TWC Tests M855A1: Yes, It’s The Real Deal

2015-10-17 07_13_26-M855A1 Ballistic Gel Test - YouTube

M855A1 is the Army’s new round; it boasts improved accuracy, penetration, and terminal effectiveness vs. the legacy M855 “green tip” round. We previously covered the story of M855A1, and Major Glenn Dean’s history of the round’s development, but how does it really perform? Fortunately, The Wound Channel has come into possession of some of the new ammunition, and put it to the test.

If the above gel tests are representative, then the Army’s research and development has paid off. The round exhibited exceptionally short time to fragmentation, and deep penetration from the stable copper slug, with an added deviating wound channel from the steel “arrowhead” penetrating tip. That is certainly improved performance vs. M855, but unfortunately with only two shots into gel, the above video does not give us an idea of how true the Army’s claims that the M855A1 EPR is yaw independent are – though the very short neck before the breakup of the projectile does suggest it is fragmenting before any yaw is occurring.

As for penetration, The Wound Channel tested M855A1 against AR600 and AR680 steel plates, with the Enhanced Performance Round defeating both handily, even though they are both rated to stop the “semi armor penetrating” M855; the latter video is embedded below:

M855A1 has not been without its detractors, nor has it been free of its fair share of teething troubles, including issues with increased wear and tear on the rifles firing it, but it certainly seems to be a big step up in performance from legacy ammunition.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • TVOrZ6dw

    Looks like a KIA for sure. I would like to see more tests- from longer ranges, say 400 meters or so.

    • Joshua

      It still fragments at 400M. It would be nice to see it tested, but with all production going to the Military getting any ammo in the civilian side is hard enough, much less taking the risk of missing at 400M.

      • TVOrZ6dw

        I’m laughing because they were barely able to hit at 10 meters.
        I would at some point like to see tests at longer ranges just because I would like to see how the trajectory affects the wound channel. After 300 meters the round is dropping at a good rate.

        • I doubt it. A couple days ago I was shooting my AK-74M at 480 yards, and my holdover was just over the E-Type silhouette, not very much drop at all. 5.56 has a similar trajectory.

        • William

          Remember that when testing ammo at close range with a rifle sight offset comes into play. Hitting targets at the test distance in the protocol with a rifle sighted for 100 yards isn’t easy. Especially when you’re trying not to smash your chronograph lol

  • anon

    wow our standard issue round is actually good at killing people now

    • BillC

      It was before, as well. It just sucked defeating modest barriers and winshields and being effective afterwards.

  • dshield55

    Is M855A1 commercially available?

    • Joshua

      Not yet. Probably won’t be for a while. It’s a new round and every production round gods to the Military.

      However I have heard there is interest in making a round for civilians when production can be made available.

      • I had a heckuva time obtaining even one round of it for my collection, but I was eventually able to. At the moment, all production is going to the military, but hopefully there will be some civilian sales.

        • Bacon Chaser

          This would give me a reason to go through my ~3Kish rounds of M855 I got built up.

        • milesfortis

          I remember I didn’t start seeing M855 on the open market until nearly 10 years after it was standardized.
          As you say, with production going to Uncle, including depot storage requirements, I hate it, but it may be that long as well. At least we’re at the 1/2 way point since A1 came online in ’10.
          Hopefully though, there’ll soon be “XM855A1” hitting the market.

          • Joshua

            The other positive is that since Liberty owns the patents they can provide ammo along side over run lots.

          • Liberty owns their patents. My understanding is that lawsuit is still not yet decided; the Army is contesting the judge’s decision, I think.

    • Bacon Chaser

      I do not believe so.

      I think the round composition makes it legally classified as armor-piercing under 18 USC 921(a)(17)(B)(i) due to a copper core under a steel penetrator.

      IANAL

      • Joshua

        It’s classified as ball ammunition.

        • Bacon Chaser

          921(a)(17)(B)(i) looks at the composition of the projectile or projectile core – not what the military classifies it as.

          • Joshua

            All of which is specifically for use in a handgun.

            This is a rifle round and thus not classified as Armor Piercing.

            It’s ball ammunition.

          • Bacon Chaser

            5.56x45mm NATO CAN be fired out of a handgun, so it falls under the restrictions in (i).

            Because it was DESIGNED to be fired from a rifle, (ii) does not apply to it.

            This is the same logic used by the BATFE when they tried to ban M855 last year (or was that earlier this year?). The existence of AR15-platform pistols (and even a Taurus revolver) opens 5.56x45mm NATO to 18 USC 921(a)(17)(B)(i).

          • kyphe

            The fact that they failed to ban M855 is more pertinent than that they tried

          • Bacon Chaser

            M855A1 is far closer to the characteristics outlined in 921(a)(17)(B)(i) than M855 was.

            M855 has a lead core and a steel penetrator. Only steel is mentioned in the law.

            M855A1 has a copper core and a steel penetrator. Beryllium copper and steel are both mentioned in the law.

            So it comes down to what kind of copper they used – regular copper or beryllium copper? The article says copper, but that could just be someone forgetting the beryllium part thinking it is unimportant.

          • Joshua

            Last time I checked it’s just a solid copper slug. Same thing TSX rounds are made out of.

          • Bacon Chaser

            If it is plain ordinary solid copper, it will be legal for civilian sale/possession.

          • 319? All the stuff I’ve ever seen on the civilian market was the earlier Mod 0 lead alloy cored stuff, which fragments.

          • Beryllium copper is about 50% more expensive than copper, and there’s literally no conceivable reason the slug would need to be made of it.

            Also, the slug experiences deformation when fired through gel. The only reason to use beryllium copper would be for its superior hardness, which the A1 slug apparently isn’t very.

          • Bacon Chaser

            Then it should be legal for us to buy. I say “should” because we both know the ATF will fight it tooth-and-nail, even though it doesn’t meet the requirements to be classified as armor-piercing under the law.

          • Joshua

            It will come to the market eventually Liberty said they are working on the ability to produce it in civilian quantities.

            Probably be years till it happens though, eventually though it’s coming.

          • Bacon Chaser

            I wish there was something slightly better than 149gr XM80 to feed my SCAR 17S without going up to 185gr XM118LR…like how 62gr XM855 is in between 55gr XM193 and 77gr Mk262 Mod1 for 5.56x45mm.

            Oh well. We’ll see about XM855A1 in the future. I expect the BATFE to fight it tooth-and-nail, whether it meets 18 USC 921(a)(17)(B)(i) requirements or not.

          • Buy Mk. 319 when it comes back in stock:

            http://palmettostatearmory.com/mk319-mod-0-7-62mm.html

          • Bacon Chaser

            Whats the cost?

            I see 1,000 rounds of XM118LR for around $600 from time-to-time.

          • No idea what the cost is. Back in the good old days (2011), you could buy Mk. 318, its little brother, for $10/box, and I bought a bunch because it was the best lower-cost “business” ammo you could buy. Now Mk. 318 is usually $20/box, so I’d imagine Mk. 319 is more than that when it’s in stock, but not tremendously so.

