According to Marine Corps Systems Command the Corps expends about 100 million 5.56 mm rifle cartridges in live-fire training each year. Taking an eco-friendly approach, the Corps is looking into a new round that does away with the use of lead, which pollutes soil and water when expended.
Along with removing the toxic lead, the M855A1 round is more deadly. The copper penetrator makes the round more accurate, gives it better fragmentation at long and close-range and reduces muzzle flash, among other benefits.
“Test data has shown that the new enhanced performance round is more effective than the current ammunition against both personal targets as well as intermediate barriers, like windshields, light armored vehicles and concrete masonry,” said Jerry Mazza, the program manager for ammunition, Marine Corps Systems Command.
According to a June 23 Army press release, the green bullet is set to eliminate 2,000 tons of lead in the manufacturing process.