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Thread: Is 5.56x45mm military "Penetrator" ammo good?

  1. #1
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    Is 5.56x45mm military "Penetrator" ammo good?

    I bought 1000 rounds of this Lake City 5.56x45mm military "Penetrator" ammo for my new AR15 5.56 Nato. Price was about $350. I am not too sure about the "Penetrator" aspect of this round, what do you all think?

    Will this round put a deer or pig down?

    Will a firing range allow me to fire "Penetrator" ammo?

    The promo says this ammo is the stuff being used by US troops overseas...true do you think?

    Here are the specs:

    "Manufacturer: Lake City M855, Item: AMM-223

    5.56 Nato (5.56x45mm), Lake City M855, 62 Grain Steel Core Full Metal Jacket Bullet. 1000 Rounds loose

    1000 Rounds of a special lot of military loaded ammunition. Lake City 5.56 Ammo is the best 5.56 Military ammo manufactured. This the original US Military Lake City Arsenal M855 SS109 Penetrator ammo. 62 grain with steel tipped penatrating core for combat use, firing at 3,025 f.p.s. very scarce and limited supplies. This is identical to the ammo being used right now in Iraq by US troops."

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    Somebody's selling you a line of bunkum (beware of sales pitches - they exist to sell stuff to folks that may not need it)

    M855 is the current stuff that has a steel sliver in it for enhanced penetration at longer ranges.

    If your deer or pig wear body armor, it's a good round. If not, it's likely to go right on through.


    You can get some education here, so you're less likely to get fleeced: 5.56x45mm NATO - Wikipedia
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    so you think I was ripped off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rod5591
    so you think I was ripped off?
    The place you got your verbiage from has to pay someone to write it, don't they? ( I suspect their initials are CTD ). I mean, "special lot", "scarce & limited supplies" are all phrases designed to GOAD you into a purchase (M855 is neither scarce nor special).

    If I was looking for ammo, I'd just look for the lowest priced M855 without all the sales pitch.
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    You got the ammo at an ok price, not the highest and not the lowest.

    Some ranges prohibit the use of this ammo as it can cause sparks when hitting steel plates which can cause fires.

    Troops don't generally like this round, unless on sentry duty where this a possibility of vehicle-borne assault.

    As for the last paragraph, it is a bunch of male bovine excrement, every year there are millions of rounds that the government ordered, but didn't purchase (surplus) this is then sold on the open market. So the ammo you bought may be from a 2002 production over-run, look at the head stamp, it will tell the year of manufacture, if you get a box or can you can figure out the lot # which will narrow down the production date.
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    Thats not the ammo to use for deer or pigs and probably is illegal to use for hunting. Most everywhere I have hunted big game required soft point ammo and FMJ was not legal.
    I'd say you got that ammo for a fair price, .35 a round, not the cheapest but I have gotten it for .23 a round not long ago.
    Nevada, The last free place in this country.

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    M855 / 63gr works best in a fast-twist barrel. If you have 1:7 or 1:9 it works well. If you have a slow-twist barrel (1:12, 1:14) use the M193 / 55gr type.

    You bought basic "GI ball" ammo. It works. Use it for target practice. For hunting, select a softpoint with weight matchng your twist rate.
    Burt Blade

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    If the ammo actually had anything in the way of a real penetrator in it, they could not sell it, it would be a prohibited category of ammo. I can't pull out the right wording now, but it would be there with the "cop killer bullets" and the "Teflon coated ammo" stuff.

    As others have told you, the current NATO 5.56 X 45 Ball.

    It also is known as "SS 109" ammo, which I think, came out of FN when they were setting the NATO Standard. Our older 5.56 mm M193 Ball was NOT NATO standard, we were using it on our own long before NATO standardized it.

    Buckshot

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    If the ammo actually had anything in the way of a real penetrator in it, they could not sell it, it would be a prohibited category of ammo. I can't pull out the right wording now, but it would be there with the "cop killer bullets" and the "Teflon coated ammo" stuff.
    Rifle ammunition is exempt from the AP designation, that only applies to handguns.

    http://www.ammunitionstore.com/produ...round-box.html

    http://www.rrarms.com/catalog.php?prod=ASAM2MOD2

    These are both 50 BMG 700gr AP
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    Quote Originally Posted by swgunner
    Rifle ammunition is exempt from the AP designation, that only applies to handguns.
    There have been AR15 "pistols" for over a decade.

