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Posted: 9/4/2005 12:22:35 PM EDT
I found some pictures I took and posted a couple of years ago and thought it would be a good time for a review.

I and my friend Tman went to the range to test various types of 5.56 ammo.

I used my DPMS Sweet Sixteen, with a 16 inch stainless heavy barrel, chrome bolt, Accuwedge, Leupold 6.5 X 20 X 50 scope, etc. It is a fine shooter as you will see in a moment.
Here it is:



I fired 2 rounds to foul the barrel and then shot 8, five-shot groups, at 100 yards, as numbered below. There were no "called" flyers. Only one group was shot with each ammo type, but I believe it is informative.

Ammo tested was as follows:

#1 - Israeli IMI, 2002 1 ¼ group

#2 - South African M1A3, 1988 1 1/8 group

#3 - Federal Cartridge USGI, 1970 2 ¼ group

#4 - Federal XM193, Lot 23 2 ¾ group

#5 - Malaysian 4-85, M193, Lot 15 2 ¾ group

#6 - Winchester Q3131 3 3/8 group (1 ½ w/o flyer)

#7 - Remington 55Gr SP, R223RI 1 7/8 group

#8 - Handloads, Sierra 52 gr HPBT, Between ¼ & 3/8 group
25.0 gr, AA-2460







I am glad I shot the handloads last, as it seemed that the groups were getting larger as I shot. I feared fouling was the problem, but the last group is what the rifle will usually do with these handloads.

Conclusions:

1. Military ammo isn't as accurate as many believe.

2. Anyone that says they routinely shoot sub-MOA groups with iron sights and military ammo has a problem with truthfulness.

3. Some military ammo shoots better than others.

4. Military ammo is not "more accurate" when shot from a bench-rest quality rifle.

5. Nothing will match well-developed handloads.

And take one more look at group #8. That's what a fine target AR will do.

(Please excuse the review, but it seemed timely. )


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:25:06 PM EDT
Good info, that.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:25:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 12:27:05 PM EDT by roboman]
Another BoT! Thank goodness! I was starting to go into withdrawal

Great looking handloads BTW.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:26:43 PM EDT

2. Anyone that says they routinely shoot sub-MOA groups with iron sights and military ammo has a problem with truthfulness.


NAW... people here don't tell the truth about their shooting accuracy. Who would have thunk it.

As usual very informative

THANKS
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:28:30 PM EDT
what's that mystery group between five and six ?
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:28:37 PM EDT
good stuff (as usual)

(just to double-check) #6 was 3131 & not 3131A?

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:28:37 PM EDT
Wow, that's supprising... thank you!
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:29:11 PM EDT
Nice review. What is the barrel twist?
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:30:40 PM EDT
Thanks for your work, O_P! I always look forward to your reports.

HH
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:34:19 PM EDT
Thanks for the thread.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:35:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By meltdown:
what's that mystery group between five and six ?



Doesn't look like 223 to me....
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:36:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By meltdown:
what's that mystery group between five and six ?



A group that I shot with my Accuracy International .308.

No extra charge.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:42:11 PM EDT
The reason that SF uses the MK 262 is because it is more accurate than M855. In fact, I believe that it may be more accurate than M118.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:45:09 PM EDT
Thanks, brother Old_Painless.

I tested XM193, American Eagle .223, and South African PMP .223 (all 55 grain). The PMP was the most consistent in terms of overall spread. The AE by Federal was the most accurate but had unexplainable fliers in any grouping of 5 shots or more. By far the least accurate was the XM193. It had very poor performance in terms of group sizes.

All testing was done via benchrest in one afternoon at 100 yards with the same rifle (Armalite 20" HBAR and iron sights).

I've got the score sheets around here somewhere, but IIRC, the PMP had 2.25" groupings, the AE had 3" groupings (which included the one flier each 5 shot group had). Without the fliers, the AE had 1.75" groups. The XM193 had 3.25" groups. All grouping totals are averages of four 5 shot groupings.

I won't be buying any more XM193.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:45:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2005 12:02:02 AM EDT by No1Here]
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:46:49 PM EDT
Wolf ammo.