            The availability of those rounds ebb and flow, so I’d keep checking around if you really want some.

          • Bacon Chaser

            I try to keep everything mil-spec for my firearms. XM193, XM855 and Mk262 Mod1 for 5.56x45mm NATO for the Colt M4 LE6920 and XM80 for 7.62x51mm NATO for the FN SCAR 17S. And I only buy 9x19mm NATO for my Glock 17 and Sig Sauer P226 Mk25.

            Its generally cheaper than all the fancy rounds in odd grains for hunting that is available in 223 Remington and 308 Winchester.

          • Joshua

            You could always wait for M80A1.

          • Or Hornady 110gr V-Max. That stuff is really awesome, too.

          • marathag

            plus the health hazards from beryllium in manufacturing. There’s a reason its rare for golf clubs and boat props anymore

          • milesfortis

            The core is elemental, non alloyed copper, not even brass, bronze or gilding metal. A good question is: Is the steel penetrator tip considered a ‘core’? I’ll think law sharks will have to be involved to define that one.
            Farther below you say you’d like something different for your 7.62mms. Well, M80A1 (same bullet design) began fielding a year ago.

          • Slvrwrx

            Correct. “The Chopping Block” sent me the core and the tip to have me analyze them. The Core is 99.xxxx % Copper/CU 😀

          • The main reason they failed was due to a specific exemption written into the AP ammo ban law for the M855/SS109 ammunition. ATF will not be so generous with this ammo since it is not the same name. Maybe the NRA can apply enough pressure on Congress critters to get a positive ruling but I’m not counting on this one. This will eventually hurt US production of military ammo since the ammo companies sell off the over runs and runs of ammo that do not meet the stringent MIL-STDs as well as using the machinery in down times between government contract runs. Those cost will now have to be absorbed by the tax payer in the form of higher ammo cost to the military.

          • Also the fact that M855 does not qualify, and neither will A1.

          • noob

            this is interesting – that means one could conceivably make a sintered iron .45ACP projectile which is legally armor piercing, but under tests fails to penetrate any level of body armor at any range, just as an educational exercise in absurdity.

          • Bacon Chaser

            That is what happens when stupid politicians make laws about something they know nothing about.

      • William

        It is my understanding that a round considered “ball” cannot be classified as AP.

        This ammo is ball.

        • Bacon Chaser

          Military designation of “ball” is irrelevant under 18 USC 921(a)(17)(B)(i), which looks only at the metals used in the construction of the round (as pointed out below when I cited both portions of 921(a)(17)(B)).

          However, it appears that the copper portion of the round may be just plain ordinary copper, which will make this round legal.

          • William

            I guess the AFT could classify something as AP that the Army specifically says is NOT AP. They’ve done worse lol

            I agree though if that’s not a berrilyum copper slug it does not meet the definition.

        • Scott P

          Didn’t stop the government from banning surplus 7.62×39 that is coming in droves to Canada from Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, and China even though that ammo is only ball (Yugo ammo is exempted because they were the only country to use a lead core bullet).

          Did not stop the ban on 7n6 ammo which is also only ball ammo and obsolete considering the Russians moved on with better ammo that IS considered AP.

          Surprised the government hasn’t banned surplus 7 62×25 since it IS a pistol round, all have steel cores, and will easily penetrate body armor with ease. I guess because of its relative obscurity, the fact it is no longer in military service, and any new ammo is lead-core based for civilian use has allowed it to slip under the radar.

    • Steve_7

      It’s prohibited. ATF decided M855 was AP back in 1986 but it’s exempt because of the “sporting purpose” clause. ATF decided that M855 meets that test so it’s legal, that was the stink about M855 because ATF were going to change their mind but didn’t in the end. ATF has not determined that M855A1 meets the “sporting purpose” test so it is classed as AP and ergo, banned.

  • Joshua

    Glad to see this getting out and being tested. I’ve been saying since those stupid papers came out that M855A1 works.

    There’s been a lot of hate for this round by a lot of so called experts who said it is no better than M855, but like I’ve been saying they have no idea what they are talking about.

    • Kivaari

      Most of the complaints are from 7.62mm believers. I don’t care what anyone says. A little .22 bullet going through lungs or liver will be real sick. Chances of surviving are low, if you can’t get to a well trained surgical team.

      • Dan

        I tore a hole in my lung without being shot and within 10 minutes i couldn’t stand and my deflating lung was squishing my heart. A .22 hole in your lung will surely take you out of the fight. If not immediately give it a little while. A hole is a hole and when it’s in something you really need, it’s real bad.

        • Kivaari

          Everyone bad mouthing the 5.56mm, don’t know a lot about medical needs of the wounded. As you say you were real sick. Not getting an occlusive bandage on the wound, you will not stop the deflation, and the bleeding will likely continue to fill the cavity. There are newer devices for treating collapsed lungs. A simple valve that allows air in, the right way, and exhaust out the valve.

          • Dan

            Yea those little valves have saved a lot of lives. I didn’t call the ambulance when it happened first thing i thought was heart attack horrible pain and my heart was beating weird. So after some tests in the er and a xray they told me it was my lung. Two doses of fentynl and i was in a daze watching the surgeon insert a chest tube. As it is now a lot of who we are facing probably do not have access to the best care so a slight nick in the lung will most likely be the end for them. I see no problem in using a .22 caliber round. I have seen a lot of animals larger than me killed with it so i have no doubt it will kill a man.

          • Dan

            But i also love everything .30 caliber and .50caliber. Screw it I love em all. Caliber Love knows no bounds!!!

          • Kivaari

            I had to give up big stuff due to a broken and re-broken neck, needing 5 surgeries.

          • Dan

            Well that sucks

          • Swarf

            Is there more to this story you’re willing to tell?

            How did you get a non-bullet related hole in your lung?

          • Kivaari

            I suspect a shop accident. I’ve seen some real dandy wounds in shops and farms.

          • iksnilol

            Know a guy who almost had his hand cleaved. Hand got stuck in a wood cleaver machine.

          • Kivaari

            Industrial oops cause some real bad injuries. We had a man try to unplug a huge wood chipper at a Weyerhauser mill in Aberdeen (WA). It wasn’t feeding right so he climbed onto it, with a couple of stomps. He went through it and came out a mess. I am so glad they didn’t have me come to the scene. I worked next door.

          • iksnilol

            He went through a wood chipper!? That sounds like a crappy way to go :/

          • Kivaari

            Not your backyard chipper, this was industrial size feeding several factories making sheets of “chip board” or ‘partical board” The feed hopper was large enough to hold a large truck.

          • iksnilol

            It sounds crappy nonetheless.

            I presume he didn’t survive?

          • Kivaari

            He was instantly killed, coming out the other side in a soup seasoned with Douglas Fir.

          • iksnilol

            I think what was left would probably fit in a soup pot.

