This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
It is easy to forget, what wi all the hubbub about SIG’s selection for M17, Glock’s protest, and SIG’s subsequent recall, that the M17 program was intended to procure a “total system package”, not just a handgun. This meant, besides the handgun, ammunition, magazines, spares, accessories, holsters, and eventually optics and suppressors as well. While much ink has been spilt, and many glam photos taken of the XM17 and M17 MHS handguns themselves, we have not yet seen or heard very much about the ammunition it is intended to fire. From second-place finisher Glock, we have already seen the Federal-engineered Enhanced Barrier Ammunition. Partnered with SIG for the competition was ammunition heavyweight Winchester/Olin, and so it was reasonable to expect their entry to be something based on Winchester’s existing product line. At the 2017 Association of the United States Army annual meeting, that expectation was confirmed:
XM1153 Special Purpose ammunition, above an XM17 handgun. That looks a lot like a T-Series to me.
Winchester representatives at the booth confirmed that the ammunition was indeed XM1153 Special Purpose, and that it was based on the T-Series, but re-engineered for the US Army’s specifications. This makes me wonder if the new Special Purpose ammnition is more similar to the older Black Talon round, which uses the same basic design as the T-Series but which is engineered to expand slightly less while giving greater penetration. Or, possibly, the Army had other requirements and this is not the case; I am just speculating.
Also present at Winchester’s booth was the XM1152 improved ball round, which externally appears to be a simple flat-nosed FMJ. This suggests it may be a variant of Winchester’s 147gr Super Unleaded encapsulated FMJ round, which lacks any exposed lead base, instead being clad all around with a gilding metal jacket. It seems likely to me that the XM1152 has a different weight bullet, however, likely 115-130 grains rather than 147.