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 Iraq After Action Review excerpt MK 262 ammo vs. M855 in windshield penetration tests
SgtSauer  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 1:30:46 AM
Title says it all. I'm beginning to question the wisdom of the buying the 500 rds of WCC M855.





Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/20/2006 5:41:08 AM
I'll save DocGKR the trouble:


DocGKR - 5.56 Duty Loads
Only after proper foundational and ongoing repetitive refresher training, cultivating warrior mind-set, and ensuring weapon system reliability do you need to worry about ammunition selection. Most folks would be far better off practicing with what they have, rather than worrying about what is "best". As long as you know your what your weapon and ammo can realistically accomplish, it is all just a matter of training and shot placement. If you need to delve into the arcane subject of agency ammunition selection, below are the state of the art choices in .223/5.56 mm:

------------------------------

For general purpose combat use with 1/7 twist barrels from 0 to 600 yards, I would choose one of the combat proven 5.56 mm (ie. 5.56 mm NATO pressure loads, not .223 SAAMI pressure loads which run about 200 f/s slower) heavy match OTM loadings: either the Hornady 75 gr TAP (#8126N) using the OTM bullet w/cannelure or the equally good 77 gr Nosler OTM w/cannelure loaded by Black Hills, followed by the 77 gr Sierra Match King OTM-which, while exceedingly accurate, offers slightly reduced terminal effects. If your expected engagement scenario is at more typical LE distances, say out to 200 yards, then the .223 SAAMI pressure loads are fine. The experimental BH loaded 100 gr OTM exhibits impressive fragmentation, even at relatively low velocities, however, their trajectory is like a rainbow-definitely for use under 150 - 200 yards.

NOTE: For general purpose LE use, if stuck with 1/9 twist barrels, the heavy 70+ gr match OTM loads are not universally accurate in all rifles and the 69 gr SMK OTM, the 68 gr Hornady OTM, the Winchester 64 gr JSP (RA223R2), or one of the new Federal 64 gr TRU (223L) JSP, Hornady 60 gr JSP, or Nosler 60 gr Partition JSP's are the best choices to most likely run accurately in the majority of 1/9 twist rifles. You are screwed with 1/12 twists, I would probably choose the 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load (Tactical--LE223T1 or identical Premium Rifle--P223T2) in order to ensure adequate penetration.

If routinely engaging vehicles, the only LE .223 loads which effectively penetrate automobiles are the 62 gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical (LE223T3) and the similarly performing 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load. While not bad choices, neither the new Hornady 60 gr “barrier penetration” JSP nor the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullets were quite as effective as the proven Trophy Bonded Bear Claws against glass in our testing. None of the OTM bullets, even the heavy 75 - 100 gr loads, offer good performance through automobile glass. FWIW, contrary to what many believe, 62 gr M855 FMJ also is not very good against glass. For military use, the M995 AP is the best choice for vehicles and glass.

If a short barreled 5.56 mm weapon, such as the Colt Commando, LMT/Crane Mk18 CQBR, HK416, HK 53, HK G36C, etc… is used with a 1/7 twist barrel, the 75 gr Hornady OTM, 77 gr Nosler OTM, 77 gr SMK OTM, and 100 gr BH OTM loadings offer acceptable performance, as do the LE Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's and the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet; for LE with a 1/9 twist, stick with the Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's or the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet. Remember, with barrels under 14.5”, the effective engagement distance is significantly reduced compared to the longer barreled carbines.

Whatever projectile is used, it is best with a cannelure to prevent bullet set-back in semi-auto/auto weapons. Also, be cautious with the exposed lead on the JSP designs. Often they will run great for up to 200-300 rounds, but then mysterious feeding failures will begin as a result of lead build-up on the feed ramps. I have personally seen this occur with a variety of JSP's including 55 gr, 60 gr, and 64 gr in a recent LE training course. As soon as FMJ or OTM was substituted, all the feeding failures ceased.

Be sure to watch your ammo storage conditions. Temperatures above 150 deg F will degrade the powder and cause pressure spikes. Hint: Think locked metal conex containers in the mid-east, car trunks in the southern U.S., and storage areas near heaters in the northern U.S.

------------------------------

Most LE agencies around here use the Hornady 75 gr TAP OTM, Federal 55/62 gr bonded Tactical JSP, or Winchester 64 gr JSP (it is on the state contract and is VERY inexpensive)--all have worked very well in actual officer involved shootings. I carry the Hornady 75 gr OTM (SAAMI load) in 30 rd mags and a few 20 rd mags of Federal Tactical 62 gr JSP for barrier situations.

