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As you’ve probably heard by now, the diligent public servants at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced on Friday their intent to ban some common flavors of AR-15 ball ammo, ostensibly because of its “armor piercing” capability. This may or may not be a fait accompli, but gunnies have until March 15 to register comments with the ATF on the move. Instructions for how to do that can be found here. Pro tip: for maximum effectiveness, keep it simple, clear and cogent. As an example, here’s reader John D.’s missive:

Gentlemen –

BATFE does not have any statutory authority to prohibit civilian distribution or possession of U.S. M855 specification cartridges under 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (B), regardless of any ‘sporting purpose’ determination.  Nor does BATFE have any statutory authority to prohibit civilian distribution or possession of NATO STANAG 4172 specification cartridges under 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (B), again regardless of any ‘sporting purpose’ determination.  The statutory language supposedly authorizing such a prohibition, cited by Denise Brown on Page 3 of the BATFE text titled “ATF FRAMEWORK FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CERTAIN PROJECTILES ARE “PRIMARILY INTENDED FOR SPORTING PURPOSES” WITHIN THE MEANING OF 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (C)”, reads:

(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means –

  1. 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
  2. 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.

I have highlighted the words ‘constructed entirely’ for a reason which will become clear.

The projectile specified in M855 specification ammunition, U.S. Army TACOM ARDEC Drawing 9342869, has a combined steel and lead metal core. 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (B) (i) applies only to projectile cores:

.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….

The core of the M855 projectile is not constructed entirely of steel, nor is the steel in the core of the M855 projectile combined with “tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium”. Rather, the steel in the projectile core of TACOM ARDEC Drawing 9342869 bullet is at the front of a lead metal component. These two components together, both within the projectile jacket, constitute the M855 projectile core. You can confirm this combination by reviewing U.S. Army TACOM ARDEC Drawing 9349656, which establishes the engineering requirements for the M855 projectile core.

Please note the English language definition of the adverb ‘entirely’, as taken from Merriam-Webster:

Definition of ENTIRELY

1 : to the full or entire extent : completely <I agree entirely> <you are entirely welcome>

2 : to the exclusion of others : solely <entirely by my own efforts>

By any correct reading of the English language, the core of the M855 projectile is not composed entirely of steel, or a combination of steel with any of the other metals specified in 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (B) (i).

18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (B) (ii) applies only to projectiles larger than .22 caliber, designed and intended for a handgun, so the jacket weight percentage of the .22 caliber M855 projectile is not legally relevant to a determination of the M855 cartridge’s status as ‘armor piercing ammunition’. Also MIL-C-63989C (AR), the U.S. Army specification covering M855 cartridges, does not mention handguns. Further, the gas port pressure requirements established in Section 3.10.3 of MIL-C-63989C (AR) constructively exclude the ‘AR Type handguns’ cited in Denise Brown’s text as an application for M855 cartridges.

Before an 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (C) ‘sporting purposes’ exemption can be considered, BATFE must establish that the projectiles in M855 cartridges are indeed subject to ‘armored piercing ammunition’ regulation under 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (B). BATFE has not made this case, nor can BATFE make this case without abusing the clear statutory language.

Please withdraw Denise Brown’s “ATF FRAMEWORK FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CERTAIN PROJECTILES ARE “PRIMARILY INTENDED FOR SPORTING PURPOSES” WITHIN THE MEANING OF 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (17) (C)” and terminate any further efforts to prohibit civilian possession or distribution of M855 projectiles and/or cartridges.  Please extend all of these comments to cover any and all cartridges conforming to NATO STANAG 4172, which are functionally and constructively identical to U.S. Army M855 cartridges.

John D.

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      • Indeed, and it will not be ignored. Oh, they will ignore it for the purposes of making a final decision on this rule. But the writer himself will now have a BATFE file if he didn’t have one before.

        • Everybody here probably has a file at the BATF&E, and at DHS, FBI, TSA, IRS, Secrect Service, Justice Department, ……

          • I know I do. DoD, FBI and Secret Service. Nothing criminal, just the accumulation of data from interacting with Uncle Sugar.

    • In 1774 the British imposed an import ban on firearms and gun powder on the colonists. In 1774-1775 the British began confiscating firearms and gun powder from the colonists. Do we have an agency operating under a self appointed king. Maybe we should start focusing on
      teaching better history in our schools

      • All most people know about the Revolutionary War they learned from the schoolhouse rock PSA in the ’70s. Everything being put out in movies and TV about that period is dramatized and distorted into incomprehensibility. And yes, it is 75 cent Word Saturday!

    • I am pro gun and just, wanted to add a rebuttal to the claim that the m855 is not used in handguns.

      It is!!!! What do you think an AR15 pistol is? So based on those grounds, the people that wanted a short barreled rifle without going through BATF. THANK YOU!!!

      This falls directly in line with the new ruling on the sign brace. Again, people who wanted a short barrel rifle without going through BATF. THANK YOU!!!!!

      I realize they might try it anyways, but we did this one to ourselves.

      • Again…intent. The ammo must have been manufactured with the intent to be fired from a handgun, which it is not. Same with the Sig arm brace, intent.
        And blaming free men for the loss of a right because they were exercising that right, puts you in the same category as an anti 2nd Amendment supporter.
        But you knew that already or else you would not have started your comment off with “I am pro gun”.

    • This is supposed to be an example of a concise letter? Uh…no. Rational and awesome, yes. Cogent, yes. Concise…absolutely not.

      I’ll send off my letter with fewer than 10% of these words.

        • Hah. The ATF simply doesn’t understand the meaning of those four words, so reciting them to ATF is a waste of oxygen and/or bits.

        • @SteveInCo

          The ATF and entire government understand just fine, they just don’t care. They also know that most Americans do not care, thus anyone who tries to resist or fight back can safely be labeled “insane” or “extremist” or “terrorist”. Until the moronic masses pull their heads out of their rectums and realize that the government (regardless of if they are Republicans or Democrats) will never stop their endless quest to revoke all rights and freedoms, we’ll continue down that dark path.

      • I consider that letter quite concise. He had a lot to say, and said it concisely. There were few wasted words there. That defines concise. You meant that it was not short, which is correct.

        Great letter, should be enough all by itself.

  1. From what I understand, they don’t want comments to whether or not to do this, they want to know *how* to do it. They’re going to do it regardless of what we think. We should be writing our congressmen instead, not the ATF. They don’t give a rats ass what we think at this point. Bureaucrats don’t have to worry about running for office. Politicians do. And it’s time to get the politicians to reign in the bureaucrats, or else.

    • How about reminding them that the 2nd amendment means that the citizens are allowed to have the same arms as the government? Anything less is clearly infringements.

        • Pro gun legislators should start including the word “infringed” in other legislation, esp on contentious topics. Soon a court will have to make a ruling the hinges on the definition of that word, the higher the court, the better.

          If we can get a supreme court ruling that includes acknowledgment that infringed means “to create an edge” or starting similar, that would be a victory.


        • That’s a reason to fight harder. Not give up. I’m just a big picture long term kind of guy. I think the argument needs to be taken to the people more than to the already tyrannical government.
          I know it is a difficult fight with the government schools getting first say. Another barrier to freedom is there is not one Senator or Representative that will argue 100% in favor of the Constitution even having taken an oath. Arguing against an Assault weapons ban is not the same as arguing for the 2nd amendment. The first Congressman to stand up and say that we the people are entitled to the freedom to own every piece of modern weaponry afforded a military soldier or LEO can use on the job, will be declared insane by not only the opposing party, but the media, POTG, and his or her own party. But it must be said. Then it must be said again and again. Because these truths are supposed to be self evident, but somewhere the patriots failed. We need to take up the fight again and the right fight is to reinstate the the power that the people were always intended to have.

      • I have to say, out of the dozens upon dozens of soldiers / police officers that I’ve met in my life, I finally found a soldier that agrees that citizens have the right to bear arms and should have access to the same equipment as the military. We were stuck on a runway for four hours on Monday evening trying to leave DC and had a long talk about economics and guns (seeing how we both have degrees in Economics and both enjoy things that go “BOOM!”).

        I was truly shocked after all the horrible “Anyone who doesn’t work for the government shouldn’t have rights!” comments / conversations I’ve had with every other solider / cop I’ve encountered.

        • Boy, have you been wandering in some strange places. I spent 20 years in the military and almost never ran into someone with the attitude you claim is universal. And that includes 5 years when I was on nuclear alert one week out of every 3, giving you nothing to do but interact with other personnel for 24 hours a day for a solid 7 days. A LOT of conversations, not all with the same education / interests that I had. Officers, enlisted, pilots, radio operators, maintenance personnel, missile launch officers, navigators, high school graduates through PhDs, 2 stripes to O-5s. We almost always had at least one Class 3 dealer on alert with us, several FFLs. I bought my S&W .41 Magnum from an enlisted guy I made the arrangements with while we were on alert. I think you have little to no actual experience or you are just wildly exaggerating.

          I have much less experience with police officers, someone else can comment there.

        • I should add that every person on alert with me was there because he/she was ready at less than 10 minutes notice to launch aboard an aircraft headed into a thermonuclear war, to defend those rights which you claim they did not support.

        • @LarryinTX – he did mention while leaving DC. If that’s where he spends a lot of time I’m not terribly surprised.

        • As a retired PA State Trooper, I have to concur with Larryin TX, you’ve been wandering in some strange places. Most of the Troopers I know are strong 2A supporters. We see a clear delineation between the tyranny of the federal branch and state and local law enforcement.

          In fact, when we received our first intel sheet from DHS outlining the threat from right wing terrorist, we laughed. About 90% of the Troopers fit the profile. Survey after survey has shown that rank and file law enforcement (not administration level butt kissers) support the 2A.

          As for writing the ATF, I’d say it’s about as effective as those White House petitions. Support your preferred gun rights organizations and call your representatives in DC. We need to stir up those that answer to us, POTUS and ATF do not.

          • It’s geographic. I live in a Conservative County in a Conservative State. Our Sheriff and Deputies are pro second amendment and even have an open to the public shooting range. We are bordered by two Counties, one to the North and one to the West that are Democrat. Their law enforcement officers may have a different viewpoint.

        • Yeah I would say it largely depends on the unit as well. Active duty in a PSYOPs unit, there were plenty of Soldiers who didn’t like shooting or were one of those “I support the 2A, but…”. When I went Reservist in a MI unit I was hard pressed to find Soldiers who didn’t like shooting or weren’t supporters of the 2A.

        • …. Yeah have to reiterate what everyone else said. In 2009, my entire platoon got together and we had a serious discussion about defecting to the rebel side if civil war were to break out due to Obama’s policies.

        • @Brandon

          I live in Ohio, I was on a business trip to DC. What’s even more surprising about him being the first truly pro-2A solider / cop that I’ve met is that he was raised in California.

          As for “No, no soldiers would ever say anything bad!” – I fucking sat at Scott Air Force base last December and listened so several people (both enlisted and officers) smiling and talking about how they would enjoy massacring Americans if there was ever a civil war (especially in regards the gun rights). You might find some cops or soldiers who enjoy guns and maybe you’ll find some who aren’t completely opposed to us lowly peasants owning them, but it’s incredibly rare to find one who realizes that “shall not be infringed” means “shall not be infringed”. So many gun owners delude themselves into thinking that the police and military are on our side, yet they prepare for the possibility of a civil war…..they fail to grasp the concept that the police and soldiers that they worship would be the very people they would be fighting in a civil war.

    • If the ATF is wondering how to best remove it from the market. Perhaps we should be suggesting that they gather it up to be used at an event like Knob Creek or something else considered a sporting event.
      Disposing of the entire countries reserve of M855 at one of these sounds like a lot more fun than seeing it burned up.

    • Actually, we should be doing both. Write BATF and you congressmen. Also write any news media you can – especially national personalities that are 2A friendly. I’ve done the above, but it’s going to take more than one person to get coverage to make a national story about it.

      Another thing, write you various pro-gun organizations. NRA, NSSF, SAF, local/state associations, etc. Yes, most of already aware of this, but the encouragement will help.

      Publicity is our most powerful tool here. It is what the antis are going to do everything in their power to deny us, as well.

        • I honestly want someone to use that defense in court and have their lawyer explicitly quote all of that bullshit from the Lois Lerner hearings. It would take one hell of a corrupt judge to not toss the case in light of the established precedent.

  2. Already sent comments somewhat similar, though not as thoroughly detailed, to the BATFE (what good this will do I don’t know). I’ve also written letters and emails to my so-called “representatives”.

    Forgive me if I don’t have too much faith in this alleged “process”. What is a pessimist, after all, but a well-informed optimist?

    • Yea, I sent an approximately 500 word email of the same general content as this to the ATF two days ago, clearly demonstrating (pictures and cross section diagrams and all) that M855 did not meet the criteria of the law, but with their track record, I doubt it will do much good.

  3. I’ve got some bad news for you. The BATFE does not give two Fvcks what you think. Write letters if it makes you feel better, but it doesn’t matter to the people in charge. They don’t stand for election, and are totally unaccountable. Write your congressman and DEMAND they be held accountable.

    • …aaaaand, if you live in CA, refer to the part about “does not give two Fvcks what you think.”

      I’m not going to waste my time. Hopefully those of you who live in freer states can move your congress critters to action on this. The above letter from John D. seems, to me, to lay out a fairly compelling legal argument. My hope is someone in DC will give a ratzass.

      • You can write any Senator or congressperson. Remind him or her that you love to contribute to candidates who support your 2nd Amendment rights. You don’t have to actually live in his or her district or state to have an impact.

      • My congresscritter is Jared Polis. He doesn’t give two fvcks what I think about anything. On the other hand, we do have a new senator, Gardner, who is much more aligned with my way of thinking.

        • My congresspuke is Jared Polis.

          My condolences, from down here in El Paso County, and I fixed it for you.

          Sounds like he’s just as attentive as T*m W*rthless was 20 years ago.

    • @ Chuck
      I’ve written Feinstein, Boxer and Vargas in the past and it is clear from their responses they don’t give a rat’s butt what any pro-gun constituent has to say about…anything.

      ‘Demand’? Waste of breath.

      I’ll save my energy for other pro-gun initiatives with at least some useful potential.

      A letter to ATF to voice opposition in the works…FWIW.

      Again…pen and phone Obama sets the tone of his administration; all we can do is object at every opportunity.

    • Write anyway. And to your Congressmen even though it’s likely not to do any good in many states, like ours. I think our so called “Republican” Senator, Mark Kirk, is even further left on guns that Durbin, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak up. We do have a moral obligation to fully exhaust the political options.

  4. If they exist (*sarcasm*), I already on lists so off I go to make comments, write letters, and sign petitions. FWIW…I am personally not a fan of M855 in my ARs but I like choice and arbitrary political policies even less.

    • Well go right ahead and pat yerself on the back pardner! Anywhere I saw that had it in stock it was creeping up towards premium hunting ammo prices, and still sold out in less than a day… people of the gun boggle the mind sometimes, and the sad thing is the people are paying close to $0.50 per round for shitty bumpfire quality ammo don’t get me wrong I have bought my fair share of xm855 over the past year but prices way closer to xm193.

      This may step on some toes but it takes some special kind o’ stupid to pay nearly premium match/hunting ammo prices for something that groups about like OO buck shotshell at 25yds just because it might get banned. XM855 served a purpose but in the day or two hysteria after they said they would ban it prices got up close to 75-80 for those little 150rd cardboard ammo can boxes where it was in stock. Meanwhile Hornady TAP barrier was selling for a few cents a round more, so I bought some of that instead.

      • I think you and I have a different definition of “a few cents”, as the M855 is still selling at or under 50 cents a round in my area (just checked yesterday), but the TAP Barrier seems to run between 75 cents and a dollar a pop, even when purchased in bulk online. Even when those 150 count boxes of M855 sell for $80, the per-round cost is still only 54 cents.

        • Are you arguing that ~50-60c/rd is an acceptable price to pay for what is at best mediocre target ammo?

          That was my point, yes TAP or other premium amo is 20-30 cents more but worth it for the increased quality. Even in today’s climate paying anything over 40c/rd for fmj is pretty silly if you ask me

        • “Are you arguing that ~50-60c/rd is an acceptable price to pay for what is at best mediocre target ammo?”

          No, I’m arguing that in a misguided effort to support your opinion, you made a false claim. I was pointing out that what you said was highly misleading. When I did so, you reflexively reached the conclusion that I did not support your opinion. Which happens to be true, but NOT for the reason that you claim. If you don’t want people calling you out for posting misleading info, don’t post misleading info.

          M855 ammo should be considered specialty ammo. It gives the user a slight increase in hard barrier penetration, under certain limited circumstances, over other milspec ammo choices. It probably outperforms most M193-type loads for accuracy in firearms with 1-7 twist barrels, which is a small portion of the civilian AR user pool. Cost is relative; if a person wants ammo that demonstrates certain capabilities, they’ll happily pay a bit more for it vs M193 ammo. If those capabilities are not important to a person, then smart folks will choose something else, not whine about the price and how it doesn’t meet other requirements.

      • Really? People are buying what they can find before it is seized and you are sh*tting on them for it?! You are a special kind of stupid. By the way, I have been stockpiling ammo for 30 years, so no, I ain’t buying right now. For those who did not follow that advice from their grandfathers, well, .50 a rd is the going rate.

  5. Want to get some Senators involved? See if maybe some of our pro-gun representatives will raise a stink? Here’s a humble webpage with hot links to the email contact form of every pro-gun senator currently serving. What’s say we fill their inboxes with polite requests to look into this?

    Me, I’ve signed the petition, emailed the ATF and have written to every senator on the above list. Will it help? Who knows. I bought 400 rounds of M855 before Cabelas ran out. That is going to help.

  6. What’s laughable about these BATF bureaucrats thinking that they’re qualified to make the determination that the M855 uses an armor piercing bullet is that the U. S. military doesn’t consider it “armor piercing”. Is there something that the BATF knows that the real experts don’t?

    • They are interpreting US code. However the method of interpretation is seriously crooked.

      From 921a:

      (A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.
      (B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
      (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.”

      The ATF is making their determination on M855 based on sec 17(B)ii, which is pretty dishonest to say the least, since 5.56 was never DESIGNED to be for use in a handgun. It wasn’t until well after its creation that “handguns” chambered in 5.56 arrived on the scene as AR pistols – which ironically only exist due to the NFA law. Were it not for the SBR restrictions in place due to the NFA, nobody would have likely ever built an AR pistol. They would just be plain old rifles, with short barrels, and we wouldn’t even be having this discussion because the ATF would not be able to ban 5.56 based on the criteria of being “Designed or intended for use in a handgun.”

      • I see even less how they can summon 17(B)(ii), when .223 is neither larger than .22 nor is the copper jacket more than 25% of the bullet. If I’m somehow wrong, let me know, but designed or intended for a pistol it is not either, considering it was designed and intended for the M16. They are really snowballing here

  7. Again it is the intent of the user. Armor piercing knives, sledgehammers or SUV’s. I don’t get why our tax money goes to such fruitless pursuits as enticing the criminal not to commit a crime by uping the ante with stiffer sentences or meaningless regulation. Then again it is the government that we elected right? (Sic)sarcasm.

  8. As i understand it, M855 is being singled out since it can now be shot from pistol ARs… but… with the short barrel, isnt velocity alot less?.. are they still really still armor piercing when shot from AR pistols?

    • It’s not armor piercing even out of a 20″ barrel, well OK due to velocity. It isn’t armor piercing due to bullet construction.

      • Wolf 55gr is armor piercing, along with nearly every rifle cartridge larger than .22. But it doesn’t matter since M855 doesn’t even match the legal definition of AP for the law. This is the ATF, just like the EPA and the White House, deciding they can write laws on their own.

    • Since every .223 cartridge made can be fired out of a handgun, the only rounds that will not be banned will have polymer tips or be HPs. But the really silly part of this whole charade is that the alleged purpose is to protect police officers from “armor piercing” bullets–yet any one of these rounds has no difficulty penetrating soft body armor that is designed to resist only handgun rounds.

      • What is a rifle should be defined as “fires a rifle round”. No barrel length, stock or clip on forward grip, who cares? An AR pattern weapon with a 24″ barrel and a shoulder stock, chambered for 9mm, is a pistol. A Thompson Contender single shot with an 8″ barrel firing .308? It’s a rifle. Duh.

    • Caring progressive left/liberal bureaucarts just want to hamstring those evil “assault rifles” out there…

  9. My 2¢
    I am a serving law enforcement officer and I am against this ban. It will do nothing to enhance my safety, as all .223 rounds fired even from pistols will penetrate my department issued level IIA vest. This ban is against the intent of the law, as the original sponsors stated it was not intended to ban rifle ammo even if that ammo was capable from being from a pistol as stated by the bills sponsors during the debate about the bill. This change is only intended to make a legal and constitutionally protected right more expensive to exercise and thereby accomplish a measure of gun control without legislation. Finally I take offense that your agency, the ATF, would use me as a prop by stating this ban was being done “for me”. This ban is not about me or other LEOs who are generally against this ban, has nothing to do with our safety as it will not enhance my safety, and generally breeds contempt in the citizens that I have to deal with on a daily basis who assume I am a part of a government that seeks to disarm them and therefore I am viewed with mistrust. The ATF’s actions in recent times have made me less safe, I know because I deal with the consequences of your departments actions daily on the streets.

  10. Yell and scream all you want. They’re going to ban it anyway. Take one more chip out of our rights, one tiny little bit at a time.

    The ruling class and its cronies don’t care what we think and never did.

  11. Letter written. I consider it my civic duty, no matter how fruitless it seems. Kinda like voting.
    At least in the end, I can say I fought against it, or had a say in its demise.

    • The tools of democracy. The ballot box, the mail box, the soap box.

      If those fail our only recourse is the ammo box.

    • Now lets push for school vouchers and try to get as many American children as we can out of public schools.
      We are in a cold civil war. They started it and have been taking power out of the peoples hands for as long as I have been alive. The fight is about more than the 2nd amendment. We can and we must change the minds of the voters in order to have true representation at the Federal level.
      This war will not end in our lifetime unless it is the government that wins it. But I want to see in my lifetime that the people realized that we are in a war for freedom, a war for power, and will take on that fight.
      We are not trying to overthrow the government. We just want equal say in a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people.

  12. Hmmm, what sends a stronger message – 100 letters to the ATF urging them not to ban M855 or 10,000 letters? Sometimes gun owners need to step up. I’ll be writing my letter this weekend. I’ll let them know that I am a police officer, and will let them know that M855 poses no greater threat to me than any standard centerfire rifle greater than .22 caliber.

    Of course a .454, .460 Smith, .50, and .500 Smith will zip through a IIIA vest as well. Regardless, I’m more likely to die in a car accident than a shooting.

  13. You know what else wasn’t constructed entirely from the list of prohibited materials? 7n6 5.45x39mm ammo. Still got banned as AP.

      • Can’t convince myself to buy corrosive surplus at 20c when damn fine 60gr Silver Bear non-corrosive is under 25c. Still want the option though to keep downward pressure on the non corrosive.

  14. Alcohol and tobacco should be regulated by the FDA. Firearms…by the constitution.

    The ATF is the definition of government incompetence and it needs to be shut down. It is mind boggling how the IRS can process millions of tax returns in 2 weeks yet the ATF takes 8 months to process a 1 page document for a silencer.

  15. Oh God! There’s little twitter and facebook links on all the articles now. How quaint. TTAG has gone dork.

    • If including social sharing capability on this site makes it “full dork”, then let’s be full dorks. We need to get our message out to the younger generation, who typically only go on social media sites and stay away from topic-focused blogs. If hitting the “Share” button on each article, once a day, gets a few kids interested in the positive aspects of the Second Amendment and firearms ownership, then we’re doing the right thing. The worst thing we can do is mill about on here and keep things to ourselves. I get my ass handed to me sometimes, but I strongly believe in taking the fight to the antis, and where do they, and their kids hang out? Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Even if you have to hide your identity for professional/personal reasons (quick way around that is to establish a business Page on Facebook and post as that page), challenging them on their home turf is very effective. They might piss and moan and maybe even delete your comments, but someone might see your words and come over to our side of things.

      Also, everyone should sign up for a Disqus account – Disqus powers the comment sections of a lot of major news sites.

      And yeah, get a burner account on Gawker too, I’m really tired of being the only pro-2A guy on there making their lives miserable, haha.

    • Well Gov. if you do not like dorks then get off TTAG. See ya. Don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out. Signed, the dorks and nerds.

