LARGE CAPACITY

40MM SMOKE MARKER PROJECTILE

MADE BY RELOADABLESHELLS.COM REVIEW BY GROG

 

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This review is going to be on Scot Pace’s newest high capacity smoke projectile carrier. The carrier is all aluminum and heavy duty. Scot provided several samples for testing. The projectile is a three piece design with a replaceable rotating band.

Projectile:

Weight empty- 6oz

Overall Length: 4.110”

OD at body: 1.590”

OD at rotating band:  1.627”

Band material: Nylon re-useable

Length loaded into aluminum M212 casing: 5.550”

Sidewall thickness: 0.110”

Inside cavity depth from top of base: 2.350”

Inside cavity width: 1.370”

Projectile material- Aluminum anodized maroon/red

 

So far, I’ve conducted four separate tests of these projectiles, the first was to determine the best vent hole size and number to be used with slower burning colored smoke mixes, some of which can be viewed at the end of the testing video under static tests. Scot provided them with small divots at 6 points along the base, equally spaced, to allow for easier end user placement of the holes. The purpose of the second test was to evaluate flight characteristics of the projectile, and get a basic loading for the lift charge verses projectile weight and length. Based on this test, the projectile was shortened to allow for loading into M203 launchers, and the base was lightened and a steel bolt was added to the nose to add weight to correct flight.

 

The first test was done using three projectile carriers, and was a static test. Each projectile was drilled with different size and number of side vent holes. The first was two ½” holes, 180 degrees apart. This size partially went into the threads at the base. The second was drilled with three ¼” holes, and the third had six 1/8” holes. During testing I discovered that the smoke mix rarely made all the vent holes open. I determined that the best burn rate and smoke discharge rate happened with the three ¼” holes. These holes were covered with scotch tape on the outside when loaded.

 

The second test was conducted with two projectiles that I had drilled out three 1/8” holes, equidistant around the base. I taped the holes, and filled the carriers with new blue smoke mix from Skylighter. This mix uses blue dye and Potassium Chlorate. Both were screened together, and separately 3 times to make sure I had small particle size and good blend. I used green visco fuse, and gorilla glued them into the bases, with 2” extending inside the smoke mix, and cut at a 45 on the bottom, and split. The casings used were Scot’s aluminum M212 casings, loaded with 5 grains of Bullseye. It had rained quite a bit yesterday, so everything on the range was wet and marshy… So my sneakers can attest to… Using the 5 grains of bullseye put the smoke markers exactly where I wanted them to go, closely matching the trajectory of the M781 practice grenades. The recoil was similar to the 781, and as expected. They landed within 5 meters of each other, and were easy to find, even in tall wet grass, due to the blue dye coloring everything within 2 feet of impact. Upon examination, there was no appreciable damage to the projectile’s exterior. They were still hot from firing when I retrieved them. Both functioned perfectly. No ill effects were noted on the casings after firing. No over pressure effects noted on the primers of either casing. On examination the ventholes on both projectiles opened fully and functioned perfectly. Light rifling marks on the rotating bands noted, but nothing to interfere with reloading them and using the same band multiple times. No damage on base or bands on impact noted.

 

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The third test involved loading modified projectiles provided by Scot, for further testing. These were modified by adding a stainless steel weight to the nose, to address flight concerns. Adding the weight fixed a noticeable tumbling of the projectile in flight. Four projectiles were loaded, three with blue smoke mix, and one with Ninja smoke mix from Firefox. All four performed very well. The video shows the last three tests, as the first one bounced off the range. It performed properly, but was not visible from where I was filming. All four were loaded into Scot’s M212 aluminum reloadable casings, using 5 grains of Bullseye pistol powder.

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I was concerned at using the Ninja smoke mix in these projectiles, as the Ninja smoke is a burst type smoke mix. The smoke used was white smoke with titanium added for sparks. I had to wait for a post-rain day as my range was just hayed and it had not rained for a week. I hate range fires. So, after the prerequisite rain, the test was on. The Ninja smoke worked well with the ¼” vent holes. As of this writing, Scot was going to provide the projectiles with 1/8” holes, which should allow a longer burn time for the powdered smoke mixes. The Ninja smoke mix did initially “burst” or pop, but did not damage the projectile at all. Instead of an instant burst of all the smoke mix, it popped then burned slower for a few seconds, as you can see in the video.

