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cohiba
08-23-2006, 8:08 AM
I just finished my first Stag AR build. Everything seemed to work out pretty well. The fit isnít quite what I wanted, really tight. I guess it would be great if I could always use detachable mags.

Now I have an ammo question. I see a lot of deals on this Radway Green or similar stuff with steel penetrators. Is a steel penetrator really as cool as my imagination has envisioned it? ;) Is this stuff ok to shoot at most indoor ranges or does it cause problems? Just wondering if there was a major difference in that stuff and wellÖ.all Iíve really shot so far is the American eagle stuff. I want to find a bunch of cheap stuff to fire through, but donít want to get stuck with a few hundred rounds I canít shoot anywhere.

Thanks

ocabj
08-23-2006, 8:15 AM
If you own an AR, you need to read this: http://www.ammo-oracle.com

Anyway, the term "steel penetrator" is misleading. M855 has a steel core. It does give it better penetrating properties over M193. But in no way is it a metal piercing round.

As far as shooting M855 in an indoor range, I've only shot at one indoor range in my life and they didn't allow centerfire rifle at the range.

rollyourown
08-23-2006, 8:22 AM
If your looking for accuracy in your rifle, you will want to shoot lead core ammo in a weight appropriate for the twist rate of your rifle barrel.

If your looking at just shooting for practice, use the least expensive ammo you can buy in bulk. least expensive in ss-109 rounds is the Radway Green that I have been pimping in another post. In 55gr M193 rounds, the Guatamalan surplus at AIMsurplus.com is probably the best deal going. it was $229 for 1440 round in sealed battle packs.

SemiAutoSam
08-23-2006, 8:23 AM
Is this steel penetrator a tungsten insert like the AP rounds or SLAP projectiles have ?

rollyourown
08-23-2006, 9:21 AM
no, its just a mild steel insert. M995 is the tungston rod, real AP 5.56mm round. Its practically impossible to find outside of DoD procurrment. If you see someone selling black tip 5.56mm telling you it is M995 you should be very suspicious.

BigMac
08-23-2006, 9:43 AM
If you own an AR, you need to read this: http://www.ammo-oracle.com

Anyway, the term "steel penetrator" is misleading. M855 has a steel core. It does give it better penetrating properties over M193. But in no way is it a metal piercing round.

As far as shooting M855 in an indoor range, I've only shot at one indoor range in my life and they didn't allow centerfire rifle at the range.

Ever shot the Radway at steel?

I had to stop shooting this stuff because it was cutting holes in my 1/2 in steel target. It does WAY more damage to my target than my .30 cal FMJ.

chiefcrash
08-23-2006, 9:44 AM
i actually took apart a Radway round, the steel penetrator is this *tiny* little cone shaped piece of steel in the tip of the bullet.

didn't seem like it would do much to anything...

rollyourown
08-23-2006, 10:14 AM
didn't seem like it would do much to anything...

except punch through mild steel at 700 yards.

http://www.ammo-oracle.com/images/m855.jpg

C.G.
08-23-2006, 10:20 AM
Many ranges, including where I shoot, will not alow SS109 or M855 due to fire hazard.

SemiAutoSam
08-23-2006, 10:39 AM
Many ranges, including where I shoot, will not alow SS109 or M855 due to fire hazard.

Are your bullets tracers or HEI ? or as to tip color are they RED, ORANGE,BLUE, OR SILVER ?

how will a AP or ss109 start a fire. do you shoot into wood shavings and have tinder in hand ?

ocabj
08-23-2006, 10:45 AM
Ever shot the Radway at steel?

I had to stop shooting this stuff because it was cutting holes in my 1/2 in steel target. It does WAY more damage to my target than my .30 cal FMJ.

The club I shoot at, Inland Fish and Game, has two steel hanging targets at 200 yards. Those things can handle anything (except 50BMG; no one's tried because no 50BMG allowed at the range). Those things get shot at every day by everything from .223 up to .300 Win Mag, soft core to steel core.

As far as the animal pistol silhouette targets, I'm pretty sure the Radway would cause damge to those targets. Probably not full penetration on a single shot, but maybe 4-5 rounds would do it.

