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PMC Ammo Quality

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by OMCHamlin, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. OMCHamlin

    OMCHamlin Well-Known Member

    I'm fixin' to buy a 1/2 case of PMC 45 Acp 230 Gr. Ball at a pretty good price. Hows the quality of their ammo, OK for blastin' ammo? Informal target practice? Any reported problems to speak of?
  2. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    I've generally been satisified with PMC ammo, but I'd strongly suggest you buy a box and try it before stocking up as some guns just don't like some brands of ammo due to minor (hard to see with the naked eye) differences in dimensions and bullet shape.

    If the price was right, I'd buy PMC without batting an eye, based on my past experience.

  3. fastbolt

    fastbolt Well-Known Member

    Oxymoron ...
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    PMC Ball

    Used it for years...No problems. Near Hardball equivalent. If your
    gun won't run on PMC, there's probably something wrong with the gun.
    Good brass that lasts for many reloadings. I've probably fired in excess
    of 50,000 rounds of PMC over the years.

    just my nickel's worth...

  5. OMCHamlin

    OMCHamlin Well-Known Member

    Fastbolt: As in Military Intelligence? So you ain't in love with PMC, I take it? I tried it some in the 80's, was unimpressed, but thought I had read that their QC had improved.... So, elaborate, if you would.
  6. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    I've shot a little bit of PMC 230gr FMJ. That seemed to work OK. Their 10mm ammo, however, is pure crap in my experience.
  7. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Well-Known Member

    I've used a ton in .40 S&W in my Glock 24 before, and when I was just starting, reloading. I agree with 'Tuner on the good quality brass.

    Also shot a fair ammount in .44 Mag and .357
    I'm still using that brass in my Taurus 669 and Desert Eagle.

    I've seen 1 with a bad bullet (it was pefectly cylindrical) in .40 S&W but other than that I've never seen a bad one or had a failure with them. They're my go-to brand for cheap ammo to bolster my brass supply.
  8. OMCHamlin

    OMCHamlin Well-Known Member

    Well, OK the preponderance seems to be that it's basically decent stuff (with a few dissenters: noted) I figured that at $100 for 650 rds, shipped, was worth the effort. Ya think?
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    Hamlin asked:

    I figured that at $100 for 650 rds, shipped, was worth the effort. Ya think?

    Yessir. That's about as cheap as it's gonna get. it normally runs about
    210 bucks a thousand here, out the door.
  10. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    I don’t generally have any problems with PMC. However, the last box of .44 Mag I got would stick in my model 29 after firing. No dimensional problems noted on the way in and no other signs of overpressure. By “stickâ€, I mean that it literally took pounding on the ejector rod to bust it loose. It wasn’t the gun – we tried it in a friends Anaconda and extraction was, once again, memorable.

    Must just be me. After reading the “I shot 15 bazillion rounds of xyz with no problem†threads here, I get S&B 7.62X25’s spitting primers (again, no other overpressure signs) and a Magtech 9mm squib. All in 6 months time and all factory new.

    The Magtech was a one trick pony – 1 round only bad.
    The S&B was a half-case, roughly 10% bad.
    The PMC was one box – 100% screwed up (12 out of 12, anyway).
  11. fastbolt

    fastbolt Well-Known Member

    Yep, as in "Military Intelligence" ...

    I also sometimes use the example of "Country Music" when I want to get a rise out of an old friend, too ... ;)

    I've tried a reasonable amount of PMC in the common calibers ... 9mm, .40 S&W & .45 ACP ... although not approaching 50K, as our friend Tuner has ...

    Although even my small-to-medium agency goes through approx. 100K of 9mm each year, and less in the other calibers ... mostly in Winchester or Remington, depending on the contract, so I have a bit more experience with those maker's offerings.

    Anyhow, I've generally noticed that PMC ammunition seems to create a dirty weapon rather quickly ... and the consistency of the perceived recoil has sometimes left "a bit to be desired", perhaps, in some instances when I've been using it. This especially bothers me in .40 S&W ... I certainly realize it could be just an isolated instance with the specific box(es) of ammunition I came across, for whatever reason, and not indicative of PMC ammunition, in general.

    I no longer reload, so I have no opinion on the viability of using PMC brass for reloading ...

    It's interesting that this question was just asked, as in recent months I've "spoken" online to an armorer for another agency who only experiences malfunction issues when using PMC ammunition ... and another couple of local folks that experienced similar functioning issues when using PMC 230gr FMJ in their 1911's.

    Perhaps these separate occurrences all involved pistols which had problems and required attention, and didn't involve the ammunition being used ... Don't know, and don't claim to know ... or imply otherwise.

    Also, just the other day I was qualifying one of our folks who had just bought Kahr P40. He told me that when he'd taken the gun to a public range to run 200 rounds through it, prior to bringing it in for qualification (he read the manual) ... the only malfunctions he experienced was when trying to use PMC .40 S&W ammunition ... but that the P40 functioned just fine during "break in" when he used Winchester and UMC. He experienced no problems whatsoever when we gave him our Remington Express 180gr JHP's for qualification, and some additional training, either.

    I've never experienced these things with the more expensive El Dorado line of ammunition, by the way ...

    I just don't care for PMC anymore ... or many of the other "bargain" brands of ammunition, especially those produced in other countries, for that matter.