  16. Email sent reminding them that they would make better use of their time tracking down the missing guns they helped smuggle to Mexico

  17. First of all, I’m an LEO and I am fuming at this news. I’ll tell everyone here that criminals, in all my 8 years of patrol experience, have never once used M855 ball in any incident in any situation in the city I work for. Not only that, criminals have no clue what M855 is or even how to correctly handle a firearm. They don’t, the majority any way, even use rifles because they can’t be concealed. Even their handguns are crappy. Here’s a short list of just some of the firearms I’ve taken from criminals or recovered:

    Jennings Nine
    Rossi 5-shot revolver
    multiple Hi-Points (a fave apparently)
    Jimenez Arms .25 cal.
    Glock 19 (stolen)
    Heritage Rough Rider .22 cal.
    Glock 29
    old nondescript .44 Magnum revolver
    Century AK-47’s
    Kel-Tec RFB
    bunch of Midnight Specials
    German cavalry revolver

    And plenty of others I could list if I wasn’t so lazy. The fact is, besides the RFB, no rifle was ever used in a violent act or crime. And even then, the RFB was used on another criminal so…
    Anyway, point is, they carry handguns. H-A-N-D-G-U-N-S. And they don’t even put the right bullets in them sometimes. One guy had .25 cal. bullets in a .380 that jammed after the first shot. Every single one I’ve ever unloaded and made safe has been, with few exceptions, mixed with old and new ammo. I’m talking OLD ammo. It makes me angry that they’re using the excuse that they’re protecting LEO’s by doing this. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an agenda, plain and simple. And it makes those in law enforcement look bad as a lot of people will think officers had something to do with it. All in all, I think it’s a babysitter mentality they’re taking in all this and it’s disingenuous. There’s absolutely no reason for it. It just came out of the blue and I think that’s what I’m most steamed about of all.

    • I’m wondering: Did the RFB even have sights on it? and a German cavalry revolver? Where do they get these things?

    • Thanks for posting this.

      I’ve heard elsewhere that somewhere around half the firearms confiscated from criminals are nonfunctional, either from having the wrong or bad ammunition, or just from being straight up broken.

    • You are correct that some of us, at least, will continue to blame LE until LE stands up and shouts “stop using us as an excuse!” Me claiming that is BS means nothing, a million LEOs would be a different story.

  18. BATFE’s M855 effort is an attempt to circumvent the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. President Obama’s recent immigration orders were just enjoined by a Texas federal judge because they violated APA 1946.

    We have to win this fight or else BATFE will be positioned to prohibit most 5.56mm ammunition using the bullet jacket weight criteria of 18 USC 921 (a) (17) (B) (ii). As bullet diameter decreases, jacket weight increases as a percentage of total projectile weight.

  19. ITS A TRAP!



    Keep blabbin to the ATF about how all 223 is armor piercing.
    guess they will have to ban all of it then…..

    Keep your mouths shut!
    They never ask for help any other time.

    You have the right to remain silent!

    That wasn’t pulled out of thin air, exercise that right!

    • Or it’s a Litmus test to see how many people give a two sh*ts…

      The BATF doesn’t need letters from people to ban ammo anymore than they need letters from people to not ban ammo.

      They probably want turn the heat up on the water and aren’t sure if it’s too much at once for the frog.

    • BATFE has a technical branch which is technically competent, if not politically competent. You can bet your last round of M193 specification 5.56mm ammunition that BATFE will come back almost immediately with a prohibition on civilian transfer of M193 specification ammunition – using the 25% bullet jacket weight criteria of 18 USC 921 (a) (17) (B) (ii) – if they prevail in this M855 fight. The bullet jacket of the M193 projectile weighs 17.5 grains nominal, well above the 13.75 grain threshold which will be established for 55 grain projectiles if BATFE’s M855 prohibition prevails.

      It is highly unlikely that ammunition manufacturers will be able to produce 55 grain bulleted 5.56x45mm ammunition with 13.75 grain maximum weight bullet jackets which will function safely at 60 k chamber pressures in 7inch twist barrels. So all AR owners are at risk here, and possibly .223 Remington varmint shooters as well.

    • Bring. It.

      They’d have to ban all centerfire rifle ammo. That will get even the fudds incensed. It would never get off the ground.

    • It’s probably going to get worse before it gets any better. See how many people are pissed off at this and are taking action? Now let them ban .223. Then see what happens. I will join the patriots in a march carrying AR 15s and ten loaded 30 round magazines right up to the ATF headquarters or Capital Hill. What are they going to do? Murder us all? James Yeager all of a sudden would be all of our best friend in a movement like that.
      Emails get deleted, letters go into the shredder. What can they do with 500,000 ASSAULT weapon carrying patriots?

      • I’ve been a participant in a similar concept assembly, bought an airline ticket TX to DC, except I was one of about 20 who showed up, as opposed to visions of 20,000. Make sure you won’t be alone before you commit too much.

        • I understand that. Sheer numbers are what matters. Now put rifles in the hands of those many patriots and that sends a clear message. Not a threat, but an actual representation of what a free American is.

  20. And as I read this I can’t help but pull on the ol’ tinfoil hat and wander why this came to be. Is this some plot by Obummer to cause a back door assault weapons ban? Is the government trying to hoard as much 5.56 ammo as possible for themselves? The list could go on and on.

    • Great name!

      Dick Danger, sounds like bro code for don’t go home with that skeezy chick from the bar.

      “Tim, Tim, don’t take her home, man. I’m telling you. Dick Danger, Dick Danger!”

  21. Don’t forget about the Kansas City Shuffle.

    Kyles killers on trial right now, pres wants immigration reform passed, IS is running rampant, ebola…etc..

    lots to worry about, lets distract the gun nuts….

