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Posted: 9/11/2004 5:03:50 PM EST
Hello to all. This is my first post, but I've been lurking around for a while. Recently, I purchased a Bushmaster Modular Carbine and a EOtech 512, both of which I love. However, this leads me to a problem: money. When I bought my carbine I also bought 1,000 rounds of Federal American Eagle 55gr.; this is my super-cheap plinking round. Now I need a "universal" round for small varmints, medium varmints, and for defense. Being that I'm going to use it for defense, the round must be reliable and consistent. I know that heavier rounds seem to be preferred for defense, but another requirement is that I can buy this round in bulk/economical. I will not trust a round until I have shot at least 200 rounds without a failure, so I simply can not afford buying expensive ammo. I'm thinking of remanufactured Black Hills V-Max. Black Hills ammo is good, so I've read, and their remanufactured line is economical. I have the option of either 50gr., 55gr., or 60gr.

So, if you needed to use a single type of bullet to be used against wabbits, coyotes, and (God-forbid) humans, which would you pick, and why? I know that the jack-of-all-trades is best at nothing. These rounds might not be the best against humans, but I'm sure they still work just fine.

Thanks for your help, gentleman. I'm new to ARs. I haven't even had my Bushmaster for a month. I am going to have all sorts of questions. So far, all of my questions have been answered by just lurking, or using the search function, but I haven't found anything for Black Hills Remanufactured V-Max, so I thought it would be appropriate to just ask.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:15:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2004 5:16:36 PM EST by Mr45auto]
XM193 federal should get you by nicely you could also run Winchester Q3131A. Both are 55gr FMJ but loaded hotter than the AE stuff. Both will fragment and do nasty things within their range. Go to the ammo oracle for your 5.56 needs. www.ammo-oracle.com
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:32:26 PM EST
Yes, the wonderful Ammo Oracle. From the ammo oracle, "M193 should give you around 3200-3250 fps from the muzzle of a 20" weapon and around 3150 from a 16" weapon." Black Hills V-Max will be 3,300 from a 20" barrel, if I'm not mistaken. V-Max will also have better accuracy. If you had to choose between M193 and V-Maz 55gr., wouldn't V-Max be a better choice?
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:38:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2004 5:41:57 PM EST by Mr45auto]
You'll have to forgive my ignorance but isnt the Vmax a ballistic tip type projo? If so, it would expand violently but not penetrate very well for defensive situations. Also M193/Q3131A can be had for under $180/1000 pretty regularly. Practice and plenty to ensure reliability.

Also Black-hills lists the Vmax as a 50gr, not much differece but it is there.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:48:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2004 5:51:44 PM EST by JeffersonS]
Yes, the Vmax is a quick-fragmenting projectile; is also made in 55gr. and 60gr.

Thanks for your help. Now you got me thinking.

To my understanding, Black Hills Remanufactured ammo is good stuff, isn't it?
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:04:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 4:06:30 PM EST by JeffersonS]
I just bought 500 rounds of Federal's XM193 lake City 55gr., and 300 rounds of Black Hill's Remanufactured 55gr. V-MAX.

I will be doing some very informal testing with watermelons to figure out which I like best.

BTW, I debated between LC XM193 and IMIs 55gr. (which is the same as Winchester's 3131A), but I chose Lake City for the extra ummph and it's slightly better reviews under the pinned ammo review.

I will tell you all what kills a watermelon better once I get my order. I may load my home defense mag with both offers, alternating between rounds.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:06:20 PM EST
I really believe the Vmax will be a better watermelon killer due to violent expansion/fragmentation. If you want a serious demonstration put a tannerite target into a watermelon, it'll purely liquify it. (see the hometown forum Oregon and Arf shoot browns camp for more on that) The XM193 is excellent ammo but a bit dirtier looking than you might expect. I prefer Q3131A simply cause it's prettier and their quality control is way better. Some of my XM193 was over/under seated by alot but still functional, just not up to commercial standards. Black Hills makes some great stuff. My Colt is a 1:7 so I bought a couple boxes of their 77/75gr OTM stuff and both were very accurate and all went bang. I'd probably run those as defensive ammo if I could afford a quantity of it. Under the circumstances though, I've got a good 1500+ of the M193 and plenty of M855 as well. I'm starting to wonder why the hell I even bought the M855 as everything I see says the M193 is better. Both shoot about the same from my open sighted A2 Colt. If you hunt with this rifle I'd just run a dedicated round for that purpose, keep note of how many clicks and what direction to adjust your scope for the transition between ammo and by all means write it down. Switch back and forth several times to verify you've got it right and you should be all set. With one rifle and two loads it should be the easiest way to work it out.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:20:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 5:21:26 PM EST by JeffersonS]

Originally Posted By Mr45auto:
The XM193 is excellent ammo but a bit dirtier looking than you might expect. I prefer Q3131A simply cause it's prettier and their quality control is way better. Some of my XM193 was over/under seated by alot but still functional, just not up to commercial standards.



