The Legalities of Armor Piercing 5.56 Rounds: What You Need to Know

If you’re a fan of the AR platform and like to get the most out of your rifle, then armor piercing 5.56 rounds are an excellent choice for you. These rounds are designed to penetrate soft body armor and povide greater stopping power at long ranges. They have been used by the military for years and are now available to civilians with the proper licensing.

Nammo is a leading manufacturer of armor piercing 5.56 rounds, offering a wide variety of ammunition including specialty rounds such as armor piercing, frangible, long range, and other variants like regular ball, tracer, non-toxic or training ammunition. These rounds are certified under STANAG 4172 and provide increased performance at longer distances than traditional rounds.

The “green tip” 5.56 round is one of the most popular variants among civilian shooters due to its ability to effectively penetrate soft body armor at close range with minimal risk of ricochet or overpenetration. However, these rounds have recently been pulled from the civilian market by the ATF due to their armor piercing capabilities. This means that owing these rounds is now illegal in some states unless you have a valid firearms license or permit from your state or local law enforcement agency.

When it comes to choosing the right ammunition for your needs, it’s important to understand the various types available on the market today and what they can do for you. Armor piercing 5.56 rounds offer greater precision and accuracy at longer distances when compared to regular ball ammo and can be used in any AR platform rifle or machine gun with relative ease. While they may be illegal in some areas, they remain a viable option for tose who want maximum performance out of their firearms without having to resort to more extreme measures such as semi-automatic weapons or full auto rifles.

Overall, armor piercing 5.56 rounds offer an effective way to increase your stopping power at longer distances while remaining within legal limits where applicable. Nammo is one of the leading providers of these specialized rounds and provides customers with reliable options that meet military standards for performance and safety. Whether you choose green tip or anothr variant of AP ammo, make sure you understand all laws pertaining to their use before making any purchases or firing them off in public areas!

Types of 5.56 Ammo That Is Armor Piercing

Nammo’s 5.56 mm AP 45 is a high-performance armor piercing round that is designed to be used in assault rifles and machine guns. The projectile is composed of tungsten carbide and features lead free design, which givs it superior performance compared to similar rounds at long ranges. This military-specified round meets the STANAG 4172 standards and offers excellent value for money. It penetrates armor, making it suitable for use against lightly armored targets such as cars or light structures.

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Can You Purchase 5.56 Armor Piercing Rounds?

Yes, you can buy 5.56 armor piercing rounds from Nammo. Our armor piercing rounds are designed to penetrate through hard targets like body armor and vehicles. They are constructed with a steel core and a full metal jacket, making them extremely effective aganst armored threats. We also offer armor piercing incendiary rounds that incorporate an incendiary charge in the tip of the round enabling it to ignite combustible materials upon impact. Whichever type of 5.56 armor piercing rounds you require, our team is here to help you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Can Civilians Legally Purchase Armor Piercing Rounds?

Yes, it is legal for civilians to purchase and own cetain types of rifle caliber armor piercing ammunition. The federal law that prohibits the manufacture and sale of handgun rounds that are made from certain types of metal (including steel-core or tungsten-core) does not apply to rifle rounds.

Furthermore, many states have additional regulations regarding armor piercing ammunition, so it’s important to check your local laws if you intend to purchase this type of ammo. For example, some states may require purchasers to have a specific license or permit in order to buy armor piercing rounds.

It’s also important to note that the federal law does apply in certan cases where ammunition is considered “armor piercing” even if it does not contain any metal core components. This includes any ammunition that is designed to be used in a handgun and has a projectile or projectile core constructed entirely from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper or depleted uranium.

Overall, while the federal law does not prohibit citizens from buying armor piercing rifle rounds, there may be additional restrictions depending on your state or locality. Therefore it is important for anyone wishing to purchase this type of ammo to familiarize themselves with their local laws before doing so.

Is 556 Green Tip Ammo Armor-Piercing?

Yes, 5.56 green tip ammo is classified as armor piercing ammunition by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The bullet itself is made from a copper alloy and has a steel core. It is this steel core that gves it its armor piercing capabilities. This type of ammo has been used in the AR platform for many years, but due to its ability to penetrate body armor, the ATF has recently taken steps to ban it from being sold to civilians.

The Characteristics of Black Tip 5.56 Rounds

Black Tip 5.56 rounds are an armor-piercing type of bullet that were used by the military in the 20th century. They are made from a harder metal than regular bullets, and have a black tip to differentiate them from other rounds. They are designed to penetrate thicker barriers, such as body armor or vehicle armor, which regular bullets canot do. They are not readily available on the commercial market and are now largely obsolete due to their limited range and accuracy compared to modern rounds.

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Are NATO Rounds Capable of Piercing Armor?

No, NATO rounds are not armor-piercing. The 7.62×51mm NATO round is designed to be a ball cartridge, meaning it is designed for use against personnel and unarmored targets. The bullet itself has a semi-armor piercing core, but this core is made of either iron or mild steel and is gilded with a steel jacket. This jacket is too light to penetrate most forms of armor, so the round cannot be considered an armor-piercing round.

