The AR15.Com Ammo Oracle

History and Basic Design of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Performance of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Terminal Performance of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

.223 and 5.56 Ammunition Testing

Selection of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Ammunition recommendations from the authors of the AR15.com Ammo-Oracle.

Purchase and Storage of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Legal questions.

Miscellaneous .223, 5.56 and Other Ammunition Questions.

Ammo Oracle

Q. What is "Ballistic Tip" ammo?

"Ballistic Tip" is actually a trademark of Nosler, who first started making plastic tipped bullets in 1985.

Though originally designed to prevent damage to the bullet nose when feeding (while the nose of a soft tip or hollow point might deform due during feeding to the soft lead content in the nose, a plastic tip bullet will maintain a consistent nose shape) today the primary advantage of a polymer tipped bullets is a high ballistic coefficient. The design also allows the center of gravity to be moved back, increasing in flight stability. This is the same design theory that gives hollow point match bullets better accuracy properties.

In terminal performance, ballistic tips are designed to work like wedges, mashed into the hollow point and inside the jacket on impact, initiating expansion theoretically, quickly and reliably.


Polymer tips, left to right: Hornady SST, Swift Scirocco and Nosler Ballistic Tip.