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Posted: 9/9/2003 6:25:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/9/2006 11:34:50 AM EST by Zhukov]
Almost every day, there are questions which come up about certain kinds of ammunition (Wolf, S&B, Olympic, etc.). There hasn't been one unified source which could be referenced to obtain input from lots of users about the particular ammunition. This post will contain links to reviews for each popular ammunition type for quick reference.

Although AR's come in many calibers, I would like to limit the discussion mostly to .223/5.56 chamberings since those are the most sensitive to the ammo they're being fed. In the interest of a fair review: There are some ammunition types which are, ahem, controversial. Please do not slam them based on hearsay, only on personal experience.

In the end, it's possible that all the information gathered can be redacted and added to the actual ammo FAQ.

As always: read the AR15.com Ammunition FAQ first.


The following ammunition reviews are available. The numbers in parantheses list (in order): the number of responses, percentage of people WITHOUT problems, percentage of people with MINOR problems, percentage of people who won't use it. The table is ordered to rank the ammunition based on the lowest percentage of people of have no major problems. In case of a tie, the number of responses and the amount of people experiencing minor problems will be used as a tie breaker.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF XM193 and XM855 AMMO. Make sure you vote/add your comments to the correct one (PD and non-PD marked ammo)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF Q3131: Q3131 and Q3131A

 1)  829 responses (94.7% /  3.9% /  1.5%)  FEDERAL/LC XM193
2)  606 responses (92.7% /  5.3% /  2.0%)  WINCHESTER .223CAL
3)  592 responses (92.9% /  3.5% /  3.5%)  WINCHESTER Q3131A / IMI M193
4)  232 responses (93.1% /  3.0% /  3.9%)  WINCHESTER Q3131
5)  377 responses (91.5% /  4.5% /  4.0%)  FEDERAL .223CAL
6)  207 responses (87.0% /  8.2% /  4.8%)  FEDERAL/LC XM855
7)  410 responses (89.0% /  5.8% /  5.1%)  REMINGTON UMC
8)  258 responses (86.4% /  7.8% /  5.8%)  PMC
9)  115 responses (79.1% / 13.9% /  7.0%)  GUATEMALAN M193
10)  260 responses (86.7% /  6.1% /  7.2%)  PMP (Soth African)
11)  146 responses (80.1% / 11.6% /  7.5%)  BARNAUL/Monarch
12)  336 responses (68.8% / 23.5% /  7.7%)  FEDERAL/LC XM855PD
13)  419 responses (80.4% / 11.7% /  7.9%)  RADWAY GREEN
14)   88 responses (83.0% /  8.0% /  9.1%)  IGMAN/HOTSHOT
15)  444 responses (80.9% /  9.7% /  9,5%)  SELLIER & BELLOT
16) 1285 responses (79.1% / 11.2% /  9.7%)  WOLF (Polymer Coating)
17)  316 responses (74.1% / 13.9% / 12.0%)  ADCOM M855
18)  168 responses (73.2% / 14.3% / 12.5%)  Wolf M193
19)  285 responses (72.3% / 10.9% / 16.8%)  SILVER BEAR
20)  214 responses (57.0% / 25.7% / 17.3%)  FEDERAL/LC XM193PD
21)  115 responses (58.3% / 22.6% / 19.1%)  SANTA BARBARA SS109 (ARCHIVED)
22)  105 responses (56.2% / 18.1% / 25.7%)  MAINE CARTRIDGE CO.
23)  209 responses (66.0% /  6.7% / 27.3%)  WOLF (Lacquer coating) (ARCHIVED)
24)   62 responses (51.6% / 12.9% / 35.5%)  NATEC polymer-cased
25)  348 responses (41.4% /  8.3% / 50.3%)  OLYMPIC


NEWS
====
6/9/2006: Just as quickly, Guatemalan frops from 7th to 9th
5/22/2006: Guatemalan M193 jumps from 11th to 7th spot.


I will make a blanket statement here by adding one ammo manufacturer which hasn't been rated: American Ammunition (AMERC headstamp). There have been many reports of this ammo, and the brass itself being substandard. Please avoid it at all costs.


