Is There Anything An AR-15 Can’t Do?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

By 500 yards the velocity of a 5.56mm round is about 1400 FPS out of a 20″ barrel (less out of 14.5″ or 16″).  The notion that a 55 grain bullet travelling at 1400 FPS could penetrate ballistic plating is so ludicrous that it’s laughable.  That’s similar to the muzzle velocity of a 22 LR.

The 5.56mm is great for CQB, but its strong suit doesn’t happen to be ballistic plate penetration at 500 yards.

The woman clearly doesn’t know anything about firearms or ballistics.  That’s clearly a gaggle of clowns twirling balls and riding unicycles in circles.  It’s just a freak show and circus.

Via WiscoDave.


Comments

  1. On July 21, 2022 at 7:28 am, Pat H. Bowman said:

    Yet the politicians and their lapdogs in the media will take that talking point and repeat it over and over and over again until your average box wine drinking housewife thinks, “We shouldn’t have guns that can explode a person’s head on the streets!”

    It’s not meant to be informative. It’s meant to advance an agenda.

  2. On July 21, 2022 at 8:07 am, HouseWolf said:

    When You Elect A Clown Expect A Circus

  3. On July 21, 2022 at 12:19 pm, Red Man said:

    Don’t think they were talking about a ballistic plate or K pot, but a steel helmet, which were never meant to stop bullets. Either way, all they are doing is infringing!
    I wonder what they really expect of the AR owning public if they get their way? Say “Hear You Go, Take my Guns”?

  4. On July 21, 2022 at 1:22 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Wouldn’t go through a steel helmet either. Not at 1400 FPS.

  5. On July 21, 2022 at 2:09 pm, MTHead said:

    It shot holes in av-gas tanks in Vegas at 600 yards, remember?
    Congress talking about guns is like morons arguing over who’s the idiot.
    Glad we believe in stolen elections. Otherwise, it’s all our fault!

  6. On July 21, 2022 at 3:14 pm, BAP45 said:

    He’s trying to refer to the Nato SS109/M855 trials. Was supposed to be able to penetrate a soviet helmet. There were other criteria factors but thats the most popular on e people bring up.

  7. On July 21, 2022 at 3:49 pm, dad29 said:

    That woman is an ex-Marine chopper pilot. Rotor wash impaired her brain, apparently.

  8. On July 21, 2022 at 4:22 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Herschel Smith

    Re: “Wouldn’t go through a steel helmet either. Not at 1400 FPS.”

    It is germane to note that when it came time for the NATO alliance to adopt SS109/M855 62-grain FMJ in the early 1980s, the new round was designed specifically to penetrate a standard Warsaw Pact sheet metal helmet at 500 meters. To enhance the penetrative ability of M193 55-grain FMJ/Ball, overall weight of the projectile was brought up to 62-grains for better momentum at distance, and a steel penetrator or cup was embedded in the lead matrix of the bullet.

    In order to stabilize the new round, plus the 64-grain tracer cartridge based upon it, a faster barrel twist rate was needed than the then-standard 1:12 rate of the M-16A1. After some testing and deliberation, a 1:7 twist was selected. The 1:9 twist had performed better as an all-around rate when firing both M193 and M855, but the 1:9 would not stabilize the longer and slightly heavier 64-grain tracer, so 1:7 was selected instead. No information whether a 1:8 twist was tried during the trials or not.

    To distinguish the new projectile and cartridge, the tips of SS109/M855 were painted green, and within a short time, the new round was known informally as “green-tip.” One may also hear of it being described as “LAP” or “light armor piercing,” but this nomenclature is in error. According to DOD sources, SS109/M855 is not armor-piercing ammunition, but instead “enhanced penetration” ammunition.

    SS109/M855 does indeed penetration certain types of barriers better than M193, but this enhancement came at the cost of decreased yaw and subsequently less fragmentation in the terminal phase of flight. In layman’s terms, the new round was just as apt to penetrate a target cleaning without yawing and/or fragmenting, as it was to wound the target sufficiently to put him out of action.

    SS109/M855 is also famous – notorious may be a better word – for being of only mediocre accuracy. Lake City M855 generally shoots only 3-4 moa, mostly due to inconsistent placement of the cup within the lead core, and sometimes not even that well. It is sufficiently accurate to meet general-issue military needs, but should not be mistaken for being match-grade fodder, because it most certainly isn’t.

    Ironically, testing done since that time by numerous sources shows that plain old M193 exhibits superior penetrative ability compared to M855/SS109 when fired against AR500 steel targets at close-to-medium range. It is only further down-range that the M855 catches up and passes its predecessor.

