.223 cheap factory ammo

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by 2ndtimer, May 29, 2016.

  1. 2ndtimer

    SE Washington state
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I recently picked up a couple boxes of factory .223 ammo on sale and fired it in 3 different rifles to see how the basic 55 gr FMJ ammo would perform. I usually shoot custom tailored handloads and have previously been favorably impressed by Federal American Eagle 50 gr Tipped Varmint ammo, as well as the Fiocchi Extrema 40 and 50 gr ammo loaded with Hornady V-Max bullets.
    This time I tried 55 gr FMJ loads from Federal (American Eagle .223 Tactical), PMC Bronze, Norma Tac-223 and IMI .223. I was expecting the the Norma and IMI ammo to show up the bargain basement offerings from PMC and Federal, buty the reverse was true.
    The PMC Bronze shot the best groups, followed by the Federal. The Norma and IMI shot significantly larger groups in my testing. Granted, the only way to be sure is to test it in your own rifle, but my results in a Weatherby Vanguard Varmint Special (22" barrel with 1 in 12" twist), a Stag Model 6 (24" 1 in 8" twist) and a S&W M&P 15 Sport (old model with 16" 1 in 8" twist 5R rifled barrel) were consistent for each load in each rifle. Based on my tests, I would try the PMC Bronze first followed by the Federal American Eagle and only consider trying the Norma or IMI if the the results were unsatisfactory.
    All the ammo was reliable and no failures to fire, feed, or extract. Overall, my handloads still produce the best groups in my rifles, followed by the better bullets in the slightly more expensive Fiocchi and American Eagle Tipped Varmint, but the PMC BRONZE was right behind them at just over MOA, and the Federal under 1.5 MOA.

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