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interesting - more expensive ammunition is more accurate?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by roscoe, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    I was sighting in my 14 yo daughter's CZ 572 (for the second time - she did it once, but I wanted to be sure). I was using cheap 55-grain 'American Eagle' FMJ and the shots were OK, but not really as precise as I like. Since this is for a deer, once I was close, I started sighting in with the actual hunting ammunition - 64 grain Winchester 'Super-X Powerpoint'. The groups literally shrank to a third the size of the 55-grain groups.

    This was kind of eye-opening. I had just had assumed the 55-grain ammo would group just as well; in fact the 'PowerPoint' tip is exposed lead, and not as regular as the FMJ, so I thought it might not spin as evenly. In the event, that was definitely NOT the case. Anyway, lesson learned.
     
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  2. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    Not to detour you. Make sure the deer is down. I tried that 64gn power point on deer 3 separate times and it did not perform well. Believe it or not it's too hard. Very little expansion or vital damage.
     
  3. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I tried some of that American Eagle 55gr FMJ in a known shooter AR last weekend and was surprised by just how awful it was.

    Same rifle, same day:
    IMG_20181107_232749909.jpg IMG_20181107_232820325.jpg

    The AE load seems particularly bad, but I certainly don't think it's reasonable to expect the same accuracy from range-blaster ammo as you would get from hunting or match ammo that was more carefully assembled, from higher quality components.
     
  4. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

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    Does projectile weight vs barrel twist rate play a part here?
     
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  5. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Interesting - do you have an alternative recommenation?
     
  6. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    I would have thought, if that were the case, I would have had more trouble with the heavier slug. But I honestly don't know.
     
  7. HB

    HB Member

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    FMJ bullets are pretty crappy
     
  8. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    Interesting. My AR seemed to like American Eagle (shot noticeably than Tula and Federal M193), so I went ahead and bought 500 rounds of it. You guys are making me want to buy a box of the primo stuff and see what the rifle can really do.
     
  9. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    all guns are different even the same make and model. each gun ill like different ammo some light some heavy. there are to many differences to list, i had a mauser in 280 most ammo was just over a inch but one day i shot some cheap core lokes to use the brass and had many groups in the 1/4 moa range.
     
  10. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    That is a pretty decent group from the AE Full Metals. Hornady makes a very accurate fifty five grain, for a full metal jacket bullet. Still, literally every single soft point or open tip match bullet I have tried has outperformed it.
    By a wide margin. (By a narrow margin, maybe? They were closer...)

    FMJ does not equal MOA. For the most part...:)
     
  11. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    First, every rifle is a law unto itself. You never know what ammo it's going to like until you try it.

    Second, expensive ammo isn't always more accurate, but accurate ammo tends to be more expensive.
     
  12. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    Basically, as has already been said, 55gr FMJ bullets aren't intended for precision work, and tend to vary wildly in their consistency. I've fired some bulk-pack Federal .223 55gr FMJ ammo in my Colt 6920 that was absolutely horrible. As in, I thought I'd forgotten how to shoot, that I had a bad barrel, or aliens and the Bermuda Triangle were involved, HORRIBLE! Luckily I had some 69gr BTHP match reloads with me that day. Turns out the chrome-lined Colt 1-7" twist barrel will actually shoot pretty well.

    To be 100% honest, I think the issue of projectile weight versus barrel twist isn't as big of a factor as some folks want to believe it is. Within reason of course; you'll never get a 77gr .224" match bullet to shoot well with a 1-9" or slower twist .223, and if you try hard enough you can spin apart little 40gr .22 Hornet bullets with a 1-7" twist .223. But you can't blame poor accuracy of 55gr FMJ bullets on a "too fast" 1-8", 1-7", or even 1-9" twist barrel. It's the bullets' fault, they really are that inconsistent. (The 62gr steel-tipped SS109/M855 bullets are worse due to their 3-piece design.) My Colt, with it's government profile, non-free-floated, chrome-lined, 5.56-chambered, 1-7" twist barrel, will shoot under 2-MOA for 10-shots with one lot of Independence (IMI) XM193 55gr FMJ I have. It will also go down to about 1.5-MOA for 10-shots just by subbing in any 69, 75 or 77 grain .223 match ammo. But it wouldn't hold a 6" target at 100 yards with that box or two of Federal 55gr FMJ ammo I mentioned at the top of this post.

    I've also gotten really good accuracy with little 52gr Hornady and Nosler .224" BTHP match bullets in my 20" AR-15 Service Rifle, which wears a 1-7" twist stainless steel Wilson barrel with .223 Wylde chamber. And it will ALSO shoot horribly with the right lots of 55gr FMJ bullets.

    To summarize: more expensive bullets/ammo tends to shoot better in my experience, though not 100% guaranteed.
     
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  13. 94045

    94045 Member

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    I'm not familiar with the CZ 572 but if the barrel is under 20" the Speer 75 Grain Gold. Dot may be an option if it will stabilize. Speer warns it may have inadequate penetration in barrels 20" or longer. In a 16.0" barrel.it penetrated about 16.5" in the gel test I saw.

