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7.62×51mm NATO Cartridge

The 7.62×51mm cartridges are NATO standard ammunition, used primarily in medium machine guns and sniper rifles in all branches of the U.S. military. The family of 7.62mm ammunition consists of ball, tracer, armor piercing and dummy cartridges.
7.62×51mm NATO Cartridge

Timeline

1957 - Adopted as NATO standard

M59 Ball

The M59 Ball is used in the M60 and M219 machine guns, and the M14 rifle. The cartridge is intended for use against personnel and unarmored targets. It contains a soft steel core. It is identified by a plain bullet tip.

Characteristics

Dimensions
Cartridge length: 71.1 millimeters 2.8 inches
Weight
Cartridge weight: 25.47 grams 393 grains
Projectile weight: 9.75 grams 150.5 grains
Features
Chamber pressure: 3 515 kg/cm2 50 000 psi
Velocity: 838 meters per second 2 750 feet per second
Miscellaneous
Propellant: WC 846

M61 Armor Piercing

The M61 is used by M60 and M240 machine guns, and the M14 rifle. The cartridge is used in rifles and machine guns against personnel and light armored or unarmored targets, concrete shelters, and similar bullet-resisting targets. It is identified by a black bullet tip.

Characteristics

Dimensions
Cartridge length: 71.1 millimeters 2.8 inches
Weight
Cartridge weight: 25.47 grams 393 grains
Projectile weight: 9.75 grams 150.5 grains
Features
Chamber pressure: 3 515 kg/cm2 50 000 psi
Velocity: 838 meters per second 2 750 feet per second
Miscellaneous
Propellant: IMR 4 475

M62 Tracer

The M62 Tracer is used by the M60 and M240 machine guns, and the M14 rifle. For observation of fire, incendiary effects, signaling, and for training. It is identified by an orange bullet tip.

Characteristics

Dimensions
Cartridge length: 71.1 millimeters 2.8 inches
Weight
Cartridge weight: 24.81 grams 383 grains
Projectile weight: 9.2 grams 142 grains
Features
Chamber pressure: 3 515 kg/cm2 50 000 psi
Velocity: 838 meters per second 2 750 feet per second
Miscellaneous
Propellant: WC 846

M80 Ball

The M80 Ball is used by the M60 and M240 machine guns, and the M14 rifle for use against light materials and personnel, and for range training. The bullet consists of a gilding-metal steel jacket with a lead-antimony slug. The cartridge case is brass and the bullet is unpainted.

Characteristics

Dimensions
Cartridge length: 71.1 millimeters 2.8 inches
Weight
Cartridge weight: 25.4 grams 392 grains
Projectile weight: 9.46 grams 146 grains
Features
Chamber pressure: 3 515 kg/cm2 50 000 psi
Velocity: 838 meters per second 2 750 feet per second
Miscellaneous
Propellant: WC 846

M118 Special Ball

The M118 Special Ball is used by the M14 rifle, and the M21, M24, and M40A1 sniper rifles. The cartridge is intended and specifically prepared for use in high accuracy weapons. The bullet consists of a gilding metal jacket and a lead antimony slug. It is a boat-tailed bullet (rear of bullet is tapered). The tip of the bullet is not colored. The cartridge is identified by cartridge case head stampings with NATO design mark, manufacturer and year.