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Thread: Penetrator Ammo

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    Civilian Sheepdog zeplin's Avatar
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    Penetrator Ammo

    I've been asked to join in a group buy on some .556 062gr. FMJBT Penetrator ammo.

    What is penetrator ammo and is it worth the extra bucks over FMJ?


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    it has a steel rod encased within the lead round. if you're just going to use it for the range, not worth it. for delf defense, i would rather spend the extra bucks on a good hollow point round. that's my .02.

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    I agree with nkpd44. Not worth it, and you need to check with your local ranges. Many ranges will not allow steel penetrators because they do so much damage to the berms. So unless you have an area that is unrestricted to shoot in, you may just be wasting your money. Finally, unless your intention is to defeat body armor, you really don't need steel penetrators.

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    Paper Puncher 135dB's Avatar
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    I got some the other day, some SS-109 because sadly it was the cheapest .223/5.56 the place had to offer. My range has no problem using it as we shoot into a dirt mound and they only allow paper/cardboard targets. I would NOT use it as a self defense round as there may be some legal issues of it being an armor piercing round.
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    Caution: Unvetted member. KenW.'s Avatar
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    I would NOT use it as a self defense round as there may be some legal issues of it being an armor piercing round.
    And safety isssues; What is behind your target that you may not wish to destroy?
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

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    M855 is NOT, I repeat, NOT AN ARMOR PIERCING ROUND as classified by the BATFE.

    I like it because my LMT seems to like it a lil better than M193.
    Last edited by bankfraudguy; 05-13-2009 at 10:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Caution: Unvetted member. KenW.'s Avatar
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    I don't care what the geniouses at BATFE classify things. The very name "penetrator" implies that it will penetrate.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

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    M855 is not armor piercing, it has enhanced penetrating capabilities but will NOT penetrate steel plate armor, after all, that is what "armor piercing" means, not the ability to penetrate soft body armor.

    ANY standard 223/5.56 round will penetrate soft body armor (varmint bullets being a possible exception).

    M855 is a good round, not the best, but good. If it is a duty round, it will perform better against intermediate barriers than your typical FMJ of HPBT ammo. It performs the best out of 16" and longer barrels.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M855

    Some ranges prohibit it's use, check with the range you intend to use.

    Hornady TAP and Speer Gold Dot would be better for HD or duty, but usually more expensive. Make sure the total price isn't more than about 400 bucks for 1K. Three years ago, you could get 1K rounds for less than 200.

  9. #9
    Paper Puncher 135dB's Avatar
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    I could still see lawyers having a field day with any steel/tungston core rounds in a self defense shooting. Even if it isn't considered AP I'd still hesitate to use it.
    -"He detested failure more than anything else, even betrayal. Betrayal required intelligence and ruthlessness, failure only stupidity or lack of concentration."
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    Forum Member dogcop's Avatar
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    The reason behind the shooting is what 99% of the court proceeding will focus on. I would say 1% on ammo, gun, etc. Seems like people get so crazy focused on these things when quite honestly if you are shooting someone with an AR, that will cause more of a stir than the ammo in it. But as long as the shooting was justified, the gun and ammo was legal, then you are covered. There WON'T be a court proceeding if you were in the right cause no charges would be brought against you anyway.

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    Caution: Unvetted member. KenW.'s Avatar
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    There WON'T be a court proceeding if you were in the right cause no charges would be brought against you anyway.
    Oh, but there WILL be a court proceeding if an innocent bystander is injured by a projectile that overpenetrates the target.

    Remember; as a cop, there is a lawyer attached to every round of ammo you fire. Your ammo should meet your agency policy if you are using it on-duty.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenW. View Post
    I don't care what the geniouses at BATFE classify things. The very name "penetrator" implies that it will penetrate.
    The very name "penetrator" does not mean that it is ARMOR PIERCING AMMO.

    Armor piercing ammo is strictly illegal for civillians to possess.
    Last edited by bankfraudguy; 05-13-2009 at 02:31 PM.

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    Forum Member eyildiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bankfraudguy View Post
    M855 is NOT, I repeat, NOT AN ARMOR PIERCING ROUND as classified by the BATFE.

