Demystifying Green-Tipped Ammo: What You Need to Know

Green-tipped ammunition, sometimes known as “green tip ammo,” is a type of rifle ammunition that is extensively utilized in military and law enforcement purposes. The ammo cardboard boxes distinguishing characteristic is a green-colored tip, which acts as a visual identifier. This ammunition is officially known as the M855 cartridge in the United States, and it is classified as 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition.

Composition of Green-Tipped Ammo:

  1. Lead Core: The bullet core in green-tipped munitions is often comprised of lead. Lead is a thick and malleable substance that is often utilized in the manufacture of bullets.
  2. Steel Penetrator: One of the key characteristics of green-tipped ammunition is the inclusion of a small steel penetrator within the tip of the bullet. This steel component enhances the bullet’s ability to penetrate barriers, making it effective against light armor and other obstacles.
  3. Copper Jacket: To reduce friction as the bullet travels down the firearm’s barrel and to provide structural integrity, the bullet is typically jacketed in copper. This copper jacket covers the lead core.

Intended Use:

Green-tipped ammunition is primarily designed for use in rifles chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO caliber. Its intended applications include:

  1. Military Use: The M855 ammunition is a standard choice for military forces. Its design allows for better penetration through various barriers, making it effective against lightly armored targets.
  2. Law Enforcement: Some law enforcement agencies also use green-tipped ammunition, especially in scenarios where they may encounter barricaded suspects or vehicles.

Regulations and Restrictions:

It’s important to note that the civilian use of green-tipped ammo box for 9mm may be subject to regulations and restrictions in certain regions. In the United States, for instance, armor-penetrating ammunition, including green-tip ammo, may have limited civilian access due to regulatory limitations. This means that civilians may not have easy access to purchase this specific type of ammunition.


In conclusion, green-tipped ammunition, or M855 cartridges, is a specialized type of rifle ammunition recognized by its green-colored tip. It is commonly used by military and law enforcement agencies for its ability to penetrate barriers effectively. However, civilian access to this ammunition may be restricted in some areas due to its armor-penetrating capabilities and regulatory considerations

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