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Metastable Intermolecular Composites (MIC) for Small Caliber Cartridges and Cartridge Actuated Devices

Peter P. Ostrowski1, Magdy Bichay2, John M. Hirlinger3, Jan Puszynski4, and Todd Michael Allen2. (1) Energetic Materials Technology, P.O. Box 6931, Alexandria, VA 22306-0931, (2) CAD Product Improvement Branch, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, 4393 Benson Road Suite 120, Indian Head, MD 20640-5092, (3) Division AMSRD-AAR-AEM-J, Army Research and Development Engineering Center, Building 1, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000, (4) Chemical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Innovative Materials and Processes LLC, 501 E. St. Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701

This report documents demonstration testing of MIC primer compositions designed to eliminate lead from the primers used in small arms ammunition and cartridge actuated devices. This effort has shown that an Al/Bi2O3 composition can be successfully mixed and wet-loaded into existing US Army and US Navy primer hardware. Subsequent testing in M855 5.56 mm ammunition as well as a variety of Navy impulse and delay cartridges has shown that the primer provides performance essentially equivalent to the lead-based compositions presently in use. Thus, the new primer composition meets the objective for a drop-in replacement for the lead compounds. While the test results are positive and the MIC primer meets all performance specifications, additional work is needed to refine the primer composition to achieve faster action time in small arms cartridges and to eliminate occasional misfires.