Aerodynamic and Flight Dynamic Characteristics of 5.56-mm Ammunition: M855

Report No. ARL-TR-5182
Authors: Sidra I. Silton and Bradley E. Howell
Date/Pages: May 2010; 110 pages
Abstract: An experimental program for the aerodynamic and flight dynamic characterization of current 5.56-mm small-caliber ammunition has been developed and executed to further enable the U.S. Army's understanding of the ammunition. This report is focused on the M855 round, one of the most commonly used ammunitions for the M4 and M16A2 weapons. The aerodynamic characterization of the M855 round was accomplished at muzzle velocity as well as simulated downrange velocities out to 600 m. The resulting aerodynamic data will be used to update the U.S. Army's aerodynamic model of M855 ammunition to create improved modeling ability. A flight dynamic characterization, to include yaw limit cycle and Magnus moment instabilities, was accomplished at the same velocities. The predicted downrange yaw limit cycles were compared with previously obtained at-range yaw limit cycles with some success.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2010