M855 Green Tip Ammo

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    • #108471
      Short Stroke
      Participant

        What type of objects can you reasonably expect green tip ammo to penetrate? I saw in another thread that using green tip exclusively (outside of training) is a good way to go, but I just want to understand what green tip can do for me since the Internet seems to be full of conflicting answers. I know that level 3 armor can stop it, but I’m also curious about other objects…say, not-too-small-to-hide-behind trees, cinder blocks, etc…things someone might try to shield themselves with. In short, what are scenarios where having green tip might tip the scale?

      • #108472
        hellokitty
        Participant

          I would say that the majority of rifle plates out there in civ and LEO world are only level III which green tips will defeat. From that stand point, having green tips is a good idea in SHTF since these plates will be most likely used. Green tips go through stuff better than 55 GR FMJ. Remember all the internet blah blah blah about terminal effects of 55gr FMJ, well those effects are great when you shoot someone without armor in your home, but those effects are not so good when you shoot stuff like structures, vehicles, etc. Green tips are better at penetration for just about all current building materials for housing in America.

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        • #108473
          Corvette
          Participant

            I have enough confidence in them to kill a Grizzly that I carry them in my M4..

            Bergmann

          • #108474
            DiznNC
            Participant

              I think M855 green tip is an excellent choice of combat ammo. I think a lot of all that static on line about it being ineffective was more due to shot placement versus it’s lack of effectiveness.

              As to body armor. Well, I think it has a very good chance of penetrating it. According to some combat vets that I trust, practically any armor can be penetrated by repeated hammering in the same spot. Even level IV armor is tested with multiple hits at least 2″ apart. If you shoot someone into the ground, keeping all your rounds in the upper thoracic region, you stand a very good chance of blowing right through his armor. That’s if you have the time and skill to do so.

              If you hit even level IV stuff with 5, 10, 15 rounds of green tip, hammering in the same spot (not a failure drill), you will stand a very good chance of breaking through. I know that sounds pretty unbelievable to many, because you were always taught to do failure drills. But I have talked to guys that have done just that, and wanted to pass that on, for your consideration. Note #1: If you are ever in NC, stop by and I will try to arrange for your to talk to one of them in person. Other than that, I cannot “prove” it to you. Note#2: This is also why you see top instructors insisting on accuracy and tight groups in training.

              But back to green tip, and other objects. Again, I would say “cover” would depend on who is shooting at you: as in how accurate they are, and how many rounds they send your way. If most any object is no better than body armor, and by that I mean repeated, accurate fire will eventually defeat it, then it would behoove you shoot and move! So most trees, cinder blocks, autos, etc. are probably temporary cover at best. Probably hold up to a few scattered rounds thrown at them, but if someone really knows what they’re doing, they will try and blow through it. If they have the time and skill.

              Inside structures, like typical houses, it’s a crap shoot. It can penetrate but then again it can hit plumbing n shit and deflect. I have read that 5.56 does not “over-penetrate” any more than 9mm in house firefights. Green tip would probably a bit more effective than typical FMJ, but then “over-penetration” might be an issue, depending.

              So yeah didn’t mean to go off into the weeds, but I think most folks assumption of effective protection from small arms fire is probably off a bit.

              Bottom line, yeah I think green tip is a good idea. I’m stocking up on it myself.

            • #108475
              Short Stroke
              Participant

                That’s quite helpful. Thanks, guys. Guess I’ll also have to test it out myself on trees and things around.

              • #108476
                DiznNC
                Participant

                  This goes to your estimate of the situation. If you are expecting inner-city gang-bangers, I wouldn’t expect their marksmanship to be up at these standards (worst-case scenario), but, as the man said, I train to beat my evil twin, who is (almost) just as good as me.

                  Same with an active shooter incident. What would his marksmanship look like? Possibly somewhat better than your average gang-banger. Possibly even a lot better.

                  There are evil dudes out there practicing as much as righteous ones. Count on it.

                  In training we typically put IPSC targets on stout trees, around 20″ in diameter. They will typically contain single rounds.

                  Dirt berms are very effective cover. I would want around 2′ thick, for overhead cover on a position.

