IMI Razor Core 5.56 Ammo

IMI Razor Core

Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) recently announced a new 5.56 NATO load called the Razor Core.  The load is designed to improve stopping power, accuracy and range when compared to standard NATO ball ammo.

The Razor Core ammo is already in production, and according to IMI, has been “combat-proven” by an “undisclosed customer.”

Razor Core

US-based shooting supply company Widener’s is selling IMI ammo they state is the same ammo being sold under the Razor Core name.  Widener’s website states the bullet is a 77 grain Sierra HPBT MatchKing.  Some are suggesting the Razor Core is a less expensive duplication of the MK 262 load from Black Hills.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Lance

    Still rather have Federal TRU 5.56mm (.223) ammo has even better terminal performance. And is American made.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I’m deeply saddened that Disqus no longer shows the number of downvotes one has. It’ll make identifying “certain people’s” posts less obvious.

      • Cymond

        I noticed that, too, but didn’t realize it was an actual change with Disqus, I thought it was just a bug. What good is a downvote button that doesn’t DO anything?

        • JumpIf NotZero

          About as good as mods who don’t ban obvious trolls that practice on a site for years.

          (I love TFB… But if you go back and read the posts for YEARS it’s sort of ridiculous)

    • n0truscotsman

      “even better”?

      Do you know anything about the mk262? lots of tali turned into mincemeat because of trigger pullers lobbing 262 down range.

      That and its more accurate.

  • Alex Nicolin

    If they use a soft lead core and thin jacket, the terminal performance is slightly improved for unprotected targets, since the bullet has a slightly better BC due to higher SD (I have made some calculations and it’s ~0.21 G7 compared to ~0.15 G7 for M855) and fragments more readily. But what little barrier penetration 5.56 had will be lost.

  • FourString


  • RickH

    Is that pic a little blurry? I ask because the mouth on the neck of the cartridge looks kind of boogered up. No crimp either.

    • Steve Truffer

      Looks like some sort of sealant. Like how the Russians use some red stuff (asphalt I believe). Notice how the color changes at the mouth from the base of the neck.

  • ColaBox

    That’s quit the difference, if this is to be believe im really gonna need some hard proof here. Calculated ballistic tests, a stable platform, a skilled shooter, the works.

    • Joshua

      Not hard to improve upon M855 and its 5moa. M855A1 hovers at 1.5MOA, but IMI would have no way of testing it.

  • Craig

    The standard NATO 5.56 is 62gr. This is 77gr.
    Of course the INI Razor Core will give tighter groups at distance due to the much better BC.
    Let us compare apples to apples!

    • Suburban

      MatchKing bullets give tighter groups at distance because they are match bullets and not mass-produced cut-rate FMJ bullets. BC is part of the reason, construction and tight tolerances is also going to be part of it.

  • Major Nav

    Hollow points are illegal for combat.

    • ATman

      I think so to

    • HSR47

      Ammunition designed to expand was prohibited by the Hague Convention of 1899.

      The bullet shown above is an open-tip round, but it is NOT designed to expand. Instead, the open tip is simply due to the construction of the bullet: The jacket is applied so that it closes at the front, rather than the rear of the bullet. This, in turn, makes the bullets more consistently accurate, because it puts the inconsistencies closer to the rotational centerline, which means that minor inconsistencies throw bullets off course much less.

      Also, our enemies in Afghanistan are not signatories of that convention. So not only are these bullets “legal” for use in warfare, it doesn’t matter because our current enemies never agreed to play by those rules.

      • Esh325

        I don’t know about that. Some countries have different interpretations of the laws, and that might fall under something that would be illegal for warfare.

        • Michael

          I believe the US never signed the convention on “bullets designed to expand” but generally follow the principle. The UK did sign and as far as I am aware does not use these “open tip” rounds.
          Crazy so lets just Nuke ’em all.

          • Sulaco

            Convention of the Haug in the 1920’s I think under land warfare agreements covers what sort of ammo can be used. I think we did sign that one back then and have lived by it since…

          • Paul Epstein

            Hague, and we weren’t signatories although we have obeyed the rules, largely as a result of the fact that all our European allies did sign it and they wouldn’t be able to accept ammunition which didn’t meet those standards.

      • 11b

        Just because our enemies don’t follow the “laws of war”, doesn’t mean we aren’t obligated to. For example, American soldiers are required to follow the Geneva Convention when engaging the Taliban, even though our enemies clearly disregard it.

