US 7.62mm M80 Ball


I’ve seen US military M80 Ball with both GM and GMCS jacketed bullets. As I recall, the GM specimens were Vietnam War era, with headstamp dates in the late 1960s, while I have seen GMCS examples with 1990s headstamps.

Does anyone know if M80 Ball is still produced (by Lake City, or ?) with GM jackets, for the US Armed Forces?

If all current/recent production is GMCS, when was GM last made?



I can’t answer all of your questions - maybe NATO Dave can.

M80 was first manufactured by FA and LC in 1959 with GMCS jackets. In 1962 the GM jacket bullet was adopted as an alternate but, except for Overhead Fire ammunition, the GMCS was the standard, AFAIK. So, depending on the availibility of jackets, I think you’ll find M80 with either.

Just my SWAG and I stand ready to be corrected.



Thanks for the info, Ray. D’ya suppose NATO Dave is on vacation?


A couple years ago I was testing different 7.62x51mm BALL rounds, both non-magnetic GM & magnetic GMCS, for fragmentation potential. Since I had not come across any non-magnetic GM M80 BALL from LCAAP in decades, I did not think it was acceptable/produced any longer. But I was informed by Dr. Gary Roberts USN Ret. that non-magnetic GM U.S. M80 is still acceptable/occasionally produced for DOD. Doc does wound ballistics studies for both DOD/LE, is in a need-to-know position, so his information is very credible. I do have LC 63 with NATO cross M80 BALL that is non-magnetic GM. It is A130 combat packaged M80 on strippers/in bandoleers, LOT LC 12347, packaged for use with the U.S. M14 Rifle. My notes indicate DODIC A130 7.62MM BALL had a requirement for higher accuracy than DODIC A131 4-1 linked M80/M62 but I do not remember where I read it. Anybody have any information on this?



The latest GM M80 rounds I have from LC are from the mid-80’s. The examples I have from the 90’s are all GMCS. I’ve not seen any later than 1999 but they’re out there. I have M80 cartridges headstamped FC from 2006 and 2007 that have GM and GMCS respectively, and WCC production from 2006 to 2009 with GM jackets. As Ray said, I think it depends on the availability of jackets.

Hope this helps




Cartridges of the World, 6th Edition shows M-80 (and M-59) carton or clip pack with a 5" mean radius at 600 yards and 7.5" mean radius at 600 yards for link pack. I assume this info comes from a TM or some other official source…

M-62 tracer accuracy standard was (is?) 15" mean radius max. average at 600 yards!



Good deal. Those are the exact figures I have in my notes. And I came across another note indicating MIL-C-46931F as a reference. The M80 BALL accuracy requirements you listed are there in black and white.



Aren’t those specs (7.5" and 15") allowable maximum? That does not mean that the ammunition is necessarily that bad. Most will better that. For example, M118 Match had a maximum of 3.5", but many lots actually tested under 2".



The accuracy requirements AKMS listed are prefixed by “shall not exceed” so they are maximum allowable values. But I have no idea of what size groups U.S. M62 tracer will actually shoot; too much fire hazard to the timber down range.




Shooting the tracers for group would only tell you what that particular lot is capable of in your particular rifle. Not necesssarily indicative of average performance in military weapons. But, I’m sure you already knew that. :) :)