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View Full Version : Proper .223 Ammo for AR-15s


LesGrossman41510
07-06-2009, 1:48 AM
Hey i have a Stag AR-15, i think model 2, on order and i should be getting it in a few weeks. In anticipation, i went to a local gun show and bought a bunch of ten rounders and 100 rounds of .223 bullets. I was talking to the guy selling me the AR15 and he was saying to only shoot brass through it, and that certain ammo can mess up my rifle and help cause jams.

I have done a little searching and know to stay away from "Wolf" ammo for good. But i am still concerned about the ammo i just bought, I paid 34 bucks for 100 rounds, and it seemed like a good deal.


I am pretty sure the ammo i bought are reloads. They were sold in plastic bags at the gun show, not boxes. On the bag it says ".223 Remington, 50grain, S.P" I guess SP means Soft point?

On the casings the back says REM 223 RP
The bullets themselves are cinnamon copper with dark dulled tips.
They overall look very clean and good, but kinda cheap IMO.

What are some solid reliable .223 brands, that wont break the bank. I see nice blue tipped .223 Fiocchi rounds that cost a buck a pop, and i also see PMC that is like .50 cents a pop.

Arteel
07-06-2009, 2:08 AM
Just curious, during your little research, what made you come to the conclusion to stay away from Wolf for good?

Few things I noticed when using Wolf were the inaccuracy, a bit dirtier, and the smell. But hey, I can't really complain for paying .34 a round.

railroader
07-06-2009, 4:23 AM
On wolf ammo try it 1st before you rule it out. Both my ar's run fine with it. It's not the most accurate ammo but it works in my rifles. Mark

dan12580
07-06-2009, 5:02 AM
about 25 rounds into my range session on friday a wolf shell casing became lodged in the chamber with about half of a centimeter poking out. it dimpled so i have to assume it fired but it still sucks. but like a previous poster mentioned at .30 to .35 cents a round- id be lying if i said i was done with it. 400 or so rounds with this being the only jam. just make sure the gun says 556 or multi before you shoot 556 out of it. its a stag and i beleive they are chambered for both. otherwise make sure you stick to .223.

BroncoBob
07-06-2009, 5:28 AM
Nothing wrong with Wolf ammo. All my AR's run fine with it, you just have to clean a little bit more.

just make sure the gun says 556 or multi before you shoot 556 out of it. its a stag and i beleive they are chambered for both. otherwise make sure you stick to .223
Barrels don't come marked "Multi" they are marked with the caliber. You can shoot 223 from a barrels marked 223 or 556. You can not shoot 556 in any barrel marked 223 due to pressure range.

Darklyte27
07-06-2009, 5:49 AM
dirtier ammo = possible jamming sooner.
Some people shoot 5k, 10k + rds and never clean their AR's and never jam.

As for the ammo, 50 gr soft point is a interesting load.
Most people use 55 gr FMJ, M193.

right now this is a good deal,

http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php/pName/1000rds-223-centurion-military-contract-55gr-fmj-ammo/cName/223-556-fmj-ammo

ZombieKiller
07-06-2009, 6:05 AM
I would not shoot reloads from am unknown source......

unclejesse
07-06-2009, 6:12 AM
nothing wrong with shooting WOLF

Omega13device
07-06-2009, 6:31 AM
Welcome to the world of ARs!

There's lots of quality ammo to be had online for reasonable money. Prvi Partizan and Centurion can be found online for less than $400 delivered. There's a good thread on ammo availability at

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=429197

Go to the last page for the most recent deals.

For future reference:

Bullet
http://www.midwayusa.com/mediasvr.dll/image?saleitemid=490923

Cartridge
http://ammoman.com/bbul_rif_223rem.jpg

5hundo
07-06-2009, 7:14 AM
Shoot wolf ammo if you like stuck cases, misfeeds and varnish buildup in your chamber... :rolleyes:

I'll shoot Wolf in my BWK but not my AR...

sholling
07-06-2009, 7:26 AM
I'd look online. You can some times find Centurion XM193 online for under $375/1000. That's reloadable brass cased mil-spec ammo. Lately I've seen 1000rd cases of Federal Lake City XM193 for under $450. That's the really good stuff.

gn3hz3ku1*
07-06-2009, 7:54 AM
if your AR can not shot wolf there is something wrong with your STAG. btw do a search on this.. this is a dead horse that has been dug up and beat about 100x

reidnez
07-06-2009, 8:36 AM
If you want so spend lots of money on ammo, more power to you...it leaves more of the cheap stuff for me.

