Opinions on "budget/target" 9mm ammo ?


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kyron4
February 1, 2013, 08:23 AM
So I'm talking Win. white box, Fed. American Eagle, Rem. UMC, Blazer, etc. Looking at reviews it seems for every 3 people who think a brand is the best there are 2 who say it's junk. Is it really that inconsistant ? I've got a case of 124 FMJ American Eagle on backorder, but after reading some reviews it seems hit or miss, but so do all the others. One guy said his CZ shoots one hole groups at 7 yds. but shot 7" groups with the AE 9mm, and yet another said it was the best ammo he ever shot in his CZ. Any thoughts ?

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kyron4
February 1, 2013, 08:29 AM
So I'm talking Win. white box, Fed. American Eagle, Rem. UMC, Blazer, etc. Looking at reviews it seems for every 3 people who think a brand is the best there are 2 who say it's junk. Is it really that inconsistant ? I've got a case of 124 FMJ American Eagle on backorder, but after reading some reviews it seems hit or miss, but so do all the others. One guy said his CZ shoots one hole groups at 7 yds. but shot 7" groups with the AE 9mm, and yet another said it was the best ammo he ever shot in his CZ. Any thoughts ?

The_Armed_Therapist
February 1, 2013, 08:32 AM
I never understood the strong opinions on this stuff... It's all fine. Occasionally one or two of them won't work well in an occasionaly pistol, but that's not a big deal. This is typically the case with smaller guns, too. If you have the time and resources, buy all of it and run it through what you have to double check. Also, it's typically the case with a new gun that isn't fully "broken in." The only gun I've ever had that was ammo picky was my Kahr CW40... for the first couple hundred rounds or so. Now it will fire anything.

callenlee
February 1, 2013, 08:37 AM
I've shot several boxes of federal with zero problems. Also shot a box of independence which I think is made by blazer with zero problems (it was only one box though). I had some failure to feeds and failure to ejects with winchester white box, but I'm inclined to put that on the gun. I've not noticed a significant difference in accuracy between them. I'm just plinking though. If I were competing or using them for a carry situation I might be more cognizant of accuracy variations. For casual shooting and practice my limited experience is that one isn't significantly better than the others.

bds
February 1, 2013, 08:40 AM
I think ammunition selection is dependent on the pistol/recoil spring rate used. Some economy/target ammunition won't reliably cycle the slides of certain pistols.

I usually recommend that people try various ammunition and use ammunition that reliably cycle the slide and extract/eject the spent cases while producing accurate shot groups and that often depends on the particular brand of pistol/model.

beatledog7
February 1, 2013, 08:49 AM
+ 1 on bds' comment.

Any round that doesn't consistently cycle and fire to POA in your pistol is "junk" in your pistol, even it functions flawlessly and makes 1/2" groups at 25 yards in mine.

tuj
February 1, 2013, 08:52 AM
Budget or Target ammo? Because the two are mutually exclusive. Also the velocity of the round and the *consistency* of the velocity is very important to accuracy. Therefore ammo's with better quality control will result in smaller group sizes. Federal's Gold Medal line is very good for factory ammo, so is Stan Chen's ASYM Precision.

You can also 'tune' your load to your particular barrel length. Every barrel length + type of rifling will have an ideal bullet and charge that produces the best accuracy.

But if you are just shooting, WWB is a winner for me.

Kiln
February 1, 2013, 09:01 AM
You guys can find ammo? Hell I'd settle for pretty much anything from a factory these days.

Silent Bob
February 1, 2013, 09:07 AM
I literally have not seen a box of 9mm ANYTHING for a month now.

Fishbed77
February 1, 2013, 09:20 AM
You guys can find ammo? Hell I'd settle for pretty much anything from a factory these days.

My thoughts exactly. I haven't seen any 9mm ammo in stores around here in almost a month.

ku4hx
February 1, 2013, 09:28 AM
If you have no aversion to buying ammunition online, this is always a good site: http://www.ammoengine.com/

breakingcontact
February 1, 2013, 09:33 AM
I literally have not seen a box of 9mm ANYTHING for a month now.

It has been pretty bad, local Academy finally has 40 and 45 but still no 9mm.

