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Old June 12, 2000, 03:12 PM   #1
Master Blaster
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I noticed that has several varieties of .223 ammo at varrying prices and I wonder If any of you have a recommendation as far as accuracy, hunting personal defense etc:
The choices are as follows:

Winchester Q3131 55 gr FMJ 99.00 per 500
Federal Red box FMJ 55gr. 109.00 per 500
Federal 50 gr hollow point JHP flat base 129.00 per 500.
Russian Sporting ammo about 75.00 per 500 cant tell if it has a steel case.

Spanish manufactured nato 62 gr fmj with a steel core 99.00 per 500.

Would you choose any of these?

Is the 50 gr flat base JHP federal ammo accurate? 3400 FPS
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Old June 12, 2000, 03:23 PM   #2
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I have used all but the Russian. I shot a case of the 50 jhp Federal in my AUG in a subgun course last Sept. No problems. Russia is a third-world dungheap. I would not shoot their ammo in my guns. Rob
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Old June 12, 2000, 03:27 PM   #3
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If your barrel is 1-7 or 1-8 twist I'd stick to 62gr bullets or heavier.

If your twist is 1-9 or slower the 55gr and under will be fine.

I would avoid Russian ammo altogether, I think it is all steel cased, and a no-no for AR's.

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Old June 12, 2000, 04:00 PM   #4
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I will agree with the above post, with one caveat, it is perfectly ok to use regular (non-tracer) 62-grain bullets in 1-in-9" twist, but the US military 62-grain tracer round and any heavier rounds may not stabilize in this twist rate. Most commercial production .223 rifles come in 1-in-9" now in order to allow acccurate handling of the SS109 62-grain bullet.

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Old June 12, 2000, 04:14 PM   #5
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My last purchase was 500 Federal American Eagle 55gr. FMJ and 500 50gr. HP. Both rounds performed well in my Bushmaster Shorty. I think the 50gr. HP was a little more accurate.
I've read posts where somebody buys a $800.00 rifle and then asks what the cheapest ammo is. I would not shoot the Russian ammo. Why take a chance for a few dollars in perceived savings? Steel cases are hard on your rifle's chamber and I've read posts from guys who say that the laquer on the case (to prevent rust) gums up their chamber.


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Old June 12, 2000, 06:44 PM   #6
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Any experience with Federal's 69 grain Sierra BTHP MatchKing (Gold Medal line)?

Mini-14's especially may need the heavier boat tails for decent groups. My scoped Ranch model yielded better groups with 55 grain American Eagle boat tails than with 55 grain UMC's.
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Old June 12, 2000, 09:49 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your responses. OF all the ammunition that I have shot in my Bushmaster XM15-E2S 20" I think that the federal 55gr is the most accurate followed by PMC which is about $100 as well as UMC at $100 per 500 are common in this area. I don't see much Federal or Winchester on sale. Most sales are on UMC which is ok in the accuracy department. No one around here carries winchester .223. Winchester's handgun ammo seems to be pretty good.
I have heard thet the 62 gr ss109 with the steel core is accurate but the only range I can shoot my .223 at does not allow steel ammo (case? they had cses stuck to a magnet to illustrate the test) or armor piercing ammo.
I wonder if they could tell because of the copper jacket. Is this armor piercing ammo or just a soft steel core? I guess 100 rounds would probably put a hole in the backstop.
Ommenlanden is run by the state and has an indoor /outdoor range with a steel back stop, spinner trap, thaey allow ammo up to 3500 footlbs muzzle energy and no steel case or armor piercing ammo.
I guess I will also get some of the winchester

[This message has been edited by Master Blaster (edited June 12, 2000).]
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Old June 13, 2000, 12:13 AM   #8
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I posted a similar question on but it has been down for a while and I haven't gotten any responses.
It is regarding steel cased ammo. I have shot thousands and thousands of steel cased, copper washed steel jacketed ammo through my AK with no detrimental effects. The extractor shows no signs of exessive wear and the chrome lined bore and chamber are still bright, shiney and perfect. I have never had a problem with laquer build up.
Why would this be different in my chrome lined Bushmaster? Is the extractor that much weaker than the AK extractor. Is it brittle? Are these percieved problems due to the closer tolerances of the AR system? I keep hearing rumors of problems with this type of ammo in ARs but I still haven't heard of anyone with firsthand experience with these problems.
I've shot about 500 rounds of Barnaul 62 gr ammo through my BM and I haven't had any problems. It's no dirtier than American ammo. I aven't seen any laquer build up, it's fairly accurate (about 1.5-2 moa) and I can find no signs of wear on the gun.
I'd like to hear from anyone who has had firsthand experience with these rumored problems.
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Old June 13, 2000, 06:57 AM   #9
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Jaeger, I think the alleged problems with regards to AR15 extractors and steel case ammo are theoretical extrapolations.

