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US Cartridge, 40mm HE, M381

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This cartridge is a high explosive round designed to inflict personnel casualties from ground burst effect, and is fired from 40mm Grenade Launcher M79 or the M203 (attached to the M16 series rifle).

The cartridge is a fixed round of ammunition consisting of a projectile assembly and a cartridge case assembly. The projectile has a hollow, one-piece aluminum body containing rotating bands. A hollow aluminum ogive is fitted to the front end of the projectile. A hollow steel ball assembly containing the bursting charge is fitted into the rear of the projectile body. A booster charge with a PD fuze is threaded into a well in the forward side of the ball. The projectile assembly is press-fitted into a cartridge case. The case is a hollow, aluminum bichambered cylinder with an annealed brass propellant cup fitted into the cartridge base. The cup contains the propelling charge with a percussion primer in the center. The cup acts as a high pressure chamber and the hollow cavity in the case, which surrounds the cup, acts as a low pressure chamber. The fuze contains an inertial ring operating through push pins and levers upon a detonator.

Hazardous Components

Filler - Comp B (32 g, 1.14 oz)

M118 cartridge case

Propellant - M9 (330 mg)

Primer - Percussion, M42

See Also

PD, M552


TM 43-0001-28, Artillery Ammunition (chg 11, 2003)

TM 9-1385-51, Ammunition (Conventional) for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (1967)