View Full Version : 50 cal. ammo

09-24-10, 11:21 PM
I was in Beirut Lebanon in 1982 and was a door gunner in a CH-46. I don't remember what the ammo mix (ball,tracer, armor piercing, etc)was. I have the empty shells and links that I fired while there and want to put projectiles in them and place them in my NCO sword display case. Can anybody tell me what the mix would have been?:flag:

09-24-10, 11:36 PM
Welcome aboard Don.

I'm sure you'll get some answers, but I thought you might want to try sending a PM to Sgt Leprechaun (http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/member.php?u=34158)

He's quite up on military history and may actually have some technical info like that or might be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck and Semper Fi :iwo:

Sergeant M
09-25-10, 05:26 AM
As far as I know, you normally shoot a tracer 1 out of every 5 rounds from a M2. If you're going to just reload the empty shells with projectiles, you should just load ball and paint the tips white white white white red.

09-25-10, 07:12 AM
Yep, every 5th, but it would look good all copper too. I did that years ago. Comes out fine.
Don't recall all that white red stuff. must be new.

09-25-10, 09:09 AM
I only fired a 50 twice while in Nam, dont remember if it was the same as an M-60 which was every 5th round was red for tracer, all the other rounds wernt painted, just copper.

09-25-10, 10:52 AM
Back in the 60's we had maybe one or two boxes come in that had paint on them but most of our 50 and 60 ammo was all copper, with every fifth one being a tracer. Did get a box of Armor piece stuff once but it had a silver tip every round.

09-25-10, 12:13 PM
A lot of pilots during WW2 and Korea would use nothing but FMJ with no tracer rounds because if they were shooting at a plain from behind there were no tracers to give them away.

Zulu 36
09-25-10, 03:01 PM
Ammo packaged for ground machine guns is normally 1-tracer, 4-ball. However, I guess .50 cal can come different ways now, adding AP/Incendiary to the mix.

I know that 7.62mm/20mm/25mm/30mm packaged for mini-guns/Vulcans comes 1-in-10 tracer to whatever (ball, HE, API, etc). Keeps the heat generated a bit lower that way, plus the tracer stream is still more than visible at that ratio.

My Air Guard unit would order 7.62mm packaged for mini-guns (1,500 rounds per can) when we went to the MG range. I understood that it was a tad cheaper on the ammo budget as there were less of the more expensive tracers and no special 100-round packs/bandoleers.

Backhaus 1103
09-25-10, 03:17 PM
These days the only 50 cal ammo they give us is AP/APT and SLAP/SLAPT round. SLAP rounds are like AP on steroids.

Zulu 36
09-25-10, 04:10 PM
These days the only 50 cal ammo they give us is AP/APT and SLAP/SLAPT round. SLAP rounds are like AP on steroids.

I've seen those SLAP rounds on TV. I like (outgoing only, please). :D

09-25-10, 05:11 PM
I know we had a combination of ball, tracer and AP. I was thinking it was 3 ball, 1 AP and i AP/tracer. I wasn't planning to get the actual rounds. Just was going to paint the tips.

09-25-10, 05:50 PM
If you are looking for 50's to put in a display you can try some of the reloading suppliers they now sell the 50 case and the round. When you get them just push the round in the case and you have a dumby round.

09-26-10, 07:53 AM
You can get .50's at (oldsargesdropzone.com) they sell the complete dumby round sigles or in clips up to 24" long. They are all painted up and ready to display. If you just want the bullets you can get them at just about all the reloading suppliers. Old Sarge's sell they for $2.00 a pop.

09-26-10, 08:37 AM
I really appreciate all the input! I have already purchased the projectiles from a website called rvow.com. I got 5 linked dummy rounds for $7.50. I already polished up the shells and links and covered the shells in gloss laquer so they stay shiny. Even without the projectiles, they look really nice in my display case. I'll have to get one of my kids to show me how to download photos so you can check it out.

09-26-10, 09:12 AM
Googled some pics,,,,nice.


09-26-10, 11:22 AM
Talking about 50 cal. I wonder what happened to the 3 inch 50'S that were used to sight-in the 106 MM RR'S?

09-26-10, 03:48 PM
More than likly the three inch went by the way side and were recycled when they stop using the 106. Does not fit anything else but the 106 rifle.

09-28-10, 05:41 AM
Gentlemen. On our 46 choppers, we had 4 rounds armor piercing, and 1 tracer-armour piercing making up the whole box. I belted mine as CrewChief, and thats the way we did it. I'd put 4 boxes together, as it took time to change a box out, and that lucky round could get you by then. There were many units that had 50's, and I'm sure they had different set ups. Never heard of a ball 50 in the belt. Some CrewChiefs didn't care to take to many boxes with them, but myself, I was not going to run out of ammo in a fight with the gooks. I took more than needed, but my feeling better was worth it. Every gook that I felt needed poped, got poped. We didn't go back and take pulse. All they needed to do was point a weapon at me, or run. They didn't run far. On cook-off's you'd have to grab the belt about 2-1/2 feet away from the gun, and break it fast, as your hands, and arms would be eaten up by the 50 if they got caught up in the Cherry Red chamber. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.

09-30-10, 10:27 PM
dhuntington, there were no ball rounds in Air Crew 50 cal's. There were only 5armor piercing with one tracer armor piercing. There were 100 rounds in each box of 50 cal. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.

390 Mach I
09-30-10, 11:26 PM
<------Ground grunt.

On our M2's we had 4 AP, 1 APT.
"Sometimes" We used 4 API and 1 APIT, "depending".

For the most part, every 5th round was a tracer.

Personally, I am not a "fan" of "tracers"... but that is a different discussion altogether.

10-01-10, 04:08 AM
We had two duce and halfs that had quad 50's mounted in the beds for convoys. three of the M2's had 4ball 1 trace then one of the M2's had 4AP ,1APT. Not certain where we got the quads at but they shure would put out the fire.