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The German 9mm Rocket and it’s Descendents

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1 The German 9mm Rocket and it’s Descendents
or The Intro to Mel’s Gyrojet Book!!!

2 Rocket Theory High Pressure Supersonic flow Lower Pressure
Mach 1 in nozzle throat Lower Pressure High Pressure Conservation of Momentum – Every action has an equal and opposite reaction Force = mass x velocity x velocity Mass is a function of size of nozzle throat in a rocket

3 Why a Rocket Normal Cased Cartridge
Self Contained Cartridge - Propellant in Bullet Throat size & burn time Rocket Cartridge - Propellant in Bullet – Exhaust Nozzle

4 German 9mm Rocket Cartridges
Col Jarrett found 11 Rocket rounds in Walther Factory in 1945 Unloaded in white Capt Pollard Report – To British D. of A. (S.A.) 30/7/45 5000 rocket bullets made at Walther and loaded at DWM Wittenberg Weapon was a modified blowback Schmeisser type, smooth bored and Walther pistol with a recessed blot head supporting the cap nipple – interview with Karl Walther and Schmeisser Steel ball as primer anvil Muzzle velocity increased from 1200ft/sec to 1700ft/sec Enable powerful weapon with low recoil in a cheap blowback weapon capable of mass production Based on Langweiler impulse propulsion concept ca 1939 Apparently not simple a rocket Subsequently other rounds turned up in Germany Mel Carpenter collection-ex Val Forgett (ex Jarrett)


6 ~ 902 ft/sec ~ 30mm overall length – 6 exhaust ports


8 Woodin Laboratory 9mm ex-Jarrett – 30.23mm
Walther Rockets My 9mm ex-Kaultmann – 30.23mm Mel Carpenter Photo Woodin Laboratory 9mm ex-Jarrett – 30.23mm My 9mm ex-Jarrett – 30.23mm

9 Woodin Laboratory ex-Kaultmann– 34.6mm
Walther Rockets Mel Carpenter Photo Woodin Laboratory ex-Kaultmann– 34.6mm Mel Carpenter Photo Bill’s 34.6mm was from Kaultman ~1973 (Bill describes it as 36mm with 26.8mm body). This was in Kaultmann’s collection. His note says make for Wasag!!! Woodin Laboratory – 30mm

10 DWM denied involvement initially
DWM/Schurk Rockets Buttwieler offered two of these in his auction and said there were 8 lengths and these were by/from a DWM subcontractor CIOS Report – DWM Schultup nr Lubeck -2/7/46 DWM denied involvement initially Involved in aspects of Langweiler impulse propulsion “Mr Strecke has been engaged in this effort” Courtesy of the Woodin Laboratory Rounds from A. Schurk of Munich marked “Langweiler Project” Courtesy of the Woodin Laboratory

11 Polte Rockets ??? Fritz Hahn was a German who, in the 1950s, was very interested in exotic German weapons. A friend of Frank Hackley, he was the author of a book on German secret weapons. He did a great deal of research in the US National Archives and also some research in Germany. He is the one who chased down the information on the Geco M35 assault rifle cartridge and actually obtained the only known specimen that is now in Bill Woodin’s collection. Courtesy of the Woodin Laboratory - Mel Carpenter Photo

12 Unknown German 9mm Rocket
Reportedly German Very blunt bullet Rear nipple very short Overall length ~30mm Legit??? Mel Carpenter collection-ex Val Forgett Lew Curtis collection-ex Kaultmann

13 British 9mm Rocket Cartridges
Chief Superintendent Armament Research – Ft Halstead 30/8/45 Based on work published in 1939 by Langweiler on impulse-propulsion Testing done with modified 7.92x57 tracer increased MV by 150 ft/sec Recommended British Conduct Experiments Use Lab mockup weapon Start with an exact copy of the German bullet Recommended various types of propellants which could be tried Sir Dennis Burney – (for B.T.Co. ???) 14/9/45 Describes the German rocket bullet References test of “rocket projectiles” in the Hotchkiss 6 pdr. Attached Minutes Preliminary designs being manufactured at Radway Green – 23/1/46 Trials of D6(B) 341/56 and D6(B) 338/56 with propellent P – 5/3/47 341/56 fired satisfactorily 338/56 blew out duralumin nose plug before complete pressure buildup Worked with steel nose plug Requested further tests of 250 rounds – order confirmed Trial at ROF Swynnerton terminated 29/8/47

14 Design 341/56 Appears to be open at rear
Self Contained cartridge design Tested successfully

15 Design 338/56 Based on German design Top closed with nose plug
Used perforate disk Initially unsuccessful Later tested successfully Steel nose plug Disk removed

16 U S Navy 9mm Rocket Cartridge
Built by China Lake Naval Armament Lab in 1954 No evidence of a weapon ever being built Used a test fixture like the British Built for Don Stoehr Based on a sample of Walther Rocket from Fred Datig Less than a dozen made Not a serious research program German 9mm Rocket US Navy 9mm Rocket Mel Carpenter collection

17 US Navy Rocket Mel Carpenter collection

18 French Rocket

19 Czech 9mm Holecek Cartridges
Jaroslav Holecek worked for the firm Zbrojovka Brno Czech had data on German caseless work from WW I and WW II Round nose cartridge tested in a modified CZ vz 247 submachine gun Improved cartridge with flanges achieved 400 m/sec (1300 ft/sec) Primer residue exited barrel Aimed at conversion of 9mm Para weapons Reportedly developed in early 1950s

20 Czech 9mm RZK Rocket Rifle Cartridge

21 Other 9mm Rocket Cartridges
Russian In 1957 Val Forgett was told by Karl Walther that the 9mm Rockets found in his desk were not German but Russian but didn’t work In 1994 at Artillery Museum in St Petersburg Val saw a drawer with these cartridges in two lengths and pistols. When he referred to them as “German” he was told “no they are Russian” Karl Walther was a strong Nazi supporter and “uncooperative” – Pollard Other German efforts applying Langweiler’s concept besides Walther’s 7.62mm Self Contained round identified Dates from early 1970s German Post WWII 9mm Submitted to Meppen for testing in 1962 MBA Gyrojets Buy Mel Carpenter’s book when it is published Courtesy of Yuri Bushin and John Moss Courtesy of the Woodin Laboratory

22 Summary Warning!!! Germany had a fairly broad effort on 9mm Rockets
Numerous variations of German 9mm Rockets Langweiler’s technical principles still unclear French and British efforts Immediately after war Czech effort may be based on German effort US effort kind of an afterthought Lots more research needed Warning!!! Lots of replicas, copies and fakes (US, German & Swiss) Some marked, but most are not marked History of the cartridge is best insurance

23 Credits Herb Woodend - British Material Mel Carpenter & Bill Woodin – Photos and German Ref Ted Koch Peter Petrusic Yuri Bushin John Moss Rolf Foerster John Schmitt IAA Journal 410 & 412 Buttweiler Archives

24 Backup Charts


26 Dutch Rocket Cartridges
Product of Artillerie - Inrichtingen Apparently no work in 9mm Appears to be related to Gyrojet




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