Best Brand of ammo

A place to discuss calibers, ammunition, and reloading

Best Brand of ammo

Postby pr0tect0r on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:19 pm

I know this is probably a lot like asking which gun is the best. There are so many brands out there, many of which I've never heard of before. I've been sticking with Federal so far but I want to know is there a de-facto gold standard brand that is a pretty safe bet for good quality and consistency? I'd be looking for 9mm FMJ (range shooting) and JHP (home defense/carry).

Thanks for any advice you can give a relative gun newb! Happy shooting!


-pr0tect0r
pr0tect0r
 
Posts: 6 [View]
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby crbutler on Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:45 pm

Lapua for target ammo.

Norma and Federal put out good product as well for target ammo.

Hunting ammo, Federal (with premium bullets) and Norma.

I would put Nosler and Barnes in the good hunting ammo category but they haven't been around long enough to be absolutely confident.

That is for centerfire, more rifle than handgun. The only one I recommend staying away from is Hornady. They can't stay away from fiddling with things to cut costs, and they have unacceptable rates of breaking things...and you never know if they changed something until after the fact. I have had some dangerous game ammo from them that refused to chamber in my .416 rigby which was replaced, but doesn't drive confidence there. I do reload more than use factory, but tend to buy factory for my brass supply.

Shotgun... take your pick as far as your desired pellet for hunting ammo. Kent tungsten matrix is excellent, RSI bismuth is ok, but you need to be very careful with hevishot as they market all kinds of stuff. The original and hevi13 were or are good as was their dead coyote stuff.... the rest has a proportion of steel shot. For high end lead, Federal is what I normally use, but any buffered major American ammo will be good. As far as I'm concerned, steel is crap. Black cloud is overpriced crap, winchesters hex shot patterns somewhat oddly for me, and Remington's hypersonic loads have had a bunch of recalls.

Self defense ammo for handguns...I've not had to use it, so that for me is based off recommended stuff from the media. I've used Winchester, Remington, Federal and Speer as well as corbon. Cor bon was a bit warm at times, but it functioned. Never had issues with any premium SD ammo as far as reliability, but .380 Corbon loads didn't kill a ground hog really well the one time I used it to get rid of a pest.

My experience with blaster grade ammo is very limited. I've seen lots of folks using Winchester white box in USPSA and IDPA competition, and they don't complain about it much. For that grade of stuff I use reloads for the most part, and they seem better than I recall cheap and milsurp ammo being way back in the day.

Rim fire is the odd one. It is lot sensitive. I've had reliability issues with Winchester wildcat and Remington thunderbolt, but otherwise some lots of CCI green tag or federal gold medal shoot better for me in my guns than the limited amount of lapua and eley match ammo I've tried. If you are looking for that level of performance, buy a box of everything then buy case lots of the lot that shoots best in your gun. CCI and Federal seem to always go bang for me in their cheapest iterations, while Winchester and Remington's cheap ammo tends to have 1-2/100 dud rate for me.

You need to decide quality to price.... I've shot a heck of a lot more cheap milsurp than Federal gold medal match, especially in playing around.
crbutler
 
Posts: 946 [View]
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:29 pm

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby mmcnx2 on Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:25 am

Shotgun I run Fiocchi Golden Pheasant and Hevi-Shot Classic Doubles. Self defense I run Hornady or Federal, rifle I reload 100%. Pistol I reload most but in 9mm I run Winchester, Fiocchi, Federal, Hornady, or Remington. 22 federal.

I've never had any trouble with any of the brands above. I tried Blazer once, had major issues with setback in a revolver.

