SMALL CALIBER AMMUNITION
12.7mm X 99 Ammunition (.50 Caliber)
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada has manufactured hundreds of millions of small caliber cartridges over its century of existence. The 12.7mm (.50 caliber) has been in production since WWI.
Today, the company produces six types of 12.7mm machine gun cartridges summarized in the table below:
The 12.7 mm x 99 mm (.50 cal) C162 ball cartridge is designed for use in M2HB or M2QCB machine guns. The C162 bullet consists of a soft steel core inserted inside a gilding metal jacket. The C162 bullet contains no heavy metals. The cartridge uses: ball powder, a brass cartridge case and a boxer primer. It meets all of the performance requirements of the NATO STANAG for 12.7 mm ammunition. A lead free primer is under development for this caliber.
- Bullet Weight : ~ 46 g (709 grains)
- Nominal Velocity : ~ 875 m/s
The 12.7 mm x 99 mm (.50 cal) C163 tracer cartridge is designed for use in M2HB or M2QCB machine guns. The C163 bullet consists of a soft steel core inserted inside a gilding metal jacket. Igniter and tracer mix are pressed inside a central cavity of the steel core. The C163 bullet contains no heavy metals. The cartridge uses: ball powder, a brass cartridge case and a boxer primer. It meets all of the performance requirements of the NATO STANAG for 12.7 mm ammunition. A lead free primer is under development for this caliber.
- Bullet Weight: ~ 46 g (709 grains)
- Trace Distance : 1 500 m
- Nominal Velocity : ~ 875 m/s
The 12.7 mm x 99 mm (.50 Cal) Armour Piercing (AP) cartridge is designed to fire from 12.7mm machine guns. Its bullet’s gilding metal jacket contains a hardened steel core and an inert chemical filler at the tip of the projectile. Its physical characteristics as well as its internal/external ballistic performance meet NATO standards. Although having a conventional case, optimization of the bullet geometry yields accuracy similar to that of match ammunition.
- Dispersion:(1) Mean radius at 600 m = 10 cm
(2) Mean radius at 1,200 m = 25 cm
- Penetration: Defeats multi-plate array targets out to 800 m
The 12.7 X 99 mm Armour Piercing / Tracer (AP-T) C44 cartridge has a bullet containing a tungsten carbide core with a double tapered nose to increase the penetration capability at high angles of attack. Its trace is visible from 150 m out to a minimum of 800 m from the firing point.
- Bullet Weight: 955 grains (compared to 646 grains for M33 bullet)
- Muzzle Velocity: 785 m/s (compared to 856 m/s for M33 bullet)
- Armour Plate Target: According to MIL 12560 (343 to 363 Brinell Hardness.
(1) 14 mm of armour plate at angle of 35° ± 1°
(2) 6 mm of armour plate at angle of 60°± 1°.
The 12.7 x 99 mm (.50 Cal) Limited Range Training Ammunition (LRTA) cartridge is designed for use on ranges where ricochet and stray bullets travelling beyond standard target distances pose a problem. The 12.7 mm LRTA, for example, can be used on a 7.62 mm firing range without exceeding the safety zone area (safety template) defined for 7.62 mm bullets. Accuracy is comparable to the M33 Ball out to 800 m, but it falls off thereafter, as the projectile destabilizes. The LRTA cartridge functions normally when fired from machine guns without auxiliary equipment. Its bullet, which comprises a gilding metal jacket and steel core with rear fins, is non-toxic. A lead free primer is under development.
- Maximum range: 3,500 m (50% shorter than the range of a standard M33 bullet)
- Trajectory: Matches M33 Ball out to 1000 m
The 12.7 x 99 mm (.50 cal) Limited Range Training Ammunition, Tracer (LRTA-T) cartridge is used in conjunction with the LRTA cartridge. It has the same ballistic characteristics as the LRTA as well as a tracing capability out to 800 m. Its bullet, which, in addition to the tracer mixes, is made of a gilding metal jacket and steel core with rear fins. It contains no heavy metals. A lead free primer is under development.
The 12.7 mm x 99 mm (.50 cal) inert, dummy cartridge is made of black, anodized aluminum machined on a CNC lathe, the dummy cartridge is designed and manufactured, to resist to hundreds of weapon loading/unloading cycles without excessive wear. It’s black colour and a deep and highly visible groove in the middle of the case body allows rapid identification of the inert nature of the product.
Both the C162 ball and C163 tracer cartridges are NATO qualified. Projectiles use a single steel core penetrator nested inside a guilding jacked. The C163 trace projectile traces out to a minimum of 1500m.
Armor Penetration (AP) Cartridge
The AP projectile is a guilding metal jacket filled with a hard steel core. It is designed to penetrate a three plate target array at up to 1100m, consisting of two 6.4mm aluminum plates and a thick 12.7mm iron plate. These AP cartridges are ballistically matched to standard 12.7mm cartridges. In the U.S. this cartridge is known under the MK263 classification.
The C44 AP-T cartridges use a tungsten carbide core and can penetrate thick (6 to 14mm) strongly inclined (up to 60˚) armored plates. They are not matched to other, regular 12.7mm cartridges but are traced, to allow proper aiming.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada manufactures a family of 12.7mm Sniper cartridges. For more information on these products please visit the Sniper Elite® page.
Reduced Range Ammunition
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada manufactures the LRTA and LRTA-T reduced range cartridges.
Cartridges can be packed to meet customer requirements. Current packaging configurations are mainly for machine gun use, with M13 links packed in metal containers.