Published on July 29th, 2013 | by Nick Irving13
Environmentally Friendly Ammo…The Green Bullet?
I guess all of the depleted uranium and lead we’ve been firing overseas in recent conflicts has got our government concerned. According to Washington, the The Army is switching from lead bullets in many small-caliber arms to “environmentally friendly” rounds in 2014. The new green bullets will slowly start to replace the M855 (5.56 mm) and the 7.62 mm. The M855, which was designed in the 70′s, will be replaced by the environmentally friendly M855A1 (green bullet) which is 100% lead free.
For those of us who have used the standard M855 ammunition on live targets, most of us would agree that it lacks the “punch” to put a target down as fast as we would like, often taking more than 3 rounds to incapacitate a threat. The new “green bullet” is currently being tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The new round claims to be deadlier and faster than the Army standard issue 5.56 mm.
If the new projectile packs a deadlier punch than what we are being issued in combat, I have no issue with the new “green bullet”. I just hope that it holds up to its claims, I don’t think we could use anything with “knock down” than the M855. The Army predicts “the use of green 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition could eliminate the purchase of 3,683 metric tons of lead between 2013 and 2018.”
The Mk.318 64 grain SOST would probably have been the better round for the enemy we are fighting today.
Have read about this before and I'm glad to see it moving forward. Not only will a copper core be less polluting than anything with lead, it will be deadlier (copper and steel being structurally and atomically stronger and more durable than lead).
I remembered reading something about this already: http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/03/07/m855a1-should-it-be-the-new-round-for-soldiers-and-marines/
Makes me think of "environmentally friendly" toilets that have to be flushed 2-3 times. Or those govt-approved shower heads, that restrict water flow. So smart.
I was always under the impression that lead was a good thing because its soft and deforms upon impact, causing more damage. Is this not the case?
It's made of a copper core with steel tip. The Army tried this a few years ago with a tungsten powdered core but found it could be as toxic as lead in water tests. This is the latest result. Its more expensive and probably another case of P.C.
@Jake75 Recycled plastic maybe?
@MontyJingo I'm not a ballistics expert so I only know so much, but it totally depends on what the bullet is being used for (maximum penetration vs. max damage). It's true that lead is more dense than steel or copper so for penetration, lead has an upper hand. But in my mind, that lack of malleability and deformation is made up in the greater strength and lighter bullet steel and copper has. Since hollow points and other expanding bullets aren't used by conventional troops, I believe the deformation and damage lead bullets have aren't that varied from what steel or copper would produce.