  22. Why doesn’t the ATF just rule the way they did on the sig brace, it’s all in the use. Put the mag of m855 in your 16 inch rifle all good, in your AR pistol all bad. And absolutely don’t shoulder said pistol. Legaleze sleeze up to interpretation by those who seek to impose their will over ours.

    • If you kill a cop with 5.56, does it really matter much whether your weapon is a pistol, SBR, or rifle, and whether the ammo had a BB inside or not? This crap is STUPID!

  23. Why is the ATF “accepting comments” about the proposed ban? They are not elected officials that would have a reason to listen to constituents – The ban is overreach, a subversion of the law and the the ATF should be held accountable by the justice dept. (Yeah, I know – fat chance)

    What we *should* be doing is writing our congress to do away with the ATF, a bureau that is clearly out of control and acting illegally.

  24. If you have a fax, use it and jam up their fax machines too….. If only I could see all the paper being printed out.

  25. ATF is accepting comments because 1) they are rescinding the exemption for M855 previously granted AND ATF has a proposed “Framework for evaluation” of whether ammunition is primarily for sporting purposes. This has been lost on most of the comments.

    ATF’s proposed framework states the ammo could be exempted IF THERE IS ONLY A SINGLE SHOT BREAK OPEN handgun chambered in that caliber.

    Public comments need to address the exemption of M855, as well as the proposed framework at the end of ATF’s proposal.

    Yes, ATF does have statutory authority here, as much as we may not like it. However there’s no good reason to cease granting the sporting purposes exemption for m855 and there is certainly no reality in which a single shot break open handgun is the only one meeting a sporting purposes definition.

    tailor your comments to address all of ATF’s points or some of them but make sure you address their points. Congress granted them regulatory authority, so they are well within their authority to propose regulation here, but not as extreme as they are proposing.

    It is also very helpful if you can provide a less obtrusive alternative to ATF’s proposal that still accomplishes the core goal of the regulation change – which agencies never fully reveal.

  26. Wait a second… while I appreciate the author’s intent, isn’t there a well established per cent value for hard penetrators for being classified as armor piercing? I vaguely remember from reading up on the whole 5.7 ammunition restrictions. I see what the author has cited and it seems to be straightforward, but we all know firearms legislation is anything but. Now I’m wondering why I thought that about % composition restrictions. Does anyone have any idea what I’m talking about?

  27. It took less than 24 hours after word broke for 5.56 62gr green tip to become endangered. Just stating the obvious here. Move along.

    • Walmat ran out of 5.56mm NATO M885 and M193 Ball (yes, BOTH) pretty much ASAP where I’m at, I can tell you that.

  28. I just got done reading the entire ATF paper on this and my conclusion is that it is mainly because of the AR/AK pistols which they mention multiple times as the “real” reason the green tip is now considered “armor piercing” because you can shoot it out of a “pistol” now where you couldn’t really (AR/AK pistols were not prevalent in 1986 of course) back in 1986 when the exemption was made then.

    Yes we all know “green tip” isn’t really steel core and almost any 223/5.56 is armor piercing for standard LE vests etc, but the way the GCA and their logic leads up to their conclusions its not as far fetched as many think based on the law and how the exemptions were written. If someone came up with a 30-06 handgun they would ban the M2AP ammunition also even if it only had steel tip instead of core.

    Also like most, I took out of it the decison is already made and they state near the bottom of the paper that the public comments are how to take it out of circulation without too much disruption.

    I don’t coment on here hardly ever but figured after reading the actual whole paper I woud offer my opinion. I have written my wonderful Congressmen for PA regarding this and the ATF itself already. Hopefully we can fight this back but I guess we have to wait now.

  29. Hey ATF, you guys need to investigate yourself and Holder for gun running arms to known killers in Mexico. When your done with that, we will be working with congress to cut you budget by 90% or more. We will have a new POTUS and congress very soon. Its time you stop changing rules making up rules, and planting evidence. Your organization is criminal and like the Prez amnesty will be looked at with carefully.

  30. Here is my first draft. The final version will be sent to [email protected]

    Subject: Proposal to ban M855 ammunition from civilian use

    First of all, thank you for the hard work you do.

    – The proposal to ban civilian use of M855-type ammunition oversteps the authority of any governmental entity, except through the repeal of the Second Amendment.

    – The executive order set by President Obama oversteps his authority and should be reconsidered. While I appreciate the efforts of our Commander in Chief, he doesn’t have the necessary background to make judgments in this area.

    – M855 (ball) ammunition has been approved by the Geneva Convention.

    – U.S. citizens are our final line of defense against foreign aggressors. Indeed, with the rise of smaller terrorist cells, gun owners are our best defense against these barbarians. “When seconds count, police are only minutes away.”

    – While it is true that the purpose of firearms is to injure or kill people (other than the sport of hunting and target shooting), the number of actual injuries pales in comparison to that of other types of total causes of death and injury.

    I would like to close by reminding you that freedom isn’t free. In order to remain a sovereign nation, we can’t forget that we live in a dangerous world.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.


