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Cheap 9mm ammo, my thoughts on 4 different brands.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by firestar, Mar 3, 2003.

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  1. firestar

    firestar member

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    I have shot alot of the cheaper 9mms and I thought it might help people out if I gave my opinion and some facts that I have witnessed about the 4 cheapest and most common brands. I am not claiming to be right or an expert, this is just my experience and personal view based on it.

    The 4 types I speak of are: CCI Blazer, Winchester white box, Wolff, and Sellier & Bellot. I will give some general impressions and the cheapest prices that I have found. I will also use the Gun Tests type of rating system because I think it is a good one.

    CCI Blazer,
    ($4.85 a 50 round box from Natchez plus shipping). Made in U.S.A. CCI Blazers are aluminum cased and are not reloadable. They are FMJ 115gr round nosed bullets. I think they come in different weights but the 115gr is all I buy or see.

    The Blazers are the hottest feeling 9mms of the 4. I think they are the fastest but I have not chronographed them. They have a nice kick that simulates self defense ammo and this makes it a great training round. They seem to be consistant and accurate in all my guns. They are also very reliable, I have only had 1-2 bad primer in the several thousand rounds I have shot. The main draw back to them is, the case is not as smooth as brass or nickel and it can cause feeding problems in some guns, esp if the gun has a tight chamber. They would not feed reliably in my early Kahr E-9.

    Verdict, Buy it, good ammo if you don't reload and your gun is able to feed them reliably.

    Wolff,
    $5-6 a 50 round box. Russian made, not surplus as many have claimed. I don't remember the weight but I think they were 147gr. These are also fmj round nosed bullets. These have a steel case and are not reloadable.

    Medium velocity round. They seem to be somewhat inconsistant in powder charge as they vary quite a bit from round to round. Not very accurate, probably for reason stated. Hard and inconsistant primers cause unaccpetable amount of "duds". I was getting 1-2% bad primers. The bullets are not crimped tightly (probably due to the steel case) which can cause catatrophic problems. They tend to move in or out of the case which can spike pressures to dangerous levels. I have never any problems caused by the steel case but I have heard that they can damage internal parts of your gun. This is also the most dirty round out of the 4, it can leave varnish on the internal parts of your gun that is a pain to clean off.

    Verdict, Don't buy. This ammo is not cheap enough to warrent the problems is has and there are better choices for the same or less money.

    Sellier & Bellot,
    Price: $5.19 a 50 round box plus shipping (Natchez). Made in the Czech Republic. Medium velocity 115gr FMJ round nose bullet. Brass reloadable case. They claim these have oil proof primers and they are painted or sealed with a red sustance.

    In my experience, these haven't been as accurate as either the Blazers or the Winchester ammo but I have not done as much shooting with these as the other 3 type listed. I found one cartridge with the bullet seated about 1cm too far done in the case. This alarmed me and I have checked all my S&B ammo for this problem since. I don't think it is a common problem but I felt it important enough to mention it. They have been 100% reliable in every gun I have shot and they seem to be a good general purpose target/plinking round.

    Verdict: Buy it. If you reload or even if you don't this is decent ammo for the money.

    Winchester White Box,
    Price: $10.96 for a box of 100 plus tax at Wal-Mart ($5.48 per 50). 115gr FMJ round nose bullet. Brass cased and reloadable. Medium velocity.

    This ammo seem to be the second most accurate after the Blazer but it is very close. It has never shown any inconsistancy that I can detect and it has been 100% reliable in all of my guns over a long period of time and many rounds. This is my favorite ammo and it has the added bonus of being reloadable and convinent to buy. I have never had a single problem with this ammo and think it is a deal at less than $6 a box.

    Verdict: Best Buy. With all the benifits of this ammo, I wonder how long it will be until Wal-Mart decides to raise the price. :rolleyes:

    Well there it is, my humble attempt at a ammo report. If anyone has corrections to add, feel free. I hope this helps out someone.
     
