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Link Posted: 1/7/2024 12:13:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Jnat] [#1]
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Originally Posted By QCB:
Does anyone know if M855A1 is actually available for purchase?

I ran into this link a few days ago.  Web site was created in September 2022.  Is this a scam or have any of you actually received M855A1 ammo from this company??


I apologize if posting a link is not permitted.    

company name is nfdefense.
View Quote

It pops up on AS from time to time. $3/round tho….

Link Posted: 1/7/2024 11:36:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: TGWLDR] [#2]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By QCB:
Does anyone know if M855A1 is actually available for purchase?

I ran into this link a few days ago.  Web site was created in September 2022.  Is this a scam or have any of you actually received M855A1 ammo from this company??


I apologize if posting a link is not permitted.    

company name is nfdefense.
View Quote

Look at the payment method options.

Scam site.

Disregard, I see it's already been addressed.  
Link Posted: 2/25/2024 3:03:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Sinister:
M855A1 was developed because the State of Massachusetts told the Army to find a substitute for lead or close the Camp Edwards and Fort Devens small arms ranges.
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Even though Massachusetts didn't have any proof that lead from fired bullets at those ranges was leaching into the water table at a toxic level.

Link Posted: 2/25/2024 3:21:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Jnat] [#4]

Old post
Link Posted: 3/29/2024 6:37:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Molon] [#5]
Part 2

Hand-Loaded M855A1 Accuracy

When M855A1 was introduced, we were told by people with “inside information” that this new load produced “match-like” accuracy, yet none of these people where ever able to show statistically significant data to support this claim.  The test results that I obtained with M855A1 certainly didn’t show “match-like” accuracy.

The Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center has done extensive testing with M855A1 fired from AR-15s mounted in a heavy, sliding machine-rest test fixture. The Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center is involved in developing special munitions and weapons for our warfighters.  They’re not interested in sales hype and propaganda; they’re only interested in facts.  They’re not driven by profit margin; their goal is providing our Special Operating Forces with the best tools for accomplishing their missions.  When it comes to evaluating the accuracy of ammunition Crane uses 10-shot groups.

With newly barreled upper receiver groups mounted in the heavy sliding machine-rest test fixture, M855A1 was only able to produce a 10-shot group average extreme spread of 2.74” at 100 yards with an average mean radius of 0.85”.  With a round count of 3,600 rounds through the barrels, M855A1 was only able to produce 10-shot groups with an average extreme spread of 3.84” at 100 yards with an average mean radius of 1.10”.  

The Lothar Walther barrel that I used to test the M855A1 for this evaluation had approximately 3,350 rounds through it at the beginning of my M855A1 testing and as we saw it produced an average 10-shot group extreme spread of 2.07” at 100 yards.  A 30-shot composite group of the M855A1 from the Lothar Walther barreled AR-15 had a mean radius of 0.63”.

People are often quick to point out that the lack-luster accuracy of legacy M855 manufactured at Lake City is due among other things to the fact that M855 is composed of three different components; the lead core, the steel penetrator and the copper jacket, yet people seem to gloss over the fact that M855A1 is also composed of three different components; the copper core, the exposed steel penetrator and the copper jacket.

We know that the M855A1 that the US Army based their accuracy claims on was not manufactured on the SCAMP machinery at Lake City, but rather the slower BAM machinery. The speed of the SCAMP machinery is significantly faster than the older BAM machinery.

The M855A1 that I evaluated was produced on the SCAMP machinery.  These M855A1 projectiles themselves showed quite a bit of variation.  As an example, the base to ogive measurements were all over the map.
The picture below shows two M855A1 bullets that I pulled from the lot of ammunition that I tested.  The bullet on the left shows a properly shaped base. Notice the beveled heel and the flat base.  The bullet on the right has a “ridge” running around the bottom of the bullet and the base is recessed.  Apparently, the speed of the SCAMP machinery comes at a cost.

The US mil-spec for the accuracy/precision of the M4 carbine firing legacy M855 from a machine rest allows for an extreme spread of 5.0” for a 10-shot group at 100 yards.

The US mil-spec for the accuracy/precision of the M4 carbine firing M855A1 from a machine rest allows for an extreme spread of 5.6” for a 10-shot group at 100 yards.

It seems rather odd that the M4 carbine needs to have a larger extreme spread to meet the mil-spec when firing the load that supposedly has “match-like” accuracy.  Most of my accuracy evaluation data for Colt M4 carbines was lost in a tragic boating accident, but I was able to obtain a 1.24 MOA 10-shot group from a Colt M4 barrel using true match-grade hand-loads (albeit, this group was only fired from 50 yards).

Unlike caliber .30 and caliber 7.62mm ammunition, there has never been a National Match accuracy standard for caliber 5.56mm/.223 Remington ammunition. In 1965, the caliber 7.62mm Match ammunition was standardized as M118. The 1965 lot of 7.62mm M118 National Match ammunition had an acceptance testing mean radius of 1.9” for 10-shot groups fired at 600 yards. At that time, this was the smallest acceptance mean radius ever achieved for National Match ammunition since records were kept, starting in the year 1919. Naturally, the ammunition was tested from machine-rested, bolt-actioned, heavy test barrels.

The composite target pictured below shows the twenty-seven, 10-shot acceptance groups (that’s 270 rounds!) of the 1965, M118 National Match ammunition fired from the test barrels at 600 yards. The small circle has a diameter of 6” and the large circle has a diameter of 12”.

From American Rifleman, September 1965

From American Rifleman, August 1962.

Everything else being equal, a mean radius of 1.9” at 600 yards would have a mathematical equivalent of 0.32” at 100 yards. Now, 100 yards is not 600 yards, but then, a semi-automatic AR-15 is not a machine-rested, bolt-actioned, heavy test barrel either, so I like to use the mean radius of 0.32” for three 10-shot groups fired in a row (30-shot composite group) at 100 yards as the threshold for match-grade ammunition in 5.56mm/223 Remington when fired from a semi-automatic AR-15.  A mean radius of 0.32” at 100 yards is equivalent to an average extreme spread of 1.025” for 10-shot groups.

The first step that I took in developing a hand-load using M855A1 bullets was to cull the projectiles with the “ridged” bases.

Next, the bullets were sorted by weight.  A group of the bullets within the mean weight were further sorted by their base to ogive measurements and the bullets within this mean measurement were used for the hand-loads.

The cases used for these hand-loads were virgin Lake City cases that were weight sorted.  The necks of these cases were then chamfered, deburred and neck sized using a bushing neck die. The primer pockets and flash holes were uniformed.  Priming was conducted using a Sinclair hand priming tool.

The cases were charged with powder using an RCBS Match Master powder dispenser and the bullets were seated on a single stage Forster press.  10 rounds of each increment of powder charge weights were used to develop a load at 223 Remington velocities.  Most 5.56 loads can be hand-loaded to shoot more accurately/precisely when down-loaded to 223 Remington velocities.

The hand-loads were fired from my bench-rest set-up using the same Lothar Walther barreled precision AR-15 used to test the factory loaded M855A1 and all my usual procedures were followed.  The smallest 10-shot group produced in this test had an extreme spread of 1.14” and a mean radius of 0.427” (and a score of 100-10X). Not quite match-grade, but close enough to call it “match-like” I guess.


Link Posted: 3/29/2024 11:04:10 PM EDT
Based on Mark Humphreville's posts, Lake City M855 was unarguably shit and Belgian and Canadian SS109 were the cat's meow, at least in the '80s.

Is the BAM in a small corner of Lake City, or elsewhere?
Link Posted: 3/30/2024 2:35:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/30/2024 8:37:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Sinister:
Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Rob Harbison (a member of the 1996 United States Olympic Shooting Team) shot it at Camp Perry in 2012 using a USAMU National Match M16 with iron sights.  

M855A1 at Camp Perry
Army's newest general purpose round shows accuracy in rifle competition
By Eric Kowal, RDECOM, army.mil
August 29, 2012

Army's newest general purpose round shows accuracy in rifle competition


PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Aug. 28, 2012) -- The Army's new M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is performing well under combat conditions in Afghanistan, but how does it stack up in rifle competition?

