Thursday, June 17, 2010

Looking for an Ammo Geek

Shorter Half has an ammo question. He noticed ads for UAE produced “M193” 5.56 mm ball ammo, supposedly to US military specification – but he wants to know if this stuff performs like USGI M193. Does anyone really know what the exterior and terminal ballistics are like? Like, firsthand experience. Not what the cousin of your Shootin' Buddy's girlfriend says it is.


  1. If it is being advertised as "NATO Spec" 5.56mm M193, then it should perform as such. Where is this ad?

  2. I have about 2K of it in the basement, and while I don't have the exact specs, I find that in my 16in M4gery it performs VERY similar to USGI. Your mileage may vary. Sorry, but I only recently got a Chrony and have never compared the two.

  3. Thanks Vinosaur. Sounds like it's worth taking a chance on -- at worst, it will be range ammo.

    Anonymous -- thank you, but there are only two problems with your advice:

    1. M193 is NOT NATO standard. The US version of the NATO SS109 is M855.

    2. But even if I was looking for something that performed like USGI M855, that would NOT mean that any SS109 complaint round would do. The USGI M855 is built to more detailed requirements than the general SS109 standard. (All M855 is SS109 compliant, SOME SS109 is M855 compliant, NO M193 is SS109 compliant.)

    SS109 doesn't specify a darned thing about jacket thickness or toughness.Most foreign manufactured ammo (unless it is specifically made for USGI contracts) has thicker, tougher bullet jackets that do not fragment as spectacularly as real M855 and M193 do at impact velocities above 2600 - 2700 fps.

    For example, the British implementation of SS109 has proven to be fairly useless at ALL ranges, as it's so tough it "icepicks" the target almost regard for impact velocity.

    Everyone in general, the reason I'm asking is that I'm looking at a round that will duplicate the trajectory of M193 ball, AND duplicate the wound track it leaves behind at close range. Given the circumstances of MY home, I feel perfectly comfortable using M193 in a home defense mode after examining boith close range wound profiles and penetration studies. (I won't crap up Nancy's comments with a bunch of technicals, but basically, for my situation (a 20" barrel, a brick house, and no requirement to shoot through armor), M193 is the Vorpal Bullet of Universal Employment. I like teh idea of teh same round being useful for defense AND rifle ranged work.

  4. Geodkyt: If you roll a 20 with that do you get a Critical Damage bonus? Maybe 3d12+6? ;)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. {chuckle}

    Natch-20 means decapitation. Perfect Zombie round.


  7. I don't know if my cousin has ever tried the stuff... :o

  8. Just wish you were closer, and I would give you some to try out first.

  9. Whrree, roughly, are you? If I could buy a clip (I'm assuming it's on clips -- the stuff I've seen advertised is), I'd love to test some for close range performance.

    Word verification "porched"

    "I'm TIRED of German cars, I'm all Porched out!"

  10. I have some of their M855 equivalent. It's hot, and the round seems to be constructed correctly.