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Thread: SSA 5.56 77gr Sierra OTM - need questions answered.

  1. #1
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    SSA 5.56 77gr Sierra OTM - need questions answered.

    I managed to get my hands on some Silver State Armory mk262 clones on the cheap and would like to share some obversations as well as ask the experts here some questions.

    First off... The first thing I noticed - on the outside of the box it states that they manufacture all of their brass in house, yet mine came with pierce brass and silver primers. The bullets are of the cannelured variety. The necks and primers appear nicely crimped yet I can detect no sealant (unless they're using some new clear sealant).



    After opening my first box, I noticed that one of the primers appeared flattened or squished.... I've been shooting for almost 30 years and have never NOTICED any primers looking like this:



    Squashed primer on the bottom, obviously... Is this round safe to fire? What happened here?

    So... I decided on a whim to weigh each round on a digital scale... 18 of the 20 came out to 12.9g on the dot, while 2 of them weighed in at 12.8:




    Is this normal? I can't say that I've ever weighed ammunition before... Maybe this could be a contributing factor to some of the fliers that I've seen reported using this ammo? Is Pierce brass OK?

    Did I just buy a case of crap ammo? So many questions...
    Last edited by Shao; 12-24-12 at 13:29.

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    1.) Pierce brass is made for Pierce munitions: http://www.piercemunitions.com/about.html

    2.) The primer that is "squished" began being seated off-angle in the primer pocket. When they go in at a ~25 degree angle, one side of the primer is compressed. It is safe to fire. It may be slightly more inconsistent in ignition that a primer seated squarely. Most likely, you won't be able to tell a difference in on-target performance.

    3.) While SSA may assemble loaded ammunition themselves, the components are made by someone else. The bullet is probably a Sierra Match King, for instance. I can't say for certain who is making the rest of the components but they're not making most of them (powder, bullet and primer) in-house, that much is certain.

    4.) The case to case variance is normal. The brass casings themselves have a typical variance of up to 2 grains.
    Last edited by mizer67; 12-24-12 at 14:31.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mizer67 View Post
    1.) Pierce brass is made for Pierce munitions: http://www.piercemunitions.com/about.html

    2.) The primer that is "squished" began being seated off-angle in the primer pocket. When they go in at a ~25 degree angle, one side of the primer is compressed. It is safe to fire. It may be slightly more inconsistent in ignition that a primer seated squarely. Most likely, you won't be able to tell a difference in on-target performance.

    3.) While SSA may assemble loaded ammunition themselves, the components are made by someone else. The bullet is probably a Sierra Match King, for instance. I can't say for certain who is making the rest of the components but they're not making most of them (powder, bullet and primer) in-house, that much is certain.

    4.) The case to case variance is normal. The brass casings themselves have a typical variance of up to 2 grains.
    Thanks for the info... I feel better now... off to load 20 pmags!

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    So... done loading pmags... had a great idea... since I like to keep the dust covers on for long term storage and had a left over 3M reflective sticker pack from a Surefire G3D-FYL I used to own, I applied them to the mags near the base as a quick identifier to determine what I've loaded into the mag. I was about to buy some kind of grip tape, but these little shiny squares seem to work great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mizer67 View Post
    The case to case variance is normal. The brass casings themselves have a typical variance of up to 2 grains.
    +1 This is normal.

    If you want to really do us a favor, then pull several bullets (at least 3 or 5, and as many as you're willing) and weigh the powder charges to see how consistent they are.

    Or maybe MarkM will loan you his gizmo that measures run-out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer View Post
    +1 This is normal.

    If you want to really do us a favor, then pull several bullets (at least 3 or 5, and as many as you're willing) and weigh the powder charges to see how consistent they are.

    Or maybe MarkM will loan you his gizmo that measures run-out?
    Yeesh... The thought of messing with perfectly good ammo at this point in time makes me shudder... Maybe I'll take you up on the offer after the dust settles and I'm sure that I'll be able to purchase more without paying a 1000% tax or whatever. Besides, it's all loaded up evenly in 20 and 30 rnd pmags and I would hate to mess with it since I'm borderline OCD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shao View Post
    Yeesh... The thought of messing with perfectly good ammo at this point in time makes me shudder... Maybe I'll take you up on the offer after the dust settles and I'm sure that I'll be able to purchase more without paying a 1000% tax or whatever. Besides, it's all loaded up evenly in 20 and 30 rnd pmags and I would hate to mess with it since I'm borderline OCD.
    LOL. You're not that OCD if you don't want to check the powder charges of your "perfectly good ammo."

    Also, you could always reseat/recrimp the bullets, after you measure the powder charges.

    Anyway, I've never done this. I've just seen Molon do it (I'm not saying Molon's OCD, just that he's really thorough, and I appreciate him checking this kind of thing).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer View Post
    LOL. You're not that OCD if you don't want to check the powder charges of your "perfectly good ammo."

    Also, you could always reseat/recrimp the bullets, after you measure the powder charges.

    Anyway, I've never done this. I've just seen Molon do it (I'm not saying Molon's OCD, just that he's really thorough, and I appreciate him checking this kind of thing).