                  Sandbags usually work, with densely packed sand or earth. But they will start to tear up after repeated hits. I would stack 3-4 deep.

                  Steel plate is iffy. Good AR 500 (level 3 ) and such will take repeated hits. A good plate will take over 100 hits. But much steel is unknown and green tip will punch right through it.

                  Ceramic (level IV) will take initial hits; as long as they are at least 2″ apart, it will take repeated hits. But you can hammer through it with repeated hits in the same spot.

                  But at the end of the day, I think your best “cover” is to put effective fire on the enemy. And then maneuver on him. Cover may not just be available in any given situation. You may be maneuvering with a team and be forced to take up a position to stay in alignment with them, rather than the perfect spot of cover. You may be assaulting (or breaking contact) where there is no cover at all. You may have to drop to kneeling (or even prone) positions to lower your profile because that’s all you got.

                • #108477
                  texas
                  Participant

                    DiznNC, not to get to into the weeds technically, but how do you account for the drop between your “practice” 55 gr ammo and the 62r stuff?

                    When I start thinking about different loads, things like BUIS, DBALs and Scopes that need to be adjusted for each rifle come to mind. I am sure I am overthinking it (at least a bit), but I am an engineer and have a little LR shooting background that I have to overcome to be practical sometimes.

                  • #108478
                    Brian from Georgia
                    Participant

                      The velocity and ballistic coefficient differences, and thus the trajectories, are not that great between 62 grain M855 green tip (3000 fps, .304 BC) and 55 grain M193 (3165 fps, .251 BC) to affect point of impact that much at typical combat distances. At least not for “battle rifle” accuracy.

                      With a 100 yard zero and a 300 yard target, M193 will drop about 2.5 MOA. M855 will drop about 2.1 MOA. That’s less than an inch difference. Even considering the 100 yard zero offset between the two rounds, you’re still well within a couple MOA. That’s plenty effective for the typical rifleman (but maybe not for the DM or and certainly not for the sniper).

                      I’ve found this to be practically true. My scope is calibrated for M855. I can zero at 100 yards with M193, switch to M855 and hit near the center of a head and shoulders D target at 300 yards using the reticle holdovers. Good enough!

                    • #108479
                      ffhounddog
                      Participant

                        I chose M193 back in the day and stuck with it. Most people in my AO use m193 and so its an option and I stuck with it due to ranges banning m855 in the area. Do I feel underarmed, not really. I could be the one out of many with m855 but, I do have 2 cases in the basement from when it was the same price as m193 for a few months, of it but when I could buy 1500 rounds of m193 for 1000 rounds of m855 it was an easy choice. We all have reasons why we pick certain rounds.

                        I have a stash of M855 at my family ranch that is just that…a stash. It is getting harder and harder to find anywhere to shoot it except the local outdoor ranges and then only into the dirt. I have not bought any in a few years and I think my supply is ample. I have been buying M193 variants and Wolf Gold almost exclusively for shooting and hoarding over the last couple of years. My rifles like the Fed Fusion MSR so I am building up a stash of this also. Food is at 3 months not counting the ready stuff. I always have and always will do something every payday to prepare for emergencies.

                      • #108480
                        hellokitty
                        Participant

                          Also to add to BrianGA, most of the 55gr FMJ ou there being used is not M193. M193 is Lake City Federal. So most of the training 55gr is PMC and such. It’s velocities are less than the M193. However, as BrianGA says, it is not significant enough to worry about. At 300 with a 100 zero, it drops 2-3 more inches than M193. Doesn’t matter, you still hit your man. Minute of Man (MoM)

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                        • #108481
                          First Sergeant
                          Moderator

                            DiznNC, not to get to into the weeds technically, but how do you account for the drop between your “practice” 55 gr ammo and the 62r stuff?

                            When I start thinking about different loads, things like BUIS, DBALs and Scopes that need to be adjusted for each rifle come to mind. I am sure I am overthinking it (at least a bit), but I am an engineer and have a little LR shooting background that I have to overcome to be practical sometimes.

                            As others have said, the difference is not enough to worry about.

                            I do the same as others, my BUIS, ACOG and DBAL are all zero’d using Federal LC or Winchester M855. I use M193 for all my training. I will periodically shoot drills with M855 to keep myself familiar with my hold overs.

                            As hellokitty said, there is a difference in real M193 and what some company calls M193. The same goes for M855.

                            FILO
                            Signal Out, Can You Identify
                            Je ne regrette rien
                            In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                          • #108482
                            DiznNC
                            Participant

                              Hey Texas:
                              Yeah it’s like they said, for me and what I’m doing, it’s still minute of man. I don’t think you’re over-thinking it as much as you just have to switch gears depending on your role. If I was a designated marksman, doing more precision/long range shooting, yeah I’d be more concerned with it. But for GP work, where I’m shooting at generally 100m or less, the differences are pretty much are negligible.

                              I will zero, and validate zero with 62 gr green tip, most every trip to the range at 100m. But when I move in closer CQB distances for training, I will switch out to 55gr. Or when I do a class and shoot 1,000K rds.

                              Technically you are right, in that it does affect my accuracy, but again at the distances I’m shooting it’s not enough for a miss. Now that being said, when I move out to farther distances, do things change? You bet. There is a noticeable difference at 300m. If I aim at the top of the head, the green tip flies “flatter” and will hit high thoracic area. With 55 gr I am aiming over the dude’s head to get a hit. So yeah, it’s a little anemic once you start getting out there.

                              I have recently converted one of my rifles to a “designated rifleman” type of config, with a free float bbl and a 1 x 4 power Loopy scope. I shoot 77 gr though it because it has even better performance at longer ranges.

                              So yeah I hear ya, it really depends on what I’m up to. If I’m doing strictly marksmanship training, then it’s green tip. If I’m doing tactical work then it’s 55 gr.

                            • #141912
                              rampantraptor
                              Participant

                                Quick stupid noob question about M855.

                                Managed to grab some Lake City M855 for like $169 for 500 rounds at the gun show in York (really nice gun show btw), another table there was selling Federal M855 for like a hundred bucks more. The Lake City stuff was loosies that had the green tips worn away and had some gun oil on them, the Federal was nice and clean in boxes and stripper clips.

                                I bought 500 rounds of the Lake City stuff for SHTF ammo (no ranges around me will accept steel core ammo, it’s all indoor ranges), but still want to get another 500 rounds later on for my stockpile, is there any real difference between Lake City and Federal or was it simply because the Federal was fresh and clean?

                              • #141944
                                DuaneH
                                Participant

                                  So as others have said: for our purposes, it doesn’t make much difference.

                                  Some observations about M193 vs M855.

                                  Supposedly the M855 was designed to penetrate Soviet helmets at 600 meters. An unreasonable distance even for me. Out to 300m both of them penetrate quite nicely. I have tested it on a US steel pot.

                                  Shooting quarter inch(-ish) steel (not ar500, don’t know what it was) at 300 yards the M193 cratered it and the M855 put tiny holes in it. Don’t know if that was the steel perpetrator or not. At 200 yards both went through. At 400 neither went through.

                                  I had quite a few X small SAPI plates. Not very useful on someone my size, so I shot them. Couldn’t tell the difference between M855 or M193 at 50 and 150 yards. I will say that the penetration seemed to be better with the 5.56 vs 7.62×51 at 150.

                                  None of my data is scientific, just personal observations.

                                • #141954
                                  rampantraptor
                                  Participant

                                    I was more curious if there was any difference in the brands that I should be aware of to warrant the price difference between the two, I love to find a bargain but also don’t want to stockpile a bad brand of M855 if there are any.

                                    Thanks for the feedback, I was already familiar with the added benefits of M855 as far as penetrating body armor go, though not that well. (I undeaded this thread to ask about the brands to keep things in one place.)

                                  • #141992
                                    DiznNC
                                    Participant

                                      Green tip is supposedly green tip, made to mil-spec, so in theory shouldn’t matter, right? But as we all know reality will rear it’s ugly head. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any difference between brands that much over the years; I’ve shot both Fed, and LS, plus IMI, PMC, Priv, all the usual suspects. What I have noticed is lot variations from any mfg, that is, something made on Monday may not exactly match something made on Friday. And that’s just process variation, within the spec. If you wanted to perform a Designated Marksman position, then I would make every effort to buy and train from case lots, so every variable is kept to a minimum. So the ammo you train with is the same ammo you would call out with.

