AR15.Com Archives
 Armor Piercing Incendiary 5.56???
Hellbender  [Member]
1/31/2006 7:40:15 PM EST
I bought (several years ago) a bunch of mil-surplus range pickup ammo. Had a mix of everything.

Anyway, I pulled a few of the odder looking bullets, and discovered some (IMI marked) very long bullets that I filed a flat on the side and discovered they were armor-piercing incendiary (hardened insert in the front end, under the jacket w/ metallic powder in the rear))! I shot some 1/2" thick steel plate and they burned about a 3/8" diameter hole through and you could see them burn when they hit.

Anyone know any history on these?? I'll look and see if I may still have a few complete cartridges, I know I still have some of the pulled bullets around somewhere.

HB
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uglygun  [Member]
2/1/2006 3:36:05 AM EST
Expect a skeptical raised eyebrow from all who read your claims.


There simply isn't enough kentic energy in a 5.56 round to do what you describe, even with the current best which is M995 and has no incindary or tracer effects.
P-245  [Member]
2/1/2006 6:30:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By uglygun:
There simply isn't enough kentic energy in a 5.56 round to do what you describe, even with the current best which is M995 and has no incindary or tracer effects.


+1 uglygun. IIRC, AP ammunition is illegal to buy and own.

So, Hellbender, where did you acquire this ammo from?
uglygun  [Member]
2/1/2006 6:53:58 AM EST
Depends on the projectile.

M2 AP for 30-06 is common as hell, and the M2 stuff would have a hard time producing such results(it would pierce 1/2 inch but would be unlikely to make a clean 1/2 inch hole). And my 50BMG almost exclusively shoots M2 AP 700grn projectiles.


But M995 is rare as hens teeth in the military logistics as it is, and you are not going to find it on the civilian market legally.
BlammO  [Team Member]
2/1/2006 7:15:48 AM EST
No skepticism here.

FWIW, M2 will go through 1" mild steel like a hot knife through butter. 1.25" sometimes, but not 1.5". I have some excellent pics, as well as an M2 penetrator stuck halfway through some 1/2" steel that I fixed up as a desk ornament.

M2 doesn't make a clean hole because it sheds its jacket and what lead it has in the core into the surface of hard targets.

5.56 AP, I would think, might make a clean(er) hole. From what I've experienced, the description in the original post is quite plausible. If it had a true incendiary charge, perhaps that could blow the jacket material clear, leaving a cleaner and slightly larger hole.

I know that regular 55 gr. 5.56 will only gouge the surface of 1/2" mild steel plate.
uglygun  [Member]
2/1/2006 7:22:14 AM EST
Look familiar?


Looking at a hole from M2 163grn AP fired at 1 1/4 inch steel plate from a 300WinMag, distance roughly 80-100 yards. Core dislodged and fell out but did not completely pierce, steel is not the most mild of steels but it is not hardened steel either.




Back side of the plate with 2nd load over starting, final loading wound up piercing completely but just barely.



Even 50BMG doesn't pierce this plate with 100% reliability having only put 4 holes completely through at distances of 150-200 yards out of a total of around 30-40 shots.



I am very skeptical of anything 5.56x45mm, even against 1/2 inch of mild steel. Only M995 would I lend any credit to it's capabilities.
DevL  [Member]
2/1/2006 7:45:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By P-245:

Originally Posted By uglygun:
There simply isn't enough kentic energy in a 5.56 round to do what you describe, even with the current best which is M995 and has no incindary or tracer effects.


+1 uglygun. IIRC, AP ammunition is illegal to buy and own.

So, Hellbender, where did you acquire this ammo from?



AP ammo is not illegal to buy or own. It is illegal to make or sell.
BlammO  [Team Member]
2/1/2006 9:30:11 AM EST
Again, based on my experience, I have absolutely no doubt that 5.56 true AP (like M995) will go through 1/2" mild steel. It will defeat 1/4" armor plate at 550 meters. 1/2" mild is a hell of a lot easier to punch through than 1/4" armor.

I have a piece of 5/16" scrap plate that I believe may be AR400 or AR500. It laughs in the face of .30-06 ball (non-AP) and the M2 AP only gouges the surface. I've never had access to M995, but with its smaller cross section and higher penetrator core density, I bet it would zip right through. The .30 cal M2 projectile dumps a fair amount of energy just shedding its jacket and the lead portions of the core. 5.56mm AP doesn't have so much to shed.

