Marines take a look at the new M855A1 round

The Marine Times reports

The Marine Corps intends to purchase 1.8 million rounds of the Army’s new green bullet in addition to the millions of U.S. Special Operations Command cartridges already downrange as the service looks to find the best replacement for its Cold War-era ammo.

The new environmentally friendly M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is on the way to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, Army officials said, with about 1 million rounds arriving soon. The updated 5.56mm round is touted as more effective than old M855 ammunition and, in some cases, 7.62mm rounds currently in use.

More info on the M855A1 here.

[ Many thanks to Tony Williams for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Lance

    The USMC wants a new round. But I doubt M-855 is going away soon. The local USCG unit here still uses 1987 vintage M-193 ammo so I doubt M-855 will go away.

    I prefer the USSOC round a HP is better for killing power and it is not a expensive to produce than he green round.

  • Martin

    I still think this is more of an attempt to stem the criticism that has been aimed at the AR (5.56) platform lately.

  • Big Daddy

    From what I read this round is not only lead free but supposedly fixes a few drawbacks of the current 5.56mm. First it’s ballistics are improved in the way of wounds and penetration. The wounds are more devastating as the round comes out leaving a massive hole and much more tissue damage. That would equate to much more shock due to blood loss among other things. It is also using a different powder that burns faster which makes it better for shorter barrels, I have read in other articles. This round is a very good fix and comes close to adopting a different round unnecessary. Although I still say go 6.8mm and use this new technology for that. The round makes the lethality and effectiveness in combat much improved.

  • charles222

    Adopting a different round was already unnecessary. This just fixes the minor issues a round developed for a 20-inch barrel had to begin with.

    Feel free to ask the insurgents in Fallujah how well they did against US troops with M4s and M16s with their AKs. Oh, right, you can’t, because they’re all dead now. Or the thousand dead Somalis who took on Rangers who were armed with…wait for it…M4s. Or you might try asking the Russians why they adopted 5.45×39 immediately after Vietnam was over. Certainly couldn’t have anything to do with the M16 appearing shortly beforehand..

    Man, for such a terrible rifle and round it has an amazing winning streak against guys with supposedly “better” weapons.


    The propellant is the real winner here; getting such a significant velocity boost with a case that’s as dimensionally small as 5.56 is is amazing.

  • crisara722

    say what you want to say, the 5.56mm round has killed a lot of people around the world in the hands of many armed forces, maybe its not the most effiicient or powerfull round out there and no one can deny its flaws, but it is not a joke.

  • Bill

    Anybody know if they’re still fielding SOST rounds to MC infantry? I had the green 855s when I was in Afghan 2010, but they were publishing some articles about putting out the SOST, I’m assuming for primarily combat MOSs