Please help identify Czech 5.56


Please help identify Czech 5.56 cartridge with green tip, brass case and green sealant around primer. HS "ZV 99 " + NATO symbol.

Is it AP loading or tracer or ball?
Thank you in advance!


It’s an SS-109 Ball round.


Your round is indeed a SS109 loading as identified by the green tip.
It was made by Zbrojovka Brno, in Brno Czechoslovakia. Though it has a hard core penetrator, it is not classified as an AP.


Thank you very much!!!
But I’ve same type of Czech cartridge but in steel case with ball bullet… Interesting why it doesn’t have green tip and green sealant? Is it some kind of export specific for different countries?


Yuri - regarding your Czech 5.56 ball round with no tip color, it would depend on the bullet weight why this was done. “Green” tips in American ammunition specify a “special loading.” Multi-ball rounds had a green tip also. The current green tip on the military .223, including Czech and East German ones, is specific to the SS-109 type heavy bullet. Ball M193 does not have a green tip. It is my understanding that when all quantities of ball M193 ammunition in the U.S. inventory are exhausted, the the Ball M885 (SS-109) will no longer have the green tip now necessary to differentiate it from the lighter-bulleted ammunition. I think I have that right, anyway. I’m sure if not, one of our “.223” guys will set the record street for us. Regarding the last part, I am only speaking for american ammunition. I don’t know if other countries or NATO as a group intend to do away with the green tip when other ball types are used up, or not.


In Spain, SS-109 bullets were painted green on the tip up to 1987, and left unpainted from then on.


Thank you all for help!


Just a bit more on the green tips. The original 5.56 ammo (M-193) had a 55gr bullet. The later ammo ((M-855) has a 62gr bullet. The green tips are the heavier 62gr bullet. Some countries, such as England, never adopted the 55gr bullet, so their 5.56 ammo is all 62gr. and doesn’t have the green tip, since there is no need to differentiate between the two weights.

the sealant color maybe something that the Czechs did to further help ID the 62gr. bullet, but it isn’t part of the “regular” coding.



The 55gn M193 definitely was adopted by the UK. I was in the Army at that time and the M16 was my personal weapon for many years.
We were initially issued with M193 imported from the US (Remington), then Belgium (FN) and then Austria (HP). The HP ammo came in boxes marked with the UK designation of L3A1.
We first saw Radway Green M193 in about 1982 and then about three years later saw the beginning of the conversion to the SA80 with which came green-tipped FN SS109 (M855) almost immediately followed by Radway Green’s SS109 with it’s tips unmarked. I can remember being told on my SA80 conversion course that the ammunition intended for use in that weapon system would be marked with a green tip but why that didn’t come about I have no idea.


The 55gn M193 definitely was adopted by the UK. I was in the Army at that time and the M16 was my personal weapon for many years.
Why were you armed with an M16 instead of an L1A1?


M16’s (actually I think they were AR15’s) were widely issued for use in the jungle (where the advantages of a lightweight, fully automatic weapon are obvious) and were also used extensively in rural parts of Northern Ireland. It was already in service when I joined in 1974 and they were still being carried in the mid 80’s.


I didn’t know they were that widely used. I always thought they were issued in small numbers to special forces units like the SAS.