M855 not enough for close quarters?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Coeloptera, May 30, 2008.

  1. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera G&G Newbie

    Interesting article: News from The Associated Press

    "The M855 rounds were designed decades ago to puncture the steel helmets of Soviet soldiers from hundreds of yards away. Some soldiers said that they are not large enough to stop an enemy immediately in close quarters."

    Now I looked it up, and the M855 is supposed to run around 3025 fps and was designed to pop through Soviet steel helmets. It's 62 grains and apparently there's a carbon steel penetrator inside a copper jacket with a lead slug behind it.

    So since the article is so vague, is it just overpenetrating and not tumbling in the target? That seems like that's the most likely scenario for it not dropping someone. Anyone more familiar with that round care to share?

    - Coeloptera
  2. Jay Reeves the Associated Press writer is an idiot.

  3. Stupid article.

    Most people who have seen the effects of M855 at close range from a barrel long enough to give the appropriate velocity will tell you that they often leave 2 exit wounds. Shot placement is a far more important factor anyways.
  4. killer

    killer G&G Newbie

    I saw that first paragraph too when it hit the Internet and was confused by his comment. I would say he is out of his writing niche and it would be like me trying to write about brain surgery.

    If a bullet tumbles its "yawl" is way out of control usually caused by an improper rifle spin and or the bullet hitting something which causes it to wobble or in an extreme case tumble. I have found bullets hit my target sideways when testing reloads due to a wild yawl.

    A bullet with a yawl and or tumbling through the air will have terrible accuracy. During the Vietnam war the media inaccurately claimed the new M-16 bullets were designed to tumble. Not true. I would not want to be hit with a tumbling bullet though.

    I would prefer the enemy use what I understand is in the Geneva Convention regarding war and that bullets be non-expanding.
  5. I don't know and I'm gonna check but M855 is just for a certain bullet weight and powder, 55gr bullets, SS109 is the 62/63gr bullets Each is anti-personnel, TR, AP...Black,Green,Yellow tipped. I'll be back
  6. BigEd63

    BigEd63 G&G Evangelist

    Yes like the 20" bbl of the M16A2.

    Trouble is that it has been pretty much replaced with the M4 with a 14.5" bbl. Which does not produce enough of a velocity to rely on M855 to upset and break in half as much as it would out of the M16A2.
  7. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

    I thought the 55gr were the M193? M855 I thought was the US designation for the 62gr NATO SS109. If that's the case, then of course it's not a close quarter round. It's got a steel insert for penetration! Green tips if I remember right. I generally don't use too much mil-surp ammo. I'm a big fan of the Hornady TAPs for home defense. Accurate and expanding. What more can I ask for?
  8. Darkfront, you could and may be right I just have to check my manuals, but I know I have M855 LC and Federal that's 55gr I'll post what I find
  9. roadie

    roadie G&G Newbie

    So then are these bullets good for plinking and amateur target shooting? AR15 with a 1 in 9 twist.
  10. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    Heck, mine are gonna be head shots anyway.....
  11. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist


    No reason why they aren't, but I've seen cheaper brass cased ammo for plinking.
  12. M855 is good for plinking, target shooting and killing. m855 is a fine round. Don't listen to a word that article says.
  13. Put it this way, how about you let me shoot you in the chest with M855 and tell me how it feels. M855 is a fine round that does a great job, and anybody who says different more than likely hasn't taken one or two to the chest with it. Everyone says 5.56 is so underpowered, and I can understand why, but if you are a good shot and and place two shots into center mass, then that person isn't going to get up, if they do then one more to the head will end it.
  14. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

    True enough, if you can hit the nervous, respiratory or circulatory systems with a couple rounds, it'll easily put a man out of action. That can pretty much be said for any round. When I think CQ round though, I also think of things like limited penetration because of collateral damage and also increased wound profile for faster bleed out on hits that are not heart, lung or brain.
  15. Mad Hatter

    Mad Hatter Guest

    Somehow the thought of any 5.56 going through my brain ... can't be good..
  16. Niko911

    Niko911 Guest

    well isnt the bullets 556 and the 5.45's now designed to tumble once it enters a target...not before it enters.
  17. Only the USAF and the Army are going with the M4 over the M16A4 more and more. The USMC is sticking with the M16A4.

    That said, even with an M4, you get fragmentation from the M855 projectiles for 50-100 yards still. Well within "close quarters" range.

    Yes, they are designed to tumble upon impact with soft tissue. Not to tumble wildly in flight. This tumbling is what tends to cause the fragmentation. If the M855 projectile is traveling at 2500fps or more it can fragment (2700fps is the threshold for "reliable" fragmentation)... The projectile will basically lose it's structural integrity at the cannelure and rip itself into two or more pieces... Thus the reason for multiple exit wounds from those shot with the round at close range.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  18. OK Darkfront you were right. just for my own satisfaction I pulled 10 rnds each of my LC-88 m855 ammo and FC-93 M855 teh results were weighed on an electronic scale calibrated just before the test and again before the Federals

    LakeCity spread 58gr. to 63gr. avg 61gr. of 10 rnds
    FederalCartridge spread 54gr. to 62gr. avg 58gr.

    No wonder the federal dont shooot as well as the LC

    If anybody's interested
    5.56mm (5.56 x 45 mm) Ammunition

    The ammo is great for plinking and the Lake city I use in matches at the 2 and 300 lines. (rapid and timed fire) I use a handloaded Sierra 69gr. on top of Varget and for slow fire a sierra 62 gr on top of Varget or 748
  19. I have some M855 and some SS 109 and the 109 is My Bushy's favorite food. Man that stuff is consistent.