Taking a Look Inside the Army’s DEVASTATING New M80A1 7.62mm Round

Previously, courtesy of The Wound Channel we got our first looks at the stellar ballistics of the 7.62mm M80A1 EPR round, which proved to combine excellent fragmentation with good armor penetration and barrier blind characteristics, while being extremely consistent. Now, TFB has received ten M80A1 cartridges, so I decided to dissect one of them to take measurements of the new round and its 130gr EPR projectile.

To do that, first I broke the tension in the cannelure by using a press to seat the bullet more deeper in the case, then I mounted the round into a kinetic hammer and went to town against a hard rubber mallet until the bullet was dislodged. Then I measured the bullet’s components for weight using my powder scale:


The bullet measured 8.48 grams, or 130.87 grains.



The case with primer weighed 12.30 grams, or 189.82 grains. Large rifle primers typically weigh about 0.35 grams per, so we can estimate a case weight of 11.95 grams or 184.42 grains.



The powder in a stainless steel cup weighed 38.08 grams. The cup weighs 35.18 grams, so that gives us a powder charge of exactly 2.90 grams (44.75 grains).


Next I measured the bullet for size; the only picture that was very convenient to get was overall length, as for the others I would have needed three or four hands to measure and photograph at the same time.


There was a little corrosion on this round, which is why I chose to dissect it. You can see the black sealing tar used to waterproof this round, as well as other military cartridges. If practical, I like to use military rounds for personal defense for this reason.

The dimensions were:

Bullet overall length: 1.1865″

Nose length: 0.640″

Meplat diameter: 0.033″

Boattail diameter 1: 0.220″

Boattail diameter 2: 0.265″

Boattail length: 0.170″


I should also say that before I broke apart one round, I weighed all ten rounds that I received, and got an average cartridge weight of 23.72 grams (366.06 grains) for an M80A1 round.

Next, I tried to dissect the bullet. I say “tried”, because I did so without the benefit of a cutter or many of the other tools I would normally use for that job. So a vice and small hacksaw was it. I was able to cut the bullet along the cannelure, and once I had made some progress, I found that I was able to snap the bullet in half by hand!


You can see the different color of the copper slug against the gilding metal jacket in this photo.


I wasn’t able to dislodge the copper slug or the steel penetrator, but that didn’t stop me from getting some measurements:

Jacket thickness (at base of penetrator): 0.022″

Penetrator length: 0.731″

Copper slug length: 0.425″

Copper slug diameter: 0.261″

The jacket on M80A1 and M855A1 are not uniform in thickness all the way around; we can see the variations in this bullet section from wolfganggross:

M80A1070616 009_zpspcyumvzr

Image source: AR15.com


Wolfgang gives a tested value of RHC 48-49 for the penetrator, which is nearly as hard as tool steel, and is a rating very typical of actual armor piercing steel penetrators (as opposed to mild steel cores). When I was working on cracking the bullet, several times my hacksaw skated off the penetrator without leaving a mark!

That’s all for now!


I am a nerd.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • d_grey

    Looks promising, but I wonder if the ballistics are really as they say. Am waiting for you guys to do a live test. 🙂

    • No plans to shoot the ammo on hand. I would check out the tests done on clear gel by William linked above.

      • mrsatyre

        Please link in a reply. For reasons known only to the Internet Gods, no link for William is showing up anywhere on this page in any of my phone’s browsers. Thanks!

        • KestrelBike

          It’s the first and/or second link. Fix the first part of the URL by the dot com (otherwise comments w/ active links go into moderation limbo):

          http://www.thefirearmblog . com/blog/2016/07/12/extreme-fragmentation-range-from-m80a1-epr-300-blackout-test-from-the-wound-channel/

          http://www.thefirearmblog . com/blog/2016/06/16/wound-channel-tests-7-62-308-m80a1-epr-glorious/

          • mrsatyre

            Thank you. Weird how many links only here on TFB refuse to show up in Chrome.

          • wclardy

            Not weird at all. Just remember Google’s original corporate motto, and realize that the vast majority of their C-suite consider this site inherently evil….

  • SDG

    I don’t see a .308/.309 bullet diameter measurement that the 7.62 would be. Looks more like a 6.5 to me. What gives?

    • Major Tom

      .308 was an arbitrary designation to make it stand out for purposes of labeling.

    • You are looking at the boattail diameters. I’ll take a photo to illustrate

    • Here’s a photo explaining the dimensions:


      Note that the bullet in this image is not the bullet I measured, but the second bullet I pulled. However, dimensionally they are very similar. Note that the boattail has about a 45 degree chamfer on the end; in the image this appears to be a radius, but in person you can see it’s a hard chamfer.

  • Gary Kirk

    I want some..

    • thedonn007

      Are we allowed to have any since it is AP?

      • ostiariusalpha

        If the ATF had its way with banning M855, then it wouldn’t have been. But the ban attempt failed, so these are perfectly legal to own.

