Pyrotechnic cocking charge

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A pyrotechnic cocking charge is a device used to cock or re-cock a gas-operated automatic cannon, such as the Mauser BK-27 or the Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-23. Such devices are not necessary in an externally-powered cannon, such as the electrically-driven M61 Vulcan, where the external power source is used to operate the mechanism of the weapon. The number of charges carried varies by design - the GSh-6-23 has a generous complement of ten, while others have as few as one.