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Posted: 11/19/2003 7:20:28 PM EDT
Not being the technical type today I did a quick comparison of these four rounds. Not knowing what the "proper" procedure is this is what I did -- started with a clean bore, fired 2 fouling rounds, shot one 20-round string, let rifle cool for 10 minutes, cleaned bore, and started the process over again. The rifle was a Bushmaster chrome lined 5.56 with a 14.5" barrel and a KKF A3 TakBrake attached. Chrono screens (2 ft spacing) were 10 ft from muzzle. Weather conditions: Clear sunny sky, winds calm, temp was 54 degrees F, at an elevation of 4950 ft. While only a total of 84 rounds were fired there were no failures to fire or failures to extract.

Quick Summary

SA Battlepack Avg 2939 fps E.S. 94
Win Q3131A Avg 2884 fps E.S. 57
Fed XM193 Avg 2991 fps E.S. 53
IMI M193 Avg 2957 fps E.S. 47


Complete Results (one 20-round string):

SA Battlepack lot 352 A 86
High 2985
Low 2891
E.S. 94
Average 2939
S.D. 29.3

Win Q3131A lot TD80
High 2916
Low 2859
E.S. 57
Average 2884
S.D. 16.3

Fed XM193 Lot 10
High 3017
Low 2964
E.S. 53
Average 2991
S.D. 14.8

IMI M193 Lot 00223/C
High 2982
Low 2935
E.S. 47
Average 2957
S.D. 11.2

If I had it to do over again and more time available I would have liked to have fired two different lots of each brand with two 20-round strings of each through a 14.5" barrel and a 20" barrel. Also I realize there is more to a round than velocity. For one accuracy was not measured. After doing this I have a better idea what a more "complete" test would cover. Hopefully this information is somewhat useful.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 1:54:24 AM EDT
Thanks for the research. The info you have posted has helped me make up my mind on my next ammo order.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 2:42:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Siglite: Thanks for the research. The info you have posted has helped me make up my mind on my next ammo order.
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FWIW, velocity alone should NOT be the only criteria used when selecting your SHTF ammo. The most reliable that shoots the tightest groups is what I base my SHTF ammo choice on. There is no possible way to know which shoots the tightest or is most reliable in your rifle until you test it. Mike
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 6:38:24 AM EDT
EXCELLENT DATA READYMAN! Thank you! Although, the cleaning wasn't really necessary.. the difference any fouling would make would be so incredibly minimal. I find it really odd that you got such low velocity numbers for Q3131A. Maybe just an underloaded lot or something? Anyway, thank you again!
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 8:34:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2003 8:35:06 AM EDT by MaverickMkii]
Thanks for your test. Full power = XM193 Slightly less power (but this plays big in fragmentation) & less muzzle blast = Q3131A I'm only using Q3131A and...I think I should give XM193 another try.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 10:10:16 AM EDT
good job and thank you!
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 10:19:16 AM EDT
Thanks...I also find the Q3131a numbers a little low....XM193 usally runs right at 3000 for me(RRA 16") with the Q3131a a few ticks behind,usally around 2970fps....UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 12:58:31 PM EDT
Slightly lower than normal velocity numbers may be due to the 14.5" barrel.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 1:33:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 1:36:35 AM EDT by Siglite]
Originally Posted By mr_wilson:
Originally Posted By Siglite: Thanks for the research. The info you have posted has helped me make up my mind on my next ammo order.
View Quote
FWIW, velocity alone should NOT be the only criteria used when selecting your SHTF ammo. The most reliable that shoots the tightest groups is what I base my SHTF ammo choice on. There is no possible way to know which shoots the tightest or is most reliable in your rifle until you test it. Mike
View Quote
Thanks Mr. Wilson. I'm planning on taking your advice. I have shot some Q3131a, and it groups really well in my rifle. I have been told that Q3131a is manufactured by IMI. I was thinking that the IMI M193 with it's lower SD would be slightly more accurate and that is why I am really exited about this test that Readyman posted. I like velocity, but I also like consistency. I am looking to get a case of the IMI M193,and if it shoots as good or better than the Q3131a I will order more. Thanks for the info and help!
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 3:39:56 PM EDT
...and the cranial encyclopedia gains another page.... Splendid job.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 6:15:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By underdog75: Thanks...I also find the Q3131a numbers a little low....XM193 usally runs right at 3000 for me(RRA 16") with the Q3131a a few ticks behind,usally around 2970fps....UNDERDOG
