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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec, 2007 6:25 am    Post subject: Question about the magazine of firearm's (feeding systems)?         Reply with quote

The question that I have is, what are the main types of magazines in either repeating or autoloading firearms (Breechloaders), are they the:

1) Box Magazine

2) Tubular Magazine

3) Drum Magazine

Also, for example, under the Drum Magazine: could you classify Helical magazine and Pan magazine as a sub-group of the drum magazine? Or are they within their own category?

I'm just curious to know if you could actually classify different feeding systems into several main-groups and sub-groups, that's all. Question

Thanks,

Justin
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: Re: Question about the magazine of firearm's (feeding system         Reply with quote

Justin Pasternak wrote:
The question that I have is, what are the main types of magazines in either repeating or autoloading firearms (Breechloaders), are they the:

1) Box Magazine

2) Tubular Magazine

3) Drum Magazine

Also, for example, under the Drum Magazine: could you classify Helical magazine and Pan magazine as a sub-group of the drum magazine? Or are they within their own category?

I'm just curious to know if you could actually classify different feeding systems into several main-groups and sub-groups, that's all. Question

Thanks,

Justin


Are you referring to military or civilian application? In the case of civilian use I would say that most firearms will be equipped with a box magazine, either fixed or detachable. In the case of modern military rifles you are looking at detachable box, with a sprinkling of drum magazines, such as those used on AK-47s. Tubular magazines are almost always used in civilian applications, unless you are talking about 19th c. repeaters such as the Henry and Spencer rifles which were equipped with tubular mags. Tubular magazines limit the types of bullets that can be used, making them less desirable in a modern military application.

Helical (I need ot know an example because I am not entirely sure what you are referring to although I know what helical means) and pan magazines (are you talking about the kind used on Lewis machine guns?) are probably just a sub-group of the drum magazine. Clarify it a bit and I can be sure.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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David Nash IV





Joined: 19 Jan 2007

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PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec, 2007 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin; An example would be the Calico 960. Helical magazines have the rounds in a spiral, which makes high-capacity magazines into long cylinders that lay parallel to the reciever.

Justin; Just in conversation with other collectors, I've more often come across feed systems being classified as just "magazine" or "belt" or "something else". That said, I suppose you could subdivide "magazines" into box, tubular, and drum (or drum-like, perhaps). and that would cover the majority.
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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry about that.

I meant all firearm's in general whether it be a civilian or military model. I'll try to explain what I was trying to say to the best of my abilities. I was wondering if the way to store cartridges into a magazine could be or is done in only a few ways. Question

The box magazine stacks the cartridges one on top of the other. The tubular magazine stacks the cartridges end to end or "nose to tail". And last but not least the drum magazine stores the cartridges in a spiral or circular pattern. Question

Are their any other ways that cartridges can be stored into a magazine?

Here's a link to help clarify the different magazines (firearm) that I'm talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magazine_(firearm)
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David Nash IV





Joined: 19 Jan 2007

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PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec, 2007 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know of any other ways to feed a firearm from a magazine, other than some exceedingly slight variations on the three basic layouts you've mentioned. If you expand from "magazine" to "feed device", though, there's a little more variation. Some designs showed up in the Gatling guns, where loose cartridges are fed into a hopper or feed chute, and they rely on simple gravity to let the rounds fall into place as needed. There were also strip-fed systems, where the ammunition was placed in what really amounted to an inflexible belt of fixed size.

But sticking to magazines, I think you've really covered the major categories.
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suppose as a minor variant of the tubular magazine you could include the version where the barrel itself is the magazine and the rounds are fired in succession, front to rear, electronically initiated - 'Metal Storm' is the trade name.
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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec, 2007 9:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's all I was asking. Even with slight variations being mentioned, all firearm magazine's feed with the three main types of magazines that I had mentioned.

Think of the hopper magazine as a primitive form of box or drum magazine (since almost all of them have a box shape, the only exception that paintball and airsoft guns use an elliptical shaped magazine) without the spring mechanism used to hold in the cartridges.

And with the firearm's barrel acting like a tubular magazine, technically it is not a magazine, as a magazine is a device that feeds cartridges into the breech. Since, each of the rounds are all ready stacked end to end inside the barrel, there for it is not a magazine.

But, Metal Storm is a little different as it does have stacked cartridges, end to end in the barrel, it also has a large capacity drum type magazine that continuously feeds (stacks) the ammunition into each of it's four barrels.

