The U.S. Marine Corps is planning to order almost a 2.4 million polymer-cased .50 caliber machine gun ammunition, according to an update on a government business website.
“Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) intends to award a sole-source contract to MAC, LLC of Bay Saint Louis, MS.,” said in a statement.
The requirement is for polymer-cased .50 caliber machine gun ammunition and includes an anticipated total estimated quantity of 2.4M cartridges over a three year ordering period. The requirement is anticipated to include both ball and API ammunition.
For reference, polymer-cased ammunition is ammunition with polymer-based casings instead of the usual metal-based casing.
Lightweight polymer-cased ammunition is not a new concept. The first references to the possible use of polymers in the manufacture of casings come from the early 1950s. MAC, LLC is already making polymer-cased composite ammunition for General Dynamics’ .338 Norma Magnum caliber Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG).
The new polymer-cased .50 caliber cartridges are lightweight ammunition offers users up to 25% (some source reported about 45%) weight savings in a drop in replacement package.
According to MAC, these weight savings can be used to bring more ammunition, carry more fuel, water or batteries. No modifications are necessary for weapons or procedures.