Do short barrel 5.56 mm carbines have some limitations? Yes, especially beyond 100 yards, but BFD…learn what they are, train, and drive on. For LE urban work with lots of entries and mounted work I use a 10.5” LMT CQB-R w/Aimpoint and Noveske KFH because, despite the ballistic compromise, for the mission it is the best choice. For GP/Patrol I carry a 16” with a 3.5x TA11 ACOG (the S&B 1.1-4x Short Dot would be an equally good or even better choice) -- pick the right tool for the job.

=======================================

Mk262 using the 77 gr SMK OTM is built as premium quality ammunition intended for precise long-range semi-auto rifle shots from the Mk12. It is great for its intended purpose and in the military is the best currently readily available option to increase terminal performance with all 5.56 mm carbines. But Mk262 is NOT necessarily the best choice for LE or civilian self-defense purposes, or for that matter for most military combat use from carbines (Mk18, HK416, M4, FN Mk16 SCAR-L).

What is needed is a environmentally robust, thermally stable combat rifle round with improved terminal performance, yet without the need for the 600+ meter precision accuracy of Mk262 in the Mk12. Such a carbine combat load needs to have a crimped and sealed primer, sealed case mouth, cannelure, acceptable accuracy out to 300-400 meters coupled with good soft tissue terminal performance (early yaw, good fragmentation, at least 12 inches of penetration coupled with maximized tissue damage during the first 10 to 12 inches of travel in tissue. The new Hornady 75 gr milspec OTM (#8126N) loading or equivalent BH milspec 75 gr or Nosler 77 gr OTM loads are examples of this type of combat ammo. Note, the Hornady 75 gr OTM load has a proven combat record in use with certain U.S. SOF units for several years.

At this time, given the current ammo choices available via the military supply system, I prefer to load my mags with mainly Mk262Mod1 and if available, a couple of mags of M955 AP for barriers and some M856 tracer (or TB74 dim trace) for marking targets.


Is Mk262 Mod1 better than M855? Yes, by all means for general anti-personnel targets. However, the resulting "blowout" in the rear window is done by the fragmenting OTM's that have lost a significant amount of their weight due to the windshield. Resulting penetration into a subject behind that auto glass still isn’t as great as the information suggests.
WMHM4  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 9:14:56 AM


I firmly beleive that M855 should be phased out for Mk 262, is there anything that we civi's can do to help get this done. I know there isn't much we can do but if we were to at least write/call our senators I think it would be a help, especially if every senator is getting tons of emails from us about the subject.

I'm going to email my PA senators and see if they respond to it
FALARAK  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 11:13:10 AM
A couple soldiers shooting a car in theatre for a "test" is completely, and utterly, meaningless.
223FMJBlack  [Member]
8/20/2006 11:55:36 AM

Originally Posted By FALARAK:
A couple soldiers shooting a car in theatre for a "test" is completely, and utterly, meaningless.

I agree completely, they pop a windshield a couple of times, spend five minutes making a document in Microsoft Word, and act like this is gospel.
WMHM4  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 1:43:40 PM

Originally Posted By 223FMJBlack:

Originally Posted By FALARAK:
A couple soldiers shooting a car in theatre for a "test" is completely, and utterly, meaningless.

I agree completely, they pop a windshield a couple of times, spend five minutes making a document in Microsoft Word, and act like this is gospel.



I agree that shooting a windshield doesn't mean sh-t but there is no doubt that the Mk 262 is a far superior round to M855
FALARAK  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 1:52:17 PM

Originally Posted By WMHM4:
I agree that shooting a windshield doesn't mean sh-t but there is no doubt that the Mk 262 is a far superior round to M855


On windshields or human tissue?

Close range or long?

On a kevlar helment at 500M?

Everything is open to specific discussion. One round is not "far superior" in all cases.
SPTiger  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 1:53:25 PM
Pretty cool. Sounds like a desert version of the "Box o' Truth". Maybe call it the "Sandbox o' Truth"?
FALARAK  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 1:59:21 PM

Originally Posted By SPTiger:
Pretty cool. Sounds like a desert version of the "Box o' Truth". Maybe call it the "Sandbox o' Truth"?


Or "Sandbox-o-two-shots-in-a-windshield-with-little-additional-data-or-scientific-background-information-or-controls"
SPTiger  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 2:18:44 PM

Originally Posted By FALARAK:

Originally Posted By SPTiger:
Pretty cool. Sounds like a desert version of the "Box o' Truth". Maybe call it the "Sandbox o' Truth"?


Or "Sandbox-o-two-shots-in-a-windshield-with-little-additional-data-or-scientific-background-information-or-controls"


Much like the BOT. Anyway I wasn't being serious.
Hoplite  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 2:42:56 PM
how effective the bullet penetrates the auto glass is based on several variables. angle of impact, direction of travel, distance, point of aim, etc. this test doesnt give any of that information and doesnt say why one is better than the other aside from the "i like my new toy" type of statement. a capt with no clue of PSYOP, or its effects shouldnt even bring the topic up
147_Grain  [Member]
8/20/2006 3:01:28 PM
Industry standard auto glass tests are usually performed with the glass at a 45* angle (vertically) and the weapon is also offset 15* left or right (horizontally).
thanegrooms  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 3:39:03 PM

Originally Posted By 147_Grain:
Industry standard auto glass tests are usually performed with the glass at a 45* angle (vertically) and the weapon is also offset 15* left or right (horizontally).


