CAL .30 API M14 and M14A1


#1

As early as 1942, Frankford Arsenal began the development of a Cal .30 armor-piercing incendiary cartridge, one that would be more effective against armored and self-sealing aircraft fuel tanks. The first experimental bullets were nothing more than AP M2 bullets with the lead point filler replaced with an incendiary mixture. These eventually evolved into a new bullet, a boattail design ,but still using the M2 hardened core and a small amount of incendiary mixture. The new cartridge was designated the T15. In 1946 it was adopted as the Cal .30 API M14.

Because of the small amount of incendiary mixture, the M14 was never very effective. In the late 1940s, an effort was made to increase the incendiary effect by reducing the core size and shape and using the space to increase the incendiary mixture to over 4 times the original amount. The new flat base bullet (T1E48) was loaded as the Cal .30 API M14A1.

20-round cartons of API were usually correctly labeled as T15, M14, and M14A1. But, it seems that Frankford Arsenal, for some reason, marked spam cans as M14, regardless of the contents. Why they did this remains a mystery.

Does anyone have FA cartons or spam cans marked differently? And does anyone have an explanation for the inconsistent can markings?


#2

Ray:

I’VE SECTIONED A FEW API ROUNDS IN BOTH .30 AND .50 CALIBER MANUFACTURED BY THE DENVER ORDNANCE PLANT (.30 CALIBER) AND REMINGTON ARMS CO. (.50 CALIBER). THESE ALL HAD STEEL CORES THAT WERE MORE OR LESS TUBULAR, NOT POINTED WITH A HOLE RUNNING THROUGH THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE CORE. WHERE DOES THIS BULLET FIT INTO THE PICTURE?


#3

GWB

It sounds to me like what you sectioned were Incendiary bullets, not API. The steel core (dowel) was there to reinforce the jacket and not for armor piercing purposes. Cutting into an incendiary has a very high pucker factor and is not something I’d recommend.

Ray


#4

further to the information provided by Ray, it might be worth telling that (only) the very first lot of API made by Frankford Arsenal had a blue over black bullet tip
and that some API lots made by Twin Cities Arsenal had an additional cannelure on the bullet. See picture below

René


#5

[quote=“GWB”]Ray:

I’VE SECTIONED A FEW API ROUNDS IN BOTH .30 AND .50 CALIBER MANUFACTURED BY THE DENVER ORDNANCE PLANT (.30 CALIBER) AND REMINGTON ARMS CO. (.50 CALIBER). THESE ALL HAD STEEL CORES THAT WERE MORE OR LESS TUBULAR, NOT POINTED WITH A HOLE RUNNING THROUGH THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE CORE. WHERE DOES THIS BULLET FIT INTO THE PICTURE?[/quote]

as Ray said, those were probably Incendiary bullets.
Did they look like this one ?

René


#6

Flying Dutchman:

YES, EXACTLY - THANK YOU FOR POSTING THE IMAGE - SOMETHING I HAVEN’T LEARNED, NOR DO I WANT TO LEARN, HOW TO DO. WHAT DID YOU USE FOR THE FILLER? IN THE ONES I HAVE SECTIONED I JUST REPLACED THE ORIGINAL FILLER WHEN I FINISHED THE CARTRIDGE.


#7

Going back to the M14 and M14A1 for a moment - does anyone have cartons, boxes, or cans from the other manufacturers (TW, LC, WRA, FN) that they can post photos of?

Ray


#8

Here is one I have had for some time. I will have to dig out more as time permits as I have items recently acquired I have not had time to look thru… I also have the ones you posted above. I have had them for some time.


Joe


#9

Joe

Can you give one of those cartridges the magnet test? With a 1952 headstamp I would guess that the cartridges are M14A1 rather than M14 as the carton label indicates.

Thanks for the photo.

Ray


#10

Ray,

Magnet test proved it is a M14A1. Compared it with a FA 45. I understand they did not change box label nomenclature at first.

Joe


#11

Here is another box the same as Ray’s picture, except for the retailers post 1962 rubber stampings. Box is empty unfortunately.

Joe

Edit; I do know what is supposed to be in here (FA 53) as I have another very nice unmolested sealed box that I peeked in long ago. They both have the same rubber stamping of “A1”.