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Archive for the ‘Ammo’ Category

AUSA 19 – RE Factor Tactical 40mm Grenade Pouch Update

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Quantico Tactical showed us the updated RE Factor Tactical 40mm Grenade Pouch. After an extensive evaluation by a military unit, they’ve arrived at the final form factor of this polymer pouch. These are 3D printed, but once available, they will be injection molded in Coyote color.

First off, they’ve made the top retaining tab, removable.

They’ve also slightly modified their PALS compatible attachment, which can also be used on belts.

Finally, multiple pouches can be mounted to this panel. Additionally, multiple panels can be connected and mounted in a vehicle.

AUSA 19 – Textron Systems Unveils Latest Next Generation Squad Weapon – Carbine Candidate

Monday, October 14th, 2019

At AUSA, Textron Systems showcased their Next Generation Squad Weapon candidates, along with a historical perspective of weapons developed as part of the Lightweight Small Arms Technology program, which started out life in 5.56mm and then transitioned to 6.5mm. NGSW requires a 6.8mm cartridge which performs similar to 270 WSM. The top left weapon is their belt-fed Automatic Rifle and top right is their Carbine.

Below is the latest version of the Carbine. The carbine in the middle of the photo above has been seen recently. It is a bid sample with a commercial battery pack.

Textron brings almost two decades of Case, Telescoped weapons and ammunition development. This 6.8mm polymer cased ammunition fully encapsulates the projectile into the case. Olin Winchester, who produces over 4 billion wounds of small arms ammunition a year, will manufacture the 6.8mm rounds of the solution is selected by the Army.

LMT developed the suppressor for these weapons which utilized their virtual baffle technology.

Textron reports they will be prepared to deliver test article prototypes this Spring for the Army’s final down select for NGSW.

WNDSN XPD – Grouping-to-MOA Converter

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

From shot groupings to MOA in one piece-of-string operation with the Wndsn Grouping-to-MOA Converter.

A tool for training and practice, the Wndsn Grouping-to-MOA Converter enables the user to take out the guess work of calculating shot grouping MOA, thereby eliminating mental calculation errors. The device is based on the same principle as other Wndsn instruments, a nomogram; a graphical calculator that requires two inputs (here the grouping in cm or inch and the range distance in m or yd) to compute the output, namely the grouping in MOA. It works by entering the shot grouping and the range distance and read the resulting MOA, all by aligning the provided string across the three scales.

The Grouping-to-MOA converter provides different range scales on the front and on the back of the device respectively; the front is suited from 0 to 100 yards and the back set of scales is suited for 100 to 600 yards (or meters, respectively).

The updated, redesigned version of our Grouping-to-MOA Converter model for 2019 features standardized scales, and higher precision in input and output. It comes with a printed manual with instructions in German & English.

Ongoing research and development of scale layouts allowed us to increase the precision by a factor of 10 in some areas of the logarithmic scale. In addition, the new version of the tool is laser-engraved in acrylic, and hence more robust than the former, printed model. Like all other Wndsn instruments, the Grouping-to-MOA converter is Made in Germany.

The Grouping-to-MOA converterl is available at:

Wndsn navigation tools are available at:

300 BLK Ammo Management Tip

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

John Hollister of SIG offered this tip to keep your 300 BLK ammo straight while at the range.

I get a fair amount of questions about ammunition management with 300 Blackout. One of the beauties of Blackout is the ability to use either Supersonic or Subsonic ammunition interchangeably. But how do you keep them straight?

I use two different looking and feeling magazines. I used to use both Aluminum and Polymer or 30s and 20s to segregate ammo types. Since Surefeed Magazines came out with the dimpled E2 magazines, I have gone to Supers in the E2 magazines and Subs in standard “GI” magazines, in this case a Brownells magazine. Both have Magpul followers and floor plates. You can see and feel the difference day or night. Shown is SIG 120gr SBR Supersonic all Copper and Discreet Ballistics 188gr Subsonic all Copper, both will fully expand in barrels down to a SIG Rattler length, 5.5” 1/5” twist. Another tip on magazines, when you clean you rifle, you should be completely cleaning your magazine.

Happy magazines make happy rifles.

Has The Army Already Made Their Next Generation Weapons Decision? Winchester Selected To Operate Lake City Army Ammunition Plant

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

Yesterday, the Department made this announcement:

Olin Winchester LLC, East Alton, Illinois, was awarded a $28,313,481 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for production of small caliber ammunition and the operation, maintenance, and modernization of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 27, 2029. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois is the contracting activity (W52P1J-19-F-0742).

Although it’s a very significant win for Olin Winchester, it has even larger implications for the Army’s future.

Lake City Army Ammunition Plant is a government owned, contractor operated facility. Most of the US military’s small arms ammo comes from that plant. It is currently run by Northrop Grumman, but that is all about to change.