Originally Posted By meltdown:
what's that mystery group between five and six ?

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:48:37 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:50:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 12:52:56 PM EDT by Winston_Wolf]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

5. Nothing will match well-developed handloads.




... Bears repeating, thank you once again for another informative post Old_Painless

... Did you develop the handloads? I'm surpised the 52 gr HPBT performed as well as the heavier bullets. Isn't your tack-driver a 1/9 twist ???
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:59:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

5. Nothing will match well-developed handloads.




... Bears repeating, thank you once again for another informative post Old_Painless

... Did you develop the handloads? I'm surpised the 52 gr HPBT performed as well as the heavier bullets. Isn't your tack-driver a 1/9 twist ???



It is indeed a 1 in 9 barrel. However, as you can see, it shoots the 52 grainers just fine. Tman and I developed the loads over a long trial period. This one seems to work well.

I am not particularly enamored with the heavy bullets in an AR. Some of them actually require single loading.

I have no problem with those that like to shoot heavy bullets, but I just like to shoot the lighter bullets.

I also tend to think that maybe Eugene knew what he was doing when he designed the weapon.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 1:28:06 PM EDT
Thanks O_P
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 1:31:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By No1Here:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
The reason that SF uses the MK 262 is because it is more accurate than M855. In fact, I believe that it may be more accurate than M118.


Some special forces units, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, are using Mk262 and Mk262 Mod1 ammo. These are rounds loaded with heavy (up to 77 grain) JHP match bullets, in response to some issues with M855 terminal performance. This continues a recent trend towards heavier rounds (69 grains and over) for improved terminal ballistic performance.

www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm#mk262



The increased lethality is the icing on the cake. The big reason, that comes up quite often, is that the 77 grain ammo is more accurate. I heard a report of a 700 yard head shot the other day. No other ammo/rifle combination in even limited issue is capable of that performance.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 1:58:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2005 12:02:24 AM EDT by No1Here]
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:04:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By No1Here:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By No1Here:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
The reason that SF uses the MK 262 is because it is more accurate than M855. In fact, I believe that it may be more accurate than M118.


Some special forces units, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, are using Mk262 and Mk262 Mod1 ammo. These are rounds loaded with heavy (up to 77 grain) JHP match bullets, in response to some issues with M855 terminal performance. This continues a recent trend towards heavier rounds (69 grains and over) for improved terminal ballistic performance.

www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm#mk262



The increased lethality is the icing on the cake. The big reason, that comes up quite often, is that the 77 grain ammo is more accurate. I heard a report of a 700 yard head shot the other day. No other ammo/rifle combination in even limited issue is capable of that performance.


So the Canadian Sniper who made the kill from 2500 yds away wasn't possible?
1000 yd kills with the M14 have happened. Your statement is laughable at best.
When saying no other rifle/ammo combination can make hits/kills at 700 yds.



Let's try not to hijack this thread, okay guys.

Start another one if you want to fight about long range shots.

We were discussing the accuracy of military 5.56 Ball.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:07:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By No1Here:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By No1Here:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
The reason that SF uses the MK 262 is because it is more accurate than M855. In fact, I believe that it may be more accurate than M118.


Some special forces units, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, are using Mk262 and Mk262 Mod1 ammo. These are rounds loaded with heavy (up to 77 grain) JHP match bullets, in response to some issues with M855 terminal performance. This continues a recent trend towards heavier rounds (69 grains and over) for improved terminal ballistic performance.

www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm#mk262



The increased lethality is the icing on the cake. The big reason, that comes up quite often, is that the 77 grain ammo is more accurate. I heard a report of a 700 yard head shot the other day. No other ammo/rifle combination in even limited issue is capable of that performance.


So the Canadian Sniper who made the kill from 2500 yds away wasn't possible?
1000 yd kills with the M14 have happened. Your statement is laughable at best.
When saying no other rifle/ammo combination can make hits/kills at 700 yds.



Using my extreme powers of deductive reasoning I'm going to assume he meant on a 5.56mm platform.