I don't run any re-manufactured ammo or some of the niche manufactures (because most of it is manufactured by an unknown 3rd party) . A few examples of why:

Ruger and Sig don't manufacturer their own ammo, they bid it out on a contract. Might be Winchester could be Bob in his basement - you really don't know.
Buffalo bore makes all sorts of crazy loads and provides no pressure data. They list 40 +p ammo on their page - there is no such thing.
User avatar
mmcnx2
 
Posts: 2139 [View]
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Hanover, MN

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby Seismic Sam on Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:06 am

I shoot nothing but Seismic Sam's Blammo Brand Ammo!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
User avatar
Seismic Sam
 
Posts: 5492 [View]
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:02 pm
Location: Pass By-You, Loosianana

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby Randygmn on Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:55 am

pr0tect0r wrote:I know this is probably a lot like asking which gun is the best. There are so many brands out there, many of which I've never heard of before. I've been sticking with Federal so far but I want to know is there a de-facto gold standard brand that is a pretty safe bet for good quality and consistency? I'd be looking for 9mm FMJ (range shooting) and JHP (home defense/carry).

Thanks for any advice you can give a relative gun newb! Happy shooting!


-pr0tect0r


9mm semi auto range ammo- no harm in buying value priced ammo. Stuff like cheap blazer and Winchester white always goes bang. And for the price is great. If you want to save even more through the mail- check out Ventura munitions. They have the best priced range ammo and have really picked upntheir game as far as quality goes in the last 18 months. They are a HUGE operation now. Edit: can also check Palmetto state armory for their ammo sales. They offer great prices, too.

For self defense ammo- federal HST and Speer gold dots are the standard. Lehigh defense makes cutting edge projectiles and offers the best .380 ammo ever made (extreme penetrators), IMO, making that caliber viable for self defense, again, IMO.
Randygmn
 
Posts: 683 [View]
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:52 pm

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby smurfman on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:12 am

I recently got back into shooting 9mm and found pretty much anything works for range use. I have not had a failure to fire or any other issue with any load off the shelf so far. There was one trial box of a certain brand that left me scratching my head due to poor accuracy but I was given a couple boxes of the same brand later on and I shot it as well or poorly as other brands so went back to buying it hen the price is right.

I reload so most of my choices are reload able brass case. IMI, Federal, Winchester, PMC, CCI Blaser Brass, Fiocchi, Remington, Magtech, and many more have gone the barrels of my guns without issue. I keep my eyes open and bought whatever I ran across for under $9 a box. Other than that one box, everything reload able I've tried so far has shot to my ability and probably surpasses it.

I do use steel and aluminum cased ammo at times, mainly for plinking at the cabin. I've shot Wolf, Tula, and WPA the most but have shot a fair bit of Winchester lately. These have had some accuracy issues in my guns with some unexplained fliers occurring when shooting paper. I solved that by using these rounds on stumps, dirt clods, and other targets of opportunity as a flier doesn't show up as readily so confidence is not shaken. I did use some of the Wolf in 45 ACP for my carry permit range session once, it failed to eject from an Officer model 1911 a couple of times over the short shooting course. This was around the time the case coatings were being switched from lacquer to polymer and I might have had the older lacquer coating. I know I had not had issues previous in that gun nor did I have any later.


I have used CCI Blaser aluminum case ammo as well as some of the Federal aluminum case. Both have worked fine and have been comparable to the brass cased ammo. I use it for the same purposes as the steel cased.

For defense purposes I use Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot in 115 or 124 gr +P loadings. I chose them for the 9mm based on the experience of others and that they were the least expensive choices at the time. I personally believe there is not a lot of difference in the top of the line self defense ammo so one should pick a brand and feel well served.
smurfman
 
Posts: 700 [View]
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby Scratch on Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:37 am

For 9mm FMJ... I'd say shoot the cheapest stuff you can find. I would say to even go with steel cased except for the fact that one time in my G17, at temps in the teens, I had about 2 rounds per mag give me problems with steel cased stuff. I've never shot steel cased in my pistol since then even though it would probably work fine in the temps I shoot. I reload now so I haven't bought range ammo in years.

For self defense ammo, I like Speer Gold Dots, but there are lots of other good self defense ammo options to choose from. I'd suggest something bonded and test it out in your handguns.