Please participate and add to the knowledge by clicking on the ammunition you have experience with. Click on the link for the ammo you have experience with, fill out the poll, and add your comments to the end of that thread. This is especially important if you have a negative experience with that particular kind of ammo.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 2:31:47 AM EST
Sounds like a good idea to me Zhukov. While I have absolutely nothing against people asking questions that have likely been answered before (mainly due to the limited search options we have here), it would be nice to have something in place that people could look at. That way there won't be a new Wolf or Olympic thread each day that asks the exact same questions. It won't completely eliminate the questions, but it might be able to reduce the volume somewhat. Good luck in your project.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 11:21:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 2:29:31 PM EST
Lets hear about RBCD ammo.  I hear it is a great pot roast tenderiser. [;)]
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 3:23:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By DevL:
Lets hear about RBCD ammo.  I hear it is a great pot roast tenderiser. [;)]
View Quote


Hee hee. I hear the meat's a bit on the gritty side after the tenderization process....
Link Posted: 9/13/2003 4:27:40 PM EST
I got through all of the "controversial" ammo, so now it's time for more benign stuff. In the pipeline:
Igman
HotShot
Santa Barbara SS109
Q3131A
LC M193

PMC/UMC/Winnie white box, etc. are next, maybe at a slower pace. Are there any others which are of particular interest ?
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 12:50:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By zhukov:
I got through all of the "controversial" ammo, so now it's time for more benign stuff. In the pipeline:
Igman
HotShot
Santa Barbara SS109
Q3131A
LC M193

PMC/UMC/Winnie white box, etc. are next, maybe at a slower pace. Are there any others which are of particular interest ?
View Quote


I know you are going to be looking at Winchester White box, but I want to be specific about which one.  

I would be interested in the 62gr. model number USA223R3, as I just picked up a couple of boxes yesterday for $3.99.  (Not a great price, but actually here in Illinois it is pretty good.  Although if I drive a little bit, I can get Q3131a for $4.25)
Link Posted: 9/18/2003 8:45:50 PM EST
Big thumbs up to Zhukov for the idea and the effort here! [beer]
Link Posted: 9/23/2003 1:55:45 PM EST
Hi, I am new here and was wondering if anyone had heard of Maine Cartridge company?  Their price is right at $69 for 500 rnds at the ammunition store, but is it good.  Any help is much appreciated.
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 5:25:18 PM EST
Chemtw asked the exact same question I was going to ask.
I understand Main .223 consists of a new rem. bullet, new winchester primer, and a once fired military case.
Is this true ?
anyone out there every use this stuff?
What are your opinions on performance and quality??????
Link Posted: 10/7/2003 6:58:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By gator39:
Chemtw asked the exact same question I was going to ask.
I understand Main .223 consists of a new rem. bullet, new winchester primer, and a once fired military case.
Is this true ?
anyone out there every use this stuff?
What are your opinions on performance and quality??????
View Quote


I've fired about 500 rounds of [b]Maine Cartridge Co.[/b] 55 grain and had only 1 blown primer.  That was all.  Seems pretty accurate but I don't have a chrono to test velosity.  Let's see a POLL added for this ammo.
Link Posted: 10/18/2003 8:15:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By DaPhotoGuy:
Originally Posted By gator39:
Chemtw asked the exact same question I was going to ask.
I understand Main .223 consists of a new rem. bullet, new winchester primer, and a once fired military case.
Is this true ?
anyone out there every use this stuff?
What are your opinions on performance and quality??????
View Quote


I've fired about 500 rounds of [b]Maine Cartridge Co.[/b] 55 grain and had only 1 blown primer.  That was all.  Seems pretty accurate but I don't have a chrono to test velosity.  Let's see a POLL added for this ammo.
View Quote



