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Red & Green Tip Winchester 5.56 Ammo – How Do They Differ?

If you’re a relative newcomer to the world of firearms, you’re likely to already know that there’s a lot of information to take in when trying to do everything safely. One area that you’ll need to master is the ability to discern one type of ammo from another and that’s the primary focus of this blog where we look at the difference between red and green tip Winchester 5.56 ammo.

Rather than being something that highlights a particular brand, the coloring on cartridges actually denotes the type of round it is. In this case, green tip ammo signifies that the round in question is a penetrator round. 

Dispelling a Misconception

What the Winchester 5.56 ammo green tip shouldn’t be confused with are armor-piercing rounds – something that some people mistakenly think. What this means is that they’re designed to penetrate harder materials such as light metals and heavy clothing. 

Legally speaking, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) deems green tip rounds to be completely ok to own and use. They differ from red-tipped rounds in that they’re heavier (at 62 grain compared to 55 grain), meaning that they’ll fly slightly slower at around 3,000-3100 ft per second – compared to 3,100-3250 ft per second.

So, What Color Are Armor-piercing Rounds?

Full, military-grade armor-piercing rounds are serious business and as such are in a category all of their own. As such, the tips of rounds that have this ability are colored black, so it’s hard to confuse them with anything else. More than likely, it’s the term penetrator that confuses many people. 

This is a round that isn’t legal to own for regular citizens, as it’s really intended for military use only. 

How Do Armor-Piercing Rounds Differ?

The physical differences between green-tipped Winchester 5.56 ammo are clear when you look inside. Where the standard red tip has just the powder and the bullet housed within the copper jacket, green tips also contain a steel-piercing tip inside. 

What happens when the round hits the target, is that the lead peels away, before the steel inner keeps moving through.

Can You Use Green Tips Down At the Range?

Sadly no, it’s not possible to green tip rounds down the range, as most you visit have banned their use, not least because of the fact that it’s a cartridge that sometimes leaves unused powder in the spent cartridges. This constitutes a fire risk, so it’s not hard to see why. 

Getting the Right Rounds For Your Needs

So, when you see Winchester 5.56 ammo advertised with green or red tips, you now know the difference. Be sure that you need them though, as they are a more expensive item. 

As long as you buy yours from a reputable company like Winchester, you’ll have no safety concerns and you’ll get ammunition that’s able penetrate more fully. If that’s something you require, then great. If not, then you’re wasting your money on something you just don’t need.

We really hope that this has cleared up any confusion you had on the subject and allows you to make more informed buying decisions. 

Roy

Blogger By Passion, Programmer By Love and Marketing Beast By Birth.

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