    I like it because my LMT seems to like it a lil better than M193.
    I was talking to my SFC, and he's really into guns, he knows his stuff pretty good. has plenty of stuff himself actually

    anyays, he said that they got a piece of armored steel that would be on a hummer vehicle, he said he shot it with 7.62 and it put a huge dent, then he shot it with 7.62 AP and he said it went through, but the hole was very small.... (like it barely made it through)

    he finally shot it with M855 and not only did it pierce the armor, he said it cut through it like hot knife through butter

    he also took pic of this said armor, pretty neat...

    so even if its not considered AP, its certainly capable of defeating certain types of armor

    Quote Originally Posted by bankfraudguy View Post
    Armor piercing ammo is strictly illegal for civillians to possess.
    in FL, they are not illegal for rifles... only pistols and shotguns
    Last edited by eyildiz; 05-13-2009 at 02:37 PM.

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    Caution: Unvetted member. KenW.'s Avatar
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    Show me in ANY of MY POSTS where I say it will penetrate armor.

    No one can show that.

    I'm sure it will overpenetrate a human target though. You can quote me on that statement if you wish.

    I once had some .30 AP surplus rounds for my '06. Fun to into wrecked farm equipment we had out back of the barn... No good for anything else. Filthy dirty powder tough to clean.
    Last edited by KenW.; 05-13-2009 at 02:37 PM.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

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    Forum Member eyildiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenW. View Post
    Show me in ANY of MY POSTS where I say it will penetrate armor.

    No one can show that.

    I'm sure it will overpenetrate a human target though. You can quote me on that statement if you wish.

    I once had some .30 AP surplus rounds for my '06. Fun to into wrecked farm equipment we had out back of the barn... No good for anything else. Filthy dirty powder tough to clean.
    I wasn't saying you did, but I was telling people who said this round is not capable of piercing armor....

    next time I see him, i'll try to get a picture of the picture LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by 135dB View Post
    I got some the other day, some SS-109 because sadly it was the cheapest .223/5.56 the place had to offer. My range has no problem using it as we shoot into a dirt mound and they only allow paper/cardboard targets. I would NOT use it as a self defense round as there may be some legal issues of it being an armor piercing round.

    SS-109 is NOT armor piercing as per the Fun-Feds*.

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/legal/armor.htm

    *The fun feds are the guys who get to regulate everything fun: Booze, Smokes, Guns & Bombs...they have more fun than everyone else, except the DEA (Dam stoners...)

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    it'll be awhile before I'm up there again for a pic but a few weeks ago at the farm where I hunt, I shot a few rounds of Privi Partizan "m855" (not official military rounds, but claim to be the same) at a piece of scrap steel another one of the guys brought. It was pretty thick at about an inch or so and of unknown type or hardness.

    at about 25yds the green tips chewed through pretty deep but did not make it all the way through. The 55g (m193 rounds) just made slight dings. Now, the same m193 zinged right through a spinner target we have "for handgun use and rimfire only" it is/was about 1/2" thich and seemed notably softer. I now have to buy the farm a new one...

    regardless, I don't think anybody is doubting that the m855 rounds definately penetrate significantly greater than a comparable "non-penerating" round. And that there are better choices for duty or personal defense. And certainly any high power rifle round (like a 7mm mag) with a typical hunting round would penetrate steel even more than any 5.56 round could.

    My only point of contention draws down to terminology. I don't get all bent about "magazines vs clips" or "pistol vs revolver", but it helps no one on the side of gun owners to talk about buying "armor piercing ammo" when it technically is not such a round.

    And for the record, if the price is the same, I feed it to my AR over the 55gr rounds for practice simply because it's more accurate in my rifle. Given that ammo ain't exactly plentiful these days, I'd say buy it if the price is right and have fun shooting.
    Last edited by bankfraudguy; 05-13-2009 at 04:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eyildiz View Post


    in FL, they are not illegal for rifles... only pistols and shotguns
    did not know that ! Fl residents can buy m995 / blacktip or whatever it's called ?!?

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    Forum Member BPD_126's Avatar
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    Good for shooting through stuff like cars and bricks and walls......... or that could be a bad thing? Depends on what you need it for I guess.

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    Forum Member eyildiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bankfraudguy View Post
    did not know that ! Fl residents can buy m995 / blacktip or whatever it's called ?!?
    http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/ind...n%2031#0790.31

    (b) Any person who possesses an armor-piercing bullet or exploding bullet with knowledge of its armor-piercing or exploding capabilities loaded in a handgun, or who possesses a dragon's breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell with knowledge of its capabilities loaded in a firearm, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    (c) Any person who possesses with intent to use an armor-piercing bullet or exploding bullet or dragon's breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell to assist in the commission of a criminal act is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
    Nothing about rifles handguns and shotguns...

    but you can't sell the ammo, so u'd have to buy it from another state I guess?

    (2)(a) Any person who manufactures, sells, offers for sale, or delivers any armor-piercing bullet or exploding bullet, or dragon's breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  21. #21
    Oh no, it's da Po-Po Blackdog F4i's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bankfraudguy View Post
    The very name "penetrator" does not mean that it is ARMOR PIERCING AMMO.

    Armor piercing ammo is strictly illegal for civillians to possess.
    You know I don't usually get into nit-picking contests, but here goes.......

    "Armor Piercing" is a subjective term. What material is the armor made out of? Is it Kevlar/Spectra composit or is it plate steel? What type of steel is it? What is the projectile made out of? How fast is it moving? What range is it expected to pierce armor at?

    See what I am getting at?

    For legal purposes the BATFE only considers ammunition intended and designed to be used in a pistol:

    Under Title 18, UNITED STATES CODE, CHAPTER 44 as amended by Public Law 103-322
    The Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (enacted September 13, 1994) 18 U.S.C. CHAPTER 44 § 921(a)(17)(B) the term 'armor piercing ammunition' means --

    (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.

    (C) The term 'armor piercing ammunition' does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Secretary finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Secretary finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.
    Thus, private ownership of M2 black tip, M855, etc. is acceptable per USC.

    Now, since M855 was specifically designed to pierce steel helmets (armor for humans) it would logically be considered "armor piercing". It will also pierce certain grades of "armor plate" steel at certain ranges.



    I have said it before and I will say it again. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE BLANKET STATEMENTS ABOUT LEGALITY UNLESS YOU HAVE DONE YOUR RESEARCH. Most of us on this board are police officers. If you say something is illegal you better be able to point to the Federal, State or Local law that says it is.

    If someone wanted to give me a case of M855/SS109 for blasting then I would be happy to take it. The LC brass is great for reloading. If it was priced more than 62gr FMJ, then I would pass. M855 chews up steel targets. It will pit them which causes ricochets over time. I have picked up the Tungsten Steel Penetrators off of impact areas before. They look like tiny cones and they do not disintegrate when striking steel targets.
    Last edited by Blackdog F4i; 05-15-2009 at 09:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog F4i View Post

    Now, since M855 was specifically designed to pierce steel helmets (armor for humans) it would logically be considered "armor piercing". It will also pierce certain grades of "armor plate" steel at certain ranges.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE BLANKET STATEMENTS ABOUT LEGALITY UNLESS YOU HAVE DONE YOUR RESEARCH. Most of us on this board are police officers. If you say something is illegal you better be able to point to the Federal, State or Local law that says it is.
    I am sorry regarding the "strictly illegal" comment. Please pity me as I live in Illinois and have been bred to belive that everything is illegal unless specifically allowed or you're an elected official.

    My only point I was trying to make was that the m855 green tip ammo has an exemption from the ATF allowing it to be possessed where AP ammo is prohibited. I should have been more clear but posting from work usually makes me type in short choppy thoughts with spelling errors..

  23. #23
    Luck in battle, boy. Jere's Avatar
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    Next door here in Missouri the M855 Penetrator is perfectly legal to own and use as long as it isn't used in the commision of a crime. If you do then that crime is either bumped up to a felony or a felony is added to your charges. I bought several boxes of it here a little while back on sale for $10 because it was the same price as WWB and you never know when you might need some semi-armour piercing ammo. I don't know what I will do with it yet since I use WWB or Wolf for practice and TRU for defense but hey.
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    Forum Member BPD_126's Avatar
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    If you do then that crime is either bumped up to a felony or a felony is added to your charges.
    I'm trying to think of a crime that already wouldn't be considered a felony if you used regular ammo....... Maybe I've been awake too long....

  25. #25
    One man Wolfpack M-11's Avatar
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    M855 is not armor piercing, it has enhanced penetrating capabilities but will NOT penetrate steel plate armor,
    I spent a week welding up some Pepper poppers out of 5/8ths steel stock set to hinges on an angle iron sawhorse.

    A Idiot shredded it with M855 from about 25 meters, some went through the Iron base and deflected up and through the steel as well.

    I am willing to bet that's as tough as most of the "Armor" we have.

    If you are shooting it at an M-1 I would say it will probably not work as well.

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