PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J.: A new type of ammunition is arriving in time to help Soldiers in dangerous urban landscapes, such as those in Iraq.
Brig. Gen. James E. Rogers, commanding general of the Joint Munitions Command at Rock Island, Ill., approved the full materiel release of the M-1030 12-gauge shotgun breaching cartridge in late 2007.
“The M-1030 is an anti-material cartridge designed to be used for defeating wooden doors (deadbolts, knobs and hinges) and padlock hasps,” said R. Ned DeWitt, product manager of crew served weapons with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. “The cartridge is functional with the Mossberg 500/590 and the Remington 870 shotguns. The cartridges will be tested in the XM62 Modular Accessory Shotgun System as part of the product qualification testing for the weapon.”
The M-1030 is a Soldier-enhancement program that uses commercial-off-the-shelf technology. The first requirement was approved by the U.S. Army Infantry Center in 1997.
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., served as the testing area for the M-1030.
DeWitt said changes in combat from open field to urban environments drove the implementation for the changes.
“Since combat has migrated toward military operations in urban terrain, ballistic-breaching operations have increased. This necessitated the need for a specialized breaching munition capable of being fired from existing and future small arms weapons,” he said.
The most important aspect of the new munition is its safety toward Soldiers.
“Current shotgun-ballistic breaching utilized 00 Buckshot cartridges that are not designed for breaching,” DeWitt said. “Soldiers have suffered severe injuries during breaching operations utilizing buckshot cartridges,” he said. “The frangible projectile of the M-1030 minimizes ricochet hazards currently associated with buckshot breaching and provides a much safer alternative to the Soldier.”
DeWitt said the ammunition contractor, Alliant Techsystems Inc., will produce the ammunition in its plant in Minnesota, with ammunition orders already being filled by the Army, Marine Corps and the Navy.