    Now why did you have to go and say that? Now I feel strangely
    compelled... But I currently have no means of accurately reseating and recrimping after I pull them. Ahhhhh.. what to do.. what to do...

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    Just be sure your rifle is chambered for 5.56 and not .223. The SSA 77 gr I tried was loaded very hot. It shot fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer View Post
    +1 This is normal.

    If you want to really do us a favor, then pull several bullets (at least 3 or 5, and as many as you're willing) and weigh the powder charges to see how consistent they are.

    Or maybe MarkM will loan you his gizmo that measures run-out?
    Runout typically isn't a big problem when using matchkings. It's how companies like Blackhills get away with murder in their sloppy manufacturing.

    You can pull the ammo apart and put it right back together with the right tools.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Cool

    Hi all,
    new here. So does it make me OCD if I pulled some perfectly good bullets? I bought several boxes of 10mm from a boutique company advertising some impressive velocities, and curiosity got the better of me. Turns out I had the powder in my stock of powders for the ''10''
    and have since worked up to the loads specs I bought. Thanks all, stay safe.

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    ^^^ sooo, you're going to say all that about your 10mm load but give no specifics?? You'll have to give that up buddy. Ok, I'll ask nice. PM me if you like.

    I helped work up 10mm loads nearly 30 years ago now with AA powder. So that is my main interest, plus I might like to start trying other loads now. I'm currently averaging just over 1300 fps with sierra 180gr HP in my Delta Elite with AA #7. I use AA#5 in 150 gr loads.

    Sorry for the detour folks (not really a full derail) back to the 77 otm's.

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    It's OK, I've decided to live with it. Life is too short to obsess over slight differences in your ammo. I've even gone as far as to designate one USGI magazine and 20 rounds of M855 as my "action" checking magazine. All 20 rounds have been cycled endlessly through different guns and they look like I've run them through the blender for a few minutes. I would use some of those Magpul "action-proving" rounds, but all those have seem to proven is that none of my weapons like to cycle zytel dummy cartidges.

    10mm... My brother's favorite cartridge... I never got it... I think it's a superior round to .40 S&W, but I think both .40 and 10mm were solutions to problems that didn't exist. We already had/have .45 and 9mm... People can quote text from ballisitics bibles and brandish me a naysayer, but there's a reason why 10mm is a niche cartridge, mainly loved by handloaders. .40 S&W? The day I buy a weapon chambered in that caliber is the day I learn to embrace laser engraving on firearms. .45ACP +P 230gr JHP or bust!

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    Shao: How is this ammo treating you?

    How many rounds have you fired? What rifle(s) and what kind of groups are you getting? How does the POI compare to other rounds that you may have?

    I just picked up 200 of these from Midway. 120 of them have the Pierce brass you were asking about, the other 80 have SSA brass.

    I also picked up 200 rounds of the mk262 this week (Black Hills 5.56 77gr OTM).

    I am not sure when I'll be able to compare these (in a week or two maybe?) but I'll report back when I do.
    The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing

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    same here ive seen mixed headstamp(not in the same lot) of brass on my SSA ammo

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    did I miss something here? - he says the bullet has a cannelure. my SMKs don't have cannelures. never did...
    never push a wrench...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ra2bach View Post
    did I miss something here? - he says the bullet has a cannelure. my SMKs don't have cannelures. never did...
    77 gr SMKs can be purchased with a cannalure. I run both with and without.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ra2bach View Post
    did I miss something here? - he says the bullet has a cannelure. my SMKs don't have cannelures. never did...
    Yup.

    And the mk262 load has a cannelure.

    This SSA load seems to be trying to duplicate mk262
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    Shao: How is this ammo treating you?

    How many rounds have you fired? What rifle(s) and what kind of groups are you getting? How does the POI compare to other rounds that you may have?

    I just picked up 200 of these from Midway. 120 of them have the Pierce brass you were asking about, the other 80 have SSA brass.

    I also picked up 200 rounds of the mk262 this week (Black Hills 5.56 77gr OTM).

    I am not sure when I'll be able to compare these (in a week or two maybe?) but I'll report back when I do.
    I've only fired about 80 rounds of it and I can't tell the difference between it and BH mk262. They're both sub-MOA in my 24" stationary AR, which is the only rifle I've fired them out of so far. Unless you're a much better shooter than me, I think you'll find the accuracy to be right there with the Black Hills stuff. For me it's a toss up as to which is better. The SSA stuff looks prettier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    This SSA load seems to be trying to duplicate mk262
    Seems that way... It's just SSA mk262, but without the neck and primer sealant of the Black Hills rounds.
    Last edited by Shao; 04-26-13 at 11:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shao View Post
    I've only fired about 80 rounds of it and I can't tell the difference between it and BH mk262. They're both sub-MOA in my 24" stationary AR, which is the only rifle I've fired them out of so far. Unless you're a much better shooter than me, I think you'll find the accuracy to be right there with the Black Hills stuff. For me it's a toss up as to which is better. The SSA stuff looks prettier.



    Seems that way... It's just SSA mk262, but without the neck and primer sealant of the Black Hills rounds.
    Which is what I would be looking for in a factory round I wanted to store in magazines for ready use...

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