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View Full Version : 5.56 / .223 What ammo to buy now?



Texican_gal
03-30-2007, 02:54 PM
Well, I've been suitably panicked from the "ammo shortage" threads. :dope:

I don't even have my AR yet ... HOWEVER after everything I am aiming towards getting a Colt AR6721 or 6520 I believe (1:7 barrel). [I will have to save up here.]

So, what ammo should I be going for? To learn to shoot this carbine, shouldn't I just go with the slightly cheaper military ammo?

Tex
03-30-2007, 03:13 PM
I just got an AR last summer, and I bought a 1,000 rd. case of Wolf. The idea is you sight your rifle in with whatever your SHTF ammo is(with a 1:7 barrel you can go 77gr. SMK or the 75gr hornady T2 round.) and keep some mags with the good ammo for the bug out, and then ya just keep practicing with the cheap stuff(wolf).

Colt's are very hard to find these days you'll probably have to go LMT or Bravo Co. which are both really good, check Section1Operations posts for more on that.

And get your mags here: http://www.cproductsllc.com/

Also the mag-pul pmag sounds like its going to be a winner.

Steve Collins
03-30-2007, 03:50 PM
Texican Gal,

Concur with Tex. There are many sources of practice or surplus ammo, and it isnt' getting cheaper. You can't shoot green tip ammo in a lot of places, and that stuff has almost doubled in the last year!

Keep looking at the various distributors for sales, then jump on them when you find them. You might look at going in with a friend for a bulk purchase to get a better deal.

Buy your mags in bulk, as well. Either the new MagPul ones or GI mags, and add the MagPul upgrades. All my mags here have MagPul followers and baseplates, maybe overkill, but I'm a lot more confident with them.

Check S1O's posts, he has the latest info on the ARs.

Section1_Operations
03-30-2007, 04:16 PM
Here's my two cents...


Magazines will be plentiful just as they were when the AWB was in effect -- the price may very of course.
You can never have enough ammo -- NEVER!!!
If you could buy a case of ammo a month I'd advise that it's something you should have budgeted just like your tithing.;) A case of FMJ one month a case of OTM or JSP's the next.

Shoot anything for practice as long as it works reliably in your rifle after you've sighted it in with your Go-To ammo (With lube, good magazines, and a correct 5.56 chamber anything should run -- if it doesn't your rifles a POS). The POA/POI difference is nil especially if your practice ammo is something like the 62gr Wolf and you Go-To ammo is 60/62gr JSP and 75/77gr OTM's. Inside 100yrds it isn't enough to matter and even at distance it isn't enough to throw ones training.

A caution on the CProducts magazines: They're good magazines but like all products they have their lemons that get out, so if you don't have the opportunity to test them for a while in your rifle I'd advise buying the D&H magazines with MagPul GenII follower.

Don't waste money on new magazines that do not come with the MagPul GenII follower. It really is the polymer follower all others are judged by.

Section1_Operations
03-30-2007, 04:22 PM
I don't even have my AR yet ... HOWEVER after everything I am aiming towards getting a Colt AR6721 or 6520 I believe (1:7 barrel). [I will have to save up here.]


What's the hold up?

You can save money and the 10% FET by buying your rifle in pieces...

Complete LMT or BCM Upper
Handguard Upgrade?
Stripped Lower from Local Dealer
Stock (w/buffer tube, spring, buffer, end plate, castle nut)
Std. LPK
-- or --
Trigger Upgrade?
Grip Upgrade?

You'll save $200-400 over the complete Colt or be able to afford a few upgrades.

Tex
03-30-2007, 04:30 PM
S1O, I've been getting 30rd., alumminum mags, with the gen II folowers and chrome silicon springs, sound about right?

Not trying to hijack your thread Gal, thought you'd like the answer to this question as well.

Section1_Operations
03-30-2007, 04:32 PM
S1O, I've been getting 30rd., alumminum mags, with the gen II folowers and chrome silicon springs, sound about right?

Not trying to hijack your thread Gal, thought you'd like the answer to this question as well.

Good-To-Go!:)

Texican_gal
03-30-2007, 04:48 PM
Well gents, thanks for all the good info on ammo and magazines! :)

I'll be picking up some ammo before getting the rifle.

S1_O things keep happening. The Kimber I was going to sell to help pay for this rifle I just HAD TO TRADE ... for a Colt Series 70 Gov't model I found in a pawnshop. It had a Bar-Sto barrel, pinned grip safety, other "features" and had obviously been operated on (in a good way).