Does it make sense that from a standing position, you should aim at the lowest part of the windshield to increase the angle? That would be where center mass would be also...?
JJREA  [Member]
8/20/2006 3:58:09 PM

Originally Posted By FALARAK:

Originally Posted By SPTiger:
Pretty cool. Sounds like a desert version of the "Box o' Truth". Maybe call it the "Sandbox o' Truth"?


Or "Sandbox-o-two-shots-in-a-windshield-with-little-additional-data-or-scientific-background-information-or-controls"


Are you saying M855 is better on glass than MK262? Regardless of the extent of this test?

JJREA  [Member]
8/20/2006 4:03:14 PM
Section1 Operations, I could be wrong, but I don't think they'll be "issuing" any TBBC as a general issue ammo. Yes it's better but that's not really the point. Notice doc said he'd take some MK262 and M955 and M856 tracers. He didn't say anything about M855.

I personally have no problem with M855. I think it would serve my defensive purposes. However, my purposes are a whole lot different than the US Military. I also think MK262 should be for general issue. I just don't know if that's going to happen.
MisterPX  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 4:21:36 PM
I will say that M855 at 50M will go through 5 of the 6 layers of armor glass on a M1025
FMJ  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 4:23:17 PM

Originally Posted By FALARAK:

Originally Posted By WMHM4:
I agree that shooting a windshield doesn't mean sh-t but there is no doubt that the Mk 262 is a far superior round to M855


On windshields or human tissue?

Close range or long?

On a kevlar helment at 500M?

Everything is open to specific discussion. One round is not "far superior" in all cases.




AMEN!!
JJREA  [Member]
8/20/2006 4:50:49 PM

Originally Posted By MisterPX:
I will say that M855 at 50M will go through 5 of the 6 layers of armor glass on a M1025


God be with you. You ever get any MK262 over there? Do you think it's necessary?
FALARAK  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 5:53:53 PM

Originally Posted By JJREA:
Are you saying M855 is better on glass than MK262? Regardless of the extent of this test?


Nope. I am saying I would have to see a well done scientific test completed, utilizing the proper variables and controls, and then repeated by someone else to make that definitive statement.
JJREA  [Member]
8/20/2006 7:14:06 PM

Originally Posted By FALARAK:

Originally Posted By JJREA:
Are you saying M855 is better on glass than MK262? Regardless of the extent of this test?


Nope. I am saying I would have to see a well done scientific test completed, utilizing the proper variables and controls, and then repeated by someone else to make that definitive statement.


That's fine, but I think it's been done. tacticalforums might have somthing on it or Dr.Roberts himself. I think there is a reason that in his quote he would take Mk262 and M995 over M855. I don't know. I forget if I've seen the test or not but I thought I did. Either way, MK262 is most probably better for GP ammo, imho.
Blacksnake  [Member]
8/20/2006 8:54:51 PM

Originally Posted By FALARAK:

Originally Posted By WMHM4:
I agree that shooting a windshield doesn't mean sh-t but there is no doubt that the Mk 262 is a far superior round to M855


On windshields or human tissue?

Close range or long?

On a kevlar helment at 500M?

Everything is open to specific discussion. One round is not "far superior" in all cases.


+1
AshNH  [Member]
8/20/2006 9:27:45 PM

Originally Posted By WMHM4:
... is there anything that we civi's can do to help get this done. I know there isn't much we can do but if we were to at least write/call our senators I think it would be a help...

We could always say that we'd be happy to buy up all of the surplus M855 once it's phased out ... Provided of course they lift that stupid wasteful EO on selling surplus ammo to us commoners.
WMHM4  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 10:01:27 PM

Originally Posted By FALARAK:

Originally Posted By WMHM4:
I agree that shooting a windshield doesn't mean sh-t but there is no doubt that the Mk 262 is a far superior round to M855


On windshields or human tissue?

Close range or long?

On a kevlar helment at 500M?

Everything is open to specific discussion. One round is not "far superior" in all cases.


On a winshield yes it is better
human tissue it's definetly more effective
close and long range it is better
On a kevlar helmet at 500M they probably both would do about the same

Everything is open to specific discussion but overall the MK 262 is a much better round. M855 was designed to shoot russians wearing body armor and in that roll it is a great round but for shooting someone who is wearing pajamas it just pokes a hole wear as the MK 262 will create massive tissue damage through fragmentation.

