Back in 1848 Walter Hunt invented a caseless bullet system and guns to use it - that became the VOLCANIC Rocket-Ball marketed by the original Smith & Wesson partnership (& Winchester Repeating Arms):
Volcanic - Rocket Ball and the guns that used it here - LINK:
The next caseless rifle & ammunition that I've found is the DAISY V/L .22" caliber which is said by some "experts" to be the first production rifle for caseless ammunition - made from 1968 to 1969 until discontinued under a ruling by the US BATF & E.
Daisy-Heddon Caseless .22" Rounds.
Next in rough chronological order comes the Heckler & Koch G11 .. 1960s/1970s to 1989 - if you want full historic context just Google it:
HMX or 'Octogen' propellant to remedy 'cook-off' issues.
In 1991 Austrian manufacturer Voere GMBH introduced their beautifully made Voere VEC-91 caseless rifle & ammunition.
The VEC-91 rifle bolt contained no firing pin or striker, just a ceramic cap that would electronically detonate the primer via the battery charge. The cartridge was designed by Hubert Usel and is known as the Usel Caseless Cartridge (UCC). The round was encased in a block of solid nitrocellulose and because it was not an automatic rifle it did not have the problems with cooking-off that plagued earlier military attempts such as the Heckler & Koch G11,
- Little Old ex-warehouse-man me is thinking that one way to go might be other than the recent external propellant designs .. maybe I'd think about an updated version of the internal charged 'Rocket-Ball' bullet .. a combined bullet-casing something like below maybe:
Please excuse my imperfect imaging - but I'm trying to preserve my amateur status eh.
.. Without the shoulder formed by the external propellant material - how would an internal charged bullet head-space for ignition? .. maybe it might be held in position by a spring loaded extractor bearing on the rearmost ribbing groove.
NOW that I've worked all that out - I've discovered the Benelli CB-M2 Caseless design developed with Fiocchi that looks suspiciously like my sketch above .. but the cartridge is of two piece construction from the 1980s and is a variety of RIMFIRE that fired from a fairly simple blow-back sub-machine gun.
Fiocchi/Benelli Semi-Caseless AUPO ammunition is a 9 mm "Rimfire" Round fired by a SIDE-MOUNTED Firing Pin.
The Middle Round Is A Recovered Fired Example
You Can See The Gentle Forming Of The Rims.
"Semi-Caseless" because the rim-fire powder container detaches from the 9 mm bullet .. but it follows up the barrel like a sabot does. This cartridge worked and might be great in a handgun too - provided it produced other functional advantages.
Here's a link to an article about some other "exotic" varieties of self contained ammunition systems:
- So maybe that's four different ignition systems? - Mechanical strike on a primer, - mechanical strike on a rim-fire, - electronic ignition, - & a jet of super-heated gas .. any more possibilities?