5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by raptor » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:22 pm

jor-el wrote:Because once a ban of anything is passed, then accepted, it really never ends. Today it's because of a "danger to LE", which is a lie in itself. Level III or IV or any armor made today can be defeated by a simple solution; hit it again and again. No armor or barricade can withstand continuous impacts. Based on this, the solution would be to ban EVERYTHING.

Anyone remember 7.62x39 used to be a nickel a round for surplus? That was the price back in the 1980s. Chinese surplus. With steel core. A Clinton Executive Order ended that.

Just recently 5.45x39 took a hit when an Obama Executive Order banned 7N6. Now there are a couple of nations that could cover the loss of Russian supplies, but they're also worried about the Ukraine situation.

M855 exists as surplus because defense contractors make a lot of it. With the advent of "green" ammunition, newer spec ammo enters the system and the older spec becomes available to us.

What do you spend per round on ammo? One dollar? Two dollars? At those prices a rifle would soon become a safe queen. At twenty cents, a quarter per round, I would be more willling to shoot.

And that's the point.
Very well said and to the point.

I would note that high blood pressure, stress and alcohol likewise pose a very significant risk to LEOs. If being a "risk to LEOs" is now the standard, we need to start eliminating alcohol as well as the things that cause stress and high blood pressure among LEOs... and I would guess that is for the most part, at least as it relates to stress and high blood pressure, caused by the citizens they serve.... Thus that logic becomes circular. :D

In any event please stay away from politics in this thread especially since that is what is driving the core subject.

Thank you.

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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by Mall Ninja » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:13 pm

Over at the Officer Down Memorial Page, for so far in 2015, they list 3 deaths by gunfire (one of those was accidental, shot by another officer), 13 automobile related, 28 total. It seems like cars are a bigger threat to officer safety than guns. A lot of those deaths are the result of single vehicle accidents. And if you look at Current Year Deaths under The Officers, its looks like a majority of the non-firearm/non-auto related deaths are heart attacks... so basically, so far this year, bad health and bad driving has killed over 10 times as many officers as bad guys with guns.
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by Redeyes » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:24 am

zero11010 wrote:So, the reason to prevent the ban is ... just cause. No one really wants the round specifically, but everyone is throwing a fit over the notion of banning the thing that no one requires to do any of the things they already do?

We are gun owners. We like making our guns go boom. More cartridge supply means cartridges cost less so we can make our guns go boom more.

As I understand it, it's to stop the potentiality of criminals from using bullets specifically designed to penetrate armor (that's my wording, not theirs - as I understand it it's the amount of metals in the tip that singles out this round) and because this round can be used in an easily concealable solution (like the sig arm brace).

I think our definition of easily concealable is very different. 5.56 AP is already banned. There is some debate about whether or not M855 is any better at penetrating armor than FMJ. From the research I have done it seems that M855 and FMJ will penetrate and be stopped by nearly the same ratings of armor.

There are larger caliber rounds without a special one off tip that are more capable of penetrating armor than the m855. The issue isn't simply that the round can defeat body armor.

Very good.

I don't think the sig arm brace by itself is a huge issue (though, everyone I know of who talks about it, specifically talks about it as a way to bypass local SBR laws, which I think is shitty). I don't personally see why people would want to buy armor piercing rounds like M855. I picked some up at one point on my way to a shooting range but only because the price was lower on the specific rounds I bought than any of the other quality .556 rounds (I wasn't specifically looking for M855).

You keep calling M855 armor piercing. What type of armor are you talking about? 2a and 3a vests that are rated for pistol rounds? Or something else?

No, no one thinks the combination of a sig arm brace and M855 rounds is a common issue for criminals. The kid who is looking to buy a handgun at a second hand store for $200 as an investment in his/her future potential earnings isn't going to decide to drop the kind of money it would take to get a sig arm brace set up. However, gangs are routinely discovered with tens of thousands of dollars of armament available (I live in an area where mass shootings (4+ victims) occur about once a week, including a reporting of one yesterday involving more than 40 rounds fired at a group of people with 6 dead or injured.)

What is your point? Why would a AR pistol with M855 be worse than an AR pistol loaded with MK262 or Federal Gold Medal Match?

I think the anti gun movement looks to issues like the LA bank robbery in 97 as the potential standard for how things may become. But, that seems silly as it's almost been two decades and nothing quite like that has happened again (to my knowledge).

Maybe you are right. I am not a part of the anti gun movement. I don't know what they think.

I think the pro gun movement looks to situations where in third world countries all guns are banned from civilians and make the leap in logic that any limitation on firearms or ammo is part of a big malicious attempt to remove all firearms from the population.

Can't address this without getting into politics.

I think that if people want armor piercing rounds to be attainable by civilians they should try and repeal the laws that made them inaccessible. I'm not sure what the argument would be to make that happen, but if you feel that you should have access to any round of ammo, I think you should be actively trying to make that change.
According to my definition of armor piercing I agree. I want the law to be repealed and I will help an organization attempting to do that. I need your definition of armor piercing to understand your missive.
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by woodsghost » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:37 am

zero11010 wrote:

I think the pro gun movement looks to situations where in third world countries all guns are banned from civilians and make the leap in logic that any limitation on firearms or ammo is part of a big malicious attempt to remove all firearms from the population.
The pro gun movement looks at situations in the FIRST world countries where all guns are banned, or extraordinarily restricted, and makes the leap in logic that any limitation is an attempt to remove all guns from the population. This is because the supporters of such laws in other countries explicitly articulate that this is their goal.

There is ample historical precedent. Increases in restrictions always lead to more increases and eventual banning. Or countries just start with the banning and don't bother with gradually stepping things up. Historically, this has always been done to more easily control the population with the military and police. This was the case before guns existed as well. Leaders removed swords, spears, shields, etc. from the population to make them more controllable. The surprises are countries like Australia and the UK, which severely curtailed gun ownership in the 1990's and then did not quickly turn into dictatorships. Historically, they are anomalies.

Those in America who seek increased limitations on guns and ammo also explicitly articulate they wish to ban all guns and ammo. They make no secret of it. They never have. In fact, they proclaim it loudly and at every opportunity they get.

In the 1990's, the American gun community and the NRA made efforts to compromise with the anti-gun community, to find some sort of middle ground everyone could live with. The results of these efforts are not difficult to find and read about. For me to expand on those efforts and results would lead me into much politics. I'm trying to simply present fact in what I have written above.

It is a fact that many in the gun community don't see the need for access to all the ammo types and all the weapon types. It is a fact many would like to see an increase in regulation. Historically, efforts at compromise and finding middle ground have not ended well for the majority of gun owners. I wish the facts were different.
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by Boondock » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:17 am

BREAKING NEWS from The Hill:
The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is stepping down following controversy surrounding the agency’s proposal to ban certain types of ammunition.
http://thehill.com/regulation/administr ... -step-down

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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by woodsghost » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:40 am

Boondock wrote:BREAKING NEWS from The Hill:
The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is stepping down following controversy surrounding the agency’s proposal to ban certain types of ammunition.
http://thehill.com/regulation/administr ... -step-down
Glad to see that. It would be nice to see a shakeup of more of the staff in the agency and bring in some new blood. Time will tell, but my faith in the democratic process just had a few bricks added to the foundation. A foundation which has had some structural issues lately.

Thank you for posting Boodndock!!!
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by eeb » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:18 pm

Vigilance- This move looks more like "Image Management" to me, removing someone who's garnered bad publicity, and claiming that that means the entire agency has changed direction. Meanwhile, the agency itself continues along the same path it's been traveling for decades.

edit: Prove me wrong, ATF, prove me wrong.
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by zero11010 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:36 pm

This is getting pretty busy.
Redeyes wrote:
zero11010 wrote:So, the reason to prevent the ban is ... just cause. No one really wants the round specifically, but everyone is throwing a fit over the notion of banning the thing that no one requires to do any of the things they already do?

