Saturday, July 2, 2011

SS109 ammunition

During the 1970s, NATO members signed an agreement to select a smaller-calibre cartridge to replace the 7.62mm round. While there was agreement within NATO on the 5.56mm calibre, the M193 round used by US forces was rejected in favour of the more powerful Belgian FN SS109.

The M193 had proved appropriate for short-range engagements during the Vietnam war, but the SS109 had a heavier bullet but lower muzzle velocity, which gave better performance and greater penetration at the longer ranges likely to be found in Europe. When this powerful round is fired in long bursts from a fully automatic weapon such as the FN Minimi, its destructive power is phenomenal; it is capable of firing holes through brick walls that would not be penetrated by a 7.62mm round.

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