There are even examples of muzzle-loading rifles and pistols that have used stacked projectiles from end to end. This was incredibly dangerous was to store more ammunition in the barrel because their is a risk of all the cartridges detonating inside of the barrel. So, this concept was soon abandoned, until the development of Metal Storm.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2007 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Nash IV wrote:
Lin; An example would be the Calico 960. Helical magazines have the rounds in a spiral, which makes high-capacity magazines into long cylinders that lay parallel to the reciever.

Justin; Just in conversation with other collectors, I've more often come across feed systems being classified as just "magazine" or "belt" or "something else". That said, I suppose you could subdivide "magazines" into box, tubular, and drum (or drum-like, perhaps). and that would cover the majority.


I found the Calico 950 online with a cutaway view of the magazine. I must say that I am not impressed. This is a far too complicated piece of equipment not to present feeding problems at some point.

The problems for most auto-loading firearms come from two sources: 1. Bad ammunition; 2. Magazines.

One of the most widely-used smg designs of WWII, the Sten machine carbine, suffered stoppages that were traced to poor magazine springs. It also did not help that the feed lips of the magazines were easily damaged and that the users tended to grab the magazine when firing, which could affect feeding. The 20 round magazines supplied for the M-16 in Vietnam came with a warning to load no more than 17 rounds to avoid feeding problems. I don't remember what the problem was, but in training we got the word that full magazines were going to jam at some point.

I could go on and on, but the point should be made that simpler and better made magazines should be the watchword for any military auto-loader.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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David Nash IV





Joined: 19 Jan 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2007 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
I found the Calico 950 online with a cutaway view of the magazine. I must say that I am not impressed. This is a far too complicated piece of equipment not to present feeding problems at some point.

The problems for most auto-loading firearms come from two sources: 1. Bad ammunition; 2. Magazines.

One of the most widely-used smg designs of WWII, the Sten machine carbine, suffered stoppages that were traced to poor magazine springs. It also did not help that the feed lips of the magazines were easily damaged and that the users tended to grab the magazine when firing, which could affect feeding. The 20 round magazines supplied for the M-16 in Vietnam came with a warning to load no more than 17 rounds to avoid feeding problems. I don't remember what the problem was, but in training we got the word that full magazines were going to jam at some point.

I could go on and on, but the point should be made that simpler and better made magazines should be the watchword for any military auto-loader.


I really don't know much about the Calico, beyond recollections from an SAR article a few years ago. I can't imagine it working all that well, though, since (as you mentioned) magazines are a major cause for unreliable behavior, which tends to mean that "Keep It Simple, Stupid" is a pretty good philosophy. There's a very good reason that the M1 Thompsons were not made to accomodate the drum magazine that is otherwise such a famous part of that weapon's profile.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Nash IV wrote:


I really don't know much about the Calico, beyond recollections from an SAR article a few years ago. I can't imagine it working all that well, though, since (as you mentioned) magazines are a major cause for unreliable behavior, which tends to mean that "Keep It Simple, Stupid" is a pretty good philosophy. There's a very good reason that the M1 Thompsons were not made to accomodate the drum magazine that is otherwise such a famous part of that weapon's profile.


It may work just fine...for awhile. But, in a firearm that clearly has a military or police or self-defense application, complexity is usually not a good thing. Part of the reason for dropping the drums for the Thompson was they were very noisy and difficult to reload.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2007 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a link to an article on the Calico M960 sub-machinegun, and a cut out of its unique/odd style drum magazine, in case anyone is interested: http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg57-e.htm
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Mon 03 Dec, 2007 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Calco rotary magazine is a good idea, but in practice they're not very good. Calco makes things poorly from my experience, and I would never put any faith in one. Might be fun to blast off a few bricks of .22's in one, but that's about it.

Cheers!

Gordon

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Darryl Aoki





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PostPosted: Mon 03 Dec, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One issue with spring-powered magazines of any kind is that if you push the spring to full compression, the spring will eventually start to "remember" that shape and lose pushing power. I think that it's recommended not to load any spring-fed magazine to full capacity, for more or less that reason.

One of the problems with the Thompson's drum magazine, I think, was that the rounds were fairly loose in the drum and could potentially end up misaligned in the feed mechanism, causing jams. The Soviet PPSh SMG also used a drum magazine, but apparently had a reputation for not jamming. Maybe the magazine designs were somehow fundamentally different?
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 03 Dec, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darryl Aoki wrote:
One issue with spring-powered magazines of any kind is that if you push the spring to full compression, the spring will eventually start to "remember" that shape and lose pushing power. I think that it's recommended not to load any spring-fed magazine to full capacity, for more or less that reason.

