View Full Version : true or false

April 19, 2012, 04:26 PM
read this on another fourm.

In the US forces all the sniper rounds are custom made by Black Hills per the customers requirements.

April 19, 2012, 04:27 PM
I say false

Shane Tuttle
April 19, 2012, 05:00 PM
That's kind of a general statement. What "U.S. forces" are you speaking and what source(s) are you referring?

April 19, 2012, 05:10 PM
its not my statement, I'm just repeating it as it was posted.
I would "cough cough" assume he's referring to ..snipers in the u.s. military... all branches.

now I've heard of Brass Extrution Ltd. making ammunition for the u.s. in the past and I just read on the Black hills site that they do in fact make "match ammo in 5.56 of the military..but that's it.


April 19, 2012, 05:17 PM
I watched a show on the history channel about the marine shooting team iirc.

All their ammo was loaded by arsenal handloaders to the shooters requested specs.

They had every wiz bang reloading tool you can think of.

It was an assembly line deal. One guy sizing. Handed down the line. Next guy was charging with powder using a measure, then trickling to final weight using a 1010.

Next guy seated bullets. Very neat.

Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk 2

April 19, 2012, 05:19 PM
I know they used to be arsenal loaded.

April 19, 2012, 05:44 PM
I thought that it was made by ATK. They own both Alliant Powder and I've been told that the Army requires that Reloder 15 be used in the M1118 LR ball ammo.

April 19, 2012, 06:08 PM
I don't think it's true, for several reasons. I think the US Armed Forces are very careful to not single source any mission critical components. And I don't think they'd tell you where they got their stuff. And there is not a single "sniper weapon" but several sniper systems in different calibers. Including .308, .300 WSM, .50 BMG, 5.56 Nato, etc. And each branch probably goes it's own way as well. I don't think the US fields any .338 Lapua but several allies do.

April 19, 2012, 07:50 PM
In the 7.62 NATO, I've mostly seen Lake City issued ammo for marksmanship teams and sniping over the years. The M118, M852 and M118LR have all been Lake City. The cases are headstamped with the LC initials.

In the 300 Winchester magnum it has mostly been Federal ammo with a 190 grain MK bullet. The cases have been headstamped with the FC logo.

In the 338 Lapua Magnum, the ammo that I've used had an "L" within a shield on the headstamp.

For ball ammo in the 5.56 (A1, the A2 and M4), 9mm and the 45, I've seen TZZ, FC, WCC and Lake City all issued.

April 19, 2012, 08:00 PM
False, with a grain of truth.

Mk262 ammunition is made by Black Hills. This is the Squad Designated Marksman round that was developed using the 77gr SMK.

M118LR ammunition is made by Lake City (ATK).

A191 300 Win Mag ammo, not sure, I think that Black Hills might be loading the new 220 gr SMK version. Not sure though.

For Marines, the same ammo is issued, however the Marines do get custom ammo for their rifle competitors, and it is hand loaded by fellow Marines in Quantico.

The AMU may have a contract for some custom ammo with Black Hills, but that would be an AMU only thing.


April 19, 2012, 08:05 PM
Black Hills does load the MK 262 round for the DOD special purpose rifle. Would not go so far to say all sniper use but it is the prefered round for a lot of the special forces.

April 19, 2012, 08:05 PM
From Black Hills website- We supply all match 5.56 ammunition for the US Military's Service Rifle Teams and provide specialty ammunition for specific military operations. http://www.black-hills.com/power_of_performance.php

Bart B.
April 19, 2012, 08:50 PM
Here's more info on the accurate ammo for 7.62 NATO service rifles.....


And the US Army championed the use of .338 Lapua Mags from AI for snipers.

April 19, 2012, 11:53 PM
In the US forces all the sniper rounds are custom made by Black Hills per the customers requirements.

False. The key word is ALL.

April 20, 2012, 12:53 AM
For Marines, the same ammo is issued, however the Marines do get custom ammo for their rifle competitors, and it is hand loaded by fellow Marines in Quantico.

The AMU may have a contract for some custom ammo with Black Hills, but that would be an AMU only thing.
Atlanta Arms & Ammo is listing 5.56 match ammo for Army Marksmanship Service Rifle Team, so "not all" US forces may apply - http://www.atlantaarmsandammo.com/MATCH_AMMO/match_ammo.html

Looks like Atlanta Arms & Ammo is also supplying pistol match ammo to AMU and Marine Service Pistol Teams too.