        • Formynder

          Soldiers are required to follow the Geneva Convention because America chose to apply the standards from the convention to our opponents. It would have been perfectly legal to choose not to apply them as well, since they weren’t signatories.


      one of the dumbest moves we ever agreed to.

    • Xaun Loc

      Tell that to the Judge Advocate Generals of the US Army and US Navy, both of whom declared the Sierra MatchKing Hollow Point Boat Tail in 7.62mm perfectly acceptable.
      HSR47 is right in the first two paragraphs, his third paragraph starts with a correct fact, but draws an incorrect conclusion.

  • nova3930

    Mk262 is pretty good ammo for the sharp tip of the spear types. For civilians stepping up to a bonded SP rounds goes leaps beyond MK262…

  • Aaron E

    Based on the name I thought this round would have a flechette or something inside!

    The opening in the Sierra bullet tip is an aerodynamic design feature specifically engineered for several Sierra lines. I routinely shoot 168gr. Federal Gold Medal Match in .308. The cartridges come with the famous Sierra Matchking BTHP bullet. They are phenomenally accurate, with target holes routinely overlapping each other at 100 yards.

    However, as mentioned by HSR47, the Matchking bullets (with hole in tip) DO NOT expand well at all. Ballistic flight is great; terminal ballistics not so much. These are through and through rounds in all but the hardest mediums.

    Although the Sierra Matchking is still considered the crown jewel of the FBI and most American law enforcement snipers, recent trends have looked into rounds with a much better expansion like the Hornady TAP.

    • woodman

      you are right, match grade bullets are designed for accuracy only. Exapnsion is not in the design.

    • blehtastic

      Why would you want expansion in a warzone where your enemy may be wearing body armor? Degrading and penetrating body armor is way more important than expansion. If you’re not in a warzone, then shooting two or three times rather than just once is not a big deal.

      • Cymond

        That probably depends highly on the enemies you’re fighting. If body armor is common, then penetration matters. If body armor is extremely rare, then the benefits of expanding ammo may outweigh the drawbacks.

        • blehtastic

          If body armor is not common, or in any situation where one shot needs to equal one kill, warriors are not using .223. This is a bullshit round.

          • Cymond

            Huh? So in a place where body armor is uncommon, what ARE warriors using? Are you suggesting that they use something larger or something smaller in regions with little armor?

      • zardinuk

        Whatever, the first shot is always the easiest, 2 and 3 after your adrenal glands just cleared out is a pretty big bet.

      • Aaron E

        Expansion causes more tissue damage by an expanded wound channel, thereby creating a higher probability of a kill. That is one of the very reasons treaties have prohibited their use.

        When the treaties were signed most armies did not use body armor on any large scale. In the effort to avoid wholesale death they chose FMJ. With FMJ there is incapacitation with the chance of survival (through and through), over the likelihood of incapacitation with death from hollow point. FMJ gives the average soldier at least a “fair” chance of survival.

        Standard issue body armor is fairly new but may indeed present a new valid reason to continue with FMJ. Those these Razor rounds act like FMJ but with a much better trajectory.

    • uisconfruzed

      The Berger’s do both, and are more accurate than the Matchking, as I’ve seen in multiple weapons and calibers at 600-1300yrds, also with harvesting 250lb hogs & 11 pt bucks with a 243.

      • Aaron E

        Berger makes a fine bullet, but Sierra is the choice of the majority of American LE snipers and a large number of competition shooters because of their incredible accuracy. At least in .308 caliber.

        Berger may be more accurate in other calibers, but the patented Sierra design has been expanded beyond .308 with similar accuracy results. Though military calibers may see better from others.
        “Note: The Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr load has for a long time been the defacto standard for law enforcement use and for good reason, it has always been a very accurate factory loading and it has served well.”

        • uisconfruzed

          Sierra Matchkings are fantastic, they’re what I used to handload if I wasn’t hunting. The Bereger’s are newer, so they don’t have the track record, have a much better bc, better long range accuracy and drop game in their tracks. Best of both worlds.

      • john jay

        the berger is a good bullet, no doubt about it. but, … , if you go to the berger website it will tell you why the sierra is a bullet to be considered very strongly if you “make your own.” berger tells you why. and, that is, the berger is a bit more sensitive to set up, … , as to overall loading depth/length, etc., and as to velocity, … , and to get to shoot accurately, then bullets that are not as sensitive to such matters. it is a nod to sierra. sierra bullets are a bit more conservative in design, not so prone to instability as found out on the edge of ballistic performance, and a hell of a lot easier to get set up in a predictable load, than berger. and, berger will be the first to tell you this. right at the website. that being said, both are excellent bullets.

        this has nothing to do w/ caliber, per se. it has to do w/ pushing the limits of stability in flight, which limits berger chooses to push, in order to attain the maximum ballistic performance, and which limits sierra backs away from a bit, in order to achieve predictable performance. when the conditions are right, berger will probably better sierra, but, when the conditions are a little snotty, the sierra stability will probably win out.

        take your choice.

        • uisconfruzed

          Well put sir

      • john jay

        an added comment.–

        there is a difference in bullets to be used for game animals, and a bullet to be used in combat.

        the 168’s matchkings are not recommended for game, … , in fact, sierra will tell you that the matchkings in general are target bullets, and not game bullets. period.

        some bergers are intended for game. some for paper.

        in combat bullets, and as against a human target, either bullet will work as well. get popped in the pumpkin with either, … , the results are pretty predictable.

        finally, as to the 5.56mm nato/.223, and the issue of heavy bullets. you have to be a little careful, when you talk about anything having to do with the 5.56mm and bullet weight. increase bullet weight, and you have to increase barrel twist to stabilize the bullet. and, you loose velocity very quickly. a 55 grain bullet in the 5.56mm will go, what, 3250 to 3300 fps. a 77 to 80 grain bullet will go only about 2700 to 2750 fps at the muzzle.

        when the 5.56mm nato was first in combat, it had a 55 grain bullet in a 1:14″ twist barrel … it had marginal stability in flight, and when it hit tissue or bone, it tumbled and fragmented, causing tremendous tissue damage. quite lethal.

        by contrast, the 77 to 80 grain bullets require 1:8″ to even tighter 1:7″ twists to achieve any semblance of in flight stability, and that means they tend to penetrate “through and through” instead of tumbling. the designs do try to cause instability in tissue by putting weight toward the rear of the bullet, in order to cause “yaw” when it hits something, … , but, it’s tricky.

        the 5.56mm nato has been “asked to do many things” mechanically since first adopted, and some of those demands are contradictory. you cannot have penetration along with increased instability for greater wounding, … , or, at least it is safe to say, it is damned hard to achieve.

        all these things have to be specified in order to have any sort of intelligent discussion of the issues presented. jjj

  • Ballistics is a type of science requiring specific data input, and this report includes none.

  • derfelcadarn

    The best way to improve stopping power of the 5.56 round is to abandone it and purchase a real rifle. Bigger heavier bullets even at reduced velocities are better stoppers.

    • Barry Hirsh

      While I’ve never served nor been in combat, I have it from a reliable source whom I trust that if you’re hit, you’re out of the action, at least temporarily. His version: “Once you hit him, he’s out of the action. You move on.” This observation was based upon going loud, where one doesn’t have time to piss around.

      He served in Angola in the real shit, as Special Forces before escaping Cuba.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Wrong. Perhaps you should study some terminal ballistics before you come on the internet and try to be a guru.

      Besides, everyone knows real operators still use .45-70.

      • jdkchem

        In a lever action.

  • Vitor

    I believe one of the biggest mistakes of the M855A1 was to maintain the mass of the projectile at 62gr. The pressure was increased, so it could launch a heavier bullet without sacrificing speed. The M855 had enough speed already, to increase only worns out the barrel faster. The 63,000psi of the M855A1 would be perfect for a 77gr bullet, that already performs quite well from 58,0000psi.

  • schizuki

    I’m getting tired of luridly-named ammo.

  • Xaun Loc

    Looks like a good round, but that’s a poor choice of name for it. They might as well have named it “Chainsaw MegaDeath CopKiller” for the impact a name like “Razor Core” is going to have in the US.

  • Rottenit

    Got my shipment and took one apart, there is defiantly some sort of black goo on it.

    • Rottenit

      Powder 25gn I think the darker grains were in contact with the sealant

      • Rottenit


    • BLH557

      The “goo” is the sealant used to waterproof the round at the case neck. It has little effect on accuracy. although there is some. All military grade rounds have the sealant. The crimp is a roll crimp that places uniform concentric pressure on the round from the neck of the casing. The primer is sealed and crimped in in order to achieve waterproof-ness and to stabilize the round that will be used in an automatic weapon.