7.62mm FA 61 MATCH, Modified


#1

The turned down section of the hollow point projectile is .307" dia. and total weight is 391.6 gr. with 2.814" OAL.

NATODave indicated this is a “Gatter” bullet. Any more info on this variation out there?

Thanks,
Dave


#2

Dave; Yes, some information taken from HWS Vol. III, Chapter 6, Cal. .30 Light Rifle and 7.62mm NATO Ammunition:

Page 184 (Match and National Match Section): "The Ordnance Technical Committee on January 21, 1960, assigned the designation XM118 to a 7.62mm match cartridge which was actually the T275E4 International Match round loaded to a higher velocity of 2,700 fps. The Cal. .30 M72 match bullet, special case, and FA No. 26 primer were the same as used for the International Match round, but the propellant was HPC-6 or IMR 4895. The XM118 cartridge was shown on Frankford Arsenal drawing C8597555 dated May 27, 1960, (Fig. 231). Production of the XM118 started in December 1960 at Frankford Arsenal with Lot FA 1, headstamped FA 61 MATCH with brass primer and black sealant.

[Fig. 231 shows the XM118 Match cartridge, but without the Gatter bullet.]

During April 1961, Frankford Arsenal loaded a special 50,000-round match lot for testing the M14 National Match rifles at Springfield Armory. This lot was loaded to a velocity of 2,550 fps using HPC-6 propellant, and to an overall length of 2.63 in. to allow loading in the M14 rifle magazine. It is not clear if this lot was designated XM118 or T275E4, since records give conflicting information (Tech. Rept. ARSCD-TR-81018 Jul 61).

Shortly after start of XM118 production, the velocity was reduced from 2,700 to 2,640 fps, and in August 1962, this was changed to 2,550 fps using IMR 4895 propellant. During this same period, HPC-6 was replaced by WC 846 propellant because the former gave erratic pressures at cold temperatures. In 1961, Frankford Arsenal loaded one small lot of 10,000 rounds designated XM118 (Modified). This was Lot FA P7.62-337 using cases with FA 58 MATCH headstamps and open-point, 172-gr. boattail bullets. It is possible this was the “Gatter” bullet described in the International Match section."

Page 189 (International Match Section): “1961. Frankford Arsenal loaded the FAT 141 International Match cartridge this year with a GM-jacketed open-point boattail bullet weighing 171.5 grs. The bullet had a machined band about 0.15 in. wide above the case mouth. Cartridge overall length was 2.750 in. This bullet was called the “Gatter” for the Arsenal engineer (E.R. Gatter) who designed it. The bullet was loaded into cases headstamped FA 61 MATCH with brass primers and black sealant. Remington also provided their 168-gr. H.P. (Hollow Point) match loading this year for International Match use. Lots RA 5016 through 5019 were provided to the Army Rifle Team at Fort Benning.”

Chapter 6 has 96 pages; 149 figures showing 192 different cartridges, cases, bullets, and headstamps; 41 box labels, including what I think must be the scarcest-ever NATO label, unused, for a 20-round box of special NATO Ball ammunition for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Ordnance presentation M14 rifle. The 600-round lot had reduced velocity (2,280 fps) to lighten the recoil on the old soldier’s shoulder. I like this label so much I am including it on the book’s back dustcover in color, in addition to it being in the chapter in B&W.


#3

Mel,

Thank you very much for posting that information. Can’t wait for HWS III!

Dave


#4

Thanks again Mel.

A few minor details of the early MATCH M118 cartridges that I’ve documented from specimins in my collection.

The M118 was not loaded with FA 26 (corrosive) primers. The OTCM specification was changed sometime before the start of production in late 1960. The primer used was the FA 36 (non-corrosive).

Powder used in the 1961 production was IMR 4895. 1962 - 1963 production, through Lot FA 11, used WC 846. FA production then used IMR 4895 until the end of production in 1965, except for one lot in 1963 that was loaded with WC 846.

The 1962 production had a non-typical headstamp of FA (*) 62. It is easy to miss these cartridges because of the headstamp.

I can’t say if the “Ike” label is really that rare. I know that I have one that is still uncut and I’d be thrilled to learn that it is.