I read here on AR15.com that Maine Cartridge Co.  doesn't redo their charge weights with each batch of powder.  So if they get a fast batch of powder, it can cause problems.  500 rounds and one blown primer.  Sorry, I don't care how cheap that ammo is, I wouldn't use it with a failure rate like that.  And yes, I do consider a blown primer a failure.  I prefer that All of my guns go bang, eject, feed, and bang again with no mishaps for suprises.  And along that note, I found out yesterday that my PA-63 will go bang, eject, feed, and bang again UNDERWATER!  My PA-63 is a bit of an odd duck though, not for firing underwater, but because it is all black, doesn't have those shitty "target grips" and has no import markings or really any serial numbers.  Not bad for an off paper  gun that was given to me!
Link Posted: 10/27/2003 4:23:48 PM EST
I am not seeing anything about IMI SS109 in a .223 mentioned. wasnt this or isnt this really good ammo?
Link Posted: 10/27/2003 6:37:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By 123whisper:
Originally Posted By DaPhotoGuy:
Originally Posted By gator39:
Chemtw asked the exact same question I was going to ask.
I understand Main .223 consists of a new rem. bullet, new winchester primer, and a once fired military case.
Is this true ?
anyone out there every use this stuff?
What are your opinions on performance and quality??????
View Quote


I've fired about 500 rounds of [b]Maine Cartridge Co.[/b] 55 grain and had only 1 blown primer.  That was all.  Seems pretty accurate but I don't have a chrono to test velosity.  Let's see a POLL added for this ammo.
View Quote



I read here on AR15.com that Maine Cartridge Co.  doesn't redo their charge weights with each batch of powder.  So if they get a fast batch of powder, it can cause problems.  500 rounds and one blown primer.  Sorry, I don't care how cheap that ammo is, I wouldn't use it with a failure rate like that.  And yes, I do consider a blown primer a failure.  I prefer that All of my guns go bang, eject, feed, and bang again with no mishaps for suprises.  And along that note, I found out yesterday that my PA-63 will go bang, eject, feed, and bang again UNDERWATER!  My PA-63 is a bit of an odd duck though, not for firing underwater, but because it is all black, doesn't have those shitty "target grips" and has no import markings or really any serial numbers.  Not bad for an off paper  gun that was given to me!
View Quote


Dang, a 99.8% success rate isn't good enough for you eh? [rolleyes] Well then, DON'T BUY IT!  Leaves more ammo (and $$) for me.
Link Posted: 1/2/2004 7:11:10 AM EST
BTT.

Why was this taken off of TACKED status?
Link Posted: 1/2/2004 12:40:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/2/2004 12:43:41 PM EST by Zhukov]
Originally Posted By DaPhotoGuy:
BTT.

Why was this taken off of TACKED status?
View Quote


It wasn't technically removed, but consolidated with Charging_Handle's "Better Loads for Self Defence" or whatever it's called. Check the top of the forum. brouhaha hates tacked posts. His momma must have punished him with thumbtacks or something after he did ballistics tests on his cap guns. I told him not to combine it, but nooooo. The man obviously has no appreciation for how long it took me to semi-align the results in tabular format using HTML. [;D]
Link Posted: 1/2/2004 2:51:18 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/8/2004 7:06:15 AM EST
Update: Added Wolf with polymer coating as a seperate review
Link Posted: 1/14/2004 6:16:30 AM EST
Updated ranking. Pssst! Look who crept into the #1 slot! (At least temporarily)
Link Posted: 1/14/2004 7:10:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Zhukov:
Updated ranking. Pssst! Look who crept into the #1 slot! (At least temporarily)
View Quote


That's only until the Wolf ammo haters out there see it and place false votes on the pole.
Link Posted: 1/27/2004 3:50:22 PM EST
Why no mention of IMI? It's still available isn't it?
Link Posted: 2/3/2004 7:14:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/3/2004 7:21:30 AM EST by NESurvival]
This is a great thread.  I check back daily to the Ammo forum just to see if the poll has been updated.  Before I would come only once in a blue moon.
Link Posted: 2/4/2004 7:44:56 AM EST
Superb information.  Thanks for listing/"publishing" it!!
Link Posted: 2/7/2004 1:44:36 PM EST
I'd really like to try some of the new polymer wolf ammo, but I can't find it in any of the stores.
Link Posted: 2/18/2004 8:30:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By Snaps:
I'd really like to try some of the new polymer wolf ammo, but I can't find it in any of the stores.
View Quote


Same here. I'd like to try some for plinking, and save my Federal LC XM193.
Link Posted: 2/24/2004 10:11:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/24/2004 10:18:31 AM EST by NESurvival]
What is the difference between Barnaul and Wolf?  Aren't they the same lacquer coating and bullet/primer sealer as Wolf?