Amazing...
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:40:23 PM EDT
Thank god, I was going nuts without my BoT fix for the month.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:44:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:48:23 PM EDT
My statement remains that the most accurate rifle/ammunition combo commonly issued in the U.S. Military seems to be an SPR with MK 262 Mod 1.

M855 can shoot as poorly as 5 MOA before it is considered unserviceable. M193 was, supposedly, slightly more accurate, due to its simpler construction.

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:48:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:
Great write-up, Old Painless!
Would you agree that ALL those types of ammo you tested would be "minute of bad guy", so to speak?



Absolutely!

They would all be plenty accurate for combat.

I just grow weary of guys that say something like, "I shot my AR15 standing, with iron sights, shooting Ball ammo, and can shoot 1/2 inch groups all day long at 100 yards."

They are liars.


I really look forward to your BOT stuff. Keep it up!


Thanks.

My small effort at adding something about real guns to the forum.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:49:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:50:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:51:07 PM EDT
OP,
Thanks for puttinng this together. I have argued for a long time that rack grade rifles and ammunition are not capable of great accuracy for a long time.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:51:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:
Re: Your group "#8"

I'm jealous!



As my good buddy brianksain says, "Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

DPMS sells them every day.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:54:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
OP,
Thanks for puttinng this together. I have argued for a long time that rack grade rifles and ammunition are not capable of great accuracy for a long time.



Sure thing.

As Gloftoe pointed out, "minute-of-badguy" is plenty good enough for social purposes.

But when some guy tries to tell me he shoots 1/2 minute groups with a standard rifle and ball ammo, I don't believe it.

I've done the research.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:00:07 PM EDT
OP: Any factory match ammo recommendations for me? I don't have any loading equipment yet, and all I've ever shot through my AR's is M193 ball. I'm kind of curious to see how much better myself and my rifle really are.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:01:56 PM EDT
Thanks OP. I was kind of wondering about this in my range adventures.

Your target #6 results with Win Q3131 & iron sights is pretty much my experience. FWIW, when I reloaded with the FMJ, it shrinks groups down to about 1 1/2 - 2 inches, but that is the best I usually get (unless I just shoot a "lucky" three shot group and stop there).

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:02:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
OP: Any factory match ammo recommendations for me? I don't have any loading equipment yet, and all I've ever shot through my AR's is M193 ball. I'm kind of curious to see how much better myself and my rifle really are.



I've heard some really good things about Blackhills ammo. Can't speak from personal experience, as I've only shot a small amount of it.

Maybe some others have some good recommendations.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:06:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
OP,
Thanks for puttinng this together. I have argued for a long time that rack grade rifles and ammunition are not capable of great accuracy for a long time.



Sure thing.

As Gloftoe pointed out, "minute-of-badguy" is plenty good enough for social purposes.

But when some guy tries to tell me he shoots 1/2 minute groups with a standard rifle and ball ammo, I don't believe it.

I've done the research.


OH, shure it can shoot 1/2 groups at 100 yards! Did I ever tell you about the time I HALO-jumped out of the space shuttle into afganistan into a terrorist stronghold and.............



Thanks for the Box-O-Truth O_P. I was afraid you went on sabbatacle with Lumpy.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:06:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mojo_Jojo:

Your target #6 results with Win Q3131 & iron sights is pretty much my experience.



Just to clarify, all my groups were shot with the DPMS and the scope.


FWIW, when I reloaded with the FMJ, it shrinks groups down to about 1 1/2 - 2 inches, but that is the best I usually get (unless I just shoot a "lucky" three shot group and stop there).




Good point.

We all occasionally get a "lucky" 3 shot group. No problem bragging about them. But that isn't a fair assessment of the rifle and ammo.

It doesn't matter what I can do "once in a while". All that matters is what the rifle and ammo can do each and every time, over and over again.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:07:55 PM EDT
From a statistical standpoint, I would have liked to see replicate groups of each ammo type. Of course, thats easy for me to say, not having to pay for the ammo . Otherwise, nice work.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:08:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BulletBait:
OH, shure it can shoot 1/2 groups at 100 yards! Did I ever tell you about the time I HALO-jumped out of the space shuttle into afganistan into a terrorist stronghold and.............