I offered to swap the like-new Kimber, and they gave me a straight trade. I could not control myself. :dope: I am happy though.

If I don't go with Colt, I wonder when BCM will have more of their uppers?

Tex
03-30-2007, 05:17 PM
ar15.com has a ton of uppers and lowers in their for sale section.

Section1_Operations
03-30-2007, 05:30 PM
I offered to swap the like-new Kimber, and they gave me a straight trade. I could not control myself. :dope: I am happy though.


And here I thought only the guys suffered from that type of trade impulse!;)



If I don't go with Colt, I wonder when BCM will have more of their uppers?

Given the strain on the supply system regarding some critical components and the fact you're without a rifle I'd suggest getting the LMT upper. Yeah, it's ~$50-60 more than the listed BCM upper price but that may well change when Paul finally get things built up with components that pass OQ.

Remember, the reason you're not buying the Colt is to save money, the reason you looking at LMT or BCM is because of component quality.

John W in SC
03-30-2007, 06:41 PM
Would you consider 20 round mags instead of the more common 30 round size? They are obviously more compact, which makes the gun easier to handle in tight places and easier to go prone. They also fit in a cargo or jacket pocket, or a fairly compact belt carrier. (I have the Blackhawk two mag carrier. It looks like an oversize nylon pistol mag pouch.)

The original mag for this gun was a 20 round straight body. If you can find some old USGI straight bodies with alloy followers, they work well. DPMS has some straight body mags with plastic followers for $11.50 at http://www.dpmsinc.com/store/products/?prod=657&cat=1507. Brownells says they are coming out with straight bodies soon, as does CProducts.

You might try a couple of 20 rounders before you buy a bunch of anything, just to see how you like them.

John W in SC

CplPunishment
03-30-2007, 06:58 PM
Strange as it may sound, you might want to try local shops for ammo. A LOT of online places are out. My local shops all have dozens of cases. No Wolf, XM855, or MK262 (77-gr OTM), but they have XM193, Guatamalan 360-rnd battlepacks of M193-class ammo (55-gr). They also have some XM193PD, which often has some rounds that have to be culled out (due to massive damage), and unless you are willing to hand sort every round, I'd avoid it. The XM193PD comes bulk-packed (i.e. no boxes, it's just dumped into a big box) The XM193 comes in boxes within the case. Same with XM855 - XM855PD (62-gr).

The Xm 193 and Guatemalan ammo is good. The 55-gr rounds fragment violently at fairly close range reliably. From: http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm#m193twists

Distance to 2700 fps....20" Barrel....16" Barrel....14.5" Barrel....11.5" Barrel
M193.............................190-200m......140-150m......95-100m............40-45m
M855.............................140-150m.......90-95m.........45-50m..............12-15m


2700 fps being the velocity at which the bullet stops reliably fragmenting.
So basically, for personal, and home defense, either one should be fine in 16" to 20" barrels.

Section1_Operations
03-30-2007, 07:04 PM
The only thing I use the 20rd magazines for is shooting absolute prone and resting the FF forearm on something. Otherwise, I find a 30rd magazines w/the MagPul Ranger plates installed a good make shift mono-pod.;) The other uses for 20rds is to separate one type of projectile from another i.e. barrier vs. anti-personnel, and storing a rifle in a tight place like a case with a magazine inserted.

I've got some curved black Teflon 20rd magazines with the MagPul followers that I'm pretty fond of for bench load testing and scope work.

Section1_Operations
03-30-2007, 07:14 PM
The Xm 193 and Guatemalan ammo is good. The 55-gr rounds fragment violently at fairly close range reliably. From: http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm#m193twists

Distance to 2700 fps....20" Barrel....16" Barrel....14.5" Barrel....11.5" Barrel
M193.............................190-200m......140-150m......95-100m............40-45m
M855.............................140-150m.......90-95m.........45-50m..............12-15m


2700 fps being the velocity at which the bullet stops reliably fragmenting.
So basically, for personal, and home defense, either one should be fine in 16" to 20" barrels.


I know we're all students first so I'll say it again in case you've missed it in the past. The Ammo-Oracle is a good source of info but it's a basic source of ballistic information.

M855 is a better round than M193, however if you want fragmentation in a 5.56/.223 projectile use an OTM or in some cases a PSP/BT for a self-defense/duty ammo, and JSP when necessary.

