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Posted: 9/2/2003 8:20:14 AM EDT

I've looked over a number of .223 ammunition
threads & FAQ & am still a little unsure of
what the best "bulk" buy is... I'll summarize
some stuff I've read, with my personal
experience (when applicable):

Winchester Q3131A--appears to be extremely
popular. However, my personal experience
with the soft brass cases has been one of
repeated failures to extract. Have they
changed things in the last 2 years? Do I need
to try it again?

Lake City XM193--Some I purchased from Ammoman
has run great in a couple of my weapons, but
then I noticed that some of it was apparently
NOT water-proofed & failed submersion tests.

South African--mostly good (?), but '80's
production (old). I have not personally
tried any of it.

Wolf (Russian)--very cheap, but I've pulled
through a case rim (= failure to extract)
twice in fewer than 500 rds. Not only would
this be bad in a "real" situation, it'll kill
a trip to the range if I don't bring a
cleaning rod with me. Was wondering about the
Silver Bear (nickel plated), but most people
seem to like it LESS than Wolf!

British Radway SS109--I've shot 100-200 rds. of
a batch I bought from Century (no probs), but
THEN I noticed that it was apparently under-
loaded...?

Olympic--seems to be a fairly good deal, but
nobody likes it.

Igman (Bosnian) SS109--looks new production.
Not many comments on it (good or bad) so far,
and a number of outlets are offering it "on
sale".

And what about the Swiss surplus a few places
were offering a while back? Anyone try any of
it?

Any comments and/or personal experiences with
the above (or other) .223 ammo will be
appreciated.

Link Posted: 9/2/2003 1:45:48 PM EDT
It's Lake city XM193 for me! http://www.impactguns.com/store/federal_xm193_ammo.html
Link Posted: 9/2/2003 6:40:33 PM EDT
Wolf has been reworked to get rid of the red sealant that led to the extraction problems. The newer stuff is cool runnins. Barnaul is however a better russian product. Tighter QC and a bit more bump.
Link Posted: 9/2/2003 7:28:22 PM EDT
I love the Q3131A. Never had a problem in my bushy with over 700 rounds, fairly accurate too. I haven't bought much LC, but if you get the good lot #'s it's great, a little hotter than Q3131A, but no quite as accurate. I did try 55 gr. wolf once, it blew. FTE every 2 or 3 rounds. I've heard better things about them recently though, mabye it's time to purchase a couple more boxes and give them another chance.
Link Posted: 9/2/2003 8:13:06 PM EDT
regarding WinQ3131A, if you are having FTE's with this ammo i suggest you take a look at your AR. i've got about 2K of Q3131A thru my bushy and have never had a FTE. my Q3131A summary: doesn't jam, shoots straight enough, sufficient FPS to take care of business, and doesn't cost a whole lot more than the steel stuff (you have to pick your opptys though, like free shipping etc). ar-jedi
Link Posted: 9/3/2003 6:45:55 AM EDT
I was a little bit inaccurate in my description of the problem--the main thing about the Q3131A was more a failure to eject, not extract. Examination of the action after leaving the range would show fine brass shavings that had worked their way around the ejector pin, keeping the fired round from being properly ejected. I posted here about the problem at that time (~2 years ago), and there seemed to be at least some agreement from a few others... one person said Winchester/IMI was using "soft brass" in their cases, and this was the problem. There certainly might be a spur or similar irregularity in the feeding area of that particular rifle, but it runs fine with other ammo. I just decided to avoid Q3131A for the time being.
Link Posted: 9/3/2003 8:31:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ShadowMonkey: I was a little bit inaccurate in my description of the problem--the main thing about the Q3131A was more a failure to eject, not extract. Examination of the action after leaving the range would show fine brass shavings that had worked their way around the ejector pin, keeping the fired round from being properly ejected. I posted here about the problem at that time (~2 years ago), and there seemed to be at least some agreement from a few others... one person said Winchester/IMI was using "soft brass" in their cases, and this was the problem. There certainly might be a spur or similar irregularity in the feeding area of that particular rifle, but it runs fine with other ammo. I just decided to avoid Q3131A for the time being.
View Quote
I would revisit your decision. Also, you haven't given us a very good idea of what you want the ammo for. Defensive? Plinking? SHTF? Storage? All of the above?
Link Posted: 9/5/2003 7:05:27 PM EDT
I need to correct an inaccuracy in my initial post. After looking over my stock, it turns out that the Russian ammo that I had problems with was BARNAUL, not Wolf. I've posted some pics at the following URL: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/barnaul_5_56mm/Cartridge_1.html Regards......... SM
Link Posted: 9/7/2003 4:09:52 AM EDT
Well, if I were buying this to use for defensive work, I would choose the Winchester Q3131A or Federal XM193 as a minimum. For this purpose I would avoid the Wolf, Barnaul and other commercial FMJ loadings. If it's just to be used for plinking, buy whatever works reasonably well in your rifle. Something more economical may be appropriate here. I'd still avoid certain types of ammo though such as Olympic which has a pretty bad reputation. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 9/7/2003 4:58:03 AM EDT
i dunno about you guys, but i have SA, Q3131, Norico .223, OLY greentip, Guatamalean . And everyone of them has fired perfectly, at 100yards or less, i can get 1" groups , it hits where im aiming, this is with a 16" franken-AR, I say jus shoot what ever goes bang. Get a couple boxes of each and see what does the best. DOnt go get a case of something jus because it goes bang in someone elses AR. As far as FTE, there are too many other issues other than ammo, jus because someone built a franken-AR doesnt mean they did it right, lol. Also there are defective parts that can play a role, remember the AR has over 165parts to it. some guns like AKs and FALS have considerably less. more parts mean more things to go wronge.
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