M855 Green Tip Ammo Explained

So about M855 green tip ammo. This is all you need to know.

Overview of M855 "Green Tip" Ammo

m855 green tip ammo
  • The M855, also known as "Green Tip" or SS109, is designed for enhanced penetration, featuring a 62 grain bullet with a steel core and a full metal jacket (FMJ).
  • It is recognized for its ability to penetrate intermediate barriers like auto glass, sheet metal, and plywood more effectively than standard FMJ ammo, but it is not classified as armor-piercing.
  • The steel core in the bullet is intended to aid in penetration but can adversely affect accuracy and is considered less effective against soft targets compared to the older 55 grain M193 load.
  • Technical Specifications and Usage

    green tip ammo
    • Cartridge Length: 2.258 inches
    • Weight and Length: 62 grain
    • Tip ID: Green
    • Slug: Lead
    • Jacket: Copper
    • Penetrator: Steel
    • Flash Suppressant: No
    • De-Coppering Agent: No
    • Velocity: 3,110 ft/sec
    • Chamber Pressure: M855
    • Penetration: 3/8” Mild Steel at 160 meters
  • The M855 is optimized for rifles with a 1 in 7-inch twist rate and has a muzzle velocity of approximately 3,100 feet per second.
  • It's noted that barrel length and twist rate can significantly affect the ammunition's ballistics, with longer barrels providing higher velocity.
  • Used for automatic 5.56 rifles such as M16, M16A2, AR70, HK33, M249 and others
  • 5.56 Ammo Ballistics

    Ammo Type Muzzle (fps) 200 yards (fps) 400 yards (fps)
    Winchester M855 3,060 2,529 2,055
    PMC M855 3,100 2,449 1,885
    Winchester 55-grain FMJ 3,180 2,425 1,943
    PMC 55-grain FMJ 3,270 2,555 1,943
    Federal 55-grain FMJ (American Eagle) 3,165 2,412 1,776
    Hornady 55-grain FMJ (Frontier) 3,240 2,468 1,817

    Range Restrictions and Safety Concerns

    green tip ammo
    ar500 steel
  • Many gun ranges, especially indoor ones, prohibit the use of M855 ammo due to its steel core. This is because it can damage backstops and targets made of materials like AR500 steel, which is commonly used for range targets.
  • The steel core can also pose a fire hazard due to sparks when it strikes a hard surface, adding to the reasons for its restriction at some ranges.
  • Ranges often use magnets to test for steel in bullets, banning any that attract the magnet to prevent damage to their facilities and ensure safety.
  • Comparison with Other Ammunition

  • The M855 is contrasted with the M193, the latter having a traditional lead core and being deemed more suitable for soft targets.
  • The M855 bullets are a bit longer because they've got a steel tip, which means they need a faster spin to fly straight. They're also heavier, with the green tip ones weighing in at 62 grains, while M193 bullets are lighter at 55 grains. These differences do affect how each round behaves.
  • The discussion highlights the M855's specific design for penetration, which was initially intended to improve performance against hard targets like steel helmets at longer ranges.
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