Ammo for Classes: Recommendations / Restrictions

This is what it currently says on the Combat Team Tactics page on the website, and also in the Class Information Packets that are sent out once you book:

  • NO penetrator, steel core, armor piercing, bi-metal, M855 (Green Tip), tracer or similar. Such ammo will cause damage to the ranges and electronic target systems. FMJ / hollow point / soft point ammunition is ok. Ammo may be magnet tested.*

In addition, we are adding M193 / XM193 type ammo to the list. Before you react, these new rules will actually save you money!

It is known by anyone who makes steel targets or armor that XM193 ammunition is very hot and very hard on steel. Even though it is 55 grain ball ammo. In fact, at close range it is more damaging than M855 penetrator. This is primarily due to high velocity. We are using steel inside what are normal recommended ranges for keeping the steel from being damaged, but we are using CITTAC ‘ground & pound’ targets which sit on the ground and lean forward at a 30 degree angle (behind the stick-in Ivans). We have had zero problems using these targets up to 20 yards out, before shifting fire to manikins for the assault onto the objective. XM193 ammo causes pitting, other slower 5.56 / .223 ammo does not.

We use steel at class for two purposes:

  1. To protect the electronic pop-up targets with steel shields, which do not have target pits on mobile classes.
  2. Behind stick-in Ivan targets, to give feedback on hits.


For 5.56 / .223 rifles we recommend a cheap training ammo such as PMC Bronze .223 55 grain. This costs around $315 for a 1000 round case. Cheap bulk ammo that is good enough for any of the tactical training that we do at the VTC or mobile classes. It has a velocity of around 290o fps out of a 16″ barrel, against about 3200 fps for XM193 – and it is velocities above 3000 fps that really pit the steel.

On a related note, it is no secret that MVT Classes, in particular the weapon manipulation parts, are AR centric. 308 battle rifles are mainly discouraged due to cost and weight of ammo. We get the occasional AK. So long as AK ammo conforms to the rules above, it is fine – it has to be basic ball ammo. AK ammo (i.e. 7.62 x 39) is actually a lot slower than AR ammo anyway, so should damage the steel less. We do need more data on all types of AK ammo.

This is what the MVT information packet says about equipment weapons and ammunition:

Equipment: This may vary due to the specific course that you have booked (and will be confirmed if necessary by email). Specific gear information can be found on the relevant class page at This list is a guide for the CTT class, *starred items are required. Basic equipment for all tactical courses:

  • *Fighting Rifle: a semi-automatic battle rifle utilizing detachable magazines of minimum 20 round capacity. AR/AK type platforms are an example of a suitable rifle. The safety must be operable with the firing hand, by finger or thumb, without removing the hand from the pistol grip.
  • MVT Classes are AR15 centric for weapon manipulation training.
  • Rifle spare parts/spare rifle/optics are useful in case of failures.
  • *Ensure your rifle is well / excessively lubricated.
  • *Rifle magazines (20 or 30 rounds standard capacity): minimum eight.

– Unique tape on your magazines will help you find them after drills.

– Bring as many magazines as you can, pre-loaded, to avoid wasting time loading magazines between drills. 16 would be better than 8.

– *Bring 4 empty magazines to day 1 of CTT + 1 x penny.

  • *Eye protection
  • *Ear protection: Howard Leight Impact Sport/Pro electronic ear protection, or a similar product, is recommended. These will cancel out the harmful sounds of weapons firing, while allowing you to hear commands. They are excellent for tactical training, and safety.
  • *Load/ammo carrying gear: ‘Load-Out’ i.e. battle belt/plate carrier/tactical vest. Be able to carry 6 – 8 magazines on your person.
  • *Water source: canteen/ camelbak/ water bottles
  • *Bug repellant
  • *Medication: Ensure you bring any prescription medication. Inform cadre of medication location / type as necessary.
  • Knee Pads – not required but recommended.
  • Rifle sling
  • Tactical gloves/mechanic style work gloves
  • Boots with ankle support
  • Long pants, hiking or combat style
  • Long sleeved shirt/top
  • Sun screen
  • Rifle cleaning kit/lubricant
  • Clothing suitable to the season: i.e. warm/cold gear, rain gear
  • Any changes or additions to these requirements will be communicated separately.
  • Bring Camp Chairs to the Square Range days.

AMMUNITION: Work on an average of 4-500 rifle rounds per day. Check the website for individual class ammo requirements. FoF classes do not require live ammo.

NO penetrator, steel core, armor piercing, bi-metal, M855, tracer or similar.

NO M193 / XM193 ammunition or similar. No ‘magnetic’ ammo.

Recommended for Training: PMC Bronze .223 55 grain, or similar ammunition with a velocity of less than 3000 fps (16″ barrel). This will reduce damage to steel and electronic equipment on the ranges. For AK ammo, ensure it complies with the requirements above.

Ammo may be magnet tested. Steel cased ammo is not recommended due to failure / training delays caused.

Here are a couple of videos from Texas, where I am currently running classes, to show the steel in action:

General Info / Links: