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Old 11-11-2011, 10:25 PM
raymeketa raymeketa is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: AZ Mountains
Posts: 2,448


It is obvious that you've done a lot of research in preparing your thesis. And your English is very good. There is no need to apologize for it.

You did not sound impolite, and it is not rude to disagree. Honest discussion is how we learn.

I believe that the M61 AP was adopted at a time when the role of armor piercing bullets was changing from what it had been during WW II. In the mid 1950s the US Ordnance Dept considered that the 50 Browning would be the cartridge to turn to when armor piercing capability was needed. The 7.62mm NATO was looked at as the cartridge to be used against personnel and light armored or unarmored targets. The ability to penetrate a helmet at 600 yards was one of the primary considerations when designing the ball bullets and the penetrating specification for the AP was not much higher, requiring less than 1/2" of armor penetration at 100 yards. The original 7.62MM ball bullet was the M59 which had a mild steel core but even that was short lived, being replaced by the M80 with a lead core, only 4 years later. I think the general feeling at the time was that the M59 nearly duplicated the M61 and there was no need for two cartridges so similar.

The M993 and M995 bullets still remain the standard for use against personnel and light armored targets but they do have enhanced penetrating capability, I think, as a result of experience in the Gulf Wars, especially against concrete and heavy earthen structures. But, as far as I know, the .50 BMG is still the primary cartridge when armor piercing capability is called for.

Here's a photo of the T21 steel core bullet (right) that became the M59 in 1955. The T11 was an earlier iteration.

Good luck on your thesis. You chose an interesting subject.

Last edited by raymeketa; 11-11-2011 at 10:43 PM.
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