Mk262 may not beat M855 in every category but it almost does.
whiskerz  [Member]
8/20/2006 10:18:40 PM
ok they shot a back window in the pic. any bullet will do well on back windows. but all of this crap on 223s lack of performance on target is easily cured it is called 308 even a 243 would be a large upgrade
JJREA  [Member]
8/20/2006 10:41:03 PM

Originally Posted By whiskerz:
ok they shot a back window in the pic. any bullet will do well on back windows. but all of this crap on 223s lack of performance on target is easily cured it is called 308 even a 243 would be a large upgrade


I didn't know you could fit a .308 or .243 in the m16
Hoplite  [Team Member]
8/20/2006 11:34:42 PM

Originally Posted By thanegrooms:

Originally Posted By 147_Grain:
Industry standard auto glass tests are usually performed with the glass at a 45* angle (vertically) and the weapon is also offset 15* left or right (horizontally).


Does it make sense that from a standing position, you should aim at the lowest part of the windshield to increase the angle? That would be where center mass would be also...?
iirc, when shooting into a vehicle the bullet is deflected upward. opposite is true if you are shooting through the winshield from the inside. rear windows and side will shatter after the first shot unless they are laminated with tinting material.
SgtSauer  [Team Member]
8/21/2006 12:42:57 AM

Originally Posted By whiskerz:
ok they shot a back window in the pic. any bullet will do well on back windows. but all of this crap on 223s lack of performance on target is easily cured it is called 308 even a 243 would be a large upgrade


The bullet went through the front of the windshield and out the back. The back window was not the first point of impact.
WesDesRat  [Team Member]
8/21/2006 12:44:05 AM
I hope someone gets these troops the proper info.

Logic would say a thin jacketed match bullet would not do well aginst hard cover.

Can somone post the scorce for this "test" and maybe get something back to these guys to let them know Mk262 is not going to be "best"?

Hotgun  [Member]
8/21/2006 7:51:19 AM
This is all old news. The informal test prompted the Army into some major testing.....M855 was found equal to or better in the tests. results were communicated to RB & 1st cav.

Hotgun
WesDesRat  [Team Member]
8/21/2006 12:53:50 PM

Originally Posted By Hotgun:
This is all old news. The informal test prompted the Army into some major testing.....M855 was found equal to or better in the tests. results were communicated to RB & 1st cav.

Hotgun


In this case, old news is good news.
DevL  [Member]
8/21/2006 1:35:46 PM

Originally Posted By Hotgun:
This is all old news. The informal test prompted the Army into some major testing.....M855 was found equal to or better in the tests. results were communicated to RB & 1st cav.

Hotgun


Please cite this report as i would love to read it. I have only heard things about M855 ripping out its penetrator and sheeding its jacket when punching through auto glass. This leads to significant deviation of the flight path of the bullet and reduced penetration and wounding of the target after the barrier. I was under the impression OTM bullets due to greater retained mass and momentum performed better by deviating less and penetrating further, causing greater wounds after auto glass penetration than M855.
Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/21/2006 6:33:41 PM

Originally Posted By JJREA:
Section1 Operations, I could be wrong, but I don't think they'll be "issuing" any TBBC as a general issue ammo. Yes it's better but that's not really the point. Notice doc said he'd take some MK262 and M955 and M856 tracers. He didn't say anything about M855.

I personally have no problem with M855. I think it would serve my defensive purposes. However, my purposes are a whole lot different than the US Military. I also think MK262 should be for general issue. I just don't know if that's going to happen.


I'm not sure what you're inferring from my post but simply put OTM's perform poorly against auto glass. Neither, M855 or Mk262 is ideal as Doc's post represents both a military/LE point in that M955 is a military only AP round up to the task of auto glass.

In the LE would, the TBBC would be the best selection even though the two i.e. M955 & TBBC are completely different designs.

And for both circles the Mk262 Mod1 should be a general issue anti-personnel round.


DevL's comments a little further up are worth a read...
ColtRifle  [Member]
8/21/2006 7:04:26 PM
.
JJREA  [Member]
8/21/2006 7:34:15 PM

Originally Posted By Section1_Operations:

Originally Posted By JJREA:
Section1 Operations, I could be wrong, but I don't think they'll be "issuing" any TBBC as a general issue ammo. Yes it's better but that's not really the point. Notice doc said he'd take some MK262 and M955 and M856 tracers. He didn't say anything about M855.

I personally have no problem with M855. I think it would serve my defensive purposes. However, my purposes are a whole lot different than the US Military. I also think MK262 should be for general issue. I just don't know if that's going to happen.


I'm not sure what you're inferring from my post but simply put OTM's perform poorly against auto glass. Neither, M855 or Mk262 is ideal as Doc's post represents both a military/LE point in that M955 is a military only AP round up to the task of auto glass.