I didn't know that Q3131A had better quality control than XM193. That's why I only got 500 rounds. If I end up buying any more 5.56 NATO ball type ammo than maybe it'll be Q3131A. I don't care that the ammo looks like crap, but if IMI has better quality control than I can give up 50fps. Thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:37:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 5:38:11 PM EST by NM-AR15]
Mr45auto

Can you give us lot #s for the over/underseated XM193. That is the kind of info we are looking for on this board. Several recent lots of Q3131A seem to have overpressure issues so when buying look at the lot#s. I haven't seen anything that indicates that the Q3131A has better quality control overall. I happily shoot both.

For the original question from JeffersonS, I think that XM193 and Q3131A (essentially twins) are the best choices.

and +1 to the Ammo-oracle
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 6:06:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 6:09:58 PM EST by Mr45auto]

Originally Posted By NM-AR15:
Mr45auto

Can you give us lot #s for the over/underseated XM193. That is the kind of info we are looking for on this board. Several recent lots of Q3131A seem to have overpressure issues so when buying look at the lot#s. I haven't seen anything that indicates that the Q3131A has better quality control overall. I happily shoot both.

For the original question from JeffersonS, I think that XM193 and Q3131A (essentially twins) are the best choices.

and +1 to the Ammo-oracle



Lot 52, I had a couple rounds where the bullet was pushed down into the case enough I had to pop em up with a mallet type bullet puller, but that was only 2 or 3 in the 1K I shot up. Many are seated above or below the cannelure. By better QC, the ONE SINGLE LOT of Q3131A I've purchased all were perfect, shiny, no dents or goo on the cases and all were properly seated. I've still got a few boxes of it, Lot SC62.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:18:21 PM EST
There is no such ammo that you are looking for.

Now that I have your attention.

M193 comes close - but it doesn't fragment fast enough for use on small varmints like rabbits.

The rounds that are good on small critters aren't good on the larger (and 2 legget) varmints and vice versa.

You'll need 2 rounds to really cover them both.

75gr Black Hills is economical and works well on 2 legged and larger 4 legged varmints, and something in the 40-50gr range Vmax would do well on your smaller critters. The 75gr might work on rabbits if they are a larger breed (but I have not tried it).
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 4:26:43 AM EST
Over the past 6 months I've shot about 1000 rounds each of XM193 and Q3131A. My experience has been that XM193 is marginally superior. With the Q3131A I had 4 or 5 rounds so damaged that I couldn't chamber them (Crushed cases). No problems with XM193, but I didn't measure OAL. I consider the two interchangable with the choice down to availability and price.

I use polymer Wolf for my bulk shooting fodder. I'm planning on trying the Silver Bear. I have used the Silver Bear 7.62X39, best accuracy out of all the AK ammo I've shot.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 12:49:17 PM EST
As a side note I sighted in my DPMS superbull today with 64gr Federal soft points for my son to use on small eastern OR deer this year and decided to shoot some of the 77gr BH stuff too. At 100yds it shot within 1" of where the 64 was going. It's close enough I'd consider carrying both without having to change scope settings. I'll take along the 77gr in case we get the chance to try them out on a yote or two, rabbits are usually everywhere during the deer season up there too.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 4:56:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By Forest:
There is no such ammo that you are looking for.

Now that I have your attention.

M193 comes close - but it doesn't fragment fast enough for use on small varmints like rabbits.

The rounds that are good on small critters aren't good on the larger (and 2 legget) varmints and vice versa.

You'll need 2 rounds to really cover them both.

75gr Black Hills is economical and works well on 2 legged and larger 4 legged varmints, and something in the 40-50gr range Vmax would do well on your smaller critters. The 75gr might work on rabbits if they are a larger breed (but I have not tried it).



I totally agree with him. Get two mags, one with defensive ammo and the other with hunting ammo. In Wi we can't use FMJs for hunting so it would have to be some type of expanding bullet. Use the ammo that is best suited for the situation you are looking for. It;s like saying you want a 308 load that is great for deer, bear, coyotes, and self defense. Not going to happen.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 1:33:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2004 1:41:29 PM EST by JeffersonS]
I received my ammo today. 500 rounds of Federally Xm193, and 300 rounds of Black Hills Reman. 55gr. VMAX.

The Federal stuff is ugly, but I was expecting that. The Black Hills is shiny and pretty, with a little red tip at the end.

The XM193 rounds are a tiny bit longer than the .223 VMAX.

I'm going shooting soon and I will tell you all what I think, especially once I get some watermelons to test. I'm going to be shooting bare watermelons, and also watermelons cover in layers of denum (old jeans). I will shoot then at 15 yars and 40 yards.

Editing to add: The Federal XM193 I received was LOT-12.
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