            :O

            Must have been a horrible way to go.

          • Dan

            20years of smoking and being a thinner build. I ended up with blisters or blebs, i was dealing with pneumonia at the time woke up had a cig went. Went to the bathroom coughed and a pain from the front of my chest to my back. 14 days in the hospital most of which trying to see if it would heal on it’s own. Ended up having a VATS procedure and pleruodesis. My left lung is missing the upper lobe and is fused to the inside of my chest cavity. So no cool story on how I used my body to shield someone from a hail of gunfire. Just skinny white smoker coughed to hard and blew a lung

          • Swarf

            Damn!

            Thanks for the tale. Glad I quit when I was still skinny.

            I once fractured a rib sneezing.

            To be fair, I had “loosened it up” taking a fall the day before, but still.

            Achoo! POP!. AAAGGHH!!

          • Dan

            Haha, yea i was told by my surgeon i had a broken rib that had healed not so straight darned if I know when or how that happened. I get just over two weeks off of work around christmas time and this happened the day after we went on Christmas break and I got out of the hospital 4 days before i had to go back. Coughs and sneezes are not to be taken lightly I guess.

          • I dislocated a rib that way. But when I “preloosened” it, it was *literally* rolling over my own elbow in my sleep at *just* the wrong angle. Seriously. Total freak occurance, with leverage at just the right spot and continuous pressure for an extended time did what you would have trouble doing with a baseball bat.

            I spent about a week, week and a half, with it slipping out occasionally (like when I sneezed) and having to grab it and shove it back, as it happened less frequently and less severely over time. Still hurt for a week after the last time.

          • iksnilol

            You had a Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System procedure (VATS)? I didn’t even know those were real.

            Jokes aside, you practically coughed up a lung? I must admit, I am a bit curious about it in general.

          • Core

            Did you get hit by a stray bullet?

          • Dan

            I wish it were something cool like that. I coughed too hard. Seriously

          • Gregory Peter Dupont

            I actually prefer larger calibers, but with good ammo, 5.56( or 5.45 ) will do any job reasonably expected of a small-medium caliber rifle…and they WILL kill youas dead as disco without the weight penalties associated with my preferred calibers.

        • Core

          Agreed. Lots of energy from a 556, wouldn’t want to get hit anywhere with any 62g. 22 projectile traveling at 2900fps.

          • iksnilol

            Not really a lot of energy, a lot of well used energy.

      • Cal S.

        But I thought enemy soldiers just shrugged off anything smaller than 7.62! Like those Chinese Ironmen that shrugged off everything but .30-06 no matter how many times they were shot?

        • Kivaari

          They were complaining in the Pilippines when we shot them with .30-40 Krags. Not only did the .38 L not stop them, but neither did the .30 US.

          • Cal S.

            So it took a .45ACP to get the job done…

            Kidding, kidding.

          • iksnilol

            Nah, it took .45 Colt to git’er dun.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I think the majority of people who are skeptical of the latest super-round is not due to it being a “5.56 round” or it being “no better than M855” as it is seen more of an expensive boondoggle without enough net gain to merit it.

        The development cost to get from the ARDEC Joint Service
        Non-Toxic Ammunition Working Group to the current M855A1 has cost approximately $100 million, which was before the Liberty Ammunition won their $15 million patent lawsuit as well as 1.5 cent per round until 2027.

        Secondary to the cost is the numerous issues the EPR has
        incurred over the years. The initial bismuth-tin alloy projectile would
        destabilize in temperatures seen in Iraq and Afghanistan producing a wildly inaccurate flight path forcing a production halt in 2009 until the tin could be replaced with a copper slug. During the time period the USMC chose the Mk318 SOST round. The Mk318 SOST has an accuracy standard of 2 MOA while the EPR has an accepted accuracy standard of 5.5 MOA. Comparing the EPR and SOST, both perform better than M855 but the SOST slightly outperforms the EPR on soft targets as well as holding together slightly better through intermediate barriers.

        There were also claims about not needing to re-zero and
        being able to use BDC on optics made for the legacy M855 that were incorrect. The pressure, at 62,000 psi was near that of a proof load causing as much as twice the barrel wear. The penetrator caused excessive wear on feed ramps which is why the Army’s new M4A1 upgrades initially included M4 feed ramps with higher Rockwell ratings and now include new magazines with modified feed angle geometry. Lastly, the M855A1 EPR is unable to penetrate SAPI plates, meaning if the US were to go up against a modern adversary with similar equipment, The Army and USMC would need to resort to the M995 AP round.

        • Costly, yes, that seems to be the Word of The Day for modern military procurement. Not enough net gain? I disagree.

          M855A1 inherits the same accuracy standards as M855, but that does not mean it is just as inaccurate. Reportedly, ammunition lots being accepted are doing so with great accuracy, achieving 95% of hits within 8×8″ at 600 yards according to Lt. Col Woods. SS109 has always been a difficult round to manufacture consistently, as the bullet tip tends to shift and move in the jacket during bullet manufacture. M855A1 does not load this way, with the very solid copper slug being introduced to the jacket in reverse, and the penetrator following. This, among other things, means the M855A1 should be easier to make to a higher accuracy standard.

          While the SOST round does have better soft target performance, it is more specialized. It lacks the capability to penetrate some kinds of armor that M855A1 can penetrate, for example. Going through barriers, I’d hesitate to say there is any major difference between Mk. 318 and M855A1, as both use the same mechanism to defeat intermediate barriers (a very stable rear slug).

          The re-zeroing complaints appear to be valid; Army lit appears to have dropped that particular claim. Realistically, any time an ammunition load changes, re-zeroing is needed. M855A1 does not achieve proof pressures, not anywhere close. M197 proof ammunition is rated to 70,000 PSI, while SAAMI proof loads are supposedly closer to 80,000 PSI. For additional perspective, M855 runs about 58,000 PSI, and CIP rates normal .223 Remington at 63,000 PSI. M855A1’s original pressure was high, but not out of the realm of possibility. Even so, the pressure for second spiral M855A1 is 59,000 PSI.

          The penetrator tips caused excessive wear on the aluminum M4 feed ramps in the upper receiver, but it was causing uppers to wear out at something like 25K rounds, not as quickly as some authors would have you believe. This problem was solved by the new High Reliability Magazine, which presents the rounds at a more favorable angle for feeding, improving reliability by 300%, and as a happy side effect, side-stepping the M4 feed ramp cut wear issue entirely.

          M855A1 EPR is unable to penetrate ESAPI. This is also true for 7.62 M61 AP, .30 cal M2 AP, and 7.62x54mmR B-32 API. Also, none of these rounds can frontally penetrate an M1 Abrams, either.

          • Joshua

            He doesn’t realize the M16 and M4 have an acceptable accuracy standard of 4moa.

            Last time I checked M855A1 from a M4A1 is pushing 1.5-2moa so neither the round or rifle are anywhere near their maximum acceptable.

