Sunday, April 14, 2024

Potential Problems with Green Tip 5.56 Ammo

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Before you go and splurge on a big old ammo can of green tip 5.56 ammo, you should be aware of some of the reasons it actually isn’t that popular among civilians.

Here are the big ones.

● Over penetration

In case you didn’t know, green tip 5.56x45mm NATO ammo is not actually armor piercing. It does, however, contain a steel penetrator insert in the tip of the bullet.

This results in a high risk of over penetration when fired at a soft target (and some hard targets, actually), which means you are decidedly limited with respect to what you can do with this type of ammo.

● Risk of ricochet

Many ranges will not allow green tip 5.56, and there are some good reasons why, two of which will be covered here.

One of the big ones is the risk of ricochet, especially at indoor ranges. Most full metal jacket bullets are encased in copper with a lead core. Green tip has a steel insert, as mentioned.

Steel is leagues harder than lead and also significantly harder than copper. As a result, when it glances off hard objects, it wants to keep going – rather than stop.

If the path of least resistance is oblique, there is a serious risk of ricochet that can present a significant danger to those in the area.

● It doesn’t play nice with steel targets

Because of the steel tip insert, green tip 5.56 wreaks havoc on steel targets. Even targets that it doesn’t blow right through,  it usually badly damages them.

Let’s go back to the origin of this round for an explanation. When green tip ammo was designed for NATO, they tested it by firing it at steel helmets.

For green tip 5.56, one of the requirements was that it be able to penetrate a US M1 steel helmet (or equivalent steel plate) at 800 yards, 300 yards further than the requirement for the original FMJ 5.56.

That’s about .135” of steel, and that’s a long way. If you’re firing at thin steel plate at 100 yards or even closer, there’s a good chance it’s going to go through and keep going.

And if it doesn’t, it’s going to do a lot of damage to those steel targets – that’s one more reason that many ranges won’t allow it.

● Poor disruption

The last thing that makes green tip 5.56 inadvisable for use in a wide range of common applications is that it is not designed for effective disruption.

This makes green tip 5.56 basically useless for defensive applications and for hunting – so do not get it if that is your aim.

Now for The Good

Don’t take any of this as a wholesale slight to green tip 5.56. There are some redeeming attributes.

● Low cost

Because this ammo was developed for and is primarily produced for the military, there is usually a lot of it floating around, and usually at a fairly low price. So that makes this a good ammo if you partake in high volume shooting applications and don’t have any other restrictions in play.

● Reliability

Like other ammo produced for the military, this is also usually a fairly reliable round, which again makes it a good choice for high-volume shooting sports and other similar disciplines. This also makes it a good choice for training.

Still on the Hunt for Green Tip 5.56?

If you’re not put off by any of the items mentioned in this article and are still looking for reliable, low-cost green tip 5.56, especially in bulk, then visit Bucking Horse Outpost. They carry a wide range of ammo including 5.56 and offer bulk deals, too.

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