M855 Green Tip Ammo
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M855 Green Tip Ammo


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Old 07-20-2015, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default M855 Green Tip Ammo

Many users of 5.56 x 45 ammo are craving the M855 Green Tip, thinking it is a step closer to the ultimate. I've done some reading and head scratching on this. I have some first person experience -former Marine, one year in Vietnam. The wounds we inflicted on our adversaries were often gruesome. I grew up hunting and shooting and knew there was something almost mystical about the black Colt and its tiny round. I soon learned about "YAW", or tumble in layman terms. It's short- coming was range.
New war in the middle east dictated a need for more range. M855 is developed with a non lead bullet and the range and accuracy needed to neutralize combatants with AK-47's taking pot shots. Problem solved. Hold on though. It's doesn't yaw (tumble) as readily. "We're making hits on the insurgents - sometime multiple hits without quick kills". They are dead, just not dead yet.
That's what you're getting with the M855. It does have a the ability to penetrate steel and concrete - and body armor! Yuk says Obama. Can't have it!
But, is that what you want when you hear that "bump -bang or crash at 2:00 am? The kids are asleep two sheet rock walls over and you grab your M4 with M855 ammo? I hope you know better. Your neighbors hope you know better. It has its place, but not in this situation.
Remember what I said about "YAW". You don't need 600 -800 yard shots standing in the middle of your house. You don't need barrier penetration. You need terminal effects - tumble and fragmentation. That's what we had in Vietnam. It did its magic so well I wondered how the Geneva convention rules of war allowed it.
In 2010 a new bullet was adopted that we will all crave, but will likely never have. Tad-Dah! The M855m1 EPR. (Enhanced performance round) this Bronze tip round has the non lead bullet with the hardened steel penetrator. Guess what - it tumbles. Yeh! Even at long range. The Physiology of the insurgents or ISIS plays a role in the failure if the M855. Usually thin, they have torsos of 7.5" thick. The M855 does not begin to yaw until 7" penetration, often exiting the body "ice-picking" you might say. The EPR requires less than 3" beyond impact point to begin to yaw and fragment leaving a 4-6" cavity, minimum penetration depth of 12", and doing it consistently. It can also penetrate 3/8" hardened steel at 350 meters( twice as far as M855 does).
So, I don't think I need the M855 green tip ammo. If ATF says no-no-no I'm okay. If they continue to allow it I'm fine too. If they allow M855M1 EPR don't get in my way.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:55 PM   #2
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One of the issues with the M-855 ammo is the 1/7 barrel is too fast for the bullet. 1/9 gives good results with M-855 ammo. The 1/7 was adopted because of the excessive length of the M-856 (Tracer) bullet. It did not stabilize in anything slower than 1/7.

As civilians, we are not bound by the Hague Accords and the requirement to use non-frangible ammo. Use a "good" bullet with a soft point, ballistic tip, hollow point, etc and do not worry about terminal performance. A Winchester 64 gr PP will penetrate about as well in "Civilian" ranges as the M-855 or M-193.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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I've tried M855 a while back and found wether the twist was 1:7 or 1:9 the accuracy left a lot to be desired.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:43 PM   #4
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If you want a round for home defence or personal defence, IMHO, the Hornady "TAP" (tactical action police) 55 grain bullet can't be beaten.

It was designed specifically for SWAT teams who need maximum energy transfer and minimum penetration.

Unless you're a "Doomsday" SHTF prepper, the TAP round is perfect.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnev View Post
I've tried M855 a while back and found wether the twist was 1:7 or 1:9 the accuracy left a lot to be desired.
The M-855 is a "machine gun round". It is NOT designed or loaded to "match" specs. It is designed to give a "cone of fire". Firing multiple bullets into one spot is fine if that spot is on target. Firing multiple bullets into an AREA increases the chance that at least one will hit the target.

If ammo is TOO accurate, it is rejected.
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