.50 BMG MK323 Mod 0


#1

I picked up a reference a short while ago to the MK323 MOD 0, a .50 BMG with a clear polymer case which is being used (apparently successfully) in the M2HB.

Does anyone know more about this ammo or its use?


#2

[quote=“TonyWilliams”]I picked up a reference a short while ago to the MK323 MOD 0, a .50 BMG with a clear polymer case which is being used (apparently successfully) in the M2HB.

Does anyone know more about this ammo or its use?[/quote]
I found it :
http://kitup.military.com/2011/09/crane-using-lightweight-50-cal-ammo.html

Michel


#3

Must be a good idea, as it is already “type classified” apparently. My question is, other than the Barrett/M107 system, is there a tactical use for the .50 cartridge where weight is a big issue? I’m a long ways past my “tactical” days, but I think that today the M2 HMG is rarely employed other than in air, sea and ground vehicles. I’m guessing that in the “man-portable” sniper systems, the weight savings be any advantage, but any other use?


#4

Weight savings for aircraft use is always a huge issue so there is a use there.


#5

[quote=“Maverick1112003”]I found it :
http://kitup.military.com/2011/09/crane-using-lightweight-50-cal-ammo.html[/quote]
Thanks for that, Michel. It’s been kept surprisingly quiet - I would have expected an NDIA presentation on it by now.

It is particularly interesting because the M2 fires from a closed bolt, which means that unfired rounds are left in a hot chamber after a burst of firing. If the polymer can withstand such heat, there seems good reason to adopt it more widely, e.g for 7.62x51 ammo.

I posted this response on the kitup site:

Just a comment on the weight reduction: “up to 40% more ammo” is not the same as a 40% weight reduction.

The math works like this: one .50 cal round weighs c.115 grams. 100 therefore equals 11,500 grams. If you are carrying 40% more ammo for the same weight, that means that 140 rounds also equal 11,500 grams - so one round equals 82 grams. 82 g compared with 115 g is a reduction of 29%.

In fact in an MG the reduction would be less than this because the weight of the belt links needs to be added in. Unless they are making these lighter too, they will continue to weigh 17.5 grams each. So each round of belted ammo will weigh 99.5 g compared with 132.5 g at present - a weight reduction of 25%. Still very much worth having, provided there are no disadvantages.


#6

The US Army is testing the XM806 .50 cal MG, which is a lightweight gun intended for man-packing. I’ve never seen the point of this given that the ammo is too heavy for much of it to be man-packed, but lighter ammo would make it more sensible. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM806


#7

Tony, I have been lucky to acquire a small lot of these rounds, I will have them at SLICS in 2017, If someone just has to have one before then, contact me quick, as I go to Florida for the winter in 2 weeks.

Fred


#8

Tony-
There’ve been 2 NDIA presentaions that I know of, going back at least 2 years.

What everyone is missing here is the reason for the light weight. Has nothing to do with shooting the round. It’s all about reducing weight for transport. Lighter ammo means less cost to ship and, as the US found with Afghanistan, having a defense strategy that depends on resupply from sea doesn’t work very well when fighting in a land-locked nation. So when you have to sling load all your supplies, especially ammo, over some very tall mountains hundreds of miles from the nearest coastline, ammo transport costs in fuel become a concern.

Same issue of transport weight is driving he US DoD to look into repackaging of ammo. No more wooden crates. Ammo cans shrinkwrapped onto pallets or just putting the ammo in thick cardboard boxes, aka S. African ammo.


#9

We had this subject before but with a different approach it seems:


#10

What everyone is missing here is the reason for the light weight. Has nothing to do with shooting the round. It’s all about reducing weight for transport.

Yes, there was a presentation about this by Nammo at NDIA, looking at all of the various ways of reducing transport weight for the .50 cal, of which the part-polymer case was just one element.

The cartridge case saves rather less than previously advertised. I now have an MK323 (thanks Lew!) and it weighs in at 94.5 g compared with 114 g for my standard M33 ball, which uses the same bullet; that’s just under 20g saving, or a reduction of 17%.


#11

I bought a couple recently, and have an old experimental made from LC brass. Different lengths brass on all three. Mk323 in middle is longest.



#12

This was published Monday