and that the leaders of the liquid weapons are in the hall and that he asks one of us to share with the academic council information about how we began our brainchild. The people applauded amicably, but our comrade, whom we were whispered instructed to perform, as he could, the soul went to the heels. But there is nothing to do, he went and spent twenty minutes telling how, where and why the idea of ​​a liquid weapon was born and how it was realized at its initial stage. Presumably, theses TT. Dobrysha and Zuyanova are stored in the VAK archive, and our report, with all our "drawings, calculations and firing results of kerosene-acid charges, sent to Stalin, lies in another archive, possibly Artkom. I hope that the meeting’s protocol, which was held by A .A. Tolochkov in the People's Commissariat of Arms.

We don’t know what the fate of our invention is, but we know from the foreign open press that since the 70-s many patents and papers have appeared in the USA, England and France on the subject of firearms on liquid fuel.

The persons known to me who have contributed to the work on liquid weapons, in alphabetical order: Baydakv G.I. - Director of the branch of the above-mentioned aircraft factory. Berkalov. E.A. - Lieutenant-General, Deputy Chairman of the Art Committee, Grave I.P. - Major General, Professor of the Academy, Grichenko G.Е. - Turner plant, Dryazgov MP - beg. brigades of the OKB plant, Efimov AG - Turner factory. Zhuchkov D. And - early. laboratories of the plant, Zuyanov I.D. - lieutenant colonel, adjunct of the Academy, Karimov XX - engineer-calculator of the OKB of the plant, Kuznetsov E.A. - design engineer of the OKB of the plant, Lychov VT. - plant fitter, Postoe I "- plant fitter, Privalov AI - director and public designer of the plant, Serbia ID - worker of the Central Committee of the party, Sukhov A.N. - plant fitter, Tolochkov AA - major general, deputy. NTK Armed Forces Commissariat, Fedotikov AF - an employee of the Central Committee of the Party, Shchetknkov ES - the engineer of the OCH of an aircraft factory, headed by VF Bolkhovitinov.

M.Dryazgov, winner of the USSR State Prize

PS Everything would be fine ... But many years ago it turns out that lieutenant-colonel I. D. Zuyanov, who became a candidate of sciences for the JAO, found that his dissertation in the archives of the VAK was overwritten. That is, someone has studied it. Who - not installed. And Lieutenant Colonel Zuyanov no longer ask, he died.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Mikhado
    Mikhado 18 January 2014 08: 51
    In those years, it was definitely a premature idea, since until now all this has not come to practice, although they could, for example, equip air guns or ship's speed guns.
    1. Andrey57
      Andrey57 18 January 2014 15: 30
      Not at all, I know of an example when in 1982 the diploma work on the creation of a fundamentally new projectile to destroy tanks was immediately classified as "secret" and was embodied in reality only in the early 2000s, the reason is the development of protection against such projectiles.
      So in creating even dead-end directions in the design of weapons systems there is a benefit.
  2. makarov
    makarov 18 January 2014 09: 04
    Wastelessly spent money nowhere. I recall that in TM in the 90s there was a description of the young talent of a liquid-fuel rifle. History knows steam and pneumatic guns, machine guns and others. Only here the samples of military weapons have stringent requirements and limitations.
    1. Corsair
      Corsair 18 January 2014 12: 53
      Quote: makarov
      Wastelessly spent money nowhere.

      In the "pre-powder era", there would also be 100% skeptics who are sure that "a handful of strange black powder" in the future will not be able to revolutionize weapons ...
      1. makarov
        makarov 18 January 2014 13: 26
        SW Corsair.
        What does skepticism have to do with it ???
        Have you forgotten how inflated dissertations were made in the era of the USSR? So I recall, the applicant was required to submit at least 2 copyright works for the candidate, as many as for the doctor - alas, I do not remember. To my knowledge, this is by no means the first attempt to use liquid media, and before that there were analogues.
        1. Kars
          Kars 18 January 2014 13: 59
          Quote: makarov
          To my knowledge, this is by no means the first attempt to use liquid media, and before that there were analogues.

          So share your information. What were the analogues? Was it generally known in the country of advice among engineers.

          and just this topic has found many more successors, not only worthlessly .. spending state funds (I wonder how many millions were spent here) of the USSR, but also of the federal republic of Germany.
        2. Corsair
          Corsair 19 January 2014 01: 36
          Quote: makarov
          Have you forgotten how inflated dissertations were made in the era of the USSR?

