Why Can’t You Shoot Green Tip Ammo at Shooting Ranges?

If you are familiar with the rules of shooting ranges, then you know the mystery surrounding green tip ammo. Not only is this ammo controversial when it comes to shooting, but it is also not welcome in almost all shooting ranges. This consistent rule makes people wonder why the rule exists at all. 

You can’t shoot green tip ammo at most shooting ranges because it’s made to penetrate steel, and most indoor shooting ranges use steel to catch bullets. While the steel backdrop would likely still stop a green tip bullet, it would incur a lot of damage, costing the range a lot of money. 

Let’s go into more detail about green tip ammo and why ranges decided not to allow it. 

Potential Damage Caused by Green Tip Ammo at Shooting Ranges

Green tip ammo can do a lot of damage at indoor shooting ranges that rely on steel. Not only could this ammo penetrate the steel and possibly continue traveling along its path of trajectory, but it would also do a lot of damage to backdrops, requiring that they be replaced. 

Because this ammo was created to penetrate armor, that means it can penetrate steel and sometimes continue traveling along its path of trajectory. This poses a huge threat to indoor shooting ranges that use steel to catch bullets. Shots on target might not be a big deal for green tip ammo, but any missed shots could travel through the backing and cause injuries. 

If you are familiar with green tip ammo, then you know this may not happen. It depends on the velocity of the shot as well as what is being shot at. But that doesn’t completely remove the risk. 

Gun ranges are made for safety, and green tip ammo may put the safety of others at risk. So, most ranges do not want to lose their license over safety concerns. This is why many places ban these bullets. 

Another reason these bullets tend to be banned is because of the damage they can do to backdrops. Steel backdrops are made to last through a lot of shooting before they need to be replaced. However, because green tip ammo is made to penetrate this material, it can cause a lot of damage, wearing down of the steel from just a few bullets. 

This damage doesn’t always make the range unsafe, but it certainly means that the backdrops will need to be replaced more often after being hit with green tip bullets. This can get very expensive for a range, considering shooting ranges don’t normally need to change them very often. 

Some indoor ranges will still allow this ammo despite the costs that come with it. For them, the damage done to the backdrop or targets is worth it to keep those customers happy.

Typically, you’ll find this ammo allowed more commonly in ranges that require a higher price to get in. This price increase can help the trade-off of allowing this ammo and replacing the backdrops more often. 

Indoor ranges that allow these bullets also need to heavily consider how well they are made. There are quite a few regulations that must be met before an indoor shooting range opens, and this type of ammo can draw attention to any regulations that may not have been followed. 

This type of dangerous ammo means that rules need to be followed very closely to ensure that no one is mistakenly harmed when using it. So, the ranges that do allow these bullets to be used tend to have stricter rules about who is allowed in the range at any given time. 

Why Green Tip Ammo Is so Controversial

Green tip ammo is made to penetrate steel, which makes it very strong. The damage it can do is what makes it controversial for civilian use. This superior ammo was originally created to penetrate armor. It’s considered dangerous by many, but nonetheless is legal to own in the United States. 

Green tip ammo came about in the 1970s, and ten years later, it was adopted by the US military. During this time, they painted the tip green, which was meant to show that it could penetrate armor. To this day, it is sold and contains those green tips that make it stand out. 

Over the years, these bullets have been shown to penetrate through steel armor which makes it controversial in terms of safety. Many are concerned because it could penetrate bullet-proof vests and other protective gear. 

Since these bullets can penetrate steel, they are considered very dangerous as a stray shot could do a lot more damage than an ordinary bullet. Thinking in terms of self-defense, green tip ammo can cause many issues if you miss a shot or the shot goes through the target and into something else. 

These bullets can travel through steel, so a wooden wall wouldn’t be much of a challenge. 

Over recent years, the ATF has attempted to impose regulations on these bullets for fear that they are putting the lives of law enforcement in danger as it can penetrate their vests. These attempts fell short when it became clear that it would violate the Second Amendment.

Green tip ammo is commonly not allowed at indoor shooting ranges. It can do a lot of costly damage and could be considered a safety concern if it penetrates backdrops. Because of this, most shooting ranges do not allow it to be used in their facilities. 

If you are frustrated with a range for not allowing this ammo, remember that it is done for safety and cost reasons. 

Contact Action Target

With over 30 years of experience, Action Target can help you build the perfect range for your unique needs. Whether you’re building a commercial range that caters to casual or tactical training or a law enforcement range to better prepare your officers, our experts can help with the challenges of building a range. Talk to one of our representatives in your neck of the woods here