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View Full Version : Military/NATO/Milsurp .223 rds garbage?


ripnbst
December 21, 2010, 07:25 PM
I was about to post this in one of the many threads about using .223 to hunt deer but felt it was OT so I am starting a new thread. People talk about hand loading which all will agree gets superior results but even when talking store bought stuff from your local Walmart people regard the GI ammo as "garbage".

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that what we buy in the store to hunt with is (supposedly) better than what our family members and friends are shooting when other people are shooting back?

Why does everyone regard the military supplied ammo as inaccurate crap ammo compared to store bought "hunting grade" bullets? Lets take home made hand loads out of the picture as for any caliber of any bullet that's an unfair comparison.

PaulGL
December 21, 2010, 07:36 PM
Probably (partially) a function of the downfall of all gov't buying, contracts get awarded to the lowest bidder! :D

So, the army is getting ready to buy $100 billion worth of 5.56. You think they would pay an extra 1% (1 BILLON DOLLARS) for ammo with a lower velocity standard deviation? Im thinking no!

:-)

btw- I have no idea how much ammo the military buys... but its got to be awesome!

rdmallory
December 21, 2010, 07:38 PM
It is not that it is junk it is just a NATO round which means it can not be a hollow point or soft point.

For hunting I have found a hollow point or soft point better and less chance of ricochet.


Doug

ohen cepel
December 21, 2010, 07:45 PM
Bit of difference between NATO spec and military surplus. Some people may think the Russian made steel stuff is surplus, I would say it's not.

I have never had any issues with NATO spec ammo, or the issue ammo. I have supervised tens of thousands of rounds of US military ammo with no issues that I can recall.

tulsamal
December 21, 2010, 07:48 PM
M193 will kill a deer. I know, I've done it. Doesn't mean FMJ is legal to use for hunting in most places.

Generic 55 grain FMJ isn't the same thing as true M193.

M193 is loaded on the hot side. And it's sealed at both ends. And the bullet type is selected for fragmentation. None of those things are done to increase the accuracy of a bench gun at distance. M193 out of an M16A2 will hit a 300 meter pop-up target every time. That's the level of accuracy that is needed. Anything beyond that level of accuracy is secondary to velocity, reliability, and long term storage capabilities. Beyond the whole "FMJ vs expanded bullet" thing, you have to realize that hunting ammo and military ammo have different design parameters. I have very carefully handcrafted hunting ammo that I would pick for any kind of hunting trip. But I wouldn't want to be deployed with it in Afghanistan. No crimp, no sealant, not loaded to absolute max velocity, powder type isn't tested to work in extreme temperatures, etc.

Gregg

HorseSoldier
December 22, 2010, 03:56 AM
The reputation is probably because some portion of mil-surp ammo is crap (regardless of caliber) if you include some of the ultra-dodgy junk from India, Guatemala, and assorted other corners of the earth that has found its way here into the US market. As previous posters have noted, this stuff may or may not have ever been built to the same standards as US ammo, and it may or may not have been stored and treated properly through the years to keep it in decent condition.

I have never had any issues with NATO spec ammo, or the issue ammo. I have supervised tens of thousands of rounds of US military ammo with no issues that I can recall.

It happens from time to time, though pretty rarely, that a bad lot slips through the QC cracks. When I was working for the secret squirrels, over an almost five year time span I signed for something upwards of six million (seven million?) rounds of small arms ammunition. Out of all that we had three bad lots of ammo we were ever issued, one of 5.56mm, one of 9mm, and one of WW2 vintage 50 cal API-T issued for sniper training since Raufoss ammo is dud producing. The system does work pretty well, though -- once identified as problematic, all ammo in those lot numbers was pulled from use anywhere and everywhere it was issued until a quality assurance investigation could be done.

HelterSkelter
December 22, 2010, 03:59 AM
as far as i know there are no military surplus and there is no such thing as NATO .223's as the military doesn't use them. they use 5.56 which IS different and WILL NOT play nice with a .223 gun regardless of what others might tell you. if you have a gun chambered for 5.56 then the surplus ammo is great.

JIMSPD9
December 22, 2010, 04:33 AM
Sorry wrong thread

demigod
December 22, 2010, 09:30 AM
USGI ammo is very high quality. Be carefull what you read from internut retards on the forums. The M855 has the ss109 as the projectile. SS109 isn't the best bullet at all, but despite what poor shooters and internet idiots will tell you. It will kill the enemy just fine.

Military ammo exceeds the requirements of civilian ammo. But like anything that gets produced, there can be some bad lots.

Be careful when comparing hunting loads or competition loads to combat ammo. It's not truly an apples to apples comparison.

