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Army taps Olin Corp. for $51.1M in small arms ammunition

By James LaPorta
Army taps Olin Corp. for $51.1M in small arms ammunition
A Scout Sniper Team Marksman, part of the Recon Platoon from Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, 53rd Brigade Combat Team, Florida Army National Guard, fires a Barrett M107 .50 caliber semi-automatic anti-materiel rifle at a 1200 meter target. Photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook/U.S. Air Force

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has awarded Olin Corp. a contract for several sizes of small arms ammunition.

The deal, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $51.1 million and modifies a previous contract award.

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The contract taps the Winchester Division of the Olin Corporation, out of Illinois, to produce 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber ammunition cartridges for the Army.

The Department of Defense classifies small caliber ammunition as rounds that are .50 caliber and below.

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The 5.56 mm cartridge is used in different weapon variants of the M16 Rifle, including the M4 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon that can fire either a 30-round magazine or a 100- or 200-round drum.

The 7.62 mm ammunition cartridges can be used with different variants of the Army's M240 Machine Gun, as well as with the M24 Sniper Weapon System, the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System and M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle.

U.S. Army special forces units along with the 75th Ranger Regiment, which falls under U.S. Special Operations Command, has been known to carry the Belgian-made Fabrique Nationale Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle, or FN SCAR. U.S. SOCOM uses the SCAR-H, or "heavy" version, which fires 7.62 mm ammunition cartridges -- other versions can fire 5.56 mm cartridge.

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For the .50 caliber ammunition, the U.S. Army uses the M2 Browning Machine Gun, which has been in regular service since 1933 and the Barrett manufactured M107 semi-automatic long-range sniper rifle -- the M107 has a maximum range distance of 4,400 yards or what equates to 2.5 miles.

Work on the contract will occur in Oxford, Miss., and is expected to be complete by August 2019.

The total amount of the contract will be obligated to Olin Corp. at time of award from Army fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018 other procurement funds, the Department of Defense said in a press release.

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