Procurement: Millions for Armor Piercing Bullets


November 3, 2005: The United States Army is spending $8.8 million to buy 5.56mm and 7.62mm armored piercing ammunition from a Swedish firm (Nordic Ammunition Company) that specializes in the stuff. The ammunition for this order will be produced in a Bedford, Pennsylvania plant. The M993 (5.56mm) and M995 (7.62mm) rounds were developed in the early 1990s, to give troops a better capability against light armored vehicles. The 5.56mm round can penetrate half an inch (12mm) of armor at a hundred meters. The 7.62mm round can go through 15mm at 300 meters. These rounds will be useful for counter-terrorism efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, where approaching car bombers are often driven by men wearing bullet proof vests. The armor piercing bullets do a better job of disabling rapidly approaching vehicles as well. These munitions are also useful for some types of raids, where you will be shooting through doors and walls. Both calibers of rounds are normally used in machine-guns, although the 7.62mm round is also sometimes used by snipers (to disable a vehicle at long range).


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