The Marine Corps is continuing to test the Army’s lead-free 5.56mm round, but is proceeding skeptically.
While the Army plans to make the round, which was tested by soldiers in Afghanistan this summer, standard, the Marine Corps may not follow suit.
The M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round was delivered to Army units this summer. The service plans to buy more than 200 million rounds in the next year, replacing the Cold War-era M855 round, which was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. Soldiers and Marines have widely criticized it in recent years, saying it is ineffective against barriers such as car windshields, and that it often travels through insurgents, limiting its stopping power.