 

The fourth test was conducted using the maroon anodized carriers as in the photos above. Three of those were loaded with a smoke burst mixture, and the fourth was loaded with a slower burning smoke. All functioned perfectly, as you can see from the video. The smoke burst carriers were no longer reloadable after they burst, which is why, if you desire to reload them, I recommend slower burning smoke mixes and to open the ventholes up to ¼”. The holes provided are 5, 1/8” holes.

 

Test and eval video link:

Testing video linkey click here

 

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In the picture above, you can see the inside of the projectile, as compared with a 40 cal pistol round. The stainless nose bolt is not pictured.

As you can see from the above photo, the nose and sidewalls of the projectile are nice and thick, and should withstand some pretty serious impact. Of all the rounds I’ve fired, I have not noticed any damage to the projectiles that would prevent their re-use. A few minor scratches are the only damage I observed, and these were caused by impacts with stones on my range.

 

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In the above photo, you can see the replaceable nylon rotating band, and the groove that is to capture RTV when sealing the projectile in the M212 casings.

 

To load the projectiles, you remove the base (it unscrews right below the rotating band), and use a small square of scotch tape to cover the outside of the smoke discharge holes. You cut a 2” piece of green visco cannon fuse at a 45 degree angle with a razor blade. Place a small amount of brown Gorilla glue around the fuse ¼” above the 45 degree cut, then put the fuse into the fuse hole in the base o the projectile, allowing 1/8” of the fuse to stick out the bottom of the base. Allow this to dry overnight. Fill the projectile body with your choice of smoke mix, then thread the base into the projectile. Remove the sidewall of your M212 casing, and apply a ring of black RTV around the inside of the top of the sidewall, and insert the base of the casing into it. Allow this to harden overnight. Place a new primer in your M212 base. Measure 5 grains of Bullseye pistol powder using a reloading scale and place that in the high pressure chamber of the M212 casing base. Place your copper burst disc over the powder charge, and screw in the vent hole plug. Replace the base into the sidewall portion when the RTV has cured.

 

If you wish to load and store these, or are carrying them into the field where they may be exposed to water, I recommend sealing the threads on the casing as well as the projectile base with blue loctite or similar. Also, coat the primer and stainless powder cup base with a small dab of nitrocellulose lacquer. This should keep all moisture out of your smoke mix and powder charge. 

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In the above photo, you can see a recovered, fired projectile and casing used in firing it. You can see the rotating bands were engaged by the launcher rifling, and the scotch tape bursts when the smoke mix builds pressure. You can also see that, other than dirt, there is very little damage in the projectile.

 

To reload the smoke projectile, first wait until it cools off. I then removed the bases and soaked mine in soapy water overnight. Once soaked, you can use a wire brush and steel putty knife to get the burned smoke mix out of the base. I used a green scrubby pad to get the surface dirt and blue dye off the outside of the projectile. (Wear rubber gloves… or you will get smurf hands) I used a drill bit to remove the gorilla glue and old fuse from the bases. Just drill out the old stuff. The rotating bands were not damaged enough to require replacement, so I reused them. Just brush them off with a brass brush. Allow them to dry, and they are ready to load and fire again.

 

The projectiles carry a good amount of smoke mix, and depending on the type you use, you can get some nice burn times. Also, they are very easy to reload and reuse. Do not use them in dry conditions, as with any combustible munition, as they could cause a fire. As far as payloads go, if you are using a slow burning smoke mix, I recommend enlarging the vent holes to ¼”. The pressure of the smoke mix will pop out only the holes needed to allow the smoke to exit. If you are using burst type smoke mix, I recommend opening up the vent holes to ½” to allow the faster escape of gasses, or your carrier will burst as in the videos. Always practice range and reloading safety, and never use any type of flash or other explosive powder in these carriers.

 

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Last modified: 6 NOV 2019