Dual Ammunition Supply

The apparent explanation for the Soviets' use of a dual ammunition supply in wartime is the extraordinary prestige enjoyed by Shpitalny. It is a curious fact that ever since the introduction of fiiearms into military forces, Ordnance Departments have been stumbling into the dual-ammunition trap, usually in a situation involving a war or national emergency.

20-mm Ammunition

The cartridge case for the Shvak 20-mm ammunition is a Soviet ordnance item that shows evidence of desperate haste in design. It shows few of the outstanding characteristics of the American and European rounds designed for air-to-air combat.

The origin of this cartridge is open to discussion. It bears a physical resemblance to some of the old Catling cartridges of the nineteenth century, one of

Catling Gun

Figure 9-4.

Comparison oi Soviet 12.7-mm machine guns. Degtyarev (above) and Beresin (below). Although both lire the same cartridge, Ihe feed belts are different.

Caliber Machine Gun
Figure 9-5. Complete round of Soviet 12.7-mm ammunition.

which is the caliber .75 shown in a catalogue of Kynoch and Co., of VVitton, Birmingham, England, for the year 1082. Most of the Russian Gatling guns used the small arms ammunition but it is known that a few of larger caliber were tried. However, figure 9-12 shows the old caliber .75 Gatling round alongside a dimensional sketch of a complete round of 20-mm Shvak ammunition.

Figure 9 6. Close-up of a fired cartridge ease from a Soviet

12.7-mm round.

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