CplPunishment
03-30-2007, 08:12 PM
Well, the primary wounding mechanism of the 5.56 is fragmentation. M193 fragments to a longer range than M855. M855 is better if you're shooting through steel helmets. Neither does well through barriers such as brick or cement walls. Is Mk262 better? Sure, larger projectile that produces more and larger fragments than smaller projectiles. Other than the price and lack of availability (I'm talking actual MK262, with the cannelured bullets, not .223 civilian loads with no cannelure), there's nothing not to like about it.

I don't like the light 40-gr "tactical" loads, IMO I'd be worried about underpenetration and very nasty superficial wounds.

TAP is nice, but is an order item, none of my local shops carry it, and at $1 or so per round, most people won't be buying much. Fine for knocking back a couple hundred "for real" but not for training.

But again, M193 and M855 do fragment reliably at close range. Unless she's footing the bill for an SBR, the shortest she'd be using is a 16 incher, with even M855, she'd have roughly 90 meters of frag range. Most civilian encounters are under 50 meters, with the majority of those under 25. My point being, that's plenty of margin for proper fragmentation.

My primary reason for preferring MK262, M193 and M855 (in that order) is they are proven rounds (despite the bad rep M855 has for ineffectiveness at longer ranges), that are not downloaded to .223 specs.

Tex
03-30-2007, 08:24 PM
Well, the primary wounding mechanism of the 5.56 is fragmentation. M193 fragments to a longer range than M855. M855 is better if you're shooting through steel helmets. Neither does well through barriers such as brick or cement walls. Is Mk262 better? Sure, larger projectile that produces more and larger fragments than smaller projectiles. Other than the price and lack of availability (I'm talking actual MK262, with the cannelured bullets, not .223 civilian loads with no cannelure), there's nothing not to like about it.

I don't like the light 40-gr "tactical" loads, IMO I'd be worried about underpenetration and very nasty superficial wounds.

TAP is nice, but is an order item, none of my local shops carry it, and at $1 or so per round, most people won't be buying much. Fine for knocking back a couple hundred "for real" but not for training.

But again, M193 and M855 do fragment reliably at close range. Unless she's footing the bill for an SBR, the shortest she'd be using is a 16 incher, with even M855, she'd have roughly 90 meters of frag range. Most civilian encounters are under 50 meters, with the majority of those under 25. My point being, that's plenty of margin for proper fragmentation.

My primary reason for preferring MK262, M193 and M855 (in that order) is they are proven rounds (despite the bad rep M855 has for ineffectiveness at longer ranges), that are not downloaded to .223 specs.

Even 69gr. SMK are better than 855 or 193 when fragmentation is concerned. S1O posted a very good article written by Dr. Roberts a while back, its a good read you might try and find it,

Tex
03-30-2007, 08:28 PM
here's the article I mentioned.

For general purpose combat use with 1/7 twist barrels from 0 to 600 yards, I would choose one of the combat proven 5.56 mm (ie. 5.56 mm NATO pressure loads, not .223 SAAMI pressure loads which run about 200 f/s slower) heavy match OTM loadings: either the Hornady 75 gr TAP (#8126N) using the OTM bullet w/cannelure or the equally good 77 gr Nosler OTM w/cannelure loaded by Black Hills, followed by the 77 gr Sierra Match King OTM-which, while exceedingly accurate, offers slightly reduced terminal effects. If your expected engagement scenario is at more typical LE distances, say out to 200 yards, then the .223 SAAMI pressure loads are fine. The experimental BH loaded 100 gr OTM exhibits impressive fragmentation, even at relatively low velocities, however, their trajectory is like a rainbow-definitely for use under 150 - 200 yards.

NOTE: For general purpose LE use, if stuck with 1/9 twist barrels, the heavy 70+ gr match OTM loads are not universally accurate in all rifles and the 69 gr SMK OTM, the 68 gr Hornady OTM, the Winchester 64 gr JSP (RA223R2), or one of the new Federal 64 gr TRU (223L) JSP, Hornady 60 gr JSP, or Nosler 60 gr Partition JSP's are the best choices to most likely run accurately in the majority of 1/9 twist rifles. You are screwed with 1/12 twists, I would probably choose the 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load (Tactical--LE223T1 or identical Premium Rifle--P223T2) in order to ensure adequate penetration.

If routinely engaging vehicles, the only LE .223 loads which effectively penetrate automobiles are the 62 gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical (LE223T3) and the similarly performing 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load. While not bad choices, neither the new Hornady 60 gr “barrier penetration” JSP nor the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullets were quite as effective as the proven Trophy Bonded Bear Claws against glass in our testing. None of the OTM bullets, even the heavy 75 - 100 gr loads, offer good performance through automobile glass. FWIW, contrary to what many believe, 62 gr M855 FMJ also is not very good against glass. For military use, the M995 AP is the best choice for vehicles and glass.