    If I'm going to be shooting it out of MY guns, I generally remain with something offered by Remington, Winchester, Speer, Hornady ... and decreasingly, Federal ... and wouldn't look askance upon using any of the "new" ammunition offered by either Black Hills or ProLoad.

    This is just me, however, and everybody's got the right to make an informed choice of their own ... and their choice is just as right as anyone else's ... even if they change their mind later.;)

    Let us know how YOU like it for "plinking" ammunition, as long as the price is "right" ...
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2004
  12. gbelleh

    gbelleh Well-Known Member

    I've fired several boxes of 230 gr. PMC in my USP Compact and SA Micro 1911. Every round has worked without a problem. My 1911 doesn't like Winchester White Box at all, but it works great with the PMC, Am Eagle and S&B I've tried in it.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy PMC if the price is really good.
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    PMC Issues

    As fastbolt noted, I've seen some feeding issues/Return to Battery
    issues with PMC in tight, or of spec chambers...which, strangely, seems to be the trend these days. In all these cases, the problems would pop
    up with other ammo too...though the premium ammo didn't do it as frequently. Probably due to being held to more exacting tolerances.

    In all cases, a quick pass with a finishing reamer cleared up the problem with PMC and other brands, and in all cases that HAD a problem, the finishing reamer brought chips out of the chambers to some degree.
    Ned Christiansen has noticed this problem too, with the same feeding..
    and sometimes extraction problems.

    Most of the chambers that have needed adjustment, have tapered to a
    smaller diameter as they got closer to the shoulders.

    Just FYI

  14. alamo

    alamo Well-Known Member

    I've been using the .380 in my P-3AT for practice, it works just fine. A fair number of folks on the Kel-Tec forum use it in theirs as well & I've seen no reports of problems.
  15. fastbolt

    fastbolt Well-Known Member

    Uh huh, since Tuner mentioned it, we've seen that also ... and not only with the occasional "production" gun of at least one well known manufacturer, but also with a "smaller" nationally known brand of expensive 1911's that will remain nameless ... and with Winchester & Remington ammunition, both JHP AND FMJ, too. It annoyed the head armorer that he had to use a finishing reamer to clean up high spots in an expensive 1911. It may not be unreasonable to "expect" that in a production "service grade" pistol, but in a more expensive, hand-fitted 1911? Hey ... I think he likes to be "annoyed", anyway, and it gives him something to do.;)

    While the careful & proper application of a finishing reamer has resolved the situation in some pistols we encountered, though, it apparently didn't in others ... so there appears to be other factors at work which aren't ammunition-related ... unless you want to count trying to use ammunition in the pistols as being "ammunition related".

    Hey, if you get a "great deal" on the ammunition ... and it turns out your particular pistol "doesn't like" PMC ammunition ... you can certainly have your pistol examined by a gunsmith, just to make sure it's not the pistol ... But most of us can always use the experience to practice our malfunction recognition and clearance skills ...

    Ammunition-related malfunctions can happen even with the "best", premium, major-manufacturer ammunition ...
  16. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    I have shot PMC in 10mm, it was ok, but not the best.

    44 Magnum, have not chronographed it, but it seems pretty accurate.

    30-06, works ok in my Garand.
  17. OMCHamlin

    OMCHamlin Well-Known Member

    OK, additional negative PMC opinions and reasons for them noted as well, thanks! Hmmm, well, it's too late, as I went ahead and bought the stuff, and it's on the way. So, I'll chrono a good sample of it, target it from a rest and see how it goes for feeding/extraction an so forth. If it's all crappy, it won't be the first time I've "chosen poorly", trust me! I have (all WELL broken in!) a Colt 1991, SA stainless mil-spec, Essex framed "mix-master" and a Ruger Blackhawk. So, there's all the important examples of the caliber, plus my buddy has a plastic one from Austria, so that should be a good cross section to play with.

    Thanks for the opinions, guys, especially the very detailed ones. I don't doubt any of them, just hope my guns happen to like this stuff better, at least for 650 rds worth. (Which I STILL say is an OK deal for a C note!)

  18. Hal

    Hal Well-Known Member

    Look on the bright side.
    At least the next time the topic of PMC ammo comes up, you'll be in a position to say first hand how the stuff is.
    I personally don't care for the stuff unless it's @ a super price.
    Same goes for the other *MC - UMC.
  19. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    I have fired a fair amount of PMC in several calibers but the lions share of it was either in .45 ACP or .223.
    PMC is the ammo sold at Gunsite so as a result I have fired around 4000 rounds of .223 and about 2000 rounds of .45 ACP there alone along with a fair amount of it at home. PMC is readily available around here and it seems to be what the dealers around here stock.
    It is OK. IMO, nothing to write home about, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.

    Over the years I have I have read countless threads on here about AR15 reliability and countless threads about Wolf ammo. The only malfunctions I have ever experienced with my AR15s has been with PMC ammo and it was an issue directly related to quality control on their part. I had a failure to fire in a simulator at Gunsite. When I cleared the malfunction the bullet came out of the case and filled the action with powder.
    Wolf ? I have fired in excess of 8000 rounds of Wolf out of my AR15s without the slightest bobble.
    You pay your money and you take your chances.

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