Post wwii cal 30 national match ammunition


The 1908 National Matches saw the first use of the new M1903 Springfield rifle and Cal. 30 M1906 Frankford Arsenal ammunition. For the next 32 years the matches became the testing grounds in continuing efforts to improve US military cartridges. Innovations and experiments in cases, bullets, powders, and primers were the norm rather than the exception. Adoption of the 172 grain boattail bullet and the M1 cartridge was but one of the direct results of the National Match ammunition development program.

The National Matches were cancelled from 1941 through 1953. When they resumed in 1954 there was no standard for Match ammunition and so existing lots of M2 Ball were issued. Coming from war-quality stocks, accuracy was not very good. In 1956 a small lot of special ammunition was prepared to commemorate 50 years of Frankford Arsenal production of the Cal. 30, M1906. Teams at the National Matches were issued the ammunition to compare with the current M2 Ball issue. Favorable results led to the reintroduction of Frankford Arsenal Cal. 30 National Match ammunition.

1957 was the first year of production of the new cartridge designated the T291. Loaded with 48 grains of IMR 4895 behind the 173 grain 9-degree BT bullet gave a muzzle velocity of 2640 fps. In January 1958 it was standardized as the M72. By 1960, production capacity at Frankford Arsenal had been so reduced that it could not satisfy the demand so the decision was made to transfer production to Lake City Arsenal. 1961 was the last year of Frankford Arsenal production and the first year of Lake City Arsenal production.

By 1965 the National Matches were dominated by the new M14 rifle and 7.62x51 cartridge. Production of the Cal. 30 National Match ammunition at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant was greatly reduced and the last lot was made and issued in 1968.