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We gonna get some
oojima in this house!
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So after trying a bunch of ammo to stock up on, I started actual comparisons of cheap 556/223 that would run well through my rifles, while not breaking the bank. Terminal ballistics would be a nice bonus.

I didn’t know what the parameters of acceptability would be when I started. I kind of set them as I went along.

The rifle used was a Stag LH 3 gun Elite upper on a SIG M400 lower. The barrel is 18” Fluted heavy 416r stainless 1/7 556 chamber. Trigger is a LaRue MBT. Scope was a Leupold Mark AR Mod1 3-9x40 non illuminated set at 9x. Rifles was stabilized with shooting bags.

The method was 5 shot strings at 100 yards with a 5 minute cool down between strings.
Flyers counted but multiple groups were shot with each ammo so one bad shot didn’t kill it.

I shot a few 1” or less groups with Hornady Black 223 75 gr BTHP to make sure the rifle, (And shooter) we’re capable. I was disappointed when I tried the Hornady Frontier 75 gr. The best I could get was about 2”. It has the same T2 bullet so I was expecting more.

As it went I noticed that the cheapest Brass cased ammo (below $.30 each) could kind of be lumped in to one group. 3” at best, 5” occasionally. Some of it was Mini 30 with TULA bad.

I had some success with Hornady Loadings of the 62 gr FMJ. I bought some Frontier with the same bullet and was hoping for the best. I was rewarded with a load tha could consistently hold below 2”. Most were in the 1.5-1.6 range with a couple just over 1”.

That kind of set the parameters. Below $.35 per round, reliable, sub 2” 5 shot groups consistently.

Hornady Frontier 556 62 Gr FMJ.

Some additional benefits of the round is it mirrors the POI of Federal Fusion, my preferred defensive rounds for all my rifles. Actually groups similarly. Both are concentric with little vertical or horizontal stringing even with hot barrel.

An additional benefit is that the round actually expands and fragments with a short neck, and penetrates beyond 12” according to the following video. Hornady 223 and 30-06
This is the Black loading in 223, but the bullet is the same.
Hornady 223 30-06

I’ll post a spreadsheet with my results. I know this doesn’t matter to some of you, and your rifle will shoot different, but I had a blast doing it and it was a change fro just blasting away.

My next project will take some of the better ones, some of the old standbys, and some heavy match grade out to 200 yards and see how they fly a little further.

TCB all the time...
Posts: 6306 | Location: Cantonment/Perdido Key, Florida | Registered: September 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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