Duplicating NATO cartridges (cloning)



* This page has a lot of misc info found throughout the web on duplicating military cartridge performance. This will save you a TON of time as I have collected all the relevant info in one place.

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Cartridge, 5.56mm, Ball, M193

Use:
Rifles, M16, M16A1, M16A2. The cartridge is designed for use against personnel and unarmored targets.

Description:
BALL. the cartridge is identified by a plain bullet tip.

Weight - 182 grains
Length - 2.26inches
Primer - Percussion (Crimped into case)
Propellant - WC 844 or CMR 170
Charge - 28.5 (WC 844)or 26.5 (CMR 170) grains
Projectile Weight - 56 grains
Chamber Pressure - 52,000 psi
Velocity - 3250 fps, 15 feet from muzzle


Cartridge, 5.56mm, Ball, M855

Use:
Machine Gun, 5.56mm, M249E1
Rifle M16A2. The cartridge is designed for use against personnel and unarmored targets.

Description:
BALL. the cartridge is identified by a green bullet tip.

Weight - 190 grains
Length - 2.26inches
Primer - Percussion (Crimped into case)
Propellant - WC 844
Charge - 26.1 grains
Projectile Weight - 62 grains
Chamber Pressure - 55,000 psi
Velocity - 3025 fps, 15 feet from muzzle

(ocabj)

 

Right now I'm using in a 20" 1-7" twist service rifle barrel:

200/300 yard line: 77gr Nosler BTHP, 24.0gr RL15, CCI BR4 primer, and LC brass

600 yard line: 80gr Sierra Match King, 24.0gr RL15, CCI BR4 primer, and Lapua brass.

Though, I'm going to switch to Berger 80gr VLDs since the price on Sierra 80gr is pretty much the same now.

If you want an MK262 mod 1 duplicate, try:

77gr Sierra Match King, 25.3gr Varget, CCI 400 primer, and LC brass - NOTE: THIS LOAD EXCEEDS SAAMI SPECS. USE IN NATO OR WYLDE CHAMBER ONLY. USE AT OWN RISK. - 2780~ fps in an 18" SPR barrel

FYI: Nosler 77gr will shoot a little faster than Sierra 77gr with the same powder charge. It is probably due to the fact that the Nosler has a shorter base to ogive length and thus has less bearing surface with the bore.

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So if you want to stay within published max loads for safety looks like you might need a different powder. I get slightly higher than max velocity with slightly less than max load in my 20" RRA. My standard 55 gr FMJ load is 25.6 gr of AA2230 which gives me 3240 fps. The published max load is 26.0 gr giving 3216 fps. So results vary a bit rifle to rifle. The only "Nato Cross" ammo I have ever chronied out of my rifle was 2000 headstamp Guatemalan and I got an average velocity of 3224 fps.

If you want to switch to a different powder to easily achieve these mil spec velocities without having to run max loads there are several choices, here's a few:

Powder............ published max load & velocity for 55 gr FMJ bullet

Reloader 15......max load = 28.0c gr velocity = 3390 fps
Varget..............max load = 27.5c gr velocity = 3384 fps
H4895..............max load = 26.0c gr velocity = 3315 fps
BL-C(2)............max load = 27.5 gr velocity = 3313 fps
A-XMR-2015......max load = 25.0 gr velocity = 3281 fps
A-XMR-2495.....max load = 26.2c gr velocity = 3271 fps
V-N135.............max load = 26.8c gr velocity = 3268 fps


I'm sure there are other possibilities as well.

I don't think it matters if you want to play it safe. If the data is for a lighter weight case with a slightly larger volume then surely the same charge in heavier case would produce a higher velocity. The problem is it will do so by producing a higher pressure as well. So it might not be the best way to get the "extra" velocity you want. If you like W748 or have a lot of it already or whatever is the reason you want to go with it, I think that is more important then pushing out the pills to some mil spec velocity. The max velocity listed for W748 is 98% of the mil spec velocity, IMHO that last 2% really doesn't mean shit.

Q. How do I duplicate US Military ammunition when handloading?

A. The following are the specifications for US Small Arms ammunition.  If you have a chronograph you simply load the correct weight bullet to the velocity specified.  If you don't have a chronograph (shame on you!) some suggested loads using military brass and bullets are listed.

