7mm Federal Sniper Cartridge, SOF


#1

7mm Remington Magnum, Federal “Sniper ?” Cartridge

(We thank John Moss, who identified the head stamp and the history of this cartridge.)
Federal Cartridge Company produced this cartridge in 1980 solely for the United States Secret Service.
The head stamp “FCOTB 80” stands for “Federal Cartridge Officer Training Beltsville, Maryland” and the 80 stands for 1980.
There is no caliber identification on the box or cartridge head stamp, as is
normal for most SOF (Special Operation Forces).
The caliber of this cartridge is 7mm Remington Magnum: please note, in the photo above right (left cartridge is the Federal with the 168 grain hollow point projectile: right cartridge is a Remington 7mm Magnum).
This cartridge was produced for a very limited time as it was replaced with the 300 Winchester Magnum.
I thank John Moss again for sharing the information. Passing on information
is the best way to keep this hobby alive.
Thank you,
Dave Call
A Call to Arms, LLC
www.ammo-one.com
,
“He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.” (Ben Franklin)
Better to be judged by 12, than carried by 6 ;-)


#2

Good post!
Is it a “military” 7mm Rem.Mag?
Have i underestad it correctly?
Thanks
Martin


#3

Martin - I think in this context it would be better to call it a “law enforcement cartridge” than a military cartridge. LE ammunition in America, often when made solely for law enforcement agencies, have quasi-military headstamp-styles. I know many cartridge collectors that don’t collect “commercial” ammunition, only military, but do include law enforcement ammunition made specifically and solely for that purpose in their “military” collections. Were I collecting military ammo only, I would do exactly the same thing.
After all, even in democracies, police are generally sturctured much like the military, and could really be called para-military organizations, or at least in my opinion they could.


#4

Thanks John.
Martin


#5

[quote=“A Call to Arms”]7mm Federal Sniper,

(We thank John and Martin, who identified the head stamp and the history of this cartridge.)
Federal Cartridge Company produced this cartridge in 1980 solely for the United States Secret Service.
The head stamp “FCOTB 80” stands for “Federal Cartridge Officer Training Beltsville, Maryland” and the 80 stands for 1980.
There is no caliber identification on the box or cartridge head stamp, as is
normal for most SOF (Special Operation Forces).
The caliber of this cartridge is 7mm Remington Magnum: please note, in the photo above right (left cartridge is the Federal with the 168 grain hollow point projectile: right cartridge is a Remington 7mm Magnum).
This cartridge was produced for a very limited time as it was replaced with the 300 Winchester Magnum.
Thank you,
Dave Call
A Call to Arms, LLC
www.ammo-one.com
,
“He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.” (Ben Franklin)
Better to be judged by 12, than carried by 6 ;-)

[/quote]


#6

The name “7mm Federal Sniper” sounds misleading if this cartridge is simply a 7mm Rem Mag loaded with a match bullet. Is there some official documentation that actually refers to this load by name as the “7mm Federal Sniper”? I’m also confused by the term “Officer Training” in the headstamp translation. Was this an attempt to disguise the fact that it was intended for use by Secret Service agent snipers?

AKMS


#7

[quote=“AKMS”]The name “7mm Federal Sniper” sounds misleading if this cartridge is simply a 7mm Rem Mag loaded with a match bullet. Is there some official documentation that actually refers to this load by name as the “7mm Federal Sniper”? I’m also confused by the term “Officer Training” in the headstamp translation. Was this an attempt to disguise the fact that it was intended for use by Secret Service agent snipers?

AKMS[/quote]

Misleading ? Well I don’t think it is a handgun cartridge :-) (small joke) and it is to large a cartridge for an AR-15 / M-16 rifle assault rifle, so I think it is petty clear it was used in a bolt action rifle, and not for deer hunting (another small joke) as the statement said Federal Cartridge “Officer Training Beltsville”, in Maryland and Federal would have put the caliber on the box if they intended it for commercial use. Also a 7mm Remington Magnum has a veclocity of 2,950 feet per second with a 168 Grain H.P.( that’s Hollow Point for those that don’t know it) would have well over 3,000 foot pounds of energy, more then enough for a good “SNIPER” cartridge in 1980. No, I don’t see the term “Sniper” misleading in the statement, but you are entitled to your opinion, feel free to do all the time in researching it, if you think differently. Look forward to any other ideas, or facts.


