Lehigh Defense, Match Solid Flash Tip

Lehigh Defense, Match Solid Flash Tip in .308Cal.
Titanium tipped for a spotter like effect. Marks the impact area with a flash of bright light.

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Nice work Kevin. I was wondering as the two sectioned examples appear to have different shaped bottoms for the Titanium tip insert. Are both from the same box?

I suspect one is just a deeper cut than the other, revealing more or less of the cavity depending.

Pressed for time to get a photo posted over on Facebook. You are looking at one rough sanded on top and a finished on bottom. Didn’t get a chance to clean the rough cut so you are seeing a little metal curl that hides the nose cavity. The holes almost always look like a 135 degree drill bit for drilling out metal.
(Also broke my hand again and that’s as far as I could go that day)

Maybe its not the place to bring this up, but shouldn’t this be considered a Solid Armor Piercing Incendiary (SAPI)? If you go by the ATF list on what makes an AP a AP, titanium is not listed. Is this just a “suggested” list, or can I start making some Boron Carbide rounds?

In rifle rds one can do whatever they want in terms of retail manufacture, distribution & sales. There are no laws regarding production of armor piercing rifle caliber ammo as to manufacturing, sales, or possession in the U.S… Pretty much all of the manufacturers though stick with L.E. / agency sales & distributors for that stuff to avoid any… imperial entanglements … shall we say. The exception would be the many solid brass match loads out there which are more for match-grade consistency than for penetrating.

Also, I am guessing that these titanium tips are more of a sintered solid, as opposed to solid titanium bar-stock? This would help facilitate the fragmenting flash-bang, as well as avoid any relevant return on a hardness test which would fracture it if that’s how they are made.


NO. Read 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(7)-(8) and you will clearly see what you state is illegal. Pistol or rifle heads, whatever…

922 Unlawful acts.

(a) It shall be unlawful—

 (1) for any person--

              (7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition, unless--

                      (A) the manufacturer of such ammunition is for the use of the United States, any department or
                            agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State;

                       (B)  the manufacture of such ammunition is for the purpose of exportation; or

                       (C)  the manufacture or importation of such ammunition is for the purpose of testing or experimentation
                              and has been authorized by the Attorney general;

I may have mistyped something and I am not going to type number (8) but it basically say the same thing.

Another point, If you have M61 AP or equivalent in your possession, you have better have a C&R 003 license and no other kind under your name like an 001 or SOT. Also you need to log them in, in chronological order in a “Bound Book” several things about obtaining such and you can only transfer them to another C&R license. Think I am full of it…/ look it up.

Friend of mine that just got back from the MG shoot at knob creek that has a very large ammo retail business said there was some fur flying with vendors and the ATF. You cannot even posed M61 AP tips without having logged them in and logged them out as described above.

You make AP rifle projectiles for personal usage at home and the wrong person finds out, you will possibly get yourself in a sling. I would not do it.

I am a long time FFL holder and try to keep up to date to cover my back side.


Also, sintered Titanium (Titanium powder/sponge) is just as resilient and even more so in some process that liquid molded or forged. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium_powder

Barnes got themselves in a bit of trouble a time back about 4 or 5 years ago. Close friend of mine that was in the firearms business for 37 plus years visited them when he was on a family trip as he knows someone there. My friend asked why they were unloading ammo off semi trailers as he thought they made the ammo at the facility he was visiting. The employee told him a little story about how they had to recall all the loaded ammo they sent out to distributors before it made it to retailers. It was very close as he told the tale supposedly. He did not state to me emphatically exactly what the composition was, however the ATF felt it was not appropriate and bordered on an AP rifle projectile. Till today I have never figured out what it was they had to recall.


Here is a good video of penetration and what the core looks like afterwards.

It is obviously is not an AP grade metal like say an 7,9 German S.m.K. hardened steel core or an AFT exempt M2 AP hardened steel core. Those I have put thru 1 inch forged steel plate and the cores are still needle sharp when recovered.

Some stainless is as hard as titanium and most tungsten and hardened steels are twice as hard as standard titanium.

Still trying to find like Kevin suggested, what defines an AP rifle projectile in the ATF “Guide Book”. I do not believe I had ever found such in the past, but who knows…


Joe, I hear what you are saying, and the wording makes it sound that way, but that law defines “armor piercing ammunition” as pistol calibers only. The U.S. has a law regarding the commercial manufacture or commercial importation of pistol-caliber armor piercing projectiles which requires an FFL-10 or FFL-11. Rifle calibers are all fine, which is why we can purchase a variety of solid brass match type loads which would otherwise violate the restriction if they were something like a 9mm load with solid brass projectile manufactured or imported after 1986 by unlicensed persons, and also on a commercial scale for profit. Lost deep in the definitions section of the 1986 law is language that makes it clear that a person can actually make and use (or bring into the country) their own pistol-caliber ap ammo on a small and not potentially-for-profit scale. Its a long-winded and mostly pointless federal statute that very few even in Treasury fully understand.

