The term "green tip" commonly refers to a specific type of 5.56mm NATO ammunition, namely the M855 cartridge. The primary difference between green tip (M855) and standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition lies in the construction of the bullet and its intended use.
The M855, or green tip, is a military cartridge developed for use in rifles chambered for 5.56mm NATO. It features a steel penetrator tip that is painted green, hence its popular nickname. The bullet construction typically consists of a lead core with a steel penetrator at the front and a copper jacket surrounding it.
The purpose of the steel penetrator is to enhance the bullet's penetration capabilities, allowing it to better defeat barriers such as light armor, metal plates, or other obstacles commonly encountered in military scenarios. This penetration capability is an important characteristic for military applications but may not be necessary for civilian shooting or hunting purposes.
On the other hand, standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition, often referred to as "ball" ammunition, typically features a lead core enclosed by a copper jacket. These rounds are designed for general-purpose use, offering reliable performance and accuracy without the specialized penetration capabilities of the green tip (M855) ammunition.
It's important to note that while green tip ammunition (M855) was primarily developed for military use, it is also commercially available and can be legally owned by civilians in many jurisdictions. However, certain regulations or restrictions may apply in some regions regarding its sale, purchase, or use.
When selecting ammunition, it's essential to consider your specific needs and the intended application. Standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition, without the steel penetrator, is commonly used for target shooting, competition, and general-purpose use. Green tip (M855) ammunition, with its penetration capabilities, may be more suitable for individuals who require enhanced barrier penetration or who participate in shooting activities where such ammunition is allowed.
As always, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations regarding the purchase, possession, and use of specific types of ammunition. Additionally, consult your firearm manufacturer's recommendations to ensure that the chosen ammunition is compatible with your firearm's chamber and design.