- Aircraft, Vehicles and Equipment Factfile > Saboted Light Armor Penetrator (SLAP) Ammunition

Saboted Light Armor Penetrator (SLAP) Ammunition

Velocity: 3985 feet per second
Maximum effective range: 4921.5 feet (1500 meters) against 3/4" High Hard Armor (HHA)
Unit Replacement Cost: $7.50 per round

Features: .50 caliber SLAP ammunition was developed by the Marine Corps during the mid/late 1980s and was approved for service use in 1990 during Operation Desert Storm. It uses a reduced caliber, heavy metal (tungsten) .30 inch diameter penetrator wrapped in a "plastic" sabot or "shoe" of .50 inch diameter.
Since the mass of the saboted penetrator is much lighter in weight than normal ball .50 caliber ammunition, SLAP's velocity can be significantly and safely increased in an unmodified M2 Machine Gun. This produces a very fast round with a very flat trajectory which enhances hit probability. SLAP ammuntion is completely interoperable with M2 machine guns with stellite liner.

Background: During the 1980s, the Marine Corps invested in both .50 caliber and 7.62 x 51 SLAP concepts. The .50 caliber effort was very successful and extends the light armor capability of the M2 Heavy Machine Gun significantly. The 7.62mm effort was not successful in the M60 and caused catastrophic barrel failures due to in-bore break-up of the sabot and the penetrator puncturing the side of the barrel. Also, its increase in penetration was not on the same order of magnitude as the .50 caliber SLAP's.

Date last modified: 11/29/95

Last Modified on June 17, 1999