Guns R Tools
08-23-2006, 11:16 AM
I think some ranges don't allow anything with steel (hardened or not) because it can create a spark by ricocheting off rocks and other hard surfaces. Maybe its the rocks that does sparking. And with just right conditions, dry brush, slight wind... fire is not out of question. I heard from one range guy at Angeles range they actually had a fire and if there is more fire in the future the range might get shut down. That's why many ranges don't allow anything that sticks to magnet.

Elandur
08-23-2006, 11:20 AM
Careful about buying ammo with a steel core. I dont know of a single range that allows steel core (But then again I havn't really looked into any ranges that are more than an hour or two away, so your area may be different).
You should also avoid shooting steel targets, I cant imagine steel cored ammo would be very good for them :)

SemiAutoSam
08-23-2006, 11:23 AM
Careful about buying ammo with a steel core. I dont know of a single range that allows steel core (But then again I havn't really looked into any ranges that are more than an hour or two away, so your area may be different).
You should also avoid shooting steel targets, I cant imagine steel cored ammo would be very good for them :)

Not only that but it also bounces back and can tag you if your not careful I don't remember who it was but someone that posts here was bit by the bullet a while ago if im not mistaken.

ohsmily
08-23-2006, 11:25 AM
Careful about buying ammo with a steel core. I dont know of a single range that allows steel core (But then again I havn't really looked into any ranges that are more than an hour or two away, so your area may be different).
You should also avoid shooting steel targets, I cant imagine steel cored ammo would be very good for them :)

The outdoor range I go to here in SD allows anything except tracer or incendiary type ammo. Armor piercing and steel core ammunition is allowed.

C.G.
08-23-2006, 11:42 AM
Are your bullets tracers or HEI ? or as to tip color are they RED, ORANGE,BLUE, OR SILVER ?

how will a AP or ss109 start a fire. do you shoot into wood shavings and have tinder in hand ?

According to the range, when steel core hits metal it can cause sparks which can cause fire. The tips are green (as is most, but not all ss109/M855, except that some countries that only used 1:9 or faster rifling will not mark it at all) and when the rangemaster sees green tip ammo, he will tell you to stop using it.
I think many BLM lands, if not all, also forbid steel core ammo.

eviioiive
08-23-2006, 11:45 AM
the range ammo at lax for 7.62x39 used to be steel core.... and ive been at angeles for a fire from someone using steel core... they hustle to put it out before the fire trucks show....

chiefcrash
08-23-2006, 12:29 PM
except punch through mild steel at 700 yards.

http://www.ammo-oracle.com/images/m855.jpg

assuming that it'd punch through mild steel at 700 yards, what then? you have this tiny little hunk of steel that's not gonna do much.

but would it even punch through steel? The SS-109 bullet (the kind on Radway ammo) is not designed as armor piercing.

It is true that M855 was designed to increase penetration at longer ranges (500-600 meters) primarily to deal with the SAW issues, but don't mistake this "enhanced long-range penetration" design for "armor piercing." M855 is officially considered "ball," or standard ammunition by the military.

The ATF has even removed the M855/SS-109 from the definition of Armor Piercing Ammunition, but that doesn't really say much

rollyourown
08-23-2006, 1:41 PM
I guess that my point is that lots of people seem to be slamming this high quality, inexpensive ammunition, and I cannot understand why. It works, does what it is designed to do, and does it well. I guess if you really need LC or Federal M855 you can spend $299 a 1000 and get it. If you like the ballistics of 55gr M193 then by all means buy as much of it as you can. For myself, this RG 62gr stuff is just right, and I thought I would pass along the info for others who might be interested. Its good for target practice and defense against southern Hottentott border jumpers.

For all the naysayers that slam this stuff because of what they read on gunboards and bbs sites, I would suggest you get your hands on 100 rds of the stuff and try it in your ARs. I feel you will be happy with what you see downrange. If the bullet was such a crappy performer, why in the world is the government buying and distributing it to their troops. They have been tooled up to make M193 for decades. If 55gr worked so well, why is it not still the main round for the M-16/M-249 series of weapons?

