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.


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


Continued below...

#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.


#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.


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.

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