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By BlasterRick2
#45807
Howdy Fanatiks, just wanted to start a thread on range ammo. The wife and I shoot a lot and so we are always on the look-out for inexpensive range ammo. Since brass ammo is now just pennies a round more than steel, we have ditched all the steel offerings. There is a list however "never heard of, never shot" ammo brands on our list that we would love to get some feedback on and I'm sure others would too.

Here has been our COVID ammo shortage experience:

Recommended:
Norma (never shot it before COVID, now our go-to range ammo, can be somewhat smoky)
Fiocchi (shot a lot pre-COVID, now just becoming affordable again)
MagTech (same as Fiocchi, shot a lot pre-COVID, do not confuse with MaxxTech)
Seller & Belloit (same as Fiocchi, but liked Fiocchi better)
Aguila (same as Fiocchi, didn't shoot much)
Remington (same as Fiocchi, harder to find good deals, shorter bullet, Mag Pump doesn't like)
CCI -Speer (same as Fiocchi, harder to find good deals)
CCI Blazer (bought some aluminum cased on a back-order deal to good to pass up - Mag Pump doesn't like)
CCI Blazer Brass (just shot 1000 rounds without a hitch - rounds felt extra slippery, a good thing! New favorite next to Norma.)
*Armscor (Recommended by another Fanatik - I have a vague recollection of shooting this)

Recommended with reservations: (Cycles ok, but smoky, sparky, and dirtier)
Geco (rounder bullet than Norma, smokier and dirtier too - Mag Pump loader doesn't like)
PMC (smoky, sparky, low power)
MaxxTech (same as PMC as I recall - did not shoot much)
Winchester (previously had on recommended list, but in recent experience it was very smoky, and dirty to the point of causing some stove pipes)

Not recommended: (FTF, hard primers, squib loads, manufacturing defects)
Belom (YMMV, I had some issues related to my spring set up and hard primers)
DRZ (can't remember all the issues, but went on our do not buy list)
Zinc Point/Still American/Turan (took this off my never tried list due to very good deal on 1000 rounds. Ammo was described as "Still American" and came in plain, flimsy, unbranded boxes. Stamp on cartridge base was "TRN" which is the Turkish ammo Turan. Squib loads, improperly seated bullets, FTF from hard primers - this ammo has it all if you are in to clearing jams and tap & rack practice.)
Sterling (new to the do not recommend - did not buy this but friends we squad up with in competition had multiple failure to fires. They shoot Sigs, so not the gun's fault!)

Never heard of, never shot: (but would like opinions!)
MKE (this one and those below frequently show up on the cheap end of ammoseek)
Anatolian
MEDEF
PMP
Merica

There are more ammo outfits on our "never heard of, never shot" list, so feel free to add. No offense if you take issue with our range ammo rankings. There was a time not so long ago that we were not so picky about our ammo and was happy to have and shoot whatever.
Last edited by BlasterRick2 on Mon Sep 12, 2022 7:17 pm, edited 9 times in total.
#45813
"Norma (never shot it before COVID, now our go-to range ammo, can be somewhat smoky)" - Not recommended if you want to reload it. The flash holes are VERY small and when depriming, the depriming pin can't pass through it. I toss them when sorting.

But I have heard that they shoot OK.
#45819
I'm in agreement with your recommended list, I'd add PPU to it, and Winchester 115gr would be on my with reservations list due to inconsistency in loads I actually aint bought any since Walmart cleared it out , however 124 NATO Winchester would be on my recommended list, Remington I find tends to be kind of dirty.
Maxxtech I've not bought in about 4 years when I did every single package I bought had rounds that wasn't properly seated they could easily be pushed into the brass maybe it was a bad batch but they're on my do not buy list.

MKE and Sterling I'd gotten a couple box's of each in 9mm somewhere, they may of been a little dirty but they seemed to shoot ok.
Monarch brass ammo alot seemed to be made in Serbia pretty sure they're rebranding PPU, I've had 9mm, 45acp. and 5.56 serbian made monarch and all performed well.
#45820
Add 124 gr Speer Gold Dot to the good to shoot list but you have to take out a home equity loan to buy it.
#45822
I shoot without issue much of what's on your "recommended" list, though I also love my Speer Lawman for training at the range.

Fiocchi
MagTech
Seller & Belloit
Aguila
Armscor - another you can add. Shoot it lot's, no issues in my 9's or 45's.

PMC, never shot it myself, but I know the SAAMI specs are "off" compared to the recommended and more reputable, trusted brands on the list, and we have a lot of students with S&W EZ's that puke when using them. There's another Czech brand that does the same thing, but my mind is drawing a blank as to which at the moment. Light strikes galore.

Neil 8-)
#45861
One other range ammo factor I neglected to take into account - how it feeds in our Mag Pump. My wife has hand/wrist issues that makes repeated loading with an Uplula painful. The Mag Pump does not consistently feed/load range ammo with shorter, rounder bullets, specifically, Remington and Geco. It also doesn't like the aluminum cased Blazer, which I load with the Uplula.
#45862
Target sports usa used to carry Republic. I haven't seen it on since Russia invaded Ukraine, but I bought a case of it prior and it shoots well. No issues whatsoever, comes with sealed casing, non corosive primers and at a good price (something like $.31 a round delivered). If I find it again I will buy more, if not I will be trying the sergeant major munition for about the same price.
By StuartV
#46054
I have shot a fair bit of Anatolian 9mm 115gr with no issues. I have no idea how you'd rate it for being smoky or whatever. All I pay attention to is does it work or not.

