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  • Post category:Ammunition / Rifle Ammunition
  • Post last modified:September 28, 2023
  • Post published:April 12, 2021

Best 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo

What is 5.56x45mm NATO ammo? 🧐

This ammunition, often simply referred to as “5.56 NATO” or “5.56mm”, is a widely used rifle cartridge. It is the standard ammunition used by many military and law enforcement agencies around the world, especially in North America and NATO member countries. This round is known for its versatility and is primarily used in assault rifles and light machine guns.

Features ✍️

The 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition has several distinctive features that make it suitable for a range of military, law enforcement, and civilian applications. Here are some of its essential characteristics:

✳️ High Velocity: One of its defining features is its high muzzle velocity. 5.56 NATO ammunition is known for its high initial speed, which helps provide a relatively flat trajectory and good accuracy at medium ranges.

✳️ Lightweight Bullets: The bullets used in this ammo are typically lightweight, which allows for the soldier or shooter to carry more rounds for a given weight compared to larger, heavier calibers.

✳️ Standardization: This cartridge is standardized by NATO, which means it’s used by many NATO member countries as their standard rifle cartridge. This standardization promotes interoperability among allied forces.

✳️ Military Ball Ammunition: The standard military-issue ammunition is often full metal jacket (FMJ) or ball ammunition, designed for penetration and reliability. It’s commonly used for training and military purposes.

Our Top Pick
Hornady Superformance 5.56x45mm NATO 75 Grain Boat-Tail Hollow Point Match Centerfire Rifle Ammunition
Hornady has engineered this ammunition with progressive propellants, and the result is remarkable. What sets this ammo apart is its ability to provide high velocities without the harsh recoil. Shooting with this ammunition feels comfortable and controlled, making it a great choice for extended shooting sessions or when you need quick follow-up shots. Accuracy is key, and this ammo doesn't disappoint. The boat-tail hollow point design enhances precision, ensuring that your shots hit their mark consistently.
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Benefits 🔥

The 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition offers several benefits that have contributed to its widespread use by military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters. Here are some of the key advantages:

☑️ This ammunition typically generates less recoil compared to larger calibers, making it easier to control and allowing for faster follow-up shots. This is especially beneficial in military and self-defense scenarios.

☑️ The high muzzle velocity results in a relatively flat trajectory, which aids in accuracy and allows for effective engagement of targets at medium ranges.

☑️ The cartridge is suitable for a wide range of applications, including military service rifles, light machine guns, designated marksman rifles, and civilian sporting rifles. This versatility has contributed to its popularity.

☑️ Smaller, high-velocity bullets tend to generate less wear and tear on firearm barrels, leading to longer barrel life and reduced maintenance requirements.

Benefits of 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition

Do cartridges with green tips worth it?💡

The 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition with green tips, commonly known as M855 or SS109, is a specific type of ammo that has a steel penetrator core and is often associated with a green-painted tip. Whether M855 ammunition is “worth it” depends on your specific needs and intended use. Here are some factors to consider:

🟢 Advantages: 🔴 Disadvantages:
🔰 Penetration: The steel penetrator core in M855 ammunition provides enhanced penetration capabilities, allowing it to better penetrate certain barriers and light cover. This can be beneficial in military and law enforcement scenarios where barriers may be encountered.

🔰 Availability: M855 ammunition is relatively common and can be found in surplus and new production forms. Its availability may make it an attractive choice for those who want a readily available and widely recognized 5.56 NATO round.

🔰 Accuracy: M855 ammunition is generally accurate and suitable for target shooting and training purposes, much like standard 5.56 NATO ammunition.

🚩 Over-Penetration: The enhanced penetration capabilities of M855 ammunition can be a disadvantage in certain self-defense and civilian applications. It may pose a higher risk of over-penetration, potentially causing unintended damage or posing a greater risk to bystanders.

🚩 Non-Expanding: M855 ammunition does not typically expand upon impact with soft tissue like some hollow-point or soft-point ammunition. This means it may not create as large of a wound channel, which can affect stopping power.

🚩 Cost: While M855 ammunition is generally affordable compared to other specialty ammunition types, it may be more expensive than standard full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition, often used for training and practice.