Interestingly, Winchester is also teamed with AAI Textron on the US Army Next Generation Squad Weapons Program. For NGSW the Army seeks new ammunition, carbine, and automatic rifle to replace the current 5.56mm NATO M4A1 and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Although, at its very heart, NGSW is an ammunition development program. The ammunition will deliver the effects the Army is seeking as it retools to fight a near-peer competitor.

While one would argue that the government should have selected a cartridge and then challenged industry to build the best weapons to fire it, that’s not what they did. In NGSW, they gave industry a performance envelope and specified a caliber, offering 6.8mm projectiles to industry. Seeking performance similar to a .270 Win Short Mag, and instructing then to shed 20% weight over existing ammunition, they left the cartridge design to industry.

As the Army enters phase two of NGSW, they have down selected to three competing systems: AAI Corporation Textron Systems teamed with Olin Winchester for ammunition, General Dynamics OTS teamed with True Velocity for ammunition and SIG SAUER with their own ammunition solution. Of these, both Textron and GD’s solutions rely on polymer cases. Only SIG uses a metal case and it is a three-piece design combining steel and brass.

Here are the three competing ammunition offerings:

AAI Textron/Olin Winchester

General Dynamics OTS/True Velocity


Due to the costs associated with a wholesale change in both weapons and ammunition, the Army is understandably concerned with controlling costs by owning Intellectual Property associated with these designs. They are going to want as much of the data rights as possible transferred to them. Imagine the huge advantage Team AAI Textron will now have during final negotiations because their ammunition producer is running the factory it will be produced in.

One might argue that this contract award was made in a vacuum. After all, Program Executive Office Soldier owns the NGSW program and Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition owns Lake City. But thanks to the Army’s recent Futures Command reorganization, both PEOs have representatives on the Lethality Cross Functional Team and are fully aware of one another’s activities, combining efforts of many programs, with special emphasis on NGSW. Remember, it’s really an ammunition program.

What’s more, LCAAP is old. It requires constant upkeep and the transition to a new ammunition for NGSW will require an entire new wing of the plant to be manufactured. Estimates are rumored to be around three-quarters of a billion Dollars to accomplish these capital improvements. If you look at the award, Winchester will hold the contract for the next decade. The Army plans to start rolling out NGSW in 2022.

The implications are of the value of producing the ammunition are even larger, as both Air Force and Marine Corps have signed on to NGSW. Naturally, United States Special Operations Command is also monitoring the program. One would expect close allies to join the US, once systems are fielded and show promise. All told, they are going to purchase a lot of ammo over the life of this program.

To be sure, Winchester is a capable company, currently selected to produce the new 9mm ammunition for Modular Handgun System. their ability to produce quality, safe and accurate small arms ammunition is without doubt. What’s interesting is their teaming with AAI Textron on the Case, Telescoped round which is unlike any currently fielded small arms ammunition. Not only is the design significantly different, resembling a shotgun round loaded with a sabot, but it requires an entirely new weapon operating system, with a rotating breech and the ammunition, both projectile and cartridge moving forward through the works, akin to an assembly line. Once again, they will have a serious leg up, knowing how to produce this unique cartridge and running the plant it will be built in, if CT ammunition is selected, of course.

After all, munitions are the gift that keeps on giving. An army will only buy so many weapons, but the munitions it fires are expendable. They’ve got to constantly be purchased. So is this contract award an indication of the shape of things to come, in the form of Case, Telescoped? Or, is it a guarantee that Winchester comes home a winner on NGSW, no matter which ammunition type is selected by the Army?

NGSW is an ammunition program, with weapons thrown in because something has to shoot it. The Army has already decided who will make that ammo. Now, they’ve got to decide what it will look like.

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute Publishes Accepted 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch Cartridge and Chamber Designs

Friday, September 13th, 2019

ANOKA, Minnesota – September 11, 2019 – Federal recently presented its 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch Smooth Bore Barrel cartridge and chamber designs to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) to be voted on for standardization. The specifications were approved and accepted as an official new cartridge recognized by the organization. Technical data and drawings of the newly accepted 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch SAAMI Standards are now published and available to the industry as a whole, as well as to the public.

“This is big news for our new Shorty Shotshell ammunition,” said Federal’s Shotshell Product Director Rick Stoeckel. “The 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch cartridge has been around for more than a decade, but it was never brought to SAAMI to be considered by its Technical Committee. Once we decided to start manufacturing this load, we immediately submitted it to SAAMI for industry standardization. We’re excited about this approval and we deeply appreciate SAAMI’s support.”

