Thursday, January 3, 2008
Ammo: Factory and Reloads
Today I want to talk about ammunition.
As I mentioned, I shoot 9mm, .45 Cal, .223 Cal and 7.62mm (.308 Cal). Now of course different manufacturers have a variety of rounds and bullet weights, expressed as grains. This is the weight of the bullet itself and 437.5 grains equals one ounce, obviously a very small unit of measure.
The following link has a good, if not extremely detailed explanation of kinetic energy as it related to bullets. http://www.xmission.com/~fractil/math/kp.html
It's a little dry. :-)
There is plenty of information in the Internet about ammo and the benefits of different rounds, so I won't go into it here.
Hunters and plinker's will have very different opinions on the 'best' round, but like most things you generally get what you pay for. Most people I know want a low cost range experience, but I don't want to have to keep clearing jams or misfires from my weapons.
I have found that rounds from one manufacturer, in one specific gun, behave very differently in my guns verses what my friends experience. A clean gun is a happy gun and this will have an effect on your time on the firing line.
I'd be very interested in what someone who shoots in competition has to say on this subject. Feel free to chime in with any thoughts you have.
Lately I have been using UMC and UltraMax for my AR-15. Remington in my XD-9 and M1A, and Magtech in my Ruger P90. The Magtech is a very smoky in my P90, and dirty too, but it does not stovepipe like the UltraMax has.
My AR-15 is not picky, it shoots what I load in it, so far. I have not tried the Lake City bulk surplus ammo I keep reading about, but it's on the list.
The XD-9 does not like Magtech. I have had 8 to 10 misfires out of my last 50 round box, so I won't be going there anymore.
My Mini-14 is much like the AR. It has had some issues with the UMC but that may have been an anomaly as it's only happened a couple of times with over 2000 rounds through it.
I continue to experiment with bulk ammo, as it seems to be the most cost effective. If I were to need ammo that absolutely had to work, I would stick with factory fresh premium rounds.
Next time I'll get back to the M1A experience.