In the LE would, the TBBC would be the best selection even though the two i.e. M955 & TBBC are completely different designs.

And for both circles the Mk262 Mod1 should be a general issue anti-personnel round.


DevL's comments a little further up are worth a read...


You are telling me to look at DevL's comments, yet you are contradicting him. At this point I don't have any proof until either the doc shows up and tells us the what for or someone finds a test taht I thought had been performed. But if you read his post it said that the heavier bullet retains mass better once going through, regardless of the thickness of the jacket. In so many words. I'm not really seeing YOUR point. But I do have a thick head sometimes, fwiw.

And for the record, my stance isn't that M855 is fatally flawed for GP, I'm just saying I think MK262 has proven to be better, including barrier / glass penetration. Not the best, just better.
paulosantos  [Team Member]
8/21/2006 8:05:14 PM
Just ask yourselves this question. If I was in the Military and I was issued an M4, which ammo would I prefer to use as my all-purpose ammo? The M855 or the MK262? I for one would prefer the MK262, hands down. You just have to know what the ammo can and can't do. Just my $.02.
Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/21/2006 8:19:00 PM

Originally Posted By JJREA:

Originally Posted By Section1_Operations:

Originally Posted By JJREA:
Section1 Operations, I could be wrong, but I don't think they'll be "issuing" any TBBC as a general issue ammo. Yes it's better but that's not really the point. Notice doc said he'd take some MK262 and M955 and M856 tracers. He didn't say anything about M855.

I personally have no problem with M855. I think it would serve my defensive purposes. However, my purposes are a whole lot different than the US Military. I also think MK262 should be for general issue. I just don't know if that's going to happen.


I'm not sure what you're inferring from my post but simply put OTM's perform poorly against auto glass. Neither, M855 or Mk262 is ideal as Doc's post represents both a military/LE point in that M955 is a military only AP round up to the task of auto glass.

In the LE would, the TBBC would be the best selection even though the two i.e. M955 & TBBC are completely different designs.

And for both circles the Mk262 Mod1 should be a general issue anti-personnel round.


DevL's comments a little further up are worth a read...


You are telling me to look at DevL's comments, yet you are contradicting him. At this point I don't have any proof until either the doc shows up and tells us the what for or someone finds a test taht I thought had been performed. But if you read his post it said that the heavier bullet retains mass better once going through, regardless of the thickness of the jacket. In so many words. I'm not really seeing YOUR point. But I do have a thick head sometimes, fwiw.

And for the record, my stance isn't that M855 is fatally flawed for GP, I'm just saying I think MK262 has proven to be better, including barrier / glass penetration. Not the best, just better.


Are we reading the same posts?

Where do I contradict DevL? What isn't clear to you in my post/position?

Seems there's also an undiagnosed reading comprehension issue too beyond the thick head -- no?


***Edited to add that when I've typed M955 it should have been M995 – my error, I apologize for the incorrect designation.

I await to see if in Doc's post he made a typo but other than that error my post has been concisely clear in meaning.***
Hotgun  [Member]
8/22/2006 8:51:02 AM
Mk262 is an improvement, but only slight in a std. M4 which isn't able to make maximum use of it's improved accuracy/wound characteristics at extended ranges.

The report is not releasable at this time....don't think the higher ups want strenghts/weaknesses of the system made public. There certainly isn't anything M855 has to be embarrassed about. In fact it looks decent even compared to 7.62.

The NDIA website may have a mini-summary posted...but, I haven't checked.

Hotgun
CitySlicker  [Team Member]
8/22/2006 9:49:18 AM

Lessons Learned:

Consider phasing out M855 (62 gr) and replacing it with Mk262 (77 gr.) ammunition.


The author is very optimistic.
Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/22/2006 11:52:07 AM

Originally Posted By CitySlicker:

Lessons Learned:

Consider phasing out M855 (62 gr) and replacing it with Mk262 (77 gr.) ammunition.


The author is very optimistic.


Is it more optimistic than trying to switch to 6.8 SPC?
DocGKR  [Team Member]
8/22/2006 12:55:27 PM
Hotgun writes:

The informal test prompted the Army into some major testing.....M855 was found equal to or better in the tests. results were communicated to RB & 1st cav.

Mk262 is an improvement, but only slight in a std. M4 which isn't able to make maximum use of it's improved accuracy/wound characteristics at extended ranges.

The report is not releasable at this time....don't think the higher ups want strenghts/weaknesses of the system made public. There certainly isn't anything M855 has to be embarrassed about. In fact it looks decent even compared to 7.62.


There was extensive testing performed; the Army PAO folks did report that M855 worked fine; a review of the complete test data demonstrates a far different conclusion…

M855 and Mk262 are BOTH relatively poor performers against glass.

