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 Explanation of terms used in cartridge information

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Modelgun Perfectionist
Modelgun Perfectionist

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Location / Country : Poland
Registration date : 2009-03-03

PostSubject: Explanation of terms used in cartridge information   Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:44 am

List of terms used in cartridge index

See List of Modelgun Manufacturers thread at the forum for more information. Please note that list does not include smaller after-market manufacturers that specialise in cartridges, such as Mulberry Fields.

As there is no official naming system for cartridges, "designation" attempts to be the best approximation of a unique name. Most often it is taken directly from the box of cartridges, sometimes combining text from several places. In the main table it is this field that you can click to go to thread with more details about cartridge.
Designation is usually a caliber, and/or name of modelgun that this cartridge is used in.

Taken from caliber of a real firearm that cartridge mimics. This is just one part of real caliber designation, most commonly used. For example "9mm" can apply to both 9x17 cartridge (Browning or .380ACP) and 9x18 (Luger or Parabellum).

Over the years cartridge design has changed considerably. Single-piece dummy cartridges are still used, but as cap-firing and later blowback mechanism was invented, many modelguns can be found in several versions requiring different cartridges. Often they can be converted to another type of a cartridge, sometimes just by replacing detonator pin or modifying existing one.

  • dummy - usually made as a solid single-piece construction, sometimes with a positioning hole in the front. Dummy cartridges can be manually cycled through modelgun, or just used for decoration. Some cap-firing modelguns can be converted to cycle dummy cartridges by replacing detonator pin with one for dummies.
    This type of cartridge is still widely used in a variery of modelguns.
  • open - early versions of cap-firing cartridges did not have any blowback action. All cap power was for effects, model had to be manually cycled. Cartridges used a simple, often single-piece design, where cap is inserted in the tip. You need to remember that the first caps were actually paper caps, and you might encounter cartridge that was designed for these, not for modern plastic caps. Shotgun shells are usually of open type.
    Apart from older non-blowback designs this cartridge type is still used in revolvers and bolt-action rifles.
  • BLK (BLowbacK) - the first major revision of cartridge made it possible to operate blowback action, where part of pressure operated slide or bolt in semi- or full-auto action. Such cartridges are very similar to open type, they like a tube, but insted of placing cap at the tip it is pushed deep into a single-piece shell. Cap is fired by a thick detonator pin that fills whole inside diameter, pressure acts between pin and bottom of cartridge for blowback effect.
    These cartridges are used in older MGC models that have not been released again as CP-BLK type.
  • CP-BLK (Cap Piston BLowbacK) - the next major improvement by MGC. Multi-part cartrige now looks more like a real one, as the detonator pin (and corresponding hole in the cart) was made much thinner. Cartridge is made of two parts, top and bottom, screwed together. Cap sits at the very bottom, and a piston with pin is placed on top of it. Detonator pin (thin) now only strikes piston (thick, filling inside diameter). Early versions used an empty cap as a seal to ensure correct operation. Later "CP-BLK" cartridges seem to use normal o-rings, leading to a bit of confusion in naming with "CP-HW". Typical for MGC modelguns.
  • CP-HW - slight modification of CP-BLK design, with silicone o-ring used as a seal to ensure better operation.
    This is probably the most popular design, found in many modern modelguns manufactured by MGC.
  • PFC (Plug Fire Cartridge) - as certain aspects of CP cartridge design were covered by patents, Marushin had to invent another way of doing things. PFC design places pin at the bottom of the cartridge, with an upside-down cap above it. Cap works at the same time as a seal. There is also another insert above the cartridge that serves as a piston. Detonator pin pushes piston together with cap onto the pin.
    Later modifications added a silicone o-ring around the piston, and also made pin in the bottom removeable for easier cleaning. PFC cartridges are used in Marushin models.
    Often "PFC" is synonymous with a cap-firing modelgun, regardless of actual cartrige type.
  • Hudson - design is very similar to CP-BLK and PFC, but with Hudson specific variations. Variation usually means a side hole in the top part of the cartridge, differently shaped piston pin. Special plastic rings were intially used for seals, later replaced by silicone o-rings.
  • revolver - while revolvers with closed cylinder (metal) had integral firing pins mounted in them and could use open cartridges, other revolvers (ABS/HW) had open cylinders and required different cartridge design. Firing pin was integrated in cartridge design, as a screw-on top part. These cartridges are very popular in ABS/HW revolvers with open cylinders.

Picture of a cartridge to aid in identification "at glance".

Total length of the cartridge, measured from the top to the bottom. Size is provided in milimeters, rounded to the nearest 0.1mm based on several measurements with a digital caliper on different cartridges of the type.

Outer diameter of the cartridge at the widest place, excluding rim. For most cartridges diameter stays the same through most of the length, in several cases (Mauser M712, Mauser 98k, Nanbu Type 14) diameter decreases towards the front.

Used in
List of modelguns that this cartridges is designed for, or has been found to be compatible with. Remember that cartridge requires correct detonator pin in the model, so .45SMG open style cartridge will not work correctly in CP style model. Always make sure that you are aware of different types for a given modelgun. Individual details pages will tell you more.

Additional information available in specific threads

Carts per box (optional)
Number of cartridges sold in a single box, as a spare. Modelguns are supplied with a certain number of cartridges, but if you want to buy additional ones, you usually have to buy them per box. This parameter helps you plan purchases.

Weight (optional)
Average weight of a cartridge. 4-5 cartridges are weighed with precision of 0.05g, total weight is divided by number of cartridges, giving an average. That number is rounded to the nearest 0.1 and shown here.

Description of caps used in cartridge. Can be simply 5mm or 7mm, but for more complicated cartridge this can be 3x7mm, 7mm+5mm or any other combination.

Count of parts in empty cartridge, without any caps. Also provides suggested names of these parts, for easier identification.

O-ring (optional)
For cartridges that use o-ring seals, this gives information about o-rings used. Two numbers are outer diameter (OD) followed by thickness, with 0.1mm accuracy. This is approximate only, as it is difficult to measure a rubber o-ring.

Used in
Modelguns that this cartridge was designed for.

Also compatible with (optional)
If a cartridge is found to be compatible (can be directly used as a replacement without modifications of cartridge or modelgun) with other types of modelguns, such information will be provided here.

Note (optional)
Any additional comments.

Warning (optional)
If there is something that you should pay attention to, it should be written here.
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