Home Culture Best M193 Ammo for Stockpiling to Defend Freedom

Best M193 Ammo for Stockpiling to Defend Freedom

Best M193 Ammo for Stockpiling to Defend Freedom

If you’ve decided to stock up on the best 5.56 NATO ammo for your AR-15, it’s hard to ignore all of the benefits that M193 offers you.

It has a flat trajectory, it’s inexpensive, and easy to find from various manufacturers thanks to the U.S military using it for years. The classic M193 is perfect for stockpiling, reloading, target practice, and cheap enough for plinking. You can even use it for self-defense and hunting in a pinch.

If you’re in a hurry to get the best M193 ammo shipped to you, order a few boxes of the IMI Systems 55gr FMJ M193. But if you want a few more options, stick around and check out our top 5 best M193 ammunition options on the market today.

If you’re new to buying 5.56 rifle ammo or want to know more about stocking your armory to the gills, check out this Buyer’s Guide HERE. Otherwise, scroll down just a little more for the list…

The Best M193 Ammo on the Market in 2023

Best Overall

IMI Systems 5.56×45 55gr FMJ

IMI 5.56x45 ammo for sale

Shop IMI 5.56×45 Ammo


  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: FMJ
  • Bullet Weight: 55gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,215 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 1,262 ft-lbs


  • Inexpensive and easy to find
  • Very consistent accuracy and muzzle velocity
  • Excellent for target shooting


  • Somewhat more dirty than other options

Why We Chose It

Our top pick, overall, is the Israeli Military Industries (IMI) 55gr FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) because it simply does everything we could want from M193 ammunition.

At less than $0.55/round (at the time of writing), it’s an affordable round that’s cheap enough to blow through a box or two every weekend at the range while still giving you the accuracy you demand from your AR-15 rifle.

We found that IMI ran flawlessly in all our rifles and was more than accurate enough to clang steel plates at 300 yards with boring consistency.

The only downside we found it to be somewhat dirtier than other M193 ammunition options. However, at this price point, we were more than happy to sacrifice an extra patch or two to take care of this.

IMI 55 gr FMJ M193 ammunition simply checks all the boxes and does everything we ask of it. And it’s Boxer primed, so it’s perfect for reloading to boot!

PMC X-Tac 5.56×45 55gr FMJ

PMC 5.56x45 ammo for sale

Shop PMC 5.56×45 Ammo


  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: FMJ
  • Bullet Weight: 55gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,240 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 1,306 ft-lbs


  • Accurate and affordable
  • Consistent muzzle velocity
  • Works well in both 1:9 and 1:7 twist rate barrels


  • Availability

Why We Chose It

South Korean-owned PMC keeps our stockpile growing with their 55gr FMJ X-Tac M193 ammo. Like the other options on our list, you’ll find that PMC offers M193 ammunition that is affordable, accurate, and extremely reliable.

Based on our experience, PMC X-Tac does a pretty decent job of stabilizing in both 1:9 and 1:7 twist rate barrels. This leads to better accuracy and more effective hits on target. Of course, it’s also affordable enough for plinking and target shooting.

If you want a round that’s likely to respond well to a variety of rifles, then you owe it to yourself to add the PMC X-Tac 55 grain FMJ to your ammo stockpiles. But do be mindful that this cartridge goes pretty quickly. If you see it in stock, be sure to grab a box.

You don’t want to miss out on this high-quality, reliable M193 round!

Prvi Partisan 5.56×45 55gr FMJ

Prvi Partizan 5.56x45 ammo for sale

Shop Prvi Partizan 5.56×45 Ammo


  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: FMJ
  • Bullet Weight: 55gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,240 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 1,282 ft-lbs


  • Low cost per round
  • Availability
  • Reliable


  • Many reloaders prefer Lake City Brass

Why We Chose It

Would you believe us if we told you that you could have your ammo and shoot it too? These days, most of us are looking for a budget round that we can easily snatch up for a rainy day and Prvi Partisan 5.56×45 55 grain FMJ ammo fits that bill perfectly.

While Prvi Partisan (PPU for short) might not be American-made, we found that this Serbian ammo was accurate and reliable, making it perfect for buying in bulk.

