PCP .308 Polymer Cased Ammunition Finally In Production

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PCP’s polymer cased .308 Win. ammunition is finally in limited production. I have been waiting for this to come to market for a long time. Previous polymer cased ammunition suffered a number of problems and so I am looking forward to test this ammunition developed for the Pentagon.

Initially they are only producing limited quantities and selling it to consumers who apply for it and are willing to provide feedback. This may seem like an off business model, but in other industries such as the technology sector, this is common practice. Google, for example, only sell the Google Glass device to people after a telephone interview!

From the press release …

PCP Ammunition Company set to release limited production of .308 polymer cased ammunition.

Register at the link below for special invitation only purchasing opportunity.

After several years of engineering research, development, testing, and production planning, PCP Ammunition is pleased to offer its .308 polymer cased ammunition to the commercial market. This is the first time in history that a ammunition manufacturer has offered high performance polymer cased rifle ammunition to the commercial market. Prior to this initial civilian release PCP Ammunition was recently awarded contracts with the US Government Department of Defense to deliver advanced lightweight polymer sub-sonic ammunition and an improved .50 caliber precision round.

We are offering this limited release of production to a select number of consumers. We are limiting the production initially to allow for user feedback that validates our test results. PCP Ammunition and certified third party testing facilities have performed thousands of tests on this product and we are confident in it’s safety and performance. The ammunition is loaded to SAAMI specifications. We are extremely interested in the feedback of our first group of civilian consumers. Although we have tested the ammunition in numerous weapon platforms, we have by no means tested them all. Please use only in firearms that are in good condition and free of defects. If you have any questions about the compatibility of your firearm with our ammunition, please contact us prior to using it.

If you are interested in purchasing our initial production of polymer cased ammunition please register at the link below. If you are selected to participate in this initial release, you will be contacted with instructions to purchase.

http://www.pcpammo.com/limited

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • bbmg

    As the only real benefit of polymer cases is lighter weight, is it really relevant to the civilian market?

    “We are extremely interested in the feedback of our first group of
    civilian consumers. Although we have tested the ammunition in numerous
    weapon platforms, we have by no means tested them all. Please use only
    in firearms that are in good condition and free of defects.”

    Sounds like they are charging folks to do their R&D for them!

    • Frosty_The_White_Man

      It’s relevant to walking hunters. Light weight .308 (hey an internal rhyme scheme!) would pair marvelously with an ultralight rifle.

      • bbmg

        Cartridges weight approx 30% less than their all metal equivalents.

        A 308 cartridge weighs approximately 24 grams. Say you’re carrying 30, that totals 720 grams. This means you would save 216 grams using the polymer cases. Sure, it would be nice to carry an extra half pint of water, but would it really be worth it to someone who isn’t in a combat situation?

        This is assuming of course that polymer cased rounds would be more expensive than their all metal alternatives.

        • John Dalton

          When you think of ammunition of this type, (308, 55.6, 9mm), you always need to think of combat situations. The ammo manufacturers do I can assure you.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      We’ll be testing this ammunition fairly soon so we’ll let you know how it goes.

    • nadnerbus

      Long term, price could be an advantage too. I would think plastic would by default be cheaper than brass to manufacture in large quantities.

      I’m for anything that can help tame the price of ammo, even if it is a ways off from being ready for prime time and widely available.

      • bbmg

        Price sprang to mind as I typed that comment but I didn’t mention it because while we think of plastic as cheap, this is not always the case, especially considering what the case is expected to survive, the plastic has to be pretty high spec. Also if I’m not mistaken, there are still metal parts so the manufacturing process is not as straightforward as a simple cast.

        In that context, I don’t know how much cheaper it would be.

        • allannon

          I’m not sure price is a significant component now, but copper is rising in cost (even absent market modifications like tariffs).

          I think the price savings will really come if copper prices continue to rise.

          As well, I believe this will be more of an alpha product. These are a hybridization of, iirc, 2 polymers (throat and shoulder, body) and brass (base). If these are even passingly successfull–that is, if PCP doesn’t lose their pants–I suspect we’ll see more development. Cheaper per-round costs as manufacturing techniques are refined, polymers designed for the purpose, maybe rounds designed to use all-poly cases, instead of trying to fit poly cases to existing rounds.

          Personally, I’d like to see burn-away poly cases on caseless ammo. :)

          • Alex Nicolin

            Mild steel would be cheaper than both brass and plastic, and much sturdier than the latter. Since military ammo is not meant to be reloaded, steel will do just fine. The Germans began using steel cases in late WW1, and almost all 8×57 ammo was steel cased by the end of WW2. The Russians did the same. So polymer cases are just meant to save weight.