If a short barreled 5.56 mm weapon, such as the Colt Commando, LMT/Crane Mk18 CQBR, HK416, HK 53, HK G36C, etc… is used with a 1/7 twist barrel, the 75 gr Hornady OTM, 77 gr Nosler OTM, 77 gr SMK OTM, and 100 gr BH OTM loadings offer acceptable performance, as do the LE Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's and the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet; for LE with a 1/9 twist, stick with the Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's or the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet. Remember, with barrels under 14.5”, the effective engagement distance is significantly reduced compared to the longer barreled carbines.

(Note: We are in the process of testing the .224 Barnes TSX all copper bullets--it looks like they may have good potential; if these preliminary results hold true through the conclusion of testing, then they will also be on the recommended list)

Whatever projectile is used, it is best with a cannelure to prevent bullet set-back in semi-auto/auto weapons. Also, be cautious with the exposed lead on the JSP designs. Often they will run great for up to 200-300 rounds, but then mysterious feeding failures will begin as a result of lead build-up on the feed ramps. I have personally seen this occur with a variety of JSP's including 55 gr, 60 gr, and 64 gr in a recent LE training course. As soon as FMJ or OTM was substituted, all the feeding failures ceased.

Be sure to watch your ammo storage conditions. Temperatures above 150 deg F will degrade the powder and cause pressure spikes. Hint: Think locked metal conex containers in the mid-east, car trunks in the southern U.S., and storage areas near heaters in the northern U.S.

------------------------------

Most LE agencies around here use the Hornady 75 gr TAP OTM, Federal 55/62 gr bonded Tactical JSP, or Winchester 64 gr JSP (it is on the state contract and is VERY inexpensive)--all have worked very well in actual officer involved shootings. I carry the Hornady 75 gr OTM (SAAMI load) in 30 rd mags and a few 20 rd mags of Federal Tactical 62 gr JSP for barrier situations.

Do short barrel 5.56 mm carbines have some limitations? Yes, especially beyond 100 yards, but BFD…learn what they are, train, and drive on. For LE urban work with lots of entries and mounted work I use a 10.5” LMT CQB-R w/Aimpoint and Noveske KFH because, despite the ballistic compromise, for the mission it is the best choice. For GP/Patrol I carry a 16” with a 3.5x TA11 ACOG (the S&B 1.1-4x Short Dot would be an equally good or even better choice) -- pick the right tool for the job.

------------------------------

Mk262 using the 77 gr SMK OTM is built as premium quality ammunition intended for precise long-range semi-auto rifle shots from the Mk12. It is great for its intended purpose and in the military is the best currently readily available option to increase terminal performance with all 5.56 mm carbines. But Mk262 is NOT necessarily the best choice for LE or most military combat use from carbines (Mk18, HK416, M4, FN Mk16 SCAR-L), as Mk262 has demonstrated poor intermediate barrier performance, the inconsistent yaw cycle exibited by all SMK’s, incomplete water proofing, fragile shelf-life in extreme temperatures, and high cost.

As articulated by recent military testing, what is urgently needed is a JAG approved, law of land warfare legal, environmentally robust, thermally stable combat rifle load with improved terminal performance, yet without the need for the 600+ meter precision accuracy of Mk262 in the Mk12. Such a carbine combat load needs to have a crimped and sealed primer, sealed case mouth, cannelure, acceptable accuracy out to 300-400 meters coupled with good soft tissue terminal performance (early consistent yaw, good fragmentation, at least 12 inches of penetration coupled with maximized tissue damage during the first 10 to 12 inches of travel in tissue, along with being “blind to barriers” and not suffering terminal performance degradation through intermediate barriers--especially automobile windshields & doors, and common structural walls.

Until recently this goal seemed impossible, however the 01 June 2006 Marine Corps RFI (http://www.cbd-net.com/index.php/search/show/1087257 (http://www.cbd-net.com/index.php/search/show/1087257)) for “Barrier Blind” ammunition has yielded several very promising options from industry that appear to effectively address this issue.

At this time, given the current ammo choices available via the military supply system, I prefer to load my mags with mainly Mk262Mod1 and if available, a couple of mags of M995 AP for barriers and some M856 tracer (or TB74 dim trace) for marking targets.

