General

Ammunition Selection

It will be much more difficult to meet my goals without good ammunition. To date, I’ve done the same thing that most gun owners do: buy whats cheap and available. I do this within reason, of course, as I’ve never trusted Wolf or other super cheap Russian ammunition. The last trip to the range was with a box of Magetch CBC 62gr FMJ. I have an ammo box full of Lake City M855 beyond that. But the only really accurate ammo I have the AR is a box of Hornady 75gr TAP and SSA 77gr SMK that I kept for ‘special purposes.’

Ascalon is chambered to work best with Black Hills 77gr SMK 5.56. But having done enough reading on ballistics, I think the added expense of 77gr SMK will benefit me in any way at the ranges I am practicing. Others have recommended I look at the 69gr SMK, or even Hornady AMAX loads. But I am having difficulty finding any of those in stock.

The goal has to be consistency, so I’m thinking I may just have to get a few boxes of Black Hills 77gr SMK and go from there, even if I can’t take advantage of the range benefits of the round.

With .308, I’m pretty set on using Federal’s GMM 168 gr SMK load. But finding one in stock seems to be the trick. I will have to keep searching, I suppose.

This would likely all get a lot easier whenever I get around to reloading. I’ve been collecting my brass for two years, but just haven’t had the time or resources to commit to getting a reloading set up.

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3 thoughts on “Ammunition Selection”

  1. How does the M855 shoot for you? I’m hoping that M193 will be adequate for most of my training needs with my AR. That stuff, certain lots of it anyway, offers surprising precision for what it is.

    If you’ve been saving brass, I recommend reloading.

    1. Honestly, I’ve never tested the M855 for accuracy. It was bought more for ‘run-n-gun’ shooting. But now I’m down to the last of it, and it’s kept around as more of a “just in case” stash.

      After my last outing with the Magtech, though, I do have some concerns about the gun itself. I also recently had the muzzle device swapped, and I’m wondering if maybe there is a problem there. I still don’t think I should be getting 3″ groups at 50 yards with any ammo when going from a bipod in the prone.

      I fully plan on reloading, and probably within the next year. A few other projects are still on the table that need to be finished.

  2. 1. Do not bother with A-Max loads. The hornaady bullet, while accurate, is finicky. it can be a very accurate bullet when one handloads it and can adjust seating depth. The Amax is a pain to get to shoot to its best unless you play with seating dept. Factory ammo can not be adjusted to your rifle, so the Amax in my opinion and 18 years of experience, is not a good bullet to use in a factory load, or even a handload. the chances of it matching your gun is low
    2.do not waste time with the 69 grain bullet in any of its incarnations
    3. ABSOLUTELY do not waste time and money on the 168 grain gold medal. it is a accurate round for the 308… for shorter ranges. the standard round is the 175 grain sierra in federal or black hills etc. The performance advantage of the 175 over the 168 is so great, that there is not reason to use the 168. There is a long myth that the 168 is some kinda super duper standard sniper and target load, but that is simply not true. when the M852 round ( the lake city target load with the 168 made for the AMU and USMC rifle teams) was made before the advent of the 175 grain bullet and its rise. No military unit uses the 175 nor does any of high power shooter in service rifle etc use it anymore. The 168 still holds some kinda sway over people who just dont know any better, or for people who do not shoot past 600 yards. The 168 WILL NOT stay super sonic to 1,000 yards. The 175 will. Use the 77 and 175 and practice even at ranges you feel are to short. this will allow you to become familiar with its characteristics. both are very accurate at shorter ranges as well. ie 100 yards, 200 etc. people who say they dont shoot as good close are using a barrel or twist that iwll not handle them and they are seeing the bullet not stabilizing until around 200 or further, its not the rounds, its the barrels not up to snuff. A proper twist and barrel will shoot just as tight at 100 with the 77/175 as a 53 grain HP match flat base at 100 yards when using the right gear. 1/7 is best, or a 1/8 for the 556 and a 1/12 will handle a 175 grain bullet. .

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