USGI .30 cal API?


We’ve talked about some of the bogus online auction sellers on here before with regards to all the “Raufoss”, API, and other AP explosive type projectiles that some people label as being USGI when it is not, and I recently came across a seller who suddenly has innumerable quantities of reloaded .30 cal API in .308. Red flags went up and so I asked him about the bullets’ construction and their origin. He replied quite nicely and said that the person who sold the pulled bullets to him had them in packs that were labeled as if they were pulled from USGI 30-06, and he also surprisingly enclosed what he called a CT-Scan of the bullet (pictured below). He repainted the tips and loaded them into their new cases. He also said that the bullet does have a copper-clad steel jacket. Did the U.S. ever do .30 cal API loads with a copper-clad steel jackets? When he said that, I assumed that these were what I suspected which is just resized Russian API stuff with the steel jackets??


After looking a little more, I assume these are the Russian type since the U.S. only made the rare early type 15, and then later the more common m14 version of .30 cal API, as shown in Chris Punnett’s intro to collecting 30-06 link on the homepage:

And the CT-scan in my first post shows a long core of either the type used in the T15 or else Russian API stuff? A typical M14 API bullet should be nearly dead to a magnet, but a steel jacket is a giveaway right?



The M14 has the long core as well. The M14A1 has the short core. I recently saw for sale a bunch of 7.62 NATO loaded with API silver tipped projectiles in late '60s brass. Seller implied they were “rare” and that they had long core M14 projectiles per a sectioning he gave one. As is often the case, “rare” is a relative term…

The U.S. APIs I’ve put a magnet to seem to show the core to be magnetic and the jacket not. We discussed the difference between M14 and M14A1 on the thread JonnyC started with the freshly opened can full of bandoleers marked M14.



Thanks Dave, but are the short core version much more common than the long core version? And has anyone ever known a USGI 30cal API load to have a copper-clad steel jacket?



Mr. Punnett states on page 311 of his book that while he has examined a round headstamped SL 56 with a silver tip and GMCS jacket, he suspects it to be fake “Since the normal API rounds have a GM jacket…”

I would think a comparison between known M14, M14A1 and Soviet projectiles against the mystery bullet with a good magnet for the job would tell a lot.

Don’t know how common the M14 is vs. the M14A1. Can’t imagine T15s showing up in any quantity.



There is a difference in the M14 and the CT scan’s base plug material and it looks like it’s been slightly upset. I’d lean to Soviet, also.