7.62mm Carton, XM852 Bullet Tests

Here’s a carton that you won’t see everyday. Probably never, in fact.

From the 1980 7.62mm Match Cartridge Accuracy Improvement Program, this PXR-6310, Lot LC-80J300S121 carton contains test cartridges loaded with the Nosler 168 grain HP Match bullet. Three other bullets were tested, the Sierra 168 grain MatchKing, the Lapua 170 grain D46, and the Hornady 168 grain BTHP NM. The Sierra was selected for the new Match Cartridge, designated the XM852, first loaded in 1981.


What a wonderfull box Ray!! Any idea how many test cartridges were produced per lot ?



The Sierra bullet was loaded for preliminary evaluation in one lot of 13,800 rounds. This was followed by a 200,000 round Sierra lot that was issued at the 1980 National Matches. Following that, 11,040 rounds of each bullet type were loaded and distributed to 4 different test facilities (2760 rounds each). So, cartons of the Sierra lot issued at the National Matches are easy to find while the other 5 are very uncommon. I have yet to see any cartons of the Hornady lot (PXR-6309).

There was also a control lot of M118 that was loaded and sent to the testing facilities but I have no idea of its size. I have one sealed carton of it in my collection.



Fascinating find there! Amazing that any full boxes survived at all with the very small number distributed to any one facility for testing.

Are the Lapua and Sierra “PXR” numbers right in that same series (ex.: PXR-6308 or PXR-6311) and did all three releases of the Sierras have the same “PXR” number? I’m just wondering, if one were lucky enough to come across any of these how to tell from a sealed box what bullet they have and, if the Sierra lots all had the same PXR, if the lot numbers are how one would tell if they were from the smaller preliminary evaluation and test lots, or those issued for the National Matches.

Thanks as always for sharing info on your really interesting acquisitions!


Here they are:

PXR-6308 = Sierra, lots LC-80C300S090, LC-80F300S111, and LC-80J300S119
PXR-6309 = Hornady, lot LC-80J300S120
PXR-6310 = Nosler, lot LC-80J300S121
PXR-6311 = Lapua, lot LC-80J300S122

All are headstamped LC 80 SP and have a case cannelure 1/2" from the base.

Control lot of M118 is LC 79K130-007, headstamped LC 79 MATCH

Good luck. If you find any Hornady, save a carton for me.



Great info! Thank you very much.


Here is an example of PXR-6311 lot LC-80J300S122 that used the Lapua D46 bullet.

Like Ray, I’ve not seen the Hornady carton.


This box matches the PXR & Lot number for the Serra bullet, but doesn’t have the “SPECIAL MATCH” line. Contents are fired cases " LC 80 (over) SP".

Other than the lot number the box is undated. Pretty sure these were the issue box, having the 1980 NM line.

Perhaps of interest or help?

Edited once to ask if this was the 1980 NM issue then it seems to conflict with Ray’s above statement about 1st loaded in 1981? HELP !


That is one of the cartons from the 200,000 round lot loaded for the 1980 National Matches. Part of the Match Cartridge Accuracy Improvement Program. These cartons are fairly common. Well, at least they are not especially hard to find. ;)

What I said was that the XM852 was first loaded in 1981. Lot number was LC-81E300S152. Headstamp was LC 81 NM. Note that it has the same Interfix number (300) as the PXR lots, and has an “S” designator indicating the rounds were loaded for a specific purpose. Most likely pre-production. The first of the production XM852 was Lot LC-82F180-001, I believe. Another more common carton.

Some of this actually makes sense to me - sometimes.