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Old 12-24-2004, 05:51 PM   #1
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Ammo Question (AP)

I live in Indiana and in every gunshow I go to, I see AP ammo for the M1 Garand, and for the AR15/M16, but aside from tracer rounds I haven't seen any AP ammo for the M1A. Both the AP ammunitions previously listed were of new/newer manufacture.
Could certain calibers of AP ammo be banned or could it be that no one manufactures it? Also if anyone could direct me to any site(s) that have info regarding the legality of AP ammo i different states, or that sell/manufacture AP ammo it would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-24-2004, 06:08 PM   #2
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This question comes up regularly. First, I can't answer any questions regarding local or state law. Second, the ATF states on their web site states that under federal law M2 AP projecticles and M855 projecticles are not "armor piercing" for purposes of federal law. The M2 projectile was used in .30-06 ammo and the M855 projecticle is used in M16 variants.

Do a search for James Bardwell and read his FAQ on AP ammo or you can find his web site link at http://www.titleii.com I could go through the whole litany of dos and don'ts on this but read the Bardwell FAQ for yourself. He really does an excellent job of explaining it all. Remember, there may be some local or state law that restricts you regaring "AP" ammo so be sure to check that out too.
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Old 12-25-2004, 10:23 AM   #3
 
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M855 5.56 NATO ammo is NOT armor piercing. Armor piercing ammo is meant to defeat hard steel armor. Legally, AP ammo has to have a core harder than steel.

The military does not consider M855 as armor piercing. It has a mild steel core surrounded by lead and the copper jacket

M995 is 5.56 armor piercing, with a tungsten core, and is most definitely illegal to own.

As to why Federal law (not the ATF's grace) allows M2 AP (which is true AP ammo), I don't know. Maybe because the M1 has been declared obsolete, but the M14 has not?
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Old 12-25-2004, 10:33 AM   #4
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The 30 Cal. M2 AP was grandfathered when the law passed. There are literally 10 of millions of rounds in private hands and ATF did not want that type of problem.
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Old 12-25-2004, 11:48 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ricca
The 30 Cal. M2 AP was grandfathered when the law passed. There are literally 10 of millions of rounds in private hands and ATF did not want that type of problem.
Makes sense, Bill.
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:15 PM   #6
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Actually it has to do with the 7.62x51 round and the 5.56 round being able to be used as a pistol round in the various single shot pistols that are available....
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:37 PM   #7
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If you check out the ammunitionstore.com site there appears to be newly manufactured AP ammo for sale, the website however says nothing of it being restricted to military/law enforcement use only. They didnt have any .30 cal available but .50 cal was.
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:41 PM   #8
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The AP ban is specifically targeted at banning armor piercing handgun ammo (so-called "cop killer" bullets). The law bans certain calibers and brands specifally, and any steel or tungsten cored ammo that is designed to be fired in a handgun in general. Now why, you might ask, is .308 AP specifically banned? Because at the time that the law was written, Thompson had just come out with a centerfire handgun in .308, so they banned .308 AP specifically. Thompson had not come out with a .30-06 pistol yet, and since .30-06 AP was designed for use in machine guns and rifles, not handguns, .30-06 is legal. As usual, the stupid politicians didn't even stop to consider that any commercial .308 round can defeat police body armor or that a single shot handgun chambered for a rifle cartridge wouldn't be the weapon of choice for criminals.
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:49 PM   #9
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Well according to the site that Different recommended, 5.56 and 30-06 are considered to be exempt, which would explain why those are the only new AP ammo available. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-25-2004, 02:08 PM   #10
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This is a topic where the answer is not simple. You have the world of physics, ballistics, materials, engineering, gunsmithing, firearms and ammunition components and reloading. On the other hand, you have the very real world of law, regulations, goverment agencies, courts, lawyers, prisons, and fines. What words mean in one world DO NOT always mean the same thing in the other world. You have two languages and two vocabularies to contend with on this topic here even though the words are spelled the same.

Look at the definitions used in the United States Code on AP ammo. The construction of the projectile enters into the definition of what is armor piercing ammo. But then there are exceptions, e.g., M2 projectile for the Garand cartridge. Intended for use in a hand gun? Huh? Who defines what a hand gun is? Who defines YOUR intent? Be careful! If you are at all confused about this, leave it alone. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 12-25-2004, 05:53 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Match14
Well according to the site that Different recommended, 5.56 and 30-06 are considered to be exempt, which would explain why those are the only new AP ammo available. Thanks for the info.
How many times do I have to say that M855/SS109 is NOT AP ammo. The US Army does not classify it as AP ammo because it isn't.

Quote:
Q. But isn't M855 ammo Armor Piercing (AP) and illegal to possess for non-law enforcement? Isn't M855/SS-109 restricted to military/law enforcement use? Isn't SS-109 illegal in Illinois?
No... no... and not as of July 26, 2002.

Some states may regulate it, but Illinois doesn't. We're not sure how that rumor got started. This comes up quite often because less than ethical suppliers try to use the marketing punch of "armor piercing" to sell more of their ammo. Since M855/SS-109 is more expensive than M193, some dealers go to great lengths to pawn it off. It is true that M855 was designed to increase penetration at longer ranges (500-600 meters) primarily to deal with the SAW issues, but don't mistake this "enhanced long-range penetration" design for "armor piercing." M855 is officially considered "ball," or standard ammunition by the military.
Fact: "Armor piercing ammunition" is defined in federal law [18 U.S.C. 921(17)(B)] as "a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed" of various metals harder than lead, or "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." SS-109 bullets used in M855 have a steel tip under the jacket, but they have a lead core.
As if this were not enough BATF has specifically exempted M855/SS-109 along with .30-06 M2 AP.
http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm#m855legal

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m993.htm

M855 BALL AND SS-109 SPEC AMMO IS NOT ARMOR PIERCING.

That is all.
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Old 12-25-2004, 06:15 PM   #12
 
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Curious what anyone would want AP ammo for anyway?

Very hard target paper?

Extremely resistance beer cans?

Want to take out the neighbors hummer?

Regulator
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Old 12-25-2004, 06:45 PM   #13
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I may be mistaken but I was under the impression the law allowed any caliber to be added as soon as a handgun was chambered for that cartridge. I remember a few new calibers being added as Thompson Center made barrels in those calibers.

As far as why shoot AP? I shoot a lot of AP. It is fun to shoot at armored plate, that why.
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Old 12-25-2004, 07:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ricca
I may be mistaken but I was under the impression the law allowed any caliber to be added as soon as a handgun was chambered for that cartridge. I remember a few new calibers being added as Thompson Center made barrels in those calibers.

As far as why shoot AP? I shoot a lot of AP. It is fun to shoot at armored plate, that why.
Agreed.

Just for the record, I am not saying M855 is AP ammo. I am saying the BATFE is saying it is okay for you to buy and own M855 ammo assuming all state and local laws are complied with. The BATFE is clear on M855 ammo, thankfully. The questions or contention usually involves M61 7.62x51 mm 150 grain armor piercing projecticles. Read Bardwell's FAQ on AP ammo. It is really the least painful way to reach "the proper understanding." This question comes up over and over and over. Read Bardwell.
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Old 12-25-2004, 07:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
As far as why shoot AP?

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Old 12-25-2004, 11:39 PM   #16
 
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Heck just buy them with cash and don't tell anyone you have them My local gun show vendors peddle them all the time.
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Old 12-26-2004, 12:05 PM   #17
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Why would anyone want AP rounds?

Because if indeed there are no local laws banning them, and I can find a place to shoot them I would like to try a number of things.

For example get some 30-06 normal FMJ and some 30-06 AP and

see how many pieces of stacked 2x4's a round will go thru.
see how each round preforms at x number of yards.
try the same with some small pieces of steel plate of various thicknesses.
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:08 AM   #18
 
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[quote="Match14"]Why would anyone want AP rounds?

quote] Because "they" don't want us to have any....
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