In 1960 the Ordnance Technical Committee (OTCM) designated a new 7.62MM Match cartridge, the XM118. Adopted as the M118 in 1965, the cartridge would be the match standard until 1981 when it was replaced by the XM852.
The M118 was a very good competition cartridge but there was no way to stop shooters from trying to make it even better. Any changes to the cartridge were forbidden by the rules for the Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) matches, but when used in other matches, modifications were permitted. Replacing the regulation 173 grain M1 Type bullet with commercial match bullets was the most common alteration and was practiced by civilians, service teams, marksmanship units, and the Army itself. Since the rifles used in the matches were primarily the M14 and M1A, cartridge overall length had to be such as to allow feeding from the M14 magazine. For that reason, the cartridges are all very similar in appearance and identifying them can be difficult, even for the advanced collector. The bullets, however, are quite different. Shown below are 10 that I have identified so far.