ALL LOADS USE MILITARY BRASS (except the 9 mm), AND
  MILITARY BULLETS (OR THEIR COMMERCIAL EQUIVALENT).
REDUCE ALL LOADS BY 10% (EXCEPT THE LOAD MARK BY
*) AND WORK UP

Military Ammunition Equivalents

Cartridge

Bullet Weight
(gr)

Velocity
f/s

Suggested load(s)

M41 .38

130

950±45

6.3 gr PowerPistol, 5.2 gr Unique or Universal

M882 9 mm

124

1230±50

6.4 gr Accurate #5, 8 gr BlueDot

M1911 .45ACP

230

820±25

5.2 Bullseye

M193 5.56 mm

55

3250±40

26 grs. of H335

M855 5.56 mm

62

3020±40

27 grs of 748 or BallC2

M80 7.62 mm

149

2750±20

42.5 IMR4895, 46 grs. 748 or Ball C2

M118 7.62 mm Special Ball

173

2550±30

43 grs. of RL15 or 748

M118 7.62 mm Special Ball LR (Sierra MK bullet)

175

2580±30

42.5 grs. of Varget,

M852 7.62 mm MATCH (Sierra MK bullet)

168

2550±30

41.5 IMR4895

M2 Cal .30

152

2740±30

48 grs. IMR4895

M72 Cal .30 MATCH

173

2640±30

46 grs. of RL15

M1 Cal .30 carbine

110

1900±30

14 gr 2400 or 14 gr H-110*

* Do not reduce H110 more than 3%

 

5.56mm Ammunition Ballistics Chart

Cartridge

Weight

Length

Propellant
Type

Propellant
Weight

Bullet
Weight

Chamber
Pressure

Velocity

5.56mm Ball, M193

182gr

2.26"

WC844 or CMR170

28.5 or 26.5gr

56gr

52,000psi

3250fps at 15' from muzzle

5.56mm Grenade, M195

126gr

1.9"

IMR4475

25gr

56gr

 

140-165fps at 66" from muzzle

5.56mm Tracer, M196

177gr

2.26"

WC844 or IMR8208M

28.5gr, 25.3gr or CMR170 26.5gr

54gr

52,000psi

3200fps at 15' from muzzle

5.56mm Ball, M855

190gr

2.26"

WC844

26.1gr

62gr

55,000psi

3025fps at 78' from muzzle

5.56mm Tracer, M856

191gr

2.26"

WC844

24.7gr

63.7gr

55,000psi

2870fps at 78' from muzzle

5.56mm Armor Piercing, M995

180gr

2.25"

WCR845

27.5gr

52gr

50,250psi

3324fps at 78' from muzzle

7.62mm Ammunition Ballistics Chart

Cartridge

Weight

Length

Propellant
Type

Propellant
Weight

Bullet
Weight

Chamber
Pressure

Velocity

7.62mm Ball, M59

393gr

2.8"

WC846

46gr

150.5gr

50,000psi

2750fps at 78' from muzzle

7.62mm Armor Piercing, M61

393gr

2.8"

IMR4475

41gr

150.5gr

50,000psi

2750fps at 78' from muzzle

7.62mm Tracer, M62

383gr

2.8"

WC846

46gr

142gr

50,000psi

2750fps at 78' from muzzle

7.62mm Grenade, M64

295gr

2"

WC8:30

45gr

142gr

50,000psi

160fps at 5' from muzzle

7.62mm Ball, Special, M118

390gr

2.83"

WC846 and IMR4895

44gr

172gr

50,000psi

2640fps at

7.62mm Dim Tracer, M276

381gr

2.8"

WC846

46gr

140-150gr

50,000psi

2750fps (CMRS), 2680fps (GM) at 78' from muzzle

7.62mm Armor Piercing, M993

362.6gr

2.8"

Bonfors NC1290

45gr

126.6gr

55,115psi

2985fps at 78' from muzzle

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I've been working on a duplicate m193 round for awhile now using accurate 2230. I got some federal xm193 and also some winchester 5.56 m193 spec ammo and chronographed it. WOOOO-WEEEEE, its some hot stuff. The winchester's avg speed for 5 shots was 3285, and the federal was right at 3260. This is about 5-6 feet from the muzzle.

The only way I can duplicate with accurate 2230/CCI 5.56 primers/fed brass is to go about a half grain over the max listed load. They list 25gr max on a 55gr bullet. With 25.2 grains I get somewhere around 3160fps out of a 20" barreled AR with a mil spec surplus upper. I've taken this load up to 25.5 grains in .1 grain increments and saw pressure signs in the brass at the 25.5gr level on a hot day. No blown primers or split brass, but it was pushing it.

 

I'm convinced the military crimps the primers for no other reason than they don't want them to blow out. M193 is loaded right at the limit, from what i've seen.