Hangingrock
February 1, 2013, 09:49 AM
With S&W, SIG and Glock 9mm Luger semiautomatic pistols that I have used WWB, Blazer, and Federal all economy grades have not been problematic. Most individuals that I’ve witnessed shooting do it a close and closer with 25Yds being way out there. At a typical conventional firing range the 50Yd line is not much used. Yes on an occasion you may have an ammunition problem but more common it’s a firearm or shooter related problem.

BCRider
February 1, 2013, 11:46 AM
I've shot a pretty wide variety of the cheaper 9mm through a couple of different pistols. CCI Blazer in both brass and aluminium, AE, Winchester and likely some other that I can't recall at this point. AT MOST there MIGHT have been about a 1 inch variation in group size by any one ammo over the other out at around 12 to 15 yards. Stories about one brand producing "one ragged hole" groups vs another being up at 7 inches are either gross exagerations or there's something quite wrong with the gun. The various brands all chambered in all the guns and it all went BANG! very consistently.

ArchAngelCD
February 1, 2013, 11:56 AM
In today's environment you will be lucky to find anything to shoot regularly. For practice it really doesn't matter how good an ammo is but that said, everything I've shot over the years has been just fine. Don't stress over brands, worry about shooting well with good form and trigger control. Have fun...

MedWheeler
February 1, 2013, 12:20 PM
Until the current political situation, the most-readily available 9mm ammo around me that could be used as a defensive round (not a FMJ) and that was affordable for practice was the Remington-UMC 115-grain JHP load. That's what I run (or was running) in my Kel-Tec PF9, which is my EDC. Never had a failure with it except for one instance when an ejected case fell back into the port as the next case was being expelled.
The 88-grain .380 version has also run perfectly in my Bersa Thunder pistol.

Furncliff
February 1, 2013, 12:48 PM
I'll bet 75% of the quote's on how poor an ammo of any variety is, come from shooters who don't test from a bench rest.

gunnutery
February 1, 2013, 01:00 PM
I love American Eagle. Couldn't tell you how long it'll take to get your case though. I ordered a 1000 round case in late Sept or early Oct and didn't get it until Dec 1. Who knows how long it'd take now, but it's good to have an order placed so you're in que.

U-235
February 1, 2013, 01:32 PM
I have shot hundreds if not thousands of round of WWB, mostly in 9mm and .45. I haven't had any problems. I do a quick visual check the rounds before shooting for anything obvious like bullet setback, creased brass, etc... I've thrown away maybe 1 or 2 rounds for things like that.

ATLDave
February 1, 2013, 01:49 PM
My completely unscientific, gut-reaction view is that one has to be a very accurate shooter with a very accurate pistol before the inherent accuracy limitations of handgun ammunition becomes the limiting factor. If you're shooting lots of X's on 50-foot targets, fine, you can probably tell a lot of difference.

smalls
February 1, 2013, 02:04 PM
There's probably small differences in accuracy, but if you're that worried about it you should be hand loading super accurate loads, and not buying off the shelf ammo.

ATLDave
February 1, 2013, 02:17 PM
smalls, I agree with that, too. (And I do handload, but not because I can shoot better than shelf ammo.)

Gun magazines contribute to the confused thinking on this point by shooting 5-round groups offhand and then posting the size of the resulting groups down to .01". Preposterous. You'd need to shoot hundreds or thousands of rounds off a bench rest before you could start making statistically-valid claims about one-hundredths of an inch.

Teachu2
February 1, 2013, 03:11 PM
Last year I shot around 3500 rounds of American Eagle, WWB, and commercial reloads. Out of that, I had one dud, a WWB 9mm. I also won the local Glock Indoor series stock class, shooting WWB 9mm.

Right now, it's really an academic discussion. Buy what you can afford when you can find it.

9mmepiphany
February 1, 2013, 04:11 PM
We really discourage cross posting on different sub-forums. Since the 9mm is predominately a semiautomatic cartridge, I'm going to merge the thread from General into the one on that sub-forum

xjsnake
February 2, 2013, 11:19 AM
Until the current political situation, the most-readily available 9mm ammo around me that could be used as a defensive round (not a FMJ) and that was affordable for practice was the Remington-UMC 115-grain JHP load. That's what I run (or was running) in my Kel-Tec PF9, which is my EDC. Never had a failure with it except for one instance when an ejected case fell back into the port as the next case was being expelled.
The 88-grain .380 version has also run perfectly in my Bersa Thunder pistol.


