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Discussion Starter #1
Ray,

What is the real scoop on the N118 Special Ball? Others claim it is not even as good as the worst M118 Match and the only way to shoot them is to MexMatch. I have a line on 5 cans of M118 SB, don't want to MM them, too time consuming, getting lazy in my old age.

nez
 

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Top scores on a SR-1 NRA standard 100 yard target, 1-20 round mag only with my NM M1A

1, M852 Lake City from 1991. Top score of 200-20X.
2, Argentine FLB, surplus from 1983, 200-16X.
3, M118LR Lake City from 2003, 200-13X.
4, German DAG, surplus from 1993, 200-12X.
5, M118SB Lake City from 1988, 200-10X<<<<<.
6, M852 Lake City from 1988, 200-10X.
[SIZE=+0]7, Radway Green surplus from 1990, 200-10X.[/SIZE]
8, Greek surplus from 1980, 200-10X.
9. Santa Barbara surplus from 1968, 200-8X.
[SIZE=+0]10, Australian MF surplus from 1966, 200-6X.
[/SIZE]
11, M118SB Lake City from 1988, a 199-12X<<<<<.
12, Nigerian from 1970, 199-10X.
[SIZE=+0]13, Portuguese m/963 surplus from 1979, a 199-10X.
[SIZE=+0][SIZE=+0]14, Radway Green surplus from 1985, 198-12X.[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0]15, Belgium surplus from 1977, 198-10X.[/SIZE]
16, Bosnian surplus from 2003, 198-10X.
17, Radway Green surplus from 1995, 198-9X
18, Austria surplus from 1980, 198-8X.
[SIZE=+0][SIZE=+0]19, South African surplus from 1980, 198-6X.[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0]20, Santa Barbara surplus from 1980, 197-14X.[/SIZE]
21, Argentine surplus from 1983, 197-8X.
[SIZE=+0]22, German DAG, surplus from 1976, 197-8X.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0]23, German MEN, surplus from 1969, 197-6X.[/SIZE]
24, Singapore surplus from 1986, 196-11X.
25, Israeli surplus from 1974, 196-10X.
[SIZE=+0]26, Australian ADI surplus from 1988, 196-8X.[/SIZE]
27, Bosnian M118 surplus from 2003, 196-8X.
[SIZE=+0]28, Serbia surplus from 2002, 196-6X.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0][SIZE=+0]29, Malaysian surplus from 1982, 195-6X.[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0][SIZE=+0]30, Malaysian surplus from 1983, 194-9X.[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0]31, Lithuanian surplus from 2003, 194-6X.[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0]32, Serbia surplus from 1989, 194-2X.[/SIZE]
33, Venezuelan surplus from 1989, 194-2X.
[SIZE=+0][SIZE=+0][SIZE=+0]34, Denmark, surplus from 1993, 193-2X.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
35, Canadian, surplus from 1970, 192-8X.
36, Chilean, surplus from 1976, 191-4X.
37, Indonesian surplus from 1985, 190-6X
[SIZE=+0]38, Portuguese m/963 surplus from 1978, 190-4X.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0]39, Austria surplus from 1978, 190-3X.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+0]40, South African surplus from 1981, 189-1X.[/SIZE]
41, Pakistan surplus from 1979. Score of 188-4X.

It was always a great round for my NM rifle.

DI5
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting, I did not realize they made Special Ball as early as 63.
 

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Nez here is what I was told by a old timer, M118SB used 173gr projo's that couldn't make weight grossly +/- from NM 30.06 and M118NM ammo production, they are loaded up in std LC line brass.

I've fired a few lots of it and while some lots showed fair accuracy on the short line, none were as good as M118NM or M852 past. I had one batch of M118SB and the best it could muster at Rio's 500yds line was 9 ring accuracy.

Don't pay a premium for it, its no better accuracy than std LC line ammo..
 

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Ray, What is the real scoop on the M118 Special Ball?. . .
As easy as it sounds, that's a hard question to answer. Ask all the guys who have shot the M118SB and 50% will say they hate it, 50% will say they love it, and the other 50% are somewhere in between.

The SB was adopted in 1983 out of necessity because the discontinuance of the M118 Match left the US without a sniper round. It was often said that SB was leftover M118 Match that was repackaged, but that is not true. SB was a new cartridge with its own lot number series, very similar to the M118 Match, using the same tired M1 Type match bullet that was first introduced in 1924, and the same IMR 4895 powder. But, the case was pure 7.62mm NATO with a crimped primer, and the velocity was officially designated at 2640 fps, some 90 fps higher than the M118 Match and M852 Match. Officially it was intended and specifically prepared for use in high accuracy, long range weapons. In other words, snipers. (Photo #1)

In 1987 the powder was changed to the spherical WC846 which was used until the cartridge was discontinued in 1994.

The using services generally disliked the M118SB. But changes in the Army took place very slowly and so in 1995 the USN and USMC took it upon themselves to develop a better cartridge. The end result was the M118LR, still in use today. (Photo #2)

How will it work for you? Only you can tell. It sounds like you have enough to do the necessary accuracy testing and that's exactly what I would do. Personally, I have only shot it over a chronograph, not at a target, so I can't be much help. The results posted by XXIV Corps may give you a clue.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ray,

Thank you for the response.

The ones I have a line on are all 92 production, same lot. Once I get my number 1 across the course gun back from re-barreling I will test the ammo through it and report back. Will compare it with my 82 M118 Match, still have a couple of cans. Been using them for MM with 175 Bergers BTHP LRs for 600 yards when I am lazy to prepare brass and load. I also MM with 175 VLD for hunting. These combo shoot well. I don't think I ever shot the 82 M118 Match as they are. Be interesting to see. Will report back.

nez
 

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Ray Meketa is the Man when it comes to understand/knowing what Lake City manufactured and when.

DI5
 

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Ray Meketa is the Man when it comes to understand/knowing what Lake City manufactured and when.

DI5
Ray's knowledge definitely beats the old way: If it shot well, pull it down in an attempt to glean a reason WHY it shot well, & copy what looked good. LC 88 M118 SB, headstamped LC 87 (+), shot well so it was pulled down. At that time, without Ray's info, I fully expected to see IMR 4895 stick rifle propellant but was instead looking at WC846 spherical propellant. So instead of any answers, all I found was a big question mark. At that time, I was also just beginning to understand the M118 SB casing for what it actually was.

 

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Over the years I've learned that US military ammunition, including Match, is a lot like a box of chocolates. Several years ago an old shooter told me that he had shot LC M118 Match loaded with ball powder. He was an old guy and I was skeptical but, sure enough, I found a box of 1968 with WC. Even more surprising was a FA box that I found just recently (1965) also loaded with spherical.

Ray
 

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Bambam,
I knew I had read it somewhere but took me a while to find it. Unfortunately, no details were given on the selected lot of M118SB used to fire that 1.27" group @500yds. from an M24. HTH.

http://www.snipercentral.com/m118.phtml.

Ray,
Reference to your elusive MK 316 MOD 1 & possible MOD 2 is given. I have heard nothing from the younger guys I shoot/hunt with; one is a current DOD instructor. But we normally fire/talk shop on 5.56MM & 9MM. Will ask about current 7.62MM next time I see them.

Carey
 

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Carey

I have that article in my files. A few minor timeline and factual errors but, overall, very well written.

I have yet to find any of the Mk 316 ammunition that is labeled Mod 1 or Mod 2.

I have seen 2011 boxes and one guy says he has seen 2014 boxes, both labeled as Mk 316 Mod 0.

Ray
 
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