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Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions

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Unread 01-06-2011, 08:05 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: WA
Posts: 20
Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions

I was hoping you guys could help me find the price/performance "sweet spot" and help me narrow down some choices for ammo on my new rifle. I have perused this site and others for awhile and read a lot of the stickys. The more I read, the more I am overwhelmed by the choices. I would like to start examining the accuracy potential of this rifle, and would like to begin with some smart purchases on factory ammo (yes, I am one of those guys that needs to learn to reload). However, I do not want to throw money at the vendors haphazardly. I suppose I could load up on Black Hills, Bergers, Hornady or Federal Match and that would be a safe place to start. But that stuff is expensive and I am hoping for some alternatives.

In the last year, I finally got around to putting together an AR-15 that I primarily intend to use for paper-punching (beyond 100 yards) and hunting (coyotes, jackrabbits, prairie dogs). Here are the specs on my rifle:
20" Rock River Varmint A4 upper, 1 in 8" twist SS barrel
Mohawk Lower
Magpul PRS stock
RR 2-stage trigger
Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44mm scope
Leupold Tactical rings
Harris bipod

With a firm grasp of the idea that I am the weakest link in this system, that every rifle and barrel are different, and that ammo varies from lot to lot...do you have any suggestions for some ammo I should try? BTW, I do have experience with the M16A2 platform and open sights. But I normally just shoot what is cheap or available with an eye for practical accuracy. I am new to precision/long-range shooting.

I was hoping to start out with a modest purchase of around $100 on factory ammo to see what my rifle likes before I make an investment in a larger quantity. Here are some ideas I was looking at:

Shoot for accuracy...

A cheaper alternative...
Prvi Partizan .223 75grn Match HP 20rd tch+HP+20rd&groupid=21
Prvi .223 69grn Boat Tail Match Hollow Point 20rd Box atch+Hollow+Point+20rd+Box&groupid=21

For varmints...
Fiocchi Extrema Ammunition 223 Remington 50 Grain Hornady V-Max Box of 50 - MidwayUSA

Last edited by Ranger260; 01-06-2011 at 08:18 PM. Reason: bad links.
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Unread 01-06-2011, 08:27 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 452
Re: Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions

I'm a big fan of Black Hills remanufactured match ammo.
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Unread 01-06-2011, 10:05 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: buffalo, OK
Posts: 400
Re: Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions

I have a h&r 223 that my daughter uses for plinking with why I am at the range, I buy wolf ammo 55gr for her to use. Its cheap and I can shoot 3 shots touching with it at 100yrds. Its cheap enough and good enough I dont bother to reload for it.
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Unread 01-06-2011, 10:22 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 39
Re: Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions

I've used the 75 gr. Privi .223 in my Savage 110 fp and with it I can shoot 1/4 inch groups at a 100 yds. all day long. Working on get it out there at 1000 yds. and have some what of a grouping. I can get it out there but right now I wouldn't call it a group looks more like a scatter gun hit it at 50 yds.. But as with everything it will come with time.

My Savage also likes the 62 gr. M855ss193 will shoot that into a 1/2 group at 100 yds. basically what I'm saying is that with practice almost any ammo will do a good job.
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Unread 01-07-2011, 01:10 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: So. California
Posts: 409
Re: Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions

First off, if you are going to REALLY shoot .223, you may want to consider a Dillon Progressive setup. Trust me, reloading for an auto 223 is a *BLEEEEEEP* ;) A Dillon will save your sanity!

IF you go Dillon Progressive, then I would most seriously consider:
-- IMR8208XBR Powder
-- Sierra 69gr SMK (truly excellent all around bullet)
-- Lake City 09 brand new mfg brass (500 count) from Midway is actually quite good overall. And the price is nice at only $79 on sale. They also have 1k counts as well.
-- Primers: either the Rem 7 1/2 or the Wolf SR-M

With the IMR powder you *MIGHT* give up a small bit of pure speed, but not very dang much, especially with the 69gr bullets, and if you use the nice heavy mil brass. It also flows through the Dillon nicely.

Good Shooting,

Last edited by diriel; 01-07-2011 at 01:11 AM. Reason: clarity
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Unread 01-07-2011, 10:07 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 332
Re: Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions

If you want to weld a laquered steel case in an AR chamber go ahead and use wolf. Not to mention it burns super dirty and fouls up an AR too fast.

Ultra Max remanufactured seems to work pretty well, and a lot cheaper than any brass cased ammo.

Once you have a pile of brass, a dillon press will load you about as cheap as Ultra Max on sale, and you get to dial in the load to your rifle.

With factory ammo you will get POI shifts lot to lot. That's why you by in bulk, or reload.
There are only two seasons: Hunting season, and Getting Ready for Hunting season. -DAD
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Unread 01-07-2011, 10:10 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sedalia, MO
Posts: 1,256
Re: Overwhelmed..need ammo suggestions


I'd vote for the reloading, of course, but if you're just learning to do so, an AR isn't the platform to start with. Load for bolt guns first, and then move on to the gas guns. They're a form of advanced handloading, and need to be treated very differently than bolt guns where reloads are concerned. Get some experience with the less tempermental forms of reloading before venturing into this area.

You're 1x8" will handle anything up to (and including) most 80s with no problems. I've used a fair amount of the Black Hills 77s, and have been pretty impressed with them. Federal and Hornady also turn out some pretty reasonable ammo in the heavier weights, and they'd also be worth a try.
Kevin Thomas
Lapua USA
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