MK 318 ammo Info 5.56

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by alaska, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. alaska

    alaska Well-Known Member

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    Mk318 Mod 0
    Following early engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. Special Operations Forces reported that M855 ammunition used in M4A1 rifles was ineffective. In 2005, the Pentagon issued a formal request to the ammunition industry for “enhanced” ammunition. The only business that responded was the Federal Cartridge Company, owned by Alliant Techsystems. Working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, the team created performance objectives for the new ammo: increased consistency from shot to shot regardless of temperature changes, accuracy out of an M4A1 better than 2 minute of angle (2 inches at 100 yards, 3.9 inches at 300 yards), increased stopping power after passing through “intermediate barriers” like walls and car windshields, increased performance and decreased muzzle flash out of shorter barrel FN SCAR rifles, and costs close to the M855. The first prototypes were delivered to the government in August 2007. Increased velocity and decreased muzzle flash were accomplished by the type of powder used. The design of the bullet was called the Open Tip Match Rear Penetrator (OTMRP). The front of it is a hollow point backed up by a lead core, but the lead core only goes about halfway down the length of the bullet, while the rear half is solid brass. When the bullet hits a hard barrier, the front half of the bullet smooshes against the barrier, breaking it so the penetrating half of the bullet can go through and hit the target. With the lead section penetrating the target and the brass section following, it was referred to as a "barrier blind" bullet. Special Forces role in counter-terror operations allow them to follow certain law enforcement guidelines, so they could use hollow point rounds without violating the Hague Convention.[31][79]
    Officially designated the Mk318 Mod 0 "Cartridge, Caliber 5.56mm Ball, Carbine, Barrier", and called SOST (Special Operations Science and Technology) ammunition, the 62-grain bullet fragments consistently, even out of a 10.5 in barrel. The lead portion fragments in the first few inches of soft tissue, then the solid copper rear penetrates 18 in of tissue (shown though ballistic gelatin) while tumbling. Out of a 14 in barrel, the Mk318 has a muzzle velocity of 2,925 fps.[31][79]
    In February 2010, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted the Mk318 for use by infantry. To be fielded by an entire branch of the military, the round is classified as having an "open-tip" bullet, similar to the M118LR 7.62 NATO round. The SOST bullet uses a “reverse drawn” forming process. The base of the bullet is made first, the lead core is placed on top of it, and then the jacketing is pulled up around the lead core from bottom to tip. Conventional, and cheaper, bullets are made with the method of the jacket drawn from the nose to an exposed lead base. The reverse drawn technique leaves an open tip as a byproduct of the manufacturing process, and is not specifically designed for expansion or to affect terminal ballistics. The Pentagon legally cleared the rounds for Marine use in late January. The Marines fielded the Mk318 gradually and in small numbers. Initial studies showed that insurgents hit by it suffered larger exit wounds, although information was limited. SOST rounds were used alongside M855 rounds in situations where the SOST would be more effective.[31][79][80] In July 2010, the Marines purchased 1.8 million M855A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds in, addition to millions of Mk318 rounds in service, as part of its effort to replace its M855 ammo.
    The MK 318 rounds use the new powder WC 842
     
  2. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I thought that S.F. had moved up to the 6.8SPC round that weighed 110 grains at about 2500fps. On paper it looks like a near ideal 200 yard round (close to 90% of all folks shot on the battlefield are less than 125 yards). The new .223 round looks interesting, but also expensive to manufacture.
    gary
     

  3. alaska

    alaska Well-Known Member

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    The 6.8 spc program was cancelled due to cost from switching from 5.56 brass to 6.8 spc brass

    The 300 BLK is gaining some traction because it uses 5.56 brass and is very close in performance to the 7.62x39

    Instead I suggest just adopt the 7.62x39
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I'm building my .300 Blackout at the moment...Been buying pieces here and there for fhe last year & half. Down to a barrel, bolt head, gas block, gas tube, charging handle, and optic...
     
  5. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    The US military as a whole is not going to switch to ANYTHING! M885 kills fine, shooting skills and unrealistic expectations play into these myths.
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    back in the late 1970's the Army and a couple private contractors were doing some experimenting with M16's that used .223 brass necked up to 6mm with an 85 grain bullet from Hornaday. Velocities were in the 2850fps to 2900fps, so they claimed. The idea was to get 150 grain bullet ballistics out of an Ar15 platform. Carter killed the project
    gary
     
  7. alaska

    alaska Well-Known Member

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    They already switched the Army went to M855A1 bronze tip and the Marine corp Mk 318 round

    After OIF 2 even good shots with M855 green tip it was like using a solid steel bullet on deer no expansion no shock

    SFC retired
     
  8. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    I know they did but have you actually seen any? I haven't, all reports from friends currently in theater are they have never seen any of either round. M885 was not designed to expand, it was designed to penetrate 3mm or steel. Expansion has never been allowed per the hague. Big Army walks a fine line, SOCOM has more latitude as their JAG stated, that there is no such thing as "unreasonable suffering" when you are trying to kill someone, thus we see them issuing hollow points and hinting bullets.

    The Undersigned, Plenipotentiaries of the Powers represented at the International Peace Conference at The Hague, duly authorized to that effect by their Governments,

    Inspired by the sentiments which found expression in the Declaration of St. Petersburg of the 29th November (11th December), 1868,

    Declare as follows:

    The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions.

    The present Declaration is only binding for the Contracting Powers in the case of a war between two or more of them.

    It shall cease to be binding from the time when, in a war between the Contracting Parties, one of the belligerents is joined by a non-Contracting Power.
     
  9. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    In my first true venture into close order combat, I lost my partner to a 7.62x39 round (actually four of them). They were fired right thru a 3/4" thick floor in a bunker used as a listening post (LP) from about five feet away. I was on the roof, and they must not have known I was up there. I had a bag of grenades and an M16 rifle. The rifle was virtually useless, and I simply rolled about six or eight grenades off the roof top. Then sprayed about three mags into the pitch black darkness. When Light finally came I came down off the roof to find him D.O.A., and four bodies laying to the right. One was still breathing, and the First Sargent was so mad that he gave him a sedative with 230 grain hardball. That's what is known as a clean humane kill in the combat zone. I put two layers of clay filled sandbags on the floor plus stacked 5.56 and 7.62x51. Sure enough they showed up at about one in the morning again. The M60 was useless as they were too close, so I sprayed a full mag that triggered a series of four duce illumination rounds. Then shot five with an M16. They were very dead by five in the morning. Humane? Well they were not shooting at me anymore! Next night I was back on the roof, but with an additional M60. Three grenades, and half a belt brought dead silence in about one minute. The guy below froze while the third guy was asleep. One had a sucking chest wound, and I listened to him for about three or four minutes out there someplace. The other four got away. We tracked the blood trails at about six in the morning. Found two about a hundred yards out. Two more about three hundred yards. All had bad chest hits. One round busted thru an ammo vest, and still didn't do it's humane kill (sic). There is no such thing 50% of the time, and it's almost amusing that anyone would think so. Top had the LP blown up at the end of the week so no other hapless fool would ever be stuck out there again. That was humane!! What you read here is a glossed over account of seven days of my life in February 1968, and there's not much to call it humane.
    gary
     
  10. Catfur

    Catfur Well-Known Member

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    My personal opinion is that the US should dump the Hague convention like a hot potatoe, it's a steaming pile of dung cooked up by a bunch of diplomats, who settled on a ban on expanding bullets when they couldn't get what they really wanted, which was a ban on weapons period (yeah, right).

    Nevertheless, it remains the law, and these MK 318 sure sound like they are, ahem, not quite kosher.

    Of course, we haven't been in a war with a Hague signatory since who knows when, so we ought to be using Partitions on all the various scum, not playing "tiptoe down the line."
     
  11. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    I 100% agree and have never personally understood why big army must conform to the hague in our current fight. I guess it just easier to issue what we have to the masses I suppose, than to go threw the entire testing,contract and purchase who ha.
     
  12. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing brother
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    .

    Think of warfare is two completely different categories, that really involve two different sets of rules.

    * first we have conventional warfare. Like WWII. Both sides sorta play by the rules (even though they didn't in WWII).