CplPunishment
03-30-2007, 09:06 PM
I think we are in agreement Tex, as I stated, MK262 would be my first choice. However, it is very hard to find. The general OTm or SMK loading from BH does NOT have the cannelure and is loaded to .223 spec, not 5.56. I prefer the military loadings as they aren't downloaded to .223 specs. But if you can't find them, or just can't handle using M855 or M193 (Side note, MK262 only extends the fragmentation range over M193 by about 30 meters from a 20" rifle, which I run. IMO that's not significant. The 50% weight increase, is significant, IMO), then the TAP would be my next choice, in the heaviest varient your barrel will stabilize. However, TAP is beaucoup expensive, and not suitable for training due to that. The surplus ammo is still the best for sending rounds downrange in training, unless you're willing to run Wolf.

Section1_Operations
03-31-2007, 06:22 AM
Well, the primary wounding mechanism of the 5.56 is fragmentation.


No, it isn't. Fragmentation is a secondary part of the design and a by product as directly crushed tissue is the primary wounding mechanism.



M193 fragments to a longer range than M855. M855 is better if you're shooting through steel helmets. Neither does well through barriers such as brick or cement walls. Is Mk262 better? Sure, larger projectile that produces more and larger fragments than smaller projectiles. Other than the price and lack of availability (I'm talking actual MK262, with the cannelured bullets, not .223 civilian loads with no cannelure), there's nothing not to like about it.


You don't need the cannelure or 5.56 preassure loading to reap the benefits of the OTM's as Dr. Robert's and others have pointed out numerous times.



I don't like the light 40-gr "tactical" loads, IMO I'd be worried about underpenetration and very nasty superficial wounds.


Who's talking "40gr. Tactical Loads" besides you?



TAP is nice, but is an order item, none of my local shops carry it, and at $1 or so per round, most people won't be buying much. Fine for knocking back a couple hundred "for real" but not for training.


Blackhill's and HSM all offer "TAP" loads at half the price of a case of Hornady.



But again, M193 and M855 do fragment reliably at close range.


Again, no they don't look at the facts. The jacket design inconsistency with the FMJ M193/M855 projectiles is one reason why you have the advent of the Mk262Mod1 loading for the military.



Unless she's footing the bill for an SBR, the shortest she'd be using is a 16 incher, with even M855, she'd have roughly 90 meters of frag range. Most civilian encounters are under 50 meters, with the majority of those under 25. My point being, that's plenty of margin for proper fragmentation.


One more time there's no guarantee of fragmentation with FMJ M193/M855 and thus the reason why a recommendation of an OTM if available -- if not then yes the FMJ will suffice.



My primary reason for preferring MK262, M193 and M855 (in that order) is they are proven rounds (despite the bad rep M855 has for ineffectiveness at longer ranges), that are not downloaded to .223 specs.


Great for you but don't recommend not using a superior OTM over second hand military surplus FMJ M193/M855 just because you prefer the increased pressure as even the .223 loaded OTM's are superior to the M193/M855 in regards to terminal performance.

Section1_Operations
03-31-2007, 06:31 AM
I think we are in agreement Tex, as I stated, MK262 would be my first choice. However, it is very hard to find. The general OTm or SMK loading from BH does NOT have the cannelure and is loaded to .223 spec, not 5.56. I prefer the military loadings as they aren't downloaded to .223 specs. But if you can't find them, or just can't handle using M855 or M193 (Side note, MK262 only extends the fragmentation range over M193 by about 30 meters from a 20" rifle, which I run. IMO that's not significant. The 50% weight increase, is significant, IMO), then the TAP would be my next choice, in the heaviest varient your barrel will stabilize. However, TAP is beaucoup expensive, and not suitable for training due to that. The surplus ammo is still the best for sending rounds downrange in training, unless you're willing to run Wolf.

Actually, many of BH's OTM DO have the cannelures in newer production runs. And all OTM's regardless of .223/5.56 pressure will offer superior terminal wound ballistics over the M193/M855 loadings with almost certain fragmentation which cannot be said of the FMJ M193/M855 loads.

Also, I don't believe anyone is suggesting using OTM's for general training when Wolf FMJ is plentiful and cheap.

CplPunishment
03-31-2007, 09:55 AM
Also, I don't believe anyone is suggesting using OTM's for general training when Wolf FMJ is plentiful and cheap.

And I don't remember recommending to NOT use them, what I did say was:

Other than the price and lack of availability (I'm talking actual MK262, with the cannelured bullets, not .223 civilian loads with no cannelure), there's nothing not to like about it.

So if you can find it, go for it.


Actually, many of BH's OTM DO have the cannelures in newer production runs.
K, haven't seen them. Seen MK262 overruns, but not commercially packaged rounds with the cannelures.


And all OTM's regardless of .223/5.56 pressure will offer superior terminal wound ballistics over the M193/M855 loadings with almost certain fragmentation which cannot be said of the FMJ M193/M855 loads.
Dunno, never seen a failure of M193 or M855 at less than 50 meters. Failure of the bullet to fragment, that is. Failure to stop? Sure, on guys that are doped up, but then, 7.62x51 tends to fail on them too, unless a CNS hit is made. In fact, most 5.56/.223 loads make nasty wounds at close range when they work properly including M193 and M855


Who's talking "40gr. Tactical Loads" besides you?
Well, no one listed every "tactical" load out there, so why not address the 40-gr "tactical" loads out there like Federal puts out?


Great for you but don't recommend not using a superior OTM over second hand military surplus FMJ M193/M855 just because you prefer the increased pressure as even the .223 loaded OTM's are superior to the M193/M855 in regards to terminal performance.
Mmm, hmm.

TAP is nice, but is an order item, none of my local shops carry it, and at $1 or so per round, most people won't be buying much. Fine for knocking back a couple hundred "for real" but not for training.
Seems I don't mind a superior bullet at .223 pressures. Even recommended putting it away for "real". Just not blowing a crap load of her (or anyone else's) money trying to train with it. Like you said, sight in with your preferred load, and train with the cheaper stuff, the POI difference at 100 meters won't matter.
Now, if Hornady put out their current TAP, and a TAP to 5.56 specs, why NOT take the stuff to 5.56 specs? So, yes, I prefer ammo loaded to the hotter spec. Sue me.

Now,

To learn to shoot this carbine, shouldn't I just go with the slightly cheaper military ammo?
Was the intent of the first post, from what she wrote.
So, yes, I recommended surplus. I've never shot Wolf from an AR, nor has any .223 Wolf been for sale locally, so I won't recommend it. The cheap "lear to shoot the carbine" ammo I have shot is Lake City M193, M855, and the Guat M193. The Ammo Oracle reference was a basic chart simply to show that M193 and M855 tend to be effective within the scope that the vast majority of civilian encounters would occur in, should she not have the money to stock up on "shooting" ammo, "fighting" ammo, and an AR all at once (which from her first post seems to be the case).

So, IMO, it's better for her to get ammo that she can afford to train with first, for two reasons:
1.) she can train with it while saving for the top shelf stuff
2.) surplus/cheap commercial (i.e. Wolf) is what most people stock up on and the panic buying will probably start for soon. So, get it while she can, and put away $$ for the good stuff later. Face it, even when we have dry spells, a lot, if not most, people refuse to pay for top end ammo, so that stuff will most likely still be around, whereas the cheap stuff could quite possibly end up rare as hen's teeth.

If you disagree, then you diasgree, and we'll have to leave it at that.
I really shouldn't have to write a dissertation every time someone asks "To learn to shoot this carbine, shouldn't I just go with the slightly cheaper military ammo?" because I don't include $1+ per round ammo for training.

I try to just answer the given question, and read back to see if they have other questions after that. Like I expected her to ask "OK, after I get my training ammo, what do you guys recommend for personal defense with the carbine?" or something to that effect. Maybe she would have if we didn't go off on the "which boutique ammo is best" tangent. Maybe not.

Section1_Operations
03-31-2007, 10:48 AM
Well, no one listed every "tactical" load out there, so why not address the 40-gr "tactical" loads out there like Federal puts out?


Because this thread was never intended to address specific ammo design related with terminal performance, it was intended to address what ammo one should be concern with obtaining in regards to training -- the cheapest ammo that'll run consistently in your carbine.



Now,

Was the intent of the first post, from what she wrote.
So, yes, I recommended surplus. ...

So, IMO, it's better for her to get ammo that she can afford to train with first, for two reasons:
1.) she can train with it while saving for the top shelf stuff
2.) surplus/cheap commercial (i.e. Wolf) is what most people stock up on and the panic buying will probably start for soon. So, get it while she can, and put away $$ for the good stuff later.

If you disagree, then you diasgree, and we'll have to leave it at that.
I really shouldn't have to write a dissertation every time someone asks "To learn to shoot this carbine, shouldn't I just go with the slightly cheaper military ammo?" because I don't include $1+ per round ammo for training.

