There are several variants of the heavy-hitting .50 caliber round, used by the U.S. military in M2 machine guns and M107 sniper rifles.
The .50 caliber M8 armor-piercing bullet has an aluminum color tip. The cartridge has a manganese molybdenum steel core, a point filler of incendiary composition and a lead-antimony base seal. The bullet is used against armored personnel vehicles and is used in the M2, M3 and M85 machine guns.
The .50 caliber M33 Ball has a plain bullet tip. The cartridge has been adopted and made by at least 30 countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Belgium, Israel, Netherlands, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. The cartridge has a soft steel-core bullet and is mainly used for practice. It is used in the M2, M3 and M85 machine guns.
The .50 caliber M17 has a brown bullet tip. The round is intended for use on full-sized ranges and is produced to meet a U.S. military specification. It produces a red trace and is used against unarmored targets. The .50 caliber M17 is used in the M2, M3 and M85 machine guns.
The .50 caliber M20 API-T has a red bullet tip with an aluminum color annulus. The bullet has a hardened steel core that produces a great deal of damage upon impact. The .50 caliber M20 is used in the M2, M3 and M85 machine guns.
The .50 caliber MK211 has a green bullet tip with an aluminum color annulus. This armor-piercing bullet is designed to perforate or penetrate hardened or bullet-resistant targets. The cartridge is used against armored personnel vehicles. The .50 caliber MK211 ammunition is ideal for use in the M2, M3 and M85 machine guns, and SASR Barrett or M82 rifles.