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The .50BMG rifle calibre
This page is under construction. In the meantime, the following illustration shows the huge variety of ammunition types available for .50 BMG calibre weapons.
Variants of the .50 BMG cartridge
1. M02 - Armour-Piercing-Explosive-Incendiary: This cartridge is used against hardened targets such as bunkers, for suppressive fire against lightly armoured vehicles and ground and aerial threat suppression. It is generally fired either from aircraft-mounted guns or ground based anti-aircraft guns.

2. M1 Ball, High Pressure, Test: Used in all .50 BMG calibre weapons and identified by the silver-coloured tinned case, this ammunition is loaded to a higher pressure than standard rounds and is used as a proof round when a weapon has been manufactured or repaired.

3. M1 Incendiary: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, the M1 Incendiary is an incendiary round generally used against aircraft.

4. M1 Tracer: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, use of M1 Tracer is limited to the Continental United States and is used in training where the path of the bullet must be observed.

5. M2 Ball: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, M2 Ball rounds are designed for use against personnel and unarmoured targets. Unlike most other ball ammunition, .50BMG ball generally has a soft, mild steel main core with a small lead infill inside the tip of the bullet. This softer lead core smears on contact with a target which helps stabilise the round allowing the steel core to penetrate. It is a boat tail bullet design with the base of the round sealed with lead. Milsurp M2 ball is often used by civilian target shooters.

6. M2 Armour-Piercing: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, M2 Armour-Piercing rounds are generally used on aircraft, vehicles, concrete shelters and lightly armoured or non-armoured targets.

Armour penetration:
500 meters: 0.75 in (19 mm)
1,200 meters: 0.39 in (10 mm)

7. M8 Armour-Piercing-Incendiary: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns and the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle, this round is used against lightly armoured targets and targets that may be flammable.

8. M10 Tracer: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, this round is used where the bullet's trajectory must be visible, it ignites at approximately 100 yards (91 metres) and traces out to 1,600 yards (1,463 metres).

9. M17 Tracer: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle and the Barrett M82 Special Application Scoped Rifle, this round is used where the bullet's trajectory must be visible, it traces out to 2,679 yards (2,450 metres). This ammunition is often used for long range zeroing purposes by civilian target shooters.

10. M20 Armour-Piercing-Incendiary-Tracer: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle and the Barrett M82 Special Application Scoped Rifle, this round is used against lightly armoured or non-armoured targets that may prove flammable. In addition, the tracer element allows the trajectory of the bullet to be observed. The tracer ignites at around 328 yards (300 metres) and burns with increasing brightness out to 1,914 yards (1,750 metres).

Armour penetration:
500 meters: 0.83 in (21 mm)
1,200 meters: 0.43 in (11 mm)

11. M23 Incendiary: Used by M2 and M85 machine guns, M23 incendiary rounds are designed for use against flammable targets and are capable of igniting material at 175 yards (160 metres).

12. M903 Saboted Light Armour Penetrator (SLAP): Used only by the M2 machine gun, the M903 SLAP round consists of a .30 calibre tungsten penetrator weighing about half a standard ball bullet enclosed within a yellow plastic .50 calibre sabot. Launched at a speed of nearly 4,000 feet per second, the plastic sabot is quickly shed and the tungsten penetrator has a very flat trajectory and 2 to 3 times the armour-penetrating power of any other .50 cal round. It is able to pierce .75 inch of High Hard Armour at 1,640 yards (1,500 metres).

13. M962 Saboted Light Armour Penetrator - Tracer: A development of the M903 SLAP round, the M962 has tracing abilities allowing the bullets trajectory to be observed.

14. M1022 Long Range Sniper: Ideal for use in all bolt-action and semi-automatic weapons, the M1022 is of standard ball construction with an olive green bullet coating. It is highly accurate at long range and is used for sniper training and for targets that require no armour-piercing or incendiary effect. Like M2 Ball, this ammunition is often available to civilian shooters for target shooting.

15. Mk211 Mod 0 Raufoss: Very popular in the Barrett M82 Special Application Scoped Rifle, the Raufoss round consists of a tungsten penetrator surrounded by zirconium powder to give incendiary effect and tipped with RDX or PETN high explosive and additional incendiary compound. It is a good general purpose round effective against armour, vehicles and reinforced targets and is the most commonly used ammunition by US Marine Corps snipers.

16. MK257 Armour Piercing Incendiary Dim Tracer: Used in the M2, M3 and M85 machine guns, the MK257 has a hardened steel core and a special low intensity tracer that is only visible with night vision equipment to reduce the chance of the firer being spotted at night.
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