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Thread: What company loads the most accurate/consistent rounds? .223/5.56 SMK 69gr./77gr.

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    What company loads the most accurate/consistent rounds? .223/5.56 SMK 69gr./77gr.

    I am looking for some ammo to really see what the accuracy of my SPRish build is. Barrel is an 18" Noveske in a Vltor VIS.

    I have been using Prvi 75gr. BTHP rounds. I have had what I consider now a fluke .63 moa 5 shot group with this ammo. The last couple sessions I was getting pretty consistent 2 moa groups. This is fun for banging steel, but in 100yard groups leaves something to be desired.

    I see many companies load the SMK, but who does it best? Is there also a different bullet I should look at?

    This is going to be for shooting 100 yard groups on paper.

    Price doesn't really matter, though a good value always makes me happy.
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    Black hills


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    Concur, definitely Black Hills.

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    The single greatest mistake I see folks make in regards to selecting ammo for .223/5.56 precision shooting (non LR) is that they only consider the heaviest avail. bullets for this task. This is a critical misjudgment as I can assure you that across a wide sample of different barrels, I can take Hornady 55gr. Vmax and significantly shoot smaller groups than any SMK could ever produce.


    Form factor, BC, and LR bullet design are all wasted by in large at 100yds....so what I'm getting at is that the heavy SMKs were designed to yield high levels of accuracy once they reached longer ranges. The following accuracy eval. will better explain what I'm talking about.

    You'll note below that the 100yd groups are noticeably larger than the ones at close to 300yds.

    100yds


    287yds


    Now take a look at Hornady 55gr. evals.

    100yds



    So in short....I'd recommend trying at first an ammo loaded with one of the bullets featuring flat bases, and ballistic tips, and some specific good ones to try are:

    Hornady SF 53gr. VMAX
    Hornady 55/60gr. VMAX
    Rem 55gr. Accu-Tip
    Nosler 50gr. Blitzkings

    Lastly in regards to PRZI 75gr/69gr match....it's not a surprise to me that you had a nice group or two with it, only then to have poor groups with it because since they have been around they've suffered from very spotty QC. The primary example of this is the 2009/2010 lot of the 75gr. variety which ran amazingly slow. They then changed their box and fixed their velocity issues on that one issue at least.

    The stuff from mid 2011 shot excellent which are the evals below. That said, I have never expected it to perform as it did on that particular day for an average....just too many things not suited for reloading precision pills going on at PRZI.

    Again, notice these heavy rounds weren't tested at 100yds....but rather 200yds.

    Last edited by TRIDENT82; 06-12-12 at 13:23.

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    heed tridents advice
    i can outshoot blackhills 77grn at 100yds with bh 52grn smk loads using the same weapon

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    In all honestly its sorta hard to get the true accuracy potential out of your barrel buying factory made ammo. No matter how consistent they were with their loading it still doesn't guarantee the load is optimal for your particular barrel. It doesn't require a huge investment to get started into loading high quality ammo for accuracy. Just something to consider.

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    Moved to Reloading/Ammo since it does not deal directly with terminal ballistics.

    Anyway, I am a strong proponent of Mk262. It does a lot of things well, from muzzle to meat in a pretty broad range of applications. Now, there are certainly more precise factory loaded rounds, there are more barrier blind rounds, and there are more terminally impressive rounds, but it generally beats any competitor in the two other categories of performance other than the one it gets out performed in.
    This is, of course, when considering factors other than pure precision, which may our may not be applicable to your intended application with your particular firearm.
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    On the recommendation of folks here and reviews at snipershide I ordered 500rds of Southwest Ammo's 77gr. It gets delivered tomorrow though so I won't have any results to share for a while. I've had good luck with Black Hills (68, 69, and 77gr), Corbon (77gr), and Asym (70gr) but not in large amounts and I'm still not good enough at distance to take full advantage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS951 View Post
    Price doesn't really matter...
    It's not cheap, but Federal Gold Medal Match (FGMM) is a kind of a "gold standard" among the M14 crowd.

    I see that the FGMM .223 loads use SMKs...

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    Duplicate...
    Last edited by Bimmer; 06-13-12 at 04:35.

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    Narrowed it down to the blackhills, one of the distributors I use has a number of different loads in stock.

    I am going to get some 60gr. Hornady V-max, 69gr. SMK, and 77smk. All Black hills loadings.

    One more question I have, Black hills has New ammo, Reloaded ammo, and Cosmetic seconds (new ammo). Is there much of a performance difference here?
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    Another vote for Black Hills. Look particularly at the 52 Match HP, 60 VMAX, 68 OTM, 77 (.223), Mk262, as twist rates allow.