                                      But most folks don’t go to that extreme. And when we are talking Minute-of-Man here, at typically close ranges, then this variable will probably be a lot smaller than your BRM skills (stance, grip, sights, breathing, trigger pull) under duress.

                                      I have shot a lot of my buddy’s green tip “range pick up” shit, just loose ammo, all scuffed up, sometimes even stained dull with early corrosion. And it all shot just fine, just cosmetics. Also shot a bunch of their 150 rd belts that were carried around in their packs for training weight. Samey, samey.

                                      I have “a few” cans of green tip laid back for a rainy day. It’s a mix of mostly Fed, LS, and IMI. And I could care less.

                                      And being the world’s biggest gear queer, I can get fussy about this stuff. But, when the balloon goes up, I know much of this stuff won’t matter; you use whatever you can get your hands on. So I try and not get too anal about this stuff.

                                      As far as M855 vs M193, don’t discount the smaller 55 gr round. M193 is still very potent stuff, and sometimes penetrates better in some circumstances because of the lighter weight and increased velocity. If it’s a matter of economics, then I would salt away M193 because you can build that up much quicker. But like the man said, get real M193, not all the reject stuff. Or steel-cased.

                                      I like SGAmmo’s stuff. They sell case lots of green tip at pretty good prices. Good source for IMI green tip, which is my preferred brand. It seems to be a little hotter than domestic, but, that could also be because there’s so much reject green tip around masquerading as M855.

                                    • #141997
                                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                      Moderator

                                        …had some gun oil on them…

                                        I would wipe down any ammo that had a foreign substance like oil, then air it out for a few days indoors before storing. As unlikely as it seems for milspec ammo, such unknown residue could effect ammo storage in a sealed container.

                                        Like any ammo, some firearms do better with one over another, so I like to test a batch before stocking up on it.

                                      • #142012
                                        trailman
                                        Participant

                                          Quick stupid noob question about M855.

                                          Managed to grab some Lake City M855 for like $169 for 500 rounds at the gun show in York (really nice gun show btw), another table there was selling Federal M855 for like a hundred bucks more. The Lake City stuff was loosies that had the green tips worn away and had some gun oil on them, the Federal was nice and clean in boxes and stripper clips.

                                          I bought 500 rounds of the Lake City stuff for SHTF ammo (no ranges around me will accept steel core ammo, it’s all indoor ranges), but still want to get another 500 rounds later on for my stockpile, is there any real difference between Lake City and Federal or was it simply because the Federal was fresh and clean?

                                          Que 1St Sgt on ammo. ;-)

                                          Get your ammo online, you are overpaying at the gun show not to mention the entry fee.
                                          I have Lake City, ZQI, PMC, Wolf Gold and some Wolf Steel left. I stock 855 and use 193 for training like a few others here. Just as an aside it all depends on the packaging, on how the product wears in the box. Was the ammo in the original box?

                                          That being said watch what you buy, different manufacturers load to different pressures. I know that first hand AND it will affect your gun. I’ve run into feeding issues with low pressure ammo like Wolf and PMC. Once those are gone I’m sticking with the LC, on average you are talking $10-$15 difference for a case and its well worth it.

                                        • #142064
                                          First Sergeant
                                          Moderator

                                            Lake City is the arsenal. Federal has a partnership with ATK to produce M855 and M193 for Federal. ATK currently has the contract to run Lake City for the Government. I just recently read that Winchester just got the contract.

                                            When you find Federal XM855 if you looked at the head stamp it was Lake City.

                                            During the early days of GWOT, Lake City couldn’t keep up with the demand so other ammo companies got contracts. One of them was Winchester. I have some WCC head stamped M855. You still see some of it floating around.

                                            One of the reasons that I keep M855 for SHTF is for penetration of plates. There are a whole lot of bad guys with BA out there and they were to cheap to buy level 4 plates.