The Army recently put it to the test against some of the best marksmen in the world at the 2012 National Rifle Association's National High-Power Rifle Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio, in early August.

The Army's newest 5.56mm ammunition was initially fielded to troops in Afghanistan in July 2010 as a replacement for M855 "green tip" ammo. As green tip ammo stockpiles are drawn down Soldiers will begin using the new M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round, or EPR, for training as well as combat.

Rob Harbison, a contractor supporting small caliber ammunition capability development at Fort Benning, Georgia, competed in the matches at Camp Perry firing the EPR. This was a special event for the Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems and the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence as it was an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of this new round.

"We felt we had an excellent opportunity in Rob to put the M855A1 EPR in the hands of a Camp Perry national competition veteran," explained Lieutenant Colonel Philip Clark, the Army Product Manager for Small Caliber Ammunition. "We had every confidence that his abilities, coupled with what we know to be quality ammunition, would yield positive results."

An act of Congress established the National Shooting Matches in 1903 to promote rifle practice and firearms safety. The matches are open to military and civilian competitors, and have been hosted by Camp Perry, a National Guard training center in Ohio, since 1907.

The matches are co-administered by the Civilian Marksmanship Program, or CMP, and the National Rifle Association. The National Matches are the premier shooting competition in the United States and draw the best competitive marksmen in the country.

The competition began July 30 with the CMP's President's Rifle Match. The President's Rifle Match is a 30-shot match fired in one day. Competitors fire M16-series or M14 series (and civilian equivalent) weapons at 200, 300, and 600 yards at bull's-eye targets.

The top 100 competitors are considered to be in "The President's Hundred" for that year.


Harbison placed 169 out of 1,242 of the world's finest marksmanship competitors on that day, putting him in the top 15 percent.

The competition would then pick back up August 5-10, with the NRA National High Power Rifle Championships. This is a much less restrictive competition which allows the use of "unlimited" rifles with modified sights, custom stocks, high performance calibers and other ergonomic improvements over standard issue military service rifles.

Harbison finished 86th of 385 competitors, and 46th (17th civilian) of 200 marksmen competing with an M16-type rifle.

Throughout the competition Harbison had several noteworthy performances, including firing a perfect 200 points in the Coast Guard Trophy Match, 20 shots fired from the sitting position at 200 yards. He finished 17th overall in that match (of 385 competitors) in the top five percent.


Harbison scored a perfect 100 on the final string of ten shots during the Air Force Cup Trophy Match, fired at 600 yards from the prone position. That is 10 shots in a row within the 12-inch, 10-point ring at 600 yards with combat ammunition.

While at Camp Perry, Harbison discussed the new round with his fellow competitors and answered questions about the ammunition.

Harbison was happy with the performance of the EPR with his scores showing the Army's newest general purpose round is accurate enough to go toe-to-toe with the best ammo that can be bought or hand-loaded.

"Using the Army's newest general purpose ammo was not a hindrance," Harbison said. "When I did my part, M855A1 was right on target all week."

"I don't think I could have scored any higher if I was using match grade competition ammunition," Harbison added.


The EPR contains an environmentally-friendly projectile that eliminates up to 2,000 tons of lead from the manufacturing process each year in direct support of Army commitment to environmental stewardship. This is a clear example of how "greening" a previously hazardous material can also provide extremely beneficial performance improvements.

There are three main areas in which the new round excels: soft-target consistency, hard-target penetration, and the extended range at which it maintains these performance improvements.

According to Army officials, M855A1 represents the most significant performance leap in small-arms ammunition in decades.

View Quote

This is wild because the specialist in this article is a good friend of mine, both of us were on the division marksmanship team.
Link Posted: 3/31/2024 10:44:15 PM EDT
I finally shot some recent ('23) A1 for accuracy at 100 yards for a review video. The tried and true 22" (1:9) gave me about 1.7", and my Springfield Hellion (1:7) did the same.  That's better than most hotter end M855 loads I've tested out of the same guns, but to agree with Molon, I wouldn't consider that Match like at all..
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