          • Kivaari

            My M4 does sub-MOA with M193, To get there it took a Geissele SSA trigger and Mk4 Leupold 1.5-5x24mm. It is fitted with a Bravo Company hammer forged barrel, light weight, 16 inch. It is better than any AR-type rifle I’ve used. I’d like a chance to shoot my XM15 HBAR, but I traded it off for yet another AR-SBR.

          • Adam aka eddie d.

            Nathaniel, I’ve read somewhere that the feed ramp issue could also be solved with simply using PMAGs.
            Do you find this true based on the design of the Magpul mags?

          • In my experience PMags basically have the same problem as the original USGIs. They present the rounds at the same angle, whereas the HRM presents the rounds at an inclined angle.

          • Adam aka eddie d.

            I see, thank you!

          • Rusty Shackleford

            True, I probably should have emphasized ‘accepted’ accuracy
            standard. While the Army recently mandated that M855A1 be downgraded to 58,000 PSI from the original 63,000 PSI to help barrel life, it was also to protect the soldier from his rifle going
            high-order when a round of M855A1 had a small amount of bullet setback. The problem with current accuracy vs accepted accuracy crops up with the Army placing its initial order of 300 million rounds in 2010 with another 600 million rounds that they hope to add to the strategic stockpile by the end of 2017. That much ammunition means inevitably the current accuracy will degrade as looser lots are produced and accepted.

            For an unknown reason, both the 63k PSI and 58k PSI loadings tend to have a wild-flier approximately every 5 rounds, although I suspect it may be due to the uneven amount of weather sealant from round to round. While a new M4A1 with its standard 1×7 twist has shown an ability to achieve an approximate 2 MOA with the original 63k PSI loading, the “95 percent of hits on an 8×8 plate
            at 600 yards” is a bit of a misnomer, the Army achieved that from using an AMU accurized marksmanship rifle utilizing a 20 inch 416R barrel with a 1×8 twist.

            I’m aware of the improved feed geometry on the HRM and hope the Pentagon can come up with the funding for all branches to replace existing mags, the problem is the cost of replacement or the unwillingness to do so. The USMC won’t replace a dangerously worn-out magazine unless you ‘accidently’ fall on an unloaded one and crush it. From what I hear, the Army isn’t much better in that regard, although I hope they will come through will the HRM for the increased reliability factor alone.

            When it comes to armor, The M855A1 may defeat a CRISAT panel more reliably then Mk318, Mk262 or SS109, but all, including M855A1, tend to fail against Soviet-era LIFCHIK vests with loaded magazines seen in Iraq and Afghanistan being used as a poor mans ballistic vest…and all without the need of an Abrams tank.

            M855A1 isn’t a terrible round, I was just personally hoping that
            a round that took so much time and money to produce turned out better than it did, and wouldn’t need an asterisk next to some of its claims.

        • Kivaari

          I never considered it a super round. It was adopted for a silly reason – “get the lead out”. I’d rather have seen the adoption of an all lead core.
          If a penetrator was desired, instead of essentially just dropping the steel plug into the case. It should be cast into a plastic plug that fits into the nose of an empty jacket leaving it with no opportunity to shift. then a swaged lead core pushed into place. Screw the environmental hazard, ranges can be set up to recover lead. In combat the damage to the environment is of no interest. It should just be ignored as the most practical and lesser cost is important. Really how much damage can a few thousand rounds spread about Afghanistan really impact the environment.

          • John

            >Really how much damage can a few thousand rounds spread about Afghanistan really impact the environment.

            Per soldier? A lot. There are real claims and studies to that effect.

          • Kivaari

            Think t it. A bullet, even 12.7″ wont leave dangerous concentrations except at a range. I live in Idaho’s Silver Valley, where silver, lead and zinc is common everywhere. It appears in surface amounts and the creeks. If it isn’t crushed and smelted here, as it used to be, the impact is minimal. There are natural concentrations all over the world that impact the environment to a much greater degree than combat. Look t trap and skeet ranges where it is collected and reused around the year. A battlefield has hardly detectable impact.

          • Paul Labrador

            The issue is not Afghanistan. The issue are training ranges in the US that have severe lead contamination.

      • lowell houser

        I AM a 7.62 believer and even I’ll tell you that this is a nasty little pill. It will punch through body armor that stops 30-06 AP, breaks apart dumping all that energy into the target creating a wound channel like hamburger, groups respectably, and it still performs from a shorter barrel. Like any 5.56, I don’t want it for anything over 300 meters, but within that I definitely wouldn’t feel under-gunned.

        • Kivaari

          I love the 7.62mm NATO. That said, you are right about ranges beyond 300m, with the exception of the 5.56mm can print better groups “normally” than the 7.62. The OTM “heavy” weight 5.56mm has now beaten the records previously held by the 7.62. Years ago a team mate and I were shooting at a real range known 400m. He with a 7.62 (with a M700 26″ M82) me with a 5.56 (M700 26″ M193)). We were shooting steel plates (8×10). That is an easy shot so puffs of lead were very evident. I have to agree the 7.62 left a lot more bullet material in the air simply because of the 147 gr. v. 55 gr. weights. I assure you that either one would have made the person sick. I suspect the one hit with the .22 MAY have bled out slower than the .30. We know that the 5.56 OTM rounds in issue with SpecOps can hit and wound at 800m. Hitting counts for a lot. Hits in distal parts of the body can be easily treated enough in the filed that the warrior with a K-pot or rag could make it a few days with basic care. Great pain, but if the wound is wrapped, bandages changed and not septic the likelihood of surviving are high. Fortunately our medical evac systems are superior to most fighters out there. Our surgical teams are the best. Pardon my saying that in honor of by B-in-L retiring this month from the Air Force as a LT, Col. in charge of those teams. Torso hits are still destructive regardless of bullet used by modern armies. We enjoy an advantage of field treatment. Many in the Army teams are trained out of their specialty in medical aid. Have a DMR spread about Mk 12-types or M 14-types (improved, not Vietnam era M14s) and your worries should be over. Most combat beyond just rattling a bit is handled by heavy weapons. Much of the combat is under 200m and having an M4 carbine is not at a disadvantage. If you are shooting them so fast that they heat up too much don’t. Spraying out your rounds wastes ammo. Train enough, that you hit and control the urge to spray. Bullets flying in the self-heelng air are wasted.
          The 7.62x39mm crowd think it outperforms the 5.56mm simply have not studied the actual medical journals that address it. In particular the M43 (steel core) loves to make clean wounds. It’s lopping trajectory makes it hard to hit with at longer ranges, and its starting velocity, usually under 2350 in AKs but in the RPK with its longer barrel is truer to published velocities. The SKS carbines deliver the 2350. Yugo 125 gr. flat base is more lethal than the M43. The hardest feature to over come is the rapid drop of velocity and performance coupled with crude sights that greatly limit the performance, since only good hits count.
          I recommend studying the US Army papers on bullet wounds in the Vietnam to current era, as all the old barracks room BS is dispelled by the real medical people. Fackler’s vascular medicine is still part of the training manuals for surgeons.

