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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/1/2005 8:35:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2005 8:38:12 PM EDT by Charging_Handle]
If this could be done without dramatically increasing cost, some ammo maker could be sitting on a gold mine. I mean look at the shortage of M193 and M855 spec ammo on the civilian market now. Yet the demand is through the roof.

Imagine if someone like Black Hills, for example, started making M193 and M855 spec ammo for the civilian market. Being a known and well respected ammo maker, they would rack up incredible sales. Hell, the number of people on this site alone that buy 1000, 2000 or 3000 rounds at a time would justify the startup. LOL.

So why doesn't someone do it? Typically, demand dictates what happens when it comes to such matters. A demand is seriously here, as most AR users greatly prefer (and many demand) milspec quality ammunition. So why doesn't someone step up and fill it?

Obviously, here in the states, Winchester and Black Hills would have a leg up if they wished to take such a route. They both make mil-spec rounds now....Winchester has the RA556M855, which is just M855 marketed to LE. Then Black Hills makes the NATO spec match loads. So obviously they have the tooling to create these loads.

I wonder if the ammo comapnies truly know that we shooters prefer the milspec loads to the similar but underloaded commercial FMJ? Or would the added cost of making a new class of ammo be counterproductive to their profits? It seems like a no brainer to me that they would greatly benefit by doing so, but maybe I'm missing something.

Has anyone ever discussed this with the folks at Black Hills, to see if it would be feasible?

-CH

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 5:40:39 AM EDT
I think your wrong in one aspect, I don't believe that most AR shooters actually care if their ammo is milspec or not. At a gun show a few months ago, I saw some guy buy a case of Federal American Eagle and pass up the case of Q3131A that was actually cheaper. I believe that AR15.com members are actually a very small percentage of AR owners in this country and most people just buy what's at the Walmart or their local shop.

Now I wish that we could get more of the IMI ammo, both M193 and M855 or any other manufacturers equivalent but I think for the time being we are going to have to just keep our eyes open for the best deals we can find.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 5:52:44 AM EDT
Roll your own:
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 6:00:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wildearp:
Roll your own:
dillonprecision.com/content/image/200/i_0089.jpg



I would if I could crimp my own primers. Loading to M193 velocities otherwise is asking for problems.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 6:00:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By phobia:
most people just buy what's at the Walmart or their local shop.



+1. I believe that most don't care about NATO vs. SAAMI or mil-spec. or fragmentation, etc. I would bet that the folks who post here represent a small percentage of very well-informed AR shooters and ammo hoarders.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 6:24:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 6:30:25 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]
Even though you guys are probably correct, in that it's a rather small percentage of AR users who want the milspec loads, it would still be a HUGE market for anyone who might get involved. And if an ammuntion manufacturer starting churning out milspec loads now, then chances are, I'll stick with their load once XM193 is flooding the market again (if it ever does).

I'm sure if Jeff Hoffman at Black Hills got a call from Ammoman, Natchez, Cheaper Than Dirt, etc requesting 100,000 rounds of M193 spec ammo, he'd fill the order. And it would sell like hotcakes and be gone in no time. Hell, I'd buy 5000 rounds at once if it was available right now. I'm sure many others here would do likewise.

Again, though the number of users may not be huge overall, the market itself is. It's just that nobody is taking advantage of it. Milspec ammo fills a niche. Being able to advertise ammo that's made to US Military specifications also helps sell it.

And the difference between your average Wal-Mart ammo shopper who just buys whatever and the diehard milspec ammo buyer is this: The Wal-Mart buyer will likely pick up 5 boxes of ammo and think that's a huge amount. The diehard ammo buyer who will pick the milspec ammo will buy 5 cases and think that isn't enough. LOL. So as you can see, there is most definately a market and a high demand. If I owned an ammunition manufacturing company, you bet I'd take a chance on making milspec ammo, because it would be a very good business decision.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 6:49:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 6:56:53 AM EDT by SWO_daddy]

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By wildearp:
Roll your own:
dillonprecision.com/content/image/200/i_0089.jpg



I would if I could crimp my own primers. Loading to M193 velocities otherwise is asking for problems.



No it isn't. Not with the correct powders.

I fail to see the need for any M193 when commercial 223 with similar bullets will behave, for all intents and purposes, identically when it comes to terminal ballistics.

From TM 43-0001-27:

M193
Propellant: WC 844
Charge: 28.5 grains
Projectile: 56 grains
Muzzle velocity: 3250 fps (15 ft from muzzle)
Chamber pressure: 52,000 PSI

Maximum SAAMI pressure for 223 Remington is 55,000 psi.

Looking at my Hornady reloading manual, I can easily get to 3100 fps with most all powders, to 3200 with Win 748 and Varget, and to 3300 with BL-C2, all w/o exceeding SAAMI limits. And depending on how your rifle is throated, you can probably go even faster w/o signs on pressure.

Let's look at some commercial loads easily available at any sporting goods counter:

Winchester 223 Remington USA223R1F: bullet 55 gr FMJ, MV 3240 fps.
Winchester 223 Remington USA223R1: bullet 55 gr FMJ, MV 3240 fps.
Remington Express 223 Remington: look here

But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of arfcom dogma that commercial loads and handloads could not ever safely match the performance of military ammo.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 7:17:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 7:20:41 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By wildearp:
Roll your own:
dillonprecision.com/content/image/200/i_0089.jpg



I would if I could crimp my own primers. Loading to M193 velocities otherwise is asking for problems.



No it isn't. Not with the correct powders.

I fail to see the need for any M193 when commercial 223 with similar bullets will behave, for all intents and purposes, identically when it comes to terminal ballistics.

From TM 43-0001-27:

M193
Propellant: WC 844
Charge: 28.5 grains
Projectile: 56 grains
Muzzle velocity: 3250 fps (15 ft from muzzle)
Chamber pressure: 52,000 PSI

Maximum SAAMI pressure for 223 Remington is 55,000 psi.

Looking at my Hornady reloading manual, I can easily get to 3100 fps with most all powders, to 3200 with Win 748 and Varget, and to 3300 with BL-C2, all w/o exceeding SAAMI limits. And depending on how your rifle is throated, you can probably go even faster w/o signs on pressure.

Let's look at some commercial loads easily available at any sporting goods counter:

Winchester 223 Remington USA223R1F: bullet 55 gr FMJ, MV 3240 fps.
Winchester 223 Remington USA223R1: bullet 55 gr FMJ, MV 3240 fps.
Remington Express 223 Remington: look here

But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of arfcom dogma that commercial loads and handloads could not ever safely match the performance of military ammo.




Facts? Before you start touting facts, it sounds like you need to get a grasp of some of the basic differences between commercial and milspec ammo.

First of all, the commercial ammo you list as having a 3240 fps velocity are all numbers for 24" barrels, not 16" and 20" barrels found on AR's. The commercial stuff is all 100-200 fps slower than M193. So if you're also basing your charges to achieve milspec velocities on data meant for 24" barrels, then that changes the whole pressure issue.

Second, that small bit of difference in velocity can make a big difference in performance, especially considering the M193 bullet is dependent on high velocity. If you have two equal M193 bullets and one is moving 200 fps faster than the other when it leaves the muzzle, then the fragmentation range will be extended considerably.

Milspec ammo will have sealed primers and case mouths. This makes it better for longterm storage. Some commercial manufacturers use primer sealant, some do not. Few if any commercial ammo has sealed case mouths.

Also, not all 55 gr bullets are created the same. Some are not M193 spec, therefore their fragmentation qualities may be different. For example, S&B 55 gr loads use a bullet constructed differently that doesn't fragment like an M193 bullet will do.

And as far as reloads, I didn't necessarily say approaching the top end of SAAMI pressures was dangerous, but ask anyone who's dabbled with top end hot reloaded ammo enough and you'll run into cases where you have blown primers. If your ammo is blowing primers, that decreases reliability. For people who use the ammo for serious purposes, that's not acceptable. That's why you want crimped primers on hot ammo.

That's why milspec ammo is so popular. It has superior terminal ballistics, better reliability and can be had for the same price as less quality commercial ammo.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 9:19:02 AM EDT

Screw reloads. Let's get back on topic.

I agree 100%. We need a commercially produced M193. If online dealers can sell 50,000 rounds in 5 minutes on ARFCOM, I think the demand is there enough.

Maybe we should start a petition to one of the big manufacturers?


Link Posted: 8/2/2005 9:30:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 9:34:27 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]

Originally Posted By MP906:
Screw reloads. Let's get back on topic.

I agree 100%. We need a commercially produced M193. If online dealers can sell 50,000 rounds in 5 minutes on ARFCOM, I think the demand is there enough.

Maybe we should start a petition to one of the big manufacturers?





I like how you think. All we need is a distributer who will take the delivery, along with enough interested customers and we're in business. Someone such as Ammoman, The Sportsman's Guide (or Wholesale Hunter) or other dealer who knows just how popular this ammo is shouldn't have any reservations about ordering 50,000 or 100,000 rounds of the stuff initially. Heck, if I was a dealer, I'd try to set up a situation with an ammo maker where I could be the exclusive distributor for the product. I'm telling ya, a smart business person could really profit from such a venture.

This same sort of thing unfolded here once before with Black Hills 77 gr NATO OTM and Georgia Precision. Unfortunately, the GP part of the deal was a bummer. But we have other dealers who could make this happen.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 9:34:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MP906:
Screw reloads. Let's get back on topic.

I agree 100%. We need a commercially produced M193. If online dealers can sell 50,000 rounds in 5 minutes on ARFCOM, I think the demand is there enough.

Maybe we should start a petition to one of the big manufacturers?





What about the majority of keyboard commandos that think a bench rested 6" group at 100 is tight? NEED is a heck of a word. The military NEEDS M193. Most shooters really NEED ammo that just goes boom.

So, now that facts don't matter, reality doesn't either. Crimped primers may increase reliability of sustained full auto fire, but won't help paper target fragmentation at extended ranges.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 9:43:45 AM EDT
Reloads are great for plinking. People who want M193 have more serious purposes in mind and rightfully want something better.

But again, back to the topic at hand here, please? I don't recall asking anything about freaking reloads. I asked about the feasibility of a commercial ammo manufacturer making M193 spec ammo for the general public. If you reload and have no interest in such ammo, then fine. Reload til you warm the cockels of your heart and leave this thread for discussion of the topic at hand.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 10:17:32 AM EDT
I suppose they could but what's their incentive? If they can produce nearly identical loads that fall a bit short in velocity, and people buy it up, why we they also produce a XM-193 equivalent? The only way I could see it is if they replaced current offerings with this. Ultimately it's probably a cost/price point deal.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 11:40:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 11:41:54 AM EDT by Resq47]

Originally Posted By jmart:
I suppose they could but what's their incentive? If they can produce nearly identical loads that fall a bit short in velocity, and people buy it up, why we they also produce a XM-193 equivalent? The only way I could see it is if they replaced current offerings with this. Ultimately it's probably a cost/price point deal.




I'd have to agree. 55gr BH is already available for $213 / 1k from northwest, in blue box .223 form. What you're asking for is added production cost (sealant isn't free), and added product liability (see the 75gr NATO TAP restrictions as an example), all at a lower cost per case than the current offering. I don't see how it would be worthwhile to BH.

Believe me, I'd love to get $150 cases of M193 spec ammo, but as it stands I'm buying PD as that's all I can get anymore for less than $200ish. If anyone could hit $150 / 1k for current production M193 I'd buy $500 worth tomorrow.

eta - At any rate, if I were a loading company I'd try very hard to compete with Remington for volume in the 6.8 rollout that's happening...
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 11:53:22 AM EDT
I'm guessing that the equipment required to seal casenecks and primer pockets is part of the issue.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 2:35:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By markm:
I'm guessing that the equipment required to seal casenecks and primer pockets is part of the issue.




I wonder if they even blew off the sealant, but loaded a proper spec bullet to the proper spec velocity, would it still even be worth their while? I could see them replacing a current offering but adding a separate one. The whole sealant thing for me is a non-issue. I don't store loaded ammo in locations with wild temp or humidty swings, and I don't store it for years on end.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 9:53:34 PM EDT
If they'd just create a load with the proper bullet, proper velocity and with crimped primers, that's all I would require. I could always do my own primer sealing, if I wanted. But many companies do the primer sealant thing anyway, so it's not that big of a deal really.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:35:01 AM EDT
I'd like to see commerical M193 equivalent too.

I don't see how anyone would (or maybe could) produce it and sell it to us at a price point that we'd find acceptable, though.

Maybe in addition to lobbying the manufacturers to make it for us, we could also work to get the stupid executive order barring import of military surplus ammo rescinded. If we could get Malaysian and So. African surplus flowing again ... we'd all be happy. That's probably a dream that will never come to fruition, though, as I don't see Dubya taking the trouble to make it so.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:01:41 AM EDT
i'm on board, and sell it in 840 round bricks, easy for storage. if you could get black hills to do it, thatr would be great, i would order at least 5 bricks to test it out.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:53:16 AM EDT
I've read that Aguila makes ammunition for several countries armed forces, one of the calibers being 5.56. They have .223 listed on their website and I've emailed the company/importer several times to suggest they import this ammo but have never gotten a reply. I've had good results with the Aguila ammo I've used in the past and thought that they'd have a pretty good market if they imported their 5.56 to the U.S. Maybe some more emails to them may help??
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:00:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 9:03:27 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]

Originally Posted By wessono:
I've read that Aguila makes ammunition for several countries armed forces, one of the calibers being 5.56. They have .223 listed on their website and I've emailed the company/importer several times to suggest they import this ammo but have never gotten a reply. I've had good results with the Aguila ammo I've used in the past and thought that they'd have a pretty good market if they imported their 5.56 to the U.S. Maybe some more emails to them may help??