    * Then we have unconventional warfare, and neither side plays by any set of rules. But that ain't so! One side seems to always abide by the rules while the other never does. It's kind of stupid to think you'd you'd go into a fight with one hand tied behind your back. But that's what happens most of the time. This all started out in Korea, and seriously expanded in Vietnam. The rest of the new players are simply following the Vietnamese play book. Some of it's their fault, and much of it is our fault for even allowing it to take place. Had we fought the game like they did, they'd have capitulated very fast. But remember we're nice folks and don't bring ourselves down to that level.

    On the battlefield, 85% of all combat deaths are from artillery. Nothing new as we learned about that in 1917. Ten percent are from bombing and other forms of an airstrike. The next five percent are gunshots, anti personnel mines, disease, and even the bayonet. You take the last five percent, and then cull out all the gunshot KIA's. Almost 90% are under 125 yards! 85% are under 75 yards. Around 50% fall in to the under 50 yard category. I think the figure is almost 40% for under sixty feet! At the long distance of 150 yards, just how good of a bullet is needed? A soft tip is not so hot with body armor, but still hands off a lot energy on impact. A hard tip may or may not penetrate body armor (I don't want to test it).

    It would have appeared to me that the 6.8 round was a critical step in the correct direction, but still not good enough in my book. The problem was that the AR platform is a little too short to make something much more serious. Stretch it .250", and maybe widen it .200", and you got a different beast. The old .300 Savage case made into a 1.8" length with a shoulder length of about 1.53" would have been the ticket. Use bullets in the 135 grain class, and an optional 150 grain bullet. Neck it down to 7mm, or keep it at 30 caliber. Will it bust a windshield? You bet it will! Is it leagle? Yep it is! Do you need that much desired triple tap like the 5.56 does. No! What you'll have is near .308 ballistics with a shorter case. In other words the bullet impacts in the kill zone all the way out to 300 yards without much if any holdover. Or about 1000ft.lb. at 300 yards and 750 at 400 yards. Would also make a great light machinegun round due to it's case length alone! The 7mm version would be even more impressive with 1360 ft. lb of energy at 300 yards using a 139 grain bullet at 2700 fps. Shoots flat enough tp aim for the middle of the head and impact from the base of the sternum upwards.
    gary
     
  14. Bastard TwoTwo

    Bastard TwoTwo Member

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    A .30-Cal bullet is problematic, at best; First and foremost, d#mned things are HEAVY- won't catch me carrying more than 200-250 rounds in that caliber. My average loadout as a team leader was 600 rounds of 5.56 in Iraq in '06, and you better bet I would use nearly every mag in a firefight. I never carried more than 100 rounds of 7.62NATO, and it felt about the same as 150-200 rounds of 5.56; 7.62x39 is nearly as bad, and metal AK mags can double as anchors when loaded. So I just see that as less ammo in hand, and therefore less potential to kill.

    Gary, I think your percentages are a little dated. While those numbers are certainly true for WWI, WWII, and probably also Vietnam, in Iraq, we hardly ever used artillery and CAS, primarily because the country has a VERY dense urban population throughout most of the populated areas, and we really didn't want collateral damage. Every once in awhile, Alibaba would do something stupid out in the sticks, and we could blast him with a 2000-pounder, but those instances only accounted for about 1/4 of our kills. We had to get our hands dirty- a LOT.

    So door-kicking became our bread-and-butter. I will admit that with a 5.56NATO M4, I had to "ride my kills;" meaning that I often had to dump half a mag or more into a body to get it good'n'dead. Forget what you see in COD- when the other guy is 10-15ft away from you (like in a bedroom), you don't just shoot him once and call it a day, especially when he's shooting back, and doubly especially when he's hopped up on heroine or meth that he cooked up in what used to be a hospital. The obvious exception to this is .458SOCOM or .50Beowulf. Hit him with one of those from 10 feet away, he won't want to play anymore.

    The 6.8 is a nifty caliber for use inside a house. Even suppressed, it generally keeps a higher velocity and hits harder than a 5.56 at less than 10m. Downside is when you step into the street, and need to nail some idiot with an RPD a few blocks away. So then you have 6.5, which is great for distance, but not necessarily a cartridge that I, personally, would want for CQB. The plain fact is that the 5.56 is the lesser evil for right now; poorer performance than 6.8 at close range, poorer performance than 6.5 at distance, but ironically perfect for those 200m-300m shots.

    Someday, somebody will invent a super-awesome round that hits hard at close range, AND at 600m. I just hope it's in my lifetime. gun)