          • iksnilol

            Fackler did good work. I’ve been scouring for whatever of his work I can find.

            M43 is pretty pathetic. Nobody bothers with it anymore, at least not anyone with a good head on their shoulders. M67 is pretty chill.

            The reason we 7.62×39 crowd like it so much is barrier penetration. I would prefer shooting through cover. Since I don’t have body armor, arty or air support, or support in general. I’ve taught myself where people would most likely hide behind cover and whatnot. That’s also what the ex-mil folks I know did. Then again, they didn’t have those things for most of the time during the war.

            7.62×39 also shines in short barrels. 25 cm in 7.62×39 is handy and still effective at 300 meters.

          • Kivaari

            I know we were shooting 5.56 and M43 at steel plates at 100m. The M43 simply would not penetrate the plates. As we closed the distance the craters in the plates were shallow with 5.56 and almost non-existent with the M43. At about 50m, the M43 started cratering, the 5.56m started penetrating. At about 40m, we had one M43 crater and hold the steel core. The 5.56 simply bore holes through the steel.
            Velocity does matter. After so many years I have forgotten if the M43 ever punched a hole. It became dangerous when the steel cores started coming back our way. We were young and took too many risks. We have scars with tales behind them. But we made it to Medicare age – worse for the wear.

          • iksnilol

            Seriously? That just makes me more confident against harder stuff with M67. It is mild steel in M43 after all.

            Good you survived. I am not really afraid of bullets. I know plenty of people who got shot who weren’t much worse for wear. It’s that I am afraid of explosives, especially landmines.

          • The Brigadier

            Yeah and fire.

          • iksnilol

            Nah, fire isn’t bad. It’s the smoke that kills you. Am more afraid of ocean than fire.

          • Kivaari

            I don’t know how your country’s library system work. I found footnotes in Ezell’s AK47 Story. I sent them to our local library, and a month later received a couple inches of copies from the University of Washington. It was quite extensive giving me wound ballistic studies done by the militaries of the US, Sweden, Yugoslavia and China. I also exchanged letters with Dr. Fackler and joined his International Wound Ballistic Association. I also received the twice per year (or 4 per year) “Wound Ballistics Review” which had excellent coverage of the gun press – taking them to task for false and misleading “studies”. Like Marshall’s and Steel’s book that was total BS when exposed to real science. Unfortunately when I last retired from the PD I left them behind for a now deputy chief that was a lesser man than I thought. I also gave away much of my material after I retired. If your library has such a system, it is a great way to get REAL SCIENCE done under a scientific eye. Sweden really did a horrible job in n attempt to show how evil the USA is. They thumbed down the M193, promoted and adopted the SS109, which gave even greater tissue destruction than the M193.

          • iksnilol

            I should check that stuff out, currently I am just going online and finding pictures and bad scans.

        • That would be the M80A1. 😉

        • Core

          The 556 kills well beyond 300 meters wheras the x39 and others don’t do too well. Especially if you have a EBR with 16″+ barrel. I’m kind of bummed to see dod removing the M16A1 from production if this is the case. You can’t beat the weight and capacity of the 556, yet. I said it years ago, we need to look at. .24.-.25

        • The Brigadier

          Another option is increasing barrel length. Dropping bullet weight and increasing barrel length will both give you a whopping increase in speed and applied force. However, the proper weight for a battle round in a .308 NATO is 168 grains. That is the weight that gives a 21 inch barrel the flattest arc and most accuracy. Most ammo companies now are only making 147-149 grain bullets to shave the price down and accuracy and force both suffers. Sierra still makes 168 grain bullets and if you are a reloader keep that weight in mind the next time you reload.

    • Kivaari

      They forget the issue of going lead free. I think that is a stupid reason.

      • Less dumb than it initially seems. The US Army trains at many ranges abroad and at home which it does not own. Some of those ranges are subject to stringent regulations as to how much lead can be put in he ground. If the US Army is to use these ranges, it either needs to get an exemption in each and every jurisdiction, or adopt lead-free ammunition. Consider, finally, that M855A1’s performance in any given area would be reduced if any one of its three components were replaced with lead. A lead penetrator tip would not do for armor penetration. A lead slug would mean greatly reduced barrier penetration. And, of course, a lead jacket would shear off inside the barrel, and foul the weapon terribly.

        • Kivaari

          I actually don’t mind removing lead if a suitable replacement metal is found. It just needs to be less expensive as solid copper. Copper is a strategic metal. I like having a penetrator, and feel a steel core, molded into a plastic (polymer) material that wont allow displacement, backed by an economical core would give good performance.
          Lead is economical and has a desirable weight advantage.
          Copper is expensive. Solid bullets like the French 8mm pointed load was machined from bronze. That’s expensive in both material and production costs.
          I wonder if cast zinc cores placed behind the penetrator would have enough weight, with lower toxicity. Perhaps a longer bullet than the 62 gr slug would still work well in 1:7 twist. I suspect zinc could be swaged from wire or 2m long rods, in an economical fashion.
          I remember when we could buy zinc cored “Highway Masters” for 357 and .45 handguns. The bullets were light, hard and fast.

          • There is less copper used in M855A1 than there would be if we switched to lead-cored 6.8 SPC, for example.

          • Kivaari

            I was thinking if the hole in the copper slug were deeper, the copper could then be swaged over the penetrator. So with the penetrator enveloped in copper there would be longer wear on the M4 feed cuts. I don’t see it costing anymore, it shouldn’t effect accuracy or penetrating power. Like the M855 but having the A1s core in a more concentric position. It would still use copper, but the performance, in my weak mind, would be better.

          • Right, I get what you’re saying, but you’d end up with a less stable penetrator, and probably greatly reduced fleet yaw insensitivity.

          • Here’s a similar idea I had, but applied to a dedicated AP round. I think the new Nammo long-range AP stuff uses a similar config:

            http://i.imgur.com/6klhmac.png

          • Kivaari

            I like that. If it flies right, it would be a good round for AP. I don’t have the skill to present my idea. From what I understand the steel core in the M855 gave trouble because the insert has a tendency to go in out off alignment, I would have it in its own polymer piece that would stop that. If they can replace lead with a dense non-lead metal or sintered metal (making fragmentation consistent). On the 855A1 it could be done by inserting the penetrator into thee jacket from the rear (or front) thus getting the lubricity of copper to prevent wear. It would require a longer bullet OAL than exists now. If it could be done with a lesser priced core material that would be great. It could be done with a core, even copper, shoved into place like a conventional bullet, thus keeping production simple. The insert could be swaged together prior to inserting. It would then require a separate production line. It is only speculation as to how it would perform. It would just be a variant on the .303 Mk VII.
            I do get some inspiration from the MK VII, as it was a way around the prohibition on bullets that caused greater destruction, by Brits saying it aided long distant machinegun fire. It did do that, and ream bigger holes in the enemy. I can’t figure out why the Italians did not do that in the 6.5mm without trying the 7.35mm. I think the 6.5 so configured would have come out as being an excellent loading, to this day. When we look at the various 6.5, 6.8 and 7mm loads we’ve tried since the .276 Pederson (really a 6.8 SPC) just 80 years ago. All the new ideas are really not new ideas. Italian doctors did exemplary studies circa 1900 on wound ballistics. A 6.5mm Italian (Bulgarian etc) with a lighter bullet or proper shape having a penetrator (or tumbler) would do what everyone seems to want.

          • Kivaari

            In the illustration would the core be surrounded by polymer sheathing? Like the .30-06 AP with a lead sheath, so the bullet can be engraved by the rifling without blowing the penetrator out, leaving the jacket in the bore?

          • It’s a 55gr bullet. The sheath is lead. Construction is similar to 5.8x42mm DBP-10.

        • Kivaari

          I was not thinking of going to an all lead core. I like the penetrator. If the steel was not staying centered in the M855, then put it in a plastic “holder” so it can not be moved around in the copper jacket. Like the fiber and aluminum inserts in .303 Mk VII and 7.35mm with aluminum. cast a carrier for the 5.56mm insert it in the jacket, then followed a suitable material. If lead is outlawed for environmental reasons find a suitable replacement. That is hard and expensive. I am impressed with the performance of the M855A1, it’s spectacular compared to the M193. To solve the wear problem, they count cover an insert with copper. A smaller diameter or ogive covered in a jacket would solve that. Simply seating the current penetrator deep enough that copper could be swaged over the penetrator would be easy. If they continue using the all copper base a solution is right in front of them.

          • This is going to sound flippant, but I’ve got a pretty substantial SolidWorks folder, much of it devoted to projectile design, and I’ve found that “simple” answers like that rarely are as easy as they sound, nor do they often satisfy requirements. Often, a novel configuration like that ends up being too light, and the loss of sectional density kills performance. There are also length and configuration restrictions.

            Covering the penetrator with copper would negate some of the good characteristics (primarily the short neck and yaw indifference) of the M855A1.

          • Kivaari

            Well, I’m not offended. I can see how it MAY work. If moving the nose piece rearward and covering the slug with jacket material works, then OK. If it takes adding more copper offsetting the changed distribution. Then perhaps any shortening of the bullet because copper formerly in the base is now wrapped around the penetrator, perhaps lengthening it back to the same OAL would work. I know I haven’t worked with this material for a few decades and I don’t have the program or intellect to do more than guess.

        • Bill

          A big issue at outdoor ranges is lead and heavy metals leaching into the water table, not including the exotic rounds like depleted uranium from A10s. Fired rounds also generate a lot of nitrogen, a natural fertilizer that can really green up the firing lines, and cause algae blooms when it gets into nearby streams or ponds

          It can add up fast: I calculated out by projectile weight and rounds fired in training and qualifications that our backstop had a number of tons of lead in it. We debated trying to excavate and recycle it, but the advice we got was that if we disturbed it it would require all the hassle of handling hazardous material, so it stays in the earth from whence it came.

  • nobody

    Now cue the complaints about the round being ineffective because they’ve reduced the neck length to far and made it fragment like that RIP ammunition (where most of the fragments will not penetrate far enough to do any actual damage), well at least you get the core and penetrator to actually penetrate halfway decently. I also wonder how it will perform against AR500 Armor’s NIJ III+ plates, as looking at the other tests of the AR680 armor, it appears to fail right at the point that AR500 Armor’s lightweight series NIJ III+ plates failed in testing (M193 from a 24″ barrel).

    • William

      The AR500 Level III+ video has been made and will be posted soon

      • Keep up the good work, William!

      • nobody

        Cool, can’t wait to see the results.

  • hikerguy

    I would like to have seen the test done with the steel plate and ballistic jell. Not trying to be a skeptic, (And there is no doubt the round is an improvement) but I am sure future opponents will have much more access to body armor. A shot through masonry would have been great. Shame we didn’t have more rounds to test with.

    • Joshua

      Barriers cause the jacket to shred pre target, but then the steel penetrator and copper slug strike the target generally 30° apart from each other.

    • Bill

      Shooting a bare block of gel doesn’t necessarily represent how a round will perform in the real world, with intermediate barriers, armor, equipment and clothing it will have to pass through.

    • The Wound Channel

      I plan to test this round through a steel AR500 armor plate and into ballistics gel.

  • Vhyrus

    Can’t wait till we can get some, and the eventual Level 3++ plates that come out 6 months later.

    • Joshua

      Wouldn’t level III++ just be Level IV?

      • William

        Adding a + to the armor is an industry term that just means it will stop level III threats plus something else. So no III++ won’t necessarily be level IV

        • Paul Epstein

          That seems like it would run into the +P+ problem, though. Once you’ve exited the accepted, reasonably defined standards, it can be hard for the consumer to actually grasp how it really stacks up. And since there’s nothing except honesty stopping a III+ from calling their armor III++, much like +P and +P+, it will probably end up more common on the lower end of the quality scale.

          Fortunately, body armor has no chance of blowing up a gun, so there isn’t a direct safety hazard, but having overconfidence in your body armor doesn’t seem desirable either.

          • The Wound Channel

            You are exactly correct. And in my opinion an armor plate that stops less than what you thought it would is just as bad or worse than a gun blowing up.

          • CommonSense23

            Have you guys got your hands on any MK318?

          • Kivaari

            Don’t the plates rest on a stack of Kevlar in the vest behind the plate carrier?

          • Bill

            Ideally hard plates have additional kevlar backers. I have no idea of how many get issued in the military, and in LE you’re typically expected to wear your soft body armor under any hard plates, though it’s normally in a separate carrier under your uniform shirt. I don’t think the idea is additional ballistic protection, but more as a cushion to absorb some of the kinetic energy of the impact. Anything that will punch a hole in a plate will likely zing right through Kevlar, unless you’ve got Michelin Man levels of layers on.

          • Kivaari

            After exiting the plate velocity and incident of attack into Kevlar should help. A bullet has to give up speed in order to go through the plate. I don’t know how many formal tests have been run on the bullet after leaving the plate have been done.

          • Bill

            I don’t know of any, other than test-to-failure where penetration is an automatic failure, and some that measure backfire deformation. The National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Institutes of Justice do most of the testing, and I believe there are several programs at the Natick Soldier Systems Center.

  • NewMan

    the round is just too high pressure which will dramatically increase wear and tear – NOT good thing.

    I say just ditch it and develop a new caliber and build a new rife around this caliber from the ground up… Stop trying to ‘stuff’ everything into the AR’s confinement/limitation.

    • Joshua

      Uh huh, you do realize the pressure is identical to M855 now right?

      I love comments like these, just shows who has no idea what they are talking about.

      Also the rounds in the video were getting around 2,900-3,000 FPS for a 62gr bullet from a 16″ barrel which is also on par with M855 from a 16″ barrel.