From our experience, we found that the 55 grain FMJ boat tail bullets used in PPU ammo were slightly less accurate than our top two picks. However, they gave acceptable groups for general target practice and plinking.

If you’re looking to handload, PPU brass is perfectly fine to use even if purists will tell you that Lake City brass is the only 5.56 case you should consider.

Although this would not be our first choice as a self-defense ammo, Prvi Partisan 5.56 55 grain FMJ ammo is a great option if you’re looking to stockpile ammo while it’s cheap for a rainy day down the road.

Winchester USA 55gr FMJ M193 Ammunition

Winchester USA 5.56x45 ammo for sale

Shop Winchester USA 5.56×45 Ammo


  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: FMJ
  • Bullet Weight: 55gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,180 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 1,235 ft-lbs


  • High-quality
  • Affordable
  • Available in Bulk


  • Not great for long-distance shots

Why We Chose It

If you’re looking to stack American-made ammo to the rafters, then you owe it to yourself to get some Winchester USA 55gr FMJ. While this could easily be our best pick overall, the tried-and-true Winchester White Box ammo falls slightly short in muzzle velocity which knocks it down a few pegs.

However, we found that this ammo was perfect for shots at 200 yards or less and was extremely reliable in our rifles. Furthermore, Winchester M193 ammo is easy to buy in bulk, which is great if you want to ensure your ammo stockpiles are always topped off.

Winchester’s stringent quality control practices really shine through with this ammo, as we found it to be extremely consistent and reliable in all our rifles.

If you’re looking for bulk 5.56 ammo, then you should really consider getting a case of Winchester USA 5.56 M193 bulk ammo today!

Hornady Frontier 55gr FMJ

Hornady Frontier 5.56x45 ammo for sale

Shop Hornady Frontier 5.56×45 Ammo


  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: FMJ
  • Bullet Weight: 55gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,240 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 1,282 ft-lbs


  • Hornady’s legendary quality
  • Affordability
  • High muzzle velocity


  • Sometimes hard to find

Why We Chose It

You’ll rarely see a Hornady cartridge with poor reviews in any online forums, and the Hornady Frontier 55-grain M193 ammo unquestionably holds to that legacy.

Backed by Hornady’s exceptional quality standards and also one of the highest muzzle velocities on our list, we found this ammo to be extremely accurate at long range. Like most M193 ammo, it’s loaded with a soft lead core 55 grain full metal jacket bullet. However, it seems like Hornady bullets just group a little tighter in our hands.

Even with a slightly higher price tag than our budget M193 ammo recommendation, the Hornady Frontier is still affordable enough to sight in new AR-15 carbine without breaking the bank.

If you haven’t noticed, Hornady Frontier 55 grain FMJ M193 ammo doesn’t stay on the shelves for long because everyone wants it for their AR-15 rifles! If you find some of this ammo, make sure to add it to your cart, we promise you won’t be sorrry!

Honorable Mentions

There are so many amazing M193 ammo options on the market that we simply couldn’t get all of them onto our Top 5 list. However, we wanted to share some excellent alternatives for you in case you can’t find any of our top picks.

Federal American Eagle 55gr FMJ XM193 – Federal American Eagle is another amazing 55gr FMJ ammo that is produced in the famed Lake City ammo plant (that’s the same one the U.S. military uses for their mil-spec ammo). Federal is one of the most popular ammo manufacturers in North America and for a good reason! Federal does a superb job of monitoring quality while also supplying us with affordable M193 rounds. Also when you buy Federal bulk XM193 ammo, it comes in an ammo can, which is perfect for storing your ammunition long-term.

Parting Shots

Hopefully, you’ve had as much fun learning about the best M193 ammo for stockpiling as we did writing about it. If you’d like to learn more, keep reading our buyer’s guide. But if you’re ready to make our favorite ammo yours, click HERE to start.

M193 Ammunition Buyer’s Guide

So. you’re looking to load up on some high-quality M193 ammo? Good choice! The M193 55 grain FMJ is well known for it’s amazing terminal ballistics and is extremely affordable.

Stocking up on ammo is so important these days. With shortages and increasing prices, it’s best to get it while you can. But that doesn’t mean that any ammo will serve you well when the time to get it out of the safe comes.

