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Thread: SS109 and M855 223 ammo

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    SS109 and M855 223 ammo

    What is the difference in type SS109 and M855 223 ammo?

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    Banned romak10/63UF's Avatar

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    Both are 62 grain steel core ammo... shooting about 3000fps...
    ss109 is military standard m855 is civilian.... but steel core is the best you can get .

    ss109 is new military spec
    m855 is reman military spec ammo.

    Both are the same bullet weight ...

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    Team GunsNet Silver 07/2012 NewbieAKguy's Avatar

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    If I understand correctly, they're one and the same. SS109 is the NATO designation and M855 is a US designation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56x45mm_NATO
    "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. ... Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."--Thomas Jefferson

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    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by romak10/63UF View Post
    Both are 62 grain steel core ammo... shooting about 3000fps...
    ss109 is military standard m855 is civilian.... but steel core is the best you can get .

    ss109 is new military spec
    m855 is reman military spec ammo.

    Both are the same bullet weight ...
    Wrong, wrong, wrong! SS109 is the designation for the bullet in Europe. The SS109 has a 2/3rds lead core, 1/3rd hardened penetraiter in the nose of the projectile. The SS109 as mentioned already is 62 grs. standard weight. It loaded in a cartridge replaced the Vietnam ear 55 gr. FMJ with boat tail. The loaded 55 gr. bullet is the M193 ball round. M855 is the 62 gr. bullet containing loaded ammo that is the standard military cartridge for US forces.. M856 is the tracer loading, not that you asked about that but some free trivia added.
    Last edited by Schuetzenman; 05-14-2011 at 11:18 PM.

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    Senior Member stinker's Avatar

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    IIRC they're also manufactured by different companies too.
    SS109 i think is Sellier & Bellot.
    M855 is from the Lake City plant manufactured by Federal and once upon a time by Winchester(?)(i think)

    There's also "green tip" 556 nato cross stamped ammo made by neither that comes out of europe and the middle east that's total crap. The internal design/manufacture of the bullet/penetrator is piss poor compared to the U.S. manufactured stuff. Buyer beware on this junk.

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    Moderator TEN-32's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by stinker View Post
    There's also "green tip" 556 nato cross stamped ammo made by neither that comes out of europe and the middle east that's total crap. The internal design/manufacture of the bullet/penetrator is piss poor compared to the U.S. manufactured stuff. Buyer beware on this junk.
    Radway-Green. I have not found it to be poor quality ammo. It is produced in England and is NATO spec.
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    Senior Member stinker's Avatar

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    Stuff i'm talking about in particular i think is from egypt or something like that. There's a video on youtube of some guy "reviewing" lake city m855 and he disects one of the foreign made ones for comparison. It's junk construction from the looks of it.

    I would imagine the british made stuff would be better quality than what i'm thinking of.

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    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by TEN-32 View Post
    Radway-Green. I have not found it to be poor quality ammo. It is produced in England and is NATO spec.
    Radway 5.56 that I've experienced is low powered, probably for the wimpy bullpup rife of their's. I do like their bandoleers as they have a snap on the pocket. Strippers of ammo aren't coming out until you want them to and then they are easier to get out than US bandos.

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    Moderator TEN-32's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schuetzenman View Post
    Radway 5.56 that I've experienced is low powered, probably for the wimpy bullpup rife of their's. I do like their bandoleers as they have a snap on the pocket. Strippers of ammo aren't coming out until you want them to and then they are easier to get out than US bandos.
    I've got a few tins of it socked away from when it was relatively cheap.
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    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by TEN-32 View Post
    I've got a few tins of it socked away from when it was relatively cheap.
    Had any problems with short cycling? At the time I was trying it out, 2000 to 2003 I had only 20" full size rifles. It mostly worked in my stock HBAR but my match gun with the JP gas block it wouldn't cycle for crap. It might do OK in a 16 inch barreled carbine with a short gas system. IN as much as the carbines usually have problem from over gasing the lower power / pressure Radway would probabaly be the ticket.

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    Senior Member cevulirn's Avatar

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    I shot a case or two of it, and never experienced any cycling problems out of my 16" AR.

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    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

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    heres how i understand it.

    basically, they are both exactly the same.

    the us uses m855.

    at the time nato was switching to 223, after the us already had, they were testing loads. the us std load at that time being used was teh m193 (55gn) but the nato determined that the FN loading of a 62gn w/ steel penetrator (ss109) worked better. the us's designation for fn's new ss109 cartridge became the m855.

    its just the us's nomenclature for the nato std 5.56 round. they SHOULD be exactly the same, thats the idea behind the nato standardizations.

