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556 Green Tip Overview:

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556 Green Tip Specifications

Product Info for Winchester USA 556 green tip ammo

556 green tip Winchester celebrates its commitment to American freedom with the USA VALOR™ ammunition series.

From World War I through modern day deployments, Winchester remains steadfast in its support of U.S.

Warfighters as the largest small caliber enterprise in the world.

Your purchase of Winchester’s USA VALOR™ Series helps support Folds of Honor.

WARNINGCalifornia`s Proposition 65

Specifications for Winchester USA VALOR 556 green tip ammo

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Number of Rounds: 125
Bullet Type: Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail (FMJBT)
Bullet Weight: 62 grain
Cartridge Case Material: Brass
Muzzle Velocity: 3060 ft/s
Muzzle Energy: 1289 ft-lbs
Ammunition Application: Recreational Shooting, Target
Package Type: Box
Primer Location: Centerfire
G1 Ballistic Coefficient: 0.349
Lead Free Ammunition: No
Gun Type: Rifle

Features of Winchester USA 556 green tip 62 Grain M855 Green

Tip FMJ Centerfire Rifle Ammunition:

  • M855 Green Tip bullet
  • Reloadable brass
  • Portion of proceeds from the sale of every box go to Folds of Honor
Green-tip ammunition is most common in 5.56/. 223 Rem caliber and is mainly designed for use with the AR platform.
These rounds were originally considered controversial, as they meet one of the criteria of the federal definition of armor-piercing ammunition.
Green tip ammo is made to penetrate steel, which makes it very strong.
The damage it can do is what makes it controversial for civilian use.
This superior ammo was originally created to penetrate armor.
It’s considered dangerous by many, but nonetheless is legal to own in the United States.

 

  • what is a green tip 556:

  • 556 Green tip ammunition is most common in 5.56/. 223 Rem caliber and is mainly designed for use with the AR platform.
  • These rounds were originally considered controversial, as they meet one of the criteria of the federal definition of armor-piercing ammunition.

what does green tip 556 mean:

he United States Military adopted the SS109 to replace their M193 5.56 ammo in the early 1980s.

It was renamed the M855 and the tips were painted green.

This was done to help troops tell the difference between the new cartridge and the old M193 rounds.


Manufacturers may also use colored tips to represent a certain bullet type or style, tracer indicator or jacket type.
Green-tip ammunition is most common in 5.56/. 223 Rem caliber and is mainly designed for use with the AR platform.
The rounds are also effective for long-range target shooting and you can use them for long-range hunting in certain situations.
If you need penetration at a distance of 200, 300, or 400 yards, green tipped ammo may deliver quality results.
To defeat the penetrating energy of a 5.56 round, one of the most common rounds in the US, would require,
at minimum, Level III body armor, but that’s just standard 5.56, not M855 green tip.

what is 556 green tip ammo (what does green tip 556 mean):

556 Green tip ammo is a quality round that fires reliably and will not cause excess carbon build-up in your rifle like poorly made ammo.

556 Green tip ammunition is most common in 5.56/. 223 Rem caliber and is mainly designed for use with the AR platform.

These rounds were originally considered controversial, as they meet one of the criteria of the federal definition of armor-piercing ammunition.

 

Origins Of 556 Green Tip Ammo

a photo of M855 green tip ammo

The United States Military spent the 1980s “going green” by painting all their M855 bullets.

Green-tipped ammo was originally named SS109 when it was introduced in the 1970s.

The Belgian made SS109 round was entered into NATO’s standardization trials and won them.

The trials were held because NATO did not have an official standardized 5.56 round at the time.

NATO wanted the cartridge to offer optimal penetrating ability at extended distances, which is why

the trials involved firing the rounds at steel helmets.

The United States Military adopted the SS109 to replace their M193 5.56 ammo in the early 1980s.

It was renamed the M855 and the tips were painted green.

This was done to help troops tell the difference between the new cartridge and the old M193 rounds.

Even though the U.S. military gradually phased out the M193 rounds when they made the switch to the M855,

the tradition of painting the tips of the M855 green remains.

