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Marine Corps To Adopt New Enhanced Army 5.56 Rounds

June 08, 2017

The Marine Corps is finally coming close to adopting a new 5.56 rifle round that is already being fielded by the Army, according to new reports.

Congress has called time and time again for a singular round for both services, feeling as though having separate caches of ammunition is wasteful and inefficient. Testing on the new round will wrap up at the end of this month, and a proposal will be made to Marine officials shortly thereafter.

The Marine Corps continues to use M855 ammo for their M16A4 and M4 5.56mm service rifles, while extensive testing continues to be run on the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round, but it is highly expected that the Corps will opt for the new ammunition once testing is complete.

The testing examines a wide array of areas, to include performance, stopping power, the durability of the weapon after repeated use of the round, and the impact of the trajectory of the M855A1 round compared to the M855. The trajectory may mean alternative funding would be needed to fix current Marine Corps rifle ranges to meet new safety concerns.

Phillip Jenkins, a former infantry Marine and combat veteran, said that the new rounds would be a vast improvement.  “I think so, especially if we are all fighting the same fight, we [Marines] should be able to fight the fight with up-to-date rounds, weapons and gear. We are the elite, therefore we should be fighting with elite modern gear from rounds to Marpat.”