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Keeper of the Sacred Block Coefficient

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Wednesday, July 17th 2013, 8:54pm

RSAA Small Arms Ammunition

7.62x58 Cape Mauser
The 7.62x58 round was originally designed for the SAE Army in 1892 as the first locally developed smokeless rifle round for the Army. The "Cape Mauser" turned out to be a good round for use in Africa, with acceptable accuracy and good performance. Modest updates in powder and primer types have resulted in this round continuing to be effective and wellregarded up to the present day.

6.5x55 Nordish Krag/Mauser
This round entered service in 1891 with accompanying rifle shipments from Nordmark, and was extremely well-regarded by South African troops. Plans were underway to produce the 6.5x55 in the SAE, but the Army leadership's desire to produce a locally designed round, and concerns about the lightness of the round, prevented wide-scale adoption. In the 1930s, the 6.5x55 Nordish Mauser round was one of the two rounds highly favored for use in a semiautomatic rifle, competing with the 6.5x54 Transvaal Mannlicher.

7.92x57 Mauser
This German-designed round was used irregularly for machine guns and some rifles between 1900 and 1930, as production of the 7.62x58R was insufficient at that time to meet the RSAA's demand, and large quantities of ammo were available from abroad with low expense. Although some weapons in this caliber remain in the Army's arsenals as second-line weapons, most were dispensed to security troops of the RSAN and RSAF.

6.5x54 Transvaal Mannlicher
The first version of the 6.5x54 Transvaal Mannlicher was a specialty round developed in the late 1930s as a child cartridge of the Austrian 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schonauer round, which acquired a reputation as an excellent elephant round due to its high sectional density. It was proposed as an alternate choice for a South African semiautomatic rifle. However, conversion to fit in the semiautomatic rifle designs required a reshaping of the bullet, and part of the rounds' better qualities were lost in the conversion. While the cartridge remains viable, it remains in very limited service with evaluation units.

8.9x24R Johan
This rimmed round (also called .35 Johan) was developed in 1889 as a modern cartridge for military revolvers. It continues to be widelyused up to the present day.

9x19 Parabellum
This popular German-designed pistol round, introduced for the Luger in 1902, did not appear in the RSAA's ordnance until the mid-1930s when semiautomatic pistols first were adopted.

7.62x23 Opperhoof Short
This small round was developed locally for use in small pocket pistols for senior army officers.

15x85mm Groot
This round was introduced in 1914 as a heavy machine gun round. It remains in regular service to the present day. It is also used by the Navy and Air Force.

7.62x85mm Elephant Hide / Bietjie Groot
This round was created by necking down the 15x85 machine gun round to fit a 7.62mm armour-piercing bullet. It was used almost exclusively for early anti-tank and antimaterial rifles, although recently it has seen more use in specially-chambered sharpshooting rifles.

20x105mm Tweekeer Groot
This round was developed indigenously for the first true anti-aircraft weapon in the RSAA. Recent addition of armour-piercing bullets has resulted in its use in an anti-tank rifle.