I carried the 88 grain version too till I saw this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMRPeT3cKoU

wally
February 2, 2013, 02:09 PM
At this point, anything I can buy at a decent price is fine.

The "Box of Truth" web site did some "tests" on cheap 9mm ammo and declared Wolf the winner (most accurate). YMMV.

KTXdm9
February 2, 2013, 09:51 PM
I buy whatever is on sale. Can't say that I've had issues with anything I've purchased so far, WWB, Lawman, Blazer, Freedom, Federal, etc. Some pistols are more finicky than others, so YMMV.

tecrench
February 2, 2013, 10:01 PM
another online ammo finder

http://ammoseek.com/?view_calibers=now

JoePfeiffer
February 2, 2013, 10:53 PM
My Sig 226 shoots anything I feed it with no issues. I buy the cheapest I can find for range practice, and then keep Hornady Critical Defense in it the rest of the time. I keep hearing you need to practice with the same ammo you use for protection so every few months I'll shoot a mag of the Hornady; you'd have to be a far better shot than me to tell the difference!

MedWheeler
February 3, 2013, 12:09 PM
xjsnake, thanks for posting. Now that I know it didn't expand, I'll feel even better about carrying it, as I have my doubts with the .380's penetration when it does expand.
When I carried the Thunder 380 primarily, I use dot switch to the same maker's 95-grain FNEB when weather cooled down and clothing got thicker.
But, I almost never carry a .380 anymore since I have the PF9.

StockKahr
February 3, 2013, 07:41 PM
For practice and target shooting, I like Speer Lawman TMJ in 147 gr., since it is loaded to the same velocity as Speer Gold Dot 147 gr., which is what I keep loaded in both of my 9mm's. Shooting the two rounds back to back, I can't tell a difference between the two in recoil, reliability, or accuracy.

dbp
February 3, 2013, 09:44 PM
If you have no aversion to buying ammunition online, this is always a good site: http://www.ammoengine.com/
I went to this site as you suggested. $.87 a round was the least expensive 9mm round.:(:(:(

No thank you -- I'll just wait.

tipoc
February 4, 2013, 03:28 AM
So I'm talking Win. white box, Fed. American Eagle, Rem. UMC, Blazer, etc. Looking at reviews it seems for every 3 people who think a brand is the best there are 2 who say it's junk. Is it really that inconsistant ?

No it's not.

If you read through the posts so far it seems that often expectations are different. So a fella who buys a box of S&B 124 gr. ball ammo with the intent of running drills with it and practicing some shooting for accuracy out to 25 yards will be pleased. The fella who expects it to shoot bullseye or match levels of accuracy with it will likely be disappointed. Same for Mag-Tech, Federal etc.

Some guns will shoot a bit better with some ammo than others. The difference will vary gun to gun.

The ammo from major manufacturers is in general reliable. Buy and use it.

The only problems with any of it that I've found are from the inconsistencies of the Chinese made ammo. You can physically see the differences round to round.

Winchester ammo in the 50 round white boxes is generally good. But the 100 or 200 round "Value-Paks" can be problematic. Examine the ammo by hand and eye and you'll see the difference.

That you ask the question indicates that you are a new shooter. Just buy a few boxes and try it and learn.

tipoc

ku4hx
February 4, 2013, 04:42 AM
Practice fodder? Mixed cases, CCI 500 SP primer, Lee 124 grain RNL or TCL over 5.5 grains of Alliant Power Pistol. In our guns, an absolutely fantastic round. YMMV.

breakingcontact
February 4, 2013, 12:06 PM
The only problems with any of it that I've found are from the inconsistencies of the Chinese made ammo. You can physically see the differences round to round.

Chinese?

