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  #1  
Old 01-10-2011, 9:02 PM
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Default A (little) AR Ammo Test w/pics

Normally, I shoot 55 grain ammo. A few months ago, I purchased 1000 rnds of Fiocchi 62 grain .223 on sale. I thought a heavier bullet might perform a little better out of a 1:7 twist barrel. After shooting a few boxes, it seemed like my shooting was getting substantially worse. Initially I thought it was just me, so my ego prompted me to run a little experiment.

The Gear

All ammo was fired out of a KAC SR-15 upper, 16" 1:7 twist chrome-lined barrel. Optic used was an ACOG TR31H-G in a Larue mount. 4x magnification, horseshoe reticule with 2 MOA center dot.

The Ammo

Fiocchi 62 grain .223 FMJ boat tail


Federal XM193 55 grain 5.56 FMJ


Federal “Bulk” 100 pack 55 grain .223 FMJ


The Method

First off, I know this is by no means scientific. It was just a little impromptu experiment to satisfy my own curiosity. Distance to 5-circle target set at 100 yards. Forearm of the rifle supported on a couple of sandbags, elbows on the table. No lead sled, rifle rest, or clamps of any kind were used.

I took 20 rounds of each type of ammunition (total of 60 rounds) and divided each of the 20 round types into 5 round sets. I loaded 5 rounds of the Fiocchi, fired a 5 round group at target #1, then loaded 5 rounds of XM193, fired a 5 round group at target #2, then loaded 5 rounds of the Federal Bulk .223, and fired a 5 round group at target #3. I repeated this process 4 times until each target had 20 rounds of its assigned ammunition fired at it. I chose to do it this way instead of shooting all 20 of one type first, then all 20 of the next to minimize skewed results from the human factor (fatigue or sloppy-ness).

Continued next post.

Last edited by pipboy; 01-10-2011 at 9:48 PM..
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Old 01-10-2011, 9:04 PM
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The Results
(Sorry for the cell phone pics I didn’t have my camera with me at the range)



Well, the pictures say a lot. The Fiocchi ammunition grouped extremely poorly compared to the other two types of ammunition. This was both a surprise and a relief to me as I thought the heavier grain bullet would perform as well as if not better than the other two. Relief because it’s not my skill level that’s decreasing, and I can legitimately blame my crappy groups on the ammo now haha…


Federal XM193 5.56



We know it, we love it. Performed as expected (for my skill level anyway). Using a 2 MOA optic, the results were not that far off. The 1 round touching the outer edge of the top left of this target was actually a Fiocchi round meant for the other target above and to the left.

Federal Bulk .223 “Walmart Special”



Again, performance was fairly similar to the XM193, although with a little less punch.

Fiocchi 62 gr .223



Without a doubt the softest and smoothest shooting ammo of the 3 in this comparison. Lacks consistency and groups rather poorly even at only 100 yards. Group spread easily double that of the other two in comparison. Needless to say I will save the Fiocchi ammo for plinking cans and pinging steel plates. It’s not worth being used shooting “for groups” on paper.

It would have been nice to try even more of a variety including other brands of 62 grain ammunition, or even other popular plinking brands like PMC etc. But I will save that for another day and another post.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-10-2011, 9:41 PM
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Any velocity data?
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Old 01-10-2011, 9:44 PM
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Your phone's camera takes amazing pictures.
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Old 01-10-2011, 9:48 PM
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good luck hiting those cans
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Old 01-10-2011, 9:48 PM
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Default What was the size of the targets?

What size were those targets? I really can't tell how big the groups are so it is hard to know what is going on.
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Old 01-10-2011, 9:53 PM
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3rd Gear-Unfortunately no velocity data, I don't have a chronometer. I am curious about that too though.

Veggie-The ammo pics were from a real camera, the target pics were from my cell phone haha.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:32 PM
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dam the fiocchi did terrible lol
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:33 PM
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M193 5.56 seems like its hotter than Fiocchi .223. Probably because we all know that 5.56 is loaded to higher pressures. Maybe that's why 62gr .223 is shooting ****tier than M193? Try some green tip. I'd be curious to see if there's a difference with you because I feel like I shoot tighter groups with green tip out of my 1:7 when compared with M193. I was just talking about this with someone today as well.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:47 PM
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I was shooting 1/2 groups with green tip last weekend with a 1/7. I was blown away with the results.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:47 PM
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I can loan a 20 round box of .223 Tula 62gr FMJ if you wanna test that next
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Old 01-11-2011, 3:36 AM
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Old 01-11-2011, 5:19 AM
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I've never had good luck with ANY fiocchi ammo out my AR. The best I've had was from 62gr green-tip Prvi-Partizan. Usually get 3/4 inch to 1 inch 5-shot groupings at 100yds.
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Old 01-11-2011, 5:31 AM
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Fiocchi is notorious for lack of QC - it's good enough to get your barrel warm and get some trigger time in, but that's as far as I'd go with it.

