Far-Out Firearms: Dardick And Gyrojet Guns


The gun world is rife with oddities, but few compare in peculiarity to the firearms designed to shoot the unique Dardick and Gyrojet cartridges.

Dardick: In 1950, the U.S. military was looking at alternative feeding devices for firearms and found that a triangular-cased cartridge used less room in a magazine than a cylindrical one. The military didn’t use it … but David Dardick did. He also decided to use a plastic called “Celanese Fortiflex” to replace the expensive brass casing. The triangular cartridge had a lead .38 bullet in it. His revolver cylinder had three open, pie-shaped chambers and an 11- or 15-round magazine to feed it, resulting in a magazine-fed revolver. The ammo was nicknamed “trounds” for “triangular rounds.”

Gyrojet:The 1950s and ’60s comprised the age of rocketry. Everything was going to be rocket powered — cars, planes, trains and even firearms. In 1963, MBA Inc. started producing rocket-firing pistols for the public called “Gyro Jets.” The solid-nose, 13mm rocket round has a cylinder of solid rocket fuel in its hollow base and is ignited by a standard pistol primer. The barrels were smooth-bore. Instead of having rifling in the barrel, the rocket nozzle on the base of each round was angled to make the rocket spin in flight and stabilize it. The rockets left the muzzle at 350 fps and accelerated to 1,250 fps. Because there was no empty case to eject, functioning was simplified. The hammer drove the projectile rearward against a fixed firing pin in the breechface. As the projectile moved forward, it rode over the hammer, forcing it back down into the “cocked” position, allowing the next round to be raised into position by the spring-fed magazine follower.

More Unique Guns:

Dardick Series 1500 Pistol

.38 Dardick Tround

Dardick Series 1500 Pistol (Double-Action, Magazine-Fed Revolver). .38 Dardick Tround; circa 1958–1960 Dardick pistols could be converted to carbine configuration by replacing the pistol barrel with a long barrel-and-stock assembly.

Gyrojet Mk I Model B

Gyrojet 4

MB Associates Gyrojet Mk I Model B 007 Semi-Automatic Carbine 13mm Gyrojet; circa 1966–1967. This carbine was made for a James Bond movie with SN 007.

Gyrojet Semi-Automatic Carbine

Gyrojet 1

MB Associates Gyrojet Semi-Automatic Carbine; 13mm Gyrojet; circa 1966–1967. With scope.

Gyrojet Mark I Pistol

Gyrojet 3

MB Associates Gyrojet Mark I Pistol 13mm Gyrojet; circa 1966–1967. This pistol was also manufactured in 12mm due to concerns that the 13mm chambering might run afoul of regulations restricting caliber of handguns.

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from The Illustrated History of Firearms, 2nd Edition available at GunDigestStore.com.

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