The 4.5mm MKR was a Swedish prototype rimfire cartridge developed for the prototype Interdynamics MKR bullpup assault rifle and carbine.
|4.5mm MKR (synonyms: 4.5mm Interdynamic, 4.5mm Kjellgren)|
|Type||Interdynamics MKR Rifle and Carbine|
|Place of origin||Sweden|
|In service||Prototypes only.|
|No. built||Prototypes only|
|Parent case||.22 WMR|
|Case type||Rimfire, tapered, shoulderless bottleneck|
|Bullet diameter||4.63mm diameter, 22mm long, cold-rolled copper, boat-tail spitzer.|
|Overall length||42mm overall length|
|Filling||0.51 grams tubular nitrocellulose powder or 0.57 grams spherical double-base powder|
|Test barrel length: 640mm|
The 4.5mm MKR was designed in 1978 by Interdynamic AB, a Swedish company, around the time of the rise of "micro-caliber" popularity. Firearms companies everywhere were trying to achieve a type of practical, light and cheap ammunition. Micro-caliber (less than 5mm / .20" caliber) ammunition makers wished to achieve high velocity, flat trajectory and good penetration while keeping weight and recoil low so as to facilitate controllable use in individual automatic weapons.
The 4.5mm MKR was essentially a .22 WMR rimfire case necked down from 5.6mm to accept a 4.5mm bullet, for use in the Interdynamics MKR rifle and carbine. It would be supplied in single-use, 50-round polymer magazines. The cartridge featured a curved taper of its body to aid extraction and a short, shoulderless neck. Its 4.5mm caliber boat-tail spitzer bullet was 22mm long and made by cold rolling solid copper wire.
The lightweight bullet of 1.58 grams / 24.4 grains reportedly achieved a muzzle velocity of about 1,000 m/sec / 3,270 ft/sec and a muzzle energy of 790 Joules / 583 ft lbs. This claim contrasts sharply with the comparable, more modern .17 HMR which has a muzzle energy of 340 Joule / 250 ft. lbs. Due to the combination of a thin-walled rimfire case with a high-pressure powder charge, the cartridge needed good external support so the MKR rifle was designed to use locked breech, gas-operated action with a vertically tilting bolt rather than straight blow back operation. This ensured the bolt only opened once cartridge pressure had reduced to safe levels. The rifle and carbine, which differed only in barrel length, were fired from the open bolt position to prevent cook-off ignition of the thin walled cartridges. Users could select single shot, 3-round burst or fully automatic modes. The burst and fully automatic modes had a high rate of fire of 1800 rounds per minute.
The 4.5x26 MKR was claimed to be on par with a 5.56×45mm NATO M-193 bullet at up to 300 meters while one could carry 3.5 times the amount of cartridges. Its slender 4.5mm projectile could penetrate a steel helmet up to 300m out to which range it had a similar ballistic curve to the 5.56x45NATO with M-193 projectile. This was due to a combination of slightly higher velocity, a similar Ingalls ballistic coefficient to the M-193 bullet (0.245 vs 0.265), and the superior penetrating ability of solid cold-rolled copper bullets vs jacketed lead bullets given an equal sectional density. It was potentially lethal (80 Joules) up to 750m and its tendency to tumble on impact was twice that of the 5.56 M-193 bullet, thus ensuring more effective transfer of its diminutive energy to its target, especially as its tip tended to bend. Maximum range was 2,500m.
Due to concerns about stopping power, reliability, and problems with using rimfire ammunition, the MKR project was abandoned at the prototype stage and the 4.5mm MKR never saw service or any kind of widespread use.