The M193 has been used by the US military and civilians for nearly seven decades now. It has many uses, from having fun plinking to self-defense and even sighting in your AR-15 rifles. It’s for these reasons that the M193 is a round anyone with a 5.56-chambered rifle should keep on hand.

Our buyer’s guide will help you to better understand the M193 and how to choose the rounds that work for you. So, let’s get started!

The Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Explained

Every box of rifle ammo today will have a series of letters on it. These letters aren’t an advertising gimmick. They tell you what type of ammo you’re buying, and that tells you what its purpose is.

For example, soft-pointed ammo (SP, PSP, Polymer-Tipped, etc.) is excellent for hunting because those ammo types maximize terminal ballistics (increased penetration and wound cavities for medium and large-sized game). JHPs (Jacketed Hollow Points) are better for personal defense. They expand quickly and pack quite a punch.

FMJ, on the other hand, stands for Full Metal Jacket (there’s a movie by the same name, but trust me when I tell you that it isn’t an ammo documentary). FMJ rounds have a solid lead core encased in a metal jacket, typically copper or copper-alloy.

They’re great for penetration, travel pretty far, and have a flat trajectory. However, unlike the bullet types we’ve already mentioned, they don’t expand well. They’ll penetrate a target, but beware, like Forest Gump, they’ll keep on going.

FMJ bullets are inexpensive and are great for target practice, long range shooting, and plinking, but they are typically not the best choice for self-defense. Militaries around the world are required to use FMJ ammo due to the Hague Convention, this is why all M193 ammo fires a FMJ bullet.

Understanding Twist Rates and the 5.56 NATO M193

One of the things we had to consider when choosing the ammo above is barrel twist rates. Most common AR-15 rifle and handgun barrels come in lengths of 16-inces or lower with either a 1:7 or 1:9 twist rate. Longer barrels are available (18″ and up) but are less popular than the lightweight 16″ barrels.

The general consensus is that a 55 grain full metal jacket bullet will stabilize better in a 1:9 twist rate barrel while heavier bullets, like a 77gr OTM, prefer the faster 1:7 twist rate.

So, why is that, and what does it mean?

To understand twist rate, we need to have a better understanding of how modern rifle barrels work.

Gunsmiths and shooters have known for a long time that a projectile which is spinning will travel straighter to its target. Just think of how a quarterback spins a football, it’s the same concept with a rifle bullet.

The spin helps stabilize a bullet in flight and therefore, makes it more accurate. However, sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Bullets spun too fast can break apart while bullets that are spun too slow can yaw and tumble into the target (if it gets there at all!)

What then, is the perfect spin? The answer is: It depends!

There are complex calculations and equations to determine this that would take A LOT of time to explain. For the sake of time, understand that lighter bullets require less spin while heavier bullets need more.

Barrel twist rates are written in the format of “1 revolution per x inches of barrel length”. This means a 1:7 barrel will spin a bullet one full revolution per 7″ of barrel length. It is, therefore, a faster twist rate than a 1:9.

Although a 1:9 twist rate is ideal for the M193, this doesn’t mean you can’t shoot it out of a 1:7 barrel. If you plan on shooting M193 from your 1:7 AR-15 carbine, it’s a wise practice to test fire your preferred ammo from it. This way you can ensure proper accuracy and function before you buy some bulk ammo.

How Does it Compare?

We’ve listed some of the best M193 ammo on the market in 2023. It’s affordable, reliable, accurate, and for the most part, available. But if you’re interested in stockpiling ammo for your AR-15, there are more variants.

We don’t want to leave you without a comprehensive understanding of similar 5.56X7.63 mm ammo for your stock. So, let’s look at what else you can buy.


Undoubtedly you’ve come across M855 ammo in your search for M193 ammo. So, you’re probably wondering, “What’s the difference?” There are a few differences, and to clear things up early, no, M855 is not armor piercing.

Ultimately, M855 is better for longer ranges than M193. Characterized by its green tip, M855 ammo is slightly heavier (62 grains) and has a slower muzzle velocity. It’s more resistant to wind drift than the M193, which makes it more accurate at longer distances, but it also travels through barriers better. However, the M193 is more lethal due to better fragmentation.


If you paid attention above, we listed the Federal American Eagle as one of our honorable mentions, but it’s XM193 ammo. So, what’s the difference? Honestly, not much other than terminology.