    Friend"s daughter killed her first deer with a. front quarterng shot last year. The Gold Dot broke .down the front shoulder and was found under the skin over the ribs on the far side.. Absolutely beautiful classic mushroom. She was shooting .an. AR15 SPR with a 18" Barrel and 1 in. 7"" Twist..

    If the model was a typo and it's a CZ 527 Youth Carbine with an 18.5" barrel I think they are 1 in 7 and you would have to try it to see if it stabilized.
     
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  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    You have it backwards. Accurate ammo is more expensive (usually). Its mostly a matter of quality of components and quality control in the loading/reloading process. Another factor in play is what a particular rifle "likes". You don't know if you don't try.
     
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  15. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    Sometimes the more expensive load is more accurate, but as a couple have stated above, every rifle is different. Yours seems to have an affinity for the Winchester 64 load, so you've found a winner there. I would go back to the same store and buy what they have left, hopefully you get the same lot, as the next one might shoot all over the place as ammo makers routinely change powder blends, brass dimensions and other things that can change how your rifle shoots it.

    Sometimes, however, some really cheap ammo will surprise you. Just depends on what your rifle likes. This is generally independent of bullet style. The most accurate factory ammunition I ever fired was some PMC camo box 150 FMJ from my old .308. It was about the cheapest ammo around other than military surplus, and it shot bugholes. I've found most of the inexpensive ammunition from PRVI partisan to be remarkably accurate, at least equal to premium American factory loads. Perhaps look to one of their .223 loadings for inexpensive practice ammo. It is also available as NATO spec new stock "surplus", so make sure your rifle is rated for 5.56 NATO if using this stuff. The Winchester white box 62 gr I fired to make brass also did well for me, but that was in a 1:8 twist AR, so your results may (and likely will) vary.

    https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/76963 Give some of this a whirl for practice ammo. Should impact close to your Winchester 64s, and it should be very high quality ammo.

    Edit... just looked up your rifle. It is rated for 5.56 NATO spec ammo, and with it's 1:9 twist it should stabilize up to 70 gr bullets, possibly 75 grains, so you are good to go with just about anything out there. Look into some of the NATO spec surplus, it is usually made to pretty high standards, and some "match" loadings are available at value prices. When you start with a quality bullet like the Sierra SMK, your odds of good accuracy are better. Note these would be suitable for practice or varmints, not big game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  16. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Definitely take the time to find out which ammo your rifle prefers.

    Prime example for you:

    My Savage Model 12 (308) with bull barrel shoots Norma Tactical 150 Grn FMJ like a laser. The same ammo shot with my PSA PA10 patterns like a shotgun. Both rifles do fine with good 168Grn bullets.
     
  17. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    I find this topic (finding the right ammo) completely and utterly fascinating. It's what caused me to get into loading my own ammo and optimizing ammo for best results.

    The "what ammo your gun likes" phrase breaks down into all sorts of different issues. The actual bullet can make a big difference - depending on how far you're shooting. It's quite common for FMJ ammo to not perform too fantastically well out at 100 yds and definitely beyond. Bullet weight and barrel twist rate are obviously other important issues. Bullet shape makes a difference (boat tail vs not for example). The distance from the bullet to the rifling lands (can be different for each gun.....it's not standardized) is a factor. And the amount of powder is a factor. All of these interact with the gun's natural harmonics to determine how a given load will perform.

    It's amazing to me how a very small change in just the amount of powder used can make a very significant difference. In a .223, for example, depending on the powder being used the charge weight is typically in the 23-26 grain range. Changing a charge by just .3 grains (~1% of powder weight) can make a significant difference on the target. This is why it's such trial and error to find an ammo that performs well....and what performs well for one gun may be utter garbage for another.

    OR
     
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  18. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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  19. js8588

    js8588 Member

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    FWIW the CZ 527s In 223 all have a 1:9 twist.
     
  20. George P

    George P Member

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    Of course it does; these comparisons are apples to oranges. Compare top dollar ammo of the same weight and velocity and see how well it performs. It seems these ARs have barrels better suited to heavier bullets.
     
  21. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I don't think it's nearly as important as good quality vs junk ammo/components, as long as you have sufficient twist for the heaviest bullets you want to shoot. It was not at all difficult to find a 55gr load that shoots well in my 8 twist, and I've had a few different 7 twist ARs that did well with this ammo:

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/9...unition-223-remington-50-grain-tipped-varmint
     
  22. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    More important is bullet length and shape. Mass has little to do with it. A long light bullet needs a tighter twist to stabilize than a short heavy bullet. For example, a long light 22 caliber bullet will need a tighter twist than a short heavy 22 caliber bullet.
     
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  23. beeenbag
    • Contributing Member

    beeenbag Member

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    Wait what?

    Are you comparing monolithic bullets to standard here?

    Otherwise a longer bullet of the same diameter is going to be inherently heavier.
     
  24. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    An even bigger leap forward is to hand load your hunting ammo. You won’t want to go back to factory, at least not for hunting.
     
  25. HB

    HB Member

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    Some of 140gr HPBT 6.5mm target bullets are mostly hollow. Ogive varies as well.

    Different bearing surfaces vs different weight. Regardless each bullet and rifle is a rule unto its own.
     
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