Gyrojet: Precursor to Guided Ammunition?

Tam reminded me of an old movie with Tom Selleck called Runaway.  I didn’t think anyone else would remember this.   Heat seeking bullets might not be too far fetched though.   I mean, you won’t get bullets to turn corners and do aerial acrobatics, but minor corrections and some degree of guidance might be possible.  Back during Vietnam, there was a type of gun introduced that, well, wasn’t even really a firearm.   It’s actually a miniature rocket gun called the Gyrojet.   It looks something like this:

These were tested in Vietnam, and although the projectiles hit harder than a .45 ACP at distance, they were ineffective at close ranges, and left a smoke trail back to the shooter.  You can actually buy these, and there is still some ammunition left for it out there, though it’s outrageously expensive.  If you want to see one up close, there are a few of them in the National Firearms Museum at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.

If we used the same idea today, with modern technology, it might actually be possible to create a projectile for a weapon such as this with some form of guidance on it.  I don’t know how practical it would be, but it sure would be pretty cool.  We’re still a long ways off from deer cooking ballistics, though.

3 Responses to “Gyrojet: Precursor to Guided Ammunition?”

  1. triticale says:

    The Gyrojet’s problem with short range accuracy was that it was spun by the propellent jet and didn’t stabilize till it got up to speed. A little bit of powder to kick it down a rifled barrel would have made the difference.

  2. countertop says:


    Gene Simmons played the bad guy in that movie. Who wouldn’t remember that???

    There’s a pretty famous picture of Ronald Reagan on Air Force One holding a gyrojet. I’ll try to find it.

  3. Michael says:

    I remember the movie very will. It was the early eighties. It wasn’t the best scifi movie I’ve ever seen but not the worst.