sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ammunition Review - Ammoman

Eric, from Ammoman (your first stop for on-line ammunition purchases) asked me if I would review some of the ammunition that they are selling. I'm happy to do that here on the Virtual Mirage Blog. An excuse to go to the range and shoot? No, I don't need an excuse, but this provides a compelling reason. Feed my addiction AMMO MAN! 

JP LRP-07 with Schmidt and Bender PM 2 Scope
In order to conduct the test properly, I traveled to Arizona to shoot. Don't fret, it's a 3 hour drive. It takes me as long to drive 40 miles into Los Angeles during the morning rush as it does to drive 210 miles to Arizona, but I can put cruise control on when driving to AZ in the Ford Raptor, with the music cranked up.

Testing took place between 7:00 and 8:30 am (to avoid heat and the breeze that throws off hyper accuracy, which is what was at stake here). By 9:30, it was 95 degrees and time to pack up and head back for the coast and those naturally balmy breezes that Orange County California is heir to.

Testing Platforms:

1. JP LRP-07   (semi-automatic rifle) (more on LRP here)

2. Barrett MRAD, chambered for .308  (bolt action rifle) (more on MRAD here)

Both rifles have Schmidt and Bender Police Marksman 2 rifle scopes.

The Ammoman testing ammunition:

PMC .308 Win (7.62X51) "Bronze" 147 grain FMJ-BT

PMC 7.62X51 "XTAC" 147 grain Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Boat Tail (BT)

Notes: My standard go-to war shots for these rifles is the Federal Lake City Match 175gr HPBT XM118 Long Range primarily because I like to engage paper targets at the outside of the .308 effective range (700 meters +) and the cartridge is designed for that application.  I also shoot .308, 168 Grain HP-BT - Federal Premium Sierra Match King Gold Medal. Thus the comparison PMC ammunition.

The lighter 147 gr. bullets had a different Point of Impact (POI) from the Lake City Match (sighted in) as one would expect, but the groupings were impressive at 100 meters with both rifles, achieving an average 1.5 MOI with the LRP-07 and 2.25 MOI with the Barrett MRAD, firing three round groups. 

I did not fire 7.62X51 through the LRP. I tested both sets of ammunition through the MRAD and they performed substantively the same. Any variance was likely due to shooter error.
"Although not identical, the 7.62×51mm NATO and the commercial .308 Winchester cartridges are similar enough that they can be loaded into rifles chambered for the other round, but the Winchester .308 cartridges are typically loaded to higher pressures than 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges."
The LRP has a heat sink on the barrel, providing the same results with a hot bore as with a cold bore. The MRAD groupings were made after firing ten rounds, slow fire, to heat the bore and provide uniformity. I am impressed with the PMC ammunition a standard hunting ranges. The test was at 100 meters, but the groupings were good at 300 as well.

To make things a bit more interesting, I fired the PMC .308 ammunition from the LRP at targets at longer ranges (600, 700 and 800 known distance targets). As expected, they did not meet the standard set by the XM118 cartridges, but nobody would expect them to.

Testing platforms:

1. Glock 21 Gen 1 (.45 ACP) with internal modifications including a tougher recoil spring to compensate for +P and +P+ ammunition, a titanium guide rod in the recoil mechanism and a one-inch longer-than-stock Lone Wolf barrel.

2. Kimber Raptor 2 (.45 ACP), stock Kimber, Colt 1911A1 style handgun.

The Ammoman testing ammunition:

Winchester Training Ammunition - .45 ACP 230 grain FMJ

Winchester .45 ACP 230 grain Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) ("Duty Ammunition")

Going into the testing I wondered how the Winchester FMJ ammunition would cycle in the Model 21, modified to cycle hotter ammunition with more recoil. I have fired standard Orange County (CA) Sheriff's Department range ammunition through that pistol (with the original barrel and the longer Lone Wolf barrel) without any problems, but you never know. The Glock has had well over 10K rounds fired through it.

The Kimber is a newer handgun, tuned for standard .45 ACP ammunition (though I load +P ammo in the magazine for carry purposes as a matter of course)

The focus of the test was to determine whether the training ammunition would print the same as the duty ammunition. One common faulty training habit is to practice with one type of (usually hardball) ammunition and carry a different type jacketed hollow point that has different recoil and POI characteristics from what you train with.  It's an economic thing and we all fall prey to that from time to time.

Winchester's solution was to offer two (different price points) types of ammunition that would offer the same recoil for training purposes as it does for combat purposes.

The Winchester ammunition performed as advertised and I found no difference in recoil or grouping between the training ammunition and the duty ammunition.  Will I cast off my Hornady Critical Defense +P or my custom load +P+ ammunition for daily carry? Possibly not, but that's just because I want a .45 ACP  cartridge that shoots about 200+ FPS faster.


Note: In my career, varied and convoluted though it has been, I've fired hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition on duty and far fewer as a firearms enthusiast. Vastly more have been been fired in training than in combat situations, but let me assure you that you are far more aware of the value of accurate fire when the "targets" are shooting back at you.

14 comments:

  1. I have no idea what you're talking about but I'm sure I'd have fun playing with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Learning to put holes in things half a mile away can be a challenge worthy of even an art philosopher such as yourself.

      Delete
    2. And that's what it's all about - putting holes in things from a distance. It's basic tactics: Shoot the other guy and don't get shot.

      Delete
    3. Philosophy put on the point of a needle.

      Delete
  2. LL: wow. A long range sniper would have keen interest in all of the above, but my eyes started glazing over early on. I am now only interested in ammo tech for one stat: does it fire? And only one type of round: a store bought box of .357 Magnum hollow points, which I suspect will never be fired at anyone over 20 feet away. Maybe not even that. Or never, God willing.

    I bet you load your ammo at home. And yell at anybody who calls them bullets ('they are called 'rounds,' shit for brains!!!', I can just hear you now...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandpa taught me how to load ammo at home, and I still hand load at times. And that they fire is important...how well they fire is also important, and can they put you down at 1,000 meters is a useful measure.

      Delete
  3. Nice bit of testing -- have to get the kids down to the range for fun and making sure rifles are dialed in prior to a W Texas hog hunt. Also have to reacquaint myself with 30-06...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hawg hunt sounds like a lot of fun. Really. Did that piece of hunting land local to you work out as far as having the requisite critters on it?

      Delete
  4. We'll have to go to Arizona to buy it soon too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I consider that you live in one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate on the planet, I'd think that you would look down on AZ just a bit.

      Delete
  5. The Ammo Man gamble paid off. I will be ordering from that company the next time I scrape enough money together to place an order. Thanks for the hot tip and for the review.

    I don't typically fire 7.62X51 rifles, though. Next time, how about shooting up some paper with a .45?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did shoot it up with .45's (second half of the article). .45 ACP, not .45 Colt or .454 Casull. I am perfectly willing to review .45 Colt or .454 Casull at any time. In fact I did offer to do that for Ammoman, but they opted for .45 ACP.

      Delete
    2. OK LL. I totally missed that. I apologize.

      I shoot Winchester Super X (185 grain) at the range all the time with no problems in my Springfield XDM. That's an interesting idea, though, loading training ammunition to mimic the JHP version.

      I conceal carry a smaller XDM in S&W .40, so both get taken out to the range. I usually shoot a box of Hornady through the .40 every three months or so, just to ensure that I remember the feel for it.

      Delete
  6. What were the barrel lengths on the LRP and MRAD? That 2+ inch grouping is BIG for 100 yards out of that rifle...

    ReplyDelete

It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life