Today I was going thru some old stocks of .30/06 ammo, as follows:
?AP in 8 round clips, LC 54 and LC 5, in SA marked clips, Black paint on bullet tip chemically removed; bandoleers green cotton, made 1967 (makers stamp), and from a green “spam can” (Tropical “Not Food Use” type). Bandoleers still had cardboard protectors marked “8 rnds”
Bandoleer had “Lot LC 43xxx” Blacked out.
Pulled a few apart, and they looked like a typical AP projectile, but didn’t check weigh them.
Was it common to “repack” 1950s era ammo into Vietnam era Spam cans?
Also, why was the Black tip cleaned off…the area is quite evident, as the underneath metal is less tarnished than the rest of the Bullet Jacket…It was NOT a bubba job, as the cans were sealed ( and marked “.30 M2AP”)
Also, acquired with the same lot, were several hundred LC 72 .30 cal, with the Orange Tip removed ( M25 tracer)…this may have been “bubba” done, as the only source of this ammo would be Australian Army at the time ( 1980s-90s).
NO surplus tracer imported into Australia …
ON dismantling some rounds ( Tracer are a restriceted item here, only Registered Ammo collectors can have them, and only max. 10 of one HS), I found that there were Two different types of tracer Bullet: The standard .30 cal tracer…with the rounded back end, sealed by a wafer of ? thin metal?, and weighing about 164 grains, from a TW 54 cartridge , and a DA 58 round ( ring ins), but the LC 72 had a 142 grain, straight-ended Bullet, with an inverted “gas check” pressed into the outer jacket… Looks just like the AP projectiles from the LC 54 above).
Cartridges of the LC72 marks were with both Red primer lacquer, and some ( very few) with Black lacquer…two different Lots or different production lines at Lake City. (I know US primer Lacquers have no significance)
Powder in all the LC is the usual IMR 4895 Tubular; back with the TW 54 Tracer, it was loaded with WW Ball Powder (? #852?).
Question: As it is obvious that the LC72 is loaded with the 7,62 Nato M64 Tracer projectile ( weight etc matches), when did LC ( and US in general) switch to loading Nato design projectiles into .30 Cal???
I know they did it for standard Ball, using the M80 148 grain for use with .30 cal, sometime in the Vietnam War period; Was the change also done at the same time for AP and Tracer???
And one may ask, Why am i Dismantling over 2000 rounds of perfectly good .30/06…the Answer is simple…Regulations prohibiting possession ( except under special permit) of AP, Tracer, etc, etc cartridges… And I have too many ( even as a dealer) to be able to “Move them” to legitimate collectors.
Reloaded with proper M2 Ball from French ammo ( primers bad), they can move as "shooting " ammo at least. The AP pills will go to a Ballistic Vest test Laboratory, and the Tracers will be deactivated to simple "Ball"projectiles of a Non standard weight. ( simple oxidation of Trace Compound).
Some tracers will also be used to test Body vests as well. ( effect of Burning Tracer on vest components)
It would be appreciated if any of the .30/06 Cognoscenti can enlighten me on some of the more arcane info regarding the 1950s-1990s and repacking/ recycling of Old .30/06???
Thanks, and best regards,
AV Ballistics Ordnance Technical Services.