I don't know anyone who has had this problem with an AR, and I know lots of AR folks. One must admit though that the premise is sound - that steel case ammo will wear on the etractor more than brass case ammo. How much more? Who knows.

I have known severl AR enthusiasts who have had the laquer problem and case sizing problems with the Russian stuff.

In general I know very few who do shoot the Russian stuff as when it is known of any problems with a type of ammo, it's avoided like the plague.

IMHO, I will avoid the Russian ammo due to:
-powder inconsistancies
-really dirty to shoot
-variable case and OAL sizing
-and yes, I believ the steel will wear my extractor MORE then the brass
-Russian products tend to suck in general these days

Be safe.


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Old June 13, 2000, 08:50 AM   #10
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I'm really starting to think I'm going to miss SE Virginia now when I move in a couple of months. The ammo prices you guys are quoting are about 25% higher than what I would pay at retail at my favorite shop, but since I work there part-time I get an even better deal. The Winchester 55-gr Q3131 goes for $175/1000 rounds, and the Wolf (that cheap Russian stuff which I do NOT like) goes for $155/1000. And that's retail, not my price.

To be honest, my biggest objection so far to any and all of Wolf's ammo that I have shot is the stench that the burned powder produces. I almost gagged. No more for me, thanks.
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Old June 13, 2000, 09:08 AM   #11
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I shoot 1,000's of the PMP and Sellier and Bellot rounds with no problems. J&G sales has it for $148.50 per 1000, which is a pretty good deal. They only have it in 55 grn, which is no problem for 1x9 twist barrels.

As far as the Russian ammo, I have seen a few problems with the steel cases, as far as the dimensions and laquer. If you must buy Russian ammo, the "Wolf" brand seems to be the best. They are at least copper jacketed lead bullets, which are much easier on your bore than copper jacketed steel bullets, which ar e common on Russian rounds. They will wear on your extractor, but it's a pretty cheap part to replace if needed.

Good luck and enjoy!

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Old June 13, 2000, 10:35 AM   #12
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I have about 600 rounds of 223 Ammo that I believe is was all made in japan. How can I find out what the writing on the box means(grain, fps, ect...) Is there anyone on this forum who can read it? If so I will take a picture -- If not I guess I won't.

Thanks All...
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Old June 13, 2000, 11:47 AM   #13
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Post a pic here. I'll bet you $0.01 it is malaysian .223 ammo.

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Old June 13, 2000, 11:18 PM   #14
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there all reloads too!!!

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Old June 15, 2000, 12:29 PM   #15
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Ok, I'm stumped. I have some friends at the local university who are in the language field, I will ask them....

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Old June 15, 2000, 12:38 PM   #16
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i would expect that Japanese ammo to be NATO spec 5.56
are there 20 rounds in the box?

the WCC-22.76 looks like a lot number

My favorite AR fodder is Hirtenberg
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Old June 15, 2000, 01:30 PM   #17
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The characters on the box in the above link are Hebrew. I believe the ammo is of Israeli origin. Sorry, I haven't kept up on my Hebrew skills enough to translate the writing.
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Old June 19, 2000, 12:02 AM   #18
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The ammo box pictured is for ammo of Olin (Winchester) manufacture. It was produced in mid-70s for Israel.


[This message has been edited by marsh (edited June 19, 2000).]
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Old June 19, 2000, 06:47 PM   #19
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Avoid the Winchester Q3131 55 gr FMJ 99.00 per 500. Lots of posts on on this variant and many problems due to bad lots. Q3131A, made in Israel is OK. Not too accurate for me though. I prefer the Federal American Eagle 55gr FMJBT for cost and accuracy with Black Hills 52 grain HP match and regular 55 gr. That is in my 1-9" barrel.