Regardless of the fear-mongering that a few BATFE agents might do (they do a lot of it towards FFL holders because they sort of have them on a tight leash) having M61’s is fine since many of them hail from before 1986. Not that the ATF couldn’t make life misserable for an ffl for doing it, but anyway, this is why i love being a large ammo seller and not being an FFL, i am outside their pervue. On the building ap stuff, not only could I build myself a few hundred AP rifle projectiles or cartridges for personal use, I could do pistol calibers too as long as they are not intended for “pecuniary gain” as the law defines. Fort Scott Munitions has been selling solid brass 5.56’s for over a year, as do a few others here & there.

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I will not speak about US law definitions as that is beyond my slightest capacity but when it comes to materials we should keep in mind that stainless steel (a very general designation) and Titanium are not “hard” in terms of an AP core which we know to be made of high grade tempered steel or Tungsten Carbide.


Read “General Information” paragraph 17. It encompassed both pistol and rifle ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(7)-(8), and it tells you common found types it includes and the “Exclusions” in witch there are only two. (SS109) and (M2AP).

As far as it saying [“that law defines “armor piercing ammunition” as pistol calibers only”] please point out where you see such as you quote. I find no such reference.

“The U.S. has a law regarding the commercial manufacture or commercial importation of pistol-caliber armor piercing projectiles which requires an FFL-10 or FFL-11” Please set a reference of what class license is necessary? However, who cares as it is not relevant to our discussion of you stating “There are no laws regarding production of armor piercing rifle caliber ammo as to manufacturing, sales, or possession in the U.S”. I just pointed out above in (7) of the 18 U.S.C. 922 that it is unlawful “for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition” It does not say the word (and), it says (or).

“Rifle calibers are all fine, which is why we can purchase a variety of solid brass match type loads which would otherwise violate the restriction if they were something like a 9mm load with solid brass projectile” What restriction is getting violated by making solid brass rifle projectiles??? “9mm loads of solid brass are a violation and restriction” maybe, but I would also like to see where it states such? I have seen solid brass CNC handgun projectiles for sale before on the web. No I am not referring to the solid copper ones everyone and there brother is now making.

Making and or importing pistol AP ammo for personal usage legal?? Matt, really… Please quote such as I have just defined you cannot do such per quoting Federal law.

" not only could I build myself a few hundred AP rifle projectiles or cartridges for personal use, I could do pistol calibers too as long as they are not intended for “pecuniary gain” as the law defines." Matt, where do you see such, please show me.

“Fort Scott Munitions has been selling solid brass 5.56’s for over a year” Who cares, brass is not AP.




Just giving a reference point on the metal harness scale. The comment was made to consider titanium AP.
The word “hard”, well give me a better word for describing AP cores and I will use it?


Joe, technically I think the actuall hardness as measured would put everything into relation.
An average for Titanium should be available in the web. Depending of course which exact alloy is used by a bullet manufacturer.
Though Titanium is not used as a penetrator but only as an incendiary material. This alone shall question the AP ability.

As said with “stainless steel” it is a general designation behind which hundres of alloys can be hidden.

Hence my first sentence above that I will not interefere with legal definitions of all this in the US as this is far beyond my knowledge.


Yes, I got the hardness comparable scale off the net. Simple search. Type in “titanium hardness scale”, comes up with many scales to compare many metals with it. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=titanium+hardness+scale&id=ADC041A56CFEF252C2FEB7BA85FBA6EA902C55CA&FORM=IQFRBA

Stainless, yes, you are correct. That is why I generalized it by saying " Some stainless".

Agreed, that is why I initially questioned it, as they are clearly just using the titanium for the incendiary/spark effect against a hard surface.


Joe, it was not to nitpick but I wanted to make sure readers here (in particular the casual) will not run now and starting expert talk about “Titanium hardened bullets” or “stainless steel super penetrators” etc.
The discussion became a bit blurry in the what is doing what and in the mix with legal considerations.
If missunderstood this could fire back on the community (mainly in the US) when some decision maker has just another missunderstanding in all this. Not saying such people do get their knowledge here but it also can not be excluded.
If so one could think they would make better laws then…

Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be contrarian, I was only being blunt because I had taken it as a forgone conclusion that it was known that the federal 1986 AP law refers only to pistol cal. This, because in the definitions section which is section 17, part B of subsection 921 of chapter 44 it describes the restricted projectiles as needing to be usable in a handgun. The definitions sections of many of these laws are annoyingly long and overly obvious, but this law’s section makes some really tight definitions about what is restricted, which boils down to what amount to commercial / retail level manufacture or importation of pistol caliber AP projectiles only. Being an FFL-10 or 11 with type 20 cert. would allow a licensee to either import or manufacture since those are the D.D. licenses for explosives and heavy ordnance, etc… which could include any ordnance type from landmine to pistol projectile. All of the major manufacturers have them, which is why Federal is currently able to manufacture their new 9mm AP load for Pentagon consideration as part of the total package for the new Sig pistols. Even lowly Liberty Ammunition in Florida has one to manufacture their pistol AP loads, and actually SBR has one for a 9mm & .357sig load they did, or at least used to offer in their catalog.


