Talk:5.56×45mm NATO

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Brown Tip[edit]

The page needs to mention the optimized 5.56 rounds, the so-called "brown tip" ammo with all copper projectiles, being issued by SOCOM. I'd take care of it myself, but citable information seems sketchy and all I've been able to find are forum posts, which I doubt would be considered reliable sources. Spartan198 (talk) 11:46, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

After much research, I have found that the exact load data for this round has been withheld for OPSEC (Operational Security) reasons. Information on this munition is speculative. At this time I do not believe we can responsibly add "Brown Tip" ammo to the Wiki given the fact all we know is based on rumor and redacted information. Here is a source which back my statements: Virtuallyironic (talk) 08:43, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Page links to itself?[edit]

For some odd reason, the entry for Mark 262 ammo in the Military Cartridge Types section was set with a link to direct right to the next section of the article below it. I saw no point in it doing that, so I removed the link itself (I left the notation of the round on the list, though, of course). Spartan198 (talk) 16:49, 5 July 2009 (UTC)


Once again engaging in nitpicking, the title of this article should be should read cartridge rather than caliber and even that would not be technically correct. Ideally, it should be titled "5.56mm NATO", which designates the specific cartridge. Caliber is a measurement of bore diameter, not a specific round designation. 5.56 mm or .224 inches includes a vast number of cartridges, a very abbreviated list of which would include the .218 Bee; .219 Zipper; .222 Remington; .22-250; and .220 Swift. hipshot49

Relationship to .223 Remington[edit]

I am curious as to why the 5.56 NATO is described as being "similar to" the .223 Remington. Isn't it identical, if not perhaps a sentence on the difference would be good since at the moment .223 Remington redirects here. Rkundalini 23:58, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • It is important to remember that the .223 Remington came first, albeit not for commercial civilian sales. --D.E. Watters 21:37, July 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • More importantly, the .223 Remington design specifications do not allow for as high of operating pressures as the 5.56 NATO specifications do. That's why firing a .223 in a 5.56 gun is safe but firing a 5.56 in a .223 gun is not always safe, unless the .223 gun's chamber was over-built. See [1]. Ari 20:20, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute maximum allowable pressure for the .223 Rermington cartridge is 55,000 PSI. This is also the highest listed pressure for any reload in Richard Lee's Modern Reloading, Second Edition. N.B., not all loadings list pressure due to the differences in contributor's permissions. And not every load approaches this maximum pressure because of statistical distributions. The listed pressures are the averages. Loads with greater standards of deviation are typically loaded to lower average pressure to assure safety.

According to TM 43-0001-27, the chamber pressure for NATO M855 is 55,000 PSI. For M193 (which is not a NATO standard), the chamber pressure is 52,000 PSI.

The difference is not primarily in the chamber but in the throat or leade where the bullet seats into and is engraved by the rifling. 5.56 NATO chambers have a significantly longer length of leade, meaning the bullet travels further before engraving in the 5.56. Because the bullet moves further before engraving, the combustion chamber volume is greater, leading to additional lowering of pressure. This is why 5.56 can be loaded with more propellent.

Response to "Relationship to .223 Rem[edit]

Well, theoretically rounds meeting either spec (NATO 5.56x45 or SAAMI .223) will chamber and fire, the problem is that tolerances and some dimensions are different, meaning that firing a hot NATO round in a standard SAAMI chamber could result in blowing chunks of receiver at the user's face. Bad Thing™.

Not the only difference. The specifications for military 5.56x45mm ammunition also call for primers with thick, heavy cup material, to make the cartridges less susceptible to slam-firing and firing out-of-battery when used in weapons with floating firing pins, such as the AR15/M16 rifle, and also when used in automatic weapons. Commercial .223 Remington ammunition has no such specification.

Do you guys think we should actually bother with a separate .223 page?

Stiletto Null 03:00:06, 2005-08-08 (UTC)

"Varmint gun" is gun-specific jargon![edit]

OK, who keeps changing it back to "vermin gun"??? Stiletto Null

It's American English specific gun jargon,
a) think about non-US readers.
b) don't use jargon if you can aviod doing so. GraemeLeggett 15:50, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Concur with Graeme entirely. Totally US, probably even Southern US specific, and jargon limited to gun-using circles. --Kiand 16:14, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure the jargon is that avoidable. Most of the gun articles contain gun-specific jargon. "Vermin" does not mean the same thing. I'll see if I can't work out some compromise wording and try that. Perhaps if we had an article on "varmint hunting" this would help, and we could link there for explanation. Friday 17:20, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Vermin Gun means basically the same thing, and avoids jargon that 90% of the world isn't going to understand. --Kiand 17:30, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
I just googled on "vermin gun". I got only a couple dozen results. (compare to 3000+ for "varmint gun".) It does not look to me like it means the same thing. Do you have a good definition for it somewhere? Friday 17:48, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Not to say "I told you so", but that's just how it is. "Varmint gun" is on the level of technical jargon, and if you want to get into semantics, "varmint" is more appropriate than "vermin" anyway, because vermin (generally meaning mice and rats) can be easily dispatched with any firearm. There isn't any point to designing and marketing "vermin guns" because the need is already covered by any variety of .22LR rifles and handguns. Varmint guns fill in the gap between .22LR firearms and small game rifles. Stiletto Null 02:57:52, 2005-08-15 (UTC)

Vermin guns are not the same as Varmint guns. Vermin are typically mice or rats and can be dispatched with just about any firearm, generally .22lr is used. Varmints are larger (prairie dogs to coyotes) and are usually considered agricultural nuisances. (Jeff the Baptist 22:44, 22 January 2007 (UTC))

Wisdom follows, pay attention! The primary difference between varmint and vermin firearm is NOT the type of target game! What has big significance is the distance to the target. Varminter rifles are made for kind of "sniping" activity, firing at rather smallish targets like coyotes, from up to 300 meters distance with .243 barrel or the like. Vermin, like rats are usually shot at room distance, often with airguns or 22LR. Therefore, varmint firearms are mini-sniper rifles and this necessitates a precise construction and should not be confused with vermin dispatchers!

Bullet tumbling[edit]

I removed the part about the bullet tumbling in flight. This is an old myth.

True, but I suspect that the author's original intent was to discuss bullet yaw and fragmentation after impact with soft tissue. --D.E. Watters 14:16, August 25, 2005 (UTC)

I agree, the bullet does not tumble in the air. But from my military training I thought I remembered that the bullet does tumble in the body, so I did a little reserch and this is what I discovered:

The bullet’s pointed shape makes it heavier at its base than its nose, producing a center of gravity that is located aft of its longitudinal center line. When the bullet hits the body and penetrates, the bullet attempts to rotate 180 degrees around its center of gravity to achieve a base forward orientation. This backwards orientation is the bullet’s stable position in tissue because it places the center of gravity forward.

At distances of 100 yards and under, when the bullet hits the body and yaws through 90 degrees, the stresses on the bullet cause the leading edge to flatten, extruding lead core out the open base, just before it breaks apart at the cannelure. The portion of the bullet forward of the cannelure, the nose, usually remains in one piece and retains about 60 percent of the bullet's original weight. The portion of the bullet aft of the cannelure, the base, violently disintegrates into multiple lead core and copper jacket fragments, which penetrate up to 3-inches radially outward from the wound track. The fragments perforate and weaken the surrounding tissues allowing the subsequent temporary cavity to forcibly stretch and rip open the multiple small wound tracks produced by the fragments. The resulting wound is similar to one produced by a commercial expanding bullet used for varmint hunting, however the maximum tissue damage produced by the military bullet is located at a greater penetration depth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Darth kevyn (talkcontribs) 01:44, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Stick vs. Ball powder[edit]

I remember hearing that one of the reliability problems early in the life of the M16 was the result of using either stick or ball powder in the ammunition, though I don't remember which. There isn't a wiki article on either of the two but I think this would be a useful addition.

Read the following article: The Great Propellant Controversy. --D.E. Watters 23:35, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Hydrostatic shock "conclusively disproven"[edit]

This desperately needs a citation. Ari 06:44, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd also like to know who disproved it, insofar as the 5.56mm round is heavily dependent upon this mechanism for its wounding power, if you believe Dr. Martin Fackler, who has written extensively about this subject. The projectile yaws, "splashing" a large temporary cavity into the surrounding soft tissue. The projectile then (ideally) breaks at the cannelure into two large and multiple small sharp fragments, which cut and tear the surrounding tissue while it is stretched. This is how a .22 caliber full metal jacket projectile produces more disruption and destruction in soft tissue than a .30 caliber full metal jacket projectile, and it has been observed both on the battlefield and in blocks of ballistic gelatin for forty years or more.
Currently there is absolutely no mention of the hydro shock phenomenon in the article, even though this is one of the most discussed topics relating 5.56. Hydro shock occurs above 850meter/sec.
Fackler was the one who disproved it. The bullet yawing and fragmenting is not hydrostatic shock. Hydrostatic shock is the claim that you can consistently shoot a person in the leg and have a "shockwave" destroy his heart. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, not specifically your 'Leg > Heart' analogy, but yes, it's about a shock wave traveling and causing damage to areas of the body that are not inside the wound cavity. Skiendog (talk) 18:57, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

This really needs changed. The hydrostatic shock "theory"? It's not a theory, it's concrete physics. No one is saying that a shot to the leg will destroy a heart, and is not what Hydrostatic Shock is in the first place. It's simply a shock wave in the tissue around the wound that isn't proportionate to the bullet caliber, but instead proportionate to the bullet energy, and the energy it's transferring to the wound. As Newton's third law of motion tells us that For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when a bullet hits a target, it slows down. When it slows down, that energy had to go somewhere. And when it does, it's called hydrostatic shock. Nowhere have I seen someone "Conclusively" disprove this or the laws of physics. (talk) 02:04, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Lol, and welcome to the source of this information. This dude is a quack. After he submitted his opinion on how it used to work in the good ol' days, he was consistently disproven by logic and direct observation by better equipped and educated researchers. Crap needs changed. (talk) 02:18, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Could you link to specific research debunking Fackler?--Sus scrofa (talk) 11:40, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

So much nonesense![edit]

"However the small round simply does not do enough damage when unfragmented, assuming a critical area is not hit, to incapacitate a human reliably with a single shot. Barrier performance (i.e. shooting through materials) is also relatively poor (although even the 7.62 mm NATO round is not particularly effective through vehicles) partly because the light and fast round is easily deflected."

This ought to be the most often repeted firearms urban legend of all times. No battle rifle cartridge can incapcitate a human reliably with a single shot to spots out of the lethal zone. Incapacitation occurs when concious neural functions are terminated. This requires either disruption of the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord) or a rapid drop in blood pressure (shock). Both required carefully placed shots at the CNS or major arteries. Shots that misses the vitals do not, by defination, incapacitates reliably. The 5.56 doesn't need to fragment to cause effective wounds. Tumbling is another effect that makes large wound channels. One round stop simply does not exist. Countless anecdotal evidence from the World Wars prove that shots that misses vital organs do not kill, let alone incapacitate.

Barrier performance has nothing to do with the bullet being "easily deflected." The 5.56 does not bounce off--it loses consistency. Nor is high barrier penetration always desirable. A bullet that zaps through walls and barriers causes fratricide and collateral damage.

For the reasons listed I strongly recommand the above paragraph to be deleted so as not to poison the minds for posterity.

-Chin, Cheng-chuan

You're right, I rewrote the paragraph to what the gist of it boils down to: "However, if the round is moving too slowly to reliably fragment on impact, the wound size and potential to incapacitate a target is greatly reduced. " --Junky 21:05, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

M193 vs. M855[edit]

Redirected a M193 redlink here, but M193 is not mentioned. Perhaps a section on M193 vs M885 is deserved. [2], [3] & [4] provide some amount of discussion Pete.Hurd 03:16, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

My bad, it's there Pete.Hurd 03:31, 7 July 2006 (UTC)


As someone who is not very knowledgable on this subject I am confused by explanations the cartridge is 57mm and 45mm.

"The cartridge is 57 mm (approximately 2.25 inches) long "

Round Cartridge size Bullet weight Velocity Energy
5.56 mm NATO 5.56 × 45 mm 3.95–5.18 g 772–930 m/s 1,700–1,830 J 11:32, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

The complete cartridge is 57mm long. The cartridge case is 45mm long.

As for the person who keeps changing .300 Savage to .308 Winchester, the sequence of events is as follows: the .300 Savage begat the 7.62x47mm T65, which begat the 7.62x49mm T65E1, which begat the 7.62x51mm T65E3, which begat the .308 Winchester and later became the 7.62mm NATO. --D.E. Watters 03:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

M193 vs. SS109[edit]

The M193 was the original 5.56 x 45mm round, developed for the Armalite rifles in the 1960s, long before the 5.56 x 45mm round was considered for NATO standardisation. The SS109, which is heavier and demands a slower twist of rifling (1 turn in 9 inches versus 1 turn is 7 for the M193) was selected on the basis of a NATO trial from 1978-1980. There needs to be a greater distinction between the two rounds, especially since the M16A1 is barrelled for the M193 and the M16A2 is barrelled for the SS109. One of the reasons the SS109 achieved the success it did was that several NATO and European armies were looking at adopting a new rifle at the same time (eg M16A2(USA), FAMAS G1(France), L85A1(UK)), so there was no need to rebarrel millions of rifles, since they were already in the process of procurement. Also, I don't know if the designation "M855" is used outside America. Here in Australia, at least, our military designates the 5.56 x 45mm as the F1 ball.Dallas 00:21, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Nitpick: SS109 requires a faster twist than M193. (1-9" versus 1-12") Because of the adoption of FN's L110 Tracer (US: M856), which requires an even faster twist rate, most of the NATO 5.56mm rifles and LMG use a 1-7" twist instead. --D.E. Watters 03:36, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Right you are, thanks for the correction. There's a fair bit of data here on M193 vs. M855/SS109. Dallas 04:42, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Article Name[edit]