#8

The interpretation of the headstamp came to me from a pretty good source. If someone else has another interpretation, especially from a primary source (Federal or the using Agency), please post it. I believe “Officer Training” refers not to the cartridge but to the facility at Beltsville, which I was told has a Secret Service training facility. Admittedly, it was a matter of casual interest for me since I do not collect rifle ammunition generally; I simply accumulate what I call “Special Headstamp” ammunition - that is, ammunition made to commemorate, celebrate, for a specific person with their name on the headstamp, or for a specific Agency. Otherwise, I would not have bothered to acquire a round of this years ago, or have made any inquiry about its headstamp. Not having a really good Atlas, I can’t even tell you for sure that there is such a place as Beltsville, Maryland.

Aside from my original source, identified in the late 1980s for me, the cartridge’s headstamp is shown under the same identification in “Culots de Munition Atlas, Tome 1, Caracteres Alphabetiques Latins,” by Serge Jorion and Dr. Philippe Regenstreif. , although they attribute the use to simply the the Treasury Department training center at Beltsville, MD. They do not mention the Secret Service specifically.

I am the one who identified this headstamp for Dave, so if someone can show it is not correct, I am the culprit, not he.

Regarding the name used in the thread title, I have no opinion. The name given on this thread, it seems to me, is simply a descriptive title for the specific cartridge and its use, not any attempt to forward it as, or create an “official name.” I would have added the word “Magnum” to the term “7mm Federal Sniper,” but that is a small point, especially since the cartridge is fully identified as being a “7mm Remington Magnum” cartridge in the text of the original posting.

Does anyone have any information on the rifle used with this cartridge? I know this is a “cartridge” Forum, but you cannot divorce ammunition for the weapons that fire it, in my opinion.


#9

[quote=“JohnMoss”]The interpretation of the headstamp came to me from a pretty good source. If someone else has another interpretation, especially from a primary source (Federal or the using Agency), please post it. I believe “Officer Training” refers not to the cartridge but to the facility at Beltsville, which I was told has a Secret Service training facility. Admittedly, it was a matter of casual interest for me since I do not collect rifle ammunition generally; I simply accumulate what I call “Special Headstamp” ammunition - that is, ammunition made to commemorate, celebrate, for a specific person with their name on the headstamp, or for a specific Agency. Otherwise, I would not have bothered to acquire a round of this years ago, or have made any inquiry about its headstamp. Not having a really good Atlas, I can’t even tell you for sure that there is such a place as Beltsville, Maryland.

Aside from my original source, identified in the late 1980s for me, the cartridge’s headstamp is shown under the same identification in “Culots de Munition Atlas, Tome 1, Caracteres Alphabetiques Latins,” by Serge Jorion and Dr. Philippe Regenstreif. , although they attribute the use to simply the the Treasury Department training center at Beltsville, MD. They do not mention the Secret Service specifically.

I am the one who identified this headstamp for Dave, so if someone can show it is not correct, I am the culprit, not he.

Regarding the name used in the thread title, I have no opinion. The name given on this thread, it seems to me, is simply a descriptive title for the specific cartridge and its use, not any attempt to forward it as, or create an “official name.” I would have added the word “Magnum” to the term “7mm Federal Sniper,” but that is a small point, especially since the cartridge is fully identified as being a “7mm Remington Magnum” cartridge in the text of the original posting.

Does anyone have any information on the rifle used with this cartridge? I know this is a “cartridge” Forum, but you cannot divorce ammunition for the weapons that fire it, in my opinion.[/quote]

John, my best guess, and it would be guess, is the Model 700 Remington Bolt-Action (if available in 1980?) with a heavy bull barrel or Winchester Model 70 ? bolt-action. Again only a guess, I am not an “expert”, just a guy that likes the hobby. I’ll add the term Magnum and “?” after Sniper. Got to love it, whatever it is? It is an interesting Head Stamp, and a good long distance caliber. Best, Dave


#10

Dave, John, AKMS

There is no doubt in my military mind that the cartridge is a specially loaded “sniper” or SWAT round. Whether it’s for the Secrert Service I can’t say - it was probably used by more than one Govt agency.

During my travels to various rifle matches across the fruited plains I try to snoop around whenever I see “snipers” at practice. Maybe even beg for a cartridge or two. As to weapons, it seems that 2 are most used. The AR 15 (M 16) for the 223 cartridge, and Remington 700 for most everything else. The M 700 is usually a custom made job with plastic stock and some sort of “sniper” type scope. Here in the SW many of them were made by MacMillan Bros in Phoenix.

Ammo is usually in the plain white military looking boxes and headstamps are typical military also. I wonder why Federal chose to put theirs into such mysterious boxes?? Maybe to avoid any politically incorrect stigma that people would attach to hollow point bullets puposely manufactured to shoot people??

Ray


#11

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Dave, John, AKMS

There is no doubt in my military mind that the cartridge is a specially loaded “sniper” or SWAT round. Whether it’s for the Secrert Service I can’t say - it was probably used by more than one Govt agency.

During my travels to various rifle matches across the fruited plains I try to snoop around whenever I see “snipers” at practice. Maybe even beg for a cartridge or two. As to weapons, it seems that 2 are most used. The AR 15 (M 16) for the 223 cartridge, and Remington 700 for most everything else. The M 700 is usually a custom made job with plastic stock and some sort of “sniper” type scope. Here in the SW many of them were made by MacMillan Bros in Phoenix.

Ammo is usually in the plain white military looking boxes and headstamps are typical military also. I wonder why Federal chose to put theirs into such mysterious boxes?? Maybe to offset any politically incorrect stigma that people would attach to hollow point bullets puposely manufactured to shoot people??

Ray[/quote]
Ray, Excellent point on the Hollow Point used to shoot people, as isn’t it against NATO ? or UN Rules on War? (Hard to believe there are rules of War, anymore, tell that to Akita). To use any other projectile but FMJ (Full Metal Jacket for new comers to the hobby) even in “Sniper” Rifles ? Maybe? why in Federal box vs, White Military box, as May ? have been used in SOF
underground activities ? Thanks for your great input. Dave


#12

Just based on a lot of gun mag reading, I wouldn’t think that the 7mm mag is that common as a sniper round. Most U.S. agencies tend to lean toward the .30’s and .338’s for long range work. Does anybody know of any other major or large agencies using the 7 as their primary sniper round?

Paul


#13

Paul

That 7mm cartridge was from the 1980s if I understand John and Dave correctly. Most SWAT and/or snipers today use the 223 or one of the 30s. The one that I see most often is the 300 Winchester Magnum.

Dave

I believe it was in Afganistan (or maybe Iraq) that the JAG determined that the hollow point Match ammunition does not violate any Conventions or rules of war. The ruling was that the hollow point bullet was the result of the manufacturing process. Supposedly, the Geneva Conventions prohibit bullets that are intentionally made to expand or mushroom in a human target. Prior to that ruling, all HP Match ammo made in the US came in boxes specifically marked “Not for Combat” or some such. After the ruling our snipers were allowed to use the M852.

Those conventions do not apply to other Govt agencies BTW. So it’s OK for snipers or SWAT to use the HP.

“Rules of War” is an oxymoron to be sure. It’s OK to blow your legs and arms off with a land mine, or to shoot you between the eyes with a 50 BMG, but not OK to shoot you with a lead bullet??

Ray


#14

[quote=“pdrice”]Just based on a lot of gun mag reading, I wouldn’t think that the 7mm mag is that common as a sniper round. Most U.S. agencies tend to lean toward the .30’s and .338’s for long range work. Does anybody know of any other major or large agencies using the 7 as their primary sniper round?

Paul[/quote]

Today they use 408 Chey Tac, 416 Barrett to 50 cal. Browning for long range (1 to 1&1/2 mile). But in 1980, the 7mm Remington Magnum was a top contender for 100 to 400 yards ? (I would think?) the 7mm Remington Magnum was believed to be replaced with the 300 Winchester Magnum. remember this is a 1980 item and now it’s 2008, 28 years, God I’m getting old :-). I would think the 7mm Remington Magnum would do the job nicely from 100 to 400 yards in 1980. Best, Dave


#15

The Hague Convention forbids the use of expanding ammunition but this only applies in a properly constituted war. It does not apply to ‘police actions’ or use by a 'civil power".

An enemy combatant can only be engaged with a metal jacketed bullet but the same courtesy need not be applied to a bank robber. Here in the UK it is usual for the Police to have soft point 0,223" partly because terrorists aren’t lawful combatants but mostly because the authorities are scared witless of the consequences of ‘shoot-throughs’.

The original rationale for the ban was that it took far more resources to look after a wounded opponent than a dead one and that medical assistance had to be offered in order to maintain morale tying up yet more resources.

What isn’t restricted is the use of unstable projectiles which have, arguably, worse wound characteristics than expanding ammunition.

Peter


#16

I wish I could remember the what, when, where etc. of it, but there was a Judge Advocate General’s Decision (U.S. Military) about non-expanding HP ammunition. Match ammunition doesn’t expand, generally, in 10% properly calibrated ballistic gelatin very well, if at all. Of course, it is not manufactured to expand. The bullet ip is only open so that the base of the bullet, much more important to accuracy than the point, can be jacketed and manufactured to be absolutely flat.

There was also a decision, I believe, and some you you guys closer to the military than I am after 48 years away from it will know better, about the difference in permissible ammunition used against regular, uniformed enemy troops, and that which can be used against terrorists and insurgents not in a recognizable uniform. I think we discussed this whole issue before, but I don’t remember if anyone had access to the various legal decisions that have altered the details, but not really the essential intent, of the Hague convention.


#17

The legal ruling, as I vaguely remember it, wasn’t about “hollow point” ammunition, but only included a specific brand of bullet then being used in some loads. It had an “opening” at the tip, as a result of the manufacturing process. It has a specific commercial name, but I can’t recall it. I think the ruling specifically stated that this was not an abandonment of the more general rules regarding ammunition that causes undue suffering on the battlefield.


#18

Taber

I believe you are thinking of the Sierra 168 grain Match King (SMK). That is the bullet used in the M852 Match cartridge. The M852 and the use of that bullet was the direct result of shooters pulling the GI Match FMJ bullet from the old M118 and replacing it with the SMK. That was called “Mexican Match” ammunition.

Our snipers in the first Gulf War were forced to use the less accurate M118 ammunition because the JAG did not understand the reason behind the HP design of the SMK. When he finally saw the light, the M852 was authorized for use.

The SMK was a refinement of the old International Hollow Point Match bullet and was designed by Sierra at the urging of the AMTU back in the 1970s.

The HP design of the SMK is not unique to that bullet. Virtually all Match grade bullets are made that same way. You can call it “an opening at the tip” but they are Hollow Point bullets. They are not designed to expand but they are Hollow Points, none-the-less.

Ray


#19

I am sure you guys are right on that ruling. It sounds familiar now. I was long out of the Army when it was made, of course, but read about it somewhere. Thanks for the added information.


#20

The legal aspects can be found in document entitled
MEMORANDUM FOR COMMANDER, UNITED STATES ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
SUBJECT: Sniper Use of Open-Tip Ammunition
DATE: 23 September 1985
Authored by W. Hays Parks, Colonel, USMC,
Chief of the JAG’s International Law Branch

The document is easy to find via google. One question I have is why in document dated September 1985 is there a reference dated January 1989 with no annotation that the document has been revised? This leaves me suspicious of the authenticity of the online document. Any comments?

Dave S