📌 Ultimately, whether M855 ammunition is “worth it” depends on your specific needs and circumstances. If you are using it for training or target shooting, standard 5.56 NATO ammunition may be more cost-effective and suitable. If you are in a situation where enhanced penetration is a priority, such as law enforcement or certain military roles, then M855 ammunition may have its advantages.

Best 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo Reviews

1# Winchester USA 5.56x45mm NATO 62 grain Green Tip (M855) FMJBT Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Winchester USA RIFLE 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 62 Grain

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With a legacy spanning generations, Winchester’s “USA White Box” ammunition has earned its reputation for excellence. Winchester’s commitment to innovation is evident in the inclusion of a green-tipped bullet with a steel insert. This design enhances the round’s performance and expands its utility, making it suitable for a range of scenarios. One of the standout features is its unwavering accuracy. Shooters can rely on consistent and precise performance, shot after shot. Based on our experience the shellcases used in this ammunition are heat-treated for added durability. This robust construction ensures that the cartridge can withstand the rigors of various firearms and environmental conditions. In summary, this ammunition is a trusted companion for shooters and hunters. Its long-standing reputation for quality, versatility, and consistent accuracy makes it a go-to choice for those who demand reliable performance in their ammunition.

  • Legacy of excellence
  • Innovative design
  • Consistent precision
  • Heat-treated for added strength and resilience
  • High price tag


2# Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO 55 grain Ball (M193) FMJ Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 55 Grain

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Frontier Cartridge ammunition, proudly featuring Hornady bullets, offers a versatile selection catering to a wide array of shooting needs. One feature of this ammunition is its versatility. It’s not limited to one specific use but rather spans a broad spectrum of applications. Reliability is a top priority, and it delivers on this front. Through the utilization of state-of-the-industry loading techniques and rigorous quality control procedures, each round is crafted to perform consistently. In addition to the quality bullets, Frontier Cartridge features brass cartridge cases and military-grade boxer primers and propellants. This commitment to quality materials further contributes to the ammunition’s overall reliability and performance. Whether you’re out for a day of recreational shooting, refining your skills, hunting, or involved in professional training, Frontier Cartridge has the rounds to match your application. With a focus on consistency and quality, it’s a dependable choice for all types of shooters.

  • Wide range of applications
  • Strong emphasis on consistency
  • Brass cartridge cases
  • Military-grade boxer primers
  • May not work well in all firearms


3# Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO 75 grain BTHP Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 75 Grain

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When it comes to reliable performance that exceeds expectations, the Hornady Frontier 556 ammo delivers with its 75-grain Boat Tail Hollow Point (BTHP) bullets. The inclusion of non-steel core bullets and brass cases in this ammo makes it well-suited for a wide range of shooting applications. From target shooting to hunting, it’s a versatile choice that caters to different needs. Our research has shown that with a 2,910 FPS muzzle velocity, this ammunition packs a punch downrange, offering excellent stopping power. Whether you’re pursuing varmints or require self-defense capabilities, the velocity delivers. Beyond its impressive performance, it caters to various shooters and applications. From plinking and target shooting to hunting and law enforcement training, it’s configured to meet diverse needs. Whether you’re stocking up for range days or preparing for specific scenarios, it’s an ammunition option that delivers quality and reliability.

  • Versatile projectile design
  • Quality components
  • Impressive muzzle velocity
  • The use of state-of-the-industry loading techniques
  • Should consider the budget when selecting ammo


4# Winchester USA 5.56x45mm NATO 55 grain Ball (M193) FMJ Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Winchester USA RIFLE 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 55 Grain

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This ammunition line is a trusted choice for a diverse community of hunters and shooters. It’s designed to provide consistent and reliable performance, making it suitable for shooters of all skill levels. Whether you’re an experienced marksman or just starting, you can trust this ammunition to deliver on the mark. The use of full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets ensures positive functioning without expansion upon impact. This design choice is particularly advantageous when controlled penetration is desired. It’s a feature that appeals to those seeking reliability in their ammunition. Winchester goes the extra mile by using robust heat-treated shellcases. This enhances durability and ensures that the cartridge can withstand the demands of various firearms and environmental conditions. Whether perfecting your aim or enjoying a day at the range, this ammunition delivers the quality and performance that shooters can rely on.