I'm curious as to why this article is named with the full name instead of simply 5.56mm NATO. To the best of my knowledge, there is no other 5.56mm NATO round specification. EvilCouch 05:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I guess it depends on the NATO naming convention. It seems like the length is always included in the official name (I always see 5.56 x 45 NATO on things like ammo cans), but I'm not positive what the NATO standard is and don't know how to find it. --Junky 16:17, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
On military ammo cans? I was in the U.S. Army for eight years as an infantryman and don't recall seeing an ammo can that actually had the length on it. I've seen ammo cans ranging from the 1960s to 2005, so unless this is a recent change in the way cans are marked, or other NATO countries use different markings, I believe you're mistaken. Usually, they just had the number of rounds, the caliber of the round (5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, 9.0 mm, etc), the nomenclature, and the lot number. EvilCouch 02:38, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
The current naming scheme is correct. The space between (i.e. A x B mm vs. AxB mm) is debatable but the case length is always included, it is part of NATO's standardized naming conventions. It is also an industry standard. Koalorka 19:09, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, AN industry standard, not THE industry standard- and not in line with the WPMILHIST consensus on cartridge names. I suggest the article be moved to 5.56x45 NATO, with the appropriate redirects. --Commander Zulu 08:58, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Moving as per WPLMILHIST with the addition of the metric mm unit, according to our previous discussion. Koalorka (talk) 22:15, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • 5.56x45mm NATO is a provably incorrect name for the cartridge. Its NATO designation, per STANAG, is 5.56mm NATO. The Wiki naming guidelines clearly state that they are not to be applied inflexibly. That apparently means little to those who worship form over substance. Emerson was right: A foolish consistency is indeed the hobgoblin of little minds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ana Nim (talkcontribs) 22:22, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
This article is NOT about 5.56mm NATO, it is about 5.56x45mm, of which the STANAG specification is a subset. The name should be 5.56x45mm, and the NATO specific stuff should be a subset and a redirect. scot (talk) 22:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree completely that the name should be 5.56x45mm. I am not advocating the use of either 5.56 mm NATO or 5.56 x 45 mm in any particular context. My point is simply that the name "5.56x45mm NATO" is a bogus term made up by a couple of contributors who are slavishly following a naming convention. Use one or the other, as appropriate, but you can't combine them and be technically accurate.--Ana Nim (talk) 17:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
The whole idea of including "NATO" in the name of this article is dimwitted. This identical cartridge is used by the armed forces of Australia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Mexico, the Philippines, Taiwan, and dozens of other countries that have nothing to do with NATO.

Furthermore, "5.56x45mm NATO" violates the practice and the custom for centuries of inserting a blank between a number and its units. For example: 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, 40 mm, 88 mm, 105 mm, etc., in militaty contexts; 800 meter, 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters in athletic contests; 120 V, 240 V, 1.0 A, 50 A, 200 ohm, 390 ohm, 620 ohm, 820 ohm, 1.5 mH, 2.7 mH in electrical contexts; 75 W, 120 W, 200 W etc., in measuring power in any context; Three Mile Island (in Pennsylvania) and 90 Mile Beach (in Western Australia).

Furthermore, there is always a blank before and after the symbol "x" when it either a) mean "by", or b) is used for multiplication. For example, in the United States, lumber is commonly designated by measurements like 2 x 4 (two by four), 2 x 6, 1 x 4. Always done properly with the blanks.

Therefore, "5.56x45mm NATO" must be written as "5.56 x 45 mm", and the irrelevant "NATO" needs to be replaced by the word or phrase "rifle cartridge", "cartridge", "ammunition", or whatever is applicable and descriptive to the items involved. (talk) 14:29, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

5.56 vs 7.62 article[edit]

seems like a good idea to me Cannibalicious! 02:23, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

A derivatives discussion?[edit]

First, let me say "Hi" to my friend D.E. Waters. Reginhild has suggested we might want to have a section for the 6.8SPC and 6.5 Grendel as derivatives the 5.56x45 spawned. I thought this would be a good place to raise the issue. There have been some print articles with the general theme of "the poodle grows fangs" and such so the idea has suggested itself to others.

Second, just and observation, but the section on Performance might benefit from a reference or link to Fackler's work on fragmentation of the 5.56 and the two primary variants used and to what extent the faster spin rate affects terminal performance.

Finally, I could contribute the Retained Energy of assault rifle cartridges graph from the 6.5 Grendel page if that seems useful.

TVMIA for your feedback.

--- In answer to above, a reference to alternative cartridges that fit the same 5.56mm platform (one line) has been added. The cartridge names link to their respective Wikipedia pages. I believe that should be sufficient as alternative discussions should remain on the alternative cartridge pages. Reginhild 02:50, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

European vs. American punctuation[edit]

Noticed recent edit by Dutchguy and unedit by another. The American English standard is to use the "." (decimal point) to separate whole numbers from fractions and use the comma to seperate multiples of 1000 as in 1,000,100.5 (one million one hundred and a half while most European countries do the opposite and would write as such: 1.000.100,5.

Note the convention that the Wikimedia uses in its donation banner above is the American English standard. I note we also are using metric alone in many areas and not both English and metric units. We should probably include both.Reginhild 16:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The Wikipedia is incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws of the United States of America and also it is maintained on Internet servers within the United States - as stated in its own documention contained in this Web site. American copyright laws apply to the Wikipedia. Then, the American ways of writing numbers must be used. For example, $3,000,606.66 is three million six hundred six dollars and sixty-six cents. Also, unless specified otherwise, "dollar" means American dollar. There is immense justification for this, including the fact that the American dollar came first into use as a currency, ahead of the Canadian dollar, Austalian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Hong Kong dollar, and any other kind of a dollar that you can think of. The default value for "dollar" is "American dollar", just like the default value of "London" is "London, England" and not "London, Ontario"; the default value of "Thames River" is the one that flows through London, and not the one that flows through London, Ontario, or the one that flows through New London, Connecticut. Likewise, the default value of "Paris" is "Paris, France" and not "Paris, Texas". Lots of people need to get some common sense regarding the default values of things. (talk) 15:01, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Not common sense, an agreed style guide: Dan (talk) 19:06, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Under the Use section[edit]

Should the M-16 be listed? I know it isn't to be the end all list of everything that fires this cartrige, but it seeing a list of the firearms that countries use, it seems like the US M16 should be listed. 03:04, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Are dum dum bullets really banned?[edit]

Its widely acknowledged that the the 5,56 nato ball will fragment at close range, as well will comparable east block rounds. Medical experience from bullet wounds from this kind of ammunition shows that it yields terrible tissue damage. If you are hit in the torso by one of these rounds, its likely you loose some limbs, or maybe luckily you die. My point is that the ban against dum-dum bullets its effectively rendered obsolete by this kind of ammunition. If any so-called enemy countries choose to develop even more effective anti-infantry rounds, like mercury containing rounds, the western world can not claim any moral or legal issues against these rounds. If full anarchy is what the western world wants, it would also include other devices such as IED's and suicide bombers, as regular weapons of war.