Mk262 is not the be all end all for carbine use, but it is currently the best readily available choice for the military--it would NOT be my first choice for LE or civ use. I would also not recommend Mk262 for general military issue, because that is NOT what it was designed for.

I wrote:

Only after proper foundational and ongoing repetitive refresher training, cultivating warrior mind-set, and ensuring weapon system reliability do you need to worry about ammunition selection. Most folks would be far better off practicing with what they have, rather than worrying about what is "best". As long as you know your what your weapon and ammo can realistically accomplish, it is all just a matter of training and shot placement. If you need to delve into the arcane subject of agency ammunition selection, below are the state of the art choices in .223/5.56 mm:

------------------------------

For general purpose combat use with 1/7 twist barrels from 0 to 600 yards, I would choose one of the combat proven 5.56 mm (ie. 5.56 mm NATO pressure loads, not .223 SAAMI pressure loads which run about 200 f/s slower) heavy match OTM loadings: either the Hornady 75 gr TAP (#8126N) using the OTM bullet w/cannelure or the equally good 77 gr Nosler OTM w/cannelure loaded by Black Hills, followed by the 77 gr Sierra Match King OTM-which, while exceedingly accurate, offers slightly reduced terminal effects. If your expected engagement scenario is at more typical LE distances, say out to 200 yards, then the .223 SAAMI pressure loads are fine. The experimental BH loaded 100 gr OTM exhibits impressive fragmentation, even at relatively low velocities, however, their trajectory is like a rainbow-definitely for use under 150 - 200 yards.

NOTE: For general purpose LE use, if stuck with 1/9 twist barrels, the heavy 70+ gr match OTM loads are not universally accurate in all rifles and the 69 gr SMK OTM, the 68 gr Hornady OTM, the Winchester 64 gr JSP (RA223R2), or one of the new Federal 64 gr TRU (223L) JSP, Hornady 60 gr JSP, or Nosler 60 gr Partition JSP's are the best choices to most likely run accurately in the majority of 1/9 twist rifles. You are screwed with 1/12 twists, I would probably choose the 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load (Tactical--LE223T1 or identical Premium Rifle--P223T2) in order to ensure adequate penetration.

If routinely engaging vehicles, the only LE .223 loads which effectively penetrate automobiles are the 62 gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical (LE223T3) and the similarly performing 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load. While not bad choices, neither the new Hornady 60 gr “barrier penetration” JSP nor the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullets were quite as effective as the proven Trophy Bonded Bear Claws against glass in our testing. None of the OTM bullets, even the heavy 75 - 100 gr loads, offer good performance through automobile glass. FWIW, contrary to what many believe, 62 gr M855 FMJ also is not very good against glass. For military use, the M995 AP is the best choice for vehicles and glass.

If a short barreled 5.56 mm weapon, such as the Colt Commando, LMT/Crane Mk18 CQBR, HK416, HK 53, HK G36C, etc… is used with a 1/7 twist barrel, the 75 gr Hornady OTM, 77 gr Nosler OTM, 77 gr SMK OTM, and 100 gr BH OTM loadings offer acceptable performance, as do the LE Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's and the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet; for LE with a 1/9 twist, stick with the Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's or the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet. Remember, with barrels under 14.5”, the effective engagement distance is significantly reduced compared to the longer barreled carbines.

Whatever projectile is used, it is best with a cannelure to prevent bullet set-back in semi-auto/auto weapons. Also, be cautious with the exposed lead on the JSP designs. Often they will run great for up to 200-300 rounds, but then mysterious feeding failures will begin as a result of lead build-up on the feed ramps. I have personally seen this occur with a variety of JSP's including 55 gr, 60 gr, and 64 gr in a recent LE training course. As soon as FMJ or OTM was substituted, all the feeding failures ceased.

Be sure to watch your ammo storage conditions. Temperatures above 150 deg F will degrade the powder and cause pressure spikes. Hint: Think locked metal conex containers in the mid-east, car trunks in the southern U.S., and storage areas near heaters in the northern U.S.

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Most LE agencies around here use the Hornady 75 gr TAP OTM, Federal 55/62 gr bonded Tactical JSP, or Winchester 64 gr JSP (it is on the state contract and is VERY inexpensive)--all have worked very well in actual officer involved shootings. I carry the Hornady 75 gr OTM (SAAMI load) in 30 rd mags and a few 20 rd mags of Federal Tactical 62 gr JSP for barrier situations.

Do short barrel 5.56 mm carbines have some limitations? Yes, especially beyond 100 yards, but BFD…learn what they are, train, and drive on. For LE urban work with lots of entries and mounted work I use a 10.5” LMT CQB-R w/Aimpoint and Noveske KFH because, despite the ballistic compromise, for the mission it is the best choice. For GP/Patrol I carry a 16” with a 3.5x TA11 ACOG (the S&B 1.1-4x Short Dot would be an equally good or even better choice) -- pick the right tool for the job.

