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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I collected this info from Jane’s, and a few other sources. If someone spots an obvious error, has a question, different opinion or info to add please do so. I was considering getting some of the following for general and SHTF purposes.

I have encountered all of these AP rounds on the US market to some degree.

M61 is the standard 7.62x51mm AP NATO round. It is soft steel, manufactured by many countries round the world. Israeli AP (IMI) I am told is hard steel which would account for why it is 9.91g instead of LC’s 9.75g which would improve it’s penetration more than the rated “penetration of 6 mm thick nickel-chromium steel plate target located 100 meters from the weapon”.

M2 is the parent round of the M61 in 30.06. It is however hard steel (10.69 or 10.9g or 163gr to 168gr) though it has been officially and after market loaded into 308/7.62x51mm brass. Offers superior penetration to the M61 loaded in 308 brass under controlled conditions. (Though some point out and claim a loss in velocity due to making 308/7.62 brass accept the longer projectile). M2 AP 30.06 is the standard for level IV armor at this time.

P80 by FN is 9.75g hard steel with superior penetration characteristics to the M61 and slightly better than M2 loaded in 308/7.62x51mm. Considering the 30.06 has a couple of hundred fps more than 308 I roughly equate the P80 to the M2 AP in 30.06. Rated for 6mm steel plate at 100m.

M993 new tungsten core AP from Bofors. Markedly superior armor penetration in controlled conditions. “Penetrates 7mm thick high hardness armor (HHA) plate at a distance of 500 meters which corresponds to 1/4" armor plate at a distance of 550m”. These are not supposed to be on the market so be careful of fakes, black marketing or even entrapment.

If aggressors show up wearing ballistic armor and driving armored vehicles I need an AP round that’s guaranteed. Otherwise I might as well stick to head shots and tire shots. So with only one round that meets my standards, which is hard to find and expensive I’m going to pass on AP in this caliber.

I considered tracers for incendiary effect (in addition to sighting and signaling) but determined though it happens (tracers catching stuff on fire) it’s not something I want to rely on in a hostile situation. Then I considered incendiary rounds. I’m firing a rifle and not a machine gun. I decided that since there are usually more things I don’t want to catch on fire than I do and I haven’t ever been on a mission that catching something on fire was encouraged for the ground pounder it wasn’t worth carrying around or storing.
Finally, I considered API. What if I had a round with some penetration and could be used to ignite stuff? Sounds effective on a vehicle. So what I found was no 7.62x51mm API was standardized for US forces so you have two choices from large manufacturers:

PT86 API 9g. by FN. This should be equivalent to their P80 in material and penetration.

M14 API 9.72g for 30.06 was standardized. It should be equivalent to M2 AP.

For me I still can’t get over that the AP is not up to what I want as a useful standard. The incendiary is nice but just as earlier, I have more stuff I don’t want to catch on fire than I do. Otherwise if I was most worried about vehicular threats or had a machine gun then it would probably be different.

So is there a AP/API solution? I think so. I call it a 50cal rifle. So all this ammo research and a few opinions and thoughts that I hope someone else eventually finds useful I’m posting here for reference before I save it to the depths of my hard drive.
 

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I wouldn't think a .30 caliber projectile could carry enough of an incendiary load to do much more than make some sparks.

But speaking of AP, I bought a boatload of .30 150 grain (? I think that's what they are. Definitely not .30-06 pulls, though) projectiles a long while back. Any way to identify exactly what type they are from just the projectile?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My guess,

Judging by the weight and assuming you bought them stateside I'd say it's LC M61s (150.5gr), which used to be everywhere for dirt cheap. It's too lite to be IMI 152grn AP. Some AP have different shaped cores. If you want to dremel one and post a pic there's a chance I could ID it that way. Otherwise to my knowledge there's no easy way to tell with projos.
 

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First I have to FIND those suckers. I bought them a long while back, through them into an ammo can, and haven't seen them since. I'm retiring my business this year, so I'll have a LOT more time to spend, and intend to clean off my work bench and get back to doing some reloading and shooting my guns. So I definitely want to find out where I put these projectiles....
 
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