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Sporting use of 5.56 Green Tip

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dr T, Mar 12, 2015.

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  1. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Member

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    Actually the green tip can be a decent round to practice for competitive target shooting. Steel being less dense means the 62gr bullet is longer than 62gr FMJ and has a better BC. Plus it is cheap and practice makes perfect.

    The more complex bullet design means lot to lot consistency can be iffy; but sometimes you'll find some very accurate stuff. My old Bushy 1:9 HBAR loved the Santa Barbara SS109.
     
  2. justin22885

    justin22885 member

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    i stock up on M855 for my AK because its inexpensive, accurate (about 2MOA with my AK) and plentiful, its also what the military uses so until that changes it will always remain as such and i prefer it over 55 grain M193 because of the external ballistics benefits of a larger ballistic coefficient giving more energy down range

    the history on the steel core stuff goes way back, well before we had body armor, the germans were using steel core stuff in WWII.. since we didnt wear body armor, evidently thats not why it was produced.. fact is the steel core stuff was simply cheaper.. as for sporting stuff.. the day i begin associating the second amendment with sporting activities is the day i lose respect for myself
     
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Just for fun?

    When folks ask what practical use do I have for my 50 BMG, I tell them the only thing I have used it for that my other rifles cannot do is poke holes in 1" plate steel.

    steel1in.jpg

    What good is a Ferarri or Corvette, why they are designed to break the law?
     
  4. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    I have nothing to back this up other than observation but: I would expect that green tip or other surplus 5.56 ammo is probably what about 90% of regular Joe type range shooting is done with. Marksmanship type of shooting presumably is done with match loads, factory and home grown.

    In this day and age, range shooting is the big shooting sport. So my hypothetical 90% ends up being a pretty large percentage of all the 5.56/.223 being shot today.

    Coyote hunters are going to be using polymer tip stuff I'd expect or similar expanding hunting bullets which abound in .223...again, factory and for home growing.

    So yes, there is a very large and very active use of green tip and other surplus military ammo for the sporting market.
     
  5. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    This ammo is popular because it is cheap. It was targeted by the Obama lackeys as a test case. The goal is to see if they can get away with it so they can create a "legal" precedent for doing away with it; then go after other types of ammo. Their goal is to make ammo extremely expensive and thus not readily available. They are reloading for the next round.
     
  6. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    I use it a lot for 200 yard practice for the national match course.

    Shoots offhand scores identical to any "match" ammo.

    Excellent LC brass for reloading.
     
  7. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    I have shot coyotes and wolves with green tip from a long barreled AR. It fragments within 150 yards due to its fragile bullet construction. My heavy barrel AR really likes it and it DOES NOT ACT LIKE AP.
     
  8. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    Upon passage and signing of The Gun Control Act of 1968 (at least 'cordin to thuh yankee fedrul gubmint)
     
  9. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I have a buddy that hunts coyotes with M855. Works pretty well.
     
  10. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    Plinking sure. If steel is involved in any stages of a course of fire, 855 may be expressly forbidden. When I was assigned to the cool kids in the .mil, we tried to get some M193 issued for training whenever possible, since 855 would tear up our various steel targets except at fairly long range.

    To me the argument is simply what others have noted -- 855 is not armor piercing ammunition as the ATF defines such, so it was inappropriate to give it a sporting use exemption in the first place. It never required such.
     
  11. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    I'll just add to the chorus...I like shooting. If I can find ammo that cost a little less, I like it even better.

    I've shot 55 gr. up through 69 gr bullets and most shoots just fine. By that, I mean OK groups out to 250 yds. I'm not a polished target shooter...so OK to me might not "make grade" for you.

    I do not like it when our elected politicians trim part of our 2A rights. I like it even less when a Government agency(non elected) try to do the same.

    My bet is this ban of SS109 and M-855 ammo is not gone. We will see it again.

    Mark
     
  12. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    Float Pilot,

    I intrigued by your observation that the bullet will tend to fragment withing 150 yards.

    Just how fragile is the jacket on this bullet, and what else is going on in the bullet construction that would lead to this?

    Dr T
     
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Dr T,

    Both 193 and 855 can fragment at the cannula on impact if velocities are above 2700fps because of yaw flipping the bullets and their fragmenting from the stresses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  14. BWB

    BWB Member

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    Regarding the discussions of "purpose", sporting or not, the Second Amendment is a lot like the First, or what is left of them: bullets are like words. We are free to use what we choose, knowing there can be varied consequences, positive or negative, for those choices.
    That does not mean we should allow unaccountable government functionaries to dictate what is acceptable regarding our words or our ammunition.
     
  15. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I hunt coyotes with the green tips. Works pretty good.
     
  16. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Since I've never used commercially-purchased M855 to commit a crime or for self-defense, its only use has been for sporting purposes.
     
  17. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    Blaming unelected and unaccountable Federal officials is all well and good, but the ATF didn't suddenly try to change the rules in a vacuum.
    That statement pretty much nails it.

    And when the Washington Post said:
    They were right on target.


    All Obama's statements after the confirmation vote did, was prove that it's better to be thought uncooperative than to assist in your own downfall.
    Maybe putting "politics ahead of the agency’s law enforcement mission", wasn't such a bad strategy after all. I doubt you can find many knowledgeable cops that believe banning M855 is an essential "law enforcement mission" of the ATF.