                                            One of the other reasons that I recommend the ammo that I do is the same when it comes to AR manufacturers. QA/QC. Consistent velocity’s from lot to lot, correct primer seating, correct primer sealing and bullets are crimped.

                                            That holds true for either M193, M855, XM193 and XM855. Regular .223 wont have the same procedures done. I did a post about that a while ago.

                                            Other companies don’t do that. Some are flat out dangerous because they are loaded hot. They do that because there are so many garbage AR’s floating around with out of spec gas ports.

                                            One of the reasons that make M193 so good at certain distances is because of it’s velocity. It moves fast. A lot of people wearing AR500 plates for body armor wont like the results of getting shot with M193.

                                            FILO
                                            Signal Out, Can You Identify
                                            Je ne regrette rien
                                            In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                                          • #142093
                                            rampantraptor
                                            Participant

                                              I remember 1SG saying folks were having issues with .223 ammo not being crimped and whatnot and some brands just being crap, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t stockpiling a bad brand or anything since I hadn’t seen much discussion on differences between brands of 5.56 like I’ve seen for .223 and I trust folks here more than I do random posters on Arfcom.

                                              Thanks for the feedback y’all. :good:

                                            • #142103
                                              veritas556
                                              Participant

                                                @firstsergeant

                                                One of the reasons that make M193 so good at certain distances is because of it’s velocity. It moves fast. A lot of people wearing AR500 plates for body armor wont like the results of getting shot with M193.

                                                But hey, at least they won’t have to deal with the pain from backface deformation! ;-)

                                                • This reply was modified 1 month ago by veritas556.
                                              • #142123
                                                trailman
                                                Participant

                                                  Lake City is the arsenal. Federal had the contract to run Lake City for the government. I just recently read that Winchester just got the contract.

                                                  So should we be paying attention to future Winchester Offerings? And it should have the same QA/QC as the federal manufactured there?

                                                • #142231
                                                  First Sergeant
                                                  Moderator

                                                    I updated my post. I put some wrong info concerning Federal and Lake City.

                                                    Everything else is accurate.

                                                    I fucked that one up, sorry.

                                                    FILO
                                                    Signal Out, Can You Identify
                                                    Je ne regrette rien
                                                    In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                                                  • #142232
                                                    First Sergeant
                                                    Moderator

                                                      So should we be paying attention to future Winchester Offerings? And it should have the same QA/QC as the federal manufactured there?

                                                      I don’t know. Check the correction that I did on my post.

                                                      We’ll have to wait and see if they keep the same agreement with Federal or if Winchester starts doing for themselves.

                                                      I remember 1SG saying folks were having issues with .223 ammo not being crimped and whatnot and some brands just being crap, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t stockpiling a bad brand or anything since I hadn’t seen much discussion on differences between brands of 5.56 like I’ve seen for .223 and I trust folks here more than I do random posters on Arfcom.

                                                      Thanks for the feedback y’all. :good:

                                                      If it has a LC head stamp it should be good to go. Provided it’s not some jackass trying to pass off his reloads as original loaded LC.

                                                      FILO
                                                      Signal Out, Can You Identify
                                                      Je ne regrette rien
                                                      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                                                    • #142412
                                                      trailman
                                                      Participant

                                                        I don’t know. Check the correction that I did on my post.

                                                        We’ll have to wait and see if they keep the same agreement with Federal or if Winchester starts doing for themselves.

                                                        And, as we speak:

                                                        https://www.sgammo.com/product/223-556mm-ammo/1000-round-case-556mm-55-grain-fmj-ammo-loose-pack-made-lake-city-winchester-

                                                      • #142475
                                                        First Sergeant
                                                        Moderator

                                                          I don’t know. Check the correction that I did on my post.

                                                          We’ll have to wait and see if they keep the same agreement with Federal or if Winchester starts doing for themselves.

                                                          And, as we speak:

                                                          https://www.sgammo.com/product/223-556mm-ammo/1000-round-case-556mm-55-grain-fmj-ammo-loose-pack-made-lake-city-winchester-

                                                          That’s not a bad price for LC ammo.

                                                          FILO
                                                          Signal Out, Can You Identify
                                                          Je ne regrette rien
                                                          In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

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