Firearms manufacturers capitalized on this new round and quickly introduced the M855 to the

commercial firearms market in the U.S.

Most of these companies sell and market the green tip ammo under a different name.

Even though the cartridge is virtually identical to the one that the military uses.

Some companies, like Federal, just added the letter “X” onto the front of the name to indicate that the green-tipped cartridge was for civilian sale.

are green tip 556 armor piercing or Does green tip ammo penetrate body armor?:

To defeat the penetrating energy of a 5.56 round, one of the most common rounds in the US, would require, at minimum,
Level III body armor, but that’s just standard 5.56, not M855 green tip.
The ammunition used by the soldier was the M855 “green-tip” projectile, adopted by the U.S. Army and Marines in the 1980s.
Further reports of M855 underperforming lead the U.S. military on a hunt for a new cartridge that would be more effective.

Yeah, 556 green tip ammo is very good for self defense and it is a very piercing ammo.
Surplus M855 / SS109 62-grain “green tip” ammo is widely available at very reasonable prices
and is a decent back up for your primary defensive loads.
At close-range velocities, these bullets tend to fracture at the cannelure into two or three main pieces.
Level III will stop most of all 5.56mm and 7.62mm bullets, but will not defeat military-grade armor-piercing ammo.
For example, a NATO M855 5.56 x 45mm bullet with a 62-grain steel core will defeat a Level III armor system.

Package Contents:

  • Winchester USA Valor 5.56mm 62 Grain M855 Green Tip FMJ Centerfire Rifle Ammunition, Bulk Case Box of 500 rounds

Cartridge dimensions

The 5.56×45mm NATO has 1.85 ml (28.5 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity.

5.56×45mm NATO cross section

5.56x45mm NATO.jpg

5.56×45mm NATO maximum NATO cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters (mm).

The rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 177.8 mm (1 in 7 in), 6 grooves right hand twist, Ø lands = 5.56 millimetres

(0.219 in), Ø grooves = 5.69 millimetres (0.224 in).

According to STANAG 4172 and the official NATO proofing guidelines the 556 green tip 500 NATO case can

handle up to 420.0 MPa (60,916 psi) piezo service pressure. In NATO regulated organizations every rifle cartridge

combination has to be proofed at 537.5 MPa (77,958 psi) to certify for service issue.

STANAG 4172 defines the Belgian ball cartridge SS109 as the NATO reference cartridge and adds a

considerable number of technical requirements like a minimum pressure of 88.0 MPa (12,763 psi) at

the gas port 280 millimetres (11.0 in) down the 508 millimetres (20.0 in) long standard proof barrel and primer sensitivity that are not defined by civilian C.I.P. and SAAMI ammunition rulings and recommendations.

The NATO military alliance uses a NATO-specific recognized class of procedures to control the

safety and quality of firearms ammunition called NATO EPVAT testing.

The civilian organisations C.I.P. and SAAMI use less comprehensive test procedures than NATO.

The NATO Manual of Proof and Inspection AC/225 (LG/3-SG/1) D/8 stipulates each weapon and

component considered vulnerable to the effects of a rapid change in pressure, for example barrels, breech blocks and bolts,

will be tested by firing one dry round at a corrected minimum of 25% over pressure and one oiled round at a

corrected minimum of 25% over pressure. Over pressure of 25% means 25% in excess of the service pressure

resulting for the 5.56×45mm NATO up to 430.0 MPa (62,366 psi) (Pmax) piezo service pressure.

The service pressure is defined as the mean pressure generated by the service cartridge at a temperature of 21 °C (70 °F).

Such a high pressure proof is conducted with both the weapon and ammunition conditioned to an ambient temperature of 21 °C (70 °F).

Each weapon will be individually tested, from an ammunition lot that produces a minimum corrected mean chamber pressure.

The corrected proof pressure requirement (service pressure (Pmax) + 25%) for the 5.56×45mm NATO like the STANAG 4172 is 537.3 MPa

(77,929 psi) (PE) piezo pressure. This pressure has to be recorded in a NATO-design EPVAT barrel with Kistler 6215 transducer,

HPI GP6 Transducer or by equipment to C.I.P. requirements.

