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 5.56MM, M855 Ammo Question
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Spring Creek
Senior Member

1595 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2003 :  8:14:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Need somebody who knows something about ammo.
Came into possession of Ammunition in brown factory boxes of 30 cartridges.
This 5.56MM, M855 (what is on the box) or 223 ammunition has green painted ends on the bullet.
Box says: Manufactured in Israel by Israel Military Industries Ltd.
and Hansen cartridge Company, Southport, CT.
Is this armor piercing, tracer or ?
What do different colored bullet tips denote?

NRA Benefactor Life Member

Advanced Member

5612 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2003 :  8:57:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The 5.56-mm ball M855 (A059) cartridge has a gilding, metal-jacketed, lead alloy core bullet with a steel penetrator. The primer and case are waterproof. The ammunition is linked by a disintegrating metallic split-linked belt for firing from the ammunition box. In an emergency, the M855 round can also be loaded and fired from the M16 20or 30-round magazine. It is identified by a green tip, has a projectile weight of 62 grains, and is 2.3 cm long. This is the NATO standard round. It is effective against personnel and light materials, not vehicles.


IMI 5.56mm 62gr M855 Green Tip
Bullet Weight 62 Grain
Bullet Type Full Metal Jacket / Steel Core / Green Tip
Muzzle Velocity 3100 ft./Sec. - 16-Inch Bbl.
Muzzle Energy 1322 Ft./Lbs.
Quantity 30rds - Case 1200rds 40 Boxes, 30rds per box
Ship Weight 0.9lb. (Case 34 lbs.)
Price $7.00

"Don't send flowers when I die. Send money now so I can buy more guns and ammo."
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mark christian

28938 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2003 :  8:58:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a true ammunition expert on our board named ICONOCLAST and he may pop up here if he is not too busy answering a dozen other ammunition questions. I am but a humble firearms dealer but I'll take a shot at this. The M855 ball ammo uses a heavier 62 gr. bullet than the 55 gr. M193 ball round and gets it green to so that you can tell the two apart easily. The older M193 round has an unpainted tip and is intended for use in the older M16 series of rifles while the M855 is intended for use in both the current M16A2 rifle and the M249 machinegun. Red (M196)or orange (M856) tipped 5.56mm ammunition is tracer. I don't know if there is a dedicated armor piercing 5.56mm round, but if it did exist it would have a black tip.

Mark T. Christian
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Junior Member

157 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2003 :  5:56:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bama's description is right out of the book, and right on the nose.

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Junior Member

190 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2003 :  10:29:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You'll need the 1 in9" rifling twist (or the faster 1 in 7 twist) to adequately stabilize the 62 gr bullet. This ammo goes for a pretty steep price (as milsurp fmj stuff goes) So you can sell it pretty easily.
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Advanced Member

13106 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2003 :  2:02:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heck, no reason for me to step in, Mark! You and bama gave as good or better an answer than anything I would have posted. Only thing I would add is to address your comment about AP loads. There has never been any true AP in US ammo in this caliber except for some experimental lots. The steel core of the M855 adds some addition penetration capability in theory if not practice, but that's about as close as any standard loading has come to date.
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