Well, yes. Bullets have always been quite destructive of soft tissue. Muzzleloading rifled-muskets of about .60 caliber (15mm, if you prefer) used during the American Civil War and other conflicts during the middle of the 19th Century created horrific wounds, tearing off limbs or blowing men's viscera into the treetops, far worse than anything in widespread issue today. The first generation of black-powder, large-caliber military rifle cartridges were equivalent. The early smokeless powder service rifle calibers of 6.5mm to 8mm caliber varied; some, like the British .303 caliber Mk. VII bullet, were far more damaging and far more deadly than any 5.56mm, due to subtleties of projectile design (I believe that one had a bullet that was, beneath its copper jacket, half and half, aluminum in the pointed end, lead in the base, to make it base-heavy so that it would tumble in flesh). Others, like the .30-40 Krag, or the early 7.62x54mm Russian ammunition with its round-nose bullet, were rather less so. In any event I am not sure which "dum-dum bullets" you are talking about, nor am I sure what your point is. "You invented M16 rifle therefore we are morally entitled to take airliners full of hostages and ram them into skyscrapers in the name of Allah?" That would be laughable, except that I suspect you're serious and you genuinely don't see how ridiculous that is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 14 October 2007 (UTC)


The opening couple of paragraphs of the history section need a bit of work to make them sensible:

"The previous standard NATO round was the 7.62 × 51 mm, derived from the .300 Savage rifle cartridge and designed to replace the U.S. military's .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge. At the time of selection, there had been criticism that the 7.62 mm round was too powerful for modern assault rifles, causing excessive recoil, and that the weight of the ammunition did not allow for enough "firepower" in modern combat.
The British had extensive evidence with their own experiments into an "intermediate" round and were on the point of introducing a .280 inch (7 mm) round. The FN company had also been involved. These concerns were effectively overruled by the US within NATO, and the other NATO nations accepted that standardization was more important at the time than selection of the ideal round. These concerns would prove to be valid and led to the development of the 5.56 cartridge."

In the 2nd para, it mentions "these concerns" twice - what concerns? I assume it refers to the criticisms in the 1st para, but that isn't clear. I'd suggest something like:

"The previous standard NATO round was the 7.62 × 51 mm, derived from the .300 Savage rifle cartridge and designed to replace the U.S. military's .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge. At the time of selection, there had been criticism that the 7.62 mm round was too powerful for modern assault rifles, causing excessive recoil, and that the weight of the ammunition did not allow for enough "firepower" in modern combat. These concerns were effectively overruled by the US within NATO, and the other NATO nations accepted that standardization was more important at the time than selection of the ideal round. The concerns, however, would prove to be valid and led to the development of the 5.56 cartridge."

but I'm not sure what to do with the reference to the UK & Belgian (FN) development of the .280" round. I'm not really familiar enough with the subject (just interested), so perhaps someone else can consider the change? Carre 14:02, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

62 grains x 940m/s = *3000+* Joules?[edit]

Seems unlikely that a 5.56 NATO round at 62 grains traveling at 940 m/s would have about the same muzzle energy as a 7.62 NATO at 146 grains traveling at 840 m/s. There is a major discrepancy for the ballistic performance of the 5.56 NATO round in the data table. Please see to it as soon as possible, thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22:46, 8 August 2007.

Look like you may be right. The math doesn't work. I'll get into this more later. Can't do it now. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 11:44, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
1700 joules would be a fairly close estimate, and is a good round figure. 4g projectile at 925 m/sec = 1711.25j —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

-- kinetic energy calculation from grams converted from grains?

I'm splitting hairs here but the conversion of 62 and 63 grains to 4 and 4.1 grams which were used to calculate kinectic energy may have some rounding error making it seem like the 62 gr 3100 fps combination has less kinetic energy than the 63 gr 3070 fps combination. Using more precision (4.01 grams and 4.08 grams) should show this is not the case. Of course I am assuming the 62 and 63 grain weights are more precise than the 4 and 4.1 gram masses and the latter are just conversions from the grain weights. Halconen (talk) 17:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Muzzle Velocity[edit]

Why is there a specific muzzle velocity stated for the 5.56mm round? Surely it is weapon dependent?

For the UK GPMG it is approximately 870m/s, SA80 L85A2 is approximately 910m/s and for the SA80 L86A2 is approximately 940 m/s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

And M193 Ball from the M16 is typically around 990m/sec. M855 Ball produced in the US and meeting US specifications typically produces about 930 m/sec from the M16 and 870 from the shorter barrel of the M4 Carbine. These are only approximations. Variations either way of 15 m/sec or more can arise from changes in ambient temperature alone, and lot-to-lot variations may exceed this.

Hist merge[edit]

The following edits from before the cut/paste move were at the new title.

  • 17:24, 13 November 2007 (diff) . . PixelBot (Talk | contribs | block) (31 bytes) (Robot: Fixing double redirect)
  • 02:48, 16 December 2006 (diff) . . Bobbfwed (Talk | contribs | block) (added redirect page)

Random832 19:04, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Ball round[edit]

I am no expert on guns and I don't know what a ball round is - I can't find a definition of it in wikipedia, other cartridge pages do not explain it, and the picture of it on this page has nothing about it resembling a ball so I can make no inferences. could someone add this information in a "ball round" link, please? Betaben (talk) 14:07, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

I added a wikilink on the page. See Ball ammunition which actually redirects to Full metal jacket bullet. Arthurrh (talk) 19:21, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Lead vs. Leade[edit]

For the ignorant, "lead" does not mean the same thing as "leade." The latter is correct as used in this article and very appropriate to the discussion of this particluar cartridge as leade is important to wild pressure variations in rifles with divergent leade standards. --'''I am Asamuel''' (talk) 21:09, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

5.56x45mm NATO vs. 5.56mm NATO[edit]

Note that I'm not trying to get into an edit war over this one. It's appropriate to point out the differences in the STANAG 4172 agreement vs. the caliber 5.56 x 45 mm cartridge in general. The STANAG 4172 standardized the SS109 and its tracer counterpart, it did not cover M193 or any of the dozens of variations out there. Therefore, the official NATO cartridge, as standardized, might be called the 5.56 mm NATO, but the accepted international designation is 5.56 x 45 mm. Again, there is no reason for this gobblygook to be in the introductory paragraph. Rather, it sould be mentioned lower in the article. --Nukes4Tots (talk) 18:19, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for mentioning the link mentioning pre-STANAG 4172 military loads. Would it be a good idea to add drawings of the NATO-spec chamber dimensions and .223 Remington C.I.P. - spec dimensions used by reamer manufacturers that show the differing dimensions? I know this is no normal Wiki ammunition articles practice and is rather detailed information intended for professionals.--Francis Flinch (talk) 19:16, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, for the purposes of Wikipedia, I'd think that what's in there now, a drawing of the cartridge, is sufficient. Certainly, the timeline could be clearer. For instance, there have been three major iterations of the 5.56 mm standard. The first was Stoner's original design that was basically standardized with 1-in-14" twist and a 55gr bullet burning extruded powder. The second version was the 1-in-12" ball-powder burning M193. The third adopted version was the M855/M856 version covered in the STANAG agreement. Additional versions were the US competitor to the SS109 and the current heavyweight bullets fielded by special forces troops. There were also numerous variations over the years, most of which are not fit to mention. There is a wonderful book out there on the development of the 5.56mm by David Hughes. Name eludes me now, but something like "Devleopment of the M16 Cartridge". --Nukes4Tots (talk) 19:26, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
You are thinking of "The History and Development of the M16 Rifle and Its Cartridge" by David R. Hughes. FWIW: From 1963 to 1968, M193 was loaded with three different types of DuPont IMR as well as Olin WC846. --D.E. Watters (talk) 00:48, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
How does any of this affect the Swiss GP 90 round, which has a merge proposal that links here? Koalorka (talk) 17:00, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
You jumped the gun on me, so to speak. I hadn't put a discussion section in. This discussion has nothing to do with the merge. I noted that the SIG 550 article listed two calibers, when in fact it was the same cartridge, just different chamberings. If the GP90 cartridge deserves its own article, then there should be articles for the SS109, M193, M856, Mk62, etc. Well, I don't believe it should be that way. You've swung both ways on merging and splitting in the past so I'd value your input below, one way or another. --Nukes4Tots (talk) 17:23, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

