Monday, October 1, 2012

AR Ammo Comparison

I made it out to the range for a few hours today. This is the first time I've shot rifles in about 6 months so I'm a bit rusty.
Everyone  seems to talk about their AR's shooting sub MOA groups and I was curious what I could get out of my S&W M&P15 MOE. Most of what I shoot is the steel cased Russian stuff (In various flavors) but once in a while I like to run some respectable American ammo through my guns.
These targets were shot from the bench at 100yds. My sandbags were forgotten so I used my range bag for a rest instead. I hope to get out next week and see if there's a change in some of these groups using a better rest.

=The S&W M&P15 has a 1:9 twist and should favor the lighter loads.

I was surprised at how well the 62gr Silver Bear did today. It was a constant performer and I usually go through a lot of this stuff.  The 55gr Brown Bear wasn't as good as usual and I can never do as well with the 55gr Wolf.
I hadn't used any Tulammo in over a year and was surprised at how decently it grouped. Tulammo is generally the least accurate steel cased round that I use so maybe I got a good lot today (Or a bad case before).

I was a bit disappointed in a few of the Hornady loads.  I kept hoping for that sub MOA group but it didn't happen today. Maybe if I do my part next time. We'll see.
As it stands today, the brass cased ammo is 3-4 times the price of the Silver Bear, Brown Bear, Tulammo and Wolf. I basically shot just as well with the Silver Bear as I did with the higher end ammo. Can you guess what I'm buying by the case?
Sooo...long story short,  most of the groups are OK if you take out the flyers. I left the flyers in for the measurements since I feel that if they're on paper then they count. If I can't make 5 consistent shots back to back I'll take the added inch(es).

I will say however that I went about this test in a lazy manner. The rifle wasn't cleaned prior to shooting and the sandbags were forgotten.
10 rnds of each load were used for practice and then 5 more were put on the targets shown above. Ideally I'd have 4 or 5 targets per load but believe it or not this still took about 2 hours even with the rushing.

BTW, a lot of people worry about running the steel cased ammo through their AR's. I have at least 1000rnds of Brown Bear, Silver Bear and Tulammo through this rifle and have never had any issues. The steel cased rounds are at least half the price of the least expensive domestic ammo. That's hard to beat. I wouldn't use it for anything important but I would recommend it for plinking and general training. Do you really need to familiarize a new shooter with an AR15 using $12-$20 per box ammo?
Doubtful. Buy the cheaper stuff and get 2-3 times the gun handling when getting used to the weapon.
If you shoot enough of the Russian ammo you'll get a stuck case sooner or later. Pack a cleaning rod and kit. You'll be back up and running in under 15 minutes. I probably have over 3,000rnds through my AR15's and have had exactly 1 stuck case. I can live with that for the amount of money that I've saved.
I linked to a couple of outstanding videos in September on the topic of Russian ammo and the myths that keep circulating on the internet. Give them a look and please subscribe to the Military Arms Channel.     Wolf Ammo

I plan on trying this again in a week or two with a frankengun that has a 1:7 barrel. It should be interesting to see how it handles the heavier loads in comparison to the S&W.

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