what is match ammo?


James T Thomas
August 31, 2008, 02:57 PM
With the price of ammunition as it is, perhaps I should not even consider "Match" ammo for use.

But it occurs to me, just what is it?

I'm presuming that it is a batch of quality inspected bullets; for weight, dimentional tolerance and perhaps with some manufacturers; dynamic balance. And then too, a more even burning powder, and another costly human labor of final step production inspection of things like primer seating, bullet depth, and that type of thing.

Or should I be cynical, knowing today's commercial greed and deceptive labeling? Like "Match;" that is intended to meet some competition criteria for required bullet weight or velocity in order to level the shooting range -field.
Or, some other even less explicit definition so that more money can be demanded.

Now, with "Match" ammo; could the shooter expect a 5%, 10% better score, over a standard ammo from the same mfg., same bullet wt. and style, ect.
Do you see what I'm getting at?

I may be puzzling myself over nothing here, because old mother Hubbard's cupboard is almost bare every time I have been there searching for ammo.
Except of course, if you want to feed the greed.

If you enjoyed reading about "what is match ammo?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
August 31, 2008, 03:06 PM
More accurately measured powder quantity and bullet weight. As far as I know, that is the only difference. I don't buy it though. and I don't know any of this for sure. Just going by word of mouth.

Mr White
August 31, 2008, 03:42 PM
Way too expensive for everyday shooting but for its intended purpose, it's very accurate.

More accurate powder measurement and better quality bullets like Loomis said and also better quality brass (more consistent weight, uniform primer pockets and flash holes, very consistent brass properties) make match ammo much more accurate. Federal Gold Medal Match ammo is very good stuff with a price tag to go with it.

If you can get your hands on any Lake City Match ammo in .308 or .223, its pretty good stuff too, but its hard to find.

August 31, 2008, 03:44 PM
In reality it's just another buzzword that manufacturers throw about such as tactical or combat.

There is no real qualification that defines what constitutes " match " ammo

August 31, 2008, 03:57 PM
Match ammo is all about tight tolerances across the spectrum. Capable of superb accuracy, but unless you're a "match shooter" with an equally-capable rifle, buy regular ammo. In addition, accurate shooting is borne of countless hours of range time, spendy optics, and dedication, among other things. Short of turning case necks, I load my own "match ammo" for a select few calibers (sort cases by weight, trim cases to uniform length, anneal cases, sort bullets by weight, weigh every powder charge, ensure uniform primer seating depth/neck tension, chronograph ballistics performance, etc.). Match ammo is quality stuff, but shooting it doesn't magically make the average shooter a more accurate shot. Only practice & dedication do that. Practice isn't cheap, but it is of primary importance if one desires consistency & proficiency.

August 31, 2008, 04:36 PM
And even with Match grade ammo you may or may not get "match grade" performance. I have had a few guns over the years that were really ammo sensitive, and one particular Remmy 700 30-06 that only liked Winchesters, would shoot pretty much anything else like crap! (Including Federal Prem., ALL Remington ammo I tried, and even the hand loaded stuff that my buddy made for me. But pop some Winny stuff in there and you were good to go! I didn't understand it then or now, but some guns just like certain ammo! Go figure!

August 31, 2008, 06:32 PM
To digress, match primers simply are primers where a human oversees each primer cap has an anvil as it passes on the assembly line.

August 31, 2008, 06:54 PM
To digress

Can't speak authoritatively to that, but "match ammunition" is a bit more . . .

August 31, 2008, 07:06 PM
My Ruger Mark II Government model likes CCI Green label better for longer shots. It is more expensive, much more expensive.

Match ammo will make a difference at longer ranges. You can reload match quality ammo with good components and equipment.


August 31, 2008, 07:07 PM
Oh, I guess I was on the wrong wavelength here. I was thinking in terms of match grade 22 rimfire like they use in the olympics.

August 31, 2008, 07:17 PM
Jim Clark used to keep case upon case of Federal .45 ACP match at his shop in Keithville.He used it to machine rest the match guns before shipping them.

He had a contact at Fort Benning who would call him and tell him when they found an exceptionally accurate lot of it.He would buy all he could before the military bought the whole lot.

Federal used to test each lot for accuracy but I think they no longer do that.

I can say that their .38 wadcutter in my PPC guns was by actual machine rest testing the most accurate in my guns by far.My Davis would consistantly do inch and a half or better at 50 yards--2 inches plus with everything else.

