.60 cal (15,2x114) APDS?

Got this .60 cal (15,2x114) APDS ? this week.
Does anyone have some more info on this projectile ? (not sure if the 1944 dated case is correct with the projectile)

The sabot part is some kind of hard rubber/composite material, and the penetrator is made from a magnet attractive alloy.
Took me some work to remove the core (an improvised version of a inertia-puller did the trick) so i could take the measurements. (see picures).

I can’t find any info on this particular projectile (not even in the “History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition” books), and the search function learns me that the ‘.60’ search parameter is not good enough for a site search.


FWIW, I checked in Record of Army Ordnance Research and Development, Volume 2, Small Arms and Small Arms Ammunition, Book 2, Small Arms Ammunition, Office of The Chief of Ordnance, Washington, D.C.; 1946, the chapter on .60 Cal. MG ammunition research and development contained no information on sabotted or subcaliber ammunition. But since the chapter covers R & D of ammunition for use in aircraft mounted guns, one could assume the development/use of sabotted AP projectiles was for some project other than aircraft use. Also .60 Cal. ammunition R&D continued for some time after WW2 so it could possibly be from a post war project.


The cal .60 cartridge was first developed for use in an early-1940s anti-tank rifle. The rifle was never adopted, but the cartridge was subsequently picked up for various aircraft gun projects.

Having said that, I would have thought that the rifle would have been long forgotten before anyone started playing with APDS in such a small calibre.

Another FWIW, there is a 1943 report Development of Subcaliber Projectiles for the Hispano-Suiza Gun, DTIC file ADA800215. The report describes a number of different sabots and subcaliber projectiles being tested with the 20mm Hispano-Suiza. Some of the subcaliber projectiles (CW1a & CW1e, shown below; 11mm/ .433 inch, tungsten alloy) were tested in quantity and are similar in shape to the .40 cal. subcaliber projectile shown above in the .60 Cal. APDS projectile.

20mm sabot (aluminum base, copper driving band, plastic walls) with 11mm (.433 inch) tungsten alloy subcaliber projectile

So was there a similar project involving the .60 Cal.?


I just took a look at HWS Vol. III, Chapter 9, Cal. .60 and there is nothing on this strange projectile.

After I posted the reply above, I got a note from Frank Hackley reminding me that in HWS Vol. III, Chapter 9, Cal. .60, there is a brief mention (text only, no figure) that the Ballistic Research Laboratories (BRL) did some tests using the Cal. .60 case. Examples include electrically-primed cases assembled with clear plastic sabots holding various steel sub-projectiles. In addition, Watertown and Watervliet Arsenals also used the Cal. .60 case for testing experimental projectiles against armor plate. A number of handloaded examples exist using different sabots and projectiles.

Frank also mentioned that the Cal. .60 case was a popular research tool during the postwar period because of its large powder space. Earlier cases were often used and reloaded many times, so a WWII headstamp on a loaded round does not always mean the round was loaded during WWII, especially experimentals.

Thanks Mel !

I know there is at least one exact same round in a friends collection (still live), so i was almost sure it was a ‘real’ projectile.
(not sure if the case of my round belongs with this projectile, as it is a fired case)

There were indeed a lot of experiments during and post-war, so i guess this projectile is one of those…

Hopefully one day we’ll find some notes on them.


Just received an email with a plausible explanation regarding this projectile from a friend/collector:

[quote].60/.40 discarding carrier Projectile for Penetration testing
These projectiles were used by the Watertown arsenal while conducting armor penetration tests
The projectile is a special hardened rubber sabot with tungsten carbide penetrator.
The cores were cal. .40 scale models of the ogival-nosed 90mm HVAP M304 core.[/quote]

While searching the internet continuing on this info, I found publication “AD389304 - tank automotive test results” that has following paragraphs:

[quote]IDENTIFICATION: Report No. WAL 762/231-8;
Project No. TA1-5002
DATE OF REPORT: 15 December 1953
ORIGIN: Watertown Arsenal, Mass.
PURPOSE: To compare the armor penetration performance of two truncated conical-nosed and one oglval-nosed tungsten carbide cores
METHOD: The test ammunition cores were weighed and ballistically tested against 0.50, 0.77, and 1.CO-inch rolled homogeneous armor at obliquities ranging from 0° to 60°. A protection ballistic limit was obtained for each attack condition. All fragments larger than 1/20 inch in maximiün dimension were recovered, and particular emphasis was placed on identification of nose- and base fragments. Ballistic limits were recorded for each test condition and plotted as functions of plate thickness and obliquity. Perforation energies were recorded for each ballistic limit in order that a direct comparison could be made with any cal. .40 tungsten carbide core
DESCRIPTION: The test material consisted of three types of cal. .40 tungsten carbide cores manufactured by the Carboloy Company.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the performance of scale model plastic sabot projectiles fired in a cal. .60 test barrel
DESCRIPTION: The majority of test projectiles were scale model 90mm AP shot, cal. .400-inch.
Miscellaneous rounds included scale model rocke assist projectiles and cal. .45 ball ammunition.
All of the projectiles were mounted in carriers .608-inch in diameter.
The carrier material used was “Incite” except for certain rounds which were made of various plastic materials supplied by the Naval Research Laboratory.[/quote]

So i guess we could assume it was a saboted projectile designed for armor plate testing.

Wow, my old English teacher would give “extra credit” for proper use of that word in a sentence. As we used to say, “Now there’s a word you don’t hear in the Bomb Dump too often!”