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Weird Cartridge Alert: The Frankford Arsenal 1976 5.56 Folded Cartridge

ftd-foldedcartridge
IAA

What kind of bullet is that? 

The Frankford Arsenal 1976 5.56 Folded Cartridge is quite a unique experiment, and has now turned into a pretty sweet collectible.

The story of the folded cartridge is a case where it looks just too impossible to work, but it did. The Frankford Arsenal 1976 5.56 Folded Cartridge was an experimental round that was used in a modified M16A1 rifle, and also a Belgian LAR rifle for testing. It consisted of a plastic casing that was a total departure from conventional ammunition in material and in shape.

Folded ammunition relocates the propellant charge from the conventional position behind and coaxial with the projectile to a position beside the projectile.

It essentially provided a separate combustion chamber, allowing gases only to be conveyed to the base of the projectile as opposed to the unburned powder and gases which are typical of the traditional “in line” cartridge design.

GtGG
municion.org

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This was to save space, weight and allow for a smaller weapons platform for overall length. It was quite a difference from a traditional cartridge, and this difference might have cancelled the experiment before it really took off.

In the world of collectible cartridges, this odd one fits into its own special category.

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Weird Cartridge Alert: The Frankford Arsenal 1976 5.56 Folded Cartridge