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If somebody wanted to learn about how to design bullets and cartridges, what field would you call that? When somebody goes to design a new cartridge, they must have gotten some experience from life or school, but what category would this be considered in school. I would think it's ballistics, but turns out that's more of a forensic analysis thing. Anything would help as I'm looking into learning more about this kind of thing.
 

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I don't know the answers to your question, but bullets and cartridges are two distinctly different things and their studies would be in two very different fields.
 
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I don't know either. Ballistics Engineering maybe? I do know most cartridge designs came from either gun makers, military arsenals or gun cranks. The new Nosler cartridges obviously were introduced by Nosler but I have no idea how "in house" they were designed. Many of the Remington cartridges had been wildcats decades before Remington introduced them as "factory" cartridges. An example would be the 6mm Remington. Paul Mauser did that pre-1900. Remington said their 6mm was the 257 Roberts necked to 6mm. The Roberts was nothing more than the 7mm Mauser necked to .257. Mauser took his 8 x 57 case to 6mm before the turn of the last century.

If a person looked at 3 rifle cartridges, the 8 X 57, 375 H&H and the 30-06 then compared all the cartridges to come out since the introduction of those 3 it's pretty obvious the vast majority introduced afterward were based on one of those three. Except in this country the 30-06 could even be eliminated from the original list. A near "proof positive" argument could be made that the -06 was based on the 8 X 57. That would limit the parent of most cartridges to the 8 X 57 and 375 H&H. Most cartridges are simply variations of those two; longer, shorter, different taper, shoulder angle, rim re-bated or not, rim added, belt turned off or added, obviously different calibers.

When it comes to the 8 X 57 and 375 H&H, it's hard to improve on perfection.
 
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A solid engineering background including minors in Chemistry and Math might lead you to a on-the-job training in a ballistics lab or in an ammunition factory. I would think beyond that you would need on-the-job training and some serious home projects. Today there are few real new cartridge designs and they come from all over the industry. Most are based on known cartridges with a twist of some kind. About all you could do is to get a job where you would monitor cartridge manufacture and solve the problems that come up with current designs in production.

LDBennett
 

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I would think that physics, dynamics, materials science, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics would also be areas to learn. If enrolling in a school to learn these topics then mechanical engineering is probably a good degree path. Keep in mind of course that you still need to understand what the customer needs and why and that isn't learned in school.

You might try contacting some companies with your questions. Research the design of the 6.5 Creedmoor then try to contact its designers to find out their suggestions.
 

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I don't know either. Ballistics Engineering maybe? I do know most cartridge designs came from either gun makers, military arsenals or gun cranks. The new Nosler cartridges obviously were introduced by Nosler but I have no idea how "in house" they were designed. Many of the Remington cartridges had been wildcats decades before Remington introduced them as "factory" cartridges. An example would be the 6mm Remington. Paul Mauser did that pre-1900. Remington said their 6mm was the 257 Roberts necked to 6mm. The Roberts was nothing more than the 7mm Mauser necked to .257. Mauser took his 8 x 57 case to 6mm before the turn of the last century.

If a person looked at 3 rifle cartridges, the 8 X 57, 375 H&H and the 30-06 then compared all the cartridges to come out since the introduction of those 3 it's pretty obvious the vast majority introduced afterward were based on one of those three. Except in this country the 30-06 could even be eliminated from the original list. A near "proof positive" argument could be made that the -06 was based on the 8 X 57. That would limit the parent of most cartridges to the 8 X 57 and 375 H&H. Most cartridges are simply variations of those two; longer, shorter, different taper, shoulder angle, rim re-bated or not, rim added, belt turned off or added, obviously different calibers.

When it comes to the 8 X 57 and 375 H&H, it's hard to improve on perfection.
It is proof positive that the 30-06 (30-03 in it's original introduction) is based on the 8X57 Mauser cartridge. It also has the same 12MM head the the original Mauser cartridge has. The gun that the 30-03 and then the 30-06 was first chambered for is also a direct rip-off of another Mauser patented firearm, and was sized accordingly to fit the cartridge dimensions. The '03 Springfield was totally patterned after the "98 Mauser. The Springfield Armory and the U.S. government were found guilty of patent infringement and had to pay Mauser an undisclosed amount of fees and royalties for what amounts to patent theft.
 

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Yes, the US Government had to pay for ripping off the Mauser design. But those payment stopped after WWI started, as you might expect. So Mauser never got their full value out of '03 stealing of the Mauser design.

LDBennett
 

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A solid engineering background including minors in Chemistry and Math might lead you to a on-the-job training in a ballistics lab or in an ammunition factory. I would think beyond that you would need on-the-job training and some serious home projects. Today there are few real new cartridge designs and they come from all over the industry. Most are based on known cartridges with a twist of some kind. About all you could do is to get a job where you would monitor cartridge manufacture and solve the problems that come up with current designs in production.

LDBennett
Agreed.. metalurgy, mechanical engineering ( including materials handling engineering ), and balistics / math background, chemistry, etc.
 

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LD, I thought the payments continued after the war. Is that not correct?

Whether they did or not a fella doesn't have to be a firearms designer to see the -03 Sprgfld. was pretty much a copy of the 98 Mauser.

Twice is dead right. I use 30-06 brass to make about all the 9.3 X 57 and 9 X 57 cases I shoot and it doesn't take much work.
 
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Ha!...what an interesting thread you linked to!! I had no idea that information was out there, thank you. My knowledge of the patent suit was a heck of a lot less comprehensive than that!! If I read the thread correctly no monies were paid to DWM prior to WWI? I had no idea the initial suit was over the spritzer bullet and evidently expanded from there.

Given all the anti-German sentiment in the US at that time I'm surprised DWM received anything.
 

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I too, believe cartridge design is pretty much "maxed out", in such that materials, shapes, and caliber haven't been improved much in the last 100 years (?). I would think some are experimenting/developing different means of containing a bullet and/or powder, or other means of propelling a bullet down a barrel (like a magnetic rail gun), but there isn't much yet.

I would think an area where development is ongoing is bullet design. Recently we've seen bullets made from new processes and materials and new/different coatings are becoming popular. For bullet design mebbe Metallurgy, Chemistry, Aeronautics/Ballistics would be preferred areas of study...
 

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I agree.. Still some wildcatting going on, but projectile design is marching forward. I see those newish poly/metal powder bullets are now available bulk for reloaders.
 
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