ATF Wants to Ban M855 Ammo Because It’s Armor Piercing Only It’s Not Legally Armor-Piercing


The ATF is considering banning a common type of ammo for the wildly popular AR-15 rifle. The reason is that it’s armor-piercing even though it’s not legally armor-piercing.

It’s a lead core bullet with a steel tip and it has been around for about 30 years. It has been exempted by BATF since 1986 (Gun Control Act) as armor piercing.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits armor piercing ammo in handguns. Some AR-15s have a short barrel and the ATF is now calling them AR pistols. The government is afraid that they will be made smaller and will be concealable. They aren’t at this time however.

The 1986 Gun Control Act bans certain metals that comprise armor piercing bullets but the M855 does not contain any of these metals as the core. They have a steel tip to prevent damage to the bullet.

Green tip

By banning popular ammo under false circumstances, the ATF is giving the impression that the ATF is looking to ban ammo as a way of banning certain guns.

The next ammo on the list could be the full metal jacket.

The ATF issued their 2014 Regulations Resource Guide without listing the green tips as exempt. They say it was a publication mistake but, lucky for them I guess, they don’t even have to republish their manual if they ban the bullet.

More information is available at the National Shooting Sports Foundation website at: NSSFBLOG

Through the NSSF website you can take action and contact the ATF and your Congressional representatives.

  • ATF email: 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

More Information at Its Tactical and at Bearing Arms and The Truth About Guns