Now for the gratuitous M2 pictures . . .


This was layer 1 of 3 layers of 1/2" mild steel. Ammo was WWII vintage cal .30 M2 AP fired from a Springfield M1903A3 at 70 yards:




Also layer 1 of 3, but the cavity without penetration was from .30 cal ball ammo. With only 1 layer of 1/2", hunting ammo makes a much bigger hole than AP.




This is my desk ornament. It is layer 2 of 3. Same ammo, same gun.








christ0ph  [Member]
2/1/2006 9:59:17 AM EST
all you skeptics...have you noticed that he is referring to API, not regular AP? IIRC, these projectiles are HIGH incindieary(sp?) and burn at 3000-5000 degrees on impact, which could easily "burn" through 1/2" of steel.
uglygun  [Member]
2/1/2006 10:04:11 AM EST
My problem with the API claim for 5.56 is that by the time you get a payload of the incindeary mix that is large enough to be worth a damn, that eats into the capacity of the round for it to store it's penetrator core. And by the time you try to get both a large enough penetrator plus large enough incindeary mix, you wind up with a bullet that likely can't be driven as fast which will eat into it's performance thanks to decreased muzzle velocity.


I'm skeptical because I have seen far too many claims of "RAOFUSS"(yes, that is how the gunbroker jackass spells it) super duper 5.56 ammo for sale...


The capabilities of M993 and M995 are pretty well known and I will buy the claims for that round, 1/2 inch of mild steel for it wouldn't be a problem in being able to penetrate it. However, blowing a hole in it bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter isn't something that relates to how these projectiles tend to make holes or craters in things in my experience. Especially with M995 not having any frontal lead like that of the M2 AP cores.
pyro6988  [Team Member]
2/1/2006 10:20:34 AM EST
I have never heard of any 5.56mm API.
Ryno_the_wyno  [Member]
2/1/2006 11:06:44 AM EST
I have had much experience with experimental types of 5.56 ammo made by the lab that I worked with and others. We had a few examples of API 5.56 rounds, which varied in material and manufacture. If you are buying API ammo on Gun Broker, for example...you are essentially buying a glorified tracer. 5.56 doesn't have the payload capacity to make for an effective API or HE bullet. There just isn't enough space for enough explosive material, plus penetrator, plus fuse(depending on the design) inside a magazine length projectile for a 5.56. IMO, API 7.62x51 and 7.62x54 are even a little small for such a round. Not only is there insufficient paylod capacity for 5.56 and to some extent 7.62 NATO, there is not a need for such a capability. If you require an explosive capability, 20/25/30 mike-mike or .50 BMG will have the payload capacity and provide devastating effect. Even with explosive or incendiary bullets, small arms lack the capability to effectively and expediently neutralize vehicles. For anti vehicle/anit material duty .50BMG is a

minimum but a "cannon" IE 25 mike-mike is a much better choice. If you do have 5.56 API, you can bet its a joke. Even if it was made by a quality source, which it almost certainly is not, it lacks the payload capacity to have any serious effectivenss. I had done some testing with magnesium filled 5.56 bullets made by IMI. These rounds were designed to be incendiary, but in our experience, they weren't any better at igniting things than a traditional tracer round, which is plenty capable of starting things on fire. Hate to burst your bubble, but API 5.56 bullets are a joke.
christ0ph  [Member]
2/1/2006 11:38:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Ryno_the_wyno:
I have had much experience with experimental types of 5.56 ammo made by the lab that I worked with and others. We had a few examples of API 5.56 rounds, which varied in material and manufacture. If you are buying API ammo on Gun Broker, for example...you are essentially buying a glorified tracer. 5.56 doesn't have the payload capacity to make for an effective API or HE bullet. There just isn't enough space for enough explosive material, plus penetrator, plus fuse(depending on the design) inside a magazine length projectile for a 5.56. IMO, API 7.62x51 and 7.62x54 are even a little small for such a round. Not only is there insufficient paylod capacity for 5.56 and to some extent 7.62 NATO, there is not a need for such a capability. If you require an explosive capability, 20/25/30 mike-mike or .50 BMG will have the payload capacity and provide devastating effect. Even with explosive or incendiary bullets, small arms lack the capability to effectively and expediently neutralize vehicles. For anti vehicle/anit material duty .50BMG is a

