Rheinmetall MK281 MOD3 40mm practice ammunition for US Marines


The United States Marine Corps has just contracted with Rheinmetall to produce and deliver 40mm practice ammunition. The ammunition, specifically the 40mm x 53 MK281 MOD3 High Velocity Practice Day/Night Marking Cartridge, will be produced in Camden, Arkansas and shipped from American Rheinmetall Munitions (ARM), a Rheinmetall subsidiary based in Stafford, Virginia.


Rheinmetall MK281 MOD3 40mm practice ammunition for US Marines 925 001
Rheinmetall 40mm x 53 MK281 MOD3 High Velocity Practice Day/Night Marking Cartridge. (Picture source Rheinmetall)


Total order volume amounts to US$59 million (€51 million). Now booked, the initial order volume is worth US$25 million (€21.7 million). Production will commence no later than the third quarter of 2019; annual delivery volume is expected to be as high as 700,000 cartridges.

Rheinmetall‘s MK281 is a non-dud producing, non-toxic training cartridge fired from a MK19 grenade launcher. The cartridges use unique target marking technologies that enable both day and night training.

The Mk 19 or Mark 19 grenade launcher is an American 40 mm belt-fed automatic grenade launcher. It fires 40 mm grenades at a cyclic rate of 325 to 375 rounds per minute, giving a practical rate of fire of 60 rounds per minute (rapid) and 40 rounds per minute (sustained).

The MK281 design reduces customer costs by eliminating unexploded ordnance and range fires. Furthermore, it permits users to practice fire-and-manoeuvre operations in a safe, dud-free environment. ARM has been producing and supplying first-class, high-performance practice and service ammunition for American military and law enforcement customers for over a decade.


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