5.56 mm NATO SS 109 ( M855) for civilians?

Just wondering if in the US or in some European states ( or elsewhere) 5.56 mm NATO ammo with SS 109 ( M855) bullets is available to civilians, as surplus item, for shooting or collecting

Speaking for the US, ab-so-lute-ly. Just order and it’s shipped to your door (like all normal ammunition in the US).

I own loads of the stuff. It’s good for engine blocks.

This ammo is fairly common in the U.S. over the past 10 years in the military oriented gun shops that sell a lot of surplus ammo in crates. I have seen Israeli, British, Czech, and American ammo for sale in shops in 1000rd case quantities. Most recently, PMC has been making a line called X-TAC which is marketed to civilians and imported & sold as such. Technically it is not classed as “armor piercing” by the BATF even though it has a steel core tip and penetrates more than the average 5.56 bullet.

Of course the internet in the U.S., especially Gunbroker is aflame with this stuff for sale. Ever since the school shooting over here and the election, prices on 1000rds of M855 spiked from $400 to nearly $1000, but it is calming down now to around $600 - $700 per 1000.

here in Canada you can get them but they are not popular . I have a box of the X-Tac stuff. they are legal to anyone with a gun licence.

Not very popular here either, but anyone owning a .223/5.56 ammunition license can purchase it in shooting quantities (to have this license you just need to own any firearm in this caliber). As I remember the last SS109 ammunition offered for sale was CBC in 100 rds boxes.

In Germany it would depend on the hardness of the penetrator in the bullet tip. Everything of HV 421 or harder is considered armour penetrating and illegal for civilians (just as tracer).
Specimens of British penetrators I had tested were much softer. But if they start to harden the penetrators (just as the Russians now seem to do with their formerly unhardened steel cores), it will be illegal for civilian sale and possesion.
I am not aware of 5.56 mm DM11 (our designator for SS109 type) surplus offered in Germany, probably mostly because Bundeswehr is short of this type of ammo anyway. 7.62 mm surplus DM41 and/or pollution-reduced DM111 is readily available.

As far as I can tell, virtually no SS109-style penetrator would ever be that hard. It’s just designed to make a hole in a Soviet tin hat for the rest of the bullet to go through.


I think that it would be the same in Italy if surplus ammo would be sold on the civilian market by the government. Italian laws prohibit bullets with a AP core, so, since European definition of what “AP core” means is the same for every european nation, any SS-109 bullet style would be legal in Italy too

70 Cents (US) a pop for surplus 5,56mm … eye-watering !

What is the world coming too?


At least at the last gun show I attended in early April, 70 cents would be cheap in the USA - more like $1 each. Not too long ago, the SS109 bullets alone (IMI) were fairly plentiful and were selling for about 15 cents, but I haven’t seen any of those for over a year.