Are you the owner of an AR-style weapon that uses 556 x 45mm ammo? If so, then there’s a really good chance that you’ve encountered 556 green tip cartridges – or at least heard of them. Known widely as M855 cartridges, they have unique characteristics compared to other rounds, but are they for you?

You’re not going to simply invest your hard-earned money on products if they’re not suitable, so that’s what we look at here as we examine why it is someone would be interested in buying a round like this. 

What’s On Offer With 556 Green Tip Ammo? 

556 green tip ammunition is perhaps the most prevalent type of military surplus cartridge available, and while they are almost identical from the outside, they feature one distinct difference – what’s inside. Hidden within the M855 round, you’ll find a 62-grain bullet, as well as a partial steel core. 

This makes it more weighty than a regular 55-grain bullet and much tougher than a standard full metal jacket (FMJ) round. They’re also immediately identifiable by the fact that they have green paint applied to their tips (hence their memorable name)

Can You Buy Green Tips Legally?

The aforementioned steel core of the M855 cartridge gives them an edge when it comes to penetration, but the fact that they’re not classed as ‘armor piercing’ means that they can be purchased legally. They offer an extra punch, and while many gun-control lobbyists would argue against their sale in the US, they’re able to be bought in many states. 

When you look at the facts of the matter, you see that green-tipped ammo is a non-expanding, heavier round that offers nothing extra over its standard counterparts in terms of trajectory or velocity. So, spend the extra money on them? Well, if your needs involve long-range target shooting, the extra penetration they provide will offer some benefit. 

Whether talking about 300 or 400 yards, they can be game-changing in certain situations, giving you the quality results that you need. Lethal kills are another consideration, and this penetration can help you achieve more humane shots without any needless suffering. 

Remember – You Can’t Use Green Tips At the Range

Something you need to consider when thinking about buying green tips is that ranges across the states will not let you use them. Why? Well, it actually has nothing to do with over-penetrating but more to do with the fact that they might end up starting a fire. 

This is because you’ll typically find a lot of unspent gunpowder at most ranges when the steel core of green tips hits hardened steel – sparks ensue. That means ignition and fire. 

556 Green Tip Ammo Is Great For Penetrating Needs

So, that’s what you need to know. When you buy green tips, you get rounds that are heavier, meaning they fly slower. They hit harder, and if your needs lay in this area, then they’re likely going to represent good value for the extra money you’ll pay. 

However, if you think you’re going to get an armor-piercing round – this is not that product, as otherwise, you simply wouldn’t be able to buy them in the States. Also, if you’re thinking of buying some to try at the range, then think again, as no one will let you. 

Essentially, when deciding whether to spend the extra money, think of what you’re going to get. If you need extra penetration from the steel core, great. If not, try the standard 556. 

By Grace