Not a single exhibition of weapons is complete without a sample that makes you smile with its originality. The current exhibition in Las Vegas, Shot SHOW 2018, was no exception. FD Munitions demonstrated its view on the issue of caseless ammunition, showing not only a new cartridge, but also a weapon for this ammunition.
It should be noted right away that this article is not an overview of weapons, since the weapon itself is stillborn. No matter how admired this rifle in foreign forums, it "will not take off." Initially, there was an idea to write a full-fledged article about this weapon, but the lack of any prospects for such a project discourages any desire to take this rifle seriously.
Caseless cartridge case ammunition
I don’t know about most people, but personally for me caseless ammunition is associated with a cartridge in which there is no case as such, or the case burns out in the process of firing. The designers of the FD Munitions company, apparently, think differently, since they propose to designate a completely different device with a caseless cartridge.
The version of the ammunition proposed by the designers of the company is a metal block in which there are five chambers. Five bullets are inserted into these chambers, five weights of gunpowder are filled in there and five primers are inserted. The original solution, and most importantly, was not deceived: after all, there really is no sleeve.
I do not see any advantages of such ammunition, but there are a lot of disadvantages. Here and the multiply increased weight of the wearable ammunition, and the overexpenditure of metal … "Plus" in the form of possible repeated use seems more than negative, since for this the shooter will have to carry not only unused blocks of cartridges, but also empty ones.
A really interesting and reasonable idea can only be the use of an electric primer-igniter, similar in its structure to traumatic cartridges for pistols of the OSA series.
It can be assumed that such a design of ammunition would find its place in the civilian market, since for civilian weapons all these disadvantages of cartridges are not as critical as for combat ones. But here the weapon makes its contribution under the given ammunition.
FDM L5 rifle design
The first thing that catches your eye when examining the FDM L5 rifle: the barrel has a strange, rectangular cross-section. And the reason for this is the following: the barrel of the weapon is not one, there are five of them. That is, opposite each bullet in the block has its own barrel. It's no secret that in a good rifle, the most expensive part of it is the barrel, but here it is not alone. Moreover, in order for the weapon to have sufficient accuracy, all five barrels in the block must be perfectly parallel to each other. Is it technically feasible? Quite possible. How expensive is it for long-lasting, accurate barrels? Very expensive.
But not even the number of rifle barrels raises questions. For many people, the price of the issue is not at all a question if the purchased item is of decent quality. The weapon store is of much greater interest. This is a conventional box magazine attached to the left side of the receiver. This store includes 6 blocks with five bullets in each, so the capacity is not fantastic. After five shots are fired from one block, it is thrown to the right side, and a new one takes its place. This approach to powering weapons is reminiscent of the Japanese Nambu Type 11 machine gun.
The comments often raise the question of the balance of weapons as the cartridges are used up. You can really think about this example of weapons thought in this vein.
The only positive point in this rifle is the possibility of a salvo from five barrels at once. But for what and for what purposes it will be necessary to fire five simultaneous shots at the same point - a mystery.
Such an interesting novelty was presented this year. Of course, this weapon can be viewed not as a final product, but as a platform for developing individual solutions and ideas that will be used in other designs. But for some reason, there are no new interesting and truly unique designs, and what is there is such an incomprehensible device for whom and for what purpose.
P. S. And the company knows how to make videos with presentations.