Essentially, the X means it isn’t a military round. XM rounds are specifically designed and sold for civilian use. Of course, you won’t sacrifice quality; they just aren’t tested against mil-spec quality standards like normal military rounds.


So, what do you buy when you run into SS109 5.56x45mm NATO FMJ rounds? Well, they’re the exact same cartridge as the M855, with a different name. SS109 is the NATO designation for the M855 round, but the US military uses the name M855.

For example, the Norma Penetrator rounds are labeled as SS109, but they are, in fact, M855 rounds. Ultimately, the SS109 is a 62gr green tip FMJ round with an extra syllable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the US Military use M193 Ammo?

No. At one time, the M193 was the standard issue round for the M16 and M4 carbine rifles. However, the United States military replaced the M193 with the M855 in 1982. The M855 is better for long-range shooting than the M193, so the former won a spot. However, it seems that the M855 is also being phased out of the US military.

What is the effective range of the M193?

It depends largely on your rifle and your target. But the M193 is typically accurate within 500 yards. However, you will lose velocity pretty quickly, and fragmentation won’t occur once you drop below a certain speed.

Is M193 good for self-defense?

There’s a lot of debate around the answer to this question. But ultimately, and despite more suitable 5.56 rounds, you wouldn’t want to be hit with the M193, so it’s a pretty decent self-defense round.

Can I use the M193 5.56 NATO instead of a .223 Remington?

No. You can shoot a .223 Remington in a 5.56-chambered rifle, but shooting a 5.56 NATO round in a .223-chambered rifle can cause problems. The 5.56 has more pressure than the .223 Remington, so it isn’t safe.

What is the standard grain weight of M193 ammo?

The standard bullet weight of the M193 is 55gr.

Are all M193 rounds reloadable?

Most ammo with a brass casing is reloadable. However, some M193 cartridges aren’t as easy to reload as others. All the ammo we’ve listed comes with a boxer primer. If you come across Berdan primed rounds, you may need special tools to install the primer. This is because Berdan primers have two flash holes instead of one.

How many rounds come in the Winchester USA bulk M193 ammo can?

If you’re stockpiling ammo, you can get 1,000 round boxes of Winchester USA.

Back to the Best M193 Ammo for Stockpiling

Now, you have all the tools and knowledge to select your next box of M193 ammunition. Click HERE to go back to the best M193 ammo list.

Best M193 Ammo for Stockpiling to Defend Freedom originally appeared in The Resistance Library at Ammo.com.

Previous article6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor: The 6.5mm Short-Action Shootout
Next articleBest 300 Win Mag Ammo for Deer: The Belted Freezer Filler
Sam Jacobs
Sam Jacobs grew up in Southern New England, probably the part of the country with the weakest gun culture. However, from a young age he believed firmly in the right of self defense and the right to keep and bear arms. This, coupled with 12 years of education in public schools and an argumentative nature, meant that he was frequently getting into debates with his teachers about the virtue of the Second Amendment. A precocious student of history and the Constitution, Jacobs became interested in both the practice of armed self defense throughout history as well as the philosophical underpinnings of the Second Amendment. Jacobs has an affinity for the individual and the common man against centralized forms of power and elites, whether they be in the government or the private sector. In particular, he is interested in the ways in which private companies work to subvert the legislative process and to undermine American freedoms outside of normal legal channels. He considers the resolution of how corporate power can hem in Constitutional freedoms to be the most pressing political question of our age. The private sector and the public sector are increasingly indistinguishable from one another, both because of behind-the-scenes corporate chicanery that undermines the legislative process and because private companies are rapidly becoming far more powerful than the federal government. Thus, it is more important than ever to both fight the incursion of private companies into our government and to become independent and self-reliant enough to make it difficult for private companies to hem in your rights. So Sam believes. Jacobs is the lead writer and chief historian with Ammo.com, and is the driving intellectual force behind the content in the Resistance Library. He is proud to see his work name-checked in places like Bloomberg, USA Today and National Review, but he is far more proud to see his work republished on websites like ZeroHedge, Lew Rockwell and Sons of Liberty Media. You can catch him on Quora and Parler as well as on our very own Resistance Library podcast. How many firearms does Sam own and what’s his everyday carry? That’s between him and the NSA.