IMI Systems has developed a new round claimed to combine the advantages of 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds.
The new round has been developed by IMI Systems' Small Caliber Ammunition Division based on combat experience and the operational requirements received from IMI's international clients.
This new ammunition is already being evaluated by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which is widely recognized as a leading laboratory for the testing of infantry assault rifles and ammunition.
The standard 5.56mm round is used in many types of assault rifles, while the 7.62mm round is usually used in machine guns. Army units have had to carry both calibers because of their relative advantages in dealing with different combat situations.
IMI claims that its new 5.56mm Armor Piercing Match (APM) round has better accuracy and penetration than standard 5.56mm. The new 5.56mm APM round is of the FMJ-BT Hard Core APHC type with a projectile weight of 73 grains and cartridge weight of 12.9 g.
Extensive ballistic testing performed by the IMI Small Caliber Ammunition Division showed that the new round is up to 30% more accurate than a 7.62mm MBO at a range of 550 meters. Penetration was also dramatically higher. When fired on a NATO 3.4mm steel plate, the new round achieved 100% penetration up to 800 meters.
According to IMI, the new round was developed to meet operational requirements of armies that are looking for ammunition commonality while keeping the benefits of the existing two calibers used today.
IMI says that the breakthrough development was achieved by a new bullet design, the type of powder used, and the way the bullet is inserted into its shell casing. A new type of primer was also used in the development process.
The new round can be used in assault rifles, including M-16s, and a wide range of 5.56mm rifles and machine guns.
The new round comes to the market at a time when the US Marine Corps is exploring new rounds to replace the standard 5.56mm M855 round, and NATO armies are looking for ammunition improvement.
The ammunition manufactured by IMI's Small Caliber Ammunition Division is used by elite military units all over the world.