== Merges ==

I've proposed that 5.6mm Gw Pat 90 and Mk 262 be merged into this article. These are both variants of the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. Also, the entire story of the 5.56mm cartridge should be told in one place rather than scattering it around like this. Each of a dozen or so loadings does not need a separate article for the reasons specified under the WP:GUN variants guideline. I believe that the SS109, M193, and other adopted standards deserve their own sections, however an entire article is overkill, so to speak. --Nukes4Tots (talk) 17:14, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Mk 262 is one flavor of currently issued military rounds that are actively in the supply pipeline and is being issued. I've read the Mk 262 post the only item I don't know to be spot on is this part of one statement made originally for the Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) . WolfBrother TX (talk) 19:25, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

The 5.6 mm Gw Pat 90 poses a classification problem. The 5.6mm Gw Pat 90 manufacturer RUAG Ammotec states in its factsheet 5.6mm Gw Pat 90 is "usable in all conventional 5.56 mm x 45 weapons" (sorry for that RUAG nomenclature) and "dimensions are in accordance with CIP", meaning their 5.6mm Gw Pat 90 is dimensionally a C.I.P. civilian spec .223 Remington. Since Switzerland is no NATO or C.I.P. member state the Swiss can design and produce what they want regarding their service arms chambers and ammunition.--Francis Flinch (talk) 17:38, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
There are several factors at work here. First, 0.223 is freely interchangeable with 5.56 mm. The "chamber Nazis" will point out the minute differences in chamber dimensions, and ignore logic and say your gun will blow up if you shoot 5.56 x 45 mm in a 0.223 chamber. Well, whatever for them. Fact is that SAAMI, CIP, and NATO are all virtually identical. If anything, the 0.223 is always safe in a 5.56 mm chamber. But the fact remains, they are freely interchangeable. Though they have a different name for it, they did, in fact, standardize the 5.56 x 45 mm NATO. That's what it boils down to. --Nukes4Tots (talk) 18:19, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
It's an indigenous caliber that happens to be compatible with both NATO and SAMI 5.56 x 45 mm chamberings.
From the 1984 International Defense Review:
Although it was recognised that the 7.5 mm GP11 round was no longer compatible with the nevv requirement for a lighter rifle, the calibre and ammunition had still to be determined. While accepting that combat generally takes place at ranges not exceeding 200 m, the GRD nevertheless wished to have a round which would be effective out to 600 m. Taking this into account, the 5.56 x 45 mm calibre seemed to be insufficient, at least in the form of the M 93 round, and at a time when the results of the NATO trials aimed at adopting a new standard round had not yet been made known. It can be assumed, however, that the promising performance of the new Belgian SS109 ammunition had not escaped the attention of the Swiss military authorities, since they decided to evaluate two new calibres - 6.45 mm and 5.6 mm.
SIG and the Federal Arms Factory each produced 105 examples of their respective rifles in the two calibres - 73 in the standard version and 32 in the short version for technical testing and service trials. In 1981, however, the 6.45 mm calibre was definitely ruled out in favour of the 5.6 mm calibre, because the former was ill-suited to the need for a lightweight weapon. Switzerland's wish to underline its political neutrality dictated the choice of 5.6 mm rather than 5.56 mm calibre but, despite this, the 5.6 mm rifle is perfectly compatible with all the various types of 5.56 x 45 mm ammunition and studies conducted on the round have led to a 4.1 gram projectile very similar to that of the SS109. Unlike the latter, the 5.6 mm projectile does not have a steel core, the weight being made up by a thicker sleeve. In conformity with the Hague Convention, the GP90 is designed to be fired from a barrel with a 1-in 290 mm rifling twist which optimizes the interior ballistics (minimum wear of the bore), exterior ballistics (particularly flight stability at ranges out to 300 at very low temperatures) and terminal effects out to 600 m (perforation and stopping power) The Eidgenoessische Waffenfabrik in Thun and the Eidgenoessische Pulverfabrik in Wimmis will begin production of the ammunition in 1990. Koalorka (talk) 12:55, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
So, am I to assume that you agree with the merge? We can paraphrase this as meaning, uh, that the Swiss adopted the 5.56 x 45 mm, however chose a different loading than the SS109/M855. However, IIRC, you can look at the specs for the M855, SS109, and GP90 and they will all be fairly close to the mark. The difference seems to be in barrel twist such that the M193 was understabilized, the SS109 is OVERstabilized, that the GP90 is properly stabilized. Oh, and they changed the name to confuse people into thinking it's a different cartridge. Hmmmm. --Nukes4Tots (talk) 16:53, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Stopping Power of 5.56x45mm NATO Cartridge Green Tip[edit]

I heard that stopping power of this green tip NATO cartridge is badaas. Korean Wikipedia said that stopping power of this cartridge is bad, according to the one of Task Force Ranger. He said that Somali militants didn't get killed even though the got shot four or five bullets. (I'm not making it up. If you don't believe than go to this site [[5]]) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Freedand13 (talkcontribs) 10:50, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Please see Talk:Assault_rifle#Black Hawk Down (again) for a previous discussion of this point.--Sus scrofa (talk) 11:48, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


The title of the first picture on the right says NASA, I guess this should be NATO but I didn't change it since I don't know much about the subject, it could be a coincidental abbreviation. (talk) 09:23, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

You were correct.--Sus scrofa (talk) 12:04, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Mk 262[edit]

The article is weak, when it talks about Mk 262 anmunition.Agre22 (talk) 14:06, 3 August 2009 (UTC)agre22

I've done some research, and I've found that the Mk 262 round is capable of making kills at 700 meters. Ballistics tests found that the round caused "consistent initial yaw in soft tissue" at 300+ meters. Apparently it is superior to the standard M855 round when fired from an M4 or M16 rifle. It evidently possesses superior stopping power, and can allow for engagements to be extended to up to 700 meters. It appears that this round can drastically improve the performance of any AR15 platform weapon chambered to .223/5.56mm. Superior accuracy, wounding capacity, stopping power and range power has made this the preferred round of many Special Forces operators, and highly desirable as a replacement for the older, Belgian made, 5.56x45mm M855 NATO round.

