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The saboted light armor penetrator (SLAP) family of firearm ammunition is designed to penetrate armor more efficiently than standard armor-piercing ammunition. In the US it 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 of .50 inch diameter, and the .308 SLAP round was a .223 inch diameter penetrator core within the .308 inch plastic sabot.

Design and use

The SLAP design incorporates a polymer sabot, which allows for the use of a tungsten penetrator projectile of a lesser diameter than the original bore. By using the casing of a large cartridge with a lightweight projectile, the velocity of the projectile is greatly increased and the sectional density is improved without requiring a (potentially dangerous) increase in chamber pressure.

SLAP rounds have been designed for use against lightly armored vehicles and aircraft.

Saboted ammunition should not be used in firearms with muzzle brakes unless the muzzle brake has been specifically designed for such use.[1] 50 SLAP ammunition is completely interoperable with M2 machine guns with stellite liner.

Types of SLAP ammunition

The term "SLAP" technically only applies to the U.S. version. This article presents a genericized view when showing ammunition of similar design and purpose of other nations.

List of SLAP ammunition
Caliber Country Designation Description
7.62×51mm NATO  United States M948 (standard)
M959 (tracer)
Abandoned. Intended for the M60 machine gun, but caused catastrophic barrel failures when tested. Penetration was increased, but not to same extent as in the .50 BMG SLAP round.[2]
7.62×51mm NATO  Sweden 7,62 mm Sk Ptr 10 PRICK In use with the Psg 90 sniper rifle.
.50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)  United States M903 (standard)
M962 (tracer)
For use in M2 machine guns only (the open-tipped round design reduces compatibility). The 355 grains (23.0 g) projectile runs at 4,000 feet per second (1,200 m/s), for a kinetic energy of 12,200 foot-pounds force (16,500 J).[3]
14.5×114mm  China DGJ-02 SLAP Mainly intended for QJG-02. Dual-color tracer.


U.S. SLAP ammunition is produced by the Winchester Cartridge Company and Olin Manufacturing. The team began production of the ammunition in 1985. The sabot that contains the sub-caliber is manufactured by Cytec Industries.

See also


  1. ^ Michaelis, Dean (2000). The Complete .50-Caliber Sniper Course: Hard-Target Interdiction. Paladin Press. p. 411. ISBN 1581600682.
  2. ^ "Saboted Light Armor Penetrator Tracer (SLAPT)". Archived from the original on 2008-01-29.
  3. ^ "ARMY AMMUNITION DATA SHEETS SMALL CALIBER AMMUNITION FSC 1305" (PDF). Headquarters Department of the United States Army. 1994. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-12-22.