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  1. #1
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    Factory .223 / 5.56 Match ammo performance data

    I wanted to benchmark some performance data for various .223 / 5.56 factory match loads. Sharing my results.

    Test rifle is a custom build with 20" Rainier UltraMatch .223 Wylde, shot suppressed with Griffin Armament Recce 5. Trigger is Geissele SD-E. Optic is Vortex HS-LR at 10x mag, shooting at 100 yards. Muzzle velocity data was collected with a MagnetoSpeed v3.



    Six different factory loads where tested. Three were variation on IMI 77gr "RazorCore" with the others being Black Hills 77gr OTM, Fiocchi 77gr MatchKing, and PPU 75gr HPBT-M. One of the catalysts for this exercise was to examine differences between commercial and "brown" boxings of the IMI, as well as later production vs new production. Black Hills is supposed to be the commercial equivalent of the Mk262 Mod 1 ammo, so should theoretically set the benchmark for 5.56 military loadings, whereas the Fiocchi represents a typical commercial .223 match load using the popular Sierra MatchKing bullet.



    Two, 5-round strings were shot for each load in a round robin (e.g., 5rds of A, 5rds of B, and so on). I started late morning on a very pleasant day so the temperature warmed up a few degrees and humidity dropped quite a bit by the time I was finished. Generally speaking, I did not consistently let the barrel cool between strings and had done some shooting to re-zero my scope before this test so there are no "cold bore" shots in the data. Bottom line: I wasn't super rigid and scientific on how I shot my strings.

    The summary results of the velocity data are shown below:



    The results on paper are below. Shooting was from a bench, seated, with a bipod and rear bag. Note that I had a few fliers, including one that was just off the paper and, I hate to admit this, was closer to an ND than a flier - be careful with those light triggers! So, if you can't find all the holes, that is why. I was more concerned about velocity data than group sizes since I had the chrono hanging off the suppressor, so don't read too much into the group sizes. I'm fairly confident I could get a sub-moa 10-shot group from any of these. Shots from the first string are circled with a sharpie.



    Observations: Yes, it looks like the older boxings of IMI are hotter than my more recent lot, which aligns with some internet chatter. The recent lot of IMI 77gr OTM LR Mod 1 is very close in performance to the BH so I'm comfortable assuming that IMI is an appropriate substitute for Mk262 mod 1. Given the variation from IMI lots, I don't think I can really draw any firm conclusions on whether the commercial or brown boxes are the same, but I'm going to assume they are just from a business/industrialization perspective (why would IMI go through the trouble to make a different load for the commercial market?). Also, the military loadings are giving me about 200-ish fps over the commercial loads but the vertical stringing on the Fiochhi suggests the lower velocity is a more accurate node for at least this barrel. Also, given the typical price of the PPU, that's an attractive option for factory match ammo, plus I personally like the brass for reloading.

    I'll keep relying on IMI for my factory loadings but I think I'm going to develop two handload recipes: one to clone the IMI / Mk 262, and a slower load that comes closer to the Fiocchi but maximizes accuracy out of the barrel. I suspect I can achieve the results for the latter using Varget, but I'm pretty sure I'll need to use a different powder, perhaps TAC, to get the Mk262 velocities.

    (cross-posted on 68 forums)

  2. #2
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    TAC is what BH uses.

    My best results using a Criterion 16" Hybrid is using any lot of LC brass, 23 grains of TAC, F205MAR, and Sierra 77 SMK (with or without cannelure didn't matter), with trimmed cases to 1.75 exactly and an OAL of 2.260.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for doing this. If I have some of the new IMI boxes, I don't think I've shot it yet, but the accuracy of your brown box loads seem to match what I've seen, albeit from shorter barrels (18", 16", 12.5"). I will say that my ~2012 BH Blue Box 77gr did better than your red box out of my MK12, but I think those two were just a really great match. It's a shame it's pretty much all gone now from my ammo larder.

  4. #4
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    I have tested TAC in short barrels w/heavy bullets. It produced the best velocities out of all my tests so far. Also JRB did tests with TAC in his 'Duplicating MK 262' video series. Below is a screen grab off of one of those videos.

    Name:  Capture1.JPG
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  5. #5
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    What is the size of the red dot bullseye? Do you have any speer 75g Gold dots on hand? I am super curious how it matches up to the other loadings, I have found it to be incredibly accurate...
    The best way to survive a violent encounter is to be the one inflicting the most violence.

  6. #6
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    Stone, the red circle is 1", each ring is another 1". My go-to HD ammo is 64 gr GD and I've been impressed with its accuracy out of my carbines but have never tried the 75gr. I'll keep that in mind, though.

    Gator, I ran through a box of BH blue box in my 18" WOA SPR barrel and remember being rather disappointed with it. This 20" RA UM barrel replaced / displace the WOA.