    Ergo, .223/5.56 NATO is considered "handgun ammo".
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    1000 rounds of 5.56x45mm military surplus ammo for $350 or 35 cents a round.

    There have been times I thought 40 cents a round was a fair deal on FMJ .223.

    I grew up on "ye olde hunter" advertising hyperbole so I take a lot of ad stuff with a shaker of salt.

    As far as legal use on deer or pig, see http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/regulati...nt/hunt/means/ (OK)

    For practical use, .223 with heavy bullets will humanely kill deer up to 100 pounds and similar cartridges (DWM 5.6x50mm) are used in Europe for hunting small deer up to 200m. No personal experience with use of .223 on pigs in the wild.
    Last edited by Carl N. Brown; October 16th, 2011 at 09:26 AM.
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    IMO...
    any caliber FMJ ammo for hunting animals = not good.
    Should use SP or JHP type ammo for hunting animals.

    M855/SS109 = good for shooting people.

    The BATFE has stated that M855/SS109 is not "AP" ammo.

    However, M995 (black-tip) is AP ammo and use of it is prohibited in 5.56x45mm pistols.
    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).

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    if "M855/SS109 = good for shooting people.", then why

    allow a basic question please.........

    if "M855/SS109 = good for shooting people.", then why then isn't it good for shooting animals?

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    allow a basic question please.........

    if "M855/SS109 = good for shooting people.", then why then isn't it good for shooting animals?
    Ever seen a person run 100+ yds after taking a double lung hit? Just saying...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rod5591
    if "M855/SS109 = good for shooting people.", then why then isn't it good for shooting animals?
    Because it's designed to wound, so that at least one other soldier has to care for the wounded man.

    Using it for hunting would be inhumane.
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    Because it's designed to wound, so that at least one other soldier has to care for the wounded man.
    Umm, no. Please use the search feature where this has been discredited.

    This is a wound to the leg, graphic, but illustrates what this round is capable of

    http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=17111.0

    The humane kill issue, as far as hunting is why SP or HP is required.
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by swgunner
    Rifle ammunition is exempt from the AP designation, that only applies to handguns.
    There have been AR15 "pistols" for over a decade.

    Ergo, .223/5.56 NATO is considered "handgun ammo".

    However, M995 (black-tip) is AP ammo and use of it is prohibited in 5.56x45mm pistols.
    Ok, I've been curious about this for years...

    What on earth is the law on AP and how does it work in practice?

    5.56 isn't a handgun round. Ok, I'm sure there are handguns chambered in it, but you can make a handgun chambered in anything. I know I've seen videos of handguns chambered in .50 BMG. The T/C Encore has barrels for everything from .17 HMR to .416 Rigby, including .30-06 and .308 (http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/encore.php). So how come you can buy AP .308?

    Is it really that the USE of it is prohibited in pistols? In which case, there's an unenforceable law for you... I mean, I have a relative who has an entire vault full of SKSs and AK-variants, including 5 or 6 Krinkov pistols. Is he legal to own 7.62x39 AP, but illegal to put a magazine loaded with it into the pistol rather than the rifle? How is the ATF going to tell unless they're standing right next to him?

    Links to ATF or other legal sites much appreciated, I'd like to get my head round this...
    I'm a skinny, rather geeky, over-educated Englishman living in the small-town MidWest who believes in the 2nd Amendment and the RKBA... my existence messes with people's stereotypes :-)

  18. #18
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    British, you are starting to understand the absurdity of gun laws. How is an AR pistol functionally different from an Mk 18? They both have a 10 inch barrel, but one has a stock that costs $200 (sbr tax).
    When the going gets tough the tough get cyclic!
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    So how come you can buy AP .308?
    Because it's "common knowledge" and public perception that .308 is a rifle cartridge. You are trying to apply logic to law and the two haven't lived together in years. In fact, they only talk to each other through their lawyers.