        • lowell houser

          Currently. They will try again which is why someone out there in the DiY bullet swaging circles NEEDS to figure these suckers out and post a how-to. 5.56, .308, .338, .50BMG. We need ALL of those.

          • jcitizen

            The Army’s official reason for the round design was to supposedly make them more “green” – it wasn’t suppose to be a performance enhancement – however, I think it ended up that way anyway. I just buy my 50 BMG bullets with the cores already in them.

        • Hank

          The VP was just on tv after the Dallas shootings vowing another attempt soon, and threatening it may come via executive order.

          • David Harmon

            Can’t use an executive order. E.O.’s can not regulate commerce, which is what a ban on a specific ammo type will be doing.

          • I have a feeling that by February of next year we’re going to start learning the difference between “can’t use” and “shouldn’t be able to use”, and learning it the hard way. The Constitution is in for a rough four years.

          • David Harmon

            I doubt Hillary will be sitting in the big seat.

          • There was a reason I didn’t specify a candidate.

          • David Harmon

            Which is why I did.

          • I think you may be missing the point.

          • David Harmon

            I think you’re assuming that everyone agrees with you, or should agree with you.

          • …Yyyeah, you missed the point.

          • David Harmon

            Most certainly not. I just don’t agree with your opinion.

          • It’s not an “opinion” that neither candidate has any respect for the Bill Of Rights, and whichever one of those crooks takes over is probably going to appoint at least one– perhaps as many as three– Supreme Court Justices. The Constitution is in real, actual danger.

          • Tool19672 .

            My opinion , Its gonna be a rough road from here on out No matter what puppet is in the WH. The Puppet Masters control the strings As long as there are Sheep There will always be plenty of food for the Wolves…. Wake the hell up people !
            If not for yourselves do it for the generations to come ? If this place dont turn into another 3 world country first.
            Hillary > The only person i have ever heard of { in history } that can be under investigation by the FBI and still be in the run for the WH ? WTH ?
            If that were you or i we would have been locked up untill proven innocent , And you know that dont kid yourself…
            Besides all of the other scandals hillary has been involved in & People think she is just great WTH is up with that ?
            Benghazi , Emails deleted , Lying, Lying , Lying , Oh yeah did i mention LYING ?
            If HRC gets elected to the WH ,Then ( Everyone ) that had a hand in helping this Corrupt woman get into power is responsible for the Carnage that she will produce in the years to come.

            GOD BLESS THE USA !

            ” Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty “. ~ John Basil Barnhil

          • SoulInvictus

            I’d like to see any indication that this government fears the people in any way, at all.

            The “people” are too busy playing Pokemon Go and eating their EBT gibs to even know the government can data mine, spy, and execute psy-ops against them (legally now). And are too dim to care anyway when told.

          • Tool19672 .

            Your correct . Its past time to wake up .

          • David Harmon

            Anything not verifiable by quantifiable or corroborating data is not a fact, it is an OPINION.

            You like the rest of us in here can not possibly hope to predict the future, and Trump has been endorsed by the NRA, so you OPINION is nothing more than what I stated, unfounded opinion. It’s not a fact just because you FEEL that it is, and it’s highly irregular that someone would be a viewer of this site and think the stuff that you apparently do…

          • mbrd

            wow… missed the point and nailed the accelerator.

            try not to take it all too personally.

          • David Harmon

            Yeah, and I’m sure some jackass will come in here and alleviate me of my lack of picking up what was likely a vague point made by someone that would rather speak in riddles than be straight forward.

            Try not to take anything in life seriously, god knows we need more apathy and tolerance…

          • Gun Friend, I can’t open Google in a new tab and search [trump unconstitutional] for you. If you’re under the impression that Trump is a big supporter of the Second Amendment I’d advise you not to look too deeply into his record on it, since he was a vocal supporter of Clinton’s so-called “assault weapons” ban back before he was trying to trick Republicans into voting for him, and in his closing speech at the RNC Convention, he literally committed treason on national television. I’d further advise you to look up what the Constitution has to say about treason, if you want to see how much respect it has for traitors like Trump.

          • David Harmon

            Using other people’s opinions to quantify your opinion doesn’t magically change it into a fact.

          • oh wow you didnt click on any of the links did you

          • David Harmon

            I don’t need to click any links to know that a court of law is the only source that needs to be listened to for someone committing “treason”.

            Your thought or someone else’s opinion that he committed treason doesn’t make it so. Let me simplify this for your obviously limited intellect.

            Treason can only be committed against the state, and only the state can find someone guilty of committing treason. That is what living in a nation of laws means.

          • SoulInvictus

            You might like the reply I made in this thread.
            I’m pretty sure I remember having conversations with you on another site.

          • David Harmon

            Your name does read familiar to me, and I know I have had this discussion with people before.

            It’s like election cycles come and the notion of this being a nation of laws simply goes out the window for everyone.

          • SoulInvictus

            AmRen possibly?