Ideally, you'd want to test with some real M855 or equivalent to get an idea of what the 62 grain stuff would do through the Knight's.

Thanks for the post though, nothing tells the tale better than real world testing.
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Old 01-11-2011, 5:36 AM
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looks like the federal bulk did very well
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Old 01-11-2011, 7:05 AM
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That looks to be a 3-4" group(5-7" with the Fiocchi)? Correct me if I'm wrong.

That's pretty crappy...my standard CL barrel M1A with irons will hold 3 minutes with M80 ball off the sandbags. That is approaching if not at what that rifle and ammo combination can do. I'd expect much better than this with an AR, even with commercial/military ball ammo. How was the rifle rested? I don't shoot commercial ammo through my AR's so I guess this could be normal?

Try inserting an empty mag, locking the bolt back and dropping the rounds in the ejection port. Give the gun about 30 seconds between shots to allow a bit of cooling. Leave the bolt locked back after shots to allow airflow.

The Fiocchi group almost looks like the sights are coming loose...

Last edited by 17+1; 01-11-2011 at 7:11 AM..
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Old 01-11-2011, 7:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17+1 View Post
That looks to be a 3-4" group(5-7" with the Fiocchi)? Correct me if I'm wrong.

That's pretty crappy...my standard CL barrel M1A with irons will hold 3 minutes with M80 ball off the sandbags. That is approaching if not at what that rifle and ammo combination can do. I'd expect much better than this with an AR, even with commercial/military ball ammo. How was the rifle rested? I don't shoot commercial ammo through my AR's so I guess this could be normal?

Try inserting an empty mag, locking the bolt back and dropping the rounds in the ejection port. Give the gun about 30 seconds between shots to allow a bit of cooling. Leave the bolt locked back after shots to allow airflow.

The Fiocchi group almost looks like the sights are coming loose...

+1 on this

Plus Fiocchi has all ways given me poor results. But yes like this guy said you need to let the rifle cool all the way down between 5 shot groups and between individual shots.

This is good though that you are testing what your rifle likes.
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Old 01-11-2011, 7:24 AM
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Wally World Bulk Special FTW

Nice report btw
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Old 01-11-2011, 7:26 AM
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Good review
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Old 01-11-2011, 8:15 AM
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Default You need to start reloading.

You need to start reloading. My bulk 55gr plinking ammo ( 24.6 gr of X-Term powder) I load holds 1" groups easily at 100. Nice write up, Thanks
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Old 01-11-2011, 8:23 AM
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Glad to know the federal I have tons of grouped pretty well.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:04 AM
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It always seems the case that in spite of twist rates, certain barrels like certain loads... and not always what you might expect. So it is a great idea to test various types to see which works best in your barrel.

I have a JP upper (1:8) which loves 55gr!!
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:37 PM
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Cool test, thanks for sharing the results. It's good to know that Federal is really good ammo for the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pipboy View Post
I took 20 rounds of each type of ammunition (total of 60 rounds) and divided each of the 20 round types into 5 round sets. I loaded 5 rounds of the Fiocchi, fired a 5 round group at target #1, then loaded 5 rounds of XM193, fired a 5 round group at target #2, then loaded 5 rounds of the Federal Bulk .223, and fired a 5 round group at target #3. I repeated this process 4 times until each target had 20 rounds of its assigned ammunition fired at it.
That was a smart way to spread out eye strain and shooter fatigue equally over all 3 brands.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:42 PM
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does the variation in grouping on the Fiocchi have anything to do with the fact that its 62gr and your rifle is zero'd on 55gr?
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Old 01-11-2011, 1:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianDavis View Post
does the variation in grouping on the Fiocchi have anything to do with the fact that its 62gr and your rifle is zero'd on 55gr?
Wouldn't have an effect on the group size, only the point of impact. That looks to be fine.
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Old 01-11-2011, 2:22 PM
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OP were you shooting at Los Altos Rod and Gun Club?
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Old 01-11-2011, 2:30 PM
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Interesting...Thanks for the info

I will steer clear of the Fiocchi
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Old 01-11-2011, 6:05 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions. I will keep them in mind for the next time if I plan to do something like this again.

Unfortunately (along with a real camera) a ruler is not something I normally have in my shooting gear. I would estimate the target circles to be about 5 inches. I say this because I have 6 inch "Shoot N C" stickers that cover up the circles completely and are slightly larger. I would thus estimate the 20 shot groupings for the Federal Bulk and XM193 to be in more or less the 3 inch range. At 100 yards, the center dot of my ACOG covers up about 2/3 of the black.

Next time I go shoot, I can toss a ruler in my bag and update this thread with a pic that shows some scale.

I have no doubt the upper is capable of better than the results I've posted. In essence the limiting factor here is me, and to a lesser degree my choice in optic. I couldn't be happier with the ACOG, but I have no delusions about it being a "precision" instrument.

I realize there are many things that I could have done to make this test "better" if I owned a chronometer, a higher powered scope with fine crosshair, rifle rest etc. But I simply did what I could with what I had on hand at the time and what you see is what you get.
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Old 01-11-2011, 6:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacGlass View Post
OP were you shooting at Los Altos Rod and Gun Club?
Although I do frequent Los Altos, for this I was at Sunnyvale.
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Old 01-11-2011, 6:21 PM
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If you want good, cheap(er) heavy ammo, get the Prvi match, in either 75 or 69gr. My LWRC loved those two, perfect for 1:7. She also loved M855, though, so get some of that too.
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Old 01-11-2011, 7:58 PM
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How did that XM193 shoot all together? Any miss fires blown primers ect??

I just bought 1000 rounds of it a week ago. Never shot anything but Winchester and hand loads of 308.

You should do a Fed. XM193 NATO brown box VS. Fed. American Eagle XM193. They are the same price same bullet weight basically same ammo accept one is NATO and the other isnt but other than that I cant get an answer of how they preform or anything different about them accept the boxes they come in...
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Old 01-11-2011, 8:22 PM
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So far my experience with XM193 has been good. No miss-fires/blown primers or any other problems.

I would definitely like to continue trying and comparing more brands and types of ammo in the future. I do want to see what real M855 will do, and the Privi Green Tip seems to come highly recommended. So we will see what I can get my hands on and how they measure up.
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Old 01-11-2011, 8:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy334 View Post
I can loan a 20 round box of .223 Tula 62gr FMJ if you wanna test that next
Ya this I would like to see ....
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Old 01-11-2011, 8:30 PM
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i am going to have to get me some of that federal bulk ammo
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Old 01-11-2011, 8:45 PM
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Quote:
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i am going to have to get me some of that federal bulk ammo
If your ganna buy online get it now

I was told after the 20th internet ammo sales are no more..
Get some of the AE fed stuff and ill trade you 100 of the AE for the NATO FED I got so I can see WTFn' difference is between the 2 haha
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Old 01-11-2011, 9:02 PM
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Might also try some of the 62 and 55 grain ammo from weaponsworld.com right now. can get 500rds of each shipped to you for 230$
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Old 01-11-2011, 9:15 PM
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Check out natchezss... I got my 1000 box of FED XM193 for $322 shipped.
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Old 01-12-2011, 7:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipboy View Post
Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions. I will keep them in mind for the next time if I plan to do something like this again.

Unfortunately (along with a real camera) a ruler is not something I normally have in my shooting gear. I would estimate the target circles to be about 5 inches. I say this because I have 6 inch "Shoot N C" stickers that cover up the circles completely and are slightly larger. I would thus estimate the 20 shot groupings for the Federal Bulk and XM193 to be in more or less the 3 inch range. At 100 yards, the center dot of my ACOG covers up about 2/3 of the black.

Next time I go shoot, I can toss a ruler in my bag and update this thread with a pic that shows some scale.

I have no doubt the upper is capable of better than the results I've posted. In essence the limiting factor here is me, and to a lesser degree my choice in optic. I couldn't be happier with the ACOG, but I have no delusions about it being a "precision" instrument.

I realize there are many things that I could have done to make this test "better" if I owned a chronometer, a higher powered scope with fine crosshair, rifle rest etc. But I simply did what I could with what I had on hand at the time and what you see is what you get.
The point of resting the rifle(carbine in your case) is to eliminate the human factor. That's why it's used for precision shooting/zeroing/etc.

You could try a six o'clock hold on the target with the reticle dot...will give you a reference point to aim at the same place everytime. Sounds like you're just covering the black with the reticle and squeezing the trigger. Good for combat, not good for precision.
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