There are only two kinds of ammo I categorically stay away from: lacquered steel, and reloads from an untrusted source. Those reloads might be fine, they might be unreliable, they might BLOW UP.

Even lacquered steel (identified by brown cases) will usually function OK, it just requires some extra TLC when cleaning your chamber. The only reason I stay away from it is that you can usually find polymer-coated (dull grey) or zinc-coated (bright silver) for about the same price, and those don't have the chamber-gunking tendency of the lacquered stuff. I've shot plenty of Wolf, silver bear, milsurp from all kinds of countries in a variety of weapons including AR15's, and it's all been fine.

ripcurlksm
07-06-2009, 8:45 AM
.34 is good

try wolf, if you dont reload and it works in your ar, its great

rumblebee
07-06-2009, 8:46 AM
If Wolf works in your AR, use it. I have read\been told to shoot it after you break in your new AR (after 500 rds or so of brass).

For me...tried Wolf two times....two times my AR jammed with stuck casing. This was after shooting 500 rds of brass even. I won't shoot it anymore.

Centurian...$389.00 for 1k shipped to you. Shoots great! :cool:

L8Apex619
07-06-2009, 9:16 AM
OP...

There are a lot of variables to be considered:

1) What's the primary purpose/function of the ammo? Plinking? HD? Serious target shooting?

2) Do you plan to reload?

3) What's the twist rate of your barrel?

4) How important is accuracy - i.e., are you looking for MOA (minute of angle) accuracy or will MOG (minute of grapefruit) suffice?

5) Is your rifle spec'd for just .223, or can it eat 5.56 as well?

The answer to these questions will go a long way towards determining what ammo you are in the market for...

For fecal 'n funnies, the Centurian mentioned elsewhere in the thread is about as good a deal as you'll find in bulk.

But before buying 500 or 1,000 rounds of rock 'n roll, you might want to test to see what ammo your rifle prefers... For instance, if your rifle has a 1:9 twist, it should happily digest and spit out anything from 40-45 grain to 64-69 grain boolits with aplomb. There are umpteen cartridges available within this range. You will find your particular rifle (not your type, make, and model, but your particular rifle) will prefer one or two over the others. Try a box of each. :)

You see Wolf mentioned here in the thread. Unlike almost all .223/5.56 cartridges on the market - which are brass-cased - Wolf is steel cased - and lacquered. Steel is stronger than brass, and therefore harder on your extractor. While this in itself may be a negligible issue, it does translate to a greater degree of wear and tear... just because I can safely redline my car's engine doesn't mean I like should bang it off the rev limiter with every gear change... ;)

The lacquer presents another issue, for as the chamber heats up with repeated fire, the lacquer may start to transfer, creating tighter tolerances and increasing the likelihood of a jam.

For HD rounds, there are lighter-grain jhp's out there, and a range of sp's - primarily in the 50-grain to 64-grain range. In fact, the only thing you'll find in greater abundance than ammo is the online literature discussing it! And while procuring ammo cost money, reading other people's experiences and reviews is absolutely free. ;) With this in mind, almost all ammo sold by MidwayUSA has at least a few reviews worth reading...

Have fun and safe shooting!

bootcamp
07-06-2009, 10:23 AM
I have a Stag and have shot 600+ rounds of wolf through it just fine. Clean it well after each range session but don't, please don't baby the dang thing. It's a battle quality rifle. Not some make-up dolled safe queen.

The main part to clean is the chamber where the cartridge sits when it's being fired. Next would be the BCG. Those the biggest parts to clean.

Again and I can't stress this enough, don't baby it.

gn3hz3ku1*
07-06-2009, 10:25 AM
If you want so spend lots of money on ammo, more power to you...it leaves more of the cheap stuff for me.