August 31, 2008, 07:58 PM
Several years ago, i was bitten by the "sniper rifle" bug, so I picked up a Rem. 700 PSS .308,Leupold MKIV mil-dot scope,Harris bi-pod,mil-dot master and range cards, then read everything I could get my hands on. I had no interest in climbing a bell tower and going postal, just always thought the discipline was interesting and cool, and having shot "expert" in the USMC years back, I always enjoyed this stuff.
I joined the rifle/pistol range on Fort Benning and started practicing between 100 and ,IIRC,500 yards, using South African surplus .308 that i was getting from the range for $27 a battle pack ( still got one unopened:D) . My goal was to ultimately hit a man-sized target at 1000 yards. Later, me and a couple buddies returned to the rural area we shot at as youngsters,at an abandoned stretch of train tracks that ran for about 2000 yards. Using hand-held Motorola walkie-talikies, we took turns spotting for each other from close to the target ( off the tracks sitting behind a tree, ZZIIIIIING !!!).
We finally had things dialed in to the point that we were hitting in a roughly torso-sized area on a big slab of cardboard from 1000 yards,sometimes getting semi-respectable groups.( I said SEMI ! )
At this point I decided to test the difference with some of the much more expensive 168gr. Federal Match Grade sierra boat tailed HP rounds that I had a small stash of, and found NO discernable difference in grouping.
Adimttedly, none of us were trained snipers,so obviously, YMMV.

James T Thomas
September 1, 2008, 04:09 PM
I am delighted at all the informative replies here. Thank all of you.
More useful information than I had expected.

Especially 4sooth. With handgun the quantatative 33% is something to think about; at 50 yards.
Then, the practical from others that with an average shooter; me, I might not have any difference.
And then with rifles, maybe no difference again.

I'm going to keep gathering information on this and see if I can reach a universal conclusion about some of it any ways.

MIL-DOT: The 82nd Airborne had a sniper school in 1968; I forget the name of their training, but they used the M-14, bipod, and a scope -I think.
I always was facinated by that, and when Martin L. King was assinated, and the 82nd deployed to Wash.D.C. to protect our "Ruling Class," we had the snipers on the roof tops there in the streets! That was reassuring as a counter measure to would be rioter sniping, though none that I knew of had to do any shooting.

"Krochus:" I'm leaving open my conclusion, just because of the buzzword factor and my astute sense of getting cheated at the cash register.

Thanks Mr. White; your experience is always valued. With changing times and economics, I wonder if what you know of will remain the same in the future.

September 1, 2008, 11:25 PM
With a box-stock Remington 700 PSS, you're not going to see a lot of difference between "battle pack" and "match grade" ammo. The chamber and barrel just isn't there for it.

What it all boils down to is perfection. And consistency. And consistency of perfection.

September 1, 2008, 11:42 PM
Even with my LR-308 I see a noticeable difference between match and normal ammunition.

They should be more consistent than non match rounds which yields tighter groups. bullets with tighter tolerances, designed for accuracy instead of bullets designed to bring down game. Load development favors accuracy rather than power, hunting and match ammunition have different goals.

If you are interested in match quality ammunition hand loading is the way to go, it is possible to load equivalent ammunition and still save money over factory non match grade and customizing the charge for your rifle with a quality bullet and well prepared brass will increase the accuracy potential of the ammunition.

September 2, 2008, 02:40 AM
Ain't about the money. It's about the shot.

How much are you paying for that shot?

I pay $0.59 each for brass. I probably get around 10 shots out of a piece before it starts becoming inconsistent.

Bullets are going for about $0.20 each.

Add powder and primer.

September 2, 2008, 03:28 AM
My handloads with 55 grain Nosler Ballistic-Tips will MATCH any .223 Remington MATCH ammo going. I'll MATCH any loads, shot-for-shot, and since I only buy 250 varmint packs, I actually save a few bucks. At 2.250" C.O.L. my ballistic-tip bullets have long-range boat-tails and all the moxy needed for shredding tight patterns in paper targets, let alone coyotes. If any bullet can out-shred my ragged holes, let me know. cliffy

September 2, 2008, 03:30 AM
cliffy i would like to take you up on that , please pm me for more info :)

PS.....i use that SAME bullet ;)

September 2, 2008, 03:43 AM
Hi 40, if you live near Michigan, I'll take you to my club for a shoot-off. We may both learn something. I've reloaded for years, yet I'm a shakey, old fart, so I'll bet you can teach me a thing or three. Would be fun though, since I relish a challenge. Berrien County Sportsman's Club is my stomping grounds. I don't know how to p.m., since I'm quite computilator illiterate. cliffy

If you enjoyed reading about "what is match ammo?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!