When the war in Iraq is over, and it will be over some day, there will be plenty of federal and LC M855 on the market at cheap prices. And I will be buying as much of it as I can get my hands on. The days of cheap M193 55gr are as dead as JFK. Just look at how much WOLF gets for M193 brass case ammo made in Serbia of all places. $200 a thousand! Winny White Box Q3131 is over $200 a 1000. S&B M193 is over $200 a thousand. ETC ETC. Nope...its cheap RG for me.

C.G.
08-23-2006, 2:04 PM
Rollyourown, I am not knocking it, personally, the stuff shoots well for me. I just don't have places to shoot it around my locality if I want to stay on friendly terms.

chiefcrash
08-23-2006, 2:18 PM
I guess that my point is that lots of people seem to be slamming this high quality, inexpensive ammunition, and I cannot understand why. It works, does what it is designed to do, and does it well. I guess if you really need LC or Federal M855 you can spend $299 a 1000 and get it. If you like the ballistics of 55gr M193 then by all means buy as much of it as you can. For myself, this RG 62gr stuff is just right, and I thought I would pass along the info for others who might be interested. Its good for target practice and defence against southern Hottentott border jumpers.

For all the naysayers that slam this stuff because of what they read on gunboards and bbs sites, I would suggest you get your hands on 100 rds of the stuff and try it in your ARs. I feel you will be happy with what you see downrange. If the bullet was such a crappy performer, why in the world is the government buying and distributing it to their troops. They have been tooled up to make M193 for decades. If 55gr worked so well, why is it not still the main round for the M-16/M-249 series of weapons?

When the war in Iraq is over, and it will be over some day, there will be plenty of federal and LC M855 on the market at cheap prices. And I will be buying as much of it as I can get my hands on. The days of cheap M193 55gr are as dead as JFK. Just look at how much WOLF gets for M193 brass case ammo made in Serbia of all places. $200 a thousand! Winny White Box Q3131 is over $200 a 1000. S&B M193 is over $200 a thousand. ETC ETC. Nope...its cheap RG for me.

Don't get me wrong, i love this stuff. i've put 600 rounds of it through my bushie so far without one jam, misfire, hangfire, or failure to cycle. I love it.

in theory, the Radway stuff is underloaded for use in the British L-85A (SA80) bullpups. There's been a few reports that it won't cycle a AR, but i must be lucky.

I just hear people try to call it armor piercing. It's not. There's even been a few gunshow vendors that bought a bunch of Radway stuff, painted the tips black, and try to sell it as M995 armor piercing rounds at an inflated price....

But to cut to the chase, it's great stuff.

jeffrice6
08-23-2006, 2:49 PM
Does the steel tip have any ill effects on the barrel or barrel life?

chiefcrash
08-23-2006, 3:06 PM
Does the steel tip have any ill effects on the barrel or barrel life?

unless you're shooting bullets with the copper jacket torn off, nope

that's why wolf takes their steel jacketed bullets and copper-plates them

-hanko
08-23-2006, 4:28 PM
Does the steel tip have any ill effects on the barrel or barrel life?
The steel core (it's not the tip of the bullet) is covered by the copper jacket...your barrel wil be fine.

Radway is great ammo...not as speedy as M855 or Q3131A, but only a hundred fps or so, based on a few I've timed. Guatemalan is also great ammo if you're looking for 55gr bullets. They're down to selling cosmetic seconds, but the shoot great, they're accurate to nato specs, and they're cheap.


[quote=SemiAutoSam] Are your bullets tracers or HEI ? or as to tip color are they RED, ORANGE,BLUE, OR SILVER ? [quote/]
Opening post says M855 and SS109. SS109 is the bullet, M855 the assembled cartridge. Tracers have a red or orange tip; blue is (I think) APIT, it's a variety of .50 bmg ammo. Silver is incendiary and also not supplied in 5.56mm.

Read the ammo oracle;)

-hanko

shonc99
08-23-2006, 5:57 PM
People often mistake the 'penatrator' part as armor piercing. The whole design of the steel core is to penetrate a steel helmet at something like up to 600 yards. At that point it whizzes around in your brain turning your head into a bucket of grey scrambled eggs. YRMV:eek: