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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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Ammo Inc HAPI - Hard Amor Piercing Incendiary - Level IV   Small Arms <20mm

Started 3-Oct by gatnerd; 740 views.
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

3-Oct

The failure of the .338 Tungsten AP load against Chinese Level IV jogged a memory of mine from SHOT 2020. 

At the show, Ammo Inc had displayed a number of Level IV plates that their new AP ammo had penetrated. I had forgotten about it, figuring their stuff was run of the mill Tungsten.

Well, now upon looking, their Level IV killer was the HAPI - a novel Tungsten API developed by SW Kenetics:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170299356A1/en

"Of particular significance is the high-explosive incendiary/armor-piercing ammunition (HEIAP), which is a form of shell which combines armor-piercing capability and a high-explosive component. HEIAP munitions use high explosives to “blast a path” for the penetrator. The special effect is developed when the round strikes the target. The initial collision ignites the incendiary charge in the tip, triggering the detonation of the incendiary charge. A second incendiary charge immediately behind the incendiary charge, typically zirconium powder, also ignites. However, the second incendiary charge burns at a very high temperature, is not easily extinguished, and can last up to 15 minutes. The remaining element of the round is the penetrator, which is normally constructed of tungsten carbide. The penetrator carries a large amount of kinetic energy, which enables it to penetrate the armor initially weakened by the incendiary charge. However, the leading penetrating extremity of the penetrator is embedded into the secondary incendiary charge. As a result, the secondary incendiary charge inherently interrupts the kinetic energy of the penetrator when the secondary incendiary charge detonates. The loss of kinetic energy in the penetrator can disable the penetrator from fully penetrating the armor, especially sophisticated armor. It would be highly advantageous, therefore, to remedy the foregoing and other deficiencies inherent in the prior art."

The gist being that the HAPI operates sort of like a Tandem Charge, where the forward mixture blasts/burns a path to weaken the armor, which the Tungsten core then punches through. 

This, on its own, does not seem particularly revolutionary.

Yet, the sales guide for the round offers some remarkable claims; begin page 15:

https://ammoinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/AMMO-Investor-Presentation_12.29.19.pdf

Claim of Level IV defeat at 500m

The .338 claims Level IV at 800 yards:

And claim that the .50 HAPI exceeds the classic Raufuss in penetration:

Normally I take ammo manufacturer claims with a hefty does of skepticism. 

On the other hand, while ammo manufacturers have been fleecing civilian shooters for generations, lying about military specs seems pointless. Civilians can't buy the ammo, and the military would test it prior to purchase to make sure it worked. 

And Ammo Inc did buy SW Kenetics to acquire this patent, something that they probably wouldn't do if they technology didnt work. 

https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-globenewswire/10e2b9a0d05b15535e291615636a32b5

Whats especially interesting is their 7.62 API load claims level IV armor penetration at 500yd, while their 7.62 AP offers no claim of Level IV at any distance - yet both claim the same level of steel penetration:

https://ammoinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/AI-762-HAPI-and-AP-Product-Sheet.pdf

So, perhaps they've developed some Incendiary mixture that attacks ceramics? 

The composition of typical Level IV plate is 2 layers; ~0.3" of ceramic tile, backed by ~0.7" of UHMWPE. Right now, the ceramic smashes/deforms the pentrator, and the UHMWPE backer catches it. 

But of this new mixture is able to sufficiently degrade the ceramic prior to penetrator impacting, it would be able to easily pierce the UHMWPE backer, which by itself can be pierced by basic M855. 

  • Edited 03 October 2020 5:53  by  gatnerd
autogun

From: autogun

3-Oct

I can see the ICRC reacting to this one. A round designed for anti-personnel use with an incendiary element? fearful

In reply toRe: msg 2
Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)

3-Oct

Suddenly anything less than 300NM or .338LM seem like obsolete for sniping over 600+m

Against unarmored, this still goes

Mustrakrakis

From: Mustrakrakis

14-Oct

gatnerd said:

Normally I take ammo manufacturer claims with a hefty does of skepticism. 

Especially when they're shooting plates from a company that has arguably the worst reputation in the industry, at least in terms of products performing as advertised.

gatnerd said:

On the other hand, while ammo manufacturers have been fleecing civilian shooters for generations, lying about military specs seems pointless.

The likely target audience was in the name of the PDF.

gatnerd said:

So, perhaps they've developed some Incendiary mixture that attacks ceramics? 

Did that "level 4" plate that they allegedly used the .308 HAPI on look like ceramic to you?

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

14-Oct

Well, there is white dust in the impact crater, which we typically see from ceramic strike faces.

Looking back in the photos I took at SHOT 2020 last year, I have this photo from their booth. They are displaying a Paraclete Level IV ceramic that they claim to have penetrated at 300yd with their round.

QuintusO

From: QuintusO

15-Oct

Keep in mind not all tungsten ammo is created equal. M995 can penetrate L4 at very close range. I don't know if that Chinese armor was created fora higher threat level than L4 but I also wouldn't freak out just yet.

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