The US SAAMI lists maximum average pressure (MAP) for the .223 Remington cartridge as 55,000 psi (379.2 MPa) piezo

pressure with deviation of up to 58,000 psi (399.9 MPa).

 

Whether you recently purchased your first AR platform rifle or have been shooting for quite some time,

chances are you have probably heard the phrase “green tip ammo.”

This popular 5.56 cartridge is also sometimes referred to as a “penetrator round” due to its 62-grain projectile,

partially steel core, and enhanced ability to punch through hard targets.

The official U.S. military designation for green-tipped 5.56 rounds is M855.

With ammo, the “M” usually stands for munitions, as the military likes to keep it simple.

Simplicity and creativity are two different things.

As with almost every weapon or cartridge, the military names is referred to by the letter “M” followed by a few numbers,

but that’s another conversation entirely. 

Most of the information you will come across regarding green-tipped ammo is fairly accurate.

However, some popular misconceptions are still floating around.

To make things easier, we cut through all of the hype and get straight to the facts about the M855 cartridge.  

 

Can I Legally Buy 556 Green Tip Ammo?

Currently, green-tipped ammo is legal for US civilians to own under federal law.

However, certain states, such as California, have Draconian gun laws that constantly seek to limit what state residents can own.

Due to these restrictions, it’s important to check up on the latest anti-gun laws in your home state before making a purchase. 

The ATF and the federal government have made several attempts at banning the round in recent years.

Thankfully, these attempts to circumvent the second amendment have been met with minimal success.

The most recent attempt came on the heels of 2015 regulations that prohibited the use of lead ammunition on federal land.

These environmental restrictions have since been lifted.

Legislators did not specifically mention the M855 round in the 2015 legislation regarding lead.

However, the round does include a majority lead core and could not be used on these lands during the ban.

At around the same time, the ATF also attempted to assert that green tip ammo qualified as an “armor-piercing” round.

They argued that it should be banned under the 1985 Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act.

They cited that the round should no longer be granted a sporting exemption due to the rise in ownership of AR-pistols.

Fortunately, the M855 does not even meet their definition of “AP” ammo because the core is 80% lead.

The ATF shelved the pending ban after they received swift and overwhelming backlash, which included 53 U.S.

Senators and over 200 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The ATF definition of armor-piercing ammunition is posted below.

So, yes Virginia, you can still buy all the green tip rounds you can get your hands on. 

18 USC 921(a)(17):

(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—

(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

M855 Versus M193

a photo of m855 green tip ammo

The M855 cartridge has a unique skill set, it works well with low twist rate rifle barrels and punches holes in things.

Even though they are no longer used by the U.S. Military, the civilian version of the M193 cartridge remains in continuous production by multiple manufacturers.

It’s still a popular alternative to the M855 on the civilian market.

The M193 cartridge contains a 55-grain boat-tail bullet that has a full copper jacket and a lead core.

The term “boat tail” simply refers to the shape of the bullet, which is intended to increase the range of the round. 

We often get asked which of these two rounds is better, but the answer to that question depends on several factors.

If you just want to shoot paper or metal targets, M193 is your best bet.

If you hunt or plan on dropping a moving target at long-distances, the M193 wins again.

However, if you need to punch a hole in something, M855 is the best option. Since green-tipped ammo has a semi-steel core and is heavier than the M193, it’s better suited for certain applications.

Why Does Twist Rate Matter?

The twist rate of your rifle describes how drastic the turn of the rifling within your barrel is.

The twist rate is usually expressed as two numbers separated by a semi-colon such as 1:9. A barrel with this twist rate means

that the bullet will spin one revolution for every 9” of barrel length. The first number is always 1

and a lower second number equates to a faster twist rate. 

Twist rates matter because they serve to stabilize the bullet. Heavier, longer bullets like those found in

green-tipped ammo need faster twist rates than the lighter M193 round. The M193 was designed

specifically for the Vietnam Era M16’s, which featured 20” barrels and slow twist rates of 1:12. 