  • Suitable for shooters of all skill levels
  • It is particularly beneficial when controlled penetration is desired
  • Durable shell case
  • Muzzle velocity of 3180 ft/s and muzzle energy of 1235 ft-lbs
  • It is versatile, serving a range of applications
  • Environmental impact
  • High price tag


5# Hornady Blak 5.56x45mm NATO 75 Grain InterLock HD SBR Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Hornady BLACK 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 75 Grain

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This specialized ammunition is purpose-built to excel in 10.5″-11.5″ Short Barrel Rifles (SBRs). It brings together cutting-edge technology in propellants and bullet design, drawing inspiration from the renowned Critical Duty FlexLock bullets. Tailored for SBRs with shorter barrel lengths, this ammunition leverages proprietary propellant technology to deliver exceptional performance. Consistency is key in ammunition performance, and this round doesn’t disappoint. Our findings show that it offers uniform velocity and accuracy, essential for hitting your target reliably, shot after shot. High-quality cases, primers, and propellant are used to construct this ammunition. This ensures that every component is up to the task, contributing to the round’s overall reliability. Whether you’re a professional user or a dedicated enthusiast, this ammunition is designed to meet your needs with precision and effectiveness.

Video review

  • Maintains uniform velocity and accuracy
  • Controlled rate of fire
  • FBI protocol compliance
  • It may not perform optimally in firearms with longer barrels


6# Hornady Blak 5.56x45mm NATO 62 Grain FMJ Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Hornady BLACK 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 62 Grain

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This ammunition is designed with versatility and efficiency in mind, offering a robust line of centerfire rifle cartridges suitable for a wide range of applications. This 5.56 NATO load packs both power and precision, making it an excellent choice for hitting targets with accuracy. It is built with a focus on reliability. The use of high-quality cases, propellants, and bullets ensures that your firearm cycles smoothly, and you can count on consistent and dependable performance with every shot. One of the main features is its ability to deliver optimized performance across various firearm platforms. Whether you’re using a rifle for personal defense or sporting purposes, this ammunition is engineered to perform reliably.

  • Versatile and efficient
  • Offers both power and precision
  • Manufactured with high-quality cases, propellants, and bullets
  • Engineered to deliver optimized performance
  • Limited availability


7# Hornady Superformance 5.56x45mm NATO 75 Grain BTHPM Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Hornady Superformance 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 75 Grain

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When it comes to high-velocity firepower without the harsh recoil, this ammo stands out as a rapid firepower solution for your rifle. It is loaded with a selection of Hornady’s finest bullets, including V-MAX, NTX, SST, GMX, and InterLock. Based on our observations these bullets are renowned for their exceptional performance, ensuring you’re well-prepared no matter the game or shooting scenario. At the heart are the Superformance propellants, ushering in a new era of ballistic performance. These powders are engineered to push the envelope of velocity and accuracy, providing a competitive edge in the field. Just like all Hornady ammunition, Superformance rounds maintain the highest standards of quality when it comes to cases and primers. Whether you’re a seasoned marksman or just starting, this ammo delivers results you can count on.

  • High-velocity firepower
  • Engineered for unbeatable concordance
  • Proven Hornady bullets and powders
  • Crafted with the highest quality cases and primers
  • It may be priced higher compared to conventional ammunition


8# Winchester Match 5.56x45mm NATO 77 grain BTHP Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Winchester MATCH 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 77 grain

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When it comes to honing your skills on the shooting range, Winchester Rifle Ammunition proves to be the ideal training companion. It is tailor-made for rifles featuring fast twist barrels. This design consideration ensures that the ammunition performs optimally in firearms with twist rates in the specified range. At the heart is a match-style bullet known for its proven performance and extreme accuracy on the range. The sleek profile, large boat tail, and small hollow point work in concert to maximize long-range accuracy, allowing shooters to fine-tune their marksmanship skills. Engineered for fast twist barrels and equipped with a match-style bullet, it provides the accuracy and consistency needed for effective training. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or just starting your journey, this ammo offers a reliable path to improving your shooting skills.

