Copyright International Ammunition Association, 2010. All rights reserved.
Cartridge of the Month November 2010
Dutch MIRA (MiniRacket) ["Gyrojet" type]
Specimens, article and photos courtesy of Mel Carpenter, sections by Paul Smith.
In 1961, the Dutch arms firm, Artillerie-Inrichtingen (AI) began work on the use of rocket propulsion for small-caliber firearms ammunition. AI was founded in 1679, and the government-owned company was reorganized in 1887. For more of AI’s history, see http://ar10.nl/AI%20history.htm.
AI’s approach to rocket ammunition was similar to MBA’s except that AI set out to meet a specific performance requirement; to be effective against personnel protected by helmet and body armor up to 400 meters (437 yards) away. MBA’s program was to develop rockets and then determine a use for them. Small-caliber rockets were attractive to the Dutch government for the same reasons MBA touted; low or no recoil in cheap, lightweight weapons.
The first rockets developed to meet the 400-meter specifications were aluminum and steel 6.5 and 7.5mm finned and unfinned rockets similar to MBA Finjets and Lancejets. In 1968, performance at 100 and 200 meters was considered, and Gyrojet-like rockets of 11 and 13mm were developed and tested. These are shown below, whole and sectioned.
11 x 42 MIRA “Gyrojet.” Turned steel case with nozzle-crimping cannelure at rear of case. Percussion primer.
11 x 42 MIRA, sectioned
11 x 42 MIRA, whole, with nozzle
13 x 52mm MIRA “Gyrojets.” Top specimen has a brass case, bottom specimen has a turned steel case. Both have electric primers.
13 x 52 brass case MIRA
13 x 52 brass case MIRA, whole, with nozzle
13 x 52 turned steel case MIRA, sectioned
13 x 52 turned steel case MIRA, whole, with nozzle
AI made several other types of MIRA, all of which are covered in Mel Carpenter's book; “MBA Gyrojets and Other Ordnance” available from the author at http://gyrojet.net
Mel Carpenter, MBA Gyrojets and Other Ordnance, Orange Park, FL, 2010.
Copyright 2010 by the International Ammunition Association, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Revised 25 Dec 2010