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Old November 6, 2009, 05:52 PM   #1
Hoss Delgado
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Is there a major difference between ammo brands?

I'm still learning about ammo, and I'm trying to decide the best kind to get. So for the sake of example, let's take a look at these and assume it's for defense.

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/prod...ducts_id=89131
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/prod...ducts_id=73317

Now, as far as I can tell, they seem identical. Same speed, same number of pellets. But the Fiocchi is 10 rounds for $5 and the Remington is 5 rounds for $4. So if they really are identical the Fiocchi is a better value. But why is it so much cheaper? Is it low quality, or is there something else with it I don't know about, or what?
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Old November 6, 2009, 08:13 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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Remington makes top of the line premium ammunition from the best components and under the most care of manufacture.
Fiocchi simply uses lesser grade components, and doesn't take as much care as the top brands.

This is not to say it isn't good ammo, and it may well shoot better patterns from your gun. How a gun/choke/ammo works is a matter of individual results with that combination.
What shoots great in one set up, may shoot poorly in another.
That's why what someone else is shooting is no guarantee that it'll shoot well in your set up.
You just have a better chance of good results and consistent reliability and results with the better grade ammo.

In short, there's a reason the Remington costs more, and that's because you get exactly what you pay for.
The old line that "They just charge more for the name" is straight BS.
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Old November 6, 2009, 08:25 PM   #3
hoytinak
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I use the Fiocchi reduced recoil 00 buck in my 500 for HD. I've tried a bunch of different brands and at the short ranges I'd fire in a HD situation, they all performed about the same. I've put about 180rds of the Fiocchi through the 500 so far, it's been consistent and hasn't given me any problems.
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Old November 6, 2009, 09:54 PM   #4
Lee Lapin
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Well, let's see what we're looking at...

Fiocchi High Velocity 12HV00BK, 12 Gauge, 2 3/4", 9 Pellets, 1325 fps, #00 Buck Nickle Plated Lead Shot, 10 Rd/bx $5.28 box/10+boxes $5.02

Remington Buckshot SP12 00BK, 12 Gauge, 2 3/4\", 9 Pellets, 1325 fps, #00 Lead Buck Shot, 5 Rd/bx $4.16 box/10+boxes $3.95

I don't know if anything has changed with recent lot numbers of either load. I have some of the Fiocchi that's the same catalog number, the catalog number on the Remington I have handy is 12B00- I don't know if that's a different load than what Able lists, what I have is plain old 9 pellet 00 Express buckshot listed at 1325 fps.

IMHO there's no real difference in quality in the two. Fiocchi makes good ammo, as good as any manufacturer, and their 12HV00BK is one of my favorite non-premium loads. The Remington Express stuff isn't one of their premium offerings either. I would expect both to perform about the same out of the same guns, subject of course to all the vagaries that shotgun barrels induce in patterns made by different loads. I'd expect moderately sized patterns, in other words, in between the really cheap stuff like S&B or Rio Royal and the premium loads like Federal with FliteControl wads.

There are some differences. The Fiocchi has plated pellets- a plus in avoiding pellet deformation. The Remington has 'grex' or plastic buffering to pad the pellets- should be about a draw in that regard. Both have one piece plastic shot cup/wads. Both are star crimped, the Remington crimp is sealed with some sort of adhesive, the Fiocchi is not.

My advice would be to buy a relatively small amount of both, about 25 rounds or so. Shoot a few patterns with both at the maximum range you're likely to employ your shotgun, one pattern per paper or cardboard target. Then compare the patterns for size and even distribution.

Load the magazine of a standby tubular magazine shotgun full with alternating rounds of each brand and let it sit for as long as you usually go between shooting up the ammo in your HD gun and replacing it. Then check each round by manually inserting it in the chamber to make sure no cases have swelled or bulged under magazine spring pressure.

Lastly, run about 15 rounds of each load through your HD gun as fast as you can load it and shoot it. You want to make sure the ammo will run in the gun when the gun is hot, and that should do it.

The absolute critical thing in defensive ammo is reliability- the ammo has to run in your gun no matter what. If either fails the reliability standard, it's a no go. If you get essentially equal performance from both brands in all your tests, choose the less expensive brand and don't worry. If one brand seems to perform better in your particular gun, then choose that brand.

hth,

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Last edited by Lee Lapin; November 6, 2009 at 10:00 PM.
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Old November 6, 2009, 10:28 PM   #5
rc
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I've had good luck with Fiochi in the past. I would not hesitate to buy more. Remington ammo quality is actually pretty spotty particularly in rimfire. I had a duck hunting friend who noted a lot of variation in Remington Steele Shot. I feel like Winchester makes some of the best shotshells along with Federal and Fiochi. I've had mostly good luck with remington shotshells except for some 20 guage sport loads that didn't chamber and feed smoothly. Winchester and Federal ammo in the same two shotguns worked like a champ. Remington has the name recognition and fancy packaging and marketing. Other's are just as good or better. rc
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Old November 7, 2009, 12:29 AM   #6
javven
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Don't think about it too much

Get a round in the range you want... shoot and enjoy. If you develop a favorite, so be it. Some folks go by smell

Seriously - there's so much competition among the big brands that it's hard to find a bad one IMO. I do have -one- favorite load, but that preference comes from shooting -thousands- of rounds of it (Federal Gold Medal Paper).
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Old November 8, 2009, 12:24 PM   #7
DG45
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I think of shotgun shells the way I think of cigars. If I smoke one cigar after dinner I can afford some good smokes. (I like C.E. Beck. ) But if I smoked five or six a day, I couldn't afford them. That's why they make cheap cigars. The same is true with shotgun shells. If you just use your shotgun for hunting, you won't shoot up a lot of shells, but when you do shoot, reliability and consistency is important to you. So I say for hunting, buy the best shotshells you can afford. (I like Remington.) On the other hand, if you're an avid trap shooter or skeet shooter, you can go broke buying top quality shotgun shells - and you'll get no meat in the freezer for your troubles. I'd say buy cheap for that. But there is no shotgun shell priced too high to pay when it comes to the defense of my family. I buy the best I can afford - and hope I'll never have to use it.