PabloJ
February 4, 2013, 12:27 PM
So I'm talking Win. white box, Fed. American Eagle, Rem. UMC, Blazer, etc. Looking at reviews it seems for every 3 people who think a brand is the best there are 2 who say it's junk. Is it really that inconsistant ? I've got a case of 124 FMJ American Eagle on backorder, but after reading some reviews it seems hit or miss, but so do all the others. One guy said his CZ shoots one hole groups at 7 yds. but shot 7" groups with the AE 9mm, and yet another said it was the best ammo he ever shot in his CZ. Any thoughts ?
Whatever 9x19 "full patch" you can find at reasonable price should be a blessing.

tipoc
February 4, 2013, 12:48 PM
Chinese?

Yep that large nation to the east of Japan, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean from the U.S. They sell under the name Norinco.

One guy said his CZ shoots one hole groups at 7 yds. but shot 7" groups with the AE 9mm, and yet another said it was the best ammo he ever shot in his CZ. Any thoughts ?

The difference was either the gun or the shooter. At such close range differences between brands are pretty small. If I remember right American Eagle is made by Federal. Good stuff.

Again, go buy this stuff for yourself and learn with your guns in your hands. Make notes and learn. That's the fun part.

Really if you ain't sure and some ammo in stock is $9. a box of 50, and it comes from Serbia, open the box and look at 5 rounds at random...are they all the same length? do they have the same cases? does the ammo look the same? are the bullets dinged up? The first 3 should be yes and the last one no, try it and shoot it.

tipoc

joecil
February 4, 2013, 01:45 PM
Before I started reloading I bought a box of RWS Sport Line 124 gr ammo at Walmart for a bit over $11 per box of 50. I was so impressed with that I bought out Walmarts stock of a case of 1000 rounds. It never took off at Walmart in my area due to the fact it was foreign, Swiss made and few knew anything about herre. The brass is also great for reloading as well. Bud's sells it now for $14.99 per box. I've never seen it back in Walmart since I bought their stock up and they have replaced it with Russian made ammo that is about the same price but sells.

PabloJ
February 4, 2013, 02:02 PM
Before I started reloading I bought a box of RWS Sport Line 124 gr ammo at Walmart for a bit over $11 per box of 50. I was so impressed with that I bought out Walmarts stock of a case of 1000 rounds. It never took off at Walmart in my area due to the fact it was foreign, Swiss made and few knew anything about herre. The brass is also great for reloading as well. Bud's sells it now for $14.99 per box. I've never seen it back in Walmart since I bought their stock up and they have replaced it with Russian made ammo that is about the same price but sells.
The Swiss-made Ruag ammo was about the best 9x19 range ammo one could hope to buy. When Walmart was able to get it in there was some on shelf because most shoppers at that chain think Switzerland is just like China. They were ignorant enough to buy Federal 'Champion' and WWB instead.

tuj
February 4, 2013, 02:14 PM
Now for those that don't know this is a Swiss ammo

RWS is good stuff, I use R50 for benchrest and their pellets for my air gun.
RWS is, as far as I know, actually manufactured in Germany.

PabloJ
February 4, 2013, 02:54 PM
RWS is owned by bigger entity. The black/orange .45, .38, 380, 9x18 was rolled in Hungary while 9x19 came from Solun Switzerland.

LeonCarr
February 4, 2013, 03:02 PM
As previously mentioned, serious benchrest testing of different ammo will yield interesting results. Once upon a time tested Federal American Eagle, Federal Champion, WWB, and Remington UMC, all 115 FMJ. From a stock Glock 17, Five shot groups all under 1.5 inches at 50 feet, with the American Eagle shooting right around an inch. No malfunctions from any of the ammo. Any of those will work for serious practice or USPSA/IDPA as long as they make power factor.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Fishbed77
February 4, 2013, 04:20 PM
Originally Posted by ku4hx
If you have no aversion to buying ammunition online, this is always a good site: http://www.ammoengine.com/

All I see on that site are a handful of overpriced defensive ammo options.

golden
February 4, 2013, 05:43 PM
I used WINCHESTER WHITE BOX as my 9 m.m. practice ammo up until the last OBAMASCARE. After that, I found 50 round boxes of FEDERAL fmj (not AMERICAN EAGLE) at WALMART for $10.00 a box and went with that. I find both are accurate, but the FEDERAL seems to be a little more accurate.

Jim

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