minimum but a "cannon" IE 25 mike-mike is a much better choice. If you do have 5.56 API, you can bet its a joke. Even if it was made by a quality source, which it almost certainly is not, it lacks the payload capacity to have any serious effectivenss. I had done some testing with magnesium filled 5.56 bullets made by IMI. These rounds were designed to be incendiary, but in our experience, they weren't any better at igniting things than a traditional tracer round, which is plenty capable of starting things on fire. Hate to burst your bubble, but API 5.56 bullets are a joke.



whew....i think ill pass on the gunbroker crud after reading that....
Hellbender  [Member]
2/1/2006 3:31:51 PM EST
I bought this ammo seven-eight years ago or so from a place in SGN, don't remember the name (Century, maybe???), but they sold a lot of surplus stuff & ammo, I think I also bought my good Malaysian 5.56 from them, but not positive. Seems these were $30-40 or so a thousand, being sold for components only.

I bought a bulk lot of 5.56 (2K or so) that was mostly junk, bent rounds, some had wet powder, etc, probably 70% was only good for components, most were foreign headstamped. I found only about 10-15 or so of these odd cartridges in the 2K lot. If I remember right, I had to pull the bullets before I was certian they were the long ones, so I may not have any complete rounds.

I have since moved and the bullets are buried somewhere in my considerable stash, but I will look for them. If I find them, I will run them over to Ekie, I have another item for him, also. Maybe he can take and post a pic for me. I would like to find out some history on them.

Thanks for the info so far,
HB
Hellbender  [Member]
2/1/2006 3:38:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ryno_the_wyno:
I had done some testing with magnesium filled 5.56 bullets made by IMI.

Ryno--Would you have any sectioned bullets for me to compare mine to? I remember these were IMI headstamped.

Thanks,
HB
Hellbender  [Member]
2/1/2006 6:04:54 PM EST
OK, I got my curiosity up and went and dug in my junk until I found the bullets (sorry, no brass, but I know they were IMI/TZZ).

I sectioned another one and I mis-remembered (is that a word?) on the hardened insert. They are brass-washed (inside and out) thick STEEL JACKETED, lead in the nose and the incendiary compound in the rear with a brass cap on the bottom to seal them off.

They are very long, 1.093" OAL vs .730" for a 55 FMJ I had for comparison, and the ogive (bullet profile) is "pointier".

I took some pics if someone would let me e-mail them for posting.

HB
Hellbender  [Member]
2/1/2006 6:17:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By uglygun:
However, blowing a hole in it bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter isn't something that relates to how these projectiles tend to make holes or craters in things in my experience. .



Uglygun--My post may not have been clear, but the hole was nearer to 1/4"-3/8" Diameter if I remember correctly and when the round hit (about 15 yards) it burned with a very bright (visible in daylight) pinkish red flash.

The hole was not smooth sided and round but more like 3/8" funneled down to 1/4" (exit side) and rough all over.

HB
remedy  [Member]
2/2/2006 5:36:07 AM EST
Email me your pics and I will post them for you and link them in the here.


remedy777@yahoo.com




- rem
Hellbender  [Member]
2/2/2006 2:42:11 PM EST
Pics sent, Thanks Rem!

HB
Diesel73  [Member]
2/5/2006 8:32:53 AM EST
where the pics...
Hellbender  [Member]
2/6/2006 7:56:09 AM EST
Rem must not be checking his e-mail (or maybe I screwed it up), has anyone else got a place I can e-mail these pics?

