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Ammunition Types and Characteristics

Ammunition Types and Characteristics.

  1. Cartridge, 5.56-mm, Ball, M193. The M193 cartridge is a center-fire cartridge with a 55-grain, gilded metal-jacketed, lead alloy core bullet. The M193 round is the standard cartridge for field use with the M16A1 rifle and has no identifying marks.
  2. Cartridge, 5.56-mm, Tracer, M196. (Used in the M16A1 rifle) The M196 cartridge has a red or orange painted tip. Its main uses are for observation of fire, incendiary effect, and signaling. Soldiers should avoid long-term use of 100 percent tracer rounds, which could cause deposits of incendiary material, or chemical compounds that could damage the barrel. Therefore, when tracer rounds are fired, they are mixed with ball ammunition in a ratio of no greater than one-to-one with a preferred ratio of three or four ball rounds to one tracer round.
  3. Cartridge, 5.56-mm, Dummy, M199. (Used in all rifles.) The M199 dummy cartridge is used during dry firing and other training. This cartridge can be identified by the six grooves along the sides of the case beginning about 1/2 inch from its tip. It contains no propellant or primer. The primer well is open to prevent damage to the firing pin.
  4. Cartridge, 5.56-mm, Blank, M200. (Used in all rifles.) The M200 blank cartridge has no projectile. The case mouth is closed with a seven-petal rosette crimp and shows a violet tip.
  5. Cartridge, 5.56-mm, Ball, M855. (Used in the M16A2/3/4 and M4-series weapons.) The M855 cartridge has a 62-grain, gilded metal-jacketed, lead alloy core bullet with a steel penetrator. The primer and case are waterproof. This round is also linked and used in the M249. It has a green tip. This ammunition should not be used in the M16A1 except under emergency conditions, and only at targets less than 90 meters in distance. (The twist of the M16A1 rifling is not sufficient to stabilize the heavier projectile of the round).
  6. Cartridge, 5.56-mm, Tracer, M856. (Used in the M16A2/3/4 and M4-series weapons.) The M856 tracer cartridge has characteristics similar to the M196 tracer with a slightly longer tracer burnout distance. This cartridge has a 63.7-grain bullet. The M856 does not have a steel penetrator. It has a red tip (orange when linked 4 to 1 for the M249). This ammunition should not be used in the M16A1 except under emergency conditions, and only at targets less than 90 meters in distance. (The twist of the M16A1 rifling is not sufficient to stabilize the projectile of the heavier ammunition).
  7. Cartridge, 5.56-mm Short-Range Training Ammunition (SRTA), M862. (Used in all rifles.) The M862 SRTA is designed exclusively for training. It can be used in lieu of service ammunition on indoor ranges and by units that have a limited range fan that does not allow the firing of service ammunition. SRTA ammunition must be used with the M2 training bolt.
  8. Although SRTA closely replicates the trajectory and characteristics of service ammunition out to 25 meters, it should not be used to set battle sight zero of weapons to fire service ammunition. The settings that are placed on the sights for SRTA could be different for service ammunition.
  9. If adequate range facilities are not available for sustainment training, SRTA can be used for any firing exercise of 25 meters or less. This includes the 25-meter scaled silhouette, 25-meter alternate qualification course, and quick-fire training. SRTA can also be used for Urban Operations training.