Every once in a while, a really unusual item comes out of the firearms industry. One such oddity was The .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer, a real oddball if there ever was one.
The .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer meaning “Ear Splitting Louden Boomer” was a Wildcat Cartridge created by the genius of P.O. Ackley.
It came into development in the 1960s for Robert “Bob” Hutton. Mr. Hutton was with the Guns and Ammo magazine’s technical department.
Why the 22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer Was Conceived
The singular goal of the .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer cartridge was to get past the 5,000 foot per second barrier.
It was conceived back in the 60s to set a world record muzzle velocity for 22 caliber bullets.
The late P.O. Ackley made the rifle for Hutton, however, it is not exactly clear what speeds Hutton was able to record.
Experts agree though those velocities were likely in the range of 5000 plus fps given that it was using a 50-grain bullet.
Other accounts say that Ackley’s loads were only able to clock 4,600 ft. /s (1,400 m/s) (Mach 4.2), using a 50-grain (3.2 g) bullet.
More on the Odd .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer
The Eargesplitten Loudenboomer was made from a 378 Weatherby case necked to a 22 caliber. It was also enlarged out to a bulbous body shape.
The Weatherby case is quite oversized for the bore diameter, and so the cartridge has a strange, disproportionate appearance.
It needed to be necked down to accept .224 caliber bullets.The introduction of more modern slow-burning smokeless powders, though, may have altered the outcomes.
However, in a cartridge case that typically takes over 100-grains of powder, it is not worth even trying.
More on P.O. Ackley
Ackley was not just a wildcat enthusiast. He was a student of firearms often testing guns to the point that they break, always in the search for vital data.
He also developed a few other experimental cartridges.
These cartridges were not meant to be of any practical use. Instead, they were conceived to test the limits of firearms and their corresponding ammo.
The .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer was one such experimental project. Unfortunately, there seems to be no video documentation of an actual round being fired.
When it comes to humorous, impractical, and zany cartridges, the .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer may be the most nuts. Its name sure is crazy and the shell looks bizarre.
Other Oddities in the Firearms World
The Foam Grenade
Conceived as a non-deadly type of crowd control alternative, sponge rounds are meant to be fired from the M203 grenade launcher used by the US Army.
Anyone that is hit in the head with a sponge round will tell you it is very unpleasant. These foam grenades launch out at 200 meters per second.
For perspective, that is a mere 30 meters per second less than the muzzle velocity of the .45 ACP bullet. Imagine being hit by a super dodgeball. Ouch.
Square Bullets (The Puckle Gun)
The Puckle gun got its patent in 1718, during a period when the Turks were a real threat to Eastern Europe. This gun was originally intended to fire square ammunition.
The rationale for such a bizarre design was that the British thought that a square-shaped bullet would do more harm to the Muslim Turks.
The concept never really saw the light of day. The main reason that hampered its development was that square rounds had a reputation for not being precise.
Needless to say, the Puckle gun itself became the basis of revolvers as we know them today.
Gyrojet Rocket Pistol
If made correctly, the modern bullet is usually flawless. Despite that fact, this has not deterred some imaginative folks from reinventing it.
The GyroJet is one such oddity. What it does is it takes a standard stash of copper-jacketed lead and launches it with rockets.
The thinking was that the slow but constant thrust of a rocket motor would launch a slug to extremely long distances that not even large-caliber rifles or pistols are capable of.
Sad to say, this idea did not pan out.
The rocket ammo design needed a very balanced spin-stabilization system. The tiniest amount of fouling in the vents would cause them to fly unpredictably.
They were also rather pricey and impractical to manufacture. Using up an entire clip could set you back $200, an amount that in some cases could already buy you a simple firearm.
Not all cartridges are developed to shoot people. For a few such as the Dragon’s Breath ammo for shotguns, it is more for making an impression or statement.
The round has magnesium-based ammo. When it is fired it creates a flame that can reach 30 meters.
It can be quite impressive especially in the dark. It also has the capacity to scare any intruder just from the sheer visual of the long flame.