I don't see how Barnaul can have  89% 'no issues' and Wolf 68%.

Now, I've never used Wolf in anything other than my SKS (perfect reliability) but maybe there is still some Wolf-bashing going on?

[img]http://www.barnaulammunition.com/images/556x45/5.56x45photo1.jpg[/img]

Somebody clue me in?

Edited for spelling...as usual. I type at about 80 words per minutes, unfortunately I think at only 70.
Link Posted: 2/24/2004 11:45:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By NESurvival:
What is the difference between Barnaul and Wolf?  Aren't they the same lacquer coating and bullet/primer sealer as Wolf?

Now, I've never used Wolf in anything other than my SKS (perfect reliability) but maybe there is still some Wolf-bashing going on?
View Quote


I've often wondered about that myself. Not only does Barnaul have lacquered cases, but it has the red sealant around the case neck.

In all fairness, the experience a lot of people had goes back a long way, so there could have been some quality control problems with Wolf early on and that jaded a lot of people. That, and I'm sure there's a lot of people with superiority complexes about their ammo. It's all water under the bridge. Wolf doesn't make lacquered anymore, and the new stuff appears to be doing well. I'm just happy because I like cheap ammo for plinking....
Link Posted: 3/3/2004 6:23:16 AM EST
Russia is a big country.  [:)] Barnaul and Wolf are two different factories.
Link Posted: 3/12/2004 1:37:30 PM EST
i've got 400 rounds of the 62gr. polymer coated wolf for sale. i bought 500 rounds at the show last weekend hoping it would work fine.

i had 4 failures to feed in the 100 rounds i shot. always on the last round.  dirty also, mucked up the chamber. needless to say, i'm disappointed.  

i ran 200 rounds of winchester Q3131A 55gr with the same mags before the wolf and had no problems whatsoever.

i don't think i'll be using the wolf for plinking anymore. i'm going to stay brass.

let me know if your interested.  

kingsx_999@excite.com
Link Posted: 3/15/2004 5:27:41 PM EST
Anybody shot bullets from 'American Ammunition' company?  They sell them here in a blue box for 50 rounds for $8.75.  I bought two boxes and will try them this week.

D.
Link Posted: 3/15/2004 5:37:27 PM EST
that Barnaul looks like some of the JSC that I had shot also
its laquered and oily and turns my fingers greeen
but it shot well fairly and accurately too
seemed hotter loaded than Wolf and had a significantly larger muzzle flash but not like XM193...Wolf to me seemed a little inconsistent in loading as some had much larger booms
but then again thats not a scientific way to test ammo
Link Posted: 3/23/2004 6:18:04 AM EST
A new kid on the block is C&R Ammo.  I just got 1000 rds of 69gr HPBT match WITH a cannalure.  After a couple of hundred rds, I'd say it shoots as good as (or better than) Black Hills blue-box and cheaper.  Not in the same price league as Wolf, but this is high-quality match grade ammo - not blasting trash.

They also have some cool frangible ammo that they say can be used on steel at CQB distances without worrying about penetration or splashback.

Check out their web site http://www.candrammo.com/

BTW - I'm not getting paid for saying any of this - I just think these guys may have a better product at a better price.  I've bought 5000+ rds of Black Hills in the last couple of years, but unless something changes my mind, it'll be C&R from now on.



Link Posted: 3/23/2004 7:19:33 AM EST
I've used the C&R frangible, and can vouch for it. It's the cat's *ss for CQB training. The price won't hurt your pocketbook too bad either.

-Cap'n
Link Posted: 4/24/2004 4:57:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/7/2004 4:58:52 AM EST by offctr]

Originally Posted By Toxophilus:
Anybody shot bullets from 'American Ammunition' company?  They sell them here in a blue box for 50 rounds for $8.75.  I bought two boxes and will try them this week.

