7.62mm NATO M118 LR Cartons

It’s time, once again, for my annual plea (begging) for cartons of 7.62mm NATO M118 LR, pre-2001. I will pay a premium for any carton (full, empty, or partial), and also loose cartridges with an “LR” headstamp.

The photo below shows both early (top & middle) and late (bottom) cartons. There may be other label designs so if you think you have one, don’t hesitate to contact me. TIA

Ray

Ray,

Any chance of you providing some background information on each of the 3 cartons in your picture?

Thanks,

Brian

Brevity is not one of my strong suits, but I’ll try.

When the 7.62mm Match M118 was replaced by the Match M852 in 1981, the tactical long range cartridge became the M118 SB (Special Ball). It used the same 173 grain M1 Type bullet as the Match M118 at a slightly higher velocity, in the standard M80 case with a crimped primer and WC spherical powder. It was no secret that the USMC was never satisfied with the M118 SB and several of its MTUs (Marksmanship Training Units) and WTBns (Weapons Training Battalions) handloaded their own long range cartridges such as the G4. Disappointed with the Army’s slow process in developing a replacement for the M118 SB, they did an end run using USN SO funding to develop an extended range cartridge in 1994-95 that used the new Sierra 175 grain SMK bullet. The first lots were loaded very hot (2750+ fps) intended only for bolt rifles. For various reasons the cartridge was eventually downloaded to approximately 2575 fps, standardized as the M118 LR, placed into production and is still being loaded today.

The first two cartons are some of the early (1994 and 1995) developmental cartridges as loaded by LC for the USMC. Note the “MARINE” on the first label and the USMC Globe and Anchor on the second. The third carton is LC regular production from 1998. I’m trying to find cartons from each year, to document the changes that were made.

Ray,

Thanks very much for the very informative information!

Brian