Federal’s new Shorty Shotshells deliver similar full-sized performance without the length of standard shells. Although just 1 ¾-inch long, new Shorty shotshells offer similar patterns, energy and accuracy as full-size counterparts. Now available in 8 shot, 4 buck and rifled slug loads perfect for fun at the range.

“SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing it within the industry,” continued Stoeckel. “Their work creates industry standards for the cartridge, and will hopefully inspire shotgun manufacturers to purposely build pump-action and semi-auto shotguns to specifically run 1 ¾-inch loads.”

SAAMI allows free access to technical data and drawings for accepted cartridge and chamber designs. These are posted within New SAAMI Cartridge & Chamber Designs under their Technical Information section, found at A direct link to the 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch Smooth Bore Barrel Cartridge .PDF document can be viewed here:

SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government and tasked with creating and publishing industry standards for safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality, as well as coordinating technical data. SAAMI’s Technical Committee, which consists of firearm and ammunition industry experts, reviewed the 1 ¾-inch, 12-gauge cartridge submission over a period of several months. The official cartridge name, maximum cartridge and minimum chamber dimensions, pressure limits, test equipment, and other characteristics are all considered and scrutinized during the process. 

For more information on Federal ammunition, visit

DSEI 19 – FN Herstal Introduces New Small Caliber Cartridges

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

FN Herstal has released the following information regarding their new small arms cartridges:


5.56x45mm SS109 ammunition was originally designed by FN Herstal and adopted by NATO as the second official caliber in 1980. FN Herstal has now engineered the new FN PERMAX™ Enhanced Performance Round (EPR) 5.56x45mm cartridge so as to deliver superior performance in urban combat by passing through barriers such as windscreens, automobile bodywork, glazing or masonry to reach a protected target.

The new FN PERMAX™ 5.56 has excellent mass retention behind barriers, maintaining greater incapacitating effect.

Composed of a hardened steel penetrator and a brass body, the FN® PERMAX 5.56 has been developed to meet and anticipate further environmental European and international legislations requiring use of lead-free ammunition.


The new FN PROPASS™ Armor Piercing (AP) 5.56x45mm cartridge is a further addition to the FN® range of ammunition, and is ideally suited when the mission requires defeating hard targets using 5.56 caliber. Featuring a tungsten carbide core, the projectile perforates armored targets or level IV ballistic protection composed of metal or ceramic inserts.

Both FN PERMAX™ 5.56 and FN PROPASS™ 5.56 cartridges are compliant with NATO standards – therefore, compatible with all weapons chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. These two newly-developed cartridges are qualified on FN Herstal weapons such as carbines and assault rifles (FN SCAR®-SC or FN SCAR®-L), and light machine guns (FN MINIMI® 5.56).


In the .50 cal ammunition line, FN Herstal has designed a reduced range cartridge that features a shorter travel distance limited to 3,500m.

Highly reliable without requiring re-zeroing or converted weapons, the FN ARIA™ .50 RR cartridge is dedicated to safe and effective training with .50 cal weapons on shooting ranges that are limited to the use of 7.62mm weapons. With a tracer version also available, the FN ARIA™ cartridge can be provided on belts (4 FN ARIA™ .50 RR + 1 FN ARIA™-T .50 RR-T) for realistic training.

The FN ARIA™ .50 RR cartridges are compatible with all weapons chambered in 12.7x99mm NATO cal (.50 cal), and are qualified on the FN® M2HB-QCB and the FN® M3 machine guns.

Alongside these new developments, FN Herstal proposes an extensive range of .50 cal rounds, including the multipurpose APEI (Armor Piercing Explosive Incendiary).

US Army Selects True Velocity Composite-Cased Ammunition For Next Generation Squad Weapon

Friday, September 6th, 2019

GARLAND, TX – True Velocity composite-cased ammunition has been selected for the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) modernization program. True Velocity’s 6.8mm composite-cased cartridge was submitted as part of an overall NGSW weapon system in partnership with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and firearm manufacturer Beretta Defense Technologies.

True Velocity’s proprietary 6.8mm case design will provide end users with significant logistical and operational advantages over traditional brass-cased ammunition, including substantially increased effective range and muzzle energy, drastic reduction in cartridge weight and enhanced accuracy. The combination of True Velocity’s ammunition with the General Dynamics OTS weapon submission results in a state-of-the-art weapon system capable of long-range lethality, short recoil impulse, significant ballistic improvements and enhanced operational effectiveness for the soldier.

“True Velocity’s 6.8mm composite case design produces a level of performance, consistency and efficiency never before seen in small arms ammunition,” said Chris Tedford, president and chief operating officer for True Velocity. “Combining True Velocity’s innovation and technology with the expertise of General Dynamics OTS and Beretta results in a weapon system solution that exceeds NGSW requirements and provides the U.S. Army with a definitive edge on the field of battle.”