April 20, 2012, 11:36 AM
definitely false. all small arms ammo used by the armed forces is manufactured at the lake city ammo plant which is currently being run by ATK and is manufactured to specs laid down by the DOD. independent soldiers have zero say in how the ammo is made whether they are SEALS, snipers, recon, or Joe Navy that is pulling IA duty.

EDIT army competition shooting teams are a completely separate group of shooters. they compete with a number of people to show that they are the best in the world. military specs are thrown out the window for these guys however military operations do not affect what ammo is used. the closest combatants come to custom ammo for special operations is if you need to punch through vests, M855, if you need to kill unarmored BGs them M193, if you are working with allies, be prepared to shoot SS109 ETC...

that is simply blackhills claiming as much as they possibly can without getting in trouble with DOD in order to get people who don't know better to buy their product.

April 20, 2012, 12:50 PM
I believe Mk262 is or was made by Black Hills.

Dave Anderson
April 20, 2012, 01:21 PM
Certainly not "all", but Black Hills does make ammunition for the military, for both competition and combat purposes.

Here's an interview I did about a year ago with Black Hills president Jeff Hoffman,


William T. Watts
April 20, 2012, 03:19 PM
tahuna001 is correct about the Army Competition Shooting Team, they were at Trinidad State Jr. College in 2000 trying to recruit from Trinidad's Gunsmith program. As I recall they didn't recruit anyone, if I had been a young man it would have been tempting. One of the things I picked up on they loaded their ammunition for each shooters particular rifle. William

April 20, 2012, 08:08 PM
If I am not mistaken, American Ballistics also loads M118LR. I have five or six boxes of it somewhere. Simple brown boxes. I know they produce their own cases and bullets. Pretty high quality stuff.

David Wile
April 24, 2012, 09:45 PM
Hey folks,

Most of my federal civil service was with the Department of Defense. During the mid 1970s, I worked for the Marines at the Quantico, VA Marine Corps Base. While working there at that time, I can personally attest to the reloading of ammunition by Marines for use by their competition rifle teams. I do not recall if I observed the reloading of handgun ammo, but I clearly recall the reloading of rifle ammo for competition rifles in several calibers.

I would guess that each competition shooter was supported by a half dozen or more marines who made that shooter's ammo. The shooters were simply shooters, and the reloaders did nothing nothing but reload. Both shooters and reloaders did their jobs well. Meticulous notes were kept for each shooter so that specific loadings could be made for specific purposes.

At that time, the reloaders all used RCBS RockChucker presses along with other RCBS equipment. I found it interesting that all reloaders and any visitors to the reloading rooms were required to wear grounding straps. I had been reloading for some years at that time, and I never used any grounding straps. I never did take up their use of grounding straps, but I did marvel at some of the more serious efforts they took to make the most consistant ammo possible. A few years later while working for the Army, I found the Army did things pretty much the same as the Marines for their competition rifle teams.

Based on what I saw during my time with the DOD, I would be surprised to find that service competition teams contract out to have their ammo made for them. I don't see how they could get better ammo for their shooters than they were getting from their own people.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Bart B.
April 25, 2012, 08:34 AM
In the '60's and '70's, the USN Small Arms Match Conditing Unit in San Diego handloaded lots of ammo for the 7.62 NATO Garands. Their most accurate handloads were two types. One was special lots of M80 ball ammo loaded with IMR4475 powder with their 147-gr. bullet replaced with a Sierra 168 HPMK. The other was M118 match ammo with its powder and bullet replaced with IMR4320 under a Sierra 190. Through 600 yards, Remington and Federal .308 Win. commercial match ammo shot good enough through 600 yards. They also handloaded new .338 Win. Mag. cases into .30-.338 Win. Mag. for their long range match rifles.

In talking with USMC and US Army Rifle Team members years ago, they both used and liked Federal commercial .308 Win. match ammo that equalled what their support units handloaded with new components.

Best accuracy all those top military teams got with handloads or commercial match ammo was about 4 inches at 600 yards and 10 inches at 1000 from both M14NM's and M1's.

David Wile
April 25, 2012, 11:20 AM
Hey Bart,

The service competition shooters I saw certainly were not shooting rack grade rifles. They were shooting special competition rifles with heavy target barrels in the military rifles. Some of the shooters used bolt action rifles that ranged from commercial target rifles to fully custom built target rifles.

Yes, they sure were good. I was young then with better eyes than I now have, but my shooting skills did not come clost to theirs. In spite of that, I never had any desire to trade places with any of them. Both the shooters and the loaders were better than I at both shooting and loading. That was, however, all they did all day long. I was more content to both shoot and reload even if I could not do either as well as they.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile