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IMI Systems has brought its small caliber ammunition to America’s crowded commercial market. To win the hearts, minds and wallets of American shooters, the Israeli government-owned weapons, ammunition and military technology maker is highlighting IMI ammo’s battle-tested accuracy and reliability.

“Israeli Defense Force (IDF) troops depend on IMI ammunition to defend their lives and their country,” Israel Shmilovitz, IMI Systems VP and Managing director of Small Caliber Ammunition Division. “There is no margin for error. Our ammunition has to be completely reliable and extremely accurate.”

IMI produces a wide range of small caliber ammunition available for civilians and can be found from selected retail networks in the US. However, the new round, 5.56APM (Armor Piercing Match) was designed for both the IDF and for export to law enforcement, special forces and military use. While this round is not available to civilians, Eldad Sayada, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Small Caliber Ammunition Division, points to IMI’s 5.56mm new Armor Piercing Match (APM) ammunition as an example of the company’s expertise and commitment to quality which could be a replacement to the 7.62 and outperform the standard NATO M855.

The military wanted a 5.56 cartridge that offered soldiers better accuracy and armor penetration than the heavier 7.62 M80 round. That’s what IMI gave them: a 73-grain, 5.56 APM cartridge, that’s 30 percent more accurate than a 7.62 M80 at 550m (1804 feet).”

With this development, IMI provides increased firepower and lethal capabilities to combat soldiers using a standard 5.56mm assault rifle similar to the M16 and the Tavor that are both in operational use in the IDF, as well as capabilities which have thus far been attributed to the larger & heavier 7.62 mm caliber. This is in addition to the significant advantage of the soldier carrying less weight thereby increasing mobility and agility.

The new Ball round also reflects the desire and need of the IDF’s and armies around the world to reduce the “armaments and warfare economy” as it is priced below the 7.62 Ball round and is of reasonable cost to the customer.

IMI compared the penetration of 7.62mm, 5.56mm M855 ammunition and 5.56mm APM on bulletproof vests, sandbags and concrete. And the results revealed the APM round’s superiority as an anti-material round compared to ball ammo in both calibers. And here are the all-important results for armor plate penetration.

IMI 5.56 APM ammo: better accuracy, better penetration (at longer distances) and lighter weight than 7.62 M80. What’s not to love? This is a must have round!

The round has significant advantages for military and law enforcement applications, and at a highly competitive cost/performance ratio which is why IMI’s Israeli factories are busy producing millions of 5.56 APM rounds for both soldiers and law enforcement officers. Small caliber ammunition division; military quality.

IMI also manufactures high-quality, high-performance, dependable pistol and rifle ammunition for consumers. TTAG will be exploring IMI’s product line in future articles, product reviews and ammo tests. For now, Shmilovitz wants law enforcement and special forces to know that there’s a new choice for premium ammunition at an affordable price. “The Israeli military can’t afford to compromise on ammunition,” Mr. Shmilovitz concluded. “If you want the best reliability and performance money can buy, neither should you.”

Click here to contact IMI’s small caliber ammunition division.

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      • I’m happy you derive such mirth from the letter of the law. If your laughter was ironic, then let’s stop being so blase about it and enforce the law.

        Again, police are nothing more than citizens to whom we have delegated powers we already possess. If they can have it, so can we. If it is illegal for anything but the military, then it is illegal for them.


        • Go ahead and start collecting MP5s from the local SWAT, Chief. I’ll be right behind you once I finish tying my shoes.

          You really think you’re a citizen and not a subject. That’s adorable.

        • GunDoc,

          Your doctrine/philosophy is right. Unfortunately, the ruling class has no interest in stopping their abuse and exploitation of the working class. Even more unfortunate, the enforcers for the ruling class have no interest in stopping our abuse/exploitation either.

    • I agree that the people have a right to such devices but not because the police do.

      Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms
      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

      The prefatory clause provides “a” reason for the existence of the people’s right. But clearly the authors intended that the people be equally or better armed than any military in support of the security of a free state. There should be no law preventing any citizen from parking a fully loaded M1A1 Abrahams Tank in his/her driveway.