    I believe it was a Molon that did a differential performance analysis of BHA new manufacture vs reman. If not him, someone else but I know I have seen the pics and targets. It may have been on another site. Search should get you there.

    Note that you can also find seconds in BHA new-manufacture from time to time, if new is preferred but value is desired.
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    Southwest Ammunition's 77GR SMK's out-shoot Black Hills' offering in every single barrel I've pushed them through. Their match ammunition is in my opinion the best you can get in a factory round. Handloads tailored to your rifle and carefully refined will clearly do better, but for a factory round SWA is tops. And I've tried them all. If you do a search you can find where I talk about this in greater detail.

    PS. I'll echo and agree with the statement that the heavy SMK's often do NOT produce the best 100yd groups. If this is your only purpose, you can likely do better with other rounds already mentioned. Where the 77's shine is long range:

    Copy/Paste of my response to another thread that is relevant here:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    While you may find that 69 GR SMK's or some other round outperform the 77's for printing little 1/2 MOA groups at 100 (which I'd bet the bank that your rifle is capable of), that does not, in the end, mean that those rounds will increase your hit probability throughout your rifle's effective range spectrum, especially when you introduce wind into the equation.

    Do what you can to get the 77's shooting SUB-MOA, but even if you can never get them to print 1/2 MOA, keep shooting them because when considering all the factors, you're still coming out on top. Unless you never shoot past 300, in which case, shoot whatever prints the smallest groups.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Israeli IMI M855 green tip shoots pretty good in my AR.

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    Trident82 is correct, 52 and 55 grn flat bases give more consistent good groups at 100 yards.

    You can't beat the Federal Gold or Black Hills 69 and 75 grn HPBT for 500 yards. I am cheap and use the Black Hills remanufactured SECONDS with moly coating.

    Also getting better than one MOA using Hornady Steel Match 55 grn, great price at $15.95 for 50 rounds.

    I tested every weight bullet I could get in quality ammo before finding my upper (17 inch Lilja patrolman barrel) likes 55 grn at 100 yards.

    I need to get lucky and get a day at the range when the wind is less than 15 to 20 mph to shoot longer distances. Shot a couple times in 40-50 MPH gusts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by a0cake View Post
    ....
    PS. I'll echo and agree with the statement that the heavy SMK's often do NOT produce the best 100yd groups. If this is your only purpose, you can likely do better with other rounds already mentioned. Where the 77's shine is long range:
    ....
    I completely agree here. The only honest sub MOA groups I see with .223/5.56 is the 77 SMKs at distance. Possibly the 77 Noslers as well, but I've not used them as much. Great bullets for my use and I doubt I'll go back to SMKs for reloads.

    On steel flashers at distance, especially > 300 Meters, hits with the 77s are never in doubt - not so with 55s. The heavier bullets carry significantly more momentum - regardless of what they hit.

    FWIW, the 5.56 pressure 77 grain factory loads (both S.A & B.H run ~2,800 fps) are a bit hot for my tastes and not quite as accurate as by reloads at 2,700 fps (18" SPR barrel).

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    When I attended the SPR Sniper Course we were required to use BH 77gr. loads. Simply because according to the instructors it was the most accurate and consistent loading especially at distance.

    It would also make it easier to diagnose a shooters problems since all the weapons were esentially the same, as well as optics, etc...





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    No factory produced rounds will be as consistent as your own handloads. If you are worried about groups on paper, you should really consider taking the reload plunge. The most accurate bullet on paper for me at 100 yards is the 52gr SMK.
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    On a related note, I'm planning on doing a DMR class and is looking for the most affordable ammo that offers performance close to Mk262. I'd love to shoot Mk262 at the class, but at almost $1 per round it's quite expensive for training. What factory ammo do you guys recommend for this purpose? Prvi 75gr match, or some other stuff?

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    Quote Originally Posted by a0cake View Post
    Southwest Ammunition's 77GR SMK's out-shoot Black Hills' offering in every single barrel I've pushed them through.
    Helen Keller could load ammo better than BLACK HILLS. I've never found ONE thing those clowns do good.

    It's functional ammo... and better than PRVI trash... And might seem decent if you're used to shooting XM193 or some other 3-4 MOA stuff.... but if you want good 69/77 factory...

    You have to get Federal Gold Medal Match ammo, Jethro.

    As far as that Mk 262 load... I'd say that it's more of a testament to Sierra's bullet... that BH can't screw up the accuracy of that load.... And that stuff only has a MOA accuracy requirement.
    Last edited by markm; 08-10-12 at 11:27.
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