One of the problems with the Thompson's drum magazine, I think, was that the rounds were fairly loose in the drum and could potentially end up misaligned in the feed mechanism, causing jams. The Soviet PPSh SMG also used a drum magazine, but apparently had a reputation for not jamming. Maybe the magazine designs were somehow fundamentally different?


Darryl...

You might think that, but there have been several experiments done over the years, always with pistol box type magazines that proved otherwise. The ones I remember in particular were done with Colt .45 cal. semi-autos. The results were that in spite of long periods of compression the springs in the magazines continued to work fine and feed rounds reliably. I keep two Tauruses with two magazines each and one Colt Combat Commander with three magazines loaded at all times and, so far at least, I have not had any feeding problems that I could be attributed to the springs.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Dec, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is the omission of rotary/revolver-type magazines here deliberate or accidental? The Wikipedia page mentions several examples of the rotary type including the Mannlicher-Schonauer, while ACW buffs would certainly be familiar with the Colt Revolver rifle.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Dec, 2007 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Is the omission of rotary/revolver-type magazines here deliberate or accidental? The Wikipedia page mentions several examples of the rotary type including the Mannlicher-Schonauer, while ACW buffs would certainly be familiar with the Colt Revolver rifle.


That would be unintentional on my part. I just have not considered the cylinder in a revolving rifle to be a magazine although technically it is. I think that the Mannlicher-Schonauer magazine is probably covered in the "box magazine" category.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Dmitriy Sobolev




Location: Moscow, Russia
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Dec, 2007 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is also Disk magasine. It was used on the Lewis, Degtyarev and (rarely) Bren machine guns. It's not the same as drum.

While drum magasine have cartridges positioned perpendicular to its radius, in disk magasine cartridges are positioned along its radius with nose to the center of disk and primer to the periphery. So it is wide and flat, like a dish - and thus unwieldy. There may be more than one "layers" of cartridges arranged in that manner in the magasine (russian Degtyarev Tank DT has 3 layers of 21 cartridge each, total magasine capacity being 63).

Here is Degtyarev DP-28 with its 47-rounds single layer disk attached.



There is also tubular built-in magasine of shotguns. It may be used not only in pump-action, but in semi-auto design too.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Dec, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Is the omission of rotary/revolver-type magazines here deliberate or accidental? The Wikipedia page mentions several examples of the rotary type including the Mannlicher-Schonauer, while ACW buffs would certainly be familiar with the Colt Revolver rifle.


That would be unintentional on my part. I just have not considered the cylinder in a revolving rifle to be a magazine although technically it is. I think that the Mannlicher-Schonauer magazine is probably covered in the "box magazine" category.


One could also add the Johnson rifle of WWII with a fixed rotary magazine and reloaded using stripper clips or single rounds.
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Darryl Aoki





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PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec, 2007 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm assuming that belts are not counted as magazines, though they're a feed type as well. There are some belt-fed LMGs (squad-level 5.56 automatics generally) that can fairly reasonably used as rifles. (The FN M249 and IMI Negev LMGs are the two that come to mind immediately.)
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Gene Green





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PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darryl Aoki wrote:
One issue with spring-powered magazines of any kind is that if you push the spring to full compression, the spring will eventually start to "remember" that shape and lose pushing power. I think that it's recommended not to load any spring-fed magazine to full capacity, for more or less that reason.

One of the problems with the Thompson's drum magazine, I think, was that the rounds were fairly loose in the drum and could potentially end up misaligned in the feed mechanism, causing jams. The Soviet PPSh SMG also used a drum magazine, but apparently had a reputation for not jamming. Maybe the magazine designs were somehow fundamentally different?


I believe sometimes the difference was in the thickness of the steel the magazine was made of (less deflection of the sides, that caused jams sometimes). The Soviet earlier PPD (iirc) SMG had same problems as Thompson, unlike PPSh (a truly remarkable weapon, I just read of US Marines in Iraq using captured PPSh instead of their standard issue assault rifles for close-quarter combat, due to it being much more compact and having a killer firing rate of 900 rpm). PPSh used drums copied from Finnish "Suomi" SMG that Soviets encountered during Winter war of 1939 and came to respect a lot.
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