Picking a round suited for the rifle’s twist rate will lead to better results in terms of accuracy

. The best solution is to get your hands on a few different rounds with different weights and cores to see what gives you ideal results.

Since 5.56 rounds are worth their weight in gold at the moment, this is probably easier said than done. 

To help your search, let’s consider 1:8 twist rates as our threshold. If your twist is 1:8 or faster, then green-tipped M855 is the way to go.

If your twist is slower, 62 grain is likely going to be as heavy as you want to go, and 55 grain will usually be ideal.

Remember, we are talking optimal performance at a distance as both rounds will be fine at 100 yards or less.

556 Green Tip Ammo Ballistics

In addition to performing better with certain twist rates, the ballistics of the M193 and M855 vary greatly.

The “softer” M193 projectiles do more ballistic damage when hitting soft targets, making them a good choice for hunting applications.

The M193 will fragment quite a bit and leave a huge wound cavity, especially inside of 100 yards.  

You may be wondering why the M193 does so much more ballistic damage when the M855 has been dubbed “penetrator ammo.”

Well, this is because the lead-steel core and added grain weight of green-tipped ammo do their job a little too good at close ranges.

The M855 will usually punch clean through a target, doing minimal damage unless you hit a vital organ or important artery. 

With shots over 100 yards, the ballistics comparison is a little more even. Once you surpass 300 yards, the green tips pull ahead.

I won’t bore you with a physics lesson, but it involves changes in the velocity of the bullet and angle of impact as the distance traveled increases. 

M855 Ammo For Sale

a photo of a man shooting an ar-15 rifle outdoors

If you’re looking online for green tip ammo, be sure to search for M855, SS109, and NATO keywords.

While I am a fan of green-tipped ammo and have a healthy supply in my safe, the M193 remains a more versatile round.

Using M855 as a self-defense round could lead to unwanted legal issues.

Imagine explaining to a judge how your penetrator bullets ended up in a neighbors fridge across the street.

The fact that M193 rounds break apart when hitting targets makes them the better choice for home defense. 

If you’re looking for accuracy at distances and your rifle barrel has the appropriate twist rate, then keep some 62gr green tips on hand.

Being able to punch through a barrier without needing a larger cartridge does have its advantages.

Green-tipped ammo is a quality round that fires reliably and will not cause excess carbon build-up in your rifle like poorly made ammo. 

When searching for green tip ammo, you’ll find a variety of options from companies such as Federal or PMC, who refer to this round as the XM855 and M855, respectively.

You may also come across foreign-made rounds that still use the SS109 designation or NATO round description.

Before buying, be sure to do your research. Carefully read the specs of the ammo, and make sure you are getting what you pay for.

IS GREEN TIPPED AMMO LEGAL?

The military designed green tip ammunition for maximum penetration. The government doesn’t classify the rounds as “armor piercing,” but they can deliver a powerful punch.

For this reason, many gun-control advocates have made attempts to stop the sale of these rounds.

Despite these efforts, green tipped ammo is legal to purchase and possess, although certain states have laws limiting who can own this type of cartridge.

(Check your state laws before making the purchase.)

GREEN TIPPED AMMO: A BALLISTICS BRIEFING

Shooting an AR-15 rifle with green tip 5.56 ammo at the range

While ballistic stats such as velocity, energy, and trajectory can’t tell the entire story, they can help us understand the capability and performance of 5.56 green tipped rounds.

Especially how that performance compares to standard 55-grain FMJ rounds.

Only a few manufacturers make 5.56mm rounds that are painted green and classified as M855.

Other manufacturers may have 62-grain FMJ ammo in this cartridge, but they don’t qualify as M855 because they use a lead core and copper jacket instead of steel.

Winchester is probably the most common manufacturer of 5.56 green tipped ammo. Precision Made Cartridges (PMC) is another manufacturer, as is the Israeli Military Institute, or “IMI.”

Since the IMI does not have manufacturer’s statistics (that we can find), we’ll look at the listed stats for M855 ammo.