      • NewMan

        isn’t this the same round that they used during the IC competition and canceled it because non of the rifles could handle the high pressure rounds? even the article mention there is still issue with increased wear and tear. on the rifle.

        • Joshua

          Yes it was used for the IC and no the competition did not get cancelled. No rifle met 3,152 MRBS needed to pass to phase III.

          The only people who said the competition was cancelled due to the ammo was the manufacturers with the most to lose from not winning to competition.

          Also having the information get out that the M4A1 has the best parts life of every entrant didn’t look good on their part.

          • Joshua, you’re such a buzzkill, you always come in here and lay down the law. Why can’t you let people have their dreams of 6.8 SPC piston-driven wundergewehrs?

          • Joshua

            I get pleasure from sucking the joy out of life.

          • All I want is to believe that the Army is so incompetent that any Joe blow working out of his basement could do a better job! Is that so much to ask? 😉

          • Joshua

            Well I hate to break this news to you, but 6.8 is a SOCOM/Remington thing.

          • I sense you are not perceiving my sarcasm. 😉

            If you recall, I’m the guy who wrote this article:

            http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/04/04/not-so-special-a-critical-view-of-the-6-8mm-spc/

          • Joshua

            I typed that oozing of dry sarcasm. You need to get a smiley system built into the chat boxes here.

          • n0truscotsman

            TFB, where hopes and dreams of a 6.5 caliber XM8 go to die…

          • iksnilol

            Oh no, 6.5 is holy, 6.8 sucks.

            There’s a difference.

          • dshield55

            I think you completely skirted Newman’s last comment.

            Part of the complaint from the manufacturers in the IC was that they designed their rifles for the old ammo but then the ammo got switched. Would they have met requirements to pass phase III if they could have reworked their barrels for the new ammo? That’s still an unknown.

            If the bullet is longer and has to sit farther back into the case, there’s no way around it, it’s going to be a higher pressure round. Did they change the powder or quantity of powder to decrease the pressure?

          • M855A1 was designed as a drop-in replacement for M855 in unmodified M4 Carbines. I can only see a complaint by a manufacturer that their weapon doesn’t work as well with the standard US Army ammunition as frivolous, as that’s a de-facto admission that the gun is not as well suited to Army needs as the M4.

            The Army gave the manufacturers M855A1 ammunition with which to tweak their designs ahead of time, too. What should the Army have done instead, conducted the tests with M855, spend a ton of time and effort, and potentially adopt something that they don’t even know works right with the ammunition they just spent $32 million developing? That’s ridiculous.

            The reality is that none of the manufacturers submitted a rifle that incorporated substantial mechanical improvements. Doing so would be very difficult, as the mechanics of select-fire infantry rifles are very well understood and defined.

            I am absolutely unsurprised that no IC competitor came out substantially ahead of the M4, except for one, Rifle C. That one was probably the HK 416, because it’s overgassed and oversprung, which is a way to “cheat” and get better momentary reliability at the cost of long term longevity, which is precisely what we saw with Rifle C. You could do the same to an M4, too, put in heavier springs and open up the port, but there’s a reason they don’t.

            “Well, Rifle C incorporated changes that did improve reliability, but at the cost of other important factors, so we rejected it” is a much less attention getting headline than ARMY DROPS CARBINE COMPETITION IN EMBARRASSMENT AFTER RIFLE OUTPERFORMS M4 SHAME SHAME SHAME.

          • The Wound Channel

            omg the ownage. I can feel the heat over here lol

          • dshield55

            Well… it was still a flawed test because they didn’t test the G36. And the G36 is perfect. Perfect no matter what test is done. HK says so. Right? Right? Amiright?

          • Joshua

            Xm8 man…xm8

          • mosinman

            If it wasn’t for the M-16 lobbyists our soldiers would have been using this superior weapon!!1!!!!

          • Joshua

            Doesn’t matter. The M4 has received zero modifications since M855A1.

            So what those manufacturers were saying is their guns are more sensitive to ammunition changes than the M4, and work with a narrower variety of ammunition than the M4.

            Let’s also not leave out that everyone was given 10,000 rounds of M855A1 free, and could have acquired more by asking and paying for it. They also had months to make changes to their rifles, yet once again the M4A1 was the basic M4A1 with no changes to date to “accommodate” M855A1.

            So why did these manufactures need to make changes to their rifles when the M4A1 did not, yet still broke more often.

            And yes powder quantity has been changed, which is how pressure and velocity are on par with M855.

          • The Wound Channel

            So this round doesn’t cause premature wear on a PMAG? The steel tip doesn’t hit the mag? Sweet.

          • Joshua

            Pmags are the only magazine I have seem that feed it without damage. Don’t know about some of the new mag makers though.

            The Army is also developing an aluminum GI mag designed for this ammunition. They had a briefing about it not to long ago.

          • Joshua, I am given to understand that the High Reliability Mag is already starting to reach troops.

          • Joshua

            I am pretty sure they are currently available for order, but are not being just handed out yet. You have to actually go out of your way to get them.
            New rifles are also being issued with 7 of them.
            If the feed angle mimics the Pmag and the front wall is straight with no dip, then you have one of the new mags.

          • I definitely want to get my hands on some. They look like pretty great pieces of kit.

    • I am confused. AR-15s are built around 5.56mm.

      • NewMan

        my point was that why focus so much on “increasing” the 556 performance even beyond what the AR15 can handle (pressure wise), instead of focusing on developing new caliber.

        • Well, 5.56 spec AR-15s eat the 68KPSI of Mk. 262 just fine, so I don’t see why the 59 KPSI of M855A1 is such a problem.

  • Drambus Ambiguous

    I’m really keen to learn how velocity dependent reliable fragelmentation of the round is. So like ammo oracle I’d like to see fragmentation results at different speeds. If the round isn’t so velocity dependent for fragmentation that would be a big deal. I wonder if the arrowhead penetrator tip decelerates faster than the body of the bullet. Like a polymer tip assisted expanding bullet. Meaning expansion and fragmentation without requiring significant yaw.

    • IIRC, jacket thickness is the same as Mk. 262, which means we can expect jacket failure at the cannelure at speeds above 2,000 ft/s. In addition, there’s the open part of the jacket on the ogive of the bullet, which is probably also sensitive to failure at those same speeds or even lower, and which does not require the bullet to have yawed first. This should give M855A1 a fragmentation range of over 300 meters, but that would have to be verified empirically of course.

      • Joshua

        Also the 3 part construction means the jacket gets shreded at very low velocities.

        It doesn’t take much for the slug to slightly deform and the steel tip to rip the jacket up.

  • Jeff Heeszel

    Sweet! Nice seeing some Wound Channel stuff here! He’s a great guy.

    • Kivaari

      I agree, I had not seen the site until this came out on TFB.

    • He really is a great guy. One of the few YT gun channels I’ll come out and recommend people subscribe to, as well.

