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It looks like the ATF is once again trying to make it as difficult as possible for hunters and target shooters to enjoy their Constitutionally protected activities. Last week the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives posted a white paper on their website which attempted to do some very shady wordsmithing, the end result of which would be a ban on some of the most commonly available 5.56 NATO ammunition in the United States — ammunition used regularly for bona fide “sporting purposes.” Yet the ATF doesn’t seem to give a damn about that. Which is worrying, since the law they’re trying to apply specifically exempts projectiles which have a legitimate “sporting purpose” . . .

First, a little background.

In the 1968 Gun Control Act, Congress decided to try and define “armor piercing” ammunition. They were basically scared poopless of the idea that someone could shoot a bullet that would penetrate their personal body armor, and wanted to protect themselves from the angry masses. And police too, I guess. The way they defined it, though, has been a massive pain in the ass. The following is that definition:

“(i)      a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii)        a  full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.”

(emphasis added)

Note that rifle cartridges aren’t included in that definition — this is strictly for handguns only. The problem is that with the prevalence of handgun versions of rifle platforms these days, there’s an opening for the ATF to start looking into adding some common rifle-based ammo to the list. Specifically, the ATF is considering adding the commonly available steel-core M855 and SS109 ammunition to the list of banned ammo.

Here’s the money shot from the long-winded white paper:

As explained above, in 1986, ATF held that 5.56mm projectiles in SS109 and M855 cartridges were exempt. Further, in 1992, ATF held that 30-06 M2AP cartridges were also exempt. In each case, ATF found that, “it is well documented” that the respective ammunition “has been recognized as being suitable for target shooting with rifles due to its accuracy.” Id. These cartridges were originally produced for the military and were only later adopted by civilians for sporting purposes. When assembled into a complete cartridge, the projectiles were exempt, but ATF did not exempt the projectiles before the cartridges were assembled.

Applying the sporting purposes framework set-forth above, the 5.56mm projectile that ATF exempted in 1986 does not qualify for an exemption because that projectile when loaded into SS109 and M855 cartridges may be used in a handgun other than a single-shot handgun. Specifically, 5.56mm projectiles loaded into the SS109 and M855 cartridges are commonly used in both “AR-type” rifles and “AR-type” handguns. The AR platform is the semi-automatic version of the M16 machinegun originally designed for and used by the military. The AR-based handguns and rifles utilize the same magazines and share identical receivers. These AR-type handguns were not commercially available when the armor piercing ammunition exemption was granted in 1986. To ensure consistency, upon final implementation of the sporting purpose framework outlined above, ATF must withdraw the exemptions for 5.56 mm “green tip” ammunition, including both the SS109 and M855 cartridges.

ATF recognizes that this ammunition is widely available to the public. Because it is legally permissible to possess armor piercing ammunition under current law, withdrawing the exemption will not place individuals in criminal possession of armor piercing ammunition. However, with few exceptions, manufacturers will be unable to produce such armor piercing ammunition, importers will be unable to import such ammunition, and manufacturers and importers will be prohibited from selling or distributing the ammunition.8 ATF is specifically soliciting comments on how it can best implement withdrawal of this exemption while minimizing disruption to the ammunition and firearm industry and maximizing officer safety. Under the proposed framework, the exemption for 30-06 M2AP cartridges would continue because ATF is not aware of any multi-shot handguns available in the ordinary channels of commerce that currently accept such ammunition.

With respect to the more than 30 requests received pursuant to section 478.148 that remain pending, the determination of whether to grant an exemption in a specific case will be made when the framework has been finalized. Those determinations will be conveyed separately to the respective requestors.

Basically, the ATF believes that with the AR-15 pistols now all the rage, it’s imperative that they ban “armor piercing” 5.56 ammunition or else there will be … wait for it … blood in the streets. Nevermind that standard lead-only 5.56 ammunition is “armor piercing” all on its own simply due to its velocity. The ATF believes that this specific ammo is somehow more dangerous.

The problem is that there is indeed a legitimate sporting purpose to these projectiles. Especially down here in Texas, M855 ammunition is wildly popular in hog hunting where projectiles might hit a branch or some leaves before finally finding a hog in the underbrush. The steel core provides much needed stabilization and penetration power that would otherwise be unavailable. Therefore the ammunition absolutely 100% meets the “sporting purposes” requirement, but the ATF doesn’t care.

It makes you wonder what might be next. Lead-free copper projectiles, perhaps? Because if those are banned and California’s lead ammo ban is upheld, Californians would be pretty much out of luck. And we could be, too.

Even if there’s a sporting purpose, in their position paper, the ATF states that it believes it has the authority to revoke those exemptions if the projectiles “pose a threat” to the American public. That’s laughable on its face. As we’ve pointed out time and again, when it comes to crime, “assault weapons” aren’t the problem.

Guns portrayed as assault weapons in any sense of the word only account for less than 2% of all guns used in crimes in the United States, an infinitesimally small number. And that counts AR-15 pistols too, BTW. I could understand if there was a massive surge in the number of crimes being committed with AR-15 rifles, but that simply isn’t the case.

The most logical conclusion is that the ATF is using the mass shootings of a couple years ago as cover to enact new de facto gun control legislation by further restricting the ability for Americans to get ammo. Even then, their rationale fails to make sense as the biggest of these events were committed with handguns, not rifles.

The good news is that this isn’t set in stone just yet. The ATF is asking for input on their little suggestion, and if their last attempt at changing the rules is any indication this can be stopped (or at least slowed down) if enough force is brought to bear. The 41p ruling is still pending over a year after it was introduced, and industry backlash might be enough to get the ATF to change their mind. The NRA is sounding the alarm. It can happen here as well.

228 Responses to ATF Moves to Ban M855 And SS109 5.56 Ammunition

    • Amen to that. Although in my current ticked-off and sleep deprived state, I don’t know how I could write a friendly letter to the ATF. Especially when I despise the entire organization.

      • The only message I want to send to the ATF is at 3,100 feet per second. But alas, that would only be evidence for their disarmament agenda, so I guess I’ll write a scathing letter.

        • I dunno, sounds like the projectile is too small. For affect, you will need to scale up. Anyone got a rough idea of the speed of multiple independent re-entry vehicles? Only thing i know for sure about government agencies is that you will need to get more then one site, and more then one individual. A little radio active fallout is a small price to pay for a constitutional reset event. The Russians got any of that stuff for sale cheap? Hell, i would take a Chinese knock-off at this point.

      • So, where was the NRA, and all the other 2nd Amendment organizations? They take money, then do nothing but talk. Why have they not filed lawsuits against the BATF.

        1. The BATF ban is clearly unconstitutional, as it represents an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. You can bear an arm if you have no ammunition for it. They can even use the excuse of ‘reasonableness’, because not law enforcement officer has ever been shot with one of these rounds.

        2. The BATF, in banning this ammo, has circumvented the legislative process. They cannot make new laws. Only Congress can do that. This ban has the effect of law, and hence, is way beyond their authority.

        So, again, I ask, where are all those expensive NRA and 2nd Amendment lawyers that members have been paying for all these years?

    • Maybe if these troublesome ATF agents faced prosecution for criminal civil rights abuse charges they may reconsider banning something in common use.

    • Need to go?!?!?! Some of them need to be hung. By a rope. Attached to their neck. This is nothing more than veiled treason against the Constitution and against the people of the US.

    • Write the ATF asking that they do NOT ban SS109/M855 ammunition (the ban is pending to happen in March).

      This is ammunition that many high power shooters use in across the course matches.

      BE POLITE AND EXPLAIN YOU USE THIS AMMUNITION FOR SHOOTING RIFLE MATCHES.

      ATF will carefully consider all comments, as appropriate, received on or before March 16, 2015, and will give comments received after that date the same consideration if it is practical to do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or before March 16, 2015. ATF will not acknowledge receipt of comments.

      Submit comments in any of three ways (but do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method):

      ATF website: APAComments@atf.gov

      (Follow the instructions for submitting comments.)

      Fax: (202) 648-9741.

      Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments

      The link to the full proposed armor piercing reclassification framework is available here:

      http://www.atf.gov/sites/default/fil…g_purposes.pdf

      • Do not offer your comments directly, if you have to, use your congressman or senator,or
        another organization that will protect your privacy-enough said.

    • “The AR platform is the semi-automatic version of the M16 machinegun originally designed for and used by the military.”

      This statement shows how their argument is fundamentally flawed.

      The AR15 platform was designed for military use, but rejected due to the trials being sabotaged by military personnel who wanted to stick with heavy, wooden rifles (paraphrasing). Colt bought the rights from Armalite and released the AR-15 into the civilian market with little fanfare. It wasn’t until AR-15’s started showing up in the hands of special operations forces in Vietnam that the military (and specifically, Robert McNamara) decided to start purchasing the platform, which was subsequently designated as the M-16.

      You’d think that being the ATF, they’d know the history of the rifles in their armories…

    • How else are they going to justify their meaningless jobs? Gotta keep up appearances of relevance and necessity despite the contrary being crystal clear.

      • Here is a novel idea. They want to keep their jobs and still be useful, go through the law books and clean them up. How many laws are outdated? I am not talking about re-writing laws, however, getting rid of laws that no longer pertain to our society or just do not make sense!

        We have way too many laws on the books all the way around. Just sitting in our homes, sometime during the day, I am sure there is some law we break! (might be going overboard, but, so are the laws)

        Often times, less is more. If these idiots do not figure it out, we may find that less of them is more for us…

        (none violent methods…of course, we would not want to incite any kind of other issues.)

        • The problem with Laws, is how hard it is to change them. Many states even have laws against doing it in batches (some do not). Changing or getting rid of an outdated law takes just as much if not more effort than writing new ones. What we need to do is enforce the laws that are on the books, and we could get rid of most of these troublesome idiots that brake the laws, and send them awway for a long time. Criminals know just what it takes to stay out of the the big prison (federal) adn they continue to only commit crimes that send them away for a few months. I have deployments longer than every one of those criminals have spent in prison. The issue is overcrowding. Which is considered dehumanizing. If we could find a way to make it easy to plead guilty, and face a quick death sentence, or difficult and face a very long time in prison (in case we were worng and got the wrong guy/gal) and then step up the execution process, we would have a lot less criminals (and a lot more folks saying I am not guilty, but I can’t prove it so send me away for a very long time).

        • (and a lot more folks saying I am not guilty, but I can’t prove it so send me away for a very long time).

          No. That’s completely contrary to presumed innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is upon the state and not incumbent upon the defendant. A criminal justice system that operated from a position of presumed guilt for the defendant would be a perversion of this nation’s founding ideals.

          As for less criminals… totalitarian governments still fill their prisons and labor camps with people even though they write such draconian rules and the defendants are guilty unless they can prove their innocence. It wouldn’t serve your stated purpose of less criminals and it would destroy individual Liberty. Is that what you really want?

  1. <blockquoteBasically, the ATF believes that with the AR-15 pistols now all the rage, it’s imperative that they ban “armor piercing” 5.56 ammunition or else there will be … wait for it … blood in the streets.

    I doubt anyone at the ATF believes that. They just, like any good bureaucracy, see an opportunity to increase their reach and control and don’t want to miss out.

    It’s not about guns or safety or blood in the streets. It’s a bunch of bureaucratic dogs looking for more corners to piss in so as not to lose any ground or *gasp* their jobs.

    • what is a “blockquote”?

      Is this a block quote?

      Hah! I just learned another way to format my responses. Does anyone have a list of formatting codes?

        • I know. That guy kept saying we were the same person. He didn’t even want to talk or discuss the topic. Just wanted to argue and harass. Textbook troll and couldn’t even see that he was one.

          Predictably [insert anyone’s name here]. Too funny!

          Maybe he has trolling templates that he uses. Just open a file filled with trolling comments and substitute a name and copy/paste into a comments section.

        • I was LMAO while glancing over that little exchange. I wanted to warn you but it seemed like it would fan the flames even more.

          Apparently, he’s obsessed with me lately. I was half expecting for him to show up on my doorstep this Valentine’s day wearing night vision goggles and other victims’ skin sewn into a suit, saying “Yeah, I’d do me!” 😀

  2. Sporting Purpose was a term used by the Nazis in their gun control legislation (according to the JPFO).

    The 2nd amendment does not protect any sporting purpose, it has a very clear purpose so all of this is moot. We don’t need a sporting purpose for anything relating to the 2nd amendment.

    • Right on Kory. It is to protect us from, “wait for it”,
      “Tyrannical Government”. Ding. Ding. Ding.

      Yes, Vanna we have a winner! What have they won?

      Nothing about “sporting purposes” is mentioned in 2A.

      Tap. Rack. Bang.

    • I agree! The 2nd amendment was intended to deter a tyrranical government in our own country and most Americans are too stupid and cowardly to fight back. Ruby Ridge and Waco should have been a wake up call instead the last three administration have been allowed to trash the Constitution and turn the country into a police state. Unless people get victimized by the police and courts, they will ignore the tyrrany done by the injustice system and both state and federal government that have been taken over by communists from both parties especially the libtards. This plot have been going around since the 1930’s and then the major revolt was with the 60’s hippies like the Clintons, Bloombergs, Feinsteins to the Islamo-nazi obama. They want to be able control speech, thought and everything you do. If people remain passive, they will open up their concentration camps in FEMA. They are going after us veterans first just like they did after WW1.

  3. I wonder if something like this could be taken to court and have a judge rule that the ammo in question must be intended for handguns. We all know that there are “handguns” that can fire 5.56 and rifles that fire .357 Magnum, but it would be streching credulity to call 5.56 a pistol cartridge and .357 a rifle cartridge.

  4. Typical. They must know that the 10 grain bit of steel in M855 makes no difference when it comes to compromising soft armor LEO’s wear. More political BS brought to us by B. Todd Jones and your friendly neighborhood ATF.

    • Not only that, but when it comes to plate armor, if M855 is fired close-range at a 3/8″ AR500 armor plate, the M855 “Green Tip” doesn’t even come close to penetrating it while the M193 55gr will cut right through it.

      • For steel, it makes little difference since it’s going to be harder than the material of the bullet anyway, with or without the penetrator. So the only way the bullet can get through is if it has enough kinetic energy to transfer to the plate in one go to, basically, punch the equivalent diameter circle out. The bullet doesn’t actually get through, so far as I know – it flattens against the plate, but then a chunk of that plate flies out with velocity transferred from the bullet, so it will still hurt whatever it hits. So there M193 has an edge simply because it goes faster.

        OTOH, if you take one of those lightweight polyethylene (UHMWPE) armor plates, they’re actually more resistant to that failure mode, but they’re not as hard as AR500 steel. So with UHMWPE, it’s the reverse – M855 zips through because it’s tougher than the plate, so the plate just gives, while M193 can’t punch through, and neither can it punch a chunk of the plate out.

        Neither will defeat a typical military ceramic plate, though.

  5. Bout time for that whole “well regulated militia” thing. ATF is starting to play with fire. The shear stupidity of our current federal government is absolutely mind boggling, and there isn’t a speck of difference between the demicans or the republicrats.

    • Bob wrote, “The shear stupidity of our current federal government …”. What makes you think their actions reflect stupidity? I think brazen is a much better description of the federal government. And why shouldn’t they be brazen when they never seem to suffer any personal consequences?

  6. as ive had pointed out to me before the second amendment protects the right to bear arms. But it doesn’t say a single thing about ammo. If they make it impossible to find ammo (.22 anyone) they dont have to worry about who has which guns

    • The second amendment doesn’t cover ammo like the first amendment doesn’t cover ink.

      Yhea, I know you’re part of the choir…

      O2

    • From the Oxford Dictionary:
      arms
      Syllabification: arms
      Pronunciation: /ärmz /
      Definition of arms in English:
      PLURAL NOUN

      1Weapons and ammunition; armaments:
      they were subjugated by force of arms
      [AS MODIFIER]: arms exports

      So…yeah. Arms includes ammunition. Arms has included ammunition/munitions in its definition since they came into being.

    • I have 12,000 rounds of CCI Mini Mags(excellent .22 ammo). Don’t fret…22’s are finding their way back into the market. Buying ammo online has been the easiest way of acquiring it.

  7. So is there anything that can be done to stop this? Or are we just solely at the ATF’s mercy on this?

    And WHAT THE F*** is with this nonsense about “sporting purposes!?” The right to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with sporting purposes. They might as well be saying that they can ban any form of speech that doesn’t have a legitimate recreational purpose.

      • The problem is this preaches straight to the heart of all the fudds who believe bullshit like the myth that a 1.5oz shotgun slug has less danger of over penetration in crowded hunting areas than a 62 grain 22caliber bullet with a “gasp!” Steel core!!!

        • It isn’t the fudds that think that. Its the bureaucrats that are making the laws. I used to sell a lot of guns to “fudds” they all thought the rules were stupid as well. Very rarely did I find a hunter that was pro gun/ammo control in the slightest.

  8. I’m still waiting to see the 5.45x39mm handgun that caused that ammunitions import. Watch for the ban on “personal manufacturing,” IE, reloading, as the beginning of the end.

    • Tried finding powder lately???? I cast my own in many calibers but they’re trying to ban lead again so its going to be ugly there.. Maybe pull batteries out of momvans, hybrids and prius’ with hope stickers

  9. In a very rare and probably unpopular defense of the ATF, I am happy that they are at least asking for input. Not like other government agencies that create their own policies that become de facto laws (IRS, EPA).
    ATF has identified a hole in a law that as good public servants they must uphold. Until someone points out a Louis Lerner type individual in the ATF, I have to assume they are employees trying to enforce the law. It’s the law that does not make sense, not the agency that is tasked with enforcing it.
    We must bring pressure on the ridiculous writers of these laws.
    Don’t flame me too bad, I recognize that it would be wrong to ban this ammo and in no way support the idea.

    • Do you work for the ATF? Do you have family working for the ATF? That agency does no one any good. I could see if they actually caught mass gun runners bringing in truckloads of heavy machineguns to gangs, or something along those lines. But the ATF gave guns to the cartels, used mentally-challenged people in some sting where agents lost their own firearms, and it seems the only people they ever bust for anything are regular citizens who either unwittingly break a law, or break some law that hurts no one. All for a political agenda, and to justify their miserable existence.

      • Nope, no affiliation with the ATF. 24 years in the Army (SF, if that matters). So I’m just drawing on my experience being hamstrung by politics when we knew who we should have been fighting and who we should have been supporting (Kurds). I can’t argue with any of your points, I just figure there are probably some good Americans in the ATF and can’t paint them all with the same brush.

        • Thanks for your service, as an 18 series you likely understand the mechanics of a dictatorial government takeover. Here we see more and more regulatory change to control the populace with zero interference from the head of the executive branch or the legislative. History indicates the verbiage being used by the ATF and other agencies is similar to Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. Liberation from Oppression in all forms, is prescribed.

        • 24 of forcing the will of politicians on others, even in nations where our politicians have no say. No wonder you’re defending the ATF and their never ending attempts to ban guns and ammo.

    • As government agents who swore on oath to uphold the United States Constitution, then yes, ATF agents should be “good public servants” and “must uphold [the Law]”. And as we all should know, the United States Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. That Supreme Law of the Land includes the Second Amendment which states that “… the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That statement of our Supreme Law of the Land does not allow for “reasonable” infringements from government. It allows NO infringements from government. This is obvious. However, the people who work at the ATF choose to violate the Supreme Law of the Land in exchange for a paycheck and pension.

      As John in Ohio mentioned above, “We were just following orders.” is not a valid defense for violating the Supreme Law of the Land.

    • Good points in all responses, I have no arguments against any of them. I think Chuck in IL states my position better and shorter: Let’s repeal 68 so no one has any leeway to interpret it in their own way and abuse authority. Thanks for the points brought out.

    • Maybe, but I doubt it. Even in the face of all logic, even plenty of hardcore POTG like that gun rights are only rights for certain people (EG not convicted felons). They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, to say nothing of the general public. I think the NFA would be easier to repeal than the GCA, though neither is going to happen anytime soon.

      • I don’t know – the recent ruling in Texas declaring the prohibition on the interstate sale of handguns unconstitutional is definitely a step in the right direction, & offers at least a bit of hope. Predictions are that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold the decision. It’s just unfortunate that these things only seem to get resolved by way of (VERY expensive) lawsuits.

    • The court ruling this past week that said it is unconstitutional to prohibit handgun sales to people from another state was the first real successful attack I can think of on it. It isn’t much, but it is a start and it stated that strict scrutiny should be used.

  10. In your comments to the ATF, please no swear words or being rude. Be polite and professional. Emphasize that such ammunition DOES, in fact, serve a sporting purpose, and provide details (there’s a reason why it is so popular). Also emphasize that the ammunition’s construction isn’t what makes it “armor-piercing” but rather the velocity it gets fired at.

    Also perhaps emphasize that, as a side issue, but an important one nonetheless, that the right to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with sporting, that this would be like saying government can ban speech that doesn’t have recreational purposes.

    • Screw that bullmess. Screw the gun tax police. They serve no useful purpose to society. They have no right to do what they are proposing. I plan on communicating this to them with the clearest language possible.

      • Clear language is good. But belligerent or impolite language does nothing other than reinforce the worst stereotypes of gun owners. I’m not sure why anyone would think that’s useful or helpful to our cause.

        If someone you didn’t personally know approached you and cussed you out, would you say “Wow, I really respect that person’s strong opinion”, or would you say “Wow, what an idiot”?

        Same thing applies here.

        • Your comparison is invalid. A person you don’t know approaching you and cussing you out isn’t the same thing as a letter addressed to “C*ck S*cking BATFE.” They would pretty much know why you are writing. 😉

          A BATFE agent’s opinion of us doesn’t matter. I don’t give a rat’s ass what some drone at BATFE would think of me or my opinion. The message that comes across is “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it!” Which one are they going to fear and respect more, polite little sheep begging for scraps or a pissed off public?

  11. So now there is going to be a run on M855 again. Just when it was getting plentiful and the price was going down. Awesome.

    • It’s already selling out online like crazy. I woke up this morning and said a WTF as I saw everyone was sold or selling out of bulk 5.56 M855.

      • I won’t use CTD anymore – especially not for ammo. Shipping charges are ludicrous, I HATE trying to assemble an order that all comes from one warehouse so I don’t have to pay multiple ludicrous shipping charges, and above all else, they’re the a$$hats that are currently charging $99 for 500 rds of .22lr – my local range charges half of that (not to menton that I get a discount off the regular range price).

    • So just buy M193? It’s just as cheap, it works in pretty much any barrel twist out there from 1:14 to 1:7, the terminal ballistics are better than M855, and it passes the magnet test and so can be used on any range. Why would anyone even want M855?

      • Because that’s a decision we should be making as individuals, not imposed on us from above like serfs scrambling for crumbs.

        • Not disputing that the law is silly here. It’s just that the practical utility of M855 is IMO significantly overstated. Most people seem to buy it because it’s “mil-spec”, or because they mistakenly believe that it shoots better in 1:8 and 1:7 twist barrels (which it doesn’t).

        • I doubt that will have an effect on ammo availability. In most cases, it’s the same company making both types; now they’ll just refit the M855 assembly lines to produce M193 bullets.

  12. Look at the big picture in what the anti’s are doing — criminalize non-crimes (like loaning a firearm in Washington under I-594). We then become criminals. As criminals we can’t possess firearms (after all, we are now “gun criminals”). From their perspective, problem solved.

    Ignore the illegal gun trade, please. Doesn’t fit into the construct……

    • Of course, we have plenty of complete idiots in out midst who fully support the asinine “no guns for felons” thing. I agree with you, by the way. It’s insidious, clever gun control. But until a sizable chunk of our side pulls their heads out of their asses, that’s going to continue creeping along. And they will continue with that same ideology- in the face of all logic- right up until they are a convicted felon for violating some stupid law.

      First they came for the felons….

  13. Ban the ATF. If they try spouting off the reason behind this is some safety nonsense. I’ll laugh. I mean what could possibly be their reasoning behind this since those rounds have been in use for quite some time now.

  14. Nick,

    “M855 ammunition is wildly popular in hog hunting where projectiles might hit a branch or some leaves before finally finding a hog in the underbrush. The steel core provides much needed stabilization and penetration power that would otherwise be unavailable.”

    I think that is why the M855 was developed. The 5.56 projectile will bounce, yaw, tumble, and shred (too) easily. Before my time, but I hear that this was a real problem in Vietnam w/ jungle cover that often consisted of bamboo.

    You and the ATF sent my nerd alarm into overdrive. I think the steel in the M855 is more a tip than a core. Search the web but wiki agrees w/ me 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56%C3%9745mm_NATO

    • actually the steel doen’t do thing about rebounding fom even tiny twigs.yers ago i id several exerimets with everything from 22lr to .45 lc from longarms.i put the target just 3 ft behind the brances used,and even a twi the size a pencil lead would throw projectiles as far as 6 in from point of aim.i had heard some good ole boys talking about the brushbusting ability of the 30/30 and was curious.even the tiniest twig will deflect flight.

    • M855 design has nothing to do with Vietnam. They were still preparing for that big war with Soviets in Europe, and one of the (rather asinine, even within the constraints of that scenario) requirements that were put up for the new round was the ability to penetrate a standard steel helmet at 600m. That’s pretty much the sole purpose of that penetrator. It doesn’t really do much good with modern hard plates, and it reduces the efficiency of the bullet by making it less likely to tumble or fragment in flash.

    • Oh, and on the ‘rebounding’ thing – the material of the bullet has zero effect on that, so long as it’s noticeably harder than the obstacle (which copper-jacketed lead definitely is). The only thing that matters is the mass of the bullet, per law of the conservation of momentum.

  15. They are going to what ever they want to do, & they will make you think that you have a say in it, but you don’t.
    President Osama knows exactly what he’s doing….
    Get your ammo while you can……

  16. Went to the gun show today. Bought a .30 cal can of 200 855 for $85 tell them after buying about the ATF decision and everyone at the table runs for the sharpies to mark the price up $20.

  17. Since no one has said it yet. Yeah, this proposal is moronic. But M855…. it’s just awful. Inaccurate, and despite Leghorn’s claims to the contrary, I think using this stuff for hunting is borderline unethical when so many better options exist. At any rate, I’ve still got a good bit of this stuff. I thought I was going to shoot it up and just use the cases for reloads, but I guess I’ll be hanging on to it for a while.

    • Well that makes me feel a little bit better, if they are banning what ultimately is a lousy form of ammunition. But still, what comes next on their agenda? Also not everyone hunts.

      • I don’t hunt either, but XM193 groups much better in my 1/7 carbine. 193 is also known to have better terminal performance than 855 and if 193 can’t punch through it, chances are 855 won’t either. It’s also slightly cheaper. For those reasons I keep 193 loaded for HD until I can work up a good soft point load.

        That being said, yeah this proposal is stupid and probably designed specifically to get under legal gun owners’ skin. Another late Friday release from the ATF; those guys are on a roll.

      • In strips on my plate are delicious… Add to that slow-cooked over smoke and pulled…

        (Next to the eggs and grits)

        🙂

        • Interesting difference, here. I’ve heard that putting a chunk in a pan and heating, the stink will drive everyone out of the house, it’s so nasty. You think it’s yummy. I heard elsewhere that the trick is to trap them and hold them for a month or two feeding them grain, then slaughter. But most reports I’ve heard are “don’t even worry about humane, just shoot every one you see with whatever you’ve got.” They are a problem, a very destructive one, it is fortunate they are fun to shoot. So far, opportunities are limited, I think in a few years landowners will be offering bounties.

  18. The M855 ammo hits about 6 inches higher at 100 yards than the M193 or the 75gr. match ammo out of my mini-14 so I quit buying it. Must be something with the barrel harmonics. The M193 is usually cheaper anyway.

    The problem with the ATF is that like every other federal agency they have to continually justify their existence. For example, the EPA keeps insisting that factories and power plants produce lower and lower emissions even though the air is cleaner now than it’s ever been. But if they don’t keep driving up the price of doing business in the USA they’ll have to justify why they even exist. So we just ship our manufacturing jobs to China where there are no limits on emissions at all. The ATF has no useful purpose so they have to invent a raison d’etre. The sole reason for this is to push people around and flex the regulatory muscle of Washington. Which is good enough reason for the bureaucrats.

  19. Remember when the ATF started this crap with Me/Elite Ammunition? Not so much here but on many other forums I was attacked.

    I was called chicken little, that I HAD DONE something wrong and that I was a fool and a moron when I stated the ATF was going to use the AR platform pistols to ban ammunition.

    Well now what? I am sure my in box will fill with apologies.

  20. Once again, a even deeper problem than just banning AP ammo. We have government agencies that legislate by bureaucratic fiat and no one makes a major issue. The NRA, GOA, Second Amendment Foundation or any other gun rights group challenge these decisions based on the Constitution`s separation of powers. Its going to be unelected bureaucrats that will ultimately do more damage to liberty than elected officials.

  21. So “armor piercing” rounds from AR pistols is the supposed “threat to the public”? Where are the crimes committed with AR pistols in which “armor piercing” rounds were used? This is now an issue because? Since few people walking around are armored up anyway, even if M855 was a more effecive round at defeating armor, how would it change anything? This is absolutely ridiculous.

    • Yea, civilians have no need for body armor anyways, right? So no one will mind a ban on armor for civilians? But wait all this armor piercing ammunition is just everywhere, we have to ban this dangerous stuff! For the children!

  22. Blame congress, those idiots wrote the ‘handgun’ part. I guess it might have made some sense to them back then when not every developer was making a “pistol” (wink!) in .223

    • actually it was in response to the crack epidemic of the 80s.hollywood used the term “cop killer bullets” ad nauseum.just watch the lethal weapon movies.the phrase got jumped on by the media and everyone had their panties in a bunch and wrote their reps and sens.first successful salvo in the 80s.think of danny glover saying “6 days to retire and cop killer bullets”.

  23. Gotta protect those rich white guys from the swarthy masses. The end result may be delayed but we will be among the last generations to have anything resembling the right to keep and bare arms. It is obvious they are afraid people will wake up to the corruption and are determined to eliminate any chance of retribution.

  24. Last year, the BATFE banned imports of 7N6 under the same law. Does the BATFE have a weaker case because its domestically produced?

    • I wonder how a lot of folks here now feel that THEIR ammo is on the chopping block saying it would never happen because it was “exempted” not giving a damn about 7n6 because they did not own a gun in that caliber or because it was “Commie” ammo.

      Maybe they should start sticking up for ALL AMMO and ALL GUNS regardless if it affects them or not.

  25. I only memorized a bunch of random descriptions of common Army crap for promotion boards but isn’t the M-855 steel tipped not cored to begin with and the definition requires a core?

  26. Remember people the ATF works for us. When is everybody gonna sack up and put some action behind the whole “come and take it” thing. SMH gun community, its our fault they think they can do this.

  27. Exactly how many LEOs are killed every year because they’re shot thru their body armor with M855 ammo from an AR pistol? After all, the ammo and the gun have been around for ages.

    Wait, what? None? No one? Well, better ban it anyway. Huh?!!????

  28. Guys, listen up. This is the big move to finally shut down the militia (Us, all of us) by taking away our ammunition. This is the most common ammunition type there is for 5.56, that is the only reason they are targeting it.

    Give them a week with words and if they refuse to back off, this would be the first time an actual fight is going to be necessary. Just remember what our founders told us, we have a duty and a responsibility to this nation that goes beyond our own well being.

    Keep your powder dry.

    • So ya’ll are ready to activate your militias, start a revolution, and overthrow the government because the Feds are restricting steel core armor piercing ammunition???? What a crock of $#it!

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I found out that $#it came directly from the keyboard of some liberal trolling this site playing the role of what anti-gun liberals imagine to be the stereotypical menacing gun owner hell bent on insurrection.

      Such threats are idiocy that ranks right up there with the idiocy usually heard from fringe groups like the Ku Klux Klan, New Black Panther Party, Open Carry Tarrant County, or Sovereign Citizen Movement.

      The only shot progressive elite liberals have at ever pulling off sweeping national anti-gun legislation is selling to mainstream America some sort of big lie to convince them the majority of gun owners are unhinged menacing militia members on the precipice of revolution.

      The moderator of TTAG should closely monitor and immediately take down any post with ridiculous references to militias and revolution, and not doing so simply enables radical leftists to troll and hijack this site with ease and manufacture their perfect stereotypical menacing pro-gun advocate, then use it as propaganda in their anti-gun crusade.

      • Unless the comment is actually threatening a specific person is downright racist or derogatory, I don’t think the moderator should take down a comment just because you disagree with it or are worried rabid leftwingers are patrolling the web waiting to jump on any comment to use in their eternal campaign to usher in unicorn land. Personally I don’t call for a revolution or militia movement at this point in time, but I would say that it’s another notch to add to the proclamation if DC continues to get involved with our lives.

        • You cannot commit treason with words, unless you’re divulging state secrets. Check the definition of treason in the Constitution some day.

        • Yea, you’re probably right int19h, I’m sure no one at the Justice Department takes seriously the frequent and easily traceable threats of armed insurrection by real or imagined militias that have become increasingly common and predictable knee jerk responses in this forum by a handful of disturbed souls.

          The ease with which liberal trolls can bait some folks into offering up incredibly stupid statements is amazing.

        • So long as those threats are not credible – i.e. they don’t actually lead to “imminent lawless action” – they’re still covered by the First Amendment. They can track them all they like, but beyond that they can’t do anything.

          In any case, incitement to insurrection is not treason. Treason is very specifically and narrowly defined in the Constitution, precisely because labeling people as traitors is the favorite tactic of any tyrannical regime to suppress opposition.

        • I’m pretty sure that what we are not taking seriously is someone pretending to be some kind of authority, to inform us who should have his free speech violated, because of one person’s hysterical ranting.

  29. That explains the bargains and sales on M855 ammo, someone got a heads up from ATF to liquidate their stock. Not going to affect my shooting habits, never developed much of an interest in penetrating armored vehicles or punching holes in 550 Brinell steel targets. The only downside is the rumor mill that dealers will use as an excuse to price gouge gullible fools desperate to hoard every last round of .223 ammo they can lay hands on.

    • 55 grn will be next and if you hand load all they have to do is take the powder and or primers from you… As a rule of thumb; Always keep 1000 rnds of each caliber you own on hand. You never know when our govt I mean ISIS will hit. Lol

    • And the 855 has a higher velocity and works better in a 1/7 config giving tighter groups out to 100 yrds. Which is the most common and what the govt uses… hmmmn.

      • M855 does NOT have higher velocity than M193. That’s basic physics – everything else being equal, lighter bullet goes faster. M193 is 55gr, M855 is 62gr. Out of a 20″ barrel, M193 muzzle velocity is 3200 fps, and M855 is 3100 fps. This, as well as bullet construction, is why M193 yaws and/or fragments more reliably at greater distances than M855, for better effect on target.

        The “better groups from 1:7” thing is also a myth (and, unfortunately, a very popular and pervasive one). For all practical purposes (i.e. unless you’re shooting at extreme angles or with 30 inch barrels), overspinning the bullet, which is what shooting it in a twist rate that’s “too tight” for its weight does, does not meaningfully affect accuracy, even at sub-MOA scale:

        “Testing performed by C.E. Harris at Aberdeen Proving Ground and later at Sturm-Ruger has shown that the above statement is false. The testing showed that “overspinning” quality light-weight bullets from a fast twist barrel does not become an issue unless you have a gyroscopic stability factor greater than 5.0 (which would require something along the lines of a 1:6” twist barrel launching a 55 grain bullet at over 3500 fps) or unless firing at an angle greater than 85 degrees.

        After the U.S. Military adopted the 1:7” twist for the M16A2, C.E. Harris did extensive testing comparing the accuracy of light-weight bullets fired from 1:10” twist barrels and 1:7” twist barrels using 52 grain Sierra MatchKings. The accuracy testing was done from 200 yards, well into the downward slope of the trajectory, and the accuracy results from the two different twist barrels were nearly identical.”

        http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_118/436376__ARCHIVED_THREAD____55_grain_bullets_and_1_7_twist__An_Accuracy_test.html&page=1

        • My understanding at the time was that 1/7 had something to do with tracers, otherwise would have been 1/8. Also heard that from Bushmaster when ordering an upper, later.

          The “extreme angles” mentioned, you’re talking about uphill/downhill? How much greater than 85 degrees do we suppose you could get?

        • Introducing 1:7, yes. Basically when they adopted M855, they also adopted an associated tracer round, M856 – that one was 64 grain, and longer. The M855 62gr bullet only needs 1:8 twist to stabilize successfully and reliably, but M856 actually needs 1:6 for best effect. 1:7 was the compromise that came out of it.

          However, twist rate mismatch works differently depending on which way it is. Shooting a bullet that’s too long in a low rate (e.g. 62gr in 1:12) will fail to stabilize it, sending it tumbling below some velocity, and ruining accuracy altogether. But shooting a bullet that’s too short in a high rate (e.g. 55gr in 1:7) will “overstabilize” it, which really has only marginal effects on accuracy in some extreme cases. You can still shoot sub-MOA groups with “overstabilized” match ammo, for example.

    • It doesn’t explain that, as M193 prices were similarly down with sales etc.

      A far simpler explanation is that they had huge stockpiles of that stuff after over-producing it to meet the post-Newtown demand, and now the market has calmed down, so there was oversupply.

      Well, not anymore. Not for M855 at least.

    • It has been banned since 1986, one of the original calibers on the list so you are 29 years too late and you can thank ol’ Ronald Reagan for that one.

  30. Been plenty of 855 at my local ammo stores for a while but none this evening. Maybe .22LR will become available now. Wouldn’t be surprised if this is payback for the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act recently proposed.

  31. And the soft boot lickers whined and jumped to .gov’s defense when I said mill 5.56 was next after 7n6.

    I hope some of you realize this will never stop, until the ATF is dismantled they will continue to “legally” chip away at our civil rights.

    The government has gone completely feral, our grievances are no longer redressed and it isn’t getting any better.

  32. We really need an additional amendment. The 2nd is great and all, but something that says you can’t do X, while simultaneously leaving X up to interpretation is by and large looking to be taken advantage of.

    I propose a new amendment be crafted, which broadly defines infringement upon the second amendment, in such a way that no federal, state, or local government may prevent the free citizenry from accessing the same small arms, and ammunitions as the militaries and law enforcement of those same branches, or small arms and ammunitions of similar design, size, shape, caliber, or function, or material. The amendment would need to require additional tests for ways in which firearms would not be allowed to be banned, and provide a clause that upon its repeal, a special election would be required in 60 days, in which all current members of all levels of government were prohibited from being involved in, as well as any election after that point, as well.

    • Instead, how about an amendment that limits Federal agency regulations to be:
      1. Limited to one year;
      2. Sunset if Congress does not vote the regulation into law and signed by the President within the year its enacted;
      3. Thereafter bans the regulation and its enforcement until Congress votes it into law and the President signs it.

    • I’m pretty sure that since they sailed right past shall not be infringed, new words aren’t going to work. The Second Amendment isn’t the only one being violated. Except for the Third (one suit is still ongoing, AFAIK), all are under assault. The problem, IMHO, is that the People are ignoring the first part of the Second… A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. The security of our free state is threatened.

  33. I have a question. Why can the ATF even suggest a ban when wouldn’t there need to be a law made for a ban and if that is the case wouldn’t it need to go through both houses or can the ATF just make some hair brained laws up? ATF doesn’t make law ? They enforce it right?

    • The law as written (in 1968, IIRC?) already contains the ban on “armor piercing” ammo, but its definition of “armor piercing” is somewhat vague. The law also explicitly puts ATF in charge of enforcing it, and arbitrating on any uncertainties or inconsistencies. So no, this is fully within the provisions of the law (insofar as the law itself is constitutional).

      • What do they consider armor? Seems to me they could call a thick nylon vest “armor.” Then ban anything that penetrates that.

    • Find me the amendment banning drugs. You won’t because the feral government works via imperial decree, be warned this won’t stop until the ATF forces our hand. Next it will be ALL imported ammo (TUL, Wolf, Bear), then it’ll be all ammo with out a strict “sport” purpose.

      It is far beyond time to dismantle the ATF.

  34. The NRA, and the people copying the HRA alert, have not read the ATF document carefully. The ban is NOt a proposal. The decision has already been made and is being implemented. The “exemption” for M855/SS109 has been “withdrawn,” and is in the process of being “implemented” The request for commentary applies ONLY to how best to implement that which has already been decided.

  35. As an Australian, maybe my opinion is null and void. We have had pretty crumby prohibition rules here for some time now. They were a knee-jerk reaction to an infamous incident in Port Arthur, Tasmania. They actually never really proved the case properly and a lot of contradicting eye witness accounts were blatantly ignored to force the ban. Now we are having similar issues to this with knives, e.g. they are banning the manufacture and import of throwing knives or one handed opening knives. Technically the knives are not illegal to own, they are just impossible to get legally.

    So in short, before you get to the state we are in I suggest you consider the second amendment and extensions of it fully and carefully. It was enacted to for the people and to protect the people from tyranny of government. Specifically after the colonial powers had tried to remove weapons from the people (a step to far as your ancestors well proved!) the extension of this has been in the legalizing of militias in some of your states and many people arming themselves specifically for the legal purpose of defense against tyranny, Screw sporting purposes here, that is NOT what the second amendment is about. So removing projectiles and by extension ammunition fully capable of armour piercing from the market helps nullify the 2nd amendment because how will you fight off a tyrannical government when their soldiers are impervious to your no long armour piercing ammunition? It gets worse too, when the second amendment was written the concept of tanks, planes and long range artillery was non existent. Even with fully automatic weapons, loaded with armour piercing ammunition a modern upheaval against an over zealous government would be very difficult given they have deemed weapons capable of stopping tanks and aircraft as unsuitable for civilian use. In short if the national guard turned on you, what could you really do about it?

    Well the short answer is not much. But the more reasonable and logical answer given the 2nd amendments purpose is, that if you are not going to use the rights given, don’t bother having them. I speak of (if you haven’t seen where this is heading yet) that a government trying to remove or circumvent the 2nd amendment is the exact tyranny the amendment intended to stop. No one wants to hear it but if the cowards on capital hill are worried about personal protection (if they are doing a good job and thinking of the people first there should be nothing to fear) and taking away your rights to defense against government tyranny so they can live in peace. Then that will open you up to that exact tyranny. It may be time for a second civil war…. Or at least to flex your 2nd amendment rights. As they say if you don’t use it you lose it and reminding the government that the constitution is there to protect the people, not the government is one of those things that if you don’t stand up for it now, it may be too late later. There is probably a better way than using guns, but whatever action is taken should not be taken lightly. It should be remembered the right to bear arms was to defend from the government, not the people and you may need it sooner than you think.

    • Your words are wise and your warning timely. Thanks, James.

      When someone tries to point out the same thing to other PotG, someone usually comes back with “You first.” That somewhat juvenile response doesn’t negate the truth of the words. I think the difficult task is assessing when it is time to physically resist. How long of a train of abuses must be suffered… that’s the million dollar question, IMHO.

      • I completely agree 100% the question is when do you call it and how much grace do you give? I think everyone loves peace and who wants to seriously talk about a possible end to it. But then there is your rights and freedoms to consider and when is enough enough. It is a hard one to answer. Not just the million dollar question, it could be the million life question.

      • “Physically resist”? Delusional bluster in the form of lame veiled threats of insurrection as a response to ATF reversing an exemption that takes steel core armor piercing ammo off the market. Hilarious John, predictable, but hilarious.

        • It’s not just about the ATF removing the M855 exemption. It’s a build up over the years of our rights being violated and slowly being taken away. This recent bit is just another nibble, but after a whole lot of “nibbles”, it’s all gone. As stated above, how much are we going to take before we, the people this REPUBLIC was established for, stand up and say “Enough is enough!”? As Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Stephen Smith in 1787, ” The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” It’s getting close to time for the tree to be refreshed.

          Did you know that the average lifespan of the greatest civilizations throughout history was about 200 years? We are well over 200 years. It’s about time for it to fall and to start again.

          If anyone is interested, this is a good read. http://www.americantraditions.org/Articles/Why%20Our%20Founders%20Feared%20a%20Democracy.htm

        • It’s a build up over the years of our rights being violated and slowly being taken away.

          Don’t bother Joe.

          Unlis can read. He purposely ignored the implicitly conveyed idea regarding the etching away of the American people’s rights. He’ll criticize to the very end anyone who doesn’t compromise them away. Eventually the only firearms we’ll be able to own will be single shot 22LR target rifles and those will be permanently stored at the gun range. Unlis will be an old man and when a youngster complains and implies any ideas regarding resistance he’ll say: “There are many legitimate causes for concern when it comes to threats to the 2nd amendment and liberty, but kids, this isn’t one of them. Our rights are protected by the second amendment. No one is going to take our guns and ammo. We can come to the range here to enjoy them at any time – when the range is open. Also, you shouldn’t be saying things like that, because liberals could be listening and they’ll use your words to take our 22’s away.”

      • Well, that’s the game they’re playing. Take away a bit at a time, as to not warrant an unrest after any particular advance on freedoms. When do we stand up and fight? Well, it’s hard to draw a line. And I don’t think we will react in time to reverse the damage. We cannot challenge unconstitutional laws fast enough, so their crimes end up doing damage for decades before something makes it to court. By then a more subservient generation grows up. There is a flaw in the system. There is no punishment for proposing and passing dictatorial, Constitution-violating laws. Brazen, conscious overstepping by the officials should be prosecuted. There should be a limit on the volume of legislature the government can pass every year and no bill should be permanent. No bill should live longer than 3 years before a re-vote. That’s a lot of work but it’s also a deterrent to writing complete horseshit for brownie points from vocal imbeciles of the community.

        • I have had the same thought recently. There is no pain inflicted when someone proposes to diminish a constitutional right. There needs to be a penalty. The practical workings of that could be quite complicated, but none the less badly needed.

          JSG

    • In my magnanimous wonderfulness, I am willing to accept a compromise! How about, you leave ammunition alone and I will support laws prohibiting murder?

  36. Why, oh, why, do people who don’t understand how this all works continue to parse every word of the ATF, when the bottom line is far simpler: their bosses told them to make it illegal and come up with a rationale for it, whether it makes sense or not. The BATFE did not “decide” to do squat; they didn’t make this decision; they were told what the decision was; and they were told to defend it, without regard to what they thought. This is Obama/Holder, pure and simple. The wording of the supposed decision is irrelevant. Quite literally, an act of Congress or new Administration may be required for reversal of silliness like this and the 5.45 ruling.

    • You’re exactly right, simply a “do it now” mandate handed down from Eric Holder or Valerie Jarrett, unfortunately it’s probably just one of many to come between now and January 2017.

    • That’s a stupid idea. Words are now the weapons of left wing lib-tards and democrats. They promised that for words, and conversation when a well thought argument was presented they would be reasonable and allow the side with the best argument to win, they do not. When the other side has a better argument they ignore it, they attack it with laws and legislation or they get their security guards to beat the other guy up and call the sheriff. The left clearly has no intent of allowing the right to ever have fair say or thought. Basically write your congress critter who will (maybe) make an objection on your part, it will be ignored or overturned and become null and void. If it succeeds new legislation from the faceless pencil pushers will simply re-instate whatever rule you managed to fight back and the difference is second time around it will be legally backed up or they will use another major public incident such as a publi shooting to justify it.

      Either you use your second amendment rights to defend your second amendment rights or you wont have any left. I am an Australian, I do actually know what over the top prohibition feels like. The criminals have guns, the po po have guns, (semi-autos and autos with military grade ammunition)I do not. The criminal can shoot me because he doesn’t are about the law, if I use my bolt action hunting rifle to shoot him, I am charged with murder and imprisoned. They told us if it failed to work they could repeal it. Well we didn’t have many massacres to begin with so you can’t say that it stopped them, we have as many now as we used to. Our gun crime rate fell and our knife crime rate went up the same amount. The net result of the reduction in civilian guns was about a 1.2% drop in murders, that lasted a year and is up for debate anyway. The only difference between before and after gun prohibition is now our criminals do not need to worry about a well defended land owner and our politicians don’t need to consider the people at all, because we can’t do anything about it.

      • James, I heard from several Aussies that the numbers were falsified to make the ban look successful, a tactic that would not surprise me here. Thanks for contributing.

  37. This is a problem when you put a communist like B. Todd Jones over the ATF with a former black panther (Eric with-Holder) as his boss. I bet Eric wished he had AR15’s and this ammo when he and his buddies did the armed take over the abandoned ROTC building at Columbia ~1970.

  38. PREVIOUS EXEMPTIONS
    As explained above, in 1986, ATF held that 5.56mm projectiles in SS109 and M855
    cartridges were exempt. Further, in 1992, ATF held that 30-06 M2AP cartridges were also
    exempt. In each case, ATF found that, “it is well documented” that the respective ammunition
    “has been recognized as being suitable for target shooting with rifles due to its accuracy.” Id.
    These cartridges were originally produced for the military and were only later adopted by
    civilians for sporting purposes. When assembled into a complete cartridge, the projectiles were
    exempt, but ATF did not exempt the projectiles before the cartridges were assembled.
    Applying the sporting purposes framework set-forth above, the 5.56mm projectile that
    ATF exempted in 1986 does not qualify for an exemption because that projectile when loaded
    into SS109 and M855 cartridges may be used in a handgun other than a single-shot handgun.
    Specifically, 5.56mm projectiles loaded into the SS109 and M855 cartridges are commonly used Framework for Deciding Sporting Purpose Ammunition pursuant to 18 USC 921(a)(17)
    – 15 –
    in both “AR-type” rifles and “AR-type” handguns. The AR platform is the semi-automatic
    version of the M16 machinegun originally designed for and used by the military. The AR-based
    handguns and rifles utilize the same magazines and share identical receivers. These AR-type
    handguns were not commercially available when the armor piercing ammunition exemption was
    granted in 1986. To ensure consistency, upon final implementation of the sporting purpose
    framework outlined above, ATF must withdraw the exemptions for 5.56 mm “green tip”
    ammunition, including both the SS109 and M855 cartridges.
    7

    ATF recognizes that this ammunition is widely available to the public. Because it is
    legally permissible to possess armor piercing ammunition under current law, withdrawing the
    exemption will not place individuals in criminal possession of armor piercing ammunition.
    However, with few exceptions, manufacturers will be unable to produce such armor piercing
    ammunition, importers will be unable to import such ammunition, and manufacturers and
    importers will be prohibited from selling or distributing the ammunition.8 ATF is specifically
    soliciting comments on how it can best implement withdrawal of this exemption while
    minimizing disruption to the ammunition and firearm industry and maximizing officer safety.
    Under the proposed framework, the exemption for 30-06 M2AP cartridges would
    continue because ATF is not aware of any multi-shot handguns available in the ordinary
    channels of commerce that currently accept such ammunition.

    7 Projectiles of this caliber loaded into these cartridges made from other metals, e.g., lead or copper, is not armor
    piercing to begin with, and will not be effected by the withdrawal of this exemption.
    8 See 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(7) and (a)(8).Framework for Deciding Sporting Purpose Ammunition pursuant to 18 USC 921(a)(17)
    – 16 –
    With respect to the more than 30 requests received pursuant to section 478.148 that
    remain pending, the determination of whether to grant an exemption in a specific case will be
    made when the framework has been finalized. Those determinations will be conveyed separately
    to the respective requestors.
    V. SUMMARY
    When considering requests submitted pursuant to 27 CFR 478.148 to exempt ammunition
    that is “primarily intended for sporting purposes,” ATF intends to apply the following
    framework:
    Category I: .22 Caliber Projectiles
    A .22 caliber projectile that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing
    ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(B) will be considered to be “primarily
    intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the
    projectile weighs 40 grains or less AND is loaded into a rimfire cartridge.
    Category II: All Other Caliber Projectiles
    Except as provided in Category I (.22 caliber rimfire), projectiles that
    otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition will be presumed
    to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section
    921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile is loaded into a cartridge for which the only
    handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade
    is a single shot handgun. ATF nevertheless retains the discretion to deny any
    application for a “sporting purposes” exemption if substantial evidence exists
    that the ammunition is not primarily intended for such purposes.
    The term “single shot handgun” means a break-open or bolt action handgun
    that can accept only a single cartridge manually, and does not accept or use a
    magazine or other ammunition feeding device. The term does not include a
    pocket pistol or derringer-type firearm.Framework for Deciding Sporting Purpose Ammunition pursuant to 18 USC 921(a)(17)
    – 17 –
    Some ammunition that was previously exempted as “primarily intended to be used for
    sporting purposes,” specifically 5.56mm constituent projectiles of SS109 and M855 cartridges,
    will again be regulated as “armor piercing ammunition.” Except as provided by law, no person
    may manufacture or import such ammunition, and manufacturers or importers may not sell or
    deliver such ammunition. ATF will maintain the exemption for 30-06 M2AP cartridges.
    VI. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
    ATF will carefully consider all comments, as appropriate, received on or before March 16,
    2015, and will give comments received after that date the same consideration if it is practical to
    do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or
    before March 16, 2015. ATF will not acknowledge receipt of comments.
    Submit comments in any of three ways (but do not submit the same comments multiple
    times or by more than one method):
     ATF website: APAComments@atf.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: (202) 648-9741.
     Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs
    and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue,
    NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

    • Robert, I have a problem with some of that, specifically
      (ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.”