  • Optimized for fast twist barrels
  • Proven performance and extreme accuracy in the range
  • Reliable materials
  • Not suitable for hunting


9# Barnes Vor-Tx 5.56x45mm NATO 70gr TSX BT Rifle Cartridges

Barnes Vor-Tx 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 70 grain

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Barnes Vor-Tx ammunition represents the pinnacle of precision and performance, loaded with some of the most lethal bullets in the world. Barnes, a renowned leader in bullet innovation, delivers a factory-loaded round that offers hunters unparalleled accuracy, terminal performance, and hand-loaded precision. The Barnes TSX bullets, featured in this ammo, expand rapidly upon contact, making them among the quickest-expanding bullets available. This swift expansion leads to quick, humane kills by peeling back into four sharp-edged copper petals, effectively destroying tissue, bone, and vital organs. Multiple grooves in the bullet’s shank are incorporated to reduce pressure and enhance accuracy. Shooters can trust in the precision of each round, ensuring they hit their target with accuracy. Whether you’re pursuing a big game or seeking accuracy and terminal performance, such ammo delivers exceptional results. Its deadly bullets and proven accuracy make it a reliable companion for any hunting expedition.

  • Bullets are known for their lethal performance
  • Designed for devastating energy transfer
  • Rapid expansion
  • Enhanced bullet design
  • Brass cartridge cases
  • It may be more expensive compared to standard ammunition


10# Barnes Precision Match 5.56x45mm NATO 85 grain OTMBT Centerfire Rifle Ammunition

Barnes Precision Match 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 85 grain

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This ammunition sets the standard for exceptional accuracy at long ranges, instilling confidence in shooters with every shot. Precision Match rounds are loaded with Open Tip Match Boat Tail (OTM BT) projectiles. As our tests have shown these bullets feature a long boat tail and high ballistic coefficient (B.C.), making them ideal for extreme precision at extended distances. It delivers a level of consistency that’s often challenging to achieve even when handloading. Shooters can trust that each round will perform predictably, shot after shot. Whether you’re a competitive shooter or a precision enthusiast, this ammunition offers military-grade precision, exceptional consistency, and valuable insights into bullet flight. With it, you can send it with confidence every time you pull the trigger.

  • Exceptional accuracy
  • Military-grade precision
  • The highest level of consistency
  • Doppler radar technology
  • It may not be the best choice for shooters seeking general-purpose ammunition


11# Barnes Precision Match 5.56x45mm NATO 69gr Match Burner OTM BT Rifle Cartridges

Barnes Precision Match 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 69 grain

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When it comes to long-distance target shooting and competitive precision shooting, this ammunition is the go-to choice. It features high ballistic coefficient (B.C.), match-grade Open Tip Match Boat Tail (OTM BT) projectiles designed specifically for competitive and long-range target shooting. These projectiles deliver outstanding performance at extreme distances. Thanks to temperature-stable propellants, Precision Match ammunition maintains low standard deviations and minimal extreme variations, even in diverse environmental conditions. Shooters can count on reliability and consistency. This ammo is loaded into first-quality, factory-fresh brass cases. This brass is not only reliable but also reloadable, allowing shooters to make the most of their investment. It is the ammunition of choice for those who seek excellence in long-range targets and competitive shooting.

  • Temperature-stable propellants
  • Reloadable brass
  • Consistent expansion
  • Precise boat-tail labeling
  • Military base and primers
  • Limited availability
  • Not suitable for self-defense


12# Barnes Vor-Tx 5.56x45mm NATO 62gr TSX BT Rifle Cartridges

Barnes Vor-Tx 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo 62 grain

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Barnes VOR-TX, a leader in centerfire rifle ammunition, is redefining the landscape of hunting rounds. Unlike run-of-the-mill factory-loaded rounds, these bullets are engineered to deliver spot-on accuracy. The secret to this accuracy lies in the meticulous hand-loading performed by the skilled Barrett brothers. The cartridge itself is a marvel of engineering, with a proven track record for accuracy. Our analysis of this product showed that match-grade primers are the cherry on top, ensuring reliability and consistency with each shot. And don’t forget the commitment to using only the highest quality cases and primers. Have you had the pleasure of using Barnes VOR-TX rifle ammunition? If you have, you’ve likely experienced a stark difference in accuracy compared to standard factory loads.