    Edward C. Rogers, MSgt (Ret), USAF
    Fidelity Productions LLC
    (435) 764-9037
    Member of the Cache Valley
    Chamber of Commerce

  31. A more relevant question would be, does M855 ammunition penetrate body armor out of a PISTOL LENGTH barrel, I doubt if a 7.5″ barrel generates sufficient velocity to do so.
    While even M193 will penetrate out of a 20″ barrel, slapping a 20″ upper on a pistol to prove the ammo penetrates tends to negate the whole pistol concept.

    • Shh, you’re ruining things with logic… proggie liberal bureaucrats just want to disarm people of “military” ammo so their AR-15s are less useful.

      • Boy, things get convoluted time-wise, here. For those who did not get it, above, 193 from a pistol barrel still penetrates those vests. So, yes, so does 855.

  32. Could a manufacturer or importer continue to do the business of m855 anyway and then have a court case?

  33. Anyone else think they are just allowing us to write in with our arguments so they can close any loopholes we find?

  34. Ah yes, writing letters, the great farce by which our slave masters have fooled us into thinking we actually have a voice. I envy the easy job of whatever ATF drone has the task of sending all these emails directly to the trash bin, and possibly printing out a few to laugh at in the break room.

    Good luck, guys. Follow in the grand tradition of our forefathers, who stood the line at Lexington and Concord and viciously wrote letters.

  35. They will use the Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act of 1986, M855 does meet the definition of armor piercing in this bill.

  36. Gang? Commenting to ATF is pointless and dangerous. You got to contact your Congress members and state legislature members. ATF don’t give a f*ck about what you say, and WILL place you on a watch list and flag you to the FBI Domestic Terror Unit, bet your a$$ on that.

  37. Funny how people seem to think that because BATFEces is ‘accepting comments’ they actually give a rats ass about the opinions wishes of the people…….because THEY DON’T. This is merely a formality, jumping through hoops, putting up a front…….theatrics. The decision is made and will be implemented without regard for the wishes of society. The ONLY people who can stop this sit in Congress….so THOSE are the people who you need to be hounding. And THAT is the ugly truth of the matter. There isn’t a single agency in DC that is interested in serving the public. They ALL exist to expand their power and budget and the ONLY people they EVER listen to are the politicians who set their budget and pass the laws that may or may not affect them.

  38. Ok, now to add to the confusion, over at there’s an editorial on “understanding” the ATF ruling. According to this article, the reclassification is supposed to be a good thing and will make more types of ammo available.

    It’s almost like they are saying that by reclassifying it, they will ensure it will stay on the market because its main use is sporting purposes. Sooo…….. They’re going to make it subject to being banned so they can say it’s not banned?

    Is this convoluted logic or are they trying to back out with face?

  39. I just wrote my letter but I used the McDonald vs Chicago and Heller vs DC Supreme court rulings. X855 is a common arm in common use (NOT dangerous and unusual) and the government can restrict (which they already do) but not all out ban it from the citizens. If they do ban citizens from being able to own and purchase it then there will be a lawsuit. The ATF will lose.

  40. dear sir or miss i oppose an ATF ban on 5.56m855 ball ammunitions we need to keep this amo on the markiet of selling to the usa we have rights to bar arms and to be able to buy amo for our guns thank you
    paul camery

  41. Why don’t you use your law enforcement skills to go after bad guys in the goverment
    LEAVE are guns and ammo alone.

  42. I’ve seen it pierce police body armor, so I fully agree with banning it. Match shooters have no use for military rounds that can pierce the armor of our enemies. Let the troops have it, let the paper and wood shooters use something else.

    • Hey, numbnutz? Any mid grade hunting rd will penetrate body armor, so you are for banning all ammunition and guns in America.

    • Jay, every centerfire rifle round will cut right through soft body armor. There are also semi-automatic pistols in all those other calibers, as well. M855 isn’t any more armor piercing than any other. It actually has less wounding power, which is why soldiers don’t like it. There’s a very strong case that can be made that the only thing M855 is good for is paper and wood shooting.

      M955 is the real armor piercing round, and we don’t have access to it.

  43. “Funny how people seem to think that because BATFEces is ‘accepting comments’ they actually give a rats ass about the opinions wishes of the people…….because THEY DON’T.”

    It’s about building a record. Once they’ve staked out a position, they can’t and won’t back down. BUT, if something they thought was free or advantageous backfires “unexpectedly” they don’t try it as long as they remember the dust up.

    We’re getting this “regulation” because the latest round(s) of federal gun control legislation created way more of a dust up than they expected. So, they’re not trying to do it through the actual law, again. They’re looking for a way around.

    You enter the comments to build a record. So, do that.

  44. It’s sad to say the least that things like a proposed ban on m855 ball ammo come out of our government with increasing regularity. I wish they’d leave well enough alone and stop lumping ‘guns’ and ‘violence’ together to support an agenda. There are a lot of firearms enthusiasts out there who wouldn’t hurt a fly!

    I’m glad that the ban got shot down this time, though! No doubt at least partially thanks to TTAG and it’s readers, as well as some NRA Lobbyists I’m sure.

    On an unrelated note, If anyone is interested in helping a code monkey test a website, I’ve been working on a price comparison tool for gun parts & shooting accessories, you can check it out by clicking my name above.

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