    • dan citizen

      There are several benefits to polymer cases:

      weight savings
      cost savings
      elimination of the need for brass (a strategic metal in wartime)
      production of complicated case shapes not possible in brass
      cases can be made so the enemy cannot reload them

      • just axing

        “elimination of the need for brass (a strategic metal in wartime)”

        And oil?

        “production of complicated case shapes not possible in brass”
        What kind of shapes have not been manufactured due to limitations of metals?

        “cases can be made so the enemy cannot reload them”
        Has this been real life problem?

        • dan citizen

          of course oil is a strategic resource. Many polymers can be recycled near endlessly (as can brass, but with greater energy expenditure). polymers can be made from many different source materials, many renewable, Brass on the other hand can only be made from copper, zinc, or other brass. All told, polymers are much cheaper.

          Brass cases are drawn and very rarely machined. Complex internal shapes such as the high/low pressure dual chamber casings used in 40mm cannot be made effectively from brass. some of the telescoping rounds, forward case carrying, etc. cannot be made from a drawn material. As well, some of the ammunition used in revolving chain guns wherein the casing is a Reuleaux triangle and forms one chamber wall it is preferable to make the casing thick, but light. Polymer casings are considered a prime candidate.

          Enemies reloading our empties and then killing us with them is an ongoing problem since WW2. In Afghanistan our empties are reloaded and even fired projectiles are commonly reused.

  • ddearborn

    Hmmm
    The other driving force has to be cost. It is interesting to note that production costs are not even hinted at.

    • wetcorps

      Wondering as well, since it might be a getaway from the increasing prices of metals. But polymer being petroleum based I’m not sure it’s the best bet for long term.

      • bbmg

        we might yet see a return to paper cartridges, one in the eye for the environmentalists ;)

        • Jacqueshacques

          As someone who enjoys the outdoors and occasionally eating the things that live there (I.e., an environmentalist by default), I would be fully behind a cellulose cartridge case! We can make more paper, but we can’t make more oil. Always better to see someone using a cheap, clean, and efficient (especially if you use bamboo or hemp paper) renewable resource instead of a dirty non-renewable one.

          • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

            We “make” oil all the time. There are plenty of easy synthetic oils that can be made without a crude base, not to mention the hundreds of different types of plant-based oils available. Making oils is easy! It’s just that it’s still a little bit cheaper to dig them out of the ground currently.

          • allannon

            As I say above, I’d like to see caseless with a burn-away protective coating. Everyone wins: my ammo is lighter and cheaper, no brass cases littering ranges and such, and it uses a readily available and replaceable material.

            Maybe a spun cellulose outer coating, or something. :)

      • Giolli Joker

        They just say polymer so it’s hard to tell, but many thermoplastics can be, and are, recycled…

        • just axing

          They most likely use high tech polymer that is something like 4x expensive as the plastic on your computer case and even in the low tech plastics recycled materiel goes to second grade class. Cellular case -> bucket materiel.

  • Giolli Joker

    “This may seem like an off business model, but in other industries such as
    the technology sector, this is common practice. Google, for example,
    only sell the Google Glass device to people after a telephone interview!”

    I accept and find interesting such business practice, however a defected Google Glass isn’t likely to maim you, while ammunition…
    (I’m sure the products are 100% safe and properly tested, just expressing the first thought, I’d actually apply if I could)

  • Michael Pham

    While you could look at it as “charging people for beta testing”, in the technology and software sector it does have key advantages to the consumer as a whole. Early adopters anxious both for the product and for some input in its final form can accept the risk and sign on, while more cautious consumers can expect, in theory, a more finished and finalized product, and if it the product is entirely without merit (doesn’t work at all), the early adopters will report on, greatly discouraging sales. This has certainly been true with software using this model, so the company is not entirely absolved from the responsibility of making a good product.

    That said, paying 20-50 dollars for a what turns out to be buggy, useless software, or even several hundreds for an electronic device that winds up as a doorstop, is not quite the same risk as losing a limb or your eyesight. Caveat emptor, as always.

  • Anderson Keim

    About bloody time.

  • Zog117

    Primary concern on my end: HOW MUCH?….

  • erwos

    I’m game. I’ve got a PTR-91, an M1A Scout, and an FN FALO… those are good test platforms, right?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Should be—

    • Maximus

      Love to see what happens with the fluted chamber on the PTR-91.

  • Lance

    We seen this time and time again. I dont see Polymer ammo working well. Remember .223 necks coming off when firing polymer cased ammo not good.

  • Josh

    I think you are lying Steve. I don’t think PCP ammunition is real.

  • Maximus

    Price $39.99 per 20 Round Box lol, and you can’t reload it. Sounds exactly like something I don’t want.

  • spencer60

    Great. Just what we need. Let the hysteria about plastic bullets begin…