Last edited by DG45; November 8, 2009 at 12:41 PM.
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Old November 8, 2009, 03:46 PM   #8
Hoss Delgado
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Fair enough. I'll get a handful of expensive stuff for home defense, and a bunch of Fiocchi in case of invasion by Nazis, hippies, Nazi hippies, or hippie Nazis.

Thanks.
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Old November 8, 2009, 04:03 PM   #9
oneounceload
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Quote:
Fiocchi simply uses lesser grade components, and doesn't take as much care as the top brands.
That's not even close to true. In this case, the Fiocchis are nickle-plated, Remington's aren't. EACH brand has cheap loads, middle-grade loads and high quality loadings, Remington is no exception.
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Old November 10, 2009, 08:36 PM   #10
rc
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I think people get too caught up in brand loyalty and don't evaluate what lot # of ammo they are shooting. Every manufacturer has good and bad lots of ammo as well as better and standard grade products. Federal copper plated and buffered premium buck is a higher performance load than federal standard buck. Remington has the walmart bulk pack of buck and nickel plated buck. Comparison has to be load to load not brand to brand. Some here are very predudicial towards Remington. I'm predudicial against remington because of the large number of problems I've had with their ammo. Missing primers in .22, brittle/ cracking nickel cases in .38 special and 40, and 20 guage sport loads that wouldn't chamber easily in two different shotguns. This doesn't mean I won't use Remington ammo as they put out a lot of good stuff as well, but I have not had nearly the problems with anything winchester even though they have had recalled ammo recently and Federal is generally good quality ammo. Even so, every brand puts out bad lots of ammo. It's really important to test a few boxes of your defensive ammo and make sure you have extra from the same exact lot to ensure it will functions in a self defense situation. You don't want to find out you have a problem in a life or death situation. Compared with reliability of ammo 100 years ago, today's ammo must have a very low failure rate overall no matter what brand you use. rc
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Old November 10, 2009, 09:05 PM   #11
5whiskey
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Quote:
The old line that "They just charge more for the name" is straight BS.
In remingtons case, it is not BS. Remingtons QC has been on the decline for some time now. Let's take an example from the centerfire world. Federal Powershok is the bottom of the barrel for federal ammo (money wise), yet the bullet construction is adequate and it is more consistant than remington ammo has ever dreamed of being. It's also cheaper than any ammo you'll get from remington.

I would trust fiocchi BEFORE I would remington, even if it is cheaper. Of course I know there will be some die hard remington advocates that will tar and feather me. That's fine. Fiocchi is good ammo, good enough that I'll trust it before remington. Maybe I should mention, though, that for the most part remington is decent ammo. It's just not head and shoulders above everyone else. It is paying more for the name in several cases. Though remington is not as bad as winchester (IMHO).

Last edited by 5whiskey; November 10, 2009 at 09:17 PM.
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Old November 10, 2009, 09:09 PM   #12
oneounceload
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I'm not a die hard fan of any ONE brand, but I have used them all over the decades I've been shooting, and have never had a problem with Remington, Federal, Winchester, Fiocchi, or any of the others. I prefer my own for accuracy, but would not hesitate to use what I could find. (I DID have major issues with Federal's cheap .22's, but that was years ago)
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Old November 11, 2009, 01:32 AM   #13
DG45
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I had an embarassing FTF years ago using Fiocchi handgun ammo and it left a bad taste. The stuff may be great now and it may have even been great then and I just got a dud round at a bad time, but I've never had a FTF in all my years of using Remington shotgun and UMC handgun ammo. Admittedly, I'm not at the range every day, more like 3 or 4 times a year, but over 40 years of that much shooting on firing ranges plus my occasional hunting over the years, well, that IS a lot of shooting.

On my most recent trip to the range a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to play with my new (to me) old 12 gauge Remington Model 11 shotgun. With its short 26" IC barrel, I knew this gun was not a good candidate for a long range goose gun. However, I figured it would be a wonderful gun for hunting upland game birds, which is about the only kind of hunting that interests me anymore. I wanted to use this gun as my HD shotgun too, and for that purpose too, needed a fast spreading shot pattern. But I needed the gun to be accurate with slugs too at short ranges, because for HD I intend to alternate 00 Buckshot shotshells with slugs. The Remington Express shotshells I used to test for pattern all patterned beautifully at a measured 30 yards with all 9 pellets from each of the 10 shotshells I fired spread well on the target, but all pellets were still well inside a 30" circle at that range; I also put all 5 of the Remington sluggers I fired from this gun inside the 6" circle located dead in the center of my target at a measured 30 yards. All shooting was done standing, offhand, without support. I considered this to be excellent ammo performance for what I knew going in would essentially be a short range shotgun.

That's why I like Remington. It always meets my expectations. Maybe any of the other major brands would have performed as well in this gun, but as long as Remington continues to perform, why would I change?
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