I've fired quite a bit of Aguila .30 carbine ammo I bought on the cheap back a few years ago. It seemed like decent stuff.

But I think I'd prefer US or Israeli made 5.56mm if given a choice.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:00:01 AM EDT

[/quoteI think your wrong in one aspect, I don't believe that most AR shooters actually care if their ammo is milspec or not. At a gun show a few months ago, I saw some guy buy a case of Federal American Eagle and pass up the case of Q3131A that was actually cheaper. I believe that AR15.com members are actually a very small percentage of AR owners in this country and most people just buy what's at the Walmart or their local shop.


+1. Its hurts me to say this, but me and my little band of fellow shooters are a good example. I have four buddies that I shoot with pretty regular--prairie dogs and pop bottles mostly. Of the five of us, I am the only one who even knows that the different brands of ammo have different characteristics!!!! From time to time, the boys will ask me a question or two, but they just really don't care as long as the ammo goes boom. Took me an hour argument and a refusal to transport the stuff in my vehicle before I could get one buddy to quit shooting wolf through his stainless steel barrel.....

We are the few.....
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:09:45 AM EDT
I believe Jeff @ Black Hills stated that producing military type ammo, like using 5.56 NATO brass, with the comparable velocities was a liability issue for him.

We asked HARD for the Mk262 to be released as first line ammo, not seconds and he flatly refused the ability to do it.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:17:53 AM EDT

Thanks for the kind words. Regarding the 77, yes we do load it for the US military. For several years it was a really quiet deal, then the military allowed press about it, and the cat was out. I know there is a demand for it commercially, but it will never be available at the prices folks want it for. It is expensive, even to the US military, and there are reasons that it is. It is not mass produced on machines the size of Lake Cities or Winchesters equipment. It is produced at rates LC would probably describe as excruciatingly slow. It is made with one lot of powder, one lot of brass, and one lot of projectile per ammunition lot. There are very strict performance requirements and lot testing required. Every round is hand inspected. Those things makes it expensive. Even so, for the past 3 years we have generally shipped as soon as it was made, as fast as we could make it. (Still remember we don't make it very quickly). The military gets priority, ethically and by contract.
I am reluctant to offer a version commercially, even done without the military contract details that add to the price. The US miitary must always have the best price offered, (again,ethically and contractually, since they purchase more of the item than any other customer could ever purchase in 100 years) so, for us to cut corners on the requirements, to offer an essentailly identical product at a lower price to someone other than the US government could cause contract problems.
We do offer the cosmetic seconds , from the actual military runs. These actaully meet the contract spec. Yes, I said that right. they meet the contract specs . We inspect into several categories. Our inspection standard , for ammo classified as "cosmetic seconds" is that the flaw should not be anything that affects safety, function, or performance. Typically ammo is seconded due to brass discoloration, too much or too little colored primer sealant, minor dents, or what we call "powder bumps", which occur when a granule of propellant is trapped between the projectile and the case neck. This causes a cosmetic bump in the neck, but to be classified as a cosmetic second it must still be within dimensional tolerances. We have done testing on this. It (surprisingly) does not have any practial effect on accuracy. A few years ago we sent AMU some of their normal ammo, plus inadvertantly shipped them the cosmetic samples we had culled from their run. AMU decided to test them along with their first line ammo of the same lot. Guess which ammo shot better.The cosmetic seconds. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think our seconds look nicer than most first line military ammo I have ever seen.

Re blue box (remanufactured) 308 or 3006, we don't because of insufficient 'good " fired brass to work with, I know there is fired 7.62x 51 military brass we could use for reman 308s, but I do not like it. It mostly been through M60s and the brass is unsuitable for reuse in my opinion.

Regarding pricing in general, I'll share some personal history and philosophy. In 1988 we split off from a company my wife and I used to be owners of, Black Hills Shooters Supply, When we did that we learned alot, fast. It was painful , money was tight, and we had to make some major decisions on how to stay in business. We chose a course , and it worked. The decision was to forget about trying to compete with the bottom pricing on the market, and instead offer ammunition at a fair price we could make money at, and concentrate on performance and service. At he time I didn't know whether that would work, but time has proven that the decision was correct. The alternative was to try to sell alot of ammo,as cheap as we could. Most of those guys who followed that course have gone out of business. That doesn't mean that you can't get good ammo inexpensively. Some companies do have the capability to make good ammo and sell it cheap. I refer to things like Winchester and Federal 9/40/45/5.56 ball. My point is that our company finds it hard to compete with really cheap ammo. We do the best we can on those items, but find our best niche is in performance. 223 accuracy ammo, military specialty ammo,308 match,duty type ammo, etc. Thanks for the input, Jeff



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