Scour the internet for ammo that’s good for home defense and sooner or later you’ll come across M855 green tip 556 ammunition. This widely-available choice is particularly appealing from a cost perspective and represents quite a decent back-up for the kind of loads you’ll normally turn to for this defensive purpose.
The fact is that these rounds tend to become fractured when fired over short distances, which typically occurs around the cannelure in 2 or 3 common places. If you’ve heard that the 556 green tip can be devastating even when placement isn’t great – then you heard right and the fracturing aspect is why.
However, when you change the parameters a bit and start to use it over longer distances, it performs pretty much exactly like a standard full metal jacket round. So, there’s no real extra benefit – other than cost.
A Cheaper, But Very Viable Option
When trying green tip 556 ammo for yourself, you’ll find that a number of the 62 grain rounds perform in a very similar fashion in terms of trajectory. So, if you’re in need of an effective, yet affordable option, the M855 should be very much in your thinking for practicing at the range and getting zero’d. Is there a difference between more expensive expanders? Sure, but not enough to justify the difference in cost.
It really does matter that you’re shooting with the right ammo that your weapon is chambered for, so should your gun be rated for a .223, it’s not a great idea to fire it using 556 NATO rounds. In truth, there aren’t many defensive weapons that are manufactured in the modern era that are chambered for .223 rounds.
On the flip side, it’s completely ok to fire .223 ammo out of a rifle with a chamber suited for green tip 556 – just not the other way around.
All Things Considered, It’s a Great Home Defense Round
So, to answer the question we set out to – Is Green Tip 556 a good choice for home defense? Well, we can categorically say that it’s perfectly suited for this kind of use.
The primary reason for this is down to its effectiveness over short range. The vast majority of engagements you might have in a home defense scenario will be conducted over very small distances, so then it comes down to how well it’s able to incapacitate.
Choose a 9mm pistol to protect yourself and your family and your shot placement has to be that much more accurate to take someone down – which many aren’t able to do effectively due to losing their cool in this kind of frightening situation.
However, when firing a round that fractures on impact, you’ve got a great chance of doing some damage at close range – even when you’re not managing to hit that core area of your target.
All things considered, it’s a great home defense round and the cost is a nice side benefit too.