We are gun owners. We like making our guns go boom. More cartridge supply means cartridges cost less so we can make our guns go boom more.

So, the reason to be screaming about violations to your (and I don't mean you specifically) 2nd amendment rights is because of a worry about potential price increases if selection diminishes?

Again, I'm just trying to understand the public outcry over the potential removal of these rounds. It doesn't make sense to me.


As I understand it, it's to stop the potentiality of criminals from using bullets specifically designed to penetrate armor (that's my wording, not theirs - as I understand it it's the amount of metals in the tip that singles out this round) and because this round can be used in an easily concealable solution (like the sig arm brace).

I think our definition of easily concealable is very different. 5.56 AP is already banned. There is some debate about whether or not M855 is any better at penetrating armor than FMJ. From the research I have done it seems that M855 and FMJ will penetrate and be stopped by nearly the same ratings of armor.

The law passed in the 80's does not agree with you. I think that's the root of our disconnect in this conversation.

There are larger caliber rounds without a special one off tip that are more capable of penetrating armor than the m855. The issue isn't simply that the round can defeat body armor.

Very good.

I don't think the sig arm brace by itself is a huge issue (though, everyone I know of who talks about it, specifically talks about it as a way to bypass local SBR laws, which I think is shitty). I don't personally see why people would want to buy armor piercing rounds like M855. I picked some up at one point on my way to a shooting range but only because the price was lower on the specific rounds I bought than any of the other quality .556 rounds (I wasn't specifically looking for M855).

You keep calling M855 armor piercing. What type of armor are you talking about? 2a and 3a vests that are rated for pistol rounds? Or something else?

I'm talking about the law that was passed in the 80's specifically banning armor piercing rounds. At that time the M855 was included as an armor piercing round. At that time a specific exemption was written for the M855 round. All of this information was covered in great detail earlier in this thread. Look for posts by Doctor Fabulous. He posts the ATF text.

No, no one thinks the combination of a sig arm brace and M855 rounds is a common issue for criminals. The kid who is looking to buy a handgun at a second hand store for $200 as an investment in his/her future potential earnings isn't going to decide to drop the kind of money it would take to get a sig arm brace set up. However, gangs are routinely discovered with tens of thousands of dollars of armament available (I live in an area where mass shootings (4+ victims) occur about once a week, including a reporting of one yesterday involving more than 40 rounds fired at a group of people with 6 dead or injured.)

What is your point? Why would a AR pistol with M855 be worse than an AR pistol loaded with MK262 or Federal Gold Medal Match?

I believe the issue is specifically about metals used in the composition of the round. That's all. As I see it, this is a round that should have been banned in the 80s. An exception was written, and now the validity of that exemption is being called into question. We had an extra 3 decades of access to the round. Yay! Then they tried to make it go away. If we want to have access to the round, we should look into rewording the ban from the 80s rather than freaking out about just the specific exception, right? I mean, if you defeat the original ban you may get access to even more types of "armor piercing" rounds.

I think the anti gun movement looks to issues like the LA bank robbery in 97 as the potential standard for how things may become. But, that seems silly as it's almost been two decades and nothing quite like that has happened again (to my knowledge).

Maybe you are right. I am not a part of the anti gun movement. I don't know what they think.

I try to listen to all sides of an argument. It's how I make informed decisions instead of just thinking exactly how my neighbor thinks. Uh, that's not to insinuate you think how your neighbor thinks.

I think the pro gun movement looks to situations where in third world countries all guns are banned from civilians and make the leap in logic that any limitation on firearms or ammo is part of a big malicious attempt to remove all firearms from the population.

Can't address this without getting into politics.

I think that if people want armor piercing rounds to be attainable by civilians they should try and repeal the laws that made them inaccessible. I'm not sure what the argument would be to make that happen, but if you feel that you should have access to any round of ammo, I think you should be actively trying to make that change.
According to my definition of armor piercing I agree. I want the law to be repealed and I will help an organization attempting to do that. I need your definition of armor piercing to understand your missive.
I think that if people aren't happy with the law from the 80's they should absolutely make the change they want to have happen. I deeply respect your interest in changing a law you disagree with. Our country isn't perfect, I think that making new laws, and changing existing laws are the only way to make it better.

The idea that the head of the ATF may lose their job for, literally, doing their job seems absurd to me. The law was written in the 80's. An exception was written. The validity of that exemption was called into question, and for doing their job someone is going to get fired? That's some crazy political BS. I get that we can't talk about politics, and I won't go into the topic any further.

This reminds me of issues people have with upholding federal laws about ensuring felons, legally insane people and such aren't able to purchase firearms. If people don't like the federal law, they should move to change it, rather than being upset about it being upheld.

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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by Redeyes » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:36 pm

Well, you see, to get the support to change a law people have to be upset about its implementation. If the law existed but was never enforced, motivation to change the law is much less or nonexistent.

The way I see it the law bans certain types of bullet construction irrespective of whether it actually penetrates armor or not. I say that because they do not seem to be testing the bullets against armor. I do accept that the wording used in the law was crafted to actually ban armor piercing hand gun bullets, but it seems we have gone beyond the laws original intent.

There is some debate over whether M855 meets the ATF's definition of armor piercing per its construction. Some people contend that the core of M855 is lead and only the tip is steel.

Overall my opinion is: 1 The law is confusing and used capriciously. 2. There is little evidence to suggest that it is meeting its stated goal of increasing safety for police officers. 3. Gun owners having cheap and available ammunition to practice with is a good thing. This law has the effect of raising prices and decreasing availability.

Many of your questions I cannot answer on this forum.
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by Sheriff McClelland » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:22 pm

Update from yesterday is not surprising .
https://www.nraila.org/articles/2015032 ... e-ammo-ban
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by Unorthodox » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:42 am

zero11010 wrote:So, the reason to be screaming about violations to your (and I don't mean you specifically) 2nd amendment rights is because of a worry about potential price increases if selection diminishes?

Again, I'm just trying to understand the public outcry over the potential removal of these rounds. It doesn't make sense to me.
People are seeing the domino effect starting to roll. 7n6 is gone for some nonsense about a mild steel core. Surprise, m885 (with a mild steel core) became the next target. Ideally, the fight should move to get 7n6 back on the shelves.
The law passed in the 80's does not agree with you. I think that's the root of our disconnect in this conversation.
And others far smarter than I disagree with your particular interpretation of the law. But hey, I'm not asking you to whip out your law degree or anything.
I believe the issue is specifically about metals used in the composition of the round. That's all. As I see it, this is a round that should have been banned in the 80s. An exception was written, and now the validity of that exemption is being called into question. We had an extra 3 decades of access to the round. Yay! Then they tried to make it go away. If we want to have access to the round, we should look into rewording the ban from the 80s rather than freaking out about just the specific exception, right? I mean, if you defeat the original ban you may get access to even more types of "armor piercing" rounds.
Again with the fundamental disagreement on the definition of armor piercing. You're not going to get me or anyone else to change their idea of what constitutes as armor piercing no more than we are going to get you to change your mind. If this is the root of your argument (and I believe it is) we'll have to agree to disagree.

The rest has been snipped due to the circular argument involving such definitions.

