Mythbusting: Swiss 7.5x53.5 GP90 was always smokeless, never semismokeless

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4y Nov 20, 2016

After some minor grumbling in the comments of our earlier video that we'd fired a round of GP90/03 rather than original GP90, we're back on this topic again. Here's the earlier video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5VCbIfsmAQ

Now, there's no documentary evidence of any change to powder from GP90 to GP90/03: it's stated in the literature as PC88 for both. The only substantial change was to the primer, which was changed to a less corrosive one, but the powder was never changed. And, is even described in the Botschaft des Bundesrates of 19 June 1889 as being "rauchlos", which is an absolutely unambiguous term (as is, to be fair "rauchschwach", but hey ho).

So this time we're working with an 1893-dated GP90 cartridge, so a very early one, from one of the earliest years when the 1889 rifles were in the hands of the troops.

All didn't go quite according to plan, and it required a rather long detour via the Chap's workshop... But that's what you get with 123 year old ammunition.

But, in the end, did we bust the semismokeless myth?

Oh, and btw, this video spans the "old camera" and "new camera" eras...

About Bloke on the Range

Firearms history, blokesplaining firearms mechanics, mythbusting, shooting sports and kitschy sketches all in one place. An often dry and sarcastic look at whatever takes the Bloke's and the Chap's fancy in the world of guns and shooting.


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