          • David Harmon

            Maybe, I have only been on their site once or twice. Either way, good to see you again. 🙂

          • SoulInvictus

            I didn’t see any links in your posts.
            Edited out?

          • SoulInvictus

            The Constitution hasn’t been the law of the land in a long time. So crying over it not being abided by seems useless.

            It also wasn’t designed for a multicult society in which
            a. Women can vote. (Lots of psych science concerning that I won’t get into here).
            B. Large splinter demographics have ideals and goals toxic or directly contrary to values held by the founders.
            C. The public tolerates corruption to the point of incentivizing it rather than utilizing traditional traitor disposal methods.

            Julius Caesar wasn’t abiding by Roman law when he tried to unf**k Rome either…

      • Gary Kirk

        If I can buy api rounds.. Why wouldn’t I be able to get these

        • gordon

          It is my understanding that the Feds own the patent or something like that.

          • Gary Kirk

            No, actually the government lost a lawsuit against them for making this ammo, wanna say it was see company in Florida

          • Anon

            Liberty Ammunition was the company’s name.

          • Gary Kirk

            Thought so, but didn’t “know”.. Thanks

          • Anon

            You’re welcome.

          • Sulaco

            Ya Unka Sam stole the design and tried to say it was public information ignored the pat. Court ordered the Gov to pay Liberty something like .03 a round for each one made by the Army or its contractors….

          • Gary Kirk

            Yep, and a lump of somewhere north of 15 mil

      • gordon

        American Reloading sold them for a day or two. Neither they nor I have had a visit from the authorities, so apparently yes. I sure wish I had bought more than one box – even at a $1.78 per bullet.

        • Kevin Gross

          From what I’ve been told, the BATFE has taken notice and has “listed” all buyers so that if and when they decide, they will come and take them away. Happened with the M855A1. Probably trying to figure out how to collect them all right now. Knock Knock!

          • gordon

            Aghhhh! (runs around in circles with arms in air like Pee Wee Herman) Torture the paranoid guy, nice:-)

          • Slvrwrx

            LOL happened where? Even when the ATF confiscated all of Elite Ammunition’s “brass” 5.7 ammo, they never ONCE came knocking on anyone’s doors.. If anyone has had M855A1 confiscated, they probably stole it off the army base :

      • Anon

        The law is retarded in that it’s based on materials used in the bullet and whether it can be used in a pistol, instead of the actual hardness of the bullet or the actual performance (what it penetrates, that’s why you can buy solid copper 9mm bullets that can penetrate level IIIA kevlar vests).

        With that being said, to answer your question, yes, because as far as I know, it’s not armor-piercing as defined by the law.

        • PK

          The by-the-letter law also allows pure nickel cores to be used. For what it’s worth, I have a bunch of AP rounds for handguns that aren’t legally AP, but they sail through IIIa with minimal issues.

          Having swaging dies and a machine shop can, on occasion, be hilarious.

          • Anon

            How heavy are/were the bullets?

          • PK

            All over the place. I made a bunch of different calibers and weights to try out.

          • Anon

            Were there any results that surprised you?

          • PK

            No, not really. I aimed for legal handgun rounds and that was the end result. I suppose the only surprise was that basically every variety I tried worked fine as far as penetration. Without a deforming bullet, even RN FMJ but lead core, it’s easy to make things go through soft armor.

          • Anon

            By “basically every variety”, did that include .45 Auto? Because if you got that to go through armor, that’s awesome.

          • iksnilol

            You could take a hollow point .45 ACP, and then fill the cavity with a tungsten pellet from leadfree shotgun ammo. I don’t currently know what size of pellet will fit the hollow point of .45 acp, though.

        • ostiariusalpha

          It really is pretty stupid. You could have a bullet with a +1mm thick jacket of pure tungsten, and that wouldn’t legally be considered AP, yet if there was so much a spec of mild steel underneath, that is qualifies as an armor piercing core.

          • Giolli Joker

            “You could have a bullet with a +1mm thick jacket of pure tungsten”
            It’s the barrel rifling lasting less than a magazine that bothers me, otherwise…

          • ostiariusalpha

            Yeah, that construction is just for a conceptual example. Speaking more practically, you could have the tungsten as a cap on the nose instead, with a copper jacket on the bullet’s cylinder.

          • David Harmon

            I assume you were turning the nickel down, and then swaging the copper?

          • ostiariusalpha

            I think you meant to direct that question at PK, but yeah, that’s how I’d do it with the equipment I have at my disposal.

          • David Harmon

            Okay, I may have misaimed my click. I apologize for that.

      • wargamer1969

        Law doesn’t need to know. Better used on a theif’s get away car while driving away no ricochets.

        • iksnilol

          You do know that Black Talons aren’t armor piercing? And that they are currently made under a different name (ranger talon or something)?

          • gordon

            Probably not a good idea to shoot at a person fleeing in a car either.

