The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 5, 2022, 03:51 PM   #1
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,939
Is there a good case for green tip 5.56?

I have a few thousand rounds of M855 that I bought back during the "Trump slump." But I have been wondering if it is worth buying any more.

These days M855 is more expensive than M193. M193 typically has better fragmentation performance. From what I've seen, M855 won't penetrate a level 3 armor plate unless it is fired from a longer than usual barrel.

So... What good is M855? Is is even worth buying at this point?
__________________
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old July 5, 2022, 05:43 PM   #2
SR420
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2005
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 3,303
Having some on hand is better than having none.
SR420 is offline  
Old July 5, 2022, 06:14 PM   #3
101combatvet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2011
Posts: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Lowman View Post
I have a few thousand rounds of M855 that I bought back during the "Trump slump." But I have been wondering if it is worth buying any more.

These days M855 is more expensive than M193. M193 typically has better fragmentation performance. From what I've seen, M855 won't penetrate a level 3 armor plate unless it is fired from a longer than usual barrel.

So... What good is M855? Is is even worth buying at this point?
It depends on your AR's twist rate.
__________________
Special Operations Combat Veteran
Gunsmith, BS, MFA - I can outsmart you!
Competitive Shooter - and out shoot you!
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor [8 Courses]
101combatvet is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 05:42 AM   #4
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,939
All of my 5.56 rifles are 1/7 or 1/8 twist. I honestly haven't seen a rifle with a slower twist in years, not counting the odd SP1 spotted at gunshows.
__________________
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 06:22 AM   #5
bacardisteve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2006
Location: West virginia
Posts: 634
Fmj in general kinda sucks for defensive use. I'm a reloader but my favorite .224 bullet for stockpiling is the 62gr speer gold dot/federal fusion. It's a bonded bullet designed to expand but hold together. My second choice and a better bullet for longer ranges is the Hornady 75gr bthp. Hornady loads it in their match and tap lines and I have seen first hand a few times what it does to whitetail deer it a great bullet if you have the twist rate to run it.
__________________
Kill em all and let God sort em out! USAF
bacardisteve is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 07:09 AM   #6
imashooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 368
FMJ is absolute garbage I say!!!!! Just ask all the hundreds of thousands of dead, wounded, disabled who were on the business end of them.
imashooter is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 08:58 AM   #7
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 7,652
I buy what I can find a good price on, I don't necessarily like FMJ rounds either. However, they are great practice and I don't worry if I loose some of the brass at the range. Being able to penetrate level 3 body armor has never been a consideration in what I buy.
__________________
NRA Life Member
taylorce1 is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 10:58 AM   #8
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,939
I have several hundred bonded JSP's and a few thousand 77 grain SMK's. So I am not hurting for good ammo.

I'm just curious if there is any reason to stock up on M855 vs M193.

It is my understanding that the military switched to the 69 grain steel core because it could penetrate a Russian helmet at some distance... 500 or 600 yards?

I don't typically shoot my 5.56's past 300 yards.


Honestly the only reason I could see wanting the steel core ammo was if dealing with bad guys in armor or needing to shoot through car doors and windshield glass. But talking of that toes the line of SHTF discussion which I know is not allowed here.
__________________
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 12:11 PM   #9
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 25,534
Back in the day when standard AR service rifles had 20" barrels and "slow" twists, they told us that the M855 with its steel penetrator core was developed and adopted due to NATO concerns about Warsaw Pact troops wearing body armor, and the effectiveness of the standard M193 ammo against them.

This was the primary military threat of the day.

I don't know of any civilian use that requires the M855 round, and, at least once I recall it narrowly avoided being reclassified as "armor piercing" and put on the restricted list.

It's a more expensive FMJ round than the M193 and will do anything you do with an FMJ as well, but why spend more for no real benefit??

IF you can get M855 as cheaply or cheaper than M193, I'd say "buy it cheap and stack it deep!". Otherwise, why bother?
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 02:16 PM   #10
101combatvet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2011
Posts: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Lowman View Post
All of my 5.56 rifles are 1/7 or 1/8 twist. I honestly haven't seen a rifle with a slower twist in years, not counting the odd SP1 spotted at gunshows.
__________________
Special Operations Combat Veteran
Gunsmith, BS, MFA - I can outsmart you!
Competitive Shooter - and out shoot you!
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor [8 Courses]
101combatvet is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 02:43 PM   #11
bacardisteve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2006
Location: West virginia
Posts: 634
Get whatever's cheapest for plinkers neither is anything special really. Steel core penetrator certainly isn't needed to go through windshields and car doors. Speed is what defeats steel targets if that's what your after. A 50gr vmax from a 22-250 will pass through 1/2"ar500 like butter @ 100yds
__________________
Kill em all and let God sort em out! USAF
bacardisteve is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 08:37 PM   #12
Metal god
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 6,298
Stock up ??? A few thousand of one type of specialty ammo is a pretty good amount . I’d say that’s plenty for you and your family if you need good penetration past 400yds or light barriers such as walls doors etc. really depends on what you plan to do with them . I have several different bullets for different applications to be used in specific rifles built for specific tasks . I also have do it all setups , it just depends on what you may need in your environment .

A few thousand of any one thing to complement a few thousand of a whole bunch of other things each would be really nice set up if you’re not planning on shooting any of them until you need to .
__________________
If Jesus had a gun , he'd probably still be alive !

I almost always write my posts regardless of content in a jovial manor and intent . If that's not how you took it , please try again .
Metal god is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 02:10 PM   #13
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,939
That's a great graph, 101combatvet! I saved it for future reference.
__________________
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 04:17 PM   #14
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 3,086
Makes you wonder why 1:8 isn't the standard commercial since commercial 55gr and 62gr Gold Dot/Fusion is the majority of all rounds people shoot.

223 Wylde barrels typically are 1:8
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 04:59 PM   #15
Shadow9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,968
so to answer your question, as I understand it green tip is intended for barrier penetration, not armor, although it does better in that area. but standard 223 fmj will punch through the vast majority of soft body armor. The down side it lots of ranges don't want you shooting green tip as it can damage the range or steel targets. I think its a wise idea to keep some on hand, same a FMJ and SP. how much is up to you. Personally if you have a few thousand I would not worry about getting more.


Delving into the twist rate. Bullet stability is dictated by a couple factors, twist rate, velocity, and length of the bullet.

Green tip and copper bullets are long for their weight as they are not full of lead and may require 1:7, 1:8 to stabilize properly.

With that said velocity plays a role too. More velocity = higher RPM and increases stability. so while a certain load out of a 16in gun might not be fully stable, out of a longer barrel it might be stable due to the velocity gains.

However a faster twist and high velocity can over stabilize a bullet too. with light varmint bullets with thin jackets you can put enough Centripetal force on them to make them come apart and explode as they come out of the barrel. With heavier jacketed bullets, if they are of lower quality, it will accentuate any imperfections in the bullets and can make them become unstable.

so while there are some guide lines involving twist rate, there are some exceptions as well.

Berger has a great twist rate stability calculator
https://bergerbullets.com/twist-rate-calculator/

JBM ballistics has a cool list of bullet by length
https://www.jbmballistics.com/ballis.../lengths.shtml
__________________
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.
Shadow9mm is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 05:14 PM   #16
stagpanther
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2014
Posts: 10,117
Always available...always goes bang...always prints 1.5 or better MOA in every AR 5.56 I've had--and that's lots of em... 1:9 twists were the only ones I had that strayed occassionally into 2 MOA but the ones I had are long gone. Only drawback is you'll have to take out the primer swage if you want to use the brass for reloads. And be careful--you may blow yourself up if you use 5.56 in a .223 AR.
__________________
"Everyone speaks gun."--Robert O'Neill
I am NOT an expert--I do not have any formal experience or certification in firearms use or testing; use any information I post at your own risk!

Last edited by stagpanther; July 7, 2022 at 05:19 PM.
stagpanther is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 07:56 PM   #17
kenny53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2015
Location: My back yard
Posts: 950
I bought some green tip 15+ years ago. I look at it every so often and it still looks shiny. I don't think I have shot any, I just shoot 55gr fmj. It seems to do fine and has never been stopped by any of the paper targets I have used. If I run into extra thick paper targets, I'll break out my 308.
kenny53 is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 09:03 PM   #18
Shadow9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,968
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenny53 View Post
I bought some green tip 15+ years ago. I look at it every so often and it still looks shiny. I don't think I have shot any, I just shoot 55gr fmj. It seems to do fine and has never been stopped by any of the paper targets I have used. If I run into extra thick paper targets, I'll break out my 308.
I managed to acquire some ww2 vintage black tip 30-06 for my collection a couple years back. They punched a hole through a piece of ar 500 armor, the thick paper targets should be worried
__________________
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.
Shadow9mm is offline  
Old July 8, 2022, 11:56 AM   #19
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 3,086
Since Gold Dot/Fusion (same bullet) are barrier blind, I don't understand why anyone grabs it green. Green doesn't substitute bonded Gold Dot, so....just buy Gold dot.
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old July 8, 2022, 12:09 PM   #20
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 25,534
It is a nice chart. But its lacking something, I think.
For comparison, it should also have the original AR 15 1-12" twist rate.

Quote:
I managed to acquire some ww2 vintage black tip 30-06 for my collection a couple years back.
US GI Black tip .30-06 (and .308) are actually, and legally, Armor Piercing ammunition.

Green tip .223, is not.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old July 8, 2022, 12:55 PM   #21
Metal god
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 6,298
Quote:
Since Gold Dot/Fusion (same bullet) are barrier blind, I don't understand why anyone grabs it green.
Do you have comparable data showing a bonded soft point has better penetration abilities then a steel tip penetrator .

Or maybe we need to define what penetration means first so we have a base line to work off of . Are we only looking at inside 50yds or at all reliably accurate distances ? What is being penetrated , mild steel , light body armor . “WW2 Russian helmets “ at 300yds+ ?
__________________
If Jesus had a gun , he'd probably still be alive !

I almost always write my posts regardless of content in a jovial manor and intent . If that's not how you took it , please try again .
Metal god is offline  
Old July 10, 2022, 03:55 PM   #22
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,939
I have never seen green tip compared to bonded JSP's. It is typically side by side with M193.
__________________
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old July 10, 2022, 05:52 PM   #23
Red Devil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2010
Posts: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Lowman View Post
I have a few thousand rounds of M855 that I bought back during the "Trump slump." But I have been wondering if it is worth buying any more.

These days M855 is more expensive than M193. M193 typically has better fragmentation performance. From what I've seen, M855 won't penetrate a level 3 armor plate unless it is fired from a longer than usual barrel.

So... What good is M855? Is is even worth buying at this point?
What's it for... and what's good enough?

Like good hits over 600 yd. helmet penetration.

M193:





Red
Red Devil is offline  
Old July 11, 2022, 02:20 AM   #24
armoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5,126
I had some, prints about 3MOA with my BREN, not sure what good it is for anything but paper punching, but I bought some back in the day. I use soft points and FMJ mostly.
armoredman is offline  
Old July 11, 2022, 01:36 PM   #25
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 3,086
Yes. Bonded gold dot or fusion does better on barriers.
Lots of google data awaits your own work. I just got you to the punch line.
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.27213 seconds with 10 queries