Aircraft gun ammunition is developed for specific
types of aircraft-mounted guns. The M61A1/A2 uses
M50 series 20-mm ammunition. The M50 series
consists of various types of cartridges developed for
specific applications, including test cartridges, dummy
cartridges, target practice, target practice tracer, armor
piercing incendiary, high-explosive incendiary, and
semi-armor piercing, high-explosive incendiary. Blank
and dummy rounds are also used for practice and
The M50 series 20-mm ammunition is loaded into
the M6lA1 gun through the linkless ammunition
loading system (LALS). The LALS transports rounds
from the transporter to the aircraft system, and
simultaneously transports spent cases and cleared
rounds from the aircraft system to the transporter.
AIRCRAFT GUN AMMUNITION
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the
20-mm M50 aircraft gun ammunition
Identify M50 20-mm gun
cartridges and recognize their uses.
M50 configuration ammunition (fig. 7-1) for the
M61A1 Navy aircraft gun is issued in the form of
A complete service cartridge
assembly consists of a cartridge case, electric primer,
propellant, projectile, and fuze. All service cartridges
have matched ballistics and are electrically primed.
The M50 configuration ammunition currently
issued is classified as follows:
Figure 7-1.M50 configuration cartridge.
Dummy Cartridge M51A1B1, M51A2 (steel),
or M254 (plastic)
High-Pressure Test Cartridge, M54A1 (HPT,)
Target Practice Cartridge, M55A2 (TP)
High-Explosive Incendiary Cartridge, M56A3
Target Practice-Tracer Cartridge, M220 (TP-T)
High-Explosive Incendiary-Tracer Cartridge,
The cartridge components for M50-configured
ammunition as used in a complete round are discussed
in the following paragraphs.
The M103 (brass) and the M103B1 (steel) cartridge
cases (fig. 7-2) are marked longitudinally. The
caliber/case designation is on the first line. The
manufacturer symbol, interfix number, lot serial
number, and year of manufacture are on the second line.
The M103 case is loaded for use with all service
Figure 7-2.M103 (brass) and M103B1 (steel) cartridge cases.