|Originally Posted By Troy:|
US military M995 AP 5.56 has a black tip and uses a hardened tungsten carbide core. This ammo cost more than $2/round when M855 cost $.12/round, and is only available to the military as a special-request item and only in SAW belts. In most cases, its use is restricted to SpecOps. None has ever been surplussed, and no projectiles are available. Outside of a tiny quantity that could have been smuggled out by active-duty troops, we will likely never see this ammo available on the civilian market.
M855 "green tip" ammo is considered "standard" or "ball" ammo by the military. It features a mild-steel penetrator in the tip to increase hard target penetration at longer ranges vs. M193, but is NOT considered AP ammo and does not perform well enough to meet that classification.
Note that some non-US-made M855-type ammo (Igman "Hotshot") comes with black-painted tips, and some ammo dealers at gun shows try (often successfully) to pass this off as being true AP, but it isn't.
I totally agree with everything you said except the (Igman "Hotshot")
part. Igman is a Yugoslavian ammo maker, and Hotshot is a company in Romania. They are not related.
A great way to test dissected ammo for being AP is that you cannot crush a tungsten core. To help you dissect the bullet, you hammer either AP or non AP with steel core and the jacket will come right off while the core will remains.
The property and nature of a real tungsten core AP is that the core is hard and dense enough that even with a hammer and an anvil you will only accomplish denting and damaging the hammer and anvil while the projectile will remain essentially un-marked.
As an example I ran over a 50 BMG AP bullet with a locomotive. It only managed to dent the rail. Even with a dial caliper the lathe cut tungsten core didn't go out of round any measurable amount.
A mild steel core of the type which is not AP will flatten out with a hammer after a few or many whacks, but it will flatten.