German training ammunition "Platzpatronen"
I was going through a file or two and came across a few pictures of some German training ammunition "Platzpatronen" The cases in the main seem to be reloads and they are fitted with red/purple wooden heads. These heads compress when fired down the barrel of the gun and expand on exit of the barrel causing them to disintergrate. Having said that if when training people were too close then injury could and did occur. I have used a blank firing barrel on my MG.34 and fired off a belt of these, not only was it fun, but the air was thick with the smell of pepper. Don't know why but that amused me. If you want to see more of my collection go to German WW2 Militaria - Home
Hope you like the pictures.
All the best from Jersey, Channel Islands.
11-22-2011 08:26 AM
Re: German training ammunition "Platzpatronen"
Ahaaaaah - I've seen these erroneously referred to as "economy" ammunition - used them myself in Slovakia at a re-enactment weekend (enough to turn your hair white overnight with people firing these things off at night, and t-34's crashing through bushes you were just dug-in in front of!!!)
These rounds, are as you said training rounds from a less health and safety-conscious age. However....the expansion/contraction theory missed the one final (slightly safer) ingredient. The MG-42 had special "training" blast cones to substitute the live-firing blast cones, and had an integral cruciform blade that sliced/smashed the wooden head into four quadrants as it was leaving the muzzle. This (in theory and practice) dissipates the propellant energy behind the wooden projectiles, and the increased air-flow disturbance between these quadrants pushes them apart (so instead of continuing in a straight line, the four pieces go left and right, up and down) but as a few Slovak re-enactors found out to their painful cost............INSIDE 25 meters range.......these wooden pieces can STILL penetrate clothing, heavily bruise and embed itself under the skin........swelling in the process!)
IF you have any cruciform blast-cones for these weapons...........hang onto them..they are a SUPER rare item and change hands for stupid prices.
They are in effect a WWII Blank-firing attachment.