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Cartels Using Armor-Piercing Ammunition


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There has recently been a lot of "tanks" made by various cartels that can have over 20mm of steel as armor. I find it interesting since that means that they expect to encounter ammunition that has at least some ability to go through armor. Now, the odd thing is that I have found so far only two reports of cartels using armor-piercing ammunition. One happened in 2011 with the seizure of a "Narco Tank" which was equipped with .50 caliber APM2 Black Tip. More recently, 6 people were caught trying to smuggle thousands of .50 caliber API Silver Tip from the US to Mexico. I am surprised that these are the only two cases I could find, since I have looked at numerous videos and images from Mexican media/forums. Does anyone know of any other instances?

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20 hours ago, Kristof said:

There has recently been a lot of "tanks" made by various cartels that can have over 20mm of steel as armor. I find it interesting since that means that they expect to encounter ammunition that has at least some ability to go through armor. Now, the odd thing is that I have found so far only two reports of cartels using armor-piercing ammunition. One happened in 2011 with the seizure of a "Narco Tank" which was equipped with .50 caliber APM2 Black Tip. More recently, 6 people were caught trying to smuggle thousands of .50 caliber API Silver Tip from the US to Mexico. I am surprised that these are the only two cases I could find, since I have looked at numerous videos and images from Mexican media/forums. Does anyone know of any other instances?

 

Probably enough M2 and M8 running around between the cartels that they'd want to protect against them. 20mm is also about the level of steel armor you want to decisively protect against .30 M2 AP, 7.62 M61 AP, and 7.62x54R B-32 API, and I'm sure there's plenty of both of those types running around too.

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On 7/30/2022 at 11:07 AM, Sturgeon said:

 

Probably enough M2 and M8 running around between the cartels that they'd want to protect against them. 20mm is also about the level of steel armor you want to decisively protect against .30 M2 AP, 7.62 M61 AP, and 7.62x54R B-32 API, and I'm sure there's plenty of both of those types running around too.

I genuinely think that AP and API projectiles are extremely rare among cartel forces, since all videos, images and reports seem to show ball and, at most, tracer rounds. Since my last post I have also been able to dig up one 2016 case of 7.62 black tip being used, although even in that situation their arsenal were almost all constituted of ball and tracer rounds. I guess that I'm just very surprised that among cartels, who can afford armored vehicles, heavy machine guns, and grenade/rocket launchers, projectiles with armor-piercing capabilities are pretty much unheard of. 

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