+1

wolf sucks ;)

TZL
07-06-2009, 10:42 AM
Its harder to find, but I like silver bear

Its zinc coated steel cases, not polymer or lacquer like other russian ammo

I find it cleaner than other steel ammo as a well

The bullets have a thin steel jacket, so they will attract a magnet, but they are not metal core, most shooting ranges know this and will let it pass as non-steel ammo

Silver bear is less common than wolf or brown bear, but its good stuff.

LesGrossman41510
07-06-2009, 11:19 AM
thanks for all the response. The reason i want to stay away from Wolf is many of the reasons that were reiterated here. Many cal gunners report jams, misfires, and on top of that the extra wear and tear on the gun.

i am also sort of concerned about the reloads i bought, maybe i should just keep these as back up ammo and buy another few boxes of better ammo to break in the stag with. its already had about 200 rounds through it though.

i would like to stay with brass cartridges, maybe 55 grain and up. I do not plan on making reloads, and the Stag is mostly going to be used as a range toy, so ideally id like MOA, but MOG would most like suffice. I will be shooting at between 100-300 yards tops.

once again thanks for all the responses, i am aware this topic has been discussed over and over but i couldnt seem to find a thread on it.

L8Apex619
07-06-2009, 11:49 AM
Les - if you don't mind the extra couple $$, give some JHPBT a go - these are hollow-point boat tails that tend to be very accurate due to the weight distribution inherent to their design. Sierra makes one such match-grade bullet in 52-grain that is used in Black Hills' factory loads.

Super Spy
07-06-2009, 12:08 PM
Good luck with the new AR. I just built one a few months ago. I bought 500 rounds of cheap crap 223 at a gun show and have had no problems at all with it. I don't have enough experience with the gun and different ammo types to make any kind of accuracy comparison, but from what I've seen so far plenty accurate enough to get the job done. I just ordered a smorgasbord of ammo to try out including the cheapest Wolf I could find and some better quality 5.56 M855 SS109 to see what differences I can perceive.

BTW anybody know of a Bay Area range where I can shoot at night, that doesn't care about tracers?

elSquid
07-06-2009, 12:08 PM
I would not shoot reloads from am unknown source......

Exactly. The OP should be far more concerned about those than the Wolf.

Shooting mystery reloads is just asking for trouble.

-- Michael

elSquid
07-06-2009, 12:17 PM
BTW anybody know of a Bay Area range where I can shoot at night, that doesn't care about tracers?

I wouldn't buy tracer ammunition if I were you.

California Penal Code Section 12301

(a) The term "destructive device," as used in this chapter,
shall include any of the following weapons:
(1) Any projectile containing any explosive or incendiary material
or any other chemical substance, including, but not limited to, that
which is commonly known as tracer or incendiary ammunition, except
tracer ammunition manufactured for use in shotguns.

-- Michael

Scratch705
07-06-2009, 12:20 PM
if you are unsure about the reloads you bought.... maybe find a reloader in your area that can take them apart and reload them to assure safe firing?

or is that not possible?

Super Spy
07-06-2009, 3:07 PM
so little 223 tracers are illegal but if I buy it for a 12 gauge...it's legal?

LesGrossman41510
07-06-2009, 3:43 PM
Les - if you don't mind the extra couple $$, give some JHPBT a go - these are hollow-point boat tails that tend to be very accurate due to the weight distribution inherent to their design. Sierra makes one such match-grade bullet in 52-grain that is used in Black Hills' factory loads.

For sure man, thanks. ANother thing i wanted to add though is that my normal range doesnt allow FMJ, because there is an airport nearby and they are paranoid about it piercing the walls.

I dont think the reloads i bought are bad quality, the guy selling the ammo had a huge table including new bullets. He was selling big cases of 1000 that were packaged in those dark green ammo containers the military uses. I saw other gunners walking out with 2 or 3 of those containers.

But in the future, i will stay away from reloads.