D.


I  have used "american ammo" in both .45acp and .30carbine had no problems with it so far, the diffrence in thier ammo at least according to what Ive been told is that they use a bullet that is electroplated with copper rather than traditional bullet manufacture methods. In addition they are new to the market and are trying to establish themselves.  Locally one place has .30carb @$7.50 box/50rounds which for new production is pretty darn good --Win/Rem/UMC running $13.50 a box/50.


edited to add:

Originally Posted By Snaps:
I'd really like to try some of the new polymer wolf ammo, but I can't find it in any of the stores.


I found it at Gander Mtn in Greensburg --You might try your local store, but they have old stock mxed in with the new stuff so you have to open every box and check wether or not its polymer or laquer coated. Also wanted to pick up a few boxes of Wolfs 5.45 to try out while I was there but they say (employees) that its not a "sporting round" and therefore they dont carry it.
Link Posted: 6/17/2004 1:09:50 PM EST
awesome thread
about to make a large purchase and while I normally buy winchester white box or pmc I saw some good prices on olympic but thanks to this thread I will be avoiding it
Link Posted: 7/6/2004 2:58:47 PM EST
Finally updated the polls, but it's still only showing 2 out of 3 results for me, meaning I have to drag out the calculator.
Link Posted: 7/11/2004 6:12:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/24/2004 7:44:22 AM EST
1500 rounds of Silver Bear 62grn HP

Armalite M15A4 Carbine

1 case rim torn off by extractor, only malf. I have ever had with it, and all this for $120 per 1000
Link Posted: 7/26/2004 5:54:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/27/2004 7:35:59 AM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 8/7/2004 3:45:53 PM EST


I would be interested in the 62gr. model number USA223R3


Superb results in my Bushmaster Varminter, 3/4 MOA (I'm an average target shooter), zero failures, consistent accuracy (95%), fairly mild load compared to XM855.

Link Posted: 8/15/2004 3:44:27 PM EST
What about Natec  polymer/brass-cased ammo?
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 7:57:19 PM EST
I've been shooting Israeli made Winchester white box ammo FMJ 50/rd count for plinking and seems to work just fine for me. Good prices too.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 5:34:43 AM EST
Important Note:

For those of you keeping up with the ammunition review thread, please be aware that some reviews have not had new posts in three months. Subsequently, these posts are automatically moved to the archive server. This is really a bum deal, as it prevents you from looking up information on the ammunition type you're interested in. Goatboy is supposed to bring tha archive server on line eventually, so I'll update again if the happens.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 6:57:38 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:47:31 AM EST
I second that
Link Posted: 1/16/2005 11:37:27 AM EST
Zhukov............

just wanted to pass along as big Kudos to you for the work on the ammo review

Great stuff, and very helpful

Thanks, Z !!
Link Posted: 1/19/2005 6:18:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Mabey we should give tham a 'bump'.



I've started doing that. If I had been paying attention, the other ones wouldn't have fallen off the face of the earth. What I might do is create a NEW post for the archived ones, at least those which are popular, and start the post off with the previous results. That way, we can at least get new contributions to roll in.
Link Posted: 1/23/2005 9:50:07 AM EST
Bought a few boxes of M193 that had I have not seen before at the show yesterday.  Plain white box, marked "20 BUTIR, 5.56MM, BALL M193".  Non-NATO headstamp, headstamped with "5.56 MAL 6-83"

I tried the peon search function to no avail.  What is it and how does it rate?

TIA  
Link Posted: 1/26/2005 2:39:52 AM EST
I believe it's made in Malaysia.  I too would like to know if it's any good?
Link Posted: 1/26/2005 3:22:05 AM EST
I was given a box of 50 rounds last week.  The box is plain brown cardboard, with little or no printing on it.  I don't have it here to give details, but the headstamps  are CJ or JC 93.  Does anyone know what ammo this is?
Link Posted: 2/20/2005 8:22:02 PM EST
Ammo Man has some 193 in! Good luck.
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