Ammo Guide: The Pros and Cons of The Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO 55 grain Ball (M193) Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition: A Hands On Guide With Everything You Need To Know Before Buying

So you're in the market for some 5.56x45mm NATO ammo, huh? Well, buckle up because we're about to dive deep into the world of the Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO 55 grain Ball (M193) Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition. That's quite the mouthful, but don't worry, we'll break it down for you.

First things first, let's talk about what exactly this ammo is packing. The 5.56x45mm NATO round is a standard cartridge used by NATO forces and is widely popular among civilian shooters as well. The Hornady Frontier variant we're looking at specifically comes with a 55 grain Ball (M193) Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) projectile. Translation? It's got a solid brass casing, which is great for reliable feeding and extraction, and it's topped off with a full metal jacket bullet, perfect for target shooting and training.

Now, onto the nitty-gritty - the pros and cons. Let's start with the good stuff.


  1. Reliability: Hornady is known for producing high-quality ammunition, and the Frontier line is no exception. The brass casing ensures smooth cycling in your rifle, while the FMJ bullet provides consistent performance downrange.

  2. Accuracy: With a 55 grain projectile, this ammo offers a good balance of velocity and stability, leading to precise shot placement. Whether you're punching paper or honing your long-range skills, you can trust the Hornady Frontier to deliver.

  3. Affordability: While not the cheapest option on the market, the Frontier line strikes a nice balance between performance and price. It's a great choice for shooters who want reliable ammo without breaking the bank.

  4. Compatibility: Since it's loaded to NATO specifications, this ammo will work flawlessly in any firearm chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO. Whether you're running an AR-15 or a bolt-action rifle, the Hornady Frontier has you covered.

  5. Versatility: While primarily designed for target shooting and training, the FMJ bullet can also be used for hunting small game or varmints. Just keep in mind that some states have regulations on using FMJ ammo for hunting, so be sure to check your local laws.

Now, onto the flip side.


  1. Limited Terminal Performance: While the FMJ bullet is great for punching clean holes in paper targets, it's not ideal for self-defense or hunting larger game. If you're looking for ammo for those purposes, you might want to consider a different type of projectile, such as a hollow point or soft point.

  2. Potential Over-Penetration: FMJ bullets have a tendency to penetrate deeply, which can be a concern in certain scenarios, particularly in urban environments or crowded shooting ranges. Always be mindful of your surroundings and backstop when using this ammo.

  3. Availability: While Hornady is a reputable manufacturer, availability can sometimes be an issue, especially during times of high demand or supply chain disruptions. It's always a good idea to stock up when you can to avoid being caught empty-handed.

  4. Cleaning Requirements: Since FMJ bullets don't expand upon impact, they tend to deposit more fouling in your rifle's barrel compared to other types of ammo. Be prepared to spend some extra time cleaning your firearm after a day at the range with this ammo.

  5. Potential Barrel Wear: While brass-cased ammo is generally easier on your rifle's chamber compared to steel or aluminum cases, prolonged use of FMJ bullets can still lead to increased barrel wear over time. Regular maintenance and inspection of your firearm are crucial for longevity.

So there you have it - the lowdown on the Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO 55 grain Ball (M193) Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition. Is it the right choice for you? Well, that depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you're primarily focused on target shooting and training, and you value reliability and affordability, then the Hornady Frontier is definitely worth considering. Just be aware of its limitations when it comes to terminal performance and potential over-penetration.

Before pulling the trigger on your purchase, take the time to weigh the pros and cons outlined here, and consider how they align with your shooting goals. And as always, remember to practice safe and responsible firearms handling.

Now, go forth and send some rounds downrange!

Hornady Frontier 5.56x45mm NATO 55 grain Ball (M193) Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Brass Centerfire Rifle Ammunition