BlackDrop50
07-06-2009, 5:19 PM
Ammunitiontogo.com or the gun show coming up

go to Chabot, don't go to San Leandro

GM_77
07-06-2009, 5:31 PM
If you have a buddy that reloads do not shoot wolf. Anything else, he will help you pick up the brass :D

THT
07-06-2009, 5:33 PM
As long as you don't mind a thorough cleaning, Wolf should be fine for plinking.

Jonathan Doe
07-06-2009, 5:34 PM
I just use factory Remington or Federal 55 grain SP in my AR's. Also, I reload 223 with bullets from 53 grains to 82 grains for different barrels.

COWBOYS!
07-06-2009, 5:38 PM
Thanks for the tip on that website Blackdrop50......good prices and am placing an order.......

KaTooM
07-06-2009, 5:54 PM
I Have shot Wolf in my AR with no problems, I would stay away from steel core ammo, most ranges in CA will not allow it. You can check it with a magnet(if it sticks its steel core)

I have been buying PMC 55gr 1200 rounds with two ammo cans from Cabela's. $499.00

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?id=0057341217025a&navCount=1&podId=0057341&parentId=cat20839&masterpathid=&navAction=jump&cmCat=MainCatcat20712-cat20839&catalogCode=2UG&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20839&hasJS=true

DarkHorse
07-06-2009, 7:35 PM
PMC 55gr. is pretty good stuff.

Prvi Partizan 62 gr. also worked well in my mid-length, but the PMC groups were tighter. I wasn't expecting that, but you have to be prepared for anything. Every rifle is different.

As folks have said, try buying small batches of various ammo brands/weights to see what your rifle likes best.

I've never shot Wolf, but I would if I had some.

...Barrels don't come marked "Multi" they are marked with the caliber. You can shoot 223 from a barrels marked 223 or 556. You should not shoot 556 in any barrel marked 223 due to pressure range.

Fixed. 5.56 NATO will fit into a .223 Remington chamber, but it is not safe to fire this combination of round and chamber, due to your reason of higher pressures. I know it's nit-picking, but we might as well teach this person the internet-truth, the whole-internet-truth, and nothing but the internet-truth, so help us Magnum P.I.

Freagan
07-06-2009, 7:41 PM
While we are on the subject of ammo, would 45gr be alright out of a 1:7 twist? or would it just rip itself apart?

NRAhighpowershooter
07-06-2009, 7:43 PM
While we are on the subject of ammo, would 45gr be alright out of a 1:7 twist? or would it just rip itself apart?

my bet would be the 45gr bullet would go 'POOF' sometime quickly upon exiting the barrel.....

sholling
07-06-2009, 7:48 PM
PMC 55gr. is pretty good stuff.

Prvi Partizan 62 gr. also worked well in my mid-length, but the PMC groups were tighter. I wasn't expecting that, but you have to be prepared for anything. Every rifle is different.

PMC amazes me. For such a low buck ammo with an el cheapo reputation it does remarkably good in some rifles. I've seen one rifle that shot PMC better that so-called match ammo.

DarkHorse
07-06-2009, 7:54 PM
While we are on the subject of ammo, would 45gr be alright out of a 1:7 twist? or would it just rip itself apart?

my bet would be the 45gr bullet would go 'POOF' sometime quickly upon exiting the barrel.....

If it's a factory load, it might fire normally, as the factory loads tend to be moderatly loaded.

In hand loads designed to reach out and touch a varmint, forget it. At 3000 fps in a 1:7 barrel, that bullet, designed with a thin jacket to explode upon impact, is rotating nearly 310,000 rpm, vs. out of a 1:12 barrel it would be only 180,000 rpm.

You could shoot 45 gr. bullets at lower velocities, but what fun would that be?

Freagan
07-06-2009, 8:01 PM
If it's a factory load, it might fire normally, as the factory loads tend to be moderatly loaded.

In hand loads designed to reach out and touch a varmint, forget it. At 3000 fps in a 1:7 barrel, that bullet, designed with a thin jacket to explode upon impact, is rotating nearly 310,000 rpm, vs. out of a 1:12 barrel it would be only 180,000 rpm.

You could shoot 45 gr. bullets at lower velocities, but what fun would that be?