It is made by Winchester and PMC, and compare that to a sample of 55-grain FMJ rounds. It’s a small sample size.

It will help us understand the capability of green tipped ammunition.

VELOCITY

Muzzle (fps) 200 yards 400 yards
Winchester M855 Ammo 3,060 2,529 2,055
PMC M855 Ammo 3,100 2,449 1,885
Winchester 55-grain FMJ 3,180 2,425 1,943
PMC 55-grain FMJ 3,270 2,555 1,943
Federal 55-grain FMJ (American Eagle) 3,165 2,412 1,776
Hornady 55-grain FMJ (Frontier) 3,240 2,468 1,817

Judging by muzzle velocity, it appears the green-tipped ammo is a bit slower than many other rounds, but not by a significant margin. However, when the rounds start to approach 400 yards, they can be faster. This may be because the heavier round maintains momentum, allowing it to keep its speed at a greater distance.

Muzzle (ft-lbs) 200 yards 400 yards
Winchester M855 Ammo 1,289 800 581
PMC M855 Ammo 1,323 N/A N/A
Winchester 55-grain FMJ 1,235 718 390
PMC 55-grain FMJ 1,306 N/A N/A
Federal 55-grain FMJ (American Eagle) 1,223 711 385
Hornady 55-grain FMJ (Frontier) 1,282 744 403

These energy statistics bring a bit more clarity. It would be helpful to have downrange energy on PMC’s green tip ammo, but we can still look at Winchester’s for the comparison.

Muzzle energy is not outstanding. It’s higher than some, lower than others, but never far apart.

What is impressive is the energy at 400 yards. Winchester’s green tip ammo has an energy of 581 ft-lbs, while the rest hover around 400 ft-lbs.

This suggests that it may be more capable as a long-range hunting tool, especially if penetration is important.

TRAJECTORY

Trajectory may be the most difficult statistic to consider, mostly because manufacturers are inconsistent when providing these stats.

Let’s narrow our focus to the Winchester products, which provide information on rounds zeroed at 200  yards

Drop at 300 yards Drop at 400 yards Drop at 500 yards
Winchester M855 Ammo 7.5 inches 22.9 49.4
Winchester 55-grain FMJ 9 inches 26.7 inches 55.3 inches

PMC provides information for cartridges zeroed to 100 yards

Drop at 200 yards Drop at 300 yards Drop at 400 yards
PMC M855 Ammo 3.1 inches 11.9 inches 28.3 inches
PMC 55-grain FMJ 2.6 10.6 25.6

In these comparisons, we don’t see results that lead us to any specific conclusion. One green tip ammo (Winchester) drops less that its partnering round, the other (PMC) drops more. This seems to suggest that green tip ammo probably doesn’t offer any significant improvement in overall accuracy compared to other products. In other words, you wouldn’t buy this round simply for the superior trajectory.

SO…WHY GREEN TIPPED AMMO?

Green tip ammo in a Magpul pmag

After all that, we come to the final thought: why purchase green tipped ammo?

Why purchase a non-expanding, heavier round that offers better downrange energy but doesn’t provide a significant improvement on velocity or trajectory?

For most hobby shooters, price is a big factor. Places like the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant make this ammunition large batches for military use.

While the military uses most of the rounds, there is often overstock. To reduce surplus ammo, Lake City sells the cartridges, often at a price much lower than average.

While green tipped ammo won’t be the lowest-cost 5.56x45mm round on the shelves, it’s certainly an affordable option.

The rounds are also effective for long-range target shooting and you can use them for long-range hunting in certain situations.

If you need penetration at a distance of 200, 300, or 400 yards, green tipped ammo may deliver quality results.

10 reviews for Buy 556 Green Tip Ammo Online | At Best Price

  1. Vanammo

    Very great ammo

  2. Vanammo

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  3. Vanammo

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  4. Vanammo

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  5. Vanammo

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  6. Vanammo

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  7. Vanammo

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  8. Vanammo

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  9. Vanammo

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  10. Vanammo

    very accurate ammo

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