  • Effective terminal performance
  • High weight retention
  • Double-diameter expansion
  • Cartridges are engineered for consistency and reliability
  • High-quality cases and primers
  • The increased power and performance may result in higher recoil


5.56x45mm NATO vs .223 Remington – What’s the Difference? 📢

These cartridges are very similar, but there are some key differences between them. While they share the same bullet diameter (0.224 inches), their specifications and intended purposes vary, and it’s important to understand these differences, especially if you’re considering using one type of ammunition in a firearm chambered for the other. Here’s a breakdown of the main differences:

💣 5.56x45mm NATO: 💣 .223 Remington: 
💥 Pressure Levels: This cartridge is designed to operate at higher chamber pressures compared to .223 Remington. NATO specifications allow for higher pressure to ensure reliability in military firearms under adverse conditions. .223 Remington ammunition is loaded to lower pressures compared to 5.56 NATO. It is intended for use in civilian sporting rifles.
💥 Chamber Dimensions: Firearms chambered for 5.56 NATO have chambers with slightly larger dimensions. These chambers accommodate the higher-pressure cartridge safely but may lead to marginally looser tolerances. Firearms chambered for .223 Remington have chambers with tighter tolerances due to the lower pressure of the cartridge.
💥 Throat and Freebore: The 5.56 NATO chamber typically has a longer throat and freebore (the portion of the barrel ahead of the chamber), which helps with chambering and extracting cartridges in semi-automatic and automatic firearms. The .223 Remington chamber usually has a shorter throat and freebore, which can enhance accuracy in bolt-action rifles.
💥 Ammunition Compatibility: Firearms chambered for 5.56 NATO can safely fire 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington ammunition. While .223 Remington firearms are generally not designed for the higher pressure of 5.56 NATO, they can safely fire .223 Remington ammunition. It is not recommended to consistently fire 5.56 NATO ammunition in .223 Remington chambers, as the higher pressure could potentially lead to excessive wear or damage over time.
💥 Bullet Weight and Performance: Both 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington are available in a wide range of bullet weights and types, making them versatile cartridges suitable for various purposes, including target shooting, hunting, and self-defense.
💥 Cost and Availability: .223 Remington ammunition is often more readily available and can be less expensive compared to 5.56 NATO ammunition.

❗ In summary, while 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges are similar in appearance, they have differences in chamber dimensions, pressure levels, and intended use. Always use the appropriate ammunition for your firearm to ensure safety and reliability.


5.56x45 vs 5.45x39: Is that much different?

😀 Yes, 5.56x45mm and 5.45x39mm are significantly different when it comes to their performance on steel targets, primarily due to variations in bullet design, velocity, and energy transfer.

🔶 5.56x45mm NATO:  🔶 5.45x39mm: 
🟣 Bullet Design: This cartridge typically fires a jacketed bullet with a lead core. The bullet design can vary from full metal jacket (FMJ) to hollow point or soft point. FMJ bullets are common for military use and are known for their ability to penetrate steel targets without significant deformation. The 5.45x39mm cartridge often uses a steel-core, armor-piercing bullet. These bullets are designed for penetration and can be more effective at piercing steel targets compared to standard FMJ rounds.
🟣 Velocity and Energy: The 5.56 cartridge typically has higher velocity and energy compared to the 5.45x39mm. This additional energy can contribute to more significant impacts and potentially better results when shooting at steel targets. While the 5.45 cartridge is still effective, it generally has lower energy compared to the 5.56. This lower energy can result in less dramatic impacts on steel targets.
🟣 Target Thickness and Hardness: The effectiveness of both cartridges on steel targets can also depend on the thickness and hardness of the steel. Thicker and harder steel targets are more resistant to penetration and deformation.

✍️ In summary, while both 5.56x45mm and 5.45x39mm can be used on steel targets, 5.56x45mm NATO rounds often have a slight advantage due to their higher velocity and energy. However, the choice between the two should also consider factors like bullet design, target distance, and the specific steel target being used. Always prioritize safety and follow range guidelines when shooting at steel targets to prevent ricochets and ensure a safe shooting experience.