I try to just answer the given question, and read back to see if they have other questions after that. Like I expected her to ask "OK, after I get my training ammo, what do you guys recommend for personal defense with the carbine?" or something to that effect. Maybe she would have if we didn't go off on the "which boutique ammo is best" tangent. Maybe not.


Let's be clear no one said otherwise regarding the training ammo and all agree on that. However, it seems you were the one who took the info further by providing inaccurate ballistic conclusions that needed to be corrected and wanted to make it about your personal preferences in "boutique ammo".

BN747FDO
06-02-2009, 02:54 PM
I've been searching threads for a while, but I may not be looking in the right place. So here's my dilemma and question:

* There's a good deal on 5.56 steel case ammo on several sites.

* The Armorer who's upgrading my AR says steel case ammo is Bad for AR's, as it tends to damage the extractor.

* The barrel is a military MP 1/7, 14.5in (16in OA)

** What is the opinion of my more experienced WTers regarding feeding an AR Steel Case Ammo?

Thanks in advance for your input! :D

RatDrall
06-02-2009, 04:50 PM
I've been shooting PMC 55 gr .223 for cheap practice ammo. In 500 rounds I have yet to have a malfunction. It seems accurate and as clean as anything else I've shot. It's also brass cased.

I got some XM193 for a good price, it hits a few inches low at 100 yards compared to the .223 fodder.

YO_Doc
06-02-2009, 07:32 PM
While Lake City is my #1 choice I have put several thousands of rounds of Wolf though my AR's, steel case who cares it is about pulling the trigger and changing mags. :dope: Extractors and springs are replaceable parts have a few on hand and care even less.

Section1_Operations
06-03-2009, 06:54 AM
I've been searching threads for a while, but I may not be looking in the right place. So here's my dilemma and question:

* There's a good deal on 5.56 steel case ammo on several sites.

* The Armorer who's upgrading my AR says steel case ammo is Bad for AR's, as it tends to damage the extractor.

* The barrel is a military MP 1/7, 14.5in (16in OA)

** What is the opinion of my more experienced WTers regarding feeding an AR Steel Case Ammo?

Thanks in advance for your input! :D


Your armorer needs to pull his head out of his six w/regards to steel cased ammo.:rolleyes:

A new LMT extractor is ~$18; how many thousands of rounds will it take before one needs to replace the extractor: ~2.5k, 5k, 10k, or 20k?

20k: you're likely looking to replace the barrel & bolt if you've really trained hard pushing yourself and the rifle.
10k: you're replacing a number of springs due for preventative maintenance.
2.5-5k: you're probably only replacing poor quality parts that missed QC/QI, and maybe the extractor spring.If most all of these situations the extractor cost is well below 1% of your ammo expenditure let alone your training class costs.

If the steel cases run well enough to practice with regularly in your rifle get it and use it as often as you can to cut cost on the overpriced brass cartridges, or dump the POS rifle and buy one that'll work reliably with most all ammo.

Using a chamber brush @ ~500-1,000rds helps to clear a lot of the "steel" case ammo issues as well as cleaning the sealant from the bolt that builds up with use causing a reduction in extractor tension.

FYI-

I hit Cabela's earlier in the week...

Black Hills Red Box 55gr FMJ ~$35 per 50rds.
Hornady 55gr FMJ ~$30 per 50rds.
Wolf 55/62gr FMJ/JHP ~$360 per 1kSorry but even at today's price it's still a 2:1 difference in the cost of practice ammo.

DragonFire
06-03-2009, 08:10 AM
Ammo?

1. Search the net. Watch for specials at the larger retail sites like sportsmansguide.com

2. GO TO A GUNSHOW. Everything you want is at the gunshow and without shipping costs. Just make sure you look before you buy because prices can vary SIGNIFICANTLY.

3. Nothing wrong with Wolf steel cases.

Jack-O
06-03-2009, 08:22 AM
As S1O mentioned, your "armorer" doesnt understand cost benefit analysis of using cheap ammo. Make sure he understands the difference between a 556 chamber and a 223 one;). (you want 556)

I've had tremendously good results using Barnaul/Bear ammo the laquered "brown bear" is less likely to foul up a chamber IME, and the silver and gold is great as well. It seems to be loaded to 223 specs tho and is kinda dirty.

Make sure he goes over the gas system and that there is no restrictions or mis-alignments to slow gas flow.


for the record (once again), The Russians are able to do things with steel that we can do with brass. The steel is very soft and does not significantly increase wear on properly hardened components.