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Mk262 using the 77 gr SMK OTM is built as premium quality ammunition intended for precise long-range semi-auto rifle shots from the Mk12. It is great for its intended purpose and in the military is the best currently readily available option to increase terminal performance with all 5.56 mm carbines. But Mk262 is NOT necessarily the best choice for LE or civilian self-defense purposes, or for that matter for most military combat use from carbines (Mk18, HK416, M4, FN Mk16 SCAR-L).

What is needed is a environmentally robust, thermally stable combat rifle round with improved terminal performance, yet without the need for the 600+ meter precision accuracy of Mk262 in the Mk12. Such a carbine combat load needs to have a crimped and sealed primer, sealed case mouth, cannelure, acceptable accuracy out to 300-400 meters coupled with good soft tissue terminal performance (early yaw, good fragmentation, at least 12 inches of penetration coupled with maximized tissue damage during the first 10 to 12 inches of travel in tissue. The new Hornady 75 gr milspec OTM (#8126N) loading or equivalent BH milspec 75 gr or Nosler 77 gr OTM loads are examples of this type of combat ammo. Note, the Hornady 75 gr OTM load has a proven combat record in use with certain U.S. SOF units for several years. Also note that an ideal combat load should be relatively blind to intermediate barriers, although at this time, no 5.56 mm loads can fully meet this goal.

At this time, given the current ammo choices available via the military supply system, I prefer to load my mags with mainly Mk262Mod1 and if available, a couple of mags of M995 AP for barriers and some M856 tracer (or TB74 dim trace) for marking targets.
Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/22/2006 2:15:17 PM
DocGKR-

When you refer to M955 in this:


At this time, given the current ammo choices available via the military supply system, I prefer to load my mags with mainly Mk262Mod1 and if available, a couple of mags of M955 AP for barriers and some M856 tracer (or TB74 dim trace) for marking targets.


Is it a typo in that it should be M995 AP or are you meaning M855?

Looking for information about M955 AP and M995 AP reveals a confusion of numbers that leads me to question the designators. Are people mucking the numbers and referring to the same round?
DocGKR  [Team Member]
8/22/2006 2:45:47 PM
Typo, corrected above. Should read M995.
tyman  [Team Member]
8/22/2006 3:45:20 PM
Hmm..

I bet some of the guys in our Battalion wouldnt necessarily agree. They capped one guy through the windshield and hit him in the ankle and in the chest, one time each. He died.

Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/22/2006 4:07:02 PM

Originally Posted By DocGKR:
Typo, corrected above. Should read M995.


Roger that.

If the 10-8, Tactical Forums, and et al posts have the same typo it might be worth correcting.

Thanks for all of your work regarding terminal ballistics.
DocGKR  [Team Member]
8/22/2006 4:12:20 PM
10-8 and TF don't appear to have a typo.
DevL  [Member]
8/22/2006 4:41:28 PM

Originally Posted By tyman:
Hmm..

I bet some of the guys in our Battalion wouldnt necessarily agree. They capped one guy through the windshield and hit him in the ankle and in the chest, one time each. He died.



And what happened with the OTM bullet that led them to determine it was not better? Did I miss that part?

People get killed with .22lr all the time. That does not make it a better performing load for self defense.

The point is supposed to be that although M855 can get the job done its less than ideal. OTM rounds are also less than ideal but even though they have thin fragile jackets they have greater retained mass after passing through a barrier. They also are not good barrier rounds but perhaps a better choice than M855 for a general purpose round that is used on both open tagets and tagets in automobiles.
Ryno_the_wyno  [Member]
8/22/2006 5:24:07 PM

Originally Posted By WMHM4:

I firmly beleive that M855 should be phased out for Mk 262, is there anything that we civi's can do to help get this done. I know there isn't much we can do but if we were to at least write/call our senators I think it would be a help, especially if every senator is getting tons of emails from us about the subject.

I'm going to email my PA senators and see if they respond to it


Bad idea. Mk262 is in no way suited to being a general issue/multi purpose cartridge like the M855 is. Most importantly, it lacks the vital penetration offered by M855. The SS109 bullet was designed to increase the effective range of 5.56 SAW's and to ensure penetration against Warsaw Pact helmets/body armor/chest rigs. Mk262 offers an exceptional level of accuracy and terminal effect against unarmored insurgents, but what about DPRK or Iranian soldiers who are armed/armored as well as we are? No bueno. Mk262 is an excellent stop-gap or "band aid" but its not a suitible replacement for M855 for a number of reasons, penetration being just one of them.
Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/22/2006 6:10:27 PM

Originally Posted By DocGKR:
10-8 and TF don't appear to have a typo.