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Currently I reload 55gr Hornady SP and 75gr Hornady BTHP. I use Both rounds in my AR-15 with 1:7 Twist and my Savage 200 1:9 Twist. I played around with my press and found out that i was able to use both and only thing I had to change was the powder charge.

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I exactly duplicated the M262 load with TAC, but it is very hot and I changed to N540.

It was 26 grains of TAC driven by a Magnum Primer with the Nosler cannelured 77 grain bullet. This came out at over 2750 fps from a 16 inch barrel. I didn't have a problem with it but some of the primers were flattened.

To dup the M262 using available powder I use the much more expensive N540 and Varget.

That said I use more TAC than any other powder because there is no reason to load this hot for plinking, triggertime, drills, and even shtf with 62 grain bullets.

For TAC I suggest 25 grains with a normal primer driving 62 grain bullets. That will more than approximate M855 and be easy on your gun. I load 2 different 62 grainer bullets, pull down M855 and Golden West 62 grain with cannelure.

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There have been posts on Mk262 recipes before. I've posted the one I developed for my 18" SPR when I still had it.

NOTE: The following data exceeds SAAMI specifications and can be dangerous to use in certain rifles.

Sierra Match King 77gr BTHP
25.3gr Hodgdon Varget
LC Brass
Winchester SR Primer

Developed in a White Oak Armament 18" SPR configuration with a Wylde chamber.

Note: At the time, I was using Winchester SR primers. I would recommend Remington or CCI instead.

Any load that will give you Mk262 performance will exceed SAAMI specifications for .223. Thus, you're not going to find any published commercial data that will meet Mk262 velocities.

You shouldn't use anyone's Mk262 'recipe' straight up.

If you want to make your own Mk262 clone ammo, you NEED to get a chronograph and work up the load appropriately. Don't kid yourself thinking you can just use someone else's recipe or the commercial data and guestimate the proper load to meet a specific velocity. The Mk262 pressures/velocities are pretty hot and you're going to need to carefully find the right load for your specific rifle. And when you do find the correct load for your specific rifle, you need to reconfirm the load every time you go to a new lot # in bullets, powder, primers, or cases.

Also, that Nosler load quoted as mine was not confirmed to be 2650fps in an 18". That is my load I use in Service Rifle and it clocks 2740fps in a 20" Service Rifle barrel. I would estimate that it shoots 2650fps in an 18", but I have never clocked it in a 18" barrel.

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Ramshots 5.56 data for the 77gr bullets show (20" barrel)

Bullet weight: 77 grain HP.
Start load: 22.1 grains (2525 – 2625 Ft/p/sec)
Maximum load: 24.5 grains (2750 – 2850 Ft/p/sec). <62000 Psi

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A. The charts below explain the meanings of group placement.  The descriptions given are for right handed shooters.  For left handed shooters flip the drawings left to right.

Rifle Target Problems

Finger too deep on trigger.  Not pulling the trigger straight back.

Canting the rifle or not having front sight vertical in the same place shot to shot.

Bucking the rifle.  Pushing forward of the shoulder in anticipation of recoil.

Helping or "heeling" the rifle by  pushing forward slightly with the heel of the firing hand.

Focusing on the target and not the front sight.

Lose sling or support elbow sliding.

Erratic breathing technique or changing eye relief.

Tight group anywhere off the point of aim mean the shooter is making same error consistently or being out of natural position and muscling the rifle into the bullseye.

Not following through or anticipating the shot and/or recoil.

Jerking the trigger.

 

Pistol Target Problems

Finger too deep on trigger.

Riding the recoil. (starting the "recoil" before the pistol fires).

Breaking the wrist in anticipation of recoil or relaxing grip at the moment of firing.

Helping or "heeling" the pistol by  pushing forward slightly with the heel of the firing hand.

Thumbing.  Pressing the side of the pistol with the thumb at the instant of firing.

Tightening grip as the pistol is fired.

Jerking the trigger.

Focusing on target rather than front sight, inconsistent grip.

Q. Why does the caliber designation of many cartridges differ from the actual bullet diameter?

A. The difference comes from the fact that there are two diameters of interest in a barrel.  There is the bore diameter which is measured from the tops of the lands and there is groove diameter which is measures between the deepest part of the grooves.  Depending on the manufacturer's preference the cartridge may be named from either of these dimensions.  In some cases like the .460 Weatherby, which actually used .458" diameter bullets, the manufacturer my round up the number for advertising purposes.  The bullet dimension is based upon the groove measurement.  