      Looks to me like a solid copper bullet has a jacket with a weight of 100% of the total weight of the projectile (more than 25%!). You say it is not AP to start with (well, duh, neither is anything 5.56), but that is their definition, why doesn’t it apply to solid copper pistol ammo? Lehigh comes to mind.

      • A solid copper bullet doesn’t have a jacket at all. Jacket is not defined by which material it’s made of, but by its separate nature from the bullet core. Solid copper bullets don’t have a core/jacket separation, not any more so than solid lead ones.

  39. I suggest ammo is an integral part of a firearm as without it you have only a machine. Ammo is the “fire” in “firearm.” Therefore ammo and firearms are bound together as one as the taking of either would equate to disarmament. They are one in the same. In this the 2A does include ammunition.

    Imagine any product which requires another item to operate but may not be sold together with it. The internal combustion engine? Anything you have which runs on electricity?

    The second amendment clearly does not suggest, and as evidenced though history, the people were intended to bear arms which could not be operated as designed or intended.

    Ammunition IS in many ways the very foundation of what we call a firearm. The machine we call a gun comes in many different forms, but the ammunition changes little by comparison other than in physical size. Even appearance is similar from a .22 to a military battleship load.

    In the hands of a firearm constitutional savvy attorney I believe the ammo argument can be supported and won. I do not believe taking ammo is unconstitutional as it does directly infringe on the 2A.

    • “Taking ammo”? Where did you come up with that? The only affect the withdrawal of the ATF exemption will have is that you no longer will be able to purchase steel core armor piercing military 5.56x45mm ammunition. There are many legitimate causes for concern when it comes to threats to the 2nd amendment and liberty, but it is a waste of time and detrimental to rational assertion of constitutional rights to get side tracked with ridiculous rumors and claims ATF is coming to take your ammo. Don’t be so gullible.

  40. The Sig arm brace thing could have been one giant setup from the start in order to popularize AR pistols. Then they would have a technical reason to ban M855.

    • That’s an interesting thought. Either by happenstance or design it’s curious how well those two mesh.

      I wonder how long it will be before some start speculating that Sig is a Bloomberg paid shill and that they “ruined it for the rest of us!” 😀

  41. Having read the “white paper”, I believe there is some mistake regarding the article’s view of the ATF’s statement. They are not considering banning M855 ammo, they have already decided to. The “request” is simply for “advice” on how best to implement the ban without adversely affecting the commercial market (which is next to impossible). The basis for the ban appears to be based on the increasing availability of “pistol”-sized AR-15s with short barrels, no stock, and no foregrip, and which are classified by the ATF as handguns.

    It appears that the market’s desire for these “AR-15 pistols” has just come back to bite the collective gun industry/shooting public in the ass. Now that the 5.56mm round can be fired from multi-shot, magazine fed “pistols”, the ATF can more effectively control the commercial availability of the ammunition for America’s most widely sold and used rifle, the AR-15–a “weapon of war”, in the words of our current sitting POTUS, and which has “no place in our streets” in his view. We have may very well handed our gun-control opponents the very method by which to ensure the death of the “evil black rifle”–after all, the AR-15 can be had in a dizzying array of calibers, and because there are now “pistol” AR-15s, should those calibers ever be made available in this class of firearm, the ATF can simply ban that caliber as well with somewhat more creative “framework implementation” of standing law and regulation, and may very well do so with the full support of the sitting POTUS and a lack of action from our legislators who are supposed to be the ones writing the laws instead of allowing federal agencies to write and interpret their own rulings as to what’s legal and what’s not. All, apparently, in the name of “officer safety”.

    Way to go, capitalism. A word of advice to gun manufacturers for future endeavors–the next time you get the cute idea to try to shrink a rifle down to a point where it could be classified by the ATF as a “pistol”, DON’T. Leave it alone, or you will hand the government the key by which to ensure that your business exists only to support their forces of oppression.

    • I sure wish we would discover that Sig only built their pistol to suck ATF into a move like this so that they could sue the piss out of them. Wishful thinking, I’m afraid.

    • Manufacturers, ignore that nonsense suggestion! Keep innovating. Government’s evils are the responsibility of government alone. Since our government wants to infringe, it will always find away… just like those who blame shift will always find a scape goat. If enough useful ideas come to market that BATFE creates bans in large numbers, even the blame shifters will have to blame the truly guilty party.

      Seriously, PT Clay. You can’t live your life in fear of your masters. It’s not healthy.

  42. While I have no personal need or desire to own an AR style “pistol”, I surely don’t have a problem with civilian ownership of one. This crap about armor piercing ammunition is just that. Most of the boyz in da hood wouldn’t know an AP round from a hot dog, and I see no sudden increase in the use of the new AR rounds in crime anyway. Some people who happen to gain power sure know how to abuse it.

    • The very existence of a BATFE is an abuse of power because it is the organ of infringement in the face of the 2A’s shall not be infringed. An agency born of abused power is abusing power yet again. It was a rabid dog from its inception and it’s not ever going to get well. The only solution is to take it out behind the barn and send it home.

  43. It’s treason plain and simple and we should be talking about hanging the bastards….

    The trampling of our rights is the excuse we use to go to war with other nations. Why should politicians or government agencies be exempt?

  44. our constitution was written so that the most simple minded person could read it and understand it ,because our founding fathers knew that’s exactly what the enemies of our individual freedom would do to control us . there are no grey areas or lets study and chip away at what they really meant . our government has been doing this in every form and fashion since before the civil war or ill quote ”the second American revolution” . it took the whole states rights away illegally , and made them comply with the federal governments agenda during the reconstruction era , since then they have been working diligently to take everyone’s individual rights away. ”sporting purposes” are not what this is about we have to get off our ass’s and our comfortable couches and take on the government as a whole not through litigation [ because they will beat us at that with experience ] but force . it will not be easy or pretty but that is the only way, and yes im just as guilty of sitting here on my ass and just bitching about it . but I really do want to fight this tyrannical group of idiots we call our government

    • Spot on.

      The reason litigation is ultimately fruitless, besides the incredibly long amount of time between harm and actual redress, is because the Supreme Court manufactured the power of judicial review for itself out of thin air in 1803. Until that initial usurpation is corrected, the Constitution is mortally wounded. http://constitutionality.us/SupremeCourt.html

      Ultimately, petitioning the courts to correct violations of shall not be infringed or any other major constitutional violation, is akin to politely begging a thief to lease a little bit of your property back to you. There is very little motivation for the thief to do so. Also, you appear weak in the eyes of the thief so he will rob you again and again.

  45. War is when the government tells you who the enemy is, Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.

  46. “NRA is sounding the alarm…”

    If my e-mail inbox is any indication, the NRA’s alarm has been stuck in the “on” position for many years. In this particular case, it looks like it’s legit. But they send out fundraising requests couched in scare tactics so often, it’s hard to know when there’s a real wolf anymore…

  47. This may be bigger than just M855. If they are using the prevalence of AR-15 pistols to reclassify 223/5.56 ammunition as ammo “designed and intended to be fired from a handgun,” then they could conceivably argue at all 223/5.56 ammunition is AP handgun ammo and ban the entire category.

    Their assertion that only single shot handguns are considered “sporting” is also disturbing.

    Legislation by executive fiat at work again…

    • 308 AR Pistol
      300 whisper AR Pistol
      7.62×39 AK Pistol
      The above is a small example of different pistols that the ATF could use as justification to ban rifle ammo.

      • SHHHH!! Don’t give them any ideas!!! SMH. This whole debacle is ridiculous. How can an agency of the EXECUTIVE branch both create and interpret the law?!!! It’s like they’re all three branches in one!! Sounds rather dictator-like to me. I’m pretty sure this is not what the founding fathers had in mind. Just sayin.

    • The definition of what makes ammo “AP” is written into the law. It’s somewhat vague so things like M855 can be interpreted this way or that way, but regular ammo with lead core and copper jacket is clearly outside of its scope.

  48. Seems like the Sig Brace is connected to this situation. ATF looks so foolish this is how they are trying to show they are in charge and you punk gunnies will not do anything about it.
    I think it is extremely funny. I would caution anyone from making comments that could be taken as a threat of violence against ATF. I support ATF and want to publicly thank them for their service. Their service to the entertainment community. LMAO

  49. I have always said that IF you take any group of people you will find good and bad. By group I mean for example ATF or IRS, NSA, SPCA, DOD, Police etc. The problem is picking out the good from the bad. Unfortunately I do not have a solution.