          HOW dissertations were written during the Second World War, I naturally cannot remember, but something persistently reminds me - "projections" under Stalin were swept aside and sometimes even extremely harshly and not rarely with errors and "excesses".
          It is worth remembering the defeat of the nascent science GENETIKA, and the "Lysenkovschina" that grew up on its ruins ...
        3. luiswoo
          19 January 2014 02: 22
          The matter went a little further than the puffy dissertations:
          Quote: USSR
          As for domestic developments, there is practically no reliable information on them.

          Interesting information can be found in the anniversary publication of the Nizhny Novgorod Central Research Institute "Petrel" entitled "40 years on guard of the Fatherland and the world. 1970-2010 years. "

          “From the 1 of the quarter of the 1982 of the year ... Central Research Institute“ Burevestnik ”became the lead contractor for scientific research NV1-142-82“ Lava ”, within the framework of which the institute together with the enterprises of the PO Box V-8469, PO Box V-2281, PO I A-7701 and the Institute of Petroleum Chemistry of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR worked out a ballistic solution and elements of a tank gun scheme using HMW (liquid propellants). The studies made it possible to recommend two areas of designing artillery systems using LMF:
          - with the placement of the charge of iron ore in the chamber of the artillery gun (volumetric combustion);
          - with the distribution of the LMW charge along the length of the bore (distributed feed).

          The 57 mm mortar ballistic installation was developed and manufactured, allowing experimental research in both selected directions. In continuation of this project, by the decision of the military-industrial complex, the Volna Research Institute was opened in 1985 of the year - “Searching for technical directions for the creation of artillery systems and ammunition using LMW”. Director of the Institute V.M. Chebanenko ...

          Quote: USA
          In 1981, as part of the Pulse Power Systems contract, DARPA, the American agency for advanced defense research projects, began to deal with computer problems.

          Already in 1986, the ballistic laboratory of the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Army Center for Research and Development of Weapons of the Picantina Arsenal concluded contracts for research and development with General Electric.

          As part of the research, about 2000 rounds were fired at laboratory facilities of various designs and calibers (from 25 to 105 mm).

          The work was divided into three stages. During the first year to 1988, the 155 mm static test specimen was made on an M115 towed howitzer carriage.

          During the tests, the maximum firing range of the M549A1 active rocket was 44,4 km at an initial speed of 998 m / s, and the minimum high-explosive M107 was 4,4 km.

          Tests lasted from July 1988 to September 1990.

          The second stage involved the creation of a self-propelled model for demonstration tests, the beginning of which was planned for the end of the 1990 year. Until the third - the creation of a serial artillery system on the iron ore missile did not reach.

          noe-oruzhie /
          It is possible that there have been no technical problems with LMW for a long time, but potential customers are nervous about a liquid oxidizing agent (acid, hydrogen peroxide), or rather, possible problems with it.
          1. anomalocaris
            anomalocaris 19 January 2014 10: 25
            Well, let's say there are more stable variants of diergols and monergols and, if desired, the difficulties you described are surmountable. But, and this is the most important "but", the systems with LHMV do not have an absolute, on the head, superiority over classic firearms. However, their implementation will require too many, and too costly, changes in the production and operational infrastructure.
            Here, by the way, is a very good, albeit old article:
            1. luiswoo
              19 January 2014 12: 31
              Quote: anomalocaris
              However, their implementation will require too many, and too costly, changes in production and operational infrastructure.

              In your same article:
              Cost. Chemicals used in various research programs widely used in the commercial sector. In West Germany, for example, it has been found that about 10000 tons of nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide are produced annually in the commercial sector. Further calculations showed that the equivalent amount of H22 / hydrocarbon dirgol needed to fire the 155-mm self-propelled howitzer shell at maximum range (8 charge) would cost about 15 pounds. An 6 solid propellant for the same projectile currently costs around 300 pounds. The unit cost of the same dergol is close to 1 pound per kilogram.

              Although this is not entirely clear:
              The only drawback of delivering LMW directly to the battlefield may be that some of the monergols (especially on hydroxyl ammonium nitrate) and diergol oxidizers, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2X2), are highly decomposed. Therefore, before refueling in tanks of military vehicles, control with high-precision measuring instruments is required... This is very difficult to accomplish in the conditions that usually prevail during battlefield reinforcements. One firm currently doing research in this area claims to have found a "good solution" to the problem.

