Educational Zone #8 – 5.56 Military Ammo Accuracy

My friend Tman and I went to the range to test various types of 5.56 ammo.

I used my DPMS Sweet Sixteen, with a 16 inch stainless heavy barrel, chrome bolt, Accuwedge, Leupold 6.5 X 20 X 50 scope, etc. 

It is a fine shooter as you will see in a moment.

This is it.

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I fired 2 rounds to foul the barrel and then shot 8, five-shot groups, at 100 yards, as numbered below. 

There were no “called” flyers. Only one group was shot with each ammo type, but I believe it is informative.

Ammo tested was as follows:

#1 – Israeli IMI, 2002 1 1/4 group

#2 – South African M1A3, 1988 1 1/8 group

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#3 – Federal Cartridge USGI, 1970 2 1/4 group

#4 – Federal XM193, Lot 23 2 3/4 group

#5 – Malaysian 4-85, M193, Lot 15 2 3/4 group

#6 – Winchester Q3131 3 3/8 group (1 1/2 w/o flyer)

The mystery group between five and six is a group that I shot with my Accuracy International .308

No extra charge.

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#7 – Remington 55Gr SP, R223RI 1 7/8 group

#8 – Handloads, Sierra 52 gr HPBT, Between 1/4 & 3/8 group, 25.0 gr, AA-2460.

I am glad I shot the handloads last, as it seemed that the groups were getting larger as I shot. 

I feared fouling was the problem, but the last group is what the rifle will usually do with these handloads.

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Conclusion:
1. Military ammo isn’t as accurate as many believe.

2. Anyone that says they routinely shoot sub-MOA groups with iron sights and military ammo has a problem with truthfulness.

3. Some military ammo shoots better than others.

4. Military ammo is not “more accurate” when shot from a bench-rest quality rifle.

5. Nothing will match well-developed handloads.

And take one more look at group #8. That’s what a fine target AR will do.