If you have only fired regular M193 ammunition up until this point, then you won’t find M855 ammunition all that terribly different. These new production 5.56x45 cartridges by Winchester have full metal jacket bullets – they just deliver a slightly slower muzzle velocity than the lighter 55 grain alternative. Their cases are brand new and made of brass (and only a little gray around the shoulders because they have been strengthened through heat-treatment without subsequently being polished). Their Boxer primers are non-corrosive and sensitive enough for any firing pin to ignite.
So what’s special about M855? The green paint on the bullet’s tip indicates that its core isn’t entirely made out of lead. Beneath the jacket is a solid steel tip called a “penetrator,” and penetrate is precisely what it does. The M855 bullet pierces steel plating and other barriers with relative ease at close to medium range, and burrows deeply into soft tissue as well. The M855 additionally has a chance of splitting apart into two sections as it digs through soft tissue, thus registering two discrete wound channels.
You’ll have every opportunity to experiment with M855 ammo when you order a whole case of it. You may not be able to use magnetic ammo at your indoor range, but take it outside for a little target practice, set up a piece of sheet metal to observe how neatly it punches through it, and put a some aside in case it can ever serve you for home defense.
Many people ask us if their AR-15 can handle M855 ammunition. Our answer is absolutely! A barrel twist of 1:9 or 1:8 will give you the best accuracy with the M855’s 62 grain bullet, but a 1:7 barrel twist certainly won’t disappoint you while you’re out target shooting. Beyond that there’s really nothing to take into consideration!
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