BN747FDO
06-03-2009, 08:38 AM
Thanks guys! I value the input.

I'll be ordering my Silver Bear shortly! :)

Ronin_Gray
06-03-2009, 08:43 AM
Is steel cased ammo harder on an AR than brass cased? Sure but as has been mentioned most people won't ever notice the difference.

My understanding is that the biggest issue with steel cased ammo in ARs is when you have a very dirty chamber, a very hot gun, and you let a steel cased round sit in the chamber while the chamber cools. Steel has very different thermal and tensile properties than brass (which is why brass is better and has traditionally been used), and under the conditions mentioned a steel case can be very hard to extract from some chambers. This might wear the extractor some, but a more important problem is that the extractor sometimes rips a piece off the rim leaving your gun inoperable. This type of failure doesn't happen often, but when it does it tends to be memorable. :eek: (BTW 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 use a tapered case, so extraction is much easier and steel works just fine for these rounds.)

If you take good care of your guns and don't let a steel case sit in a hot, dirty chamber, then you should be able to shoot a lot of steel cased ammo through your AR (IMO).

Section1_Operations
06-03-2009, 09:14 AM
Is steel cased ammo harder on an AR than brass cased? Sure but as has been mentioned most people won't ever notice the difference.


The steel used for cartridge cases is still "soft" when compared to other products. The issue at hand is the wear on the extractor claw. Both a steel and brass case will wear an extractor claw so the issue is moot.



My understanding is that the biggest issue with steel cased ammo in ARs is when you have a very dirty chamber, a very hot gun, and you let a steel cased round sit in the chamber while the chamber cools.


The lacquer becomes tacky in the extremely elevated chamber temperature after a sustained fire string; so when left in the chamber at the end of such a string the lacquer hardens again affixing itself to the debris on the chamber wall as well as the imperfections of the chamber.



Steel has very different thermal and tensile properties than brass (which is why brass is better and has traditionally been used), and under the conditions mentioned a steel case can be very hard to extract from some chambers.


It's the obturation rate of steel vs. brass. Steel doesn't fully seal against the chamber and allows more debris to pass by which aggravates the fouling issue as the "tacky" lacquer now has additional particles to stick too. Coupled with a very shallow chamber taper = increased friction on extraction; thus, why it's imperative to have the Crane extractor upgrades in your bolt to provide the highest amount of extractor tension.



This might wear the extractor some, but a more important problem is that the extractor sometimes rips a piece off the rim leaving your gun inoperable. This type of failure doesn't happen often, but when it does it tends to be memorable. :eek: (BTW 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 use a tapered case, so extraction is much easier and steel works just fine for these rounds.)

If you take good care of your guns and don't let a steel case sit in a hot, dirty chamber, then you should be able to shoot a lot of steel cased ammo through your AR (IMO).


Yeah, at that point of being stuck there isn't a lot to be done except brush out the chamber.

BN747FDO
06-03-2009, 03:04 PM
it's imperative to have the Crane extractor upgrades in your bolt to provide the highest amount of extractor tension.

Okay, what's a crane extractor? :dope:

Several types of ammo on order for testing!

Wolf 55g, Silver Bear 62g and Brown Bear 55g.

Thanks for the help and advice! :D

Section1_Operations
06-03-2009, 04:15 PM
Crane Extractor is an easy fix. Here ya go...
http://www.jtacsupply.com/craneextractororing.aspx


That's only part of the "Crane" kit...

Buy a 3-Pack (http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Extractor-Spring-Uprade-Kit-p/bcm%20extractor%20spring%20%203pack.htm) it's cheaper...;)

AmericanWarrior
11-11-2009, 08:02 PM
I just got an AR last summer, and I bought a 1,000 rd. case of Wolf. The idea is you sight your rifle in with whatever your SHTF ammo is(with a 1:7 barrel you can go 77gr. SMK or the 75gr hornady T2 round.) and keep some mags with the good ammo for the bug out, and then ya just keep practicing with the cheap stuff(wolf).

Colt's are very hard to find these days you'll probably have to go LMT or Bravo Co. which are both really good, check Section1Operations posts for more on that.

And get your mags here: http://www.cproductsllc.com/

Also the mag-pul pmag sounds like its going to be a winner.

Right now is about the best time to buy a 6920...:cool::cool:

Reelzaruba
11-11-2009, 08:19 PM
Found a good deal on some 223 brass $295.00 a 1000rd case www.usaammo.com (http://www.usaammo.com), runs fine in my rockriver and wilson 10.5 and 8" guns.