Air Force 7.62x51mm API test


Around 1969 or so, the U.S. Air Force tested the fesability of an API load in 7.62x51mm for use in the “minigun”. Repotedly, this test ammunition was assembled at Frankford Arsenal using .30-06 API projectiles.

Does anyone know what these cartridges looked like and what the headstamp might be?

There is a fellow on another board that has what I beleive to be reloads that he swears is this ultra-rare experimental ammo. Nevermind the fact that this handful of ammunition was “given” to him about a year ago along with a handfull of obvious “AP” reloads.

I’d like to set the fellow straight with some correct information about the real cartridges before he tries to sell them to unsuspecting buyers…




I don’t really collect the post-NATO stuff so can’t be of much help. But I do know that there was a pre-NATO API cartridge designated the T101. Mine is headstamped FA 51.

Maybe you can get a lead from that designation?

Good Luck



The tests etc are described in FA-TM-75049 - Evaluation of 7.62mm cartridges assembled with caliber .30 API and incendiary bullets dated July 1975. The report doesn’t give details on headstamps etc. I can’t help on the API round, but the incendiary cartridge have bullets with light blue tips and are headstamped (+) LC 69. The FA test used LC cases, resized the bullets and then re-colored the tips. The example in my collection has been confirmed by x-ray.

Dave S



Where could one obtain, or read, FA-TM-75049 and other similar documents?



Try this link to the report: … tTRDoc.pdf

Interesting that they went to all the trouble when the test data from the earlier 7.62x51mm API experiments should have been available…




Interesting reading. Thanks for the link. It does make you wonder exactly what tests were done with the pre-NATO cartridges. Maybe simply velocity and pressure?



Dave S
Was the (+) LC 69 headstamp the only one used in the tests with the incendiary bullets?


That’s the information I have.
Dave S