Ammo Evaluation: Malaysian L2A2 7.62x51mm

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The Malaysian factory SMOE (Syarikat Malaysia Explosives Ltd) is the only ammunition producer in Malaysia, and produces a variety of calibers for small arms and light weapons. The factory was established in 1969 with the partnership of Oerlikon and Dynamit Nobel, and became wholly owned by the Malaysian government in 1974. Today we are examining their L2A2 designated 7.62x51mm ammo. This was imported into the US packaged in both .50 caliber cans (540 rounds per) and .30 caliber cans (300 rounds per). Within the cans the ammo is packaged in both 20-round and 40-round brown cardboard boxes. Observed dates for this ammunition include the late 1970s through mid 1980s.


I tested velocity using a 7.62x51mm converted Israeli K98k Mauser rifle (barrel length 23.4 inches). Measurements were taken at 10 feet from the muzzle, with a sample size of 15 rounds fired. I found an average velocity of 2702 fps, extreme spread of 60 fps (max 2727, min 2667), and standard deviation of 19.37 fps. None of the rounds exhibited any unusual behavior when fired. Note that while this velocity is below the US specification for M80 ball (2750 +/- 30 fps) it is squarely on the British specification for L2A2 (2700 +/- 30 fps).


I tested the weight of 10 bullets using a calibrated Lyman electronic scale. I found an average weight of 146.2 grains, extreme spread of 1.5 grains (max 145.2 gr, min 146.7 gr), and standard deviation of 0.41 grains. Bullet construction is boattail with an open base, lead core, and bimetal jacket (these bullets do attract a magnet).

Primers are non-corrosive Berdan.

Raw data:

Velocities (fps): 2707, 2712, 2677, 2698, 2711, 2702, 2704, 2726, 2674, 2702, 2667, 2678, 2718, 2721, 2727

Bullet weights (grains): 146.0, 145.2, 146.5, 146.1, 146.5, 146.3, 146.1, 146.7, 146.1, 146.1

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