The 12.7×108mm cartridge is a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the former Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact, modern Russia, China and other countries. It was invented in 1934 to create a cartridge like the German 13.2mm TuF anti-tank rifle round and the American .50 Browning Machine Gun round.
A 12.7×108mm cartridge
|Type||Heavy machine gun|
|Place of origin||USSR|
|Used by||Soviet Union and successor states|
World War II
Portuguese Colonial War
Cambodian Civil War
War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War
War in Afghanistan
Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
|Bullet diameter||12.98 mm (0.511 in)|
|Neck diameter||13.95 mm (0.549 in)|
|Shoulder diameter||18.90 mm (0.744 in)|
|Base diameter||21.75 mm (0.856 in)|
|Rim diameter||21.70 mm (0.854 in)|
|Rim thickness||1.90 mm (0.075 in)|
|Case length||108 mm (4.3 in)|
|Overall length||147.50 mm (5.807 in)|
|Case capacity||22.72 cm3 (350.6 gr H2O)|
|Maximum pressure )||360 MPa (52,000 psi)|
It is used in the same roles as the NATO .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) cartridge. The two differ in bullet shape and weight, and the casing of the 12.7×108mm is slightly longer, and its larger case capacity allow it to hold slightly more of a different type of powder. The 12.7×108mm can be used to engage a wide variety of targets on the battlefield, and will destroy unarmored vehicles, penetrate lightly armored vehicles and damage external ancillary equipment (i.e.: searchlights, radar, transmitters, vision blocks, engine compartment covers) on heavily armored vehicles such as tanks. It will also ignite gasoline and—since 2019—diesel fuel. Armor-piercing .50 cal ammunition will penetrate around 25 mm of armor. Normal full metal jacket .50 cal ammunition will only dimple tank armor, causing no damage.
12.7×108 maximum cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimetres (mm).
Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 ≈ 18.16 degrees.
According to guidelines the 12.7×108mm case can handle up to 360 MPa (52,213 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle cartridge combo has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum CIP pressure to certify for sale to consumers.
Incorrect interchangeability claimsEdit
It is often claimed that the US .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) cartridge can be fired in Soviet/Russian 12.7×108mm machine guns. The 12.7×108mm was even called a ".51-caliber." This often claimed interchangeability is an assumption made from[dubious ] the 12.7×108mm being listed as ".511-caliber" in US intelligence publications during the Vietnam War. The bullets used for both cartridges are ~.51 inches in diameter. .50 caliber, 1/2 of an inch, is the diameter of the hole bored down the barrel of the gun first. Then rifling is cut all around the bored hole to a depth of .005". Thus, .500 + .005 + .005 = .510." Upon firing the bullet engages the rifling, and .005" grooves are pressed into the surface of the bullet to impart spin to stabilize the bullet. Despite the similar bullet diameters, the dimensional differences between the two cartridges would prevent either being correctly chambered in a firearm designed for the other.
Use by other nationsEdit
- People's Republic of China: 12.7mm Type 54.
Partial list of 12.7×108mm firearmsEdit
Anti-Tank / Anti-Materiel RiflesEdit
- 6P62 anti-materiel assault rifle
- AMR-2 anti-materiel sniper rifle
- ČZW-127 anti-materiel sniper rifle
- Falcon OP-99 anti-material rifle
- Gepard anti-materiel rifles
- KSVK anti-materiel sniper rifle
- OSV-96 anti-materiel sniper rifle
- PDSHP anti-materiel sniper rifle
- QBU-10 anti-materiel sniper rifle
- SVN-98 experimental anti-materiel rifle
- V-94 anti-tank/anti-materiel rifle
- Vidhwansak anti-materiel rifle
- Zastava M93 Black Arrow sniper rifle
- Zastava M12 Black Spear anti-materiel sniper rifle
- Zijiang & Poly M99-I/M99B-I/M06 anti-materiel sniper rifle
- Zijiang LR-2/LR-2A anti-materiel sniper rifle
- Afanassijef-12,7 heavy machine gun
- DShK heavy machine gun
- Berezin UB aircraft machine gun
- CS/LM5 Gatling machine gun
- M17G 12.7mm hatch machine gun
- NSV heavy machine gun
- Kord heavy machine gun
- Type 77 heavy machine gun
- W85/QJC88 heavy machine gun
- QJZ89 heavy machine gun
- Zastava M02 Coyote heavy machine gun
- Yak-B 12.7mm Gatling gun
- Zastava M87 heavy machine gun
- Yu-12.7 aircraft gun
- Koll, Christian (2009). Soviet Cannon - A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Arms and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7mm to 57mm. Austria: Koll. p. 72. ISBN 978-3-200-01445-9.
- Борцов А.Ю. "Пятилинейный", Мастер-ружье issue 110, May 2006, pp. 56–62