Legality of Armor-Piercing 5.56 Ammunition

The 5.56/. 223 Rem rounds have been the subject of some controversy as they meet one of the criteria for the federal definition of armor-piercing ammunition. However, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has clarified that these rounds are in fact legal to purchase, possess, and use. The ATF ruling states that 5.56/.223 Rem ammunition is exempt from the armor-piercing regulations due to its use for sporting purposes. This means that it is legal to purchase, possess and use 5.56/.223 Rem rounds for any purpose other than armor-piercing ammunition.

Stopping an Armor-Piercing Bullet

Armor-piercing bullets can be stopped by the use of vehicle armor constructed from composite metal foam (CMF). This lightweight material has been tested and found to be capable of withstanding both ball and armor-piercing .50 caliber rounds, while being less than half the weight of conventional steel armor. The foam is composed of metal particles held together in a foamed matrix, providing a strong barrier against projectiles. The metal particles may range from aluminum to steel, depending on the application. CMF is also capable of absorbing impact energy, making it an effective way to protect people and property from harm.

Is the Use of Armor-Piercing Ammo a War Crime?

Yes, using armor-piercing ammo is considered a war crime in international armed conflicts. Armor-piercing ammo typically includes bullets with hard envelopes that do not completely cover the core or are pierced with incisions, which alow the bullet to expand or flatten easily upon impact with a target. This makes them more destructive and can cause serious injury or even death. As such, using such bullets constitutes a war crime under Section 6(1)(b)(xix) of international law.

Uses of Green Tip 5.56

Green tip 5.56 is a type of ammunition specifically designed for use in military-style assault rifles like the AR-15. It is characterized by its green-tipped bullets and is capable of penetrating light armor and steel targets. It is often used for long range shooting since it provides more accuracy and stability than oter types of ammo. It is also popular for target practice due to its low cost and availability. However, due to its potential for high penetration, it has become controversial for civilian use in some areas.

What Is Green Tip 5.56 Ammo?

Green tip 5.56 ammo refers to a type of military-grade ammunition designed for use in the M16 rifle and its variants. It is officially known as the M855 round, and is identified by a green tip on the bullet itself. This ammo was introduced by the U.S. military in the early 1980s as a replacement for the older M193 rounds, which were gradually phased out. The green tip helps personnel easily differentiate it from other types of 5.56 ammunition. It has become increasingly popular with civilian shooters due to its relatively low cost and reliable performance.

The Use of Armor-Piercing Ammunition by Snipers

Yes, snipers do use armor-piercing ammunition. This type of ammunition is designed to penetrate through armor, making it an ideal choice for snipers who need to target specific targets that are bhind cover or wearing body armor. Armor-piercing rounds have a steel core, with a copper jacket on the outside. This combination gives the round the ability to penetrate hardened steel plates and other types of body armor. The recoil from an armor-piercing round is similar to that of an M33 ball cartridge, which is more manageable for a sniper than some other types of ammunition.

The Purpose of Blue Tip 5.56 Ammo

Blue tip 5.56 ammo, also known as M196 tracer ammunition, is a type of incendiary bullet that was originally developed during World War II. These rounds are painted blue at the tip, which indicates that they contain a trace element in the propellant powder that will ignite when the round leaves the barrel of the gun. The rounds are designed to produce a bright streak of light in the air, allowing for more accurate aiming in low-light conditions. This type of round is not designed to cause damage to targets but rather to provide visual confirmation that a shot has been fired in a certin direction.

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Is 556 Green Tip Ammunition Suitable for Self Defense?

The M855 “Green Tip” 5.56 NATO is an economical and widely available ammunition that could be a viable option for self-defense use. While this round is designed to penetrate body armor, the bullet is known to break into multiple pieces upon impact, which could help reduce over-penetration risks in some home defense scenarios. However, at close range velocities, the bullet may not penetrate deep enough to effectively incapacitate an attacker, making it less than ideal for self-defense applications. In general, it’s best to choose a round specifically designed for personal protection or law enforcement use in order to ensure maximum performance.

The Meaning of the Red Tip on a 5.56 Round

The red tip on a 5.56 round is a lightweight plastic cover that is placed over the hollow point projectile. It serves several purposes, the most important bing to improve the aerodynamics of the round. The red tip helps maintain the shape of the projectile while in flight and prevents it from tumbling or going off course. Additionally, it serves as an indication that the round is intended for use in military or law enforcement applications, as opposed to civilian use.


In conclusion, armor piercing 5.56 rounds are an effective choice for military and law enforcement personnel who require specialized ammunition to penetrate armor and other protective barriers. The ammunition is legal to own, manufacture and purchase in some countries, however the ATF has recently withdrawn certain rifle caliber armor piercing rounds from the civilian market due to teir armor piercing capabilities. Nammo offers a wide selection of 5.56mm ammunition for various uses including specialty ammunition such as armor piercing, frangible or long range, as well as well-known variants such as tracer, non-toxic or training ammunition. With Nammo’s knowledge on tungsten carbide technology and lead free projectile design, the 5.56 mm AP 45 provides a cost effective Armor Piercing round that can be used in assault rifles and machine guns.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.