    Firearms laws are to make people "feel safer" not to protect the public. And the average citizen's perception of "dangerous" firearms are particularly out of touch. Consider this- at one event I attended at a certain range in NW IN there were spectators from the city of Chicago. When I stepped up to the line with my Winchester carbine the crowds actually "ooohed." I was just a little girl with a "cowboy" rifle. Another shooter had a Garand and I overheard one comment that his great uncle used to have one of those to hunt deer. Then Dad stepped up to the line with a semi-auto replica of the Thompson machine gun and the crowd gasp and stepped back. This time one commented ' that thing is made just to kill people.'

    These are the people that gun laws are passed to impress hoping they will support re-election. My little carbine is safe because ppl see it as cute and something some old time TV sidekick would have. Jerry's Garand is safe because it's just an old guy's deer rifle. But Dad's novelty rifle needs to be banned because it's scary.

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    When Olympic Arms made an AR type pistol in 7.62x39mm, that caused the BATF to declare steel-core 7.62x39mm ammo to be AP handgun ammo and banned the importation of steel-core 7.62x39mm ammo.

    Because of that incident, no major manufacture is willing to make a 5.45x39mm pistol, because they do not want a ban on the inexpensive surplus steel-core 5.45x39mm ammo.

    Under Federal laws [18 USC 921 (a)(17)(B)(i)], AP ammo is a projectile that is made from certain materials and may be used in a handgun.
    It doesn't matter if it's a rifle cartridge, if there is a handgun that can shoot it and the rifle cartridge is composed of the right materials, then it's considered AP handgun ammo.


    18 USC 921
    (17)
    (A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.
    (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.
    (C) The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.
    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).

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    M855 is standard 5.56mm ball ammo. Not good for hunting uses unless rodents and good for range use. For historical reasons the SS109 was designed specifically for the FN Minimi light machine gun (now known as the M249 SAW) to penetrate a steel helmet (US M1 helmet at 800m), something the 7.62mm M40 Ball could not do. Hence the steel penetrator in the lead core.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet
    Because of that incident, no major manufacture is willing to make a 5.45x39mm pistol, because they do not want a ban on the inexpensive surplus steel-core 5.45x39mm ammo.

    Under Federal laws [18 USC 921 (a)(17)(B)(i)], AP ammo is a projectile that is made from certain materials and may be used in a handgun.
    It doesn't matter if it's a rifle cartridge, if there is a handgun that can shoot it and the rifle cartridge is composed of the right materials, then it's considered AP handgun ammo.


    18 USC 921
    (17)
    (A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.
    (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.
    (C) The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.
    All correct, except the Soviet 5.45x39 cartridges have never met this definition.

    They are made with a thin steel jacket, a lead core and a steel sliver.
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    Quote:
    So how come you can buy AP .308?
    Because it's "common knowledge" and public perception that .308 is a rifle cartridge. You are trying to apply logic to law and the two haven't lived together in years. In fact, they only talk to each other through their lawyers.
    Yes- but it's "common knowledge and public perception" that .223 is a rifle cartridge too, surely?

    Under Federal laws [18 USC 921 (a)(17)(B)(i)], AP ammo is a projectile that is made from certain materials and may be used in a handgun.
    It doesn't matter if it's a rifle cartridge, if there is a handgun that can shoot it and the rifle cartridge is composed of the right materials, then it's considered AP handgun ammo.
    So, given that the largest and most well known manufacturer of single-shot hunting pistols makes pistols in 15+ rifle calibers, and other manufacturers make barrels for those pistols in more, and just about anyone can create a pistol from a rifle themselves if they really want (and want to pay the ATF $200), and that anyone who knows even as little as I do about guns knows these things, my question stands: how come ANY AP ammunition is legal?
    I'm a skinny, rather geeky, over-educated Englishman living in the small-town MidWest who believes in the 2nd Amendment and the RKBA... my existence messes with people's stereotypes :-)

  24. #24
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    BritishHistorian, as was said above:

    Quote Originally Posted by Selena
    You are trying to apply logic to law and the two haven't lived together in years. In fact, they only talk to each other through their lawyers.
    "Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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    Here's another one, why is Barnes allowed to sell solid brass bullets in .223? http://www.barnesbullets.com/product...6aee5185b809a6

    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
    Why is M98 Mauser made in January 1898 different from one made in September 1898? One is an antique, the other is "new production" and requires a 4473 the same with a Mosin-Nagant.

    So here again all animals are equal, some are just more equal than others.
    Last edited by swgunner; October 18th, 2011 at 04:07 AM.
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