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


#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.

5 Comments on Educational Zone #8 – 5.56 Military Ammo Accuracy

  1. Group 8 VERY NICE!!!

  2. Bernard Gilsleider // March 16, 2017 at 8:29 am // Reply

    What is the most important part of your”fine target AR” creating groups like #8, besides the one pulling the trigger? Can relpacing my barrel help that much?

  3. sound awake // April 1, 2017 at 9:20 am // Reply

    i dont know…but i just shot a 3 round group very similar to #8 last weekend with q3131 at 100 yds from a decent rest slightly windy 16″ govt profile 1:9 twist alg qms trigger…vortex diamondback hp 2-8×32…the two farthest from each other just over 1/4″ center to center with another one touching one of the two…same ammo and rifle shot 7 1/2″ group at 300 yds…like i said slightly windy…im stockpiling this ammo now since my rifle really seems to like it

  4. What was the twist rate on that barrel? I shoot groups like # 8 all day long with a 1/7 twist 14.7″ mil m-4 using m-855 62grain surplus.

  5. As a general rule, FMJ bullets are less accurate than hollow point or soft points. This is because the open base is harder to form consistently and causes variable drag and slight imbalance and wobble in flight.

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