          • iksnilol

            Oh boohoo, if they didn’t wanna get shot in the back then they shouldn’t have tried to run away from a fight they couldn’t finish.

            /Sarcasm for the love of God.

          • jcitizen

            In Texas they don’t care – if they are on your property, it’s shoot first and ask questions later. I’m actually for that, because we had several friends down there get shot up by drug mules, and they definitely regret NOT doing just that.

          • H.C.

            And they are three generations improved. Ranger T-series is the latest iteration. Federals HST is similar but not prone to denim plugging like the T-series.

          • iksnilol

            I’ve solved that problem with a steel BB filling the cavity. Overpenetration was a new issue. Should probably go for copper HPs.

            NOTE: Sure as heck might not be legal in your area.

        • rayward

          Nice to know I’m not the only one…

  • ostiariusalpha

    Heh, love the clip of EPRs. Does make me wonder what they could do from a .30-06 case. What were the highest and lowest weight deviations? And is that a typical deviation range for military projectiles?

    • gordon

      A quick and dirty guess using Quickload came up with 3,186 with 56.5gr Varget from a 24″bbl. I saw an analysis on one of the blogs (just searched for M80A1 BC) and the fellow there came up with a G7 BC of .182. I think that is similar
      to a G1 of .365.

      • ostiariusalpha

        That’s pretty impressive for such a light bullet.

      • Yeah, the 6.8ICS guy. I think his estimation method is a little maleshift, but his results seem roughly correct.

        I personally use 0.185 G7 for my math, but the BC in theory could be higher.

      • I just used JBM’s ballistic calculator to estimate the G7 BC of M80A1. The result was 0.189 G7 from Mach 3 to Mach 1.2.

        • gordon

          Thanks, I was too lazy to check the number myself. A bit embarrassed here:- It is even better than I thought. More reason to kick myself for not buying more:-(

          • I have decided to do a post on the ballistics of M80A1 to follow this one up. Short version: It’s awesome.

  • @nathaniel_f:disqus You find out measurements for the M855A1 like you did here for the M80A1?

    • No, hahah, I only have one round of M855A1 and I’m not dissecting it!

      • LULZ I bet you have that sole M855A1 locked up like the Hope diamond!

      • Slvrwrx

        I’ve got a spare M855A1 laying around if you want one to measure on. I don’t get that fancy when I do measurements. Just OAL, and diamater 😀

      • Kevin Gross

        Could always contact me, I got the good stuff baby.

  • Slvrwrx

    To Note the penetrator I tested for hardness on M855A1 is a full 9-10 points harder on the RHC scale than the M80A1 I tested. M855 steel penetrators often come in at the 46-49RHC (depending on manufacturer).
    You may see this loaded in 300 Win Mag on Buffman’s YouTube channel.

    • Interesting. I am sure there’s a reason for that; wonder what it is…

      • Slvrwrx

        Best I can assume is the 80A1 penetrator being larger/heavier they didn’t need it to be as hard?

        • jcitizen

          That would be my guess.

      • Core

        It’s probably a ROI thing, while maintaining the desired requirements. Velocity, mass, density, and assessed target mediums.

    • Gorilla Biscuit

      I have access to a few. I wanna rock modern advanced propellants in a supermagnum cartridge case say a 30-378 Weatherby against a IV plate @ 100 yds. Is that a thing?? I guess I need to make vids again hahahahaha…….

      • Slvrwrx

        in that loading it may very well penetrate IV. I’m hoping to have the 300WM to see if the velocity will help it through. The 3,050 fps M80A1 goes, will not penetrate level IV at 45′

  • Bob

    Anybody have thoughts on the scale shown? I looked it up on Amazon, expecting it to be three figures, and found it for $14. The Hornady electronic scale have has terrible repeatability.

    • Been using it for years. It’s not perfect, but it’s cheap and works.

  • TechnoTriticale

    Any idea what the density of the steel is?

    Most steel alloys are less dense than copper, and that, plus the shape, might tend to put the center of mass aft of the center of drag, resulting in instability.

    • That is why they are spin-stabilized. 🙂

    • gordon

      Steels all have a very similar density. It takes about 30 seconds to look it up. You think the Army and designer didn’t consider stability?

      • TechnoTriticale

        re: Steels all have a very similar density. It takes about 30 seconds to
        look it up.

        I did look it up, and the higher density steel alloys overlap with the lower density Cu alloys. Since the specific alloys here are unstated, this line of investigation is purely conjectural. Also, the center of drag is not obvious, and confounded by transonic effects.

        re: You think the Army and designer didn’t consider stability?

        Of course, and confirmed by accuracy testing, which would be something expected to suffer with an aerodynamically unstable projectile (which, odds are, this is not).

        Spin would overcome some instability, but my guess that this bullet is stable, and that the fluid dynamics have subtleties not apparent to armchair eyeball engineering. ☺

        • wclardy

          “[S]ubtleties not apparent to armchair eyeball engineering”
          Nice turn of phrase. I may have to file the serial numbers off that for future reuse on the unexpecting…

  • jim

    stellar article.

