Federal Govt. contracts

Sent to me from the Feb. 2019 issue of www.shootingindustry.com

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Thanks for the news.


Here’s a pic of the MK 318 Mod 0, including a sectioned bullet.

This image has been out there for a while (so I’m not sure it is still accurate) and came from this 2009 NSWC document entitled “U.S. Navy Small Arms Ammunition Advancements”: https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2009/infantrysmallarms/tuesdaysessioniii8524.pdf (which was also linked in the forum archives).

Does anyone know if the pic above is the same bullet that Federal mentions in the press release as being “lead-free”? Any ideas on what core material is in the nose, if not lead (steel, perhaps)? The Navy document only mentions “Front of bullet is designed to help defeat barrier” without saying what the material is, though that reference may refer to a bonded core I suppose (and the doc linked above may very well be prior to any lead-free design). Everything I found only spoke of the lead core version.


The early experimental Mk 318 Mod 0, if I recall correctly, had a; ‘bismuth lead alloy,’ core that proved unstable in extreme cold conditions.

“…Bismuth salicylate is also the main active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol…”

Production Mk 318 Mod 0 had a lead core.

I believe that the Mk 318 Mod 1 is all copper construction.

Found this article in the Small Arms Defense Journal that talks about the development of the Mk 318 Mod 0 and Mod 1: http://www.sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=2879

It’s interesting that the Mod 1 bullet is nickel plated for ID (to avoid confusion with the M262, according to the article in SA Defense Journal).

Mk 318 Mod 1 with nickel plated all-copper bullet:

I was unable to find a section of the Mod 1 bullet.


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The Sal Fanelli interview mentions that the nickel plating was almost an afterthought:

“If you don’t know ammunition well enough you might confuse it with the Mk262 which is a 77 grain projectile. The Mk262 is an open tipped match round used by the Special Ops community. Since we were worried about confusion with the Mk262, we had to take another look at the color of the tip. Every color was taken except for solid silver so we decided to nickel plate the entire projectile.”

In this case, would we consider that the nickel plating was an internal ballistics function, or an identification function?