All is well then but it was worth checking because I assumed you probably cut and pasted one of your already written posts.
JJREA  [Member]
8/22/2006 7:53:13 PM
I'm not sure any of us are reading the same thing. If I'm reading this correctly, this is what Doc is recommending for "combat" use:

What is needed is a environmentally robust, thermally stable combat rifle round with improved terminal performance, yet without the need for the 600+ meter precision accuracy of Mk262 in the Mk12. Such a carbine combat load needs to have a crimped and sealed primer, sealed case mouth, cannelure, acceptable accuracy out to 300-400 meters coupled with good soft tissue terminal performance (early yaw, good fragmentation, at least 12 inches of penetration coupled with maximized tissue damage during the first 10 to 12 inches of travel in tissue. The new Hornady 75 gr milspec OTM (#8126N) loading or equivalent BH milspec 75 gr or Nosler 77 gr OTM loads are examples of this type of combat ammo. Note, the Hornady 75 gr OTM load has a proven combat record in use with certain U.S. SOF units for several years. Also note that an ideal combat load should be relatively blind to intermediate barriers, although at this time, no 5.56 mm loads can fully meet this goal.


Which is NOT M855. My head might be thick but your post Section1_Operations seem to be alluding that OTM bullets are somehow worse than M855 for the application under discussion, glass penetration. Although it seems we have a case of picking the best of the worst for that application, yet he still recommended an OTM.

Edited to add: Section1_Operations. I see that the thrust of your point was that neither are good for glass / barrier penetration. I understand that. I guess the rest of us were debating which one is better. The premise being they have to use something, so why not choose the best of what they presently have.

Thanks for the info Doc.
Section1_Operations  [Member]
8/23/2006 12:30:08 AM

Originally Posted By JJREA:
I'm not sure any of us are reading the same thing. If I'm reading this correctly, this is what Doc is recommending for "combat" use:

What is needed is a environmentally robust, thermally stable combat rifle round with improved terminal performance, yet without the need for the 600+ meter precision accuracy of Mk262 in the Mk12. Such a carbine combat load needs to have a crimped and sealed primer, sealed case mouth, cannelure, acceptable accuracy out to 300-400 meters coupled with good soft tissue terminal performance (early yaw, good fragmentation, at least 12 inches of penetration coupled with maximized tissue damage during the first 10 to 12 inches of travel in tissue. The new Hornady 75 gr milspec OTM (#8126N) loading or equivalent BH milspec 75 gr or Nosler 77 gr OTM loads are examples of this type of combat ammo. Note, the Hornady 75 gr OTM load has a proven combat record in use with certain U.S. SOF units for several years. Also note that an ideal combat load should be relatively blind to intermediate barriers, although at this time, no 5.56 mm loads can fully meet this goal.


Which is NOT M855. My head might be thick but your post Section1_Operations seem to be alluding that OTM bullets are somehow worse than M855 for the application under discussion, glass penetration. Although it seems we have a case of picking the best of the worst for that application, yet he still recommended an OTM.

Edited to add: Section1_Operations. I see that the thrust of your point was that neither are good for glass / barrier penetration. I understand that. I guess the rest of us were debating which one is better. The premise being they have to use something, so why not choose the best of what they presently have.

Thanks for the info Doc.


There was no alluding to Mk262 being worse than M855. DevL's post explains how heavier OTM's can perform okay; but, whether it's better, worse, or a trade off in comparison to M855 is a toss up.

The best academic guess is that a heavier OTM slightly edges M855 only in fragmentation and retained weight.

You're looking at a (1) round solution whereas DocGKR's post as well as mine indicates that it is a (2) round solution given current system ammo i.e. a Mk262 type loading & a M995 AP loading. The added problem is that they have a large supply of M855, smaller supply of Mk262 type loads, and a limited to nonexistent supply of M995 AP.

Given current logistics and the ability of soldiers to consistently maintain it their best solution may be a combo of both Mk262 & M855 in their magazines.

War is hell on the best laid plans and the issues we’re discussing are decided well above any of our pay grades.
JJREA  [Member]
8/23/2006 1:44:40 AM
Is Mk262 Mod1 better than M855? Yes, by all means for general anti-personnel targets.

I'm probably just reading into this wrong, but this seem to imply that you thought MK262 was better ONLY for Anti-Personelle. Whereas, DevL and I had both stated that we believed it had an edge over M855 for glass penetration due to better retained mass, IE; heavier bullet. Which is why we keep concluding that MK262 would be better overall, and there then wouldn't really be a need to load MK262 and M855 as you are suggesting.

Either way, I've always been an M855 apologist for the most part. I believe it's proven to work. However, my stance is still that MK262 has the edge in all areas. If it is the case that people can't get it than fine, M855 is just dandy. KevinB just claimed he got a KIA with a 10.5" barrel at 400 yards with it.