Sourced from Global Security September 01 2009

AntiNegativity p.s. forgive any fuck-ups as I'm fairly high

increasingly shorter ranges[edit]

This phrasing is problematic: "lack of wounding capacity typically becomes an issue at increasingly shorter ranges (beyond 45m when using an M4 or 140m when using an M16 w/ a 20" barrel)"

It reads as contradictory and is confusing. Is wounding a problem at increasing ranges or shorter ranges? I have heard that overpenetration is an issue, which would argue that short range wounding is compromised, but the lack of wounding when penetrating thick clothing implies the opposite.

Perhaps "lack of wounding capacity typically becomes an increasingly significant issue as range decreases (e.g., ranges under 45m when using an M4 or 140m when using an M16 w/ a 20" barrel)" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I think this is referring to the fragmentation threshold. Fragmentation is usually assumed to only occur above a certain velocity. Shorter barrels mean lower muzzle velocities, so the distance traveled by the bullet before it falls below the fragmentation velocity will be shorter. Thus, you have "increasingly shorter" ranges. It could be worded better. What's key is that the problematic range is indeed >=, not <=, some certain number, as a bullet below the fragmentation velocity will obviously never go back above it during the rest of its flight. -- (talk) 19:41, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

5.56 mm NATO versus 0.223 Remington[edit]

The mini 14 is marked ".223 cal" not ".223 remington" the mini14 has always been able to shoot 5.56 and in the manual it says ". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rp21010 (talkcontribs) 13:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC) "Some commercial rifles marked as ".223 Remington" are in fact suited for 5.56 mm NATO, such as many commercial AR-15 variants and the Ruger Mini-14, but the manufacturer should always be consulted to verify that this is acceptable before attempting it, and signs of excessive pressure (such as flattening or gas staining of the primers) should be looked for in the initial testing with 5.56 mm NATO ammunition" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rp21010 (talkcontribs) 13:03, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

The manual states this:

"AMMUNITION (580 series mini14 and above)

The RUGER® MINI-14® RANCH RIFLES are chambered for the .223

Remington (5.56mm) cartridge. The Mini-14 Ranch Rifle is designed to use either

standardized U.S. military, OR factory loaded sporting .223 (5.56mm) cartridges

manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice."

The 180 series Mini 14 States this:

" The Mini14 is designed to use EITHER U.S. Military, Commercial sporting, Or Other .223(5.56mm) caliber ammunition manufactured to U.S. industry standards."

Here are the .pdfs for the 580 series and 180 series mini14s listed above for verification: 180 series: [6] 580 series: [7]

I have a 580 series rifle and I can assure you it is marked .223 cal.

Green Bullets[edit]

" the new M855A1 round is introduced later this year. It's far superior to anything else out there for 5.56mm. It is the best round the Army has ever produced (yes, they have considered SOST and similar ammunition).

A1 excels at longer ranges (SOST can't). A1 is matched to the current tracer round, allowing use while linked for the M249. (SOST can't be linked to the tracer)

...the M855A1 is lead free."

AllThingsAmmo AThousandYoung (talk) 04:22, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

M855A1 ballistic gelatin pictures.[edit]

Not gonna put them in the article but I will post the links here. They are from a US Army pdf I found online.

This is one shot after going through a windshield.

This is one shot after going through steel. (talk) 19:04, 31 December 2010 (UTC) RGM-79GM

Legality of M855A1 rounds[edit]

Has any discussion been made over including a mention of the legality under international law of the new M855A1 rounds? There is some controversy surrounding them as they no longer have a complete jacket around the core, which many argue violates the Hague Convention of 1899 - Declaration III covering acceptable bullet designs. It seems that US lawyers have given it the OK, but foreign military lawyers don't agree with this assessment and the UK is developing a new fully enclosed round to address stopping power issues while staying within the Hague Conventions.

Now, I don't want to start an argument on this, but US government lawyers haven't exactly come out looking too rosy on their decisions on military legal/illegal issues of late (coughenhancedinterrogationscough) so I'm not sure you can just take their word on this subject.

A side topic of discussion on the talk page might be whether the US is actually a signatory to the above Hague Convention. A lot of the talk in US gun/military forums about the legality issue seem be that the US aren't so whether it is illegal or not is irrelevant, but the Permanent Court of Arbitration says they are. I would argue that the language used in the Marine Corps Times article linked would indicate that the US is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:29, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

The US is not a signatory to the Hague Convention regarding small arms ammunition. Jumped-up lawyers can claim otherwise, but as far as US forces are concerned, M855A1 is legal, and no one with a contrary position is in a position to do anything about that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 14:23, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 14:24, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 3[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

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Dead link 4[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 14:25, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Possible inaccurate statement?[edit]

I was looking over a recent change to this article and came across the following passage: "During the 1970s, NATO members signed an agreement to select a second, smaller caliber cartridge to replace the 7.62 mm NATO. Of the cartridges tendered, the 5.56 mm was successful, but not the 5.56 mm loading (3.56 g (55 gr), M193 Ball) as used by the U.S. at that time. The wounds produced by the M193 round were so devastating that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)[5] and many countries (Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Romania, Samoa, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, etc.)[6] considered the 5.56x45mm cartridge to be inhumane.[7][8]" Now this seems a little odd for a few reasons. Firstly, when this cartridge was introduced, Latvia and Lithuania were under the control of the USSR, so they would obviously not be in a position to make official statements on military matters (comparable to if say, California or Texas were to call the Soviet 7.62x39mm inhumane). Also, Slovenia was not sovereign in this timeframe either, being part of SFRY until 1991. Austria trikes me as surprising as well, as they were one of the earlier countries to adopt 5.56mm weapons in the late '70s (in the form of the Steyr AUG), however, I don't know if the cartridges they originally used were M855 or another version. Sweden on the other hand, is the only one I have read about that expressed such a grievance. I was going to check the sources however, all are print sources, so I was not able to verify the validity of the statement. Could someone else perhaps elaborate further? Thank you.--L1A1 FAL (talk) 23:32, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

[Edit] Apparently, this bit of info was added by IP user I have seen this user active on the M16 vs AK-47 article a few times before, and seems to be in good faith, but a check of the user's talk page history shows a more mixed editing attitude perhaps.--L1A1 FAL (talk) 23:38, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the looks like the paragraph has been edited to death. The original paragragh was "During the 1970s, NATO members signed an agreement to select a second, smaller caliber cartridge to replace the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. Of the cartridges tendered, the 5.56x45mm was successful, but not 55gr M193 load used by the U.S. at that time. The wounds produced by the M193 round were so devastating that many considered it to be inhumane. Instead, the Belgian 62gr SS109 load was chosen for standardization. The SS109 used a heavier bullet with a steel core and had a lower muzzle velocity for better long-range performance, specifically to meet a requirement that the bullet be able to penetrate through one side of a steel helmet at 600 meters. This requirement made the M855 less capable of fragmentation than the M193 and was considered more humane." with a references from "Ian V. Hogg, Military Small Arms of the 20th Century, 1981" and "The Small Arms Review vol.10, no.2 November 2006".