  2. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    No experience w/ the S&B. HATE the Wolf, don't buy it in any caliber, the Blazers are ok, but dirty. I've been shooting the Winchester while box specials from Wally World for a little over a year. Not as dirty as CCI and pretty consistent from box to box & round to round. I've been happy w/ the 3000 I've gone through so far.
     
  3. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks! I agree with the evaluations on the Winchester white box. I aalso like S&B and PMP. However, those two used to be sold in bulk at gunshows here, but we haven't had any vendors lately. Once you start looking at shipping, the winchester really looks good.
     
  4. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Winchester and S&B user here too. No complaints about either.
     
  5. FPrice

    FPrice Member

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    Winchester White Box...

    Since I discovered this at Wally World it has become my preferred 9mm practise ammo. It is plenty accurate out of my Glocks and seems to be clean as well. Also cheaper than anything else I have seen.
     
  6. Swamp Yankee

    Swamp Yankee Member

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    No issues with Winchester White Box or the S&B ammo. I like the WWB better because I reload. The primer pockets on the S&B seem tight making primer seating more difficult than it needs to be.
    Take Care
     
  7. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    Sounds like the same stuff I would say about my 9mm ammo usage, nice little run down of the stuff!

    Though I do make exceptions for Wolf for the SKS, Mosin Nagant, and my Makarov. After the split case in a .40 caliber round, haven't wanted to use much else, especially with other options around. But for the three above, Wolf has really been all that has been available for cheap.
     
  8. Beorn

    Beorn Member

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    I started buying the WWB after 10-ring recommended it.

    Great stuff, and doesn't smell too bad, doesn't smoke too much, doesn't foul the barrel all that much.

    I wanted to write that because others listed those reasons as to why they wouldn't use it.

    Oh, and it meets the IDPA power floor as well. Always good to know (115 grains times 1190 feet per second muzzle velocity equals 136,850 [above the 125,000 minimum by a rather decent margin]).:D
     
  9. Gerald McDonald

    Gerald McDonald Member

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    I shoot Winchester white box in 9mm and S&B in 45. I bought some Winchester Range ammo. 500 round case, no white box just 50 round styrofoam pack with no external card board cover. The worst ammo I have ever used. Some rounds were so underpowered they would not cycle the slide of my Glock 34 or BHP, A Ruger P95 and H&K USP were the only autos I had that would cycle with it. Some rounds would go off like a stick of dynamite and the next might just go pop. Winchester WR9 was the label on the box.
    Gerald
     
  10. firestar

    firestar member

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    Beorn,
    Thanks for posting the velocities. I was wondering about them. Does anyone know the velocities and energy of the other three? I want this thread to be THE source of info on cheap 9mm.

    If anyone has other details to add, feel free to add them. We are building a great site here and I want to put some useful info here for others to use. I never claimed to be an expert on anything but I feel it is O.K. to list things I have some experience with.

    This board and TFL and other web sites have given me so much useful info that would otherwise have taken me much longer to learn. It is great to be able to benift from other people's experience.
     
  11. Beorn

    Beorn Member

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    It's not a problem Firestar. I have learned so much from this site, I couldn't ever repay these fine individuals...

    Okay, so...

    CCI Blazer Ammunition-
    115 grains at 1145 feet per second equals 131,675 power floor

    Sellier & Bellot Ammunition-
    115 grains at 1280 feet per second equals 147,200 power floor

    Wolf Brand Ammunition-
    115 grains at 1150 feet per second equals 132,250 power floor

    All are FMJ projectiles. Sellier seems to have the most velocity, but the winchester (see previous post) works more than adequately.

    I haven't fired the Wolf Brand personally, but then again, I love my G17 and prefer winchester; a name I've known since I was a young boy.:D
     
  12. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Fiocchi is really good stuff. Same price as S&B and loaded hotter, to European specs.
     