    So, when do WE get some? and how much?

  • BillC

    I wonder how it would do loaded as 300blk?

    • BillC

      I mean, would their be enough velocity for the bullet to function as designed well enough.

      • BillC


    • Vitor Roma

      The Wound Channel tested as that! It did quite well.

      • BillC

        Kewl beans, I’ll have to go check it out.

      • David Harmon

        Thanks, that was my question as well.

  • 22winmag

    I was randomly visiting the American Reloading website when these bullets were briefly available and picked up 200 (M80A1s left and M61s center and right). How cool am I? Yes, they are a little tarnished, but nothing like the big nasty spot in the photo here. Yes, they are being loaded into .308 and .300WSM for some personal R&D.

    • Slvrwrx

      You have a close up of the “M61s”? If they have the angled cannelure they are FN/IMI P80.

    • Blue Centurion

      Awesome. I have been looking for any M855A1 projectile/cartridge forever and have yet to find any.

  • AirborneSoldier

    Thanks. Nice informative article.

  • Goosey

    Why are there two boat tail diametres? Also, are you able to get an approximate ogive radius?

    • The boattail terminus is a chamfer, not a radius like many bullets. The two diameters are the larger and smaller diameter of that chamfer.

      I wasn’t really able to get an ogive radius, no, although calculating it shouldn’t be veey hard.

    • Hi Goosey, after examining my projectiles and an unlabeled drawing that I have, I believe M80A1 has the same 10-caliber secant ogive that M80 and M59 Ball have.

  • Adam D.

    Aren’t these new Army cartridges supposed to have carbide penetrators instead of heat treated steel?

    • No. That is M995 5.56mm and M993 7.62mm. M855A1 and M80A1 use steel penetrators.

      • Adam D.

        Oh, I see, thank you!

  • Deogen29


  • David Harmon

    Are these bullets available solo?

    • Gary Kirk


      • David Harmon

        I ask because I wonder how well they would do in 300 blk casings.

        • Gary Kirk

          Woundchannel did that as well, pretty good results

      • gordon

        I only know of the American Reloading sale. Where else have they popped up?

        • Gary Kirk

          Have seen them on gunbroker and a couple other sites..

  • toms

    Any speculation on the powder? Is it the same as normal M80 ball?

  • This thing looks brutally effective; I hope they get distributed by the millions as quickly as possible.

  • Isa Akhbar

    I’m sure this design will be applied to handgun ammo too…so, its come full-circle again for Big Army procurement: The current stock of bullet-launching devices are not really the major problem; maximally effective ammo IS…I can hardly believe they actually picked up this design, but let’s hope it does get to the ones who need it, and soon.

    • M855A1 has been fielded for about six years now, and M80A1 for about three. 🙂

    • Gary Kirk

      K, guess adding the link was a no go.. So, I’ll just say it, check out liberty ammunition’s website. In their le/mil only dept.. Some interesting looking 9mm

      • Keep in mind that Liberty Ammunition does not make EPRs, though. They won the patent lawsuit, but the ammunition they make that resembles M855A1 and M80A1 is not from the same line of development.

        • Gary Kirk

          Duly noted, but was referring to the question at hand about it in pistol calibers..

          • Pistol calibers don’t have the kind of velocity an EPR needs.

          • ostiariusalpha

            5.7x28mm does. It’ll never be as potent as M855A1, but that’s not the point.

          • Not with 62gr bullets it don’t. 😉

          • ostiariusalpha

            Different cartridge wants a different bullet. The 5.56 NATO and 5.7×28 may both use .224 caliber projectiles, but anything over 40 gr doesn’t gain enough velocity in the Five-seveN pistol to be useful, though I would be curious what that 62 gr M855A1 bullet would do to a Level III vest when loaded in a 5.7 case. Also, a flat bottom bullet would be preferable. Fortunately, due to the SS190’s aluminum core, you don’t have to fight as much with the EPR bullet being overly long compared to a standard cartridge load. Heck, you could match the silhouette of the SS190 exactly with a slightly heavier bullet, or match the weight with a slightly shorter bullet (and increase the powder load). As long as terminal performance is improved over the SS190, you have a success!

          • It’s possible, although the matter of bullet design is more delicate than you describe it. Plus, the poor sectional density and ballistic coefficient of such a bullet would give it a very poor fragmentation range, even with an EPR-style bullet.

          • ostiariusalpha

            It’s a pistol/SMG round, its range is naturally more limited than a service rifle round. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I mean, an EPR bullet is just begging to improve on this thing:

          • By “very poor” I mean “less than 100m.”

          • ostiariusalpha

            A 31 gr EPR bullet going at ~635m/s from a pistol, I think it could be effective out to nearly 200 meters (if you can even hit out that far). In a P90 submachine gun, you could get up to about 740m/s, with an extended terminal range.