View Quote
Wow, that's incredibly low for a 16". Are you at sea level in the freezing cold or something? You measuring 50 yards from the muzzle? Most 16"'s get ~ 3100fps with XM193 and about 30-50fps lower with Q3131A. Readyman has a 14.5" barrel and is matching your numbers. Also, we're not talking about 30-50fps in Readyman's test. His lot of Q3131A ran over 110fps slower than XM193. It even ran slower than the South African stuff. I've never seen that happen. I'm wondering if it's a typo or if he got a REALLY downloaded lot.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 6:17:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By eswanson: Slightly lower than normal velocity numbers may be due to the 14.5" barrel.
View Quote
I'm not talking about lower velocity numbers compared to my rifle. I'm talking about the velocity of Q3131A in relation to XM193. It has nothing to do with barrel length.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:29:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By wyv3rn:
Originally Posted By eswanson: Slightly lower than normal velocity numbers may be due to the 14.5" barrel.
View Quote
I'm not talking about lower velocity numbers compared to my rifle. I'm talking about the velocity of Q3131A in relation to XM193. It has nothing to do with barrel length.
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I meant the sub-3000 fps velocities across the board.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:15:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eswanson:
Originally Posted By wyv3rn:
Originally Posted By eswanson: Slightly lower than normal velocity numbers may be due to the 14.5" barrel.
View Quote
I'm not talking about lower velocity numbers compared to my rifle. I'm talking about the velocity of Q3131A in relation to XM193. It has nothing to do with barrel length.
View Quote
I meant the sub-3000 fps velocities across the board.
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Oh... sorry! [:)]
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:18:46 AM EDT
Isn't standard deviation a good indicator or repeatability and therefore accuracy? I know there are too many variables to say for sure, but overall wouldn't the M193 be more accurate (tighter groups) in more rifles than the others?
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:42:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By wyv3rn:
Originally Posted By underdog75: Thanks...I also find the Q3131a numbers a little low....XM193 usally runs right at 3000 for me(RRA 16") with the Q3131a a few ticks behind,usally around 2970fps....UNDERDOG
View Quote
Wow, that's incredibly low for a 16". Are you at sea level in the freezing cold or something? You measuring 50 yards from the muzzle? Most 16"'s get ~ 3100fps with XM193 and about 30-50fps lower with Q3131A. Readyman has a 14.5" barrel and is matching your numbers.
View Quote
Number takin at around 200-300" ASL @ 60degF... Its the only 16" barrel i have so i cant compare...Or it COULD be the 7000 rounds down the bore?[;)]........UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 8:02:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ptaylor: Isn't standard deviation a good indicator or repeatability and therefore accuracy? I know there are too many variables to say for sure, but overall wouldn't the M193 be more accurate (tighter groups) in more rifles than the others?
View Quote
All else being equal (brass, bullet, powder, primer), yes. Unfortunately, not everything is equal.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 8:05:12 AM EDT
Readyman, Can your repeat this test with 16" and 20" ARs?
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:53:01 PM EDT
I double checked to make sure there were not any typos (in particular the Q3131A results) and it turns out all entries in the original post are correct. In the Q3131A 20-round string there were only 4 rounds that exceeded 2900 fps (2916, 2908, 2904, and 2902). Next I plan on testing two different lots each of Q3131A, XM193, and M193 with rifles having 14.5", 16", and 20" barrels. Several pointed out the cleaning process was not necessary so that will help speed things up. If there is anything else I need to do to improve the usefulness of this test please pass it on. The weather here in central Wyoming has turned quite cold so it will probably be a week or two before the weather breaks and it warms up a bit. I'll post the results when completed and thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:57:00 PM EDT
I think your barrel length is the determining factor in the low velocities across the board, a 20" barrel should make a noticeable difference.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 4:12:45 AM EDT
FWIW, Remington's ballistics section has a note about the effect of barrel length on velocity, and estimates that in the 3000-3500 fps range, each inch of barrel length is worth about 30 fps. So extrapolating from a 14.5" to a 20" barrel should mean another 160 to 170 fps.
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