The definitions you post are fine and dandy, but 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(7)-(8) is the final word in clarity.

As far as it saying [“that law defines “armor piercing ammunition” as pistol calibers only”] please point out where you see such as you quote. I find no such reference. Definition (B) that you post states “which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely from” certain metals. It does not specify ““armor piercing ammunition” as pistol calibers only” as you previously stated. Part (II), that was added under the Law Enforcement Act of 1994, where is states a larger than .22 cal projectile designed and intended for usage in a handgun refers to a FMJ projectile that the jacket is 25% the total weight and It doesn’t say what the jacket can or cannot be made out of. There again, that goes to my initial point. I truly feel you are reading things into the simplicity of what they are saying. If it was [“that law defines “armor piercing ammunition” as pistol calibers only”] then why do they state under “General Information” in paragraph 17 that It encompassed both pistol and rifle ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(7)-(8)?

What does section (21) have to do with “General Information” in paragraph 17? Are you saying one should just assume they are referring to commercial manufacture only? Maybe I am wrong, but that is not the way I read it. Also read 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(7)-(8) again that all this refers one back to saying “under U.S.C. 922(a)(7)-(8)”. This is you definition. It says nothing about “unless–” for personal usage. Please read (7) and (8) again where it proclaims for both of them the word "unless–’’. There is noting that allows you to make AP pistol ammo for ones own usage, period… Matt, I see no other way to interpret when it states "(7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition” It does not say the word (and), it says (or).


I guess I don’t understand how one can’t possibly see what the law is saying? (no offense). I mean outside of the hobby / trade I can, but it clearly states in the definitions section (the part that defines what the law means), and I quote:

(B) The term ‘‘armor piercing ammunition’’ means -
(I) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium

So that’s sort of a direct definition. The definitions section is there so that enforcement or the courts know what the legislators meant when using certain terms. It defines what “armor piercing” ammo is in the confines of that particular law. You have to be careful about looking up an entire law as far as all of the far-flung parts & definitions because they don’t bullet the relevant defined terms in the way that something like a Wikipedia entry might for references. It would be handy if they did though. You are focusing on subsection 922 (unlawful acts) where part 7 & 8 describe the law, but subsection 921 which I am referring to about the definitions is part of the same regulation chapter - the same law. Of course you still get loads, and I mean LOADS of FFL’s who will swear up & down that this is illegal, and that is illegal, on & on, and that they “have checked with their ATF contact”, etc. etc… especially at something like Knob Creek. Most of those however are a mix of misinterpretations, bad memory, or ATF agents not quite knowing all the details of certain laws. One of the best ways to get 5 different answers on a legal interpretation is to ask 5 different agents. I don’t necessarily blame them, they aren’t lawyers, they just enforce whatever the supervisors direct them to and let the courts sort it out.

In my book I cut & paste the pertinent bits about AP ammo only, from the 1986 law, since there are over a dozen other unrelated definitions about guns & such. The whole law is here:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921 and you can see that in 17 part B it defines what “armor piercing ammunition” is, and that as far as the whole law is concerned it is only referring to pistol caliber ammo. There are a couple of stupid interpretive quirks of course, such as how the ATF includes 7.62x39 and .308 ammo due to the absurd interpretation about “pistols” made by the likes of Olympic Arms back in the day in those calibers, etc… Not that there aren’t some 30-06 “pistols” as well that have been made over the years, but that is a whole other discussion on BATFE inconsistencies of enforcement & interpretation.

The part about the law only relating to commercial manufacture or commercial importation comes from the same definitions section as shown in the link above and is parts 9 & 10, where it defines it as what can only be described as a commercial for-profit activity, and not just an individual retail / hobby activity, and is further expounded upon in great detail to that regard in part 21 (a) & (b) at the same above link for that law. They then even go to another insanely acute level of definition in part 22 to define what it means to say that someone is deriving their “principal objective of livelihood & profit” from such activity. It’s almost as if they wanted to make sure that individuals or collectors tinkering around with such things wouldn’t be held to the same standard as commercial importers or manufacturers. But who knows… or cares for that matter. The enforcement is always erratic and neurotic - always focusing on the FFL licensee’s that the ATF is charged with corralling and regulating. They do stuff like rattle cages at Elite Ammunition or whatever once in a while to let people know they are watching I guess.