HKGuns
December 22, 2010, 10:24 AM
Yes, I've found XM193 to be very accurate and generally packs a lot more whoop than the commercial stuff you see for sale. It is also important to realize when you change rounds you most likely need to re-zero your rifle.

B. Lahey
December 22, 2010, 10:45 AM
I've had fantastic luck with US and Western European military ammunition (knock on wood). Which is odd, as I tend to attract lemon guns like flies to a sloppy sandwich. It's not match ammo (exept when it is), but it is good general purpose stuff.

Our military has taken some steps recently to improve the lethality of the issued ammunition over the traditional FMJ designs. The new Mk318 looks like a real winner, and the Mk262 77gr Sierra Matchking OTM load has been broadly fielded, and has proven itself to be useful.

Of course there is also the M855A1, which does not seem to do anything better than M855, but costs as much as M995 AP (very expensive).

One step forward... you know the rest.:)

tirod
December 22, 2010, 11:02 AM
Lake City tests their ammo to a standard of 2 MOA using a ten shot group. They've used that standard since the 1950's, as documentation in threads elsewhere has shown.

Civilian ammo can be right down to 1/2 MOA, given some requirements.

Military ammo when surplused and pulled from storage has exceeded either the number of years stored allowable, or already been found as a lot to have aged beyond acceptable reliability. In other words, it no longer meets standards and can't be trusted. Depending on what it does, it could be ok, or it could be garbage. You have to shoot it to know, the reseller isn't going to tell you. Caveat Emptor.

Military look alike and rejected lot ammo, who knows? You take your chances.

As for using it hunting, it's not designed to impart the maximum energy dump and expend itself in the game animal. If anything, mil ammo penetrates too much, as the steel core loads are made to go through a lot of fixed obstacles. It's exactly the opposite of hunting loads, which are designed to expand, disrupt blood vessels, and cause quick death.

Goes for 7.62x51 as much as 5.56, it's not caliber specific, it's the difference between military and civilian. What seems to get missed is the old .308 issue sniper ammo was open tip competition developed to shoot at the Olympics in the 1950's. It was superior civilian ammo that was later determined to be OK for land warfare use in the '80's per JAG. It doesn't penetrate hard targets as well, tho, which is why it's not the general issue type. FMJ steel core does the military a good job.

tulsamal
December 22, 2010, 11:51 AM
The reputation is probably because some portion of mil-surp ammo is crap (regardless of caliber) if you include some of the ultra-dodgy junk from India, Guatemala, and assorted other corners of the earth that has found its way here into the US market.

I'm not going to defend every ammo from every country but I rise to the defense of Guat M193! AIM used to sell it. They had some that was corroded that was cheaper. I bought it twice from them and never got any with a mark on it. Has the NATO cross on the case head. Green sealant on the primers. It has proven itself in my AR's every time. Full velocity, real M193. I wish I had bought 10x as much as I did since I'm down to just a few hundred rounds of it. It has been my generic M193 for several years and I've got no complaints. Even shot a whitetail deer with it once when I stumbled on a hurt one on my property. The one shot was just devastating.

Gregg

demigod
December 22, 2010, 12:17 PM
but I rise to the defense of Guat M193!

That's the one round I never bought but wish I had.

gew98
December 22, 2010, 01:48 PM
{quote}M193 out of an M16A2 will {quote}


I don't know about you but when I was in uniform if one tried M193 in an A2 it would keyhole bullets even at the 25 zero range , and same thing with M855 out of an A1. I won alot of beers from other grunts making bets on that. Between 1-7 twist for the 855 and 1-12 for the 193...it makes a load of difference.

{quote} It will kill the enemy just fine.{quote}

I beg to differ on M855 being a great killer , though it drills cleaner holes than M193. Having some buddies that have been in the recent sandbox skirmishes using A2's and the shorter less lethal M4's I have heard more than a couple times where the M855 simply did not have the effect , some multiple hits and the bad guy trucked on .
My late Uncle a vietnam veteran was 'shocked' at what the M16A1's he carried did to flesh...and single hit kills were normal for it.
I'm not a fan of taking an already marginal cartridge then giving it a slower heavier bullet with less room for fuel , then adopting a shorter barreled rifle further lessening velocity and range yet more.

gew98
December 22, 2010, 01:50 PM
On the same topic sort of what's the specs on the M855A1 ball that supposedly makes it more lethal ?.

hoffbill
December 22, 2010, 02:08 PM
I gather from the initial post you were asking about Military 5.56 as a hunting round for deer.
I have taken many deer with a .223 (more than 12) so here are my thoughts based on that experience.

