Army wants lightweight cartridge cases

    The Army is looking for vendors who can supply alternative cartridge case technologies to reduce the weight of 5.56mm M855A1, 7.62mm M80A1 and .50cal M33 cartridges by 10%. The cartridge cases must be able to be used by the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.

    FBO Solicitation number W52P1J12R0166

    The Government is seeking sources for alternative cartridge case technologies that provide a 10% weight reduction while maintaining all performance requirements when fully assembled as 5.56mm M855A1 (190g), 7.62mm M80A1 (392g) and .50cal M33 (1782g) cartridges. Suppliers must provide a description of their alternative cartridge case material, manufacturing process, Load, Assemble and Pack process (LAP) and submit tested capability with documented results. Future capabilities with timelines and level of effort required to meet the weight reduction should also be included. Respondents are to submit a unit price for the M855A1, M80 and M33 light weight cartridges assembled with their alternative cartridge cases and a projected ROM based on an annual rate of 1million per year, per cartridge. The assumed projectile costs are as follows: M855A1 ($0.15), M80A1 ($0.20) and M33 ($0.25).

    Respondents need to show the capability of their cartridge cases to be manufactured in quantities totaling approximately 45 million per year.

    PCP polymer cased ammunition. Photo © Gregory Markle

    Other than polymer cases does anyone know of any other lightweight cartridge case technology (caseless is by definition not a cartridge case technology).

    [ Many thanks to Travis for emailing us the link. ]

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!