This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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Is there also similar data for 7.62 ball and 5.56 ball and AP
M855A1 was $0.46 and MG linked M80A1 was $0.91
Thank you, rough estimate is that 6.8 ball is over twice as expensive as 7.62 ball and close to 5 times more expensive than M855A1. Perhaps Colonel Powerpoint in the DoD can justify this with higher kill probabilities at overmatch ranges, as the conclusion of the succinct 300 slide presentation.
The new ammo isn't exactly cheap, when you consider it is being made in new, theoretically more efficient manufacturing facilities, albeit with a more complicated construction. Cue cost saving work arounds to do most of training using 5.56, 7.62 and simulators!
I would love to see a comparible velocity curve for M855A1, although I would bet it is classified, if for no other reason than stopping politicians making trouble!
I think that M855 velocity curve was generated from private testing for a magazine article, so it should be possible to create a similar (unclassified) chart for M855A1.
Am I reading too much into it, to suspect that M855 was optimised for the 20 inch barrel of the time, or is it just the way the testing was conducted with the hardware available?
Since SS109/M855 was developed by FN when most 5.56 rifle and LMG barrels were in the 18-20" range, I imagine the loading was optimized for barrels of that length.
The dominating 5.56 mm weapon at the time of the NATO trials was the M16A1 with a 20 inch (508 mm) barrel. The standardization document for the 5.56 mm NATO (STANAG, now AOP, 4172) specifies a 508 mm test barrel.
Thank you, rough estimate is that 6.8 ball is over twice as expensive as 7.62 ball and close to 5 times more expensive than M855A1.
Well to be fair the 6.8 is brand new, whereas the others have had a decade+ of economy of scale to lower production costs. Within 10 years or so theres no reason why 6.8 brass vs 7.62 brass EPR wouldn't cost about the same.
The real variable I think will be the cost difference between brass case and the SIG hybrid case, and how much more the hybrid adds to the price.
(also to JPeelen)
I really hope that as M855A1 was designed as lead free ammunition which would also improve the effectiveness of the M4, there isn't a similar velocity dip, this time around 16 inches barrel length. Marine Corps usage in the M27 springs to mind here. I don't think I have ever seen any actual data of M855A1 performance in longer barrel lengths than the M4.
M855A1 performance in longer barrel lengths than the M4.
I believe the specs were 2970fps from the 14.5" M4 and 3150fps from the 20" M16.
But really the performance gain is the much lower frag velocity, going from ~2700fps for M855 to ~1700fps for M855A1. That's where it's vastly improved performance comes from.
Here is the only M855A1 velocity data I could find:
14.5" - 2912 fps
20.0" - 3185 fps (average) / 3211 fps (corrected)
P.S. I think I inadvertently caused us to go off track from your original question:
"how about...a heretical 16 inch barrel to give an AP projectile a fighting chance?"
M855A1 is Ball. M995 is AP.
I really hope that as M855A1 was designed as lead free ammunition which would also improve the effectiveness of the M4,
I have recently reviewed some data on lead free ammo for military use. Which included the M855A1. Actually its the modern go to standard in this regard.
The M855A1 definetly is lead free. Completly. Not only the bullet but the primer and propellant as well. In this regard its 100 % "green".
BUT this is only a byproduct. The M855A1 has not been developed as a green bullet. It has been developed as an improvement over the M855, wich is allready apparent in its name "enhanced performance round". Since the lead free approach did not only not interfere with the goal of performance increase but actually helped this is what they chose to do.
here isn't a similar velocity dip, this time around 16 inches barrel length.
The M855A1 has been designed to give allmost the same performance from a 20" barrel from a 14.5" M4 barrel. Which it does. The difference is really small (under 30 m/s or 100 fps). A 16" barrel would be between a 14.5" and 20" barrel.
I don't think I have ever seen any actual data of M855A1 performance in longer barrel lengths than the M4.
Than you haven't really searched because there are several easily available on the internet.
The documentation of the M855A1 that is publicly available is really thorough. Including loading data and the propellant used.