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Production of 7.62m.m. ammunition

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1978. NO. 18/78


(Joint statement by Minister for Defence and Minister for Productivity)

Production of 7.62 mm small arms ammunition

for the Services is expected to recommence within the

next two months, the Minister for Defence, Mr D.J.

Killen, and the Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian

Macphee, announced today.

There have been technical difficulties in

production, although there was no question of the

ammunition being unsafe provided it was used correctly.

The 7.62 mm ammunition was adopted by the

Australian Army in 1957 and initially used mainly in

the self-loading rifle (SLR). Since that time, a number

of machine guns had been introduced in the service.

These machine guns require the same calibre ammunition

as for the rifles.

When tested under conditions much more severe

than those normally found in training, these weapons

produced some ammunition failures. Investigations showed

the technical difficulties in production of the

ammunition to be associated with the thickness of the


cartridge case wall.and the propellant Being used. A

modified round has been developed. Resumption of

production of ammunition within the next two months

will allow the Army to replenish its stocks before any

serious shortages develop. .


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