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 Author  Topic: Ammo: A. P. I. & T.
Allan

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Allan   Send Email To Allan Posted on: Dec 19, 2009 - 8:39pm
Can anyone tell me if there was a particular type of .50-cal. cartridge available on the MTB's that served all three functions: armor-piercing, incendiary and tracer (all in the same single cartridge)? I have a document showing that type of cartridge being issued, and which then shows in addition to those, the standard armor-piercing, the incendiary and the tracer cartridges being issued. There is no mention of any ball ammo being issued. In a single month 44,500 rounds were expended or otherwise issued to the boats at New Guinea.

Allan


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QM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Dec 20, 2009 - 5:13am
The only ammo that I saw, both for the 50's and the 30's, were single purpose. The tips were painted black, blue or red to identify the type.

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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Dec 20, 2009 - 6:55am
Allan;
As far as I know, there still isn't ammo that performs all 3 fuctions. It must also be remembered, one of the reasons why every 3- 5 round is a tracer is not only so the user can walk his fire into the target, but it also has a tendency to shorten the life of the barrel. thus requiring more frequent barrel changes.
TED


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Dec 20, 2009 - 12:43pm
It looks like the APIT came to the war late according to the book "The United States Army In World War II: Planning Munitions For War":

By 1942 flyers had come to regard some type of incendiary as indispensable for air combat. "These pilots, who are in daily conflict with the enemy, swear by the effectiveness of the incendiary ammunition and would as soon go up without their machine guns as without this type of ammunition." But the M1 incendiary did not serve every purpose. In the spring of 1943 the air forces were suffering heavy losses of B-17's in daylight bombing operations over Europe, partly because the M1 incendiary, though excellent against enemy fighters approaching from most angles, was ineffective against frontal attack. The protection afforded by the engine of the enemy craft served to exhaust both the incendiary and the penetration energy of the projectile before it got to the fuel tank. Ordnance small arms ammunition specialists consequently suggested use of the M8 armor-piercing-incendiary developed for antiaircraft defense. The M8, when manufactured in relatively small quantities, proved more efficient than either armor-piercing or standard incendiary rounds, but, when manufactured by mass production methods with the types of powder then available, retention of its high velocity became impossible. Inasmuch as armor-piercing-incendiary with less velocity lost most of its penetrating and its incendiary properties, the Ordnance Department recommended that until something better could be perfected the M1 incendiary continue to be used for general air combat and straight armorpiercing for ground strafing. The something better than either standard incendiaries or the M10 tracer emerged in the spring of 1944 in the T28 armor-piercing incendiary tracer standardized in March 1945 as the M20. Air Forces theatre commanders were authorized to request such quantities as they saw fit.

A 1945 General Ammunition manual mentions the round but doesn't picture it like it does others. A 1942 manual doesn't mention it at all. For more general development info than you probably want to know I have a page up here: http://www.pt103.com/Browning_50_Cal_M2_History.html

A 1994 manual specifies the tip color as aluminum/red tip. The description is "CARTRIDGE, CALIBER .50, BALL, ARMOR PIERCING INCENDIARY-TRACER, M20".

The U.S. produced over 10 billion .50 rounds from 1940 to 1945...



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Allan

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Allan   Send Email To Allan Posted on: Dec 23, 2009 - 8:45pm
Thanks to each of you. Jeff, your post was very informative. Since the log entry that I am trying to understand was made in July of '43, I will assume that the combination type round was not yet developed. Assuming that, then I must also assume that the log entry was simply a poor choice of sentence structure. It seems that the writer must have double-counted the ammo issued and expended. Not very exciting, but it does clear up a confucing bit of data for me.

Thanks to all- and Merry Christmas to all.

Allan


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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Jan 5, 2010 - 2:15pm
Allan and Jeff:
I came across this nice listing of .50 cal rounds, thought this might help in future. Oh and Jeff, now that you mentioned it I do remember now aluminum and red tipped .50 cal rounds, this IS what we always used as tracer rounds! not the plain red tipped.

This listing of .50 cal. cartridges includes most of the types used by the U.S. military:

Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, High Pressure Test, M1
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Blank, M1 (no bullet, crimped)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Incendiary, M1 (blue tip)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer, M1 (red, maroon, or orange tip)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Blank, M1A1 (no bullet, crimped)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, M2
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Armor Piercing, M2 (black tip)
Cartridge, Dummy, Caliber .50, M2 (holes in case)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Armor Piercing Incendiary, M8 (aluminum tip)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer M10 (red, maroon, or orange tip)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer; M17 (red, maroon, or orange tip)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Armor Piercing Incendiary-Tracer, M20 (red ring/aluminum tip)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Incendiary, M23 (blue tip)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, M33
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Spotter-Tracer, M48A1
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Spotter-Tracer, M48A2
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Plastic Practice, M858
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer, Plastic Practice, M860
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Saboted Light Armor Penetrator (SLAP), M903 (plastic sleeve on projectile)
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Saboted Light Armor Penetrator-Tracer (SLAP-T), M962
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Practice, T249E2
Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, High Pressure Test, T251
Cartridge, Caliber .50: Armor Piercing Incendiary (API), MK 211 MOD 0
hope this helps,
TED


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Jan 6, 2010 - 3:35am
Thanks Ted, quite the variety of cartridges there!

I hope the .50 makes it to an in-service centennial anniversary. It's amazing that it has remained virtually unchanged for so long. I wouldn't be surprised to see a future of laser and rail guns, and the good ol' M2.



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