I ask because I picked up some 45gr WWB and Remington and completely thought it had said 55gr, and since you can't return ammo I don't know what I should do with it. I'll probably just sell it on here then.

gemini1
07-06-2009, 8:22 PM
My 16" BCM middy was finished a month ago and have shot about 360 rounds of Wolf in 62 gr HP and 55 gr FMJ I got from the last Cow Palace gun show and at AIM Surplus. Every round went bang with no problem. Have not tried brass rounds yet as I cant get a hold of any at a decent price.


In hand loads designed to reach out and touch a varmint, forget it. At 3000 fps in a 1:7 barrel, that bullet, designed with a thin jacket to explode upon impact, is rotating nearly 310,000 rpm, vs. out of a 1:12 barrel it would be only 180,000 rpm.

You could shoot 45 gr. bullets at lower velocities, but what fun would that be?


I've been saving 4 boxes of 45 gr Winchester I got from Walmart. Someone told me its a good HD round, being lower grain it may not over penetrate and hit somebody else. My 16" middy has 1:7 twist, you think it's not good for my rifle?

OutbreakPLZ
07-06-2009, 10:13 PM
i hope IM going to be able shoot wolf i dont mind cleaning, i DO mind spending money on ammo thats only to be lodged into a tree stump.

ro442173
07-06-2009, 10:47 PM
I shoot Prvi Partisan M193. I'm passed 1K and so far no FTF's plus I love the battle packs.

As some guys have said, don't rule out Wolf ammo without trying it first.

L8Apex619
07-07-2009, 9:02 AM
I've been saving 4 boxes of 45 gr Winchester I got from Walmart. Someone told me its a good HD round, being lower grain it may not over penetrate and hit somebody else. My 16" middy has 1:7 twist, you think it's not good for my rifle?


Winchester claims a MV of 3600 fps for this cartridge (USA2232).

That equates to a rotational velocity of more than 370,000 RPM - 6,171 revolutions per second - in a 1:7 twist (compared with the 288,000 RPM produced by a 1:9 twist)...

Does that produce enough centrifugal force to overcome the tensile strength of this particular bullet? That's the question that needs to be answered to address your concern. ;)

DarkHorse
07-07-2009, 5:31 PM
...I've been saving 4 boxes of 45 gr Winchester I got from Walmart. Someone told me its a good HD round, being lower grain it may not over penetrate and hit somebody else. My 16" middy has 1:7 twist, you think it's not good for my rifle?

Personally, I would shoot a few rounds and see. I don't see how it would damage the rifle, but if it does, no hablo nada.

Shoot at a target about 15 yards away. If you see a perfectly round hole, it'd probably be OK. If you get a pattern that resembles .410 birdshot, try something else.

With a MV of 3600, referencing L8Apex619's post, that seems an awfully bit high to use in a 1:7. I know I shot some Remington 45 gr. JHP out of my Min-14, with 1:10, and that worked well.

Also, do some sort of ballistic test to see what kind of HD round it will be. Don't rely on hearsay. I think you might be disappointed, as I would expect very poor penetration from such a round. Remember, varmint rounds like that are designed to fragment at very high velocities and blow up itty-bitty critters, not punch through the muscle and bone (and possibly lard) or would-be attackers. Try it and see, and let us all know. It'll still be hearsay, but at least from somebody who's been there and done that.

LesGrossman41510
07-07-2009, 5:37 PM
I Have shot Wolf in my AR with no problems, I would stay away from steel core ammo, most ranges in CA will not allow it. You can check it with a magnet(if it sticks its steel core)

I have been buying PMC 55gr 1200 rounds with two ammo cans from Cabela's. $499.00

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?id=0057341217025a&navCount=1&podId=0057341&parentId=cat20839&masterpathid=&navAction=jump&cmCat=MainCatcat20712-cat20839&catalogCode=2UG&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20839&hasJS=true

I liked the prices i have been seeing on PMC, i might go with this.

COWBOYS!
07-07-2009, 7:06 PM
This past weekend shot approx 200 rounds of wolf through my AR without a single issue.....for just plinkin up in the hills its awesome....I'm thrilled my AR likes it.......my buddies hated it.....Just cant beat the price...