I would not recommend FMJ ammo
I only take neck shots 100 yds or less with .223. I would classify it as an "expert marksman" round for deer hunting. That means a shooter, rifle, and ammo that can consistently hit a 1' circle at 100 yds including during the adrenalin rush of a hunting situation.

I have successfully used soft point and Vmax bullets 50 - 55 grain on deer. None of the deer I have neck shot took even 1 step. I have never missed on such a shot but I only take it if I am very sure of the shot.

While a well placed heart-lung shot with soft point or triple shock bullt will certainly kill a deer I do not recommend it because with the small bullet required by my rifle (1-12 twist barrel limits it to about 55 grains max) a bone deflection could easily result in a wounded animal.

I do not have experience using .223 with 1-9 or 1-7 twist which allows use of bullets as heavy as 90 grains but such a round would approach the ME of a .243.

Go to bullet manufacturers web sites and check info on various models of bullets. Most give detailed info on how the various bullet will perform and recommended uses.

Good Hunting

Duxman
December 22, 2010, 04:56 PM
High velocity rifle rounds do most of their damage with Hydrostatic shock and the wound pattern that follows after it.

Unlike pistol rounds that do not travel fast enough to do this.

I would first check if its illegal to hunt deer with 5.56mm rounds. (In some states its against the law).

If it is legal - and you are capable of placing the round in the area at 100 to 300 yards - there is no reason not to think you can kill a deer with 5.56mm.

I hear stories of the Alaskan natives hunting down Polar bears with mini-14s and 5.56mm. So it can certainly do the job with deer.

Is a 7.62mmx51 more efficient and gives you a greater margin of error - I would think yes.

But sometimes we do what we can with what we have.

kraigwy
December 22, 2010, 05:43 PM
I don't know about you but when I was in uniform if one tried M193 in an A2 it would keyhole bullets even at the 25 zero range , and same thing with M855 out of an A1. I won alot of beers from other grunts making bets on that. Between 1-7 twist for the 855 and 1-12 for the 193...it makes a load of difference.

I beg to differ and will put my "beer" on the line. M193 will shoot in the 'A2s (1:7). The 'A1s (1:12) do have accuracy problems with the M855. You can shoot light bullets with the faster twist, but not always so the other way around.

I use the 55 grn stuff for short range (100 yard) practice in my 1:7 WOA Service Rifle, its quite accurate. However my SP1 (1:12) dosn't like anything heavier then 55s, same with my Rem Bolt Gun in 1:12, but it doesn't tumble, just not too accurate past 100 yards or so.

Take a gander at this Report by the Army regarding shoot both rounds out of both guns at 300 yards.

http://photos.imageevent.com/kraigwy/pentest/websize/Twist%20compairson.jpg

Ticonderoga
December 23, 2010, 01:41 PM
To the OP: I wouldn't go so far as to say that the military ammo is bad. In fact, it is better than most can shoot it. With the exception of the Marines and the SF community, most of our military cannot maximize the accuracy of our ammo. In other words, the ammo is more accurate than the shooter.

This article is slightly off topic, it is a (well written) paper about the "best defense ammo." In it, you'll find a great discussion on the M855 bullet. The article explains that this round usually doesn't yaw until 8" after penetration. The article notes that some service members experienced frustration after shooting "skinny" people (read Somalians) who did not go down as the round left only a .22 hole.

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm

The article has some diagrams of the M855 yaw behavior and some photos of actual gelatin shots that show this phenomenon.

Aside from the 5.56 discussion, the article is an excellent source of info regarding defense ammo and I recommend it as a "bookmark" for all. I was quite surprised to read that most contemporary handgun rounds (9mm, .40, .45) perform similarly (penertration and expansion), regardless of bullet weight (9mm 124gr vs. 147gr).

Bartholomew Roberts
December 23, 2010, 01:53 PM
I don't know about you but when I was in uniform if one tried M193 in an A2 it would keyhole bullets even at the 25 zero range , and same thing with M855 out of an A1. I won alot of beers from other grunts making bets on that. Between 1-7 twist for the 855 and 1-12 for the 193...it makes a load of difference.

The key to telling tall tales on the Internet is to either go the subtle; but plausible route; or just go all out and tell something so outrageous that everybody immediately realizes it a joke.

This statement clearly didn't opt for the subtle approach; but you neglected to consider that only about 90% of the audience here would recognize how ridiculous this was. As such, it wasn't quite extreme enough to reach the second level and just looks like stupid prevarication instead of an amusing Paul-Bunyanesque tale.

Jimro
December 23, 2010, 07:04 PM
Hmm...somebody who says nato spec m855 or m193 is garbage probably needs to qualify their statement a little bit.

Garbage in comparison to mk262mod1 maybe, but there is a reason that US milsurp costs more than Wolf.

Jimro