Some 7.62x51mm Match rounds


#1

Do any of these match cartridges have a designation other than simply “Match”? Number 9 with the Lapua headstamp was marked something about a special contract to the US Navy SEALS by Shilan Ctg. Co., USA.but the writing was worn badly and I couldn’t make it all out.



#2

Phil

The WCC and RA (+) are all AMU. Loaded for the different disciplines such a International, Palma, NM, etc.

The R-P and LAPUA are, I believe, simply commercial match loads. Possibly made on contract. I have boxes of others.

A few boxes of AMU.

Ray


#3

In it’s early years the AMU had very limited ammunition production capabilities and so they, almost exclusively, purchased cases from Big W and Big Green. Bullets were either hand made by AMU staff or purchased. Some of the finished cartridges were hand loaded by AMU while others were manufactured on contract. So, you will find a wide variety of AMU ammunition in several calibers. And in all sorts of boxes. And not just rifle.

While AMU did a lot of component testing for National Match ammunition, all of it (National Match) was manufactured by Frankford and Lake City.

Ray


#4

Ray,
Interesting boxes. Especially the top left one marked “ORD. 1255 ITEM 2”. The WCC 58 200 grain round (#1) is also marked with felt tip “ORD. 1255 ITEM 1”, so I would assume the #2 cartridge might be “ORD. 1255 ITEM 2”.


#5

Phil

The biggest problem with many AMU cartridges is that once they are out of the box it’s impossible to tell exactly what they are. I have found two cartridges, same hs, that appeared to be identical until I pulled the bullets and found different powder charges. One was probably meant for something like 300 meter and the heavier powder charge for International or Palma. And some have different OAL, as you know. Same cartridge, different seating depth. Maybe to accomodate a rifle chambered by AMU with a different throat?

As I said in my NM article, it’s an area that someone needs to research and get the history recorded. AMU was 50 years old in 2006 and I understand they issued a special report that documented the organization but I’ve never seen it so can’t say if it covers the cartridges. Also, the guys who originally staffed AMU are not youngsters anymore and their brains should be picked.

Ray


#6

OK, so I guess the best thing to do would be to go back to my original question and just call them “Match” cartridges!!


#7

I wouldn’t say that. The WCC and RA (+) head stamps are definitely AMU so I’d label those that way. I can’t say about the two others.

Ray


#8

RA loaded cartridges for the AMU in 1960 for International Match 300m competition using a 160gr flat nosed sintered bullet with tungsten to add weight. HS is (+) RA 60.

NATO Dave


#9

I thought I had lost my file on AMU match ammo, BUT I found it.
This article was in Handloader magazine March-April 1975 by Don Dawkins (I start with the first paragragh)

Big Bore competition takes a lot of ammunition – good ammunition. Since the government manufacture of National Match Ammunition has been stopped, military teams especially, have had to look elsewhere for the quality ammunition they need for practice and competition. Until recently, Remington had been doing the loading for the Army Advanced Markmanship Unit, but they quit and the AMU had to look for a new source. That new source is Jensen’s Custom Ammunition in Tucson, Arizona. (end quote)

I had forgot about this article, it goes on to say that the first contract was 98,000 rounds of 7.62mm Match. It also states that AMU specified that the load be XX grains of IMR-3031 with a 168-grain Sierra International Hollow Point using Winchester-Western cases, and Remington 9 1/2 primers. That finished ammunition produce average 300 meter 10 shot groups from several test barrels averaging no larger than 2.5 inches. The AMU preferred the Remington primer in that combination for the ammo produced 2.1-inch average groups at 300 meters. Two overall lengths were required: 2.8 inches for use in the National Match M14 and 2.9 inches for slowfire where loading can be used. (the article does not state how these two cartridge lengths where marked or labeled on boxes).

OK it goes on to state that the first 20,000 rounds were loaded that way. Jensen then sent the AMU a batch of test loads in factory-primed Federal cases: AMU reported that these gave accuracy equal to or slightly better than the Remington-primed Winchester cases. So the contract was completed with the Federal-primed brass.

About once or twice a year I shoot 500 yard F-class with Bob Jensen at the Phoenix Rod and Gun Club, the next time I see him I will ask him how many contracts, 98,000 or other wise did his company do.


#10

I also found another article that may be a little off topic but here goes.

Handloader 152 July-August 1991 by G. Sitton
Has the story on the 1992 Palma Match loaded specially for the 1992 Palma Trophy for Raton, New Mexico USA. It says the 250,000 round contract was awarded to Jensen’s Custom Ammunition in Tucson Arizona.


#11

" . . .Since the government manufacture of National Match Ammunition has been stopped, military teams especially, have had to look elsewhere for the quality ammunition they need for practice and competition. . . "

Steve

Are you sure that article isn’t 1995?? And a 1991 article discussing 1992 Palma??

I was not even aware that AMU ever loaded National Match ammunition. It was always Frankford and Lake City. The R and W boxes of AMU ammunition shown all date from the 50s and 60s. Nowadays, most everything cartridge related is done on contract, even the R & D. Lake City is nothing more than a loading facility.

I didn’t know that F Class was being shot in PHX except for the few guys who shoot along with the Palma matches at Avery. What is 500 yard F Class?

Ray


#12

Ray email me and I will get you a copy. But it IS March-April 1975

The F-class at Phx Rod and Gun Club is modified I guess, its the only f-class I have ever shot and have only done that 3 or 4 times at that range. It is at the base of South Mtn and 7 ave., been there for 50 years or so but is limited to 500 yards cause there is a mountain in the way. Its a laid back match/shoot and may not fall under the NRA f-class rules, I don’t know (but they told me the score would be reported to the NRA). But Bob Jensen has been there every time I was there.


#13

Steve

Yeah, send me that article. I’d like to see when NM ammo was discontinued in the 70s. My email is linked below.

Yeah, I’ve shot at South Mountain years ago. It’s been many years and I actually thought they had closed it down. I’m not even sure they still shoot F Class at Avery.They did when it first started in the 1990s and the F Class guys were kind of set off to the side like lepers while the Palma guys did their thing. Then Mid Tompkins got interested in it and it became acceptable.

I suppose NRA has some provision for club type shoots although they wouldn’t be eligible for records, would they??

Have fun. Keep out of the rain. It’s snowing here - again!

ray


#14

I’ve updated my post on the RA AMU match round to include a picture of the cartridge - see above.

NATO Dave