              If you didn’t mean the preparation of monergol (?) By mixing the components in the field, then it is not clear why there high precision measuring instruments.
              Quote: anomalocaris
              Life-threatening systems do not have absolute superiority over classical firearms

              For large-caliber artillery there are tangible advantages:
              increase in loading speed,
              a flexible dosing system of a propellant is possible = its savings,
              reduction in volume = savings in transportation.
              1. anomalocaris
                anomalocaris 19 January 2014 14: 48
                The funniest thing is not. For large-caliber artillery, the main thing is the rate of barrel cooling.
                1. luiswoo
                  19 January 2014 15: 23
                  The task of unloading the maximum number of shells per unit time, preferably more precisely, is it a thing of the past? Or For large-caliber artillery the main is the barrel cooling rate. - is it about something else?
                  1. anomalocaris
                    anomalocaris 19 January 2014 17: 20
                    No, it's all right. It’s only advisable that you remember shooting modes. The same Msta-S or B, it doesn’t matter, can produce 7-8 shells per minute, but it can conduct such intense fire for no more than 3 minutes. Then she needs to cool for about half an hour. Larger caliber systems are even worse.
                    You see, when fired, the barrel heats up, very significantly, the fluid in the pullback brake and the reel, the air in the reel, is even more significant. All this should cool, otherwise you can just kill the unit.
                    1. luiswoo
                      19 January 2014 21: 57
                      The towed artillery has a lifespan of 4-6 shots on the battlefield, then it will be found and nailed. Self-propelled guns for that and self-propelled guns that would be quickly lost - in a war with an equivalent enemy, the barrel does not face overheating.
                      1. anomalocaris
                        anomalocaris 20 January 2014 00: 06
                        A full-scale war with an equivalent opponent will end within half an hour. After that, nobody will need anything.
        4. edge
          edge 21 January 2014 09: 35
          Quote: makarov
          Have you forgotten how inflated dissertations were made in the era of the USSR?

          if the scientific works in the USSR were inflated, then the Japanese, Amers and European Jews would hardly have dragged them for 20 years. Due to the scientific potential developed in the USSR, they jumped quite far .... but not so so that we miss them.
  3. alex-cn
    alex-cn 18 January 2014 09: 47
    I read about the German multi-chamber cannon for shelling England more than once, but this is the first time that such an unusual weapon was developed in the war. Judging by the picture of breaking through, our speed got very high. Very interesting option.
    1. Moore
      Moore 18 January 2014 11: 56
      ra-150-mm /
      It turns out that the French were still the ideologists of "multi-chamber".
      The Germans, with their craze for child prodigies, brought the development to a working model. Judging by the article, at the same time loading their respective enterprises with orders for tens of thousands of shells not brought to mind to the detriment of products that really need the front.
      One can only be surprised at the decision-making system in the Reich. I believe that Shtirlitz could not do without it - there is a very large diversion. bully
    2. shuhartred
      shuhartred 19 January 2014 02: 26
      Quote: alex-cn
      I read about the German multi-chamber cannon for shelling England more than once, but this is the first time that such an unusual weapon was developed in the war. Judging by the picture of breaking through, our speed got very high. Very interesting option.

      That's just the return on this prodigy should be appropriate.
  4. Nayhas
    Nayhas 18 January 2014 09: 59
    In the 80s, the topic of Liquid Throwing Substances or LMW was considered promising when developing new tank guns. The idea was attractive in that tank engine fuel was used as LMW. Then somehow everything calmed down, but most likely they will return to this topic, because the LMW has too many advantages ...
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris 18 January 2014 18: 09
      Along with the advantages, there are a number of disadvantages. Although the topic of iron-ore materials, as far as possible to judge, is still being developed.
  5. Fotoceva62
    Fotoceva62 18 January 2014 12: 58
    1. crambol
      crambol 19 January 2014 11: 00
      Quote: Fotoceva62

      not multi-chamber, but multi-chamber or multi-cell!
  6. uzer 13
    uzer 13 18 January 2014 17: 31
    We must continue to work in this direction, but do not get involved in the design of rapid-fire machine guns. If the energy capabilities of kerosene are higher, then such ammunition is better suited for artillery systems with a rifle-free barrel. We still have to do this, since the possibilities of gunpowder to increase the velocity of the shell have already been exhausted.
    But there may be other technical solutions.
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris 18 January 2014 18: 14
      The possibilities of gunpowder are far from exhausted. Just because of the characteristics of combustion, gunpowder gives too high a maximum pressure and temperature, which very negatively affects the resource and cost of weapons.
  7. Starfish
    Starfish 18 January 2014 20: 40
    "What is the further fate of our invention, we do not know, but we know from the foreign open press that since the 70s there have been many patents and works in the USA, England and France on the subject of liquid fuel firearms."

