Founded 65 years ago, Metallwerk Elisenhütte (MEN) has stood for first-class quality, maximum confidence and reliable safety from day one, producing cartridges for the German Armed Forces and its Nato partners since the beginning. Most recently, the company updated its portfolio around the calibre .300 AAC Blackout on eight lowemission cartridges.

Two of these are full metal jacket (FMJ) cartridges – the standard ball for service and training use in supersonic and subsonic velocity. Two more are lead-free monolithic deformation bullets that offer high-energy transfer into the target with maximised weight retention, designed for precise shooting through glass and other barriers. These deformation bullets come in two types of weight – the lighter bullet, ‘QD 7.1g’ is designed for penetrating bulletproof vests, while the heavier version ‘QD 8g’ will not penetrate a bullet-proof vest.

Of the other four cartridges, two are lead-free armour-piercing rounds of different weights – the lighter bullet, ‘HPC’, has the capability to penetrate a bulletproof vest up to SK2+ with nearly the same trajectory of the QD deformation cartridges. The heavier bullet, ‘AP’, is made for maximum penetrating power up to SK4 on more than 100m and has the same trajectory as MEN’s standard ball cartridge.

Finally, two lead-free rounds are also offered for training use. The ‘LFI’ is a FMJ bullet with a lead-free core that has nearly the same trajectory as the standard ball and the heavy AP round. In addition, the ‘Solid-Training’ cartridge is a solid-brassmade bullet that has nearly the same trajectory as the QD cartridges and the lighter AP round. Both cartridges have a special design for low damage on screens from shooting cinema and bullet traps.

MEN is also currently investing around €30m in a new factory facility for the expansion of cartridge case production but also to increase in-house production depth, which will start running in 2024. ­