Thanks,
HB
Ryno_the_wyno  [Member]
2/6/2006 1:31:05 PM EST
I wasn't able to get a picture of a sectioned bullet because I don't have access to the literature which came with the sample ammunition, which is almost certainly propriatary, and I don't want to cut apart any of mine which I save for my collection. I wouldn't advise anyone to cut these bullets apart as its potentially very dangerous. The IMI projectiles which we tested were essentially SS109 projectiles with a magnesium core instead of lead. The force of impact causes the magnesium to ignite and emit a "fireball". Magnesium burns extremely hot and is capable of melting/buring through barriers, acting almost like a torch. Anyone who is familiar with shooting a vehicles*Im from SD, so I am quite familiar with red-neckery* knows that a solitary round to the gas tank will not cause the car to explode. We tested this round to see what, if anything, it had to offer. We fired it at multiple fuel tanks/cells filled with gasoline and JP. We finally fired these

rounds at a gutted DoD Blazer which was filled with JP. These rounds caused the contents of the fuel recepticles to burn, no suprise there.....In this aspect, it was marginally better than a tracer.
None the less, it would be adequate to stop or seriously impede a fleeing vehicle. IMO, the most impressive performance was against windshields. A standard windshield is a formidible barrier for bullets, especially 5.56. Several bullets must be fired to sufficiently weaken the barrier to allow intact bullets to pass. When these rounds hit, they caused alot of damage and would certainly seriously injure/blind any occupants or operators. These bullets requried fewer shots to weaken the barrier as they were much more damaging to the windshield. This test was conducted with a Negev with a 100 round belt loaded entirely with these rounds. It was quite impressive. Subsequent rounds ignited the interior and cause the car to eventually burn to the ground. This

was certainly fun to participate in and watch, however there is little utility for this type of round. They are expensive to manufacture and thiere capability is limited. While these rounds were certainly more effective than standard M855 against a windshield, a M240 using SLAP or M80 is even better. Again, there is no requirement for such ammunition and its capabilites are extremely limited due to small payload capacity. While certainly fun to dick around with, they aren't any more fun than tracers. Save your money and buy magazines/TAP.
Hellbender  [Member]
2/6/2006 2:57:36 PM EST
Ryno- Thanks for the detailed description, doesn't sound like my bullets. You're correct in don't waste your $$ to buy something like this for use.

But I have these bullets in my collection (a few) and they are unlike anything I have ever seen, my interest is purely acedemic, and I am attempting to identify what they are. I was an Army Ordnance officer from 81-87 (Reserves) and have never seen or heard of any like them.

They are constructed mostly like a tracer, but with a heavy brass cap on the bottom sealing off the incendiary compound, and they are copper/brass washed STEEL jacketed bullets, they were in TZZ marked brass.

You can tell they are an expensive bullet, lots of steps to build.

Thanks again for the info.
HB
Ryno_the_wyno  [Member]
2/7/2006 10:57:14 PM EST
The IMI rounds I have are extremely expensive, prohibitively so. At the time IMI did not yet have the production capability to produce these on a large scale and the samples appeard to be hand-made. They are so expensive they make TAP or Mk262 look like Wolf. While debunked as a serious military implement, they are nonetheless extremely fun to shoot at dilapitated vehicles and such....certainly more exciting than shooting vehicles with non-incendiary type weapons.
I have many weird bullets in my collection, these being among them, and while expensive I doubt they have any value....nor would I ever sell something with this much liability to anyone. My advice is as follows, secure 1 Ford Pinto, 1 semi or fully automatic weapon, 1 case of PBR*for afterwards* and a few friends who appreciate institutional red-neckery. Do be careful as they will ignite brush and pedestrians.....Also, since they are farily long try and launch them out of a 1/7 twist barrel. I don't think 1/9 will adequately stablize these rounds to be accurate at a safe distance. Personally, I like to be farther than 50 feet when shooting at something that may explode. I am glad I was able to help. Man, shoot at cars with tracers/incendiary out of a machine gun and the smell of PBR in the air makes me really miss SD.....and high school. Cheers.
T18B40  [Member]
2/8/2006 6:00:36 AM EST
Back in the mid to late 80's or so into the 90's, a guy by the name of Jim Haak, Northern Arizona Munitions, was making a lot of tracer and incendiary type cartridges. I bought some 5.56 API from him, silver tipped and TZZ headstamped cases. He told me he would pull the bullets, insert his mfg type bullet and reseat, and sell them. He had a huge business, but I don't know if he is still in this type of work or not. I came across these a few weeks ago and have yet to try them out on any hard target, but everything I ever bought from him worked as advertised. These might be some of his stuff. As I recall, some of the painted tips have worn off but you can still tell what they are. Hope this helps!
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