<XMP><BODY></xmp>.45 Magnum Weapon for Special Operations.

.45 Magnum MagSub for Special Operations.
Added 25-6-09

        “Strike fast and suddenly. Attack without warning. Secure victory before the foe is aware of his danger. Remember always, a war is easily won if your enemy does not know he is fighting”

        I actually found this quote in a tabletop wargame but I'm certain that Sun Tzu and Miyamoto Musashi would be nodding their heads in agreement.

        Inspired by the above quote I was recently discussing certain forms of unconventional warfare with a friend. I asked him about potential equipment choices and he suggested that the Vikhr might be a very useful weapon. The Vikhr is easily concealed but the reason my friend suggested it rather than a compact machine pistol is that the Vikhr uses a 9x39mm round. This round uses a heavy bullet for superior performance while still remaining subsonic. In short, the Vikhr is easily hidden, quiet and hits hard.

        The Russians describe the Vikhr as a mini-automatic rifle and this got me thinking that an equally valid approach might be a magnum machine pistol. Most machine pistols use the 9x19mm or .45ACP round and very little investigation has been made into using more powerful pistol-type ammunition in this class of weapon. One of the first potential rounds that sprang to mind was the .45 Win Mag. This is a lengthened .45 ACP round with the case extended to 30.43mm and an overall length of 40mm. The longer case means the round can take more powder and/or heavier bullets.

        For convenience we'll call the proposed .45 Win Mag machine pistol a “Magsub”

        A quick websearch turned up a company that offers an AR15 based weapon firing the .45 Win Mag. This might be a far more prudent choice for SWAT and SRT teams that the 5.56mm M4s currently in vogue. One round the company offers uses a 260gr bullet producing 1,400fps from their weapon. Another round is a 350gr subsonic round at 950fps. They also offer a combined shot and ball round.


        Note that at 500yds the 260gr .45 Win Mag has a velocity and energy level similar to that of a 230gr .45 ACP at the muzzle.

        While energy levels always look impressive, a better indication of how a bullet will affect the target can often be determined by the momentum.

        A 260gr .45 at 1400fps gives a momentum of around 1.62 ftlb/sec. The 350gr subsonic round at 950fps works out at a respectable 1.48 ftlb/sec

For comparison:-

        Since the .45 Win Mag has a greater cross section it is not unreasonable to expect its stopping power to be at least equal to a 7.62x51mm Nato round.

        Ammunition types other than FMJ will need to be made available, and some can be adapted from existing .45 bullets. A JHP round will be needed, and we will probably see full calibre, saboted and APCR type Armoured Piercing loads. A frangible round suitable for destruction of locks and hinges during breeching operations is also a possibility.

        The AR-15 based weapon is a little large for many of the applications I envision but the performance of the ammo shows the potential of this round.

        The high power level and momentum of the .45 Win Mag may raise questions about recoil levels. One of the main weapons to use the .45 Win Mag is the LAR Grizzly, which is essentially a modified M1911. Videos clips of the LAR being fired seem to indicate that recoil and even rate of fire with this weapon are not too extreme.


        This proposal is to use the round in a machine pistol-sized weapon that has the advantages of greater weight, a compensator, stock and foregrip.

        The .45 Win Mag round is probably a little too big to fit in a double column magazine that will insert into a pistol grip. Since we can't use this option, Nate Turner suggested that the Marshal Arms weapon configuration might be worth investigation. This would certainly make the weapon easier to conceal. Not having a vertical magazine would be useful when the weapon is fired from a prone position, such as when used by recon troops in a cramped OP.

        Nate also brought my attention to Magpul's PDR-C. (left) The 5.56x45mm round from a 10.5-12” barrel is a suboptimal combination. Magpul should consider a 14½” barrel variant of the PDR-D if they want to use 5.56mm.
        In .45 Win Mag the shorter PDR-C weapon would be a much more useful proposition, well suited to the needs of SWAT and Special Forces units or any other user that needs a compact, hard hitting and suppressible weapon. I quite like the idea of using a locked breech for this round, since it will cut down bolt weight and be more consistent with suppressed applications. As a bullpup design some attention must be paid to ejection. I believe the Magpul PDR can be switched from right to left side ejection without needed to disassemble the weapon. I've also been told that due to the weapon ejecting diagonally the Singapore Technologies Kinetics SAR-21 bullpup can be fired from either shoulder without the user needing to make any alterations. This useful capability of the SAR-21 doesn't appear to be widely publicised. I know someone who has fired the weapon from his left shoulder. He was sceptical and wanted to see someone else do it first, but confirms that the feature does work.

        What applications would a Magsub be used for? It would be a good choice for nearly any mission where a rifle's power or size is undesirable.

Design features of the Magsub:-

By the Author of the Scrapboard :

Attack, Avoid, Survive: Essential Principles of Self Defence

Available in Handy A5 and US Trade Formats.

Crash Combat Second Edition with additional content.
Epub edition Second Edition with additional content.

Crash Combat Third Edition
Epub edition Third Edition.
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