    Rifleman/Alamo, yes, I've run some loads with TAC and achieved the velocities, I just need to finish dialing it in. I've gone up to 24.8 and achieved 2850+ out of this same barrel using 77gr Nosler Custom Competition bullets.

  7. #7
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    Every now and then RMR sells 75 grain listed as FMJ's. These were rejects from Speer because somewhere in their manufacturing process they didn't end up being GDSP's like they should have been. But if loaded to match the 75 GDSP trajectory, it's another yet cheaper option to practice with.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
    Every now and then RMR sells 75 grain listed as FMJ's. These were rejects from Speer because somewhere in their manufacturing process they didn't end up being GDSP's like they should have been. But if loaded to match the 75 GDSP trajectory, it's another yet cheaper option to practice with.
    RMR makes their own 75 grain bullets now. They also make 69 grain bullets. Those are not 3rd party manufactured.

    They have in the past carried bullets from other manufacturers (and still do), but the above two are actually made by RMR.

    https://www.rmrbullets.com/shop/bull...fore-ordering/

    https://www.rmrbullets.com/shop/bull...bullets-new-2/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    RMR makes their own 75 grain bullets now. They also make 69 grain bullets. Those are not 3rd party manufactured.

    They have in the past carried bullets from other manufacturers (and still do), but the above two are actually made by RMR.

    https://www.rmrbullets.com/shop/bull...fore-ordering/

    https://www.rmrbullets.com/shop/bull...bullets-new-2/
    They match the trajectory of the 75 Speer 75 GDSP's?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
    They match the trajectory of the 75 Speer 75 GDSP's?
    It depends out to how far I would safely say I could shoot them past 800yds without a problem but that's just a guess. That said, they are still relatively new into their product line and by that I mean both 69 and 75 grain bullets. I still have almost 4,000 75 grain bullets and a few thousand 69gr SMK so I haven't tested these yet. All accounts that I've seen said they are easily good to go in the medium range. I haven't seen many results for people testing them past 3-400 yards so far.

    The reviews that users have posted on the RMR site are pretty good so far.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    It depends out to how far I would safely say I could shoot them past 800yds without a problem but that's just a guess. That said, they are still relatively new into their product line and by that I mean both 69 and 75 grain bullets. I still have almost 4,000 75 grain bullets and a few thousand 69gr SMK so I haven't tested these yet. All accounts that I've seen said they are easily good to go in the medium range. I haven't seen many results for people testing them past 3-400 yards so far.

    The reviews that users have posted on the RMR site are pretty good so far.
    Are they comparing these to the Hornady 75 OTM non TAP projectiles? Interested because if this is a cheaper and better option than the Hornady, I may indeed buy a few thousand myself instead.

    Both my 55's and 77's are LC so I'll instantly know which is which but for these I may consider using Winchester 223 brass to foolproof things at my end.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
    Are they comparing these to the Hornady 75 OTM non TAP projectiles? Interested because if this is a cheaper and better option than the Hornady, I may indeed buy a few thousand myself instead.

    Both my 55's and 77's are LC so I'll instantly know which is which but for these I may consider using Winchester 223 brass to foolproof things at my end.
    I don't think they are comparing them to anything. You just have to read the reviews...so far I found one where the guy had good results out to 900 yards with the 75 grain variety.

    I definitely plan to buy (especially the 75 grain) when my supply gets lower and/or when I catch up on other stuff that I need to buy first.

  13. #13
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    It's a never ending battle really

    I pick up TAC whenever I now see it just because and to never outrun my supply of it on hand. Primers, well I am good but still buy when I see because reasons. What I've been lacking is staying my projectiles game to never outrun my quantities purchased.

    Thanks for the mentioning, I'll check out the reviews and buy a few thousand.

  14. #14
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    Iím adding this to my selection for my next round of factory ammo tests:

    https://palmettostatearmory.com/aac-...mmunition.html

    AAC (palmetto state) 77gr Tipped Match Kings @ $.85/ea

    Also grabbing some of the 55gr VMax @ $.50/ea.

    Hard to load my own for their price especially since I havenít seen a TMK for sale in a long time.

    Their 77gr SMKs are $.75/ea and I can load them for $.67/ea without factoring time or brass costs. My handloads were a third to a quarter of the AAC group sizes but I could do a <600yd match with 1.5MOA ammo.

  15. #15
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    You're going to want to add more. They're going to soon have black tipped TMK clones in 75 grain along with a bunch else.

    PSA is definitely going to hurt some feelings in the ammo industry one day, because the consumer is going to be spending with their wallet and their match ammo is cheap. The SPR and it's derivatives are making a comeback in the commercial market and that's a great thing.

    https://palmettostatearmory.com/aac-...tm_campaign=cl

    TSX is also going to be done, but no idea on what weight.
    Last edited by TheRifleman; 5 June 2023 at 11:47.

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