📺 More info in this video:

What is the best length for 5.56 ammo?

💡 The best length for 5.56mm ammunition typically refers to the cartridge’s overall length (COL), which is an important consideration for reloading or chambering ammunition in firearms.

➡️ The standard cartridge overall length for 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition is about 2.260 inches (57.4mm). This length is standardized to ensure compatibility with a wide range of firearms, including semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 and military weapons.

🚨 It’s essential to adhere to the specified cartridge overall length when reloading 5.56mm ammunition or when using factory-loaded ammunition, as firearms are designed to accommodate this length. Deviations from the standard COL can lead to issues with feeding, chambering, and reliability in firearms.

🧑‍🔧 If you’re reloading ammunition, always consult reloading manuals and follow recommended COL guidelines for your specific bullet and powder combination. Additionally, ensure that your firearm’s chamber can safely accommodate the ammunition you plan to use, as some rifles may have different chamber dimensions that require specific ammunition lengths.

What is the maximum effective range of 5.56 NATO?

📝 The maximum effective range of 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition can vary depending on several factors, including the specific firearm, the type of ammunition, the shooter’s skill, and the intended target.

🎯 However, a general guideline for the maximum effective range of 5.56 NATO ammunition is typically considered to be around 500 to 600 meters (approximately 550 to 660 yards) for point targets, such as individual enemy combatants. At this range, it is still capable of delivering accurate and lethal fire when fired from a standard-issue military rifle like the M16 or M4. Beyond this distance, the bullet’s trajectory and energy start to decline significantly, making it less effective for engaging individual targets.

📌 It’s important to note that while the maximum effective range for point targets may be around 500-600 meters, the 5.56 NATO round can have a longer effective range for area or suppressive fire, depending on the shooter’s proficiency and the specific firearm and ammunition used.

🔍 As with any firearm, marksmanship skills, training, and familiarity with the firearm’s ballistics are essential factors that can influence the effective range of a particular shooter. Additionally, specialized rifles, optics, and match-grade ammunition can extend the effective range beyond the standard capabilities of military-issue rifles and ammunition.

Why is it called 5.56 NATO?

✒️ The designation “5.56 NATO” refers to a specific caliber of ammunition used in military and civilian firearms. It is called “5.56” because it represents the bullet’s diameter in millimeters, which is approximately 5.56 millimeters. The “NATO” part of the designation stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Here’s a breakdown of each part:

  • 🧩 5.56: This number represents the bullet diameter, which is essentially the caliber of the ammunition. The bullet used in 5.56 NATO ammunition measures approximately 5.56 millimeters in diameter, which is roughly equivalent to .223 inches.
  • 🧩 NATO: This designation indicates that the ammunition complies with the standards and specifications set forth by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO is a military alliance of several countries, and they have established common standards for various military equipment, including small arms ammunition. The goal is to ensure interoperability among NATO member nations so that their firearms, ammunition, and equipment can be used interchangeably.

⏰ 5.56 NATO ammunition is very similar to .223 Remington ammunition, but there are some slight differences in chamber specifications and pressure levels. While the cartridges are physically very similar, they are not identical, and it’s important to use the appropriate ammunition for a firearm chambered for either 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington to ensure safety and proper function. In summary, the name “5.56 NATO” indicates the caliber and adherence to NATO standards, making it a standardized ammunition used by military forces of various NATO member nations.

What types of this ammo are available?

📚 5.56 NATO ammunition comes in various types designed for different purposes. Here are some common types:

⭕ Full Metal Jacket (FMJ):  FMJ ammunition is the standard military-issue round. It features a lead core enclosed in a harder metal (usually copper) jacket. FMJ rounds are known for their penetration and are used for training and combat. They have a characteristic round or pointed nose.
⭕ Hollow Point (HP):  Hollow point ammunition is designed for self-defense and hunting. These bullets have a hollow cavity at the tip that causes them to expand upon impact, creating a larger wound channel and transferring more energy to the target. They are not typically used by the military but are popular among civilian shooters.
⭕ Soft Point (SP):  Soft point ammo features a partially exposed lead tip. This design provides controlled expansion upon impact while retaining good penetration. Soft point rounds are commonly used for hunting medium-sized game.
⭕ Open Tip Match (OTM) or Match Grade: These rounds are designed for accuracy and consistency. They often have open tips but are not designed to expand on impact. Match-grade ammo is used in precision shooting competitions and long-range shooting where accuracy is critical.
⭕ Ballistic Tip:  These rounds feature a plastic-tipped, lead-core bullet designed to provide superior accuracy and expansion upon impact. They are often used for hunting varmints and predators.
⭕ Frangible Ammo:  Frangible rounds are designed to break apart upon impact with a hard surface, reducing the risk of over-penetration and collateral damage. They are used in shooting sports and training scenarios where safety is a concern.
⭕ Steel Core (M855):  The M855, also known as “green tip” ammunition, features a steel penetrator core within the bullet. It provides improved penetration through barriers and light armor. M855 rounds are used by the military but are also available for civilian use.
⭕ Tracer Ammo:  Tracer rounds have a phosphorescent tip that ignites upon firing, producing a visible trace of the bullet’s path. They are used for target designation and can be found in both military and civilian variants.
⭕ Subsonic Ammo:  Subsonic 5.56 NATO ammo is loaded with heavy bullets and reduced powder charges to keep the velocity below the speed of sound. This reduces the sonic crack associated with supersonic rounds and is often used in suppressed firearms.
⭕ Blank Ammo:  Blank rounds are used for training, simulation, and in theatrical productions. They do not contain a bullet but produce a loud report and muzzle flash.

📌 Each type of 5.56 NATO ammunition serves specific purposes, from military and law enforcement applications to hunting, sport shooting, and self-defense. It’s important to choose the right type of ammo for your intended use and firearm. Always follow safety guidelines and use appropriate ammunition for your firearm’s chambering.

Conclusion 😉

The best 5.56x45mm NATO ammo varies based on individual preferences and requirements. Before making a selection, consider your intended use, firearm compatibility, and local regulations. Always prioritize safety and ensure that your chosen ammunition matches your firearm’s chambering. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a newcomer, the right choice of ammo can enhance your shooting experience and meet your specific goals.🤠👍

Tags: 5.56x45mm nato ammo, best 5.56x45mm nato ammo, 5.56x45mm nato ammo review

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Joseph Morris
Joseph Morris
1 month ago

I’m currently on a budget and can’t afford to build a long-range bolt gun right now. While the 6mm ARC is an appealing option, it’s quite expensive. However, I’m considering a more affordable approach by getting a new barrel and bolt for my existing setup. My goal is to find the best 5.56 ammo for long-distance shooting practice. This way, I can continue honing my skills with my current firearm and ensure that any misses are due to my own abilities, rather than being attributed to the ammo or gun.

    1 month ago
    Reply to  Joseph Morris

    I’ve had some positive experiences with the Winchester Match 5.56x45mm NATO 77 grain BTHP Centerfire Rifle Ammunition. When you’re considering heavier ammunition like this, it’s advisable to have a lower twist rate, ideally around 1/7. However, you might also want to experiment with different loads in the 60-grain range. Finding the best ammunition for your specific firearm often involves a bit of trial and error. My approach has been to purchase a box or two of various types of ammunition and then systematically test them to see which ones deliver the best groupings on paper.

      Wells Evans
      Wells Evans
      1 month ago
      Reply to  Joseph Morris

      I’ve had great results with Barnes Precision Match 5.56x45mm NATO 69gr Match Burner OTM BT Rifle Cartridges. While I primarily handload my ammunition, I’ve also seen them available on store shelves from time to time.

        1 month ago

        Has anyone here had the chance to shoot the 5.56x45mm NATO 62 Grain bullet? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with it.

          Clark Peterson
          Clark Peterson
          1 month ago
          Reply to  Vital

          I’ve found that the Winchester USA 5.56x45mm NATO 62 grain Green Tip (M855) FMJBT Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition is a great hoice. It usually groups at around 2-3 MOA when fired from a standard 16″ AR. If you’re considering purchasing it, just a friendly tip – don’t pay more than 30 cents per round for surplus .223/5.56. It’s currently quite abundant and should be budget-friendly.