  • William

    Thanks for posting my video! This round is pretty wicked.

    • No problem, great test, and some excellent results!

  • Lance

    I’d say nothing wrong with the bullet on M-855A1 only read problems where its powder being very dirty and having very high pressure on the barrel actions. So the bullet is fine its the powder/primer that get its criticism.

  • Kivaari

    Well, It’s only two shots, but I’m impressed.

  • Mk. 318 is another great round that’s effective on deer.

    • noob

      Interesting, the Mk318 is lead cored at the front right? Where legal to hunt with open tip match style fragmenting bullets like the Mk318 it, do you just have to discard the spoiled meat that has lead fragments in it, while the M855a1 being nontoxic would give more usable meat in a hunting/survival context?

      • Mk. 318 Mod. 0 is. Mod. 1 is lead-free, I think it’s some kind of copper alloy that replaces the lead.

        I have an article showing pretty well how Mk. 318 works: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/04/23/why-otm-%E2%89%A0-jhp/

        Having eaten plenty of birds shot with lead shot, no, I don’t think so. Just pick the fragments out.

      • marathag

        Lead gives a bit when you bite down. Sure beats Copper or Steel shot, for being easier on teeth.

        Since humans don’t have gizzards, lead will ‘pass thru’ in time.

        Lead oxides and compounds are for more toxic than your lead alloy bullet.
        So as long as you don’t make a habit of it, you will be fine if you miss a bit of lead every now and then from Game on the dinner plate.

  • John Doe

    Hard on rifles you say?…..test it with FireClean…..then we’ll talk.

    • joshv06

      Crisco? Lol jk. I can’t imagine them wearing down barrels any more than bi-metal steel cased rounds that most of us already shoot.

  • hal

    Copper is an awfully expensive metal to be throwing downrange at our enemies billions of rounds a year. If you have bought copper wire lately you would know how costly it is, and its use as expendible projectiles deserves the golden hammer award of government waste.

    • Copper is also used to make brass cases and gilding metal jackets. M855A1 adds very relatively little copper to the total overall material expenditure.

    • Joshua

      You do realize that the best rounds available are generally made of copper to some degree.

      So what your saying is we need to use crappy steel cased ammo, with steel bullets, that will destroy barrels in a thousand rounds and ice pick target every time.

  • joshv06

    Is this is going to be available to civilians, will it ban pistols chambered in 5.56? Since it is a true AP round desigined from the ground up, not like m855. Please don’t say that just because I posted this that they’re gonna ban it lol.

    • Kivaari

      I don’t think it is counted as AP. Notice the point stops much shorter than the base. It disintegrated the nose thanks to the nose being shoved into the base, breaking off the copper around it, then the solid copper (hardly AP) travels on as it doesn’t break apart.

      • joshv06

        Gocha, thanks for the good info!

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    I wonder how this compares to the 77gr TMK for lethality

  • Rob

    You’d think if you spend the time and effort to film shooting gel blocks you would do a couple of test fires on paper to see point of impact vs. POA…otherwise, cool looking round.

  • Kivaari

    This is a great article and video.

  • Uniform223

    I’ve always been under the impression that the M855A1 is barred from the civilian market (surplus). Though the video is interesting and pretty much upholds all the claims made by the US Army and that it gives a fairly accurate idea on how the round works; how did “The Wound Channel” get their hands on this round?

    I also find it strange and incredibly hypocritical that if the US Military would spend thousands upon thousands to millions of dollars to prove something they set out to complete; people will say its rigged/fixed or that the contractors were the ones behind the scenes pulling the strings. In contrast some test made by a random individual with less budget, less means, and less ability to exactly prove something; everyone stands up and says its true ( no offense at all to The Wound Channel for this great video ).

    just my two cents.

    • Joshua

      I’ve said from day one that M855A1 has worked since they moved to a copper core. The issue is when you have so called “SME” s pushing papers and opinions that discredit the Army.

      Everyone loves a SME and takes their word for gospel. Everyone hates the Army and feels they can do no right.

      Fact is every opinion piece on how bad M855A1 is stemmed from the tin/bismuth cored model, and the 5.5moa Max allowed accuracy that everyone took as M855A1 gets 5.5moa, despite that being false.

    • milesfortis

      “how did “The Wound Channel” get their hands on this round?”

      Of all things military, rifle and pistol ammo has always sprouted legs and walked it’s way off post.
      When I was a teenager, I started to learn the 1911 with a can of ammo my dad got from some NG friends that he worked with.

      • William is welcome to spill the beans on this, but he told me and I can at least say that it was by legitimate means.

        • milesfortis

          If he, or someone else signed for it, or got a sample from LC, good.
          It really doesn’t mean too much to me one way or the other.
          IMO, taxpayers, I assume that would include William, already paid for it and Uncle should issue AA&E to all the militia.

  • tony

    Good stuff
    I’ll pay $40 for 30 rounds, and stash them for emergencies only.

    • milesfortis

      I think it’ll be more than that. Last auction I saw on gbroker was $40 for 10 rounds.

      But that did include the stripper clip. 🙂

  • Phil Blank

    TWC= The Weather Channel.
    Had me confused for a second.

  • Archie Montgomery

    Lipstick on a pig. It is still a pig.

  • Capn Stefanmo

    Great, another round/bullet we mere civilians will never be allowed to purchase, as the 2nd amendment slowly fades into oblivion. Next will be terminator robots that we will have no chance against

  • Core

    I’d like to see where the penetrator is going. Also like to see a test from 16″ to lvl V….. Mhmmm yup. Por favor wound channel.

  • walter12

    How do I get some that stuff? I need it for the coming Armageddon.

  • Zebra Dun

    I may have missed it But a what range was this test conducted, 50 yards, 150 yards maybe 300 yards?
    It looks promising yet the only true test is to shoot a bad guy with one and cut him open.
    How about clothing over gel?

  • Slvrwrx

    BS meter going full tilt on this one. Sounds like the person you got the round from pressured you to take it down…

  • DaveB

    I will stick to Mk 262 Mod 1 and Mk 318.

  • The Brigadier

    I wonder what the rating of the armor was? Was it level 3.5 or the new level 4?

    • Slvrwrx

      III+ as it says right in the title.. 😀

  • iksnilol

    Dayum, that was informative.

    How is it living with it today? Does it still bother you or are you somewhat okay? I just find these things interesting.

    • Dan

      My left side where the chest tube was placed until my surgery (10 days) is always sore and I get sharp pains every now and again. When i take a deep breath it takes me a lot longer than it used to and one side fills up before the other. Where the lung was fused to the chest cavity the scar tissue makes breathing less than comfortable at times and other times it just down right hurts. My surgeon told me i could expect that for a year or more. I definitely will not be running any marathons.

      • iksnilol

        Crap, that does not sound like fun. Thanks for the info. I am always interested in how people adapt and overcome.

  • Slvrwrx

    Post it back up now. Didn’t Liberty win their suit to the patent rights to the round?