      • To further clarify this. The intentions of our Fore Fathers in crafting the 2A the way they did, it was written into the Constitution that ALL ABLE BODIED MEN are members of the militia, a force that can be called up in time of conflict or war to protect and preserve this country. And to that, the people were to be equipped with arms equivalent to the standing military. Therefore, in the event this country comes under assault from foreign or domestic enemies or to remove a government dedicated to the oppression of the People and their Rights, we would be ordered to take up arms to defend and protect. This is ALSO why, Democrats and liberals continuously assault our 2A rights in the goal of complete disarmament of all citizens to allow them to impose complete authoritarian control and police state. And YES, you can own a tank if you want! More people than you think do own them in fully functioning condition.

    • GunDoc I agree with you 200%. We have a civilian police force. We have a national guard and SWAT if and when needed. Normal cops and police departments should not have anything average law abiding citizens can’t have. If it’s in “common usage” with civilian police it’s legal to US citizens based on prior court precedent. This president is commonly referred to as “common usage.”

  1. Law enforcement are NOT military they are civilians, how is this not restricted to them but it is to us pesants?

  2. If you need to pierce armor, go big bore. 300win mag will punch through any level III on the market. There’s no need to waste time and energy trying to find this ammo and paying out the ass for it just because you have an AR. Lighter 45gr varmint loads will also do the same thing. Speed will help you.

    • Jon in CO,

      That 45 grain varmint load will zip through a steel plate at close range. At what range will it no longer zip through a steel plate? And how does that range compare to this 73 grain ammunition from IMI?

    • Speed kills armor, but bullet construction counts. A .300 Win Mag BTHP won’t penetrate AR500. At least, not quickly. The .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua are used by the military, but not nearly as much as 5.56 and 7.62. As much as I’d like to see 6.5 Creedmoor, the military won’t be changing calibers anytime soon.

      A 45 grain 5.56 pill has horrible range. The military wants a 5.56 projectile that will penetrate steel at 550m and 800m, and a 45 grain varmint pill won’t do that.

  3. Even better, I thought only handgun AP ammo was prohibited. I suspect .50 BMG ammo is ALL armor piercing!

  4. There is no legal reason to keep this ammo off limits to civilians. Armor piercing restrictions are written for handguns only.

    Obviously the only reason this ammo is off limits to civilians is because IMI decided to keep it off limits, for the same reason FN Herstal decided to keep their 5.7 “rifle” rounds off limits.

    Neither company wants to get caught in litigation that could jeopardize their ability to sell the rest of their product line to civilians. If they never sell one of these rounds to a civilian, there is no way anybody can ever sue them for doing so. Such a lawsuit may start a “slippery slope” which could result in ALL 5.56 ammo being banned.

    It sucks, but I see their wisdom.

    • Because there are 5.56 handguns, imported armor-piercing 5.56 has been banned for civilian purchase. Same with 7.62×39. This would not be legal for IMI to import into the U.S. for commercial sale.

      • I stand corrected. I now recall that’s how the ATF justified cutting off the supply of cheap imported 5.45×39 ammo.

        But didn’t the ATF recently try to go after M855 ball as well, on the grounds that it was an “armor piercing” round that could be fired in a pistol? My recollection is that the only reason they backed down was public outcry.

        The slope is still slippery. Very, very slippery.

  5. Out of curiosity, what’s everyone’s experience actually shooting IMI’s export ammo? I had 2 dimpled primers out of 300 rounds of 5.56, out of a gun which has otherwise only had any other problem with Armscor ammo this strikes me as pretty discouraging performance.

    • Most of it is NATO-spec so it has relatively hard primers. I’ve actually shot a lot of their M193 and M855 and a few boxes of the 77 grain “razor core,” all of which I ordered through Wideners a few years ago, plus a few boxes of their “Ex-Star” 115 grain 9mm hollow points. No issues, accurate and consistent. I’m excited to try out more of their stuff.

      • Thanks so much for your thoughts. I may yet run a few hundred rounds from a newer shipment through a different (read: known manufacturer) gun and see if there’s more issues, their ammo is very cheap for having lacquered primers and a proper crimp.

  6. Maybe the us military should look at this versus trying to change weapon platforms?
    What’s the penetrator material?

  7. I’d like to see IMI get a foot hold for this 5.56 APM ammunition in the US. Instead the military trying to develop another caliber, why not use what they have? This includes police, special operations and military in general. i wish I could get some too test. I have friends in LE and would love to spread the word to them. I know South Africa military has been testing this ammo.

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