However, the word "many" in the third sentence was challanged as a "weasel word". Therefore, I included an additional reference from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) "International Legal Initiatives to Restrict Military Small Arms Ammunition W. Hays Parks∗ Copyright 2010 by W. Hays Parks International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) page 1-18" which listed "Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Romania, Samoa, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, etc." as countries that consider the 55gr M193 round to be inhumane. This refers only to the 55gr M193 round. These same "politically correct" countries consider the 62gr SS109 (M855) round to be more humane and subsequently adopted the 62gr SS109 round. They justify thier choice by claiming that the 62gr SS109 round is less likely to fragment than the 55gr M193 round. If anyone would like to rewrite the paragragh or return it to the original state you are more than wecome to do so. I will attempt to do so myself but it will most likely be reverted, edited or deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:09, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Magazine weights are way off[edit]

The table showing "Weight of loaded magazine" is way off in giving loaded magazine weights ranging from 0.3 kg (.66 lbs) per round to 0.8763 kg (1.93 lbs) per round. I don't know what the correct numbers are, but these would add up to weights on the order of 6 kg (13.2 lbs) to 17.5 kg (38.6 lbs) per 20-round magazine. In addition to being nonsensical in the absolute, they are inconsistent with the right-hand column showing numbers of rounds per 10-kg ammo load. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:18, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

reliable sources[edit]

3 references to the same article Is considered a reliable source? Who is this "Dr. Roberts" that the external article refers to? Not to mention the quote attached to reference 14 has no byline in this wiki article (and is presumably the so-called "Dr. Roberts" of the external reference). Cowbert (talk) 18:52, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

While we do not normally consider forums reliable sources, there are many subject matter experts posting on certain forums related to this. I think we should consider citations to forums on a case-by-case basis and treat them as self-published sources with the source being the poster, not the site itself. So it would depend on whether we should treat that particular poster as a subject matter expert or not. If we can't establish that due to anonymity or other reasons, then the source can't be considered reliable for anything controversial. Gigs (talk) 15:32, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
"Dr Roberts" would be Doctor Gary Roberts. He's a fairly well-known subject matter expert on terminal ballistics, who posts on several gun-related forums.
To cite the biographical blurb at one site: "Dr. Roberts is currently on staff at a large teaching hospital and Level I Trauma center where he performs hospital dentistry and surgery. After completing his residency in 1989 while on active military duty, he studied at the Army Wound Ballistic Research Laboratory and became one of the first members of the International Wound Ballistic Association. Since then, he has been tasked with performing military, law enforcement, and privately funded independent wound ballistic testing and analysis. As a U.S. Navy Reserve officer from 1986 to 2008, he served on the Joint Service Wound Ballistic IPT, as well as being a consultant to the Joint FBI-USMC munitions testing program and the TSWG MURG program. He is frequently asked to provide wound ballistic technical assistance to numerous U.S. and allied SOF units and organizations. In addition, he has been a technical advisor to the Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners, as well as to a variety of Federal, State, and municipal law enforcement agencies. He has been a sworn Reserve Police Officer in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he now he serves in an LE training role." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:45, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

Steel penetration[edit]

The article on 5.45x39 cartridge give some information on the cartridge's penetration of steel plates at 300 meters. Specifically, the ability of 7N10 cartridge (the standard in modern Russian army) to penetrate 16 mm of steel at 300 meters. It would be prudent to show comparable results in the article about NATO cartridge. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Explanation of "yaw"[edit]

In the first paragraph, there is a mention of bullets "yawing" in tissue, which is linked to a disambiguation page. Considering how obscure this idea is to a general reader, I think it's important to clean this up by changing the link to a specific article. I assume of the list then is the appropriate article, but this article explicitly defines yaw as being a property of a vehicle, so if the concept is commonly applied to projectiles then perhaps superficial changes should be made there too? Hopefully someone with more expertise than me can fix this. Dan (talk) 19:16, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

I was able to find a specific, illustrated definition of yawing as it applies to ballistic wound trauma, and I changed the redirect to a citation. The disambiguation page you mentioned really gave no information, and the citation source is available and the definitions can be found online, as well. (Virtuallyironic (talk) 08:17, 19 August 2012 (UTC))

Lowered pressure[edit]

I've lowered the pressure because I can't find a reliable source that says the previously cited pressure. US MIL-C-9963F and MIL-C-63989A(AR) both cite a mean maximum pressure of 55,000 PSI with a third standard deviation limit of 61,000. Of course the pressure can spike higher than this when firing 5.56mm ammunition in a short-lede 223 chamber, but 5.56 out of a 5.56 chamber seems to be specified for 55,000 PSI, the same as 223. Gigs (talk) 18:38, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

It seems the confusion arised because of CIP specifying the pressure higher due to differences in test methodology. The actual pressure specifications are identical. It does not make sense to use CIP methodology pressures here, and SAAMI pressures elsewhere, without a disclaimer that they don't mean the same thing. We were just contributing to the widespread confusion about .223 vs 5.56. Gigs (talk) 22:53, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
NATO uses their own protocol to control the safety and quality of firearms ammunition called NATO EPVAT testing. For 5.56×45mm NATO NATO EPVAT set Pmax at 430 MPa (62,366 psi). The corresponding proof rounds are loaded to Pmax (430) * 1.25 = 537.5 MPa (77,958 psi). NATO EPVAT resembles the C.I.P. protocol more than the SAAMI protocol. It is quite usual for military service rounds to produce significantly lower pressures (think ≥ 10%) compared to the corresponding Pmax.--Francis Flinch (talk) 10:08, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
You are correct in that EVPAT uses CIP methodology, in which 62,000 PSI corresponds to a SAAMI methodology reading of 55,000. It is dangerous for us to use the CIP-methodology pressure numbers in the infobox, because people will incorrectly assume that 5.56 fired from a 5.56 chamber can be loaded to higher pressures than 223 fired from a 223 chamber, when in reality, the discrepancy is due to differences in test methodology, not due to differences in the pressure of the calibers. Gigs (talk) 13:28, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I was under the impression that it was widely understood that, whether the pressure is measured piezoelectrically or via the old copper crusher method, military spec 5.56mm ammunition is loaded to about 15% higher pressure than commercial .223, and in barrels of equivalent length, an equivalent projectile will have a higher velocity, by 200-300 feet per second (60-90 meters per second) at 5.56mm pressures when compared to .223 pressures. And that this was true regardless of chamber geometry, bore leade, thickness of brass cases, type of primer used, or any other variable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

GP90 origins?[edit]

I had heard from several sources, some years back, that the Swiss GP90 5.56mm projectile was actually originally created with the intent of maximum efficiency and performance vs. modern aramid fiber soft body armor, which the Soviets were rumored to be gearing up to produce back in the 1980s. Thus the non-deforming projectile has a relatively hard, tough alloy bullet jacket.