Thanks for the Box-O-Truth O_P. I was afraid you went on sabbatacle with Lumpy.


Nope, I'm still here and kicking.

But I sure do miss my old buddy Lumpy. I hope he isn't gone for long.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:13:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By StealthyBlagga:
From a statistical standpoint, I would have liked to see replicate groups of each ammo type. Of course, thats easy for me to say, not having to pay for the ammo . Otherwise, nice work.



Obviously, the more groups shot, the better the "average" group size estimation.

But the groups shown are typically what I see when shooting this type of ammo.

BTW, the Brown Truck of Happiness runs by here everyday. Just ship me a case of ammo and I will shoot all the groups you want.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:17:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 3:18:21 PM EDT by brianksain]
AMU guys have found that SAW ammo shoots waaay better than green tip in their 16s/M4s ... FWIW.

Quote from CO pal of AMU Ft. Benning:

"We have found that M995 5.56mm Armor Piercing rounds (normally from 4-1 link for the SAW) fired from the M16A4 and M4 produce groups half the size of M855 Green Tip M16A2 Ball ammo. You will have to re-zero, as AP is both lighter and faster than Green Tip."

BK
AmericanSnipers.org

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:25:56 PM EDT
I have been looking for a 24in upper, do you think with an extra 8 inches you could acheive a better result of the mil surp ammo?
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:33:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MadMardigan:
I have been looking for a 24in upper, do you think with an extra 8 inches you could acheive a better result of the mil surp ammo?



I appreciate the queation, but will answer carefully.

I am always hesitant to answer questions where I do not have personal experience. You have asked such a question.

Some that I trust have said that shorter barrels vs. longer barrels do not necessarily mean anything regarding accuracy. The longer barrels will give higher velocity. But not necessarily better accuracy.

With mil spec ammo, I doubt that barrel length will make much difference in accuracy, but will make a difference in velocity.

Sorry for the "dance around", but I hate to give bad advice.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:57:28 PM EDT
Thanks for the test. Useful stuff. I must say, I'm a bit surprised at how inaccurate XM193 is. Any idea how XM855 compares with XM193?
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:04:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Saguaro:
Thanks for the test. Useful stuff. I must say, I'm a bit surprised at how inaccurate XM193 is. Any idea how XM855 compares with XM193?



I did not have access to any XM855 for the test. I sure would have liked to have shot some.


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:11:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By MadMardigan:
I have been looking for a 24in upper, do you think with an extra 8 inches you could acheive a better result of the mil surp ammo?



I appreciate the queation, but will answer carefully.

I am always hesitant to answer questions where I do not have personal experience. You have asked such a question.

Some that I trust have said that shorter barrels vs. longer barrels do not necessarily mean anything regarding accuracy. The longer barrels will give higher velocity. But not necessarily better accuracy.

With mil spec ammo, I doubt that barrel length will make much difference in accuracy, but will make a difference in velocity.

Sorry for the "dance around", but I hate to give bad advice.



Thanks for the answer, I have wondered about that myself though. Im looking for long upper for yote hunting.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:17:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MadMardigan:
Im looking for long upper for yote hunting.



I had a very humbling experience with a 24 inch upper w/ 4x12 scope and
a coyote at 8 feet.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:24:29 PM EDT
Could you shoot a few rounds of Wolf downrange just to compare? Please?
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:35:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By meltdown:

Originally Posted By MadMardigan:
Im looking for long upper for yote hunting.



I had a very humbling experience with a 24 inch upper w/ 4x12 scope and
a coyote at 8 feet.



Please share.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:36:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 4:38:07 PM EDT by Old_Painless]

Originally Posted By SNorman:
Could you shoot a few rounds of Wolf downrange just to compare? Please?



I've shot Wolf and it is about a 2 to 3 minute ammo.

Fine for plinking, but not extremely accurate.
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