          • Well, you’d be wrong. The bullet loses velocity too quickly, if we assume a minfragthresh of 580 m/s.

          • ostiariusalpha

            That’s assuming for the 62 gr bullet construction, the jacket on the 31 gr bullet could be adjusted (i.e. made thinner) to peel off at a lower velocity threshold without compromising the overall integrity of the projectile.

          • Maybe, with clever bullet construction.

            What I think is a better approach, is to realize that 5.7x28mm is basically a tiny .300 Blackout. The best bullet for the .300 Blackout is a lightweight copper alloy expanding slug, so something similar for the 5.7 would probably give you the best possible terminal performance (although AP characteristics wouldn’t be so great).

          • ostiariusalpha

            You seem to have already forgotten that the 300 BLK likes EPR bullets a lot, and AP is the name of the game with 5.7, so that actually seems like a horribly misguided approach for a PDW role. It might be fine for regular civilian self-defense, but if you want great expansion, you’d just go with a standard pistol bullet with a good hollow point design. An EPR bullet in the 5.7 would do what the round is supposed to do, penetrate CRISAT and Level IIIA body armor, with added terminal characteristics over what can be expected from SS190 (which as shown by Brass Fetcher, more than slightly sucks at fragmentation).

          • gordon

            Elite Ammunition said they are going to begin selling a Ti cored 5.7 bullet. They claim that, presumably after armor penetration, it will tumble and shed its copper jacket. So far I haven’t been very happy with the light bullets, as they veer off the straight and don’t penetrate deep (into gel anyway). Something like a Lehigh 45gr controlled chaos does penetrate fairly straight. The CC isn’t pushed fast enough to fragment but it does tumble consistently. It leaves two permanent wound “blowups” (somewhat 2 dimensional though they may be) at 5″ and 10″ and comes to rest between 14″ and 17″ depending on whether it passes through IIIA armor on the way in.

          • .300 Blackout “likes” EPRs? No, we have a single clear gel test at like ten feet. Maybe ten feet is all the frag range an EPR gets when it’s moving at 1,930 ft/s. Maybe more, we don’t know.

          • ostiariusalpha

            You are getting a bit of the topic here, but yes, I’d confidently say that it does based on the neck length, which is almost as nonexistent at 1929 ft/s as at ~3000 ft/s. You can guess that the jacket might fail to fragment at somewhere between there and a loss of a couple hundred feet per second of velocity, but there’s little to no evidence that it is in any way close to liminal at 1900 ft/s.

          • There’s no evidence that it’s not close to the limit, either. Again, that test only shows that M80A1 fragments well at 1,930 ft/s. We have no evidence that it fragments well below that. We have no idea what the frag range of M80A1 is for .300 Blackout. And I’d be REALLY surprised if it still fragmented at 100 yards when fired at that muzzle velocity, as that would mean it has an INSANE minfragthresh of 1,700 ft/s or lower. That would be completely unprecedented for a military projectile.

          • ostiariusalpha

            We don’t have 5 sigma of physical evidence that it will consistently fragment at less than 580 m/s, we just have two samples: one at a bit over 910 m/s, and one at ~588 m/s. From that it would be extremely sketchy to predict good or bad how it would perform at 520 m/s or less, and how progressively it would become inconsistent as the velocity decreases. But I can make a reasonable projection from those two samples that 580 m/s is not that liminal point, material science doesn’t leave us in the dark that the copper jacket will just somehow mysteriously develop extreme resistance to deformation at 8 m/s slower. Copper just doesn’t work that way.

          • I didn’t say it did; I said we don’t know. I think you are ignoring the ballistics. .300 Blackout loses 66 m/s muzzle velocity by 100m distance with the M80A1 bullet, so even quite a bit of extra margin there means the .300 Blackout has marginal performance with the M80A1 EPR.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Marginal compared to 7.62x51mm, but all of the Blackout’s supersonic expanding/fragmenting bullet loads are like that. I’m sure .300 BLK enthusiasts would be delighted if more projectiles specific to their cartridge were developed, which to come back around to the 5.7, would favor lower deformation thresholds than are available from .308 Win and .223 Rem bullets.

          • There is a limit to how low you can make that, though; you can’t just use an infinitesimally thin jacket; eventually you’ll run into problems with the bullet integrity during launch.

            As far as military bullets are concerned, the OTM-like 0.022″ thick jacket of M80A1 and M855A1 is as thin as anything out there. Maybe you could go thinner, but do you run into manufacturing or bullet integrity issues? If not, why didn’t the EPR team do it to extend the minfragthresh even further for M855A1 and M80A1?

            I don’t know the answers to these questions, as I’ve said many times now. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

          • ostiariusalpha

            At the velocities you’d see in a 7.62x51mm or 5.56x45mm, you might be skirting with loss of integrity having a jacket that will still fragment at just under 520 m/s, but from a .300 BLK or 5.7x28mm cartridge? I can guarantee that’s not going to be an issue.

    • myndbender

      Agreed. & the 130gr weight is ideal for SCAR H’s. I believe that’s the primary reason earlier SOST rounds in 7.62 were @ the same weight too; for 13″ bbl SCARs issued to SMTs. Btw, love your handle. Pic is of stylized Arabic script, “Isa ibn Maryam”. Thought you might appreciate

      • iksnilol

        Jesus son of Mary?

        • ABeiruty

          Correct. and it says Peace be upon him.

          • iksnilol

            All I know is that “ibn” means “son of”, and “Isa” is Arabic for “Jesus” whilst “Maryam” is “Mary”.

            “Peace be upon him” is “sallallahu alayhi wasallam”

          • ABeiruty

            “sallallahu alayhi wasallam means. Oh God, Raise his rank (for Jesus) and may Peace be upon him.

      • ABeiruty

        the Arabic letter “noun” in the photo is an indication that his a Christian.

    • iksnilol

      But doesn’t this design depend on velocity that pistol rounds don’t have enough of?

  • John Doe

    Spitballing here, but looking at the construction of the projectile, that has all the indications of pie pan at 100yds turkey load.

  • jerry young

    First you mainly covered just the bullet, what is the actual caliber? 7.62x? is it x39? by x54? you didn’t give the bullet diameter, what can this be shot out of? second you didn’t cover anything else like charge weight, I realize unless you were told what powder was used it’s hard to say the type, and how about some ballistics? like velocity, trajectory and range, will this be forthcoming? some of us aren’t up on all of this yet!

    • Blue Centurion

      Seriously? It is M80A1. M80 is 7.62x51and this is the “first look” I personally have found online of this particular cartridge.

      • jerry young

        That’s what I asked, 7.62×51 thanks!

    • gordon

      7.62 is the caliber of the bullet. You can load it in any 7.62 cartridge. The amount of powder will vary based on the cartridge, type of powder, and what your rifle likes. The linked Wound Channel videos did give velocities. Nathan also said he was going to do a more comprehensive write up about – 8 hours before you asked.

      • jerry young

        Yes I know 7.62 is the caliber of the bullet, read what I asked x39, x54 or what? not what you can load it in, I wanted to know what the m80A1 round is, is it 308, 30-06 these are just examples is that more clear? I already reload 7.62×39, I was not asking for reload specs but spec on that particular round all you needed to say was that information was covered in earlier posts and more to follow as far as the weight of the charge I was curious to know the charge of the m80A1 not what works in other rounds and I did state unless he was told what powder was used in the m80A1 it would be hard to know, I also stated I wasn’t up to speed on the article so I was asking, maybe I should rephrase my questions so everyone can understand

        • gordon

          Sorry. Since it had a US Army designation I thought it strange you would ask what cartridge it was part of. I didn’t realize you might wonder if it was a .311 or .312 and appropriate for a Soviet cartridge.

          • iksnilol

            To be fair, you can fire .311 cartridges out of .308 without much problems (though I’d recommend a slightly looser throat)

        • It’s an improvement on the M80, which is a US loading of the 7.62x51mm NATO.

      • maodeedee

        I’m glad to hear that a more comprehensive write-up is forthcoming because this article should have never been written. It’s confusing, misleading, and offers very little detail except that some Youtube Commando website called “The Wound Channel” fired some of these rounds into Ballistic Jello and declared it to be “Devastating” without even shooting it into any barriers, or apparently from what’s mentioned here, without choreographing the ammo to determine the ballistics.

        • gordon

          The Wound Channel is an entertaining site and does not claim to be much more than that. And indeed it is often entertaining. What is the url for your super informative and scientific firearms website/channel?

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          How does one choreograph a bullet? “I want to you to go straight to 100 meters, then pirouette and YAW! with vigor. Then turn about, hop twice and tap your heels…”

    • I did cover the charge weight; it’s 2.9 grams (44.75 grains).

  • Bob

    good old 7.62 Nato ( x 51) worked great in Vietnam in 68. Good old “ball” ammo.
    150 grain boat tail spire point Hornady works great on deers coming out of the good old M1A !

  • DetroitMan

    Good article. I would like to get my hands on some and see how it performs.

  • Lee Attiny

    I struggled to read past “more deeper.” Come on grammar.

    • uisconfruzed

      That could have been more gooder.

      • BigFED

        or less badder!

  • Leigh Rich

    What about NATO?

  • wclardy

    Nathaniel, is that last picture an indication that you’re suffering from a Garand-induced form of writer’s bloc?

    • Hah! It just… Felt right…

    • MichaelZWilliamson


  • BigFED

    How do I explain this? We, the pro-gun folks, are NOT helping our case when we publish articles like this “DEVASTATING New M80A1 7.62mm Round”!!! It conveys EXACTLY the wrong impression to the IGNORANT MASSES. All they read/see is the word “DEVASTATING” and automatically it needs to be banned along with ANY/ALL items even remotely resembling it! It makes NO DIFFERENCE if it is revealed that these rounds are limited in use or distribution/availability, they stopped reading/thinking at that word!!! We just went through one near miss with the proposed ban on the M855 round!