The far broader point is: the gun owning community is fighting back. This momentum needs to continue
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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by zero11010 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:00 pm

Unorthodox wrote:People are seeing the domino effect starting to roll. 7n6 is gone for some nonsense about a mild steel core. Surprise, m885 (with a mild steel core) became the next target. Ideally, the fight should move to get 7n6 back on the shelves.
I believe the issue is specifically about metals used in the composition of the round. That's all. As I see it, this is a round that should have been banned in the 80s. An exception was written, and now the validity of that exemption is being called into question. We had an extra 3 decades of access to the round. Yay! Then they tried to make it go away. If we want to have access to the round, we should look into rewording the ban from the 80s rather than freaking out about just the specific exception, right? I mean, if you defeat the original ban you may get access to even more types of "armor piercing" rounds.
Again with the fundamental disagreement on the definition of armor piercing. You're not going to get me or anyone else to change their idea of what constitutes as armor piercing no more than we are going to get you to change your mind. If this is the root of your argument (and I believe it is) we'll have to agree to disagree.

The rest has been snipped due to the circular argument involving such definitions.

The far broader point is: the gun owning community is fighting back. This momentum needs to continue
I just wanted to point out the following:
A) It isn't my argument. I don't personally care about this ban one way or the other. I don't use the ammo. I have purchased some in the past. It was due to pricing rather than it M8555 being a thing I was looking for.
B) These aren't my definitions. I'm trying to use as official a definition as possible, so I'm using what the government uses. On more than one occasion a person has referred to it as "my definition of armor piercing." It isn't my definition, it is literally the definition of the US Government. I'm not making anything up as I go.
C) I want to understand the reasoning behind people who are against the ban. And most of the information I've gotten outside of this website has been asinine. I respect the opinions of many of the posters here, so I thought this would be a good place to talk about it.

I imagine all of this has been covered earlier in the thread (it's been a while since I've read the previous 8 pages), but I'll throw out the info.

https://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2014 ... ition.html

"The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as amended, defines the term “armor piercing ammunition” as:

“(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.”
"

You mention the 7N6 ban, so here are the details:

https://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2014 ... ition.html

"When ATF tested the 7N6 samples provided by CBP, they were found to contain a steel core. ATF’s analysis also concluded that the ammunition could be used in a commercially available handgun, the Fabryka Bronie Radom, Model Onyks 89S, 5.45x39 caliber semi-automatic pistol, which was approved for importation into the United States in November 2011. Accordingly, the ammunition is “armor piercing” under the section 921(a)(17)(B)(i) and is therefore not importable. ATF’s determination applies only to the Russian-made 7N6 ammunition analyzed, not to all 5.45x39 ammunition. Ammunition of that caliber using projectiles without a steel core would have to be independently examined to determine their importability."

To rephrase:

In 1968 there was a ban against projectiles or projectile cores that can be used in a handgun constructed entirely from one or a combination of: tungsten alloys, steel, iron, bronze, beryllium coper, or depleted uranium. The ban included any full jacketed projectiles larger than .22 and made for handguns and with a jacket with a weight of more than 25% of the total projectile weight.

There were many types of 5.45x39 ammo. The Russian ammo had a steel core. That by itself isn't the end of the world according to the 1968 law. In 2011 a 5.45x39 pistol was improved for importation in the US. The import of these pistols made the Russian 5.45x39 steel core ammo illegal.

Here is a lot more info than you likely care to read:
https://www.atf.gov/sites/default/files ... rposes.pdf

I did some more digging and found the following about the M8555 construction:

The core doesn't ban the round outright because it doesn't use any of the materials on the ban list. The jacket, while steel, isn't full and doesn't constitute more than 25% of the bullet's weight. While the round was specifically created for improved penetration, and there are effectively imported pistols that can fire the M8555 round, the M8555 round does not meet the government's standards for the ban due to the construction of the round.


That's the information I needed. Being told "yeah but we want it" and "but we don't agree on what 'armor piercing' is" wasn't explicit enough for me.

I understand the argument now. I still think it's disgraceful that the head of the ATF is stepping down over the issue. While I don't agree that the round should be banned, opening the idea up for conversation is the only way we can really learn if older definitions are becoming outdated.

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Re: 5.56mm Green Tip M855 Could be banned

Post by 91Eunozs » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:51 pm

Unorthodox wrote:...

The far broader point is: the gun owning community is fighting back. This momentum needs to continue

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