M855/ 5.56 Green Tip-4

M855/ SS-109 Facts and Considerations

The Green Tip or M855 round has become popular for many gun owning Americans in recent years because of the proliferation of the AR-15 rifle and the available low cost green tip ammo.  The 62 Grain round was designed initially for Military machine guns around the 1950's to increase effective range and increase penetration of light armor.  The 5.56 became a standardized NATO round and started being used in shorter barreled rifles, which is a main cause of it's poor performance.  Complaints of the Green Tip round by military personnel are that it passes through soft targets without causing enough tissue damage to incapacitate the enemy.  The round is also notorious for being inaccurate when compared to most of the excellent selection of 5.56/ .223 ammunition available today.  Currently the military primarily uses the 5.56 M855/ SS109 Green Tip round in the S.A.W.  Units of the military needing accurate fire much prefer the Mk 262; a 77 Grain open-tip match bullet, which outperforms the M855 in almost every practical way.(1)  

The M855 is a common surplus ammo at the moment, but it is mostly popular because of its fairly low cost.  It is not a good defensive or offensive round because it is not accurate and it passes through soft tissue too easily. It is up to you to determine the likely threat you are going to face and the importance you will place on mobility vs. protection level.  We are happy to walk through the decision making process with you and help you determine the optimal path.  Based on our experience with armor and after talking to hundreds of customers, we know weight is often an overlooked variable in the decision making process.  Many people come back to buy the lighter plates after opting for the steel or the standard Ceramic.  Just like a big ass gun that you leave at home; rifle plates that you don't want to wear do no good at all.  The best armor is the armor you have with you and are able to wear for the duration of a conflict, without making yourself vulnerable to the enemy via fatigue or low mobility.

Your likely threat should be determined in order to choose the best plate option for your situation.  We offer lightweight Level 4 protection and understand the need for max protection, but also want to emphasize the importance of mobility in the armor equation.  Since many people are buying hard armor for the first time, including LEO/ Security, we know it is common for people to search forums and get a wide array of opinions. This can be confusing and instill doubt about certain armor.  If you have any doubts about your armor choice, we highly recommend that you call or email us to connect with an expert.  Whether you decide on Level 4 Rifle Plates or the lightest available Level 3 Polyethylene plates, we are here to walk through the decision making process with you and help make some key determinations.

Stay in the fight, with Lightweight Armor Solutions

Reference: (1) The Small Arms Review • Vol. 10, No. 2 • November, 2006



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