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MEK37 11-20-2008 07:21 PM

What Type Of .223 Ammo To Buy?
Just wondering if someone could explain to me the differences in .223 ammo. I am finishing up an AR 15 (Stag Arms) and I want to know what type of ammo to buy. I know what full metal jacket and hollow points are, but what is v-max and soft point? Also, what does .223 remington mean? Is this the manufacturer who origanally made this round or something? Any information would be great, thanks.

Dillinger 11-20-2008 07:34 PM

My first question would be what is your Stag chambered for? Because .223 and 5.56mm are slightly different.

If it's .223 chamber only - then make sure you are buying civilian .223

V-max is a type of varmint hunting round that, I am pretty sure, was originally put out by Hornady. It features, basically, a hollow point type of ammo, but instead of being hollow, they have a ballistic tip that fills in the normal hollow point and makes it looks like a regular bullet.

But why one would ask?

Go here and read the propaganda.

Soft point is basically a semi jacketed round. Lead, with a coating of copper/brass, but it leaves the lead tip open. Soft points are believed to go deeper into tissue and expand less than a traditional "Hollow Point"

I am not up on the latest and greatest about hunting ammo, so you will want to check with the guys here, or your local laws as to whether or not certain ammo is banned from "hunting" varmints or critters with certain types of ammo.

Hope that helps...


hillbilly68 11-20-2008 09:44 PM

Cant tell what you are looking to use it for, but my guess is a shooter for shootin';). The two big flavors that 5.56 (and .223 for the most part when talking FMJ) are 55 grain and 62 grain. Shooters preference here, with a modern gun (1:9 usually) you can take either. Like my brother said above, make damn sure you are chambered for 5.56 to shoot either 5.56 or .223.

You can find varying bullet weights in HP, HPBT, HPBT match, soft point, VMAX, TAP etc. Most economical is the FMJ in 55 gr.

OK, now for the OPINION... don't EVER shoot steel cased Wolf ammo in your gun. The Wolf Gold is good ammo, made in Serbia (Privi Partizan) so it is good plinking stuff.

Again, depends on what you want to do. Hope this helps, throw any other specific questions out here, there are so many guys that will pile on and help you find out what you want to know. Good luck!

stalkingbear 11-20-2008 11:04 PM

You don't want to shoot ANY steel cased ammo in your rifle UNLESS you're prepared to clean it quite often. The reason for this is the coating on the case will melt in your chamber,building up until it malfunctions or creates an unsafe condition (excessive pressure) due to the now smaller inside chamber dimensions because of the coating buildup. Once it cools down it's a LOT harder to clean because it's then hardened again(reverted back to solid).

bkt 11-20-2008 11:40 PM

I'm pretty sure all Stag ARs are chambered for 5.56, so we're good on that front.

Remington .223 is the civilian version of the NATO 5.56. It is a slightly different round, but compatible with a rifle chambered for 5.56.

I've fired several thousand Remington UMC and Ultramax factory reloads, both in .223. No problems. The Ultramax are inexpensive and, from my experience, very reliable.

You can get several different kinds of 5.56 in various weights. Assuming you have a 1:9 twist barrel, you will probably want to stick with a bullet between 45gr and 62gr. Buy what you want, try it out, and keep notes. Radway Green SS109 steel-core is pretty good stuff at a reasonable price.

hillbilly is right about steel-cased ammo: stay away from it. Some Wolf ammo is steel-cased. Steel is harder than brass and will cause premature wear on your rifle. Also, some Wolf ammo has a lacquer on it that will gum up the extractor and cause FTEs. Be a little careful what you use.

SmyrnaPD1243 11-21-2008 07:10 PM

I wanted to give some more insight into the steel casing/nickel plated ammuntion so you don't find yourself with a broken rifle. I am a police officer in Georgia and 2 days ago while the County SWAT team where I work was shooting their Bushmaster Ar-15's during a nightfire excercise. An officer had a malfunction where the trigger would not pull and the bolt was stuck halfway back. When a range master shined his light on the officer's gun, they discovered the bolt had blown in half and pieces of it had flown approximately 25 yards away. As of today, they still are unable to get the gun unjammed, even though it wouldn't be of use if they did.

With that said, they were shooting Hornady .223 Steel/Nickel Plated Ammo with the lacquer on it. There have been several documented instances of the lacquer on the ammo melting and solidfying inside the barrel/bolts/trigger assemblies of the weapons. There has been a long running dispute if it could cause a blow out due to pressure problems. Do I know it caused it for sure? No I don't, but we will know something shortly since Bushmaster and Hornady are both sending reps to the Department to figure out exactly what happened. There is one reason why we are using steel now when we didn't used to. It's just simply the overall shortage of ammo due to the war and rising costs. Will I ever shoot steel ammo again? Hell no! I'd much rather pay extra instead of risking a malfunction or worse. Just my two cents. Also I am attempting to obtain photographs of the rifle and I will post them ASAP.

Dillinger 11-21-2008 07:17 PM

1) Welcome to the Forum

2) That you for posting and please keep us informed.

Pictures would be a God Send for some around here who have batted this issues back and forth for awhile now.


MEK37 11-21-2008 07:58 PM

The rifle is chambered in 5.56 so I will be getting the cheaper and more available .223 cal. As for brand names I have read that Black Hills, Hornady, Winchester, and Federal are all really good. I didnt plan on buying different boxes of 20 rounds just to test and see what I like.I was going to get a case of 250 or 500. This is the reason I am asking you guys about ammo types and brands. I want something that is plenty accurate, clean, reliable, and not too expensive (remember this is for casual target shooting at the range only). Also how much of a difference in accuracy for FMJ, HP, SF, etc...? about the steel cased ammo, I also have an SKS and bought 500 rounds of Wolf "military classic" FMJ for real cheap. I guess I should be careful when shooting it right?, mabey do a quick cleaning after every 40-50 rounds. I definately don't want any crap ammo going through my AR which I have about $800 invested into. So I wont be getting Wolf or any other steel cased ammo. Thanks for all the help!!!

SmyrnaPD1243 11-21-2008 09:08 PM

I would be very careful shooting steel/nickel plated ammo. But if you have to shoot steel to save money, be sure you clean it after 50 rounds or you might have a bigger problem then finding ammo. If you go to the manufacturers website of the ammo you are buying, they have all the ballistics. As far as ammo choice goes with FMJ, Match Grade etc, it all depends on what you want to do.

Txhillbilly 11-21-2008 10:57 PM

Depending on where you live,you might check with any local dealers that reload ammo. Here in Dallas/Ft.Worth there are a couple of places that sell reloads for a decent price(well for todays prices),and Cabelas even has bulk reloaded ammo that they sell. If you are just going to be plinking and do not need precission loads,there is no need in buying expensive factory ammo. I just bought 1000rds of new(not reloaded) from one of the factories that makes military ammo for $350,it is 55gr FMJ,and I use it just for plinking and use my handloads for hunting and precise shooting. If you plan on shooting alot,you might want to think about reloading. It will save you money in the long run.

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