  13. JPoe

    JPoe Member

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    Speaking of Winchester white box... and this is borderline silly, but I'll ask anyway out of curiosity. I just bought some Winchester white box at Wal-Mart in the 100-round value packs. I compared them to a box of the exact same stuff that I bought a couple of days earlier at another Wal-Mart that came in a 50-round box (styrofoam brick) - and the bullets look different. The value-pack bullets have more of a brass finish to them - almost exactly the same color as the brass cartridge case. The bullets that came in the 50-round box have a distinctly copper color to them. Both boxes say "9mm LUGER 115 GR. FULL METAL JACKET TARGET/RANGE". Is there any difference at all betweeen the two? Why the different color metal jackets?

    Again, just curious...
     
  14. Steelharp

    Steelharp Member

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    Just to help save more loot... if you have an Academy Sports and Outdoor near you, the CCI is only 3.99 a box there...

    Mikey D...
     
  15. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    JPoe, I think I read somewhere in the forum about the 100 round pack being brass encased bullets being used. Hence the same color as the case. Must cost less than the normal FMJ...
     
  16. arinvolvo

    arinvolvo Member

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    both my brother and I shoot nothing but WWB through our steyr m9 and m40....we have both had excellent results, accurate, reliable, and not too dirty. An excellent range round.
     
  17. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Winchester White boxes at Wally World goes like hot cakes on a Sunday morning in Tucson. Almost need to know when its due for delivery in order to get some. When they do have it in stock I buy several boxes.
     
  18. boing

    boing Member

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    I use the 100 round white-box stuff almost exclusively, and it's generally quite fine, IME.

    But...it has been known to cause extraction problems in some guns that otherwise run fine with different ammo. I've seen this myself with my CZ75B. My CZ has a questionable extractor/spring already, but the problem is much more frequent with the white box loads.

    My Kel-Tec had one FTEx with the white-box, possibly exacerbated by a filthy extractor mechanism.

    My Glock and Sig gobble it right up. Very robust designs.

    It has been posted on some of the boards that Winchester has some oddball dimensional specs in the rim/web area on the 9mm, but I haven't checked that myself.
     
  19. mini14jac

    mini14jac Member

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    I used to always buy 9mm by the thousand.
    Once I found the Win. at Walmart, I quit buying bulk.
    Even Wolf, after shipping, costs about the same as the Winchester.

    My Ruger and Kahr seem to love Winchester!
     
  20. emc

    emc Member

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    In my Springfield XD9, the Blazer 115gr FMJ will produce 1.9 inch five shot groups at 27 yards. That same ammo won't even keep all five rounds ON THE PAPER (10.5 inch x 12 inch NRA slow fire pistol target) with my Kel-Tec P11 at the same distance. In speaking with Kel-Tec about this, they emphatically do NOT recommend Blazer in the P11, interestingly enough.

    FWIW,

    emc
     
  21. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    I shoot a lot of the Winchester Walmart packs, never had a problem with it. I did once see someone's chronograph data on it though, and it was extremely inconsistent. Anyone up for chrono'ing 30 rounds (for a statistically sound sample) and reporting both the raw data and basic stats?
     
  22. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    I've had really good luck with the S&B stuff. Shot alot of it and it was quite accurate at 25 yards from a SIG P210. But of course, what isn't? :D
     
  23. Minute_Of_Torso

    Minute_Of_Torso Member

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    Thanks for the info! I was looking for some report on Wolf that wasn't in the ranks of, "It sucks!" Now I know why to avoid it.

    I've been shooting WWB for a couple of years now and I wholeheartedly recommend it whenever I'm asked. Just started using CCI/Blazer in .45 - it is dirty but I did find it to be very accurate.
     
  24. Tropical Z

    Tropical Z Member

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    I disagree on Winchester white box.Ive found it to be VERY inconsistent,and if im going to get a stovepipe its ALWAYS using WWB.I still buy it for plinking however.I have no issues with S&B,CCI or Wolf.They have NEVER failed me.
     
  25. boing

    boing Member

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