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    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

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    for some reason, the pdf i tried to attach to that post isint showing??

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    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

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    ok, says its too big, lets try this.......
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Senior Member abpt1's Avatar

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    the tip is called ss109 or now mil had adopted m855 they are the same....The ppu is the ss109 your talking about its not as good imo as the m855 but its not at all bad ammo...

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    Moderator TEN-32's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schuetzenman View Post
    Had any problems with short cycling? At the time I was trying it out, 2000 to 2003 I had only 20" full size rifles. It mostly worked in my stock HBAR but my match gun with the JP gas block it wouldn't cycle for crap. It might do OK in a 16 inch barreled carbine with a short gas system. IN as much as the carbines usually have problem from over gasing the lower power / pressure Radway would probabaly be the ticket.
    No. It has been quite a while since I have shot any and when I did it was through my Bushmaster 16" HBAR. I have since acquired 2 20" rifles. Maybe I'll try it in those just out of curiosity.
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    Senior Member abpt1's Avatar

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    Radway green is not bad a bit on the low side yes but never had any issues with the case I shot. I didn't shoot any out of my 20in only Mid and carbine length ......

  18. #18
    Moderator circuits's Avatar

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    SS109 is a bullet design by FN.

    M855 is a cartridge specification which uses the FN SS109 projectile, and also specifies things like the powder and pressure, min muzzle velocity and max dispersion.

    "5.56x45 NATO" is a somewhat looser cartridge specification, which does not REQUIRE the use of the FN SS109 projectile, but most NATO countries do also use the FN SS109 bullet design in their NATO loads.

    Only ammunition loaded to M855 specifications, and which is authorized for supply to US Forces is actually M855 - which limits it to Lake City and IMI.

    There are many fine cartridges being sold as "SS109" or "M855" which, if submitted to the military for trials, would probably also receive approval as M855, but there are probably as many other loadings out there that claim to be "SS109" or "M855" which would not pass muster.

    Unless it's LC or IMI, all you know is that the ammo sold as "SS109" or "M855" probably uses the SS109 bullet design.... probably. To determine other factors you'll need to shoot it, chrono it, and check its grouping to see if meets your needs.
    Last edited by circuits; 05-15-2011 at 12:24 PM.

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    Senior Member stinker's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by deth502 View Post
    the us std load at that time being used was teh m193 (55gn) but the nato determined that the FN loading of a 62gn w/ steel penetrator (ss109) worked better.
    Factor rifle twist into that as well.
    The standard m16 was and i believe still is in some cases a 1:12 twist, which will keyhole the crap out of a 62gr bullet.
    With newer M4's the twist was lowered to 1:9 which allowed the use of the heavier 62gr round as well as the 55gr.
    I think some people might argue about it working "better" too.
    Lotta gripes i've read about how the 62gr stuff does'nt shoot through barriers (windshields,doors,etc)and hit the target at a distance behind it worth crap.
    The complaint being that it sheds it's jacket on impact and yaw's off target badly.
    Have'nt tested it for that effect myself.
    It will however go through a 10mm steel plate like it's made of butter though.(this i know )

  20. #20
    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by stinker View Post
    Factor rifle twist into that as well.
    The standard m16 was and i believe still is in some cases a 1:12 twist, which will keyhole the crap out of a 62gr bullet.
    With newer M4's the twist was lowered to 1:9 which allowed the use of the heavier 62gr round as well as the 55gr.
    I think some people might argue about it working "better" too.
    Lotta gripes i've read about how the 62gr stuff does'nt shoot through barriers (windshields,doors,etc)and hit the target at a distance behind it worth crap.
    The complaint being that it sheds it's jacket on impact and yaw's off target badly.
    Have'nt tested it for that effect myself.
    It will however go through a 10mm steel plate like it's made of butter though.(this i know )
    The M16 of Vietnam er was 1 in 12. Once the M16A2 and the 62 gr. M855 loading were launched 1 in 7 is the twist. M4 weapons that is real M4's as in US Gov. issue have 1 in 7 as well. Only Civilian M4orgeries use 1 in 9. 1 in 7 burns out the throat quickly compared to 1 in 9, since very few civilians are going to shoot the M856 tracer round there is no need for the 1 in 7 twist. That said a lot of the civilian weapons have 1 in 7 or use to. My pre 1994 ban Colt HBAR has a 1 in 7 20" barrel. One of these days I need to take a photo and post it of the M855 green tipped projectile and the M856 tracer projectile along with a 147 gr. Nato M80 type .30 call projectile. When you see them side by side you'll understand why 1 in 7 is needed to stabilize that M856 tracer projectile. It is the same length as the .30 cal. NATO bullet.

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