Rifle is where you can get picky. If you want precision, you're going to have to try a bunch to find the ammo that shoots well in your rifle. You can have some ammo shoot great in one rifle, but shoot not so great in another rifle.
01 FFL in Hudson Wisconsin
User avatar
Scratch
 
Posts: 1821 [View]
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:23 pm
Location: Hudson, WI

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby pr0tect0r on Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 pm

Thanks for the quick and informative posts! I failed to clarify that my wife and I recently bought 9mm sub compacts (S&W MP9c and HK VP9SK). My HK will be for HD/CC, wife won't carry but wants something for HD while I'm gone and she's home alone.

One question I had now that you mention aluminum and steel cased rounds, the manual for my HK says they don't recommend using aluminum or steel ammo. Is this something I should be concerned about and heed their warning? I bought a 200rd box of Federal 9mm aluminum cased ammo and then I saw that in the manual... doh! I picked up some brass rounds for now just in case but wife's S&W doesn't mention anything about steel/aluminum being a problem.

This is all good info because eventually I'll probably pick up an AR for range fun as well. Thanks again!
pr0tect0r
 
Posts: 6 [View]
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby Scratch on Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:29 pm

I'm sure others have their opinions regarding steel and aluminum cased ammo, but I wouldn't have a problem with it for range ammo. I'm sure the manufacturers concern is that the steel case could damage the chamber after many, many rounds. Not sure what the concern is with aluminum cases though... I wouldn't have any problem shooting aluminum cased ammo and would probably use steel cased ammo if I was looking to save some money (and didn't already reload)

I know some ranges that save brass for scrap don't allow aluminum cases since the aluminum is harder to separate (because it's not magnetic) so keep that in mind.

I used to shoot steel case in my AR's and the only problems I had with it was light primer strikes, but besides that it never caused any problems. A lot of steel cased AR ammo have steel projectiles so don't shoot it at steel targets. Check with a magnet before you do.
01 FFL in Hudson Wisconsin
User avatar
Scratch
 
Posts: 1821 [View]
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:23 pm
Location: Hudson, WI

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby smurfman on Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:34 pm

Your manuals probably have advisories against reloaded ammo too but there are many who use reloads without issue.

There was once some claims regarding steel case ammo being tough on extractors but that was with lacquer coatings which is why polymers are now used. I would shoot steel and especially aluminum cases without a second thought.
smurfman
 
Posts: 700 [View]
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby JJ on Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:02 am

Most likely, the advisory against steel and aluminum cases, relates back to the fluted chambers of HK's. Steel and brass do not have the expansion properties of brass under pressure, and cause a poor chamber seal in the fluted chambers of HK products.

The rearward gas flow, and lower pressure in the barrel likely cause some reliability issues. As well, many steel cased pistol ammo's are loaded to lower pressures in an attempt to load more cases, with less powder.
"a man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box." Frederick Douglass
User avatar
JJ
 
Posts: 3533 [View]
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:43 pm
Location: Princeton

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby andrewP on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:42 pm

Scratch wrote:For self defense ammo, I like Speer Gold Dots, but there are lots of other good self defense ammo options to choose from. I'd suggest something bonded and test it out in your handguns.


Yup, this list is a good place to start - basically pick something from there that you can easily find at a price you're willing to pay, test it in your guns, and if it runs and is accurate for you, you're good to go:

https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?4337-Service-Caliber-Handgun-Duty-and-Self-Defense-Ammo
andrewP
 
Posts: 449 [View]
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:50 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby photogpat on Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:34 am

Federal

Buy local.
Nothing to see here. Continue swimming.
User avatar
photogpat
 
Posts: 3529 [View]
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:01 pm
Location: Securely barricaded

Re: Best Brand of ammo

Postby OldmanFCSA on Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:18 pm

RELOAD

Control your own destiny.
OldmanFCSA
 
Posts: 2704 [View]
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:55 pm
Location: Osceola, WI.


Return to Ammunition & Reloading

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: linksep and 4 guests

cron