With the abrupt and unexpected end of the Protracted Struggle a spurious, ad-hoc justification for the rather expensive ammunition (due to the complex construction of the projectile, costing significantly more than a simple copy of US M193 Ball) was created: it was non-deforming in soft tissue and therefore humane and in accordance with the Hague Convention.

I can find no current documentation of this, however it is a persistent Internet rumor I have been hearing online for many years. Is there any official documentation of this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:05, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Plain "vanilla" 5.56mm ball --- the US M193 round, for example, with a simple lead core and a relatively thin cannelured jacket --- will zip right through more soft body armor than anyone can wear. GP90 was designed with a heavy jacket to reduce its potential to fragment while yawing in soft tissue. Various European governments have considered the yaw-and-fragment performance of the M193 and M855 projectiles to be "inhumane" and intentionally adopted thick-jacketed 5.56mm projectiles for their military ammunition. A search for "gp90 failure" will turn up a first-hand account of its poor performance in a human target. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:08, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

RUAG external links dead[edit]

I fixed a link for the Ammo Oracle, but all of the external RUAG links seem to be dead. I haven't been able to find the linked info on their site. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sheltot (talkcontribs) 03:00, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Mk318 Mod 0?[edit]

From the section on that ammunition type:

"When the bullet hits a hard barrier, the front half of the bullet smooshes against the barrier..."

"Smooshes?" Really? Not "upsets" or "deforms?" Also, I'm pretty sure that the bullet base and jacket material in this projectile are copper, not brass, and that the projectile itself is a slightly modified version of an off-the-shelf Federal Ammunition "Trophy Bonded" softnose expanding bullet, modified to hollowpoint geometry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:40, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

6.8x45mm Kramer[edit]

6.8x45mm Kramer “Urban Combat Cartridge”. There is a new cartridge that is based on the 5.56x45. Komitsuki (talk) 05:58, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

5.6mm GP-90 - Several factual errors and inaccuracies[edit]

"The Swiss refer to the round as the 5.6 mm Gw Pat 90, although it is interchangeable with the 5.56×45mm NATO and .223 Remington round" - Wrong: interchangeable means one can be used instead of the other but no. The 5.6mm Swiss barrels can fire 5.56mm NATO and .223 Remington, both slightly smaller in diameter so with some loss of efficiency due to pressure loss. However, the GP-90 5.6mm round certainly can *not* be fired from a 5.56mm rifle (pressure spike due to much increased friction, seizure after a few rounds) as the rounds are 4/100mm larger in diameter, and much less from a .223 Remington barrel whose SAAMI chamber design differs from NATO chambers and causes even higher pressure spikes. In fact, even 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington are not fully interchangeable either: a 5.56 rifle can fire .223 ammo safely but not the other way around (Is There a Difference Between .223 and 5.56?). In short a .223 chambered rifle can only safely fire .223 ammo. A 5.56 rifle can fire 5.56 and .223, and the SG 550 / Stgw90 / Fass90 5.6mm rifle can fire 5.6mm GP-90, 5.56mm NATO and .223 Remington, the last two with reduced performances but no mechanical problems. We, the Swiss, designed our rifle and ammo so we can use other's ammo in our rifles (primarily 5.56 NATO), but not the other way around.

"The Gw Pat 90 is optimized for use in 5.56 mm (.223 in) caliber barrels" - Absolutely not. It will destroy them quickly, see above.

"The cartridge is also known as the Cart 5.6mm 90 F" - Inaccurate: the cartridge is known by all users as "GP 90", in all four national languages.

"The Gw Pat 90 cartridge dimensions are in accordance with the civilian C.I.P. standards for the .223 Remington C.I.P. chambering" - Absolutely not. This document refers to Ruag's export 5.56mm rounds and their commercial name, not the GP 90 military cartridge. From the referenced document: "5.56 mm x 45 SINTOX® SWISS ORDNANCE - The SWISS ORDNANCE Cartridge for the international market is produced under the name of 5.56 mm x 45 SINTOX® SWISS ORDNANCE." - emphasis mine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Axelriet (talkcontribs) 10:23, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

This would be much of a surprise for the hundreds of foreigners that have went through Swiss militia training using the GP90. I myself have got over a thousand rounds through my AR-15. And it did not get "destroyed quickly" as you claim, neither did any of the rifles I have seen over my courses. And the Swiss long range shooters that use commercial 62gr rounds by RUAG/Geco interchangeably with GP90 might also be surprised that they are supposed to experience a loss in precision.
Admittedly, the Swiss have named their cartridge in a different way, but the bullet is not 0.04 mm wider. Remember that the .223 Rem uses a .224 diameter bullet, so the Swiss naming is actually closer to the real bullet diameter, though both fall short. And I assume the main reason for the separate export version is the "SINTOX" part. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:11, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Correct. This claim that GP90 is somehow incompatible with 5.56mm NATO rifles is absolute nonsense. Large quantities of actual Swiss military issue GP90 have been sold as surplus in the US (and probably elsewhere) and have earned a reputation for reliability and accuracy, not for destroying rifles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:15, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

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US M197 High-Pressure Test cartridges[edit]

M197 HPT is most certainly NOT a "blank" cartridge. It is a traditional "proof" cartridge using an ordinary bullet and a powder charge intended to generate higher pressures than normal cartridges.

The actual manufacturer's data sheet can be seen at and rubbishes the "blank" claim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 18 November 2016 (UTC)


Which part of the bullet is measured 5.56mm? There is no mention of why it's called "5.56mm."-- (talk) 14:43, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Not the bullet, but the lands diameter in the barrel is 5.56 mm. Lots of ammunition has a diameter in its nomenclature that does not fit any bullet of barrel dimension exactly.--Francis Flinch (talk) 15:36, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Comparison to .223 Remington[edit]

In the section titled "5.56mm NATO versus .223 Remington," under the "Chamber" heading, the following statement is present:

"The casings and chambers .223 rem and 5.56x45mm are virtually the same dimensions, but due to the fact that .223rem are designed to handle much lower pressures than the 5.56x45 the rounds are not completely interchangeable. Firing a 5.56x45mm round out of a rifle chambered in .223 rem could be Injurious or fatal to the user as well as the gun, however .223 rem ammunition can be fired safely from almost any rifle chambered in 5.56x45 as the NATO spec rifles can handle much more chamber pressures than the .223 rem is capable of producing"

A "citation needed" tag has been added after this statement, not least because it directly contradicts the "Pressure" heading under the same section:

"C.I.P. defines the maximum service and proof test pressures of the .223 Remington cartridge equal to the 5.56mm NATO, at 430 MPa (62,366 psi)."

The former passage uses a large amount of qualitative language in addition to poor grammar (talk) 20:36, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Bullet damage[edit]

Why is everybody complained with the fact that 5.56 is not very damaging cartridge? It's fired from an automatic weapon. Not a heavy-caliber sniper rifle. It is not really required to devastate targets with 2-3 shots when you have 700 RPM and a good accuracy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:19, 18 January 2017 (UTC)