I will not feed a $850+ AR with Russian ammo of questionable quality. I remember a fellow at the range a number of years ago shooting PRC Chinese .223 because it was so cheap. It was also CORROSIVE and he replaced the gas tube and bolt assembly to save some dollars.

Pennywise, pound foolish.

I have heard good things about South African PMP.
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Old June 19, 2000, 07:24 PM   #20
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I have shot thousands of PMP (S.Af.) ammo and like it. Also shot some of the PMC "Coyote" softpoint reloads and found it to be OK.

3D Coyote softpoints

[This message has been edited by anodes (edited June 20, 2000).]
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Old June 19, 2000, 08:19 PM   #21
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PMP South African- $3.49/20 rd box @ Galyans.
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Old June 20, 2000, 11:15 AM   #22
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I feed my AR on the following:

Cheap: JSC Barnaul 55gr FMJ. 2MOA. Good for just wasting time and money. S&B by the case is good as well.

Accurate: Federal Ballistic Tip 55gr. .5MOA.

Devastating: Hornady V-Max 55gr moly JSP. 1MOA, but whatever's behind the red dot is going bye-bye.

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Old June 20, 2000, 08:03 PM   #23
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I second what 700PSS said regarding the Winchester ammo. That was the first type I used in my new Bushmaster and it would not feed reliably, or in some cases at all. The cases kept getting bent, one so badly that the guy at the gun store kept it as a souvenier. I switched to the Federal Am. Eagle and have had zero problems.

Ammoman was a pleasure to deal with on the refund/exchange.
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Old June 6, 2013, 08:44 PM   #24
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With several manufactures available there are options galore so a few things to consider.
1) pimers boxer and burden are the two main ones
2) powder corrosive and non-corrosive
3) brass and steel cases
4) round fmj or hp
So boxer primer is highly corrosive and burns hot and not completely.
Burden primer is non-corrosive and burns quickly
Powders that are corrosive leave un burned grains behind and will eat any metal its exposed to non corrosive burn very quick and completely burn all powder.
Brass cases give a lotttle when fired which helps with ejection and is easier on the ejector and little to no firing and ejection problems.steel cased are super hard on the ejector and won't give which causes jamming and ejection issues also if not lacquered the case will corrode.
Fmj rounds are mostly used for target shooting and small game.
Hp are defence rounds and I'm not familiar with this round. .
This is my knowledge from what I've learned and experience so please feel free to correct me if some info isn't correct

Last edited by gunfreaked; June 6, 2013 at 08:51 PM.
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Old June 6, 2013, 10:37 PM   #25
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This is my knowledge from what I've learned and experience so please feel free to correct me if some info isn't correct
I'm going to correct you but don't take it the wrong way.

1) Boxer is the primary primer used in modern ammunition. The reason is it is far simpler to remove the primer for reloading purposes. Berdan not burden are not common and pretty much not used in US manufactured ammunition.

2) Modern smokeless powder really isn't corrosive, but if residue is left in the barrel it traps in moisture. Real black powder is the corrosive stuff you have to worry about. If you live in an area with high humidity then you'll want to clean your barrels more often than I have to in Colorado.

3) Is correct however, in some cases aluminum is used as well for the cartridge case though usually not for rifle cartridges.

4) There are far more bullet types than you mentioned. I'm not sure what you mean by round? Round nose (RN) maybe, these aren't found in .223 very often. HP, FMJ, SP (soft point) BT (ballistic tip), BTSP (boat tail soft point), BTHP, and VLD (very low drag) are more common.

All primers pretty much anymore are non-corrosive, unless you are shooting some old military surplus ammunition made in some third world country.

Any powder can leave un-burned residue in a barrel, it depends on several factors. However slow burning powders in short barrels will leave the most residue.

Not completely correct. Don't confuse ejectors with extractors, extractors are what grab the rim of the cartridge and pull it from the chamber. Once free of the chamber the ejector throws the cartridge clear so it doesn't interfere with the next round chambered. Usually steel cases extract as easily as brass cases as long as the rifle is kept fairly clean.

FMJ are not a common bullet for small game, but for target and military/LE ammunition. Depending on the bullets purpose any of the bullet styles mentioned can be used for hunting, target, or defense. Most manufactures will tell you if it is a target, varmint, hunting, or defense bullet on their web pages.
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