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U.S. Army Issues New M855A1 Ammo to Troops in Afghanistan

The U.S. Army has begun shipping its new, improved 5.56×45 cartridge, the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round, to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Army will take delivery of over 200 million rounds of the new M855A1 ammo in the next 12-15 months, and soldiers in Afghanistan will begin using M855A1 ammo in the summer of 2010. The new round replaces the current M855 cartridge used by U.S. troops since the early 1980s.

The military sought to replace current M855 ammo because M855 has not performed adequately in the Afghan theater. Specific complaints include: 1) inability to penetrate vehicle windshields; 2) poor long-range performance; and 3) failure to fragment even in short-range anti-personnel use. The Army’s Picatinny Arsenal claims that the new M855A1 has improved hard target capability, more consistent performance at all distances, improved accuracy, reduced muzzle flash, and higher velocity. M855A1 ammo is tailored for use in M4 carbines but should also give enhanced performance in M16s and M249s.

M855A1 ammunition ammo EPRNew Steel-Tip Bullet Design
The 62-grain bullet for the new M855A1 ammo is a completely new design. While it may appear to have a plastic “ballistic tipâ€
 

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Got a link? I'd like to see the photo the article refers to if possible.
 

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I guess the Army is going with one round and the Corps will use another. The service rivalry will even continue with ammo selection :D


Quote:
Army won’t field deadlier Corps round

Special Operations Command and now the Marine Corps are fielding a deadlier 5.56mm round, but the Army says soldiers can’t have it. Instead, the service is holding on to its dream of environmentally friendly ammunition. Army ammunition officials are on their third attempt at redesigning the Cold War-era M855 5.56mm round by adding a better-performing, lead-free bullet. The service had to halt the M855A1 Lead-Free Slug program in July when the new bullet failed to perform under high temperatures . The setback delayed fielding by nearly a year. The newest version of the green round is in the live-fire test phase, and Army officials said they are confident it will be ready for combat use by June. The Marine Corps, however, doesn’t share this confidence.

The Corps has dropped its plans to field the Army’s M855A1 and approved the new SOST round for Marines to use in Afghanistan. SOST, short for Special Operations Science and Technology, is SOCom’s enhanced 5.56mm round . It isn’t green, but it is deadlier than the current M855 round and it’s available now, Marine officials say. The Corps’ decision to purchase about 2 million SOST rounds in September illustrates the growing frustration with the M855’s performance on the modern battlefield.

The M855 was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. In recent years, troops have widely criticized it. They complain it is ineffective against barriers such as car windshields and often travels right through unarmored insurgents, with less than lethal effects. Jason Gillis, a former Army staff sergeant, first witnessed the M855’s shortcomings in 2004 on the streets of Baghdad. He was a squad leader with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, on patrol when a vehicle began speeding toward his unit. After several warnings, “both of our M249s opened up instantly, forming a crisscross pattern of tracer that met at the vehicles engine compartment and windshield. Within seconds, riflemen and grenadiers were executing magazine changes while the vehicle kept rolling and finally stopped 10 meters from my lead troops,â€
 

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So when they said "fill the land with smoke", what they really meant was " fill the land with non-toxic, environmentally friendly, organic, soy smoke?" :lol:
 

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Hmmmm. will WE the People be able to get it?

As a side benefit, icing on the cake, it will be considered "armor piercing" and will either not be available to civilians, or yet "another reason to ban the machine guns" and "Implements of war that our kids are getting killed in the streets of America with."
At least that's the way I take it.
 

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The latest M855A1 design features a solid copper slug instead of bismuth-tin.
Ammo is quite expensive already, and with the prices of copper compared to lead this will be an even more expensive round.
 
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