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 sort of velocity and ballistics should I expect from military ammo?

M193 should give you around 3200-3250 fps from the muzzle of a 20" weapon and around 3150 from a 16" weapon.

M855 should give you around 3050-3100 from a 20" weapon and around 2950-3000 from a 16" weapon.

Here's some Q3131A (M193) ballistic data, of course your mileage may vary:

Altitude 1480 feet 70 degrees 50% humidity. 55gr FMJBT Average cD over velocities: .267

Range
Velocity
Energy
Momentum
Drop
Bullet Path
Time of Flight
(Yards)
(Ft/Sec)
(Ft/Lbs)
(Lb-Sec)
(inches)
(inches)
(Seconds)
0
3250.0
1289.70
0.79
0
-1.50
0.000000
25
3161.2
1220.20
0.77
-0.1
-0.79
0.023399
50
3074.2
1154.00
0.75
-0.43
-0.29
0.047458
75
2988.9
1090.80
0.73
-0.98
-0.02
0.072201
100
2905.4
1030.70
0.71
-1.77
0.00
0.097652
125
2823.4
973.30
0.69
-2.83
-0.23
0.123839
150
2742.9
918.70
0.67
-4.15
-0.74
0.150790
175
2663.9
866.50
0.65
-5.76
-1.54
0.178536
200
2586.3
816.80
0.63
-7.68
-2.64
0.207109
225
2510.1
769.30
0.61
-9.93
-4.06
0.236545
250
2435.0
724.00
0.59
-12.52
-5.83
0.266882
275
2361.3
680.80
0.58
-15.47
-7.97
0.298160
300
2288.8
639.70
0.56
-18.82
-10.50
0.330422
325
2217.6
600.50
0.54
-22.58
-13.44
0.363712
350
2147.5
563.10
0.52
-26.78
-16.82
0.398081
375
2078.8
527.60
0.51
-31.45
-20.68
0.433578
400
2011.3
494.00
0.49
-36.63
-25.03
0.470258
425
1945.2
462.00
0.48
-42.34
-29.93
0.508177
450
1880.4
431.70
0.46
-48.63
-35.40
0.547394
475
1817.0
403.10
0.44
-55.53
-41.48
0.587972
500
1755.1
376.10
0.43
-63.09
-48.22
0.629972

And for a 16" barrel:

Range
Velocity
Energy
Momentum
Drop
Bullet Path
Time of Flight
(Yards)
(Ft/Sec)
(Ft/Lbs)
(LB-Sec)
(inches)
(inches)
(Seconds)
0
3100.0
1173.4
0.76
0.00
-1.50
0.00000
25
3014.2
1109.4
0.74
-0.12
-0.75
0.02454
50
2930.2
1048.4
0.72
-0.47
-0.24
0.04977
75
2847.7
990.2
0.70
-1.08
0.01
0.07574
100
2766.8
934.7
0.68
-1.95
0.00
0.10246
125
2687.4
881.8
0.66
-3.11
-0.30
0.12996
150
2609.4
831.4
0.64
-4.57
-0.89
0.15828
175
2532.7
783.3
0.62
-6.35
-1.81
0.18746
200
2457.3
737.3
0.60
-8.47
-3.06
0.21752
225
2383.2
693.5
0.58
-10.94
-4.68
0.24851
250
2310.3
651.8
0.56
-13.80
-6.67
0.28048
275
2238.7
612.0
0.55
-17.07
-9.08
0.31345
300
2168.3
574.1
0.53
-20.77
-11.91
0.34749
325
2099.2
538.1
0.51
-24.93
-15.21
0.38265
350
2031.3
503.8
0.50
-29.58
-19.00
0.41897
375
1964.8
471.4
0.48
-34.77
-23.32
0.45651
400
1899.6
440.6
0.46
-40.51
-28.20
0.49533
425
1835.8
411.5
0.45
-46.86
-33.69
0.53550
450
1773.5
384.0
0.43
-53.85
-39.82
0.57707
475
1712.7
358.2
0.42
-61.53
-46.63
0.62010
500
1653.6
333.9
0.40
-69.95
-54.19
0.66467

Buyer Beware: Velocities are measured from many different "standard" distances. "Muzzle velocities" are almost never actual velocities at the muzzle, but rather velocities at 10, 15 or even 78 feet. Often this can lead to confusion and to the frequent accusation that commercial ammunition's velocity claims on the box are overstated.


It's also always a good idea to look at the conditions any velocity test was performed under. A 30 degree F difference in temperature can result in a 50fps difference at 100 meters. 1000 feet of elevation can result in 30-40fps of velocity difference.