5.56mm Ammunition

5.56 mmAmmunition  

M193 Ball

The M193 has a 55 grain projectile with no tip identification. In an effort to reduce weight the 5.56mm cartridge first appeared in 1957 as an experimental military cartridge. In 1964, it was officially adopted by the U.S. Army as the 5.56mm Ball cartridge M193. It has proven to be an effective military cartridge for fighting in jungle or forested areas and for close-in fire support. The cartridge was first combat-tested in Vietnam in the early 1960s.

M855 Ball

The M855 has a 62 grain projectile with green tip identification. Adopted by NATO in 1980, the M855 has improved penetration characteristics over the M193 55-grain projectile at all ranges, resulting in higher retained velocity and greater accuracy at long range.

M856 Tracer

The M856 has a 62 grain projectile with orange tip identification. This cartridge has a pyrotechnic charge which permits observation of the round's trajectory from 70m to 900m. The M856 Tracer is effective against soft targets and is frequently linked for use in automatic weapons.

M200 Blank

The M200 has a purple lacquer on rosette crimp and knurl on the case body. This cartridge is used with a blank firing adaptor for training activities. The M200 is specifically designed to work with the M4, M16 and M249 weapon systems.

M197 High Pressure Test (HPT)

The M197 is identified with a nickel plated case. This cartridge is used to proof or certify 5.56x45mm chambered barrels by generating a mean pressure of 70,000 psi. The M197 HPT is not designed for training or combat operations.

Compatible Weapons

The 5.56x45mm cartridges are designed to be compatible with all weapons chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. They are verified to function in the M16, M16A1, M16A2, M4, M231 Port Firing Weapon and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).

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