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Thread: Range Report: Wolf Gold 55 Grain FMJ

  1. #1
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    Nov 2008
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    Range Report: Wolf Gold 55 Grain FMJ

    Wolf Gold 55 grain FMJ

    When most shooters hear the phrase “Wolf ammunition,” what usually comes to mind is steel-cased rounds loaded with bi-metal jacketed bullets. Fortunately, the 55 grain FMJ “Wolf Gold” ammunition that is manufactured in Taiwan does not fit this description.

    The Wolf Gold ammunition reviewed for this report uses brass cases with the annealing iris still visible and is loaded with typical copper jacketed/lead core bullets. The 55 grain projectile has a cannelure and there is a collet crimp at the case mouth. The case mouth is also sealed with asphalt sealant. The brass case has crimped and sealed boxer primers and the round is charged with ball powder.

    When most shooters hear the phrase “55 grain FMJ,” what usually comes to mind is M193 ammunition. The velocity specification for M193 as cited in MIL-C-9963F states:

    The average velocity of the sample cartridges, conditioned at 72 degrees, plus or minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit (F), shall be 3165 feet per second (ft/sec), plus or minus 40 ft/sec, at 75 feet from the muzzle of the weapon. The standard deviation of the velocities shall not exceed 40 ft/sec.

    The specification is for a 20” barrel. Depending on multiple variables, this velocity specification equates to a muzzle velocity of approximately 3270 FPS, plus or minus 40 FPS. I chronographed the Wolf Gold 55 grain FMJ ammunition from a semi-automatic AR-15 with a chrome-lined, NATO chambered 20” Colt M16A2 barrel.

    Chronographing was conducted using an Oehler 35-P chronograph with “proof screen” technology. The Oehler 35P chronograph is actually two chronographs in one package that takes two separate chronograph readings for each shot and then has its onboard computer analyze the data to determine if there is any statistically significant difference between the two readings. If there is, the chronograph “flags” the shot to let you know that the data is invalid. There was no invalid data flagged during this testing.

    The velocity stated below is the muzzle velocity as calculated from the instrumental velocity using Oehler’s Ballistic Explorer software program. The string of fire consisted of 10 rounds over the chronograph.

    Each round was single-loaded and cycled into the chamber from a magazine fitted with a single-load follower. The bolt locked-back after each shot allowing the chamber to cool in between each shot. This technique was used to mitigate the possible influence of “chamber-soak” on velocity data. Each new shot was fired in a consistent manner after hitting the bolt release. Atmospheric conditions were monitored and recorded using a Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker.

    The muzzle velocity for the 10-shot string of the Wolf Gold 55 grain FMJ ammunition was 3213 FPS with a standard deviation of 25 FPS. For comparison, IMI M193 had a muzzle velocity of 3274 FPS when fired from the same barrel, with a standard deviation of 18 FPS.

    Atmospheric conditions.

    Temperature: 77 degrees F
    Humidity: 40%
    Barometric pressure: 30.12 inches of Hg
    Elevation: 950 feet above sea level

    The accuracy specification for M193 cited in MIL-C-9963F is as follows:

    The average of the mean radii of all targets of the sample cartridges, fired at 200 yards, shall not exceed 2.0 inches.

    These averages are from 10-shot groups fired from machine rested, bolt-actioned test barrels, such as the ones pictured below. All things being equal (which of course they seldom are) this specification equates to a mean radius of 1 inch at 100 yards for 10-shot groups.

    I conducted an accuracy (technically, precision) evaluation of the Wolf Gold 55 grain FMJ ammunition following my usual protocol. This accuracy evaluation used statistically significant shot-group sizes and every single shot in a fired group was included in the measurements. There was absolutely no use of any Group Reduction Techniques (e.g. fliers, target movement, Butterfly Shots).

    The shooting set-up will be described in detail below. As many of the significant variables as was practicable were controlled for. Also, a control group was fired from the test-rifle used in the evaluation using match-grade, hand-loaded ammunition; in order to demonstrate the capability of the barrel. Pictures of shot-groups are posted for documentation.

    All shooting was conducted from a concrete bench-rest from a distance of 100 yards (confirmed with a laser rangefinder.) The barrel used in the evaluation was free-floated. The free-float handguards of the rifle rested in a Sinclair Windage Benchrest, while the stock of the rifle rested in a Protektor bunny-ear rear bag. Sighting was accomplished via a Leupold VARI-X III set at 25X magnification and adjusted to be parallax-free at 100 yards. A mirage shade was attached to the objective-bell of the scope. Wind conditions on the shooting range were continuously monitored using a Wind Probe. The set-up was very similar to that pictured below.

    The Wind Probe.

    The test vehicle for this evaluation was one of my semi-automatic precision AR-15s with a 20” stainless-steel Lothar Walther barrel. The barrel has a 223 Wylde chamber with a 1:8” twist.

    Prior to firing the Wolf Gold ammunition, I fired a 10-shot control group using match-grade hand-loads topped with the Sierra 55 grain BlitzKing. That group had an extreme spread of 0.78”.

    Next, three 10-shot groups of the Wolf Gold were fired in a row with the resulting extreme spreads:


    for a 10-shot group average extreme spread of 2.39”. The three 10-shot groups were over-layed on each other using RSI Shooting Lab to form a 30-shot composite group. The mean radius for the 30-shot composite group was 0.76”.

    The smallest 10-shot group.

    The 30-shot composite group.

    Last edited by Molon; 04-09-15 at 10:34.
    All that is necessary for trolls to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    42 (100%)
    Wait, this can't be. Plenty of people shoot three shot groups that are 3/4 MOA with Wolf Gold!!!
    Why do the loudest do the least?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Mount Pleasant, SC
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    2 (100%)
    I shoot a hell of a lot of this stuff. Does just fine for my needs.

    And i don't get all horned up over touching groups. I use it for general training and range fun. If I am interested in plinking tight groups, I'd probably go a different route. But in general, it does well for my needs.
    Last edited by CatSnipah; 04-09-15 at 12:47.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    3 (100%)
    Great post, thank you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    5 (100%)
    Thanks for the more thorough info, it mirrors pretty close to what my quickie uncontrolled testing showed. Now if I could just find some to buy!!
    From Dippoville and stumblin' but M4C number one Theocratic Tyrant, and oh so preachy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central FL - Gulf Side
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    Great review - excellent detail ! Thanks for the post.
    NRA Benefactor Life Member
    NRA Certified Instructor

    "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on."

    John Wayne - "The Shootist"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    28 (100%)
    Another quality post brought to you by Molon! I just bought a case of this stuff too so this was a timely read. Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    14 (100%)
    Not bad for 55 gr ball.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Davis, Illinois
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    4 (100%)
    I just bought a case of this too. Nice info to have. Minute of chest cavity is all I require

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    1000 rds Wolf Gold 223 $299 + 16 S&H @ SGAmmo.com. http://www.sgammo.com/product/223-55...ld-ar-15-ammun

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