Rocket-Powered Pistol: MBA Gyrojet Model B

MBA-Gyrojet-Model-B_001OK fellow rocket scientists, you're going to like this from Blue Book of Gun Values.

When John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, James Lovell, Alan Shepard and the rest of the astronauts were launching off on top of their massive Saturn 5 rockets from Pad 39A of NASA's complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla., during the 1960s, Robert Mainhardt and Dr. Arthur Biehl — hence MB Associates or MBA — were getting their rockets off horizontally at a gun range. This is certainly one of the more twisted stories I've ever covered in the firearms industry.

After Robert Mainhardt figured out that his new gun — actually, a launch tube would be more accurate — which fired rocket-powered projectiles would not be a military success, he made a trip to Colt Firearms for a possible company sale and was amazed at all the fancy commemoratives Colt was selling as fast as they could make them.

He decided to take a similar approach, and this Mark I with display case released in 1965 contained eight inert rocket cartridges and a bronze medallion of Dr. Goddard, "the father of modern rocketry."



Each projectile consisted of the case, angled nozzles, primer, residual water proofing, and residual inhibitor. When fired, the grain igniter and primer composition were consumed, so the entire projectile became the bullet down range. There were no empty casings.

Despite the lack of commercial success that had a lot to do with the rocket projectiles selling for $3 each at the time, James Bond used one in You Only Live Twice. So did Steve McQueen in The Hunter. Jay Leno even got involved with one in The Collision Course, which featured a 12mm Gyrojet pistol as the murder weapon.

So what's this rocket launcher worth? Think of it as an expensive novelty item — in the $2,000-$2,500 range. If you want to shoot it, figure about $35 a round, so each time you load it up (six projectiles), it's going to cost you approximately $200 when the fireworks are over. You can be guaranteed, however, no gun in your collection will command as much shock and awe as a Gyrojet being fired rapidly on a dark night.

Images courtesy of Rock Island Auctions and An Introduction to MBA Gyrojets by Mel Carpenter. To find more great guns like this one, visit Blue Book's Gun of the Week!


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of the 94 Winchester rifle.

Beretta

Beretta's New 92X

The 92X Performance model from Beretta was created to satisfy two requirements: Speed and accuracy. Beretta's new competition pistol is uncompromising and aims for top performance.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle. Historical

The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle

Kyle Lamb - January 12, 2018

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other. Reviews

Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review

Eric Poole - May 23, 2019

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple points of retention adjustment and clip options. Accessories

Crossbreed's The Reckoning Holster

Eric R. Poole - May 13, 2019

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple...

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a zeroed rifle scope. Here's how to sight in your rifle scope setup in five quick-and-easy steps. How-To

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps

Craig Boddington - June 04, 2018

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a...

See More Trending Articles

More News

Fiocchi announced plans for a significant investment in a new, independent manufacturing facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. This plan is part of an ongoing strategic initiative by Fiocchi of America and the Italy-based Fiocchi Group to expand its U.S. and international operations. Industry

Fiocchi Announces Industrial Expansion in Arkansas

Guns & Ammo Staff - July 31, 2020

Fiocchi announced plans for a significant investment in a new, independent manufacturing...

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

NSSF: Gun-Control Grabs Taxpayer Protection Funds for Anti-Gun Candidates

Larry Keane - July 27, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

NSSF: Atlanta Mayor Brings Gun-Control Credentials to Moms Demand Veepstakes

Larry Keane - July 24, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

NSSF: Sen. Tammy Duckworth's Gun-Control Talking Points in Everytown Veepstakes

National Shooting Sports Foundation - July 28, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now