The federal government actually has one other law regarding AP ammo, and that law has a different definition on AP ammo. It is:
U.S. CODE: TITLE 10 > Subtitle B > PART IV > CHAPTER 443 > § 4688
That law came about in October of 2000, and is an obscure regulation about how the U.S. Government disposes of, or surplusses out armor piercing components, and in this sense they are referring to rifle calibers, mainly .50BMG, and .30 cal. It’s nothing to do with possession or sale, just how the government transfers such material to anywhere other than it’s own possession. And they actually only qualify the definition based on whether the term “armor piercing” appears in the designation labeling of such ammo, not the physical characteristics of the ammo. The rundown on that law is here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/4688

Then of course you get another level to the whole legal debacle with regard to ATF regulations for FFL’s, which aren’t actual laws, but regulations only for licensees. Such as the law for age requirements on ammo. It isn’t necessarily “the law” that one must be 18 or 21 depending on rifle / shotgun or handgun ammo to purchase - it is an ATF regulation at the federal level for FFL’s selling ammo. The states all have their own actual legislated laws regarding ammo purchasing age (most of which are actually also 18 & 21, but not all), such as Maine’s is 16 for any caliber, which I am held to as a non-FFL ammo retailer. Of course, 95% of retail ammo sellers are FFL’s, and as such are bound to the 18 & 21 regulation - people just aren’t generally aware of the difference. I would wager that almost all BATFE agents think that their age regulation IS an actual panoptic law for everyone, because to them it is for FFL’s. This is where the “bound-book” notion comes in on AP ammo since there is a level of qualification for an FFL to deal in it - FFL-09, and one needs to be that if dealing regularly in pistol caliber AP, etc… If any non type-9 retail FFL were to sell any quantity of pistol cal AP then they would be in trouble since they are selling beyond their license level, but I can sell an occasional smattering of it from collector to collector, because I am, again, not an FFL, which is very handy for various things. I suppose that is where the concern about an FFL selling M61 projectiles (since .308 stupidly falls under the law) comes in - if they are a non type-9, then they can’t be offering them as a regular course of trade. But my goodness doesn’t nobody ever seem to check or care since they almost never know or have a concern on something like that, as they are after all, quite rightly looked at as a rifle caliber. They are sold on Gunbroker all the time, and sometimes by typical FFL’s who just don’t know. I find that some FFL’s will often dump their pistol cal AP ammo on Gunbroker because they will A: get the best price, B: keep it off the shelf of their physical location, and C: not have to worry about enforcement which apparently never ever looks at auctions since there are almost always felony-level offerings by sellers from states where it is banned, or else from FFL’s who are not type-9’s, which as far as I have ever tracked for 10 years - have gone unnoticed. The sellers often have no idea what they are doing, or that the laws exist.

The 1994 “crime bill” nonsense was mostly a push against assault weapons, but also managed to get 7.62x39 steel core into the purview of this pistol-caliber law, as well as the 9mm M/39B 25% jacket rule, which the likes of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Chuck Schumer couldn’t stop spitting at cameras about, as if they were any kind of relevant threat to national security. Notice that while the absurd crime bill was allowed to expire in 2004, the pesky little regulatory add-ons that were injected into other existing laws like this one, were left in place.

So the government doesn’t have a fixed definition of AP ammo as far as legislation goes - it varies from law to law, and from state to state for state laws. This is where definitions sections are important. In Maine they have a completely unknown law which states that possessing pistol caliber AP ammo is legal only if part of a “bona-fide collection”, but they never bothered to do a definitions section on what a “bona-fide collection” is, and so it is left up to the common sense of the court I suppose if it comes into question. Not that it will ever matter.

Interesting subject, so I’ll throw in a spanner.

Is it possible,that by handgun they refer to any weapon which can be hand held, such as a rifle. Remember we are dealing with individuals who may be short of knowledge (I’m trying to be kind), and may not use the same terminology as us simple folk.?

If I can think of that, what could some twisted lawyer do with it in court.??

No, handgun refers to a weapon that is not intended to be fired from the shoulder. Granted, there are other criteria that would move designation into another category (AOW and “Firearm”).

So let’s say, for example, I am selling 5.56x45 Green Tip penetrators. A guy comes up and mentions, “Hey, I’m going to use these in my rifle to shoot cans.” Cool, that’s okay. Now somebody comes up and says, “Hey I have an AR pistol that I would shoot these out of.” BAM! Cannot sell him the ammo.

You might say, “it’s still rifle ammo,” however because this individual will be using it in a handgun, classifications change.

Remember the 5.45 import ban? “Handgun” ammo. Because of Draco style AK pistols in 5.45.