In some cartridges (like the ".38 SPL") the designation may refer to an older design of the cartridge.  The common .38 Spl has a bore diameter of .346 and a groove diameter of  .357.  Its designation is based on the original .38 cartridge, the .38 Long Colt (Navy) which used an oversized outside lubricated bullet of about .378" diameter and a slightly larger bore than current cartridges.  And you wonder why the confusion?

The table below gives some common dimensions.

Cartridge

Bore Diameter
(in)

Bore Diameter
(mm)

Groove (Bullet) Diameter
(in)

Groove (Bullet) Diameter
(mm)

.223 Rem

.219

5.56

.224

5.68

.243 Win

.237

6.01

.243

6.17

.264 Win

.255

6.70

.264

6.70

.270 Win

.270

6.85

.277

7.03

7 mm Mag

.277

.703

.284

7.21

".30 Caliber" 

.300

7.62

.308

7.82

.32 Win

.315

8.00

.320

8.12

.338 Wim

.330

8.38

.338

8.58

9 mm

.346

8.78

.355

9.01

.38SPL/.357 Mag

.346

8.78

.357

9.06

.40 / 10 mm

.390

9.90

.400

10.16

.41 Mag

.399

10.13

.409

10.38

.44 Magnum

.417

10.59

.429 - .431

10.89 - 10.94

.45 Colt

.442

11.22

.450 - .454

11.43 - 11.53

Q. Is there issued US military shotgun ammunition?

A.  For the most part commercially produced and procured shotgun ammunition is issued.  There are, however, some type classified rounds issued.  The table below lists the one's I am aware of along with the commercial rounds currently listed in the system.

 

Designation

Identification

M19 

All brass case 00 buckshot

M162

Brass and plastic hi-base 00 buckshot

M257

Brass and plastic hi-base #4 buckshot

M274

Brass and plastic hi-base #4 shot

M1012(AA31)

Finned "less lethal" rubber slug. Clear plastic case marked "Rubber Fin Stabilized Non Lethal."

M1013

18 pellets "less lethal" rubber buck shot   Clear plastic case

AA29

Beanbag round.  Clear plastic case marked "Beanbag-Non Lethal"

AA30

Launcher cartridge.  Clear plastic case marked "Launching cartridge."

M1030

Breaching round.  1.4 oz sintered steel projectile.  Brass hi-base clear plastic case

MK246
Mod 0 (A024)

Breaching round.  Red all plastic cartridge 

M35

.410 21/2 inch commercial loading #6 shot

A023

Brass and plastic hi-base commercial 1 oz Slug

AO14

Brass and plastic low base commercial 71/2 shot

AO17

Brass and plastic low base commercial 9 shot

-

Dummy.  Clear plastic case with blackened hi-base metal.  Marked "Dummy." 

-

10 gauge commercial blank

Currently the US military is issuing Remington 870s, Mossberg 500 & 590s,  Winchester 1100/1200, and the new M1014 HK/Benelli semi-auto

HK/Benelli M1014

Weight:  8.42 lb
Length:  39.8"/34.9'
Barrel length:  18.5"
Sights:  Ghost rings and Stanag M1913 rail
Magazine Capacity (2 3/4"):  7 (plus 1 in chamber
                                              and 1 on the carrier)

Q. What is the difference between the "Picatinny" (M1913) mounting rail and the "Weaver" mounts?

A. The so called “Picatinny Rail” is a standardized mounting system for small arms accessories used by NATO and the US military. The term “Picatinny” comes from the Picatinny Arsenal located in New Jersey, who developed the official specification known as MIL-STD-1913 which specifies the dimensions and tolerances required.

The cross sectional profile of the  M1913 and Weaver systems are virtually identical.  

The main difference lies in the placement  and the width of the grooves. M1913 grooves are .206” (5.23 mm) wide and have a center-to-center distance of .394” (10 mm). The placement of these grooves has to be consistent in order for it to be a true “Picatinny” M1913 system. Weaver rails have .180” ( 4.57 mm) recoil grooves and are not necessarily consistent in a center-to-center measurement from one groove to the next.  Frequently, a Weaver system has a specific application that it is machined for, so interchangeability is not necessarily an issue. A MIL-STD-1913 system must adhere to the specifications listed  since the military needs uniformity to allow for different systems to be mounted on the weapon without compatibility concerns. 

Accessories designed for a Weaver system will, in most cases, fit on M1913 rails, but the recoil lug of Weaver type mounts may not fully engage the shoulder of the M1913 rail.  Properly spec'd M1913 accessories probably will not fit most Weaver rails.




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