4 Things Not to Use Green Tip 5.56 for

4 Things Not to Use Green Tip 5.56 for

15th May 2024

Have you ever heard of green tip 5.56? If you haven’t, it’s a cartridge designed for the military which has a steel tip insert that is designed to offer superior penetration characteristics when compared to “standard” FMJ 5.56.

Is it armor piercing? No, not technically. The best you could call it is LAP, or ‘light armor piercing.” Even so, that steel tip insert is a problem much of the time. Here are 4 things you absolutely never want to use green tip 5.56 ammo.

Shooting at Indoor Ranges

Not only that, but you probably won’t even be allowed to shoot it at indoor ranges. Forget whether or not you should. To be curt, most indoor ranges expressly forbid it. Do not bring it and assume you can shoot it. Always ask the rangemaster first.

Anyway, you shouldn’t be shooting green tip ammo indoors even if it is allowed because if you accidentally hit a target frame, you’re going to damage it and there’s also a higher chance of ricochet. On top of that, the steel inserts are unreasonably hard on backstops. Just don’t shoot it indoors.

Shooting at Steel Targets

Alright, so you’re good to shoot green tip 5.56 outdoors, right? Well, that depends. Do not shoot it at steel targets. Just don’t. At close ranges, you will punch right through a steel plate, ruining the targets.

And even if you’re cool with that, the harder steel inserts in these bullets, again, make them much more likely to ricochet off a steel target, which is bad news for everyone, and unsafe. So skip the steel.


There is nothing you should be hunting with green tip 5.56. Can you kill small-medium-large game with it? 100%, and effectively, at that. But there is no reason you should be, it is unethical, and it is probably also illegal.

We won’t guess at your state’s game code, but many require soft point, hollow point, or ballistic point ammo for hunting because these bullets produce quicker, more ethical dispatches. Green tip 5.56 is designed for penetration, not energy transfer. They will go right through whatever soft target you shoot them at.

Which is another problem. Hunting with bullets like these in (relatively) developed or populated areas is dangerous because of the overpenetration risk.

So, even if it isn’t illegal, just don’t do it.

Defensive Applications

Again, using this sort of ammo for any type of defensive application is ill-advised, unethical, downright dangerous, and may even be illegal.

And again, green tip 5.56 is designed for penetration, not to dispatch a target, so there’s a huge risk of over penetrating the target. That makes these rounds dangerous in any sort of indoor or occupied space.

There are better rounds. Use them.

                                               green tip 5.56

Alright, So What Is Green Tip 5.56 Good for?

Before you pull the plug on that great deal on green tip 5.56 you found, don’t walk just yet. There is some good news here. After all, this ammo is often readily available, in bulk, and sometimes at unbelievably low prices.

So what should you use it for? Well, here are a few good places to start.


Green tip 5.56, when fired at an outdoor range at paper targets, with a solid earth berm behind them, can be a good round for training purposes.

It is cheap, it is low-recoiling, it is fairly consistent and accurate at intermediate ranges, and it’s reliable. Emphasis on the cheap part, by the way.

So, if you can score a really good deal, why not? Just make sure you’re in the right place and shoot at safe targets with a legit backstop.

Plinking (But Not At Metal)

Let’s go back to our emphasis on the cheap. No one buys this ammo for ballistic performance. At least we think so. They buy it because it goes bang when you pull the trigger, and because it’s cheap.

So you can plink with it, relatively guilt free. (As long as you’re plinking at paper or other soft targets like fruit, and not metal, which is sort of a conundrum given the origin of the term “plink.)

Range Therapy, High Volume Shooting

Once more the low-cost comes into the picture. You can usually get a whole load of green tip 5.56 for really cheap, which makes burning brass at the range all the more attractive.

If you’re just there for a good time and to decompress - then why not, shoot green tip. Just make sure you’re shooting at safe targets, outdoors, and that there is a good backstop.

Get Your Next Can of Green Tip 5.56 Here

Sold on green tip 5.56 notwithstanding the caveats and limitations mentioned here? Get your next load of bulk ammo from us. We offer competitive prices, carry surplus ammo and police trade-in deals, and offer a wide range of calibers and brands.