Since the adoption of the service round M855 “green tip” and its use in combat we have heard all manner of complaints about it. Usually it’s about its accuracy and terminal performance with the terminal performance problem being exaggerated in carbines. I have read what feels like millions of times, how the older 55gr load M193 is more accurate and has better terminal effect. I don’t have much to say about the terminal performance of either round at this time other than to mention that over the years I have used both of those rounds to kill various animals from varmint size to even putting down a few wounded deer. Always with a carbine. I observed the M193 was less effective than the M855 for whatever that is worth. but this time we are talking about the accuracy.
Military ammo meant for general issue isn’t made to be match ammo. It just isn’t practical in several ways and because of that the ammo is not as accurate. I have run across some pretty good lots of M855 though, and it got me thinking. Can M855 be improved with what I have at home? How hard would it be to improve it with just some careful measuring ?
I grabbed a handful of of M855 I had left from a lot I bought around 2010 that turned out to be unusually accurate. The ammo in this case was real Lake City M855. This is some of the same batch I used when I shot the Colt A2 out to 1,000 yards. I set to work taking the ammo apart with a bullet puller in my hand loading press. The RCBS bullet pulling set is priceless for this use.
I got the bullets pulled then I figured out what the powder charge would be using the original powder. I have no idea what the factory mil-spec powder really is and for what I intended, it didn’t really matter.
I weighed and measured the bullets and set aside projectiles that were as close to each other as I could find. I also made some measurements on the cases I ended up cleaning them up a little with a chamfer and wasted time seeing if I could sort brass by any other method. Before re using them I cleaned up the bullets by removing the water proofing sealant and re-seated the bullets into the cases with more uniform powder charges. Now it is just a matter of going to shoot them and see what happens.