Military Guns and Ammunition

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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons, particularly in larger calibres (12.7+mm).

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.50 Browning API: Date of Introduction?   Ammunition <20mm

Started 18-Jul by elbmc1969; 603 views.

From: elbmc1969


OK, so there was incendiary available before that, but it wasn't API.

I haven't been able to find anything on the Web with dates.


From: autogun


Very little work was done on incendiary .50 cal until reports from Europe early in WW2 showed it would be useful to have. The British .303 Dixon/DeWilde design was copied in a simplified form (which was then copied back by the Brits). The .50 M1 incendiary was adopted in January 1942 with peak production in June 1943 (200,000 rounds per day). I don't know when it was first used in combat but presumably some time in the first half of 1942.


From: njslim


Some was in use by mid 1942

Gordon Prange "MIRACLE AT MIDWAY" has navy PBY crewmen trading with Army Air Corps men for

50 cal incendiary rounds for their guns at runup to Battle of Midway

In reply toRe: msg 5

From: JPeelen


That may be the case, but Incendary (M1) and Armor-piercing Incendiary (M8) are different designs having different effects.

As Tony already wrote, the M8 became available in late 1943, when Des Moines and Lake City started industrial production, joined by St. Louis, Twin Cities and Remington Arms in early 1944.

Source: Hackley/Woodin/Scranton: History of Modern U.S. Military Smll Arms Ammunition, Vol. II, 1978 

  • Edited 25 July 2020 12:43  by  JPeelen

From: autogun


Yes, the USAAF found that the .50 incendiary was a capable of doing a lot of damage but often couldn't penetrate deeply enough, while the AP could penetrate well but lacked destructive effect. So they eventually replaced both with the M8 API, at least in fighter guns in Europe, and were very satisfied with the result. The also sometimes mixed in a few M20 API-T, although there was disagreement about whether the tracers were worth it.