    Things like this remind me of the old saying “It is better to remain silent and thought the fool than to speak and remove all doubt”!!!

    Pardon the pun, but giving the anti-gun ammo that can be used against us is not the smartest thing! They may find out anyway, but pointing it out… Well. that is just wrong!

    • Cottersay

      If The Firearm Blog started writing simply to please the anti-gun pukes, then it would be one helluva sh!tty gun blog. The idea to kowtow to such morons is ridiculous — and fundamentally useless.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      There is nothing positive you can say about a firearm that the antis won’t claim is an endorsement of exterminating puppies in a terrorist training camp.

      There’s no reason to care what they think, and we certainly shouldn’t tailor articles to the people who don’t buy our products or belong to our community.

    • SoulInvictus

      That ship’s sailed man.
      They’re coming for an Australia type gun ban at the earliest opportunity.
      I say talk about the “devastating” Everything so that they rethink the consequences of enforcing a gun (or more likely, ammo) ban/grab.
      Even if the commie politicians don’t, the people that will have to man the truncheons will.

      Side note, if any language change should have been made by the gun industry it would’ve been to change “semi-automatic” to “single shot”. That should have been dumbed down for the public and panderers long ago.

  • BigFED

    Folks, IT IS A CARTRIDGE variation!!! All of you guys nit picking it and/or all those other rounds/calibers is a waste of time!!! WHEN the SHTF, you will use whatever round you can get your hands on!!! There won’t be any time for testing which is better!!!

    This ain’t golf where someone will be able to select the round of their choice for that particular moment out of their “stockpile/inventory”!

    And that brings up another wasteful topic! Many years ago when “white box” ammo, specifically Winchester Q3131/Q3131A was in short supply, several “preppers” published photos of their inventory. I was astounded that several had literally their garage/storage areas full of PALLETS of ammo! All I can say is “That must be some bug out bag!!!” Unless one ACTUALLY has a castle complete with moat and everything… Lots of luck!

    Yeah, I know! Set up hidden caches across the country, yada, yada, yada.

  • Reinhard

    Someone ought to point out, from a military standpoint, several of the Geneva Conventions ban the use of soft point, hollow point or fragmentary bullets. For better or worse, we are signatories of every one of those treaties. I realize that many of our military opponents are not signatories and probably wouldn’t care even if they were. That is what makes us the good guys and them the bad guys. We are a nation of laws.
    When I was in Southeast Asia, we were told not to wear the Red Cross (properly called the Geneva emblem)., because it made us the second target after the lieutenant. They were told not to wear their rank insignia. That didn’t mean we targeted their medical staff in return. If we want to withdraw from the various Geneva Conventions, then we should say so publicly, not secretly or wantonly violate them..

    • majorrod

      It’s actually the Hague Convention you are talking about. That convention does ban certain ammo and uses very specific legal definitions (not technical ones) to describe them.

      A round that fragments, acts like a hollow point or penetrates armor but wasn’t DESIGNED to specifically do so satisfies the requirement. Is it a way to get around the rules? Yes, but also many apply labels to rounds that are inaccurate e.g. M855 is not an AP round. Yes it will penetrate steel but so will ANY round if you shoot it at thin enough armor.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      The M193 round fractures at the cannelure. When West Germany and Sweden claimed this as a Hague violation, The Army’s Natick Research Center demonstrated that their 7.62 rounds did exactly the same thing. They shut up.

    • It’s the Hague Conventions you are thinking of, and not only did we never sign them AT ALL, but neither have most nations.

  • majorrod

    Great article Nathaniel!

    I wonder how long it will take naysayers to come around and denigrate the round as a “green round” ignoring its superior performance like they did with M855A1?

    • The misguided critics seem to have mostly ignored M80A1, maybe because of its .30 cal star power?

  • Archie Montgomery

    Do we know for what weapon – machine gun or rifle – this round is intended? The break-in-half implications and light weight suggest it is not for any long range use.

    Forgive my cynical attitude, but this seems to be another exercise in ‘inventing doo-dads rather than teaching troops to shoot’. I find it hard to believe the ‘old’ technology of the .30-06 armor piercing round would not be adaptable for 7.62mm ammunition and serve well to penetrate body armor.

    Of course, I don’t make any royalties from inventing ‘new’ thingies.

    The loaded ‘en bloc device’ is a bit curious as well. I do have a Garand in 7.62mm (actually advertised as .308 Winchester); could it be a test bed?

  • buzzman1

    Just an hand question. I remember reading when the 855A1 began its testing the bolt cracked at about the 1000 round mark. Please correct me if I’m wrong there.
    Have these rounds been tested in an AR platform to see if they would do the same damage and also in other 7.62 platforms?