    The new M855A1 is orders of magnitude superior to both older designs in terms of its performance against hardened and/or armored targets… but this should not be all that surprising considering that it is decades newer than M193 and M855.

  9. On July 21, 2022 at 8:59 pm, Rivenshield said:

    Am I supposed to magically know who these people are and where this is taking place? Is this our nation’s capitol? Is the California? Oregon? Washington? New York? Not everyone is a member of your secret club, guys.

  10. On July 21, 2022 at 9:29 pm, Fred said:

    If you click the Twitter thing it’ll take you to see a vid. I think they are communists in dc who claim to rule us. I also don’t know who or what the people are, but they mean nothing to me, I have my King, my Law, and my kingdom; I don’t want them nor do I need them.

  11. On July 21, 2022 at 9:45 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Georgiaboy,

    Okay, I reacted with a laugh and lampoon. It’s more complicated than that, and even than your comment points to.

    Yes, you’re correct. The Warsaw Pact helmets were mere millimeters thick, so that proves little except that the 5.56 can penetrate a few millimeters of sheet metal at 500 m just like I did with a .22LR shooting at trashcan lids when I was a young boy, but your point is still valid.

    Her connection of the AR-15 to penetrating helmets at 500 years and Vietnam is silly. The NVA wore helmets made of a couple layers of polymer, or in other words, essentially a bump helmet.

    There are other informative reads:

    https://www.army.mil/article/48657/evolution_of_the_m855a1_enhanced_performance_round

    https://www.americanrifleman.org/content/testing-the-army-s-m855a1-standard-ball-cartridge/

    And many others. It would actually be worth a complete article on this if I had the time, but I don’t.

    Anyway, her statement is profoundly inaccurate and incomplete without much, much more elaboration.

  12. On July 22, 2022 at 12:44 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Herschel Smith

    Re: “Anyway, her statement is profoundly inaccurate and incomplete without much, much more elaboration.”

    Just for the record I was not at all defending her remarks or those of the other communists/gun-banners. Just throwing the history of the cartridge out there, as I have known it. Those clowns on the left can be counted upon not to get the facts straight…. it is almost innate where they are concerned. Trouble is, they don’t “reason” from facts and evidence in the first place. They use their feelings and the like. Tell me how that one works out!!

    The whole debate surrounding M855 at the time was sort of bogus anyway. Communist propaganda in the West had been successful, somewhat anyway, in portraying M193 Ball/FMJ as “inhumane” and a “meat-chopper” of a cartridge. The East Germans and others had seized upon dramatic after-action reports out of SE Asia to portray the new American M-16 and its ammo as so effective as to be a nightmare and “against the rules.” Some Belgian and other Europeans expressed concern about these charges, and the decision was made to adopt M855.

    The truth was more prosaic: The new weapon and its ammunition performed very well in some circumstances, but less-well in others. Resolving that dispute is above my pay grade! I’m sure they’re still debating it in your local mil.gov bar.

    You’ll note that the Soviets, when it came time to update the venerable AK-47/AKM and its 7.62×39 cartridge, copied the M193 round rather closely. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery… and the AK74 fires 5.45×39 ammunition, which is close to M193 in specifications.

    Far as SS109/M855 was concerned, the whole ‘penetration of a Warsaw Pact helmet’ thing was silly anyway. I don’t know how NATO arrived at that endpoint for evaluation, and I don’t care now, other than to note that it seems highly arbitrary to me in the present day. Few personnel, then or now, are going to be making bona-fide head-shots at 500 meters anyway. Heck, M855 is so erratic in its field performance, you’d be better off choosing some other ammo in the first place….

  13. On July 22, 2022 at 8:37 am, Ned said:

    Rivenshield – It’s a link to a twitter post. FWIW, Twitter isn’t anyone on TCJ’s secret club. That being said, if you don’t already know who Corey Booker is, further explanation probably won’t help you.

  14. On July 24, 2022 at 3:31 pm, Andy said:

    2019 FBI statistics indicate that more People were killed with hands and feet (600) than by Rifles (364). So I assume hands and feet will be banned as well.

    Slightly off topic, I have been shooting Black hills 5.56 77 gr TMK at 1000 yards (20 inch barrel @ 2825 fps, elevation 900 ft above sea level) on A36 1/8 steel (24×24). It does not penetrate, but puts a significant dent with back deformation in the steel. It is interesting to note that it did shoot through the 2×4 stand holding up the target.

    Does anyone know how thick the soviet steel helmet is as I would love to test at various distances (600 yards plus) with various 5.56 and get in on camera for YouTube.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Ammunition and was published July 20th, 2022 by Herschel Smith.

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