    and what are the results of these works in the west? something is not heard.
    and leaks of scientific research went both ways, recall at least the creation of atomic weapons.
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris 19 January 2014 02: 24
      So far they have not created anything adequate, neither with us, nor with them. The resulting samples have characteristics higher than the usual firearms, but at the same time they are significantly more expensive and more complicated. In itself, the iron-ore-metal alloy is much more complicated than gunpowder, respectively, more expensive. At the end, the advantages are much lower than expected, but the cost of switching to a fundamentally new propellant is much higher than the allowable one. So while the game is not worth the candle.
  8. dustycat
    dustycat 18 January 2014 21: 26
    Interesting ...
    And what did you retouch in the picture?
    1. Rus2012
      Rus2012 19 January 2014 02: 09
      Quote: dustycat
      And what did you retouch in the picture?

      This is a description stand IMHO
  9. Rus2012
    Rus2012 19 January 2014 02: 34
    ... The material is interesting and informative!
    Both from the point of view of the development of the history of weapons, and the implementation of an interesting solution by non-specialists in weapons matters.
    In my humble opinion, in vain they set minuses to opponents. In the USSR, everything happened in the development of science and technology ... Both forward-breakthrough and dead-end directions ...

    As for the "bloated" dissertators ...
    It also happened. Normal statistics - only about 10% of dissertations had real implementation and continuation. As for inventions, even less. The numbers flickered - something around 4-5%. Pioneers - about 1-2%
    Who knows which of these works will really turn out to be real and when will bring a breakthrough. My colleague worked as an expert in the Patent Committee of the Union. He said that the Japanese at the beginning or end of perestroika offered something a billion dollars only for rejected work on inventions ... At first, our people were inclined to sell, but, having unsubscribed, they refused.
    But it’s not a fact that they didn’t throw off the very cunning then ... Then a lot of things were fused with the foreign ...
    1. makarov
      makarov 19 January 2014 07: 13
      SW Russ.
      But the question is not in countering the generally accepted.
      The question is that those who rely on the generally accepted do not possess the completeness of information. They did not know that even at the dawn of improving ICE, foreign engineers worked out the topic of transferring energy of the working cycle not to pushing a piston, but to throwing a body (bullet). This topic did not bring the desired result and died. After the appearance of tanks, this topic was raised and tested again, good results were obtained for machine-gun firing, but the military rejected it, since in the event of damage to the main engine, the tank became unarmed.
      The bottom line is that some komenty who consider themselves experts in fact are not even familiar with many things, which does not prevent them from making a smart appearance.
      1. Rus2012
        Rus2012 19 January 2014 11: 20
        Quote: makarov
        The bottom line is that some komenty who consider themselves experts in fact are not even familiar with many things, which does not prevent them from making a smart appearance.

        there is such a thing! O5 The illusion of involvement and complicity is ...
        Well, what can you do, it’s better that Tag, the worm of doubt can still visit m. knowledge will deepen into the world, what will they do with other more harmful acts, will it not? laughing
  10. DZ_98_B
    DZ_98_B 19 January 2014 10: 53
    Here on the site there is information about the Swedish, it seems, self-propelled howitzer with a liquid propellant charge.
  11. stolbovsn
    stolbovsn 19 January 2014 11: 13
    Great result and potentially key direction. It’s just that the idea didn’t have a big-headed and rugged performer.
  12. samoletil18
    samoletil18 19 January 2014 12: 31
    I'm afraid to imagine what happened to the barrel! Depreciation is probably terrible. Here is one more reason not to engage in iron-and-steel products.
  13. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 19 January 2014 21: 52
    I like the idea. I think in speed we will hear something interesting about this.
  14. Iapetus
    Iapetus 10 June 2015 09: 09
    Interesting topic! In tanks, the caps should be replaced with tanks for fuel and oxidizer.