            1 month ago

            I recently came across some 5.56×45 cartridges at a local shop that are said to be NATO surplus. The headstamp on these cartridges features a NATO cross inside a circle and the letters SB. However, I’m having trouble identifying the specific NATO type of these rounds (e.g., M193, SS109). The bullet in these cartridges weighs 4 grams or 62 grains, and it seems to have a copper or brass coating on a steel or iron (magnetic) jacket with a lead core. What’s intriguing is that the tip of the bullet has a small structure that I can’t seem to match with any known NATO cartridge or bullet type, despite the presence of the NATO cross in a circle on the headstamp. This combination of bullet structure and weight doesn’t appear to align with what I know about NATO cartridges. I’m curious to find out what military cartridge type these rounds might be.

              1 month ago
              Reply to  Nite

              I happen to have quite a bit of SB ammunition with casings that match the markings you’ve described. However, the bullets on mine are unmarked SS109 types. It’s interesting to note that the bullets you’ve subscribed here seem to be of a Russian commercial type with a bi-metal jacket. It’s a bit puzzling, but it appears that someone, for some peculiar reason, may have pulled the bullets on some old Santa Barbara SS109 rounds and replaced them with Russian bulk component bullets. That’s my two cents on the matter.

                Yonatan Phillips
                Yonatan Phillips
                1 month ago

                I’ve noticed that it’s quite challenging to find information about the freebores of .223 Rem bolt-action rifles from gun manufacturers. Interestingly, the freebore or throat length of a rifle can significantly affect cartridge pressure. My goal is to have the flexibility to use 5.56×45 NATO cartridges and experiment with custom loads. Having a longer throat could provide me with more options in this regard.

                  1 month ago

                  🤔 It’s true that the freebore or throat length of a rifle chamber can significantly affect the pressure generated when firing a cartridge. Understanding the freebore is crucial, especially if you want to use both 223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges or experiment with custom handloads.
                  🎯 Generally, 223 Remington chambers have a shorter freebore compared to chambers designed for 5.56 NATO. The 5.56 NATO chamber is known for its longer throat, which allows for the safe use of military surplus ammunition with longer bullets.
                  🎯 If you intend to shoot both 223 Remington and 5.56 NATO in the same rifle, a chamber with a 5.56 NATO specification is a safer choice. It accommodates both types of ammunition, although it may sacrifice some accuracy potential when using 223 Remington due to the longer throat.
                  📌 However, it’s essential to note that while many firearms are chambered in 223 Remington, some manufacturers offer rifles with chambers that are more accommodating of both 223 Remington and 5.56 NATO. These chambers might have a longer throat, closer to the 5.56 NATO specification. If you’re specifically looking for a rifle that offers such flexibility, it’s a good idea to reach out to firearm manufacturers or dealers for detailed chamber specifications.
                  🧑‍🔧 Ultimately, if you’re considering custom handloads and maximum flexibility between the two cartridges, consulting with a knowledgeable gunsmith or chambering specialist can help you design a chamber that meets your specific needs and preferences. They can create a custom chamber with the throat length that suits your requirements, ensuring safe and accurate performance with both 223 Remington and 5.56 NATO ammunition.

                    1 month ago

                    I’ve learned that when dealing with barrels not explicitly marked as 5.56 NATO, it’s crucial not to load cartridges with pressures exceeding .223 standards or use 5.56x45mm rounds. Remington .223 loads have shown remarkable accuracy in my experience. It’s interesting to note that the freebore in a 5.56 chamber is approximately twice that of a Remington .223. In my case, I have four builds with 5.56 NATO 1:8/1:7 twist barrels, and for the best accuracy, I always keep my loads below the maximum charge recommended for .223 Remington.

                      Turner Ross
                      Turner Ross
                      1 month ago

                      If you’re not keen on purchasing a new factory rifle and want more control over your chamber specifications, consider exploring options like acquiring a well-used Tikka or a similar platform and then having a professionally chambered match barrel installed with a 223 Wylde chamber. This approach allows for greater customization and precision in your long-range shooting setup.