    I'm honestly not sure I see the utility in trying to justify continued sales of M855/SS109 as "sporting" ammunition.
    Instead, write your legislators and tell them to demand that the ATF prove that it's NOT.

    Because as Fishbed77 pointed out, unless the ammunition is actually used in the commission or furtherance of a crime, pretty much any purpose that it's used for other than lawful defense, can be considered "sporting".

    Just like a baseball bat, which according to a former colleague (with the cracked ribs to prove it), isn't much detered by soft body armor either.
     
  18. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    Now, to step away to the politics (which was not the purpose of this thread) and more to the subject at hand: The performance of the round in non-military applications.

    The wikipedia article on 5.56 NATO is pretty good. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56×45mm_NATO

    It cites, among other sources, "Do We Need a New Service Rifle Cartridge?", Small Arms Defense Journal, 6 January 2012.

    Per this source:

    If 5.56 mm bullets fail to upset (yaw, fragment, or deform) within tissue, the results are relatively insignificant wounds. This is true for all 5.56×45mm bullets, including both military FMJ and OTM (open tip match) and civilian JHP/JSP designs used in law enforcement. As expected, with decreased wounding effects, rapid incapacitation is unlikely: enemy soldiers may continue to pose a threat to friendly forces and violent suspects can remain a danger to law enforcement personnel and the public.

    This failure of 5.56×45mm NATO bullets to yaw and fragment can be caused by reduced impact velocities as when fired from short-barreled weapons or when the range to the target increases. Failure to yaw and fragment can also occur when the bullets pass through only minimal tissue, such as a limb or the chest of a thin, small statured individual, as the bullet may exit the body before it has a chance to yaw and fragment. Two other yaw issues: Angle-of-Attack (AOA) variations between different projectiles, even within the same lot of ammo, as well as Fleet Yaw variations between different rifles, were elucidated in 2006 by the Joint Service Wound Ballistic Integrated Product Team (JSWB-IPT), which included experts from the military law enforcement user community, trauma surgeons, aero ballisticians, weapon and munitions engineers, and other scientific specialists. These yaw issues were most noticeable at close ranges and were more prevalent with certain calibers and bullet styles—the most susceptible being 5.56x45mm NATO FMJ ammunition like SS109/M855 and M193.

    There are also sketches of wound channels. It jogged my memory back to the time of the Vietnam war when the cartridge was adopted. I remember reading press reports about the wound channels created.

    I am still wary of using it on anything bigger than a coyote. However, I did pick up 250 rounds to try out.

    We shall see.
     
  19. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Its primary use, like 55gr FMJ, is as a relatively inexpensive target and plinking round. It won't group like Black Hills or anything, but it has a better ballistic coefficient than M193 (the *only* reason it out-penetrates M193 at range, BTW; M193 lead-core FMJ out-penetrates M855 at close range).
     
  20. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    The M193 and M855 rounds belie their FMJ designation. At distances up to about 175 yards when fired from a rifle with a 22-26" barrel the bullet will yaw and fragment when fired into flesh or ballistic gelatin.

    i've killed dozens of wild hogs with the M193 round. When a hog standing broadside is shot behind the crook in the front leg, the bullet penetrates 4-6", yaws and fragments. Bullet fragments often shred the heart, lungs and diaphragm of 200 pound hogs.

    At ranges in excess if about 175 yards, when fired from a rifle, the magic is gone.

    Col. Fackler on wound ballistics:

    http://the-puzzle-palace.com/files/military_bullet_wound_patterns.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  21. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    Sorry, but the whole "ban" attempt is a political act, done for political reasons.

    As for dealing with the subject at hand, instead of looking at "non-military applications", let's look at military use (or rather abandonment) of M855.

    My understanding is that the Marines abandoned use in Afghanistan of M855 by riflemen in combat, instead issuing them the Mk 318 SOST round, the projectile of which closely resembles the civilian Speer Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet.

    I believe that one of the main reasons for the switch was that they wanted a bullet that was "barrier blind", or in other words, better able to penetrate things between the Marine's muzzle and the enemy.

    It's hardly a ringing endorsement of M855's deadly "armor piercing" capabilities when the USMC dumps it in favor of a lead/copper core OTM design in order to get better penetration!

    The US Army is also getting rid of M855 for the new and improved M855A1.

    Claimed M855A1 EPR Benefits Include:

    Dramatically improves hard target performance

    The Army also wanted the new round to provide improved performance against:
    Body Armor Fabrics, including 24 Layers of Kevlar.

    You can read about it here:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...=8DzsCbPjNHxJ-z983ekYBw&bvm=bv.88198703,d.eXY

    This is another case of actions speaking far louder than words.

    If the Army AND Marines are dumping M855 and one of the main reasons for both is poor intermediate barrier penetration, then maybe M855 isn't the armor piercing bogeyman that the ATF is making it out to be.
     
  22. M1key

    M1key Member

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    I think XM855 has as many sporting uses as XM193.

    M
     

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  23. JFrame

    JFrame Member

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    I cringe any time anyone invokes "sporting use" as the justification for the accessibility of any firearm or ammunition.

    .
     
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