    Our US Government does have one……….blanket policies for law abiding fools and kill combatants and civilians alike. Who started the term collateral damage?

    Well got to get back to work picking nuts out of poop.

    • Leo
      You need to rethink what you said….. how can there be “good people” in an illegal / unconstitutional organization that writes law illegally and does little else than violate the rights of American citizens?

      That is like saying that there are Good Mafioso, or good hit men… it is a contradiction of terms at best.

  50. This seriously needs to be challenged!! I really hope someone can step up and defend our freedoms. I’ve sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic, but how do you defend against this??!!!

  51. When is Not Really Advocating, gonna start advocating. I wonder just how much money they waste trying to get people’s $25 for a waste of a membership. All that useless paper work and forms in that envelope makes it hard to tear up. Especially the last ten final notice ones.

  52. Liberty Ammunition makes m855 ammunition and successfully sued the army over patent infringement and won millions of dollars in damages. It is quite possible that the ATF is retaliating against Liberty Ammunition while simultaneously depriving law abiding citizens out of a popular ammo.

    • is Liberty Amunition the manufacturer that created a new alloy that replaces led . so they can manufacture it in the USA because of the EPA shutting down the last remaining led smelter in the USA . they won a millions of dollars lawsuit against the federal government because government inspectors and scientists that had overseen their processes and composition and they tied Libertys Patent up for years ,while I believe the government actually stole and started manufacturing it themselves for their own use and supply. im not sure of the details or particulars of this case so excuse me if im in error or totally wrong , but if it is the actual case then it definitely looks like ,and is government retaliation against Liberty Amunition for using the government run legal system and winning ,so it hurt the feds little feelings so this is what im going to do to you. im gonna make sure you loose millions too, it doesn’t surprise me at all . GESTAPO JERKS !!!

  53. Just went to Academy Sports over here in South Carolina. I was looking to get some 5.56 m855 ammo, but they were wiped out. I then proceeded to inquire as to when the next shipment of ammunition would arrive, and he in formed me “we got the letter in the mail, yesterday…..we are to stop sales of 5.56, 62 grain, m855, and take them off of our shelves.” I had heard of the discussion of banning this ammo, but found out it is already being put into action. This is ludacris. Your words mean nothing. It starts with the little things, before you know it, there will be a ban on all firearms.

  54. WAIT STOP WAIT STOP WAIT STOP WAIT STOP.

    1. The ATF is going to infringe our rights. Answer YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN INFRINGED SINCE THE CREATION OF NAZI WEAPONS LAW 1938. Huh? answer: SENATOR DODD OF CT WAS ON THE NUREMBURG TRIALS AND PROSECUTED WAR CRIMINALS FROM THE NAZI REGIME! SENATOR DODD COPIED THE MAJORITY OF NAZI WEAPONS ACT NWA 38 TO CREATE THE GUN CONTROL ACT OF 1968! That is correct! IN WORLD WAR 2 OUR VETERANS WHO HELPED DESTROY THE NAZI MACHINE AND POLICIES WERE BETRAYED BY SENATOR DODD ALLOWING HIM TO ADOPT NAZI DOCTRINES INTO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AS GCA 1968. EVERY LAW THAT TIES BACK ON GUN CONTROL GOES TO THE 1968 GCA AND ITS BASE IS NAZI LAW THAT HAS CONTAMINATED OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE 2ND AMENDMENT SINCE 1968. WHEN DID SPORTING PURPOSE VS MILITARY PURPOSE ORIGINATE? NWA 1938. GREAT TO DISARM EVERYONE YOU PLAN TO CONQUER. 7 MILLION JEWS COULD NOT FIGHT BACK AND THOSE WHO SAID ITS JUST FOR SAFETY DIED WITH THOSE WORDS! THIS GOVERMENT IS SUPPOSED TO BE BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE BUT HOW DOES THAT WORK WHEN YOU LET CORRUPT POLITICIANS CONTROL THE PEOPLE AND DISARM THE PEOPLE WITH EVERY SHRED OF THE CONSTITUTION. FORGET THIS TRIVIAL AMMO BAN>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>REPEAL THE GCA 1968 AND EVERYTHING FOLLOWED>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>BECAUSE NAZI LAWS ARE YOUR BASE OF ALL GUN CONTROLS IMPLEMENTED TODAY!

  55. I notice that they clarified the decision is being based on the fact that the ss109 is “armor piercing”. Maybe I am wrong, but wouldn’t that put all jacketed .556 bullets into their sights for banning? Don’t they all have armor piercing capability?

    • The law has a specific definition of what “armor piercing” means, and it is not defined in terms of actual capacity to penetrate armor, so no.

  56. Additionally, would this not include 410 shells firing steel shot from a Taurus Judge revolver. Not a single shot gun, and shot can be over. 22….Yes? Their looking for a foot in the door so to speak.

    • Shotgun shells fall under this:

      “The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.”

      (same reason why e.g. 12ga is legal, even though it’s over .50 cal bore diameter)

  57. Hey guys… sorry I don’t understand a lot of the technical stuff… is this all 223/556 ammo or just a particular type? In other words if this passes will there be any types of 223/556 ammo for sale or would it all be outlawed?

    • This is one particular type, 62gr with steel penetrator. What is usually referred to as “green tip”, or more formally as SS108 or M855.

    • It’s one type – but it’s also one of the most common and affordable types. If M855 is banned then that may reduce the overall available supply and so increase the price of all the 223/5.56 that’s still available.

      The bigger problem is that if AFT has decided to ban types of rifle ammunition solely because they are able to be chambered in semi-auto rifle caliber handguns that may be setting a potentially huge precedent.

      It’s also disturbing that in the position statement they specifically state that they do not see semi-auto handguns as having a sporting purpose.

      • “The bigger problem is that if AFT has decided to ban types of rifle ammunition solely because they are able to be chambered in semi-auto rifle caliber handguns”

        It’s not just that alone, but also because of the penetrator. They seem to believe that it constitutes a “projectile core”.

  58. This is NOT about armour piercing ammo …….

    For the record the second amendment was written to specifically protect our right to have ammo that is capable of killing the criminal agents of a tyrannical government. That includes our right to own any and all armour piercing ammo.

    That however is not what this is really about. This a back door gun grab… M855 5.56 is not armour piercing by any stretch of the imagination.

  59. This whole mess started as a reaction to several deadly incidents in the 1980’s where local/federal law enforcement officers were gunned down by better armed criminals.
    Most people know deep down that owning military weapons is a no-no, and so does the government. Hence the additional hoops to own full-auto firearms and armor piercing, explosive, and depleted uranium projectiles.
    Since then, the police have become militarized, especially in their weaponry.
    Oddly, the ordinary citizen sees what the police are using, and quite naturally, believe that “if its good enough for the cops, it must be good enough for me”.
    For evidence the sales of .44 magnum revolvers after “Dirty Harry” came out, and sales of Glocks after “Die Hard”.
    The real culprit is the way the law is written. It pertains only to projectiles fitting the definition that “may be used” in pistols. Since pistols are the most common type of firearm used by criminals, and more are using AR type platforms, the restriction is being expanded. It stands to reason that the .357 Sig/ .357 Magnum, and 5.7 mm may also be added at a later time.
    My solution is simple. Apply the same restriction to the cops. Then both the bad guys and the good guys have the opportunity to be equally armed.
    “What’s good for the cops is good enough for me!”

    • Why not address the real issues?

      That any and all gun laws are illegitimate because they are infringing upon a right that the government should protect not be outlawing and turning into permissions.

      That the AFT itself is and unconditional gang of thugs

  60. Taken from the Wikipedia page is the description of M855 as having a lead core.

    The 5.56×45mm NATO SS109/M855 cartridge (NATO: SS109; U.S.: M855) with standard 62 gr. lead core bullets with steel penetrator will penetrate approximately 38 to 51 cm (15 to 20 in) into soft tissue in ideal circumstances. As with all spitzer shaped projectiles it is prone to yaw in soft tissue. However, at impact velocities above roughly 762 m/s (2,500 ft/s), it may yaw and then fragment at the cannelure (the crimping groove around the cylinder of the bullet).[

    Cartridge, Caliber 5.56 mm, Ball, M855 (United States): 5.56×45mm 62-grain FN SS109-equivalent ball cartridge with a steel penetrator tip over a lead core in a partial copper jacket. [green tip]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56%C3%9745mm_NATO#SS109.2FM855

    Since it has a lead core the ATF is illegally declaring it armor piercing.

  61. Two ATF bureaucrats were sitting around in their D.C. office, bored with no football to watch when one said “Bet you I can create another run in ammo.”

  62. Anyone familiar with the story titled “Unintended Consequences”? Everyone should give it a read. Very pertinent to our present situation.

  63. 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel have been added to the ban. It won’t be long until 30 Remington AR and 300 Blackout are added to the list of ‘pistol’ ammunition.

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