Ditto for bulk ammo from LAX Ammunition.

Recently, I got a case of Freedom Munitions 9mm 147gr ball. I cannot (yet) say for SURE that it's the ammo. But, I have never had a single issue with my Dan Wesson Guardian, using a DW 9mm barrel, until I started shooting the FM 147gr through it. Now, I've had several jams during matches. The only thing that is different is the ammo. Before my match this weekend, I am going to sit with my ammo and drop every round into the chamber (with barrel removed from gun, of course) and make sure they all go in and out properly. Based on performance at my last couple of matches, I'm kind of expecting to find some "problem" rounds in among the Freedom Munitions stuff.

I got a case of Turan 9mm 115gr FMJ from 2A Warehouse about 3 months ago. No complaints or problems with it.

I shoot PMC a lot in 38 Super. It's about the only 38 Super range ammo I can find these days. I have never had any issues with it.
By OldGnome
#46061
I agree on the Magtech, expecially in a 124 grain. A few months ago I ran into an on-line deal for some Federal Syntech Range, in 115 grain flat nose. I had a lot of FTF's with it, in both my SFX METE, TP9 V2, and even my Walther PPQ. I ended up having to send it back to Federal, who were very good and refunded the price of my purchase to me. Questionable ammo, but stellar customer service.
#46064
StuartV wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 10:29 am I have shot a fair bit of Anatolian 9mm 115gr with no issues. I have no idea how you'd rate it for being smoky or whatever. All I pay attention to is does it work or not.

Ditto for bulk ammo from LAX Ammunition.

Recently, I got a case of Freedom Munitions 9mm 147gr ball. I cannot (yet) say for SURE that it's the ammo. But, I have never had a single issue with my Dan Wesson Guardian, using a DW 9mm barrel, until I started shooting the FM 147gr through it. Now, I've had several jams during matches. The only thing that is different is the ammo. Before my match this weekend, I am going to sit with my ammo and drop every round into the chamber (with barrel removed from gun, of course) and make sure they all go in and out properly. Based on performance at my last couple of matches, I'm kind of expecting to find some "problem" rounds in among the Freedom Munitions stuff.

I got a case of Turan 9mm 115gr FMJ from 2A Warehouse about 3 months ago. No complaints or problems with it.

I shoot PMC a lot in 38 Super. It's about the only 38 Super range ammo I can find these days. I have never had any issues with it.
I've run into issues with Freedom Munitions in the past, I had both 9mm and.380 and had failures in just about every mag of it. Wasn't just my Caniks, CZ's and Glocks didnt like it either. Been a couple years since I shot it but IIRC my issues were extraction failures.
By StuartV
#46065
TL1000RSquid wrote: Wed Apr 06, 2022 6:46 am
StuartV wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 10:29 am I have shot a fair bit of Anatolian 9mm 115gr with no issues. I have no idea how you'd rate it for being smoky or whatever. All I pay attention to is does it work or not.

Ditto for bulk ammo from LAX Ammunition.

Recently, I got a case of Freedom Munitions 9mm 147gr ball. I cannot (yet) say for SURE that it's the ammo. But, I have never had a single issue with my Dan Wesson Guardian, using a DW 9mm barrel, until I started shooting the FM 147gr through it. Now, I've had several jams during matches. The only thing that is different is the ammo. Before my match this weekend, I am going to sit with my ammo and drop every round into the chamber (with barrel removed from gun, of course) and make sure they all go in and out properly. Based on performance at my last couple of matches, I'm kind of expecting to find some "problem" rounds in among the Freedom Munitions stuff.

I got a case of Turan 9mm 115gr FMJ from 2A Warehouse about 3 months ago. No complaints or problems with it.

I shoot PMC a lot in 38 Super. It's about the only 38 Super range ammo I can find these days. I have never had any issues with it.
I've run into issues with Freedom Munitions in the past, I had both 9mm and.380 and had failures in just about every mag of it. Wasn't just my Caniks, CZ's and Glocks didnt like it either. Been a couple years since I shot it but IIRC my issues were extraction failures.
I ordered 200 more rounds of the Freedom 147gr yesterday. But, this time, with new brass, instead of remanufactured. Fingers crossed their issue is just with how they remanufacture used brass...
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By TL1000RSquid
#46067
StuartV wrote: Wed Apr 06, 2022 8:59 am

I ordered 200 more rounds of the Freedom 147gr yesterday. But, this time, with new brass, instead of remanufactured. Fingers crossed their issue is just with how they remanufacture used brass...
Pretty sure the 9mm I had was new brass, possibly 124gr XTP. I still got half a box of the .380 sitting here which is new brass 90gr xtp, ended up using my buddies chiappa revolver to shoot the 9mm atleast it works in a revolver :grinning:
#46146
OldGnome wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 10:28 pm A few months ago I ran into an on-line deal for some Federal Syntech Range, in 115 grain flat nose. I had a lot of FTF's with it, in both my SFX METE, TP9 V2, and even my Walther PPQ.
Interesting. I recently attended a pistol training course where several shooters, some of whom shoot competitively, were using it. One guy told me he ordered thousands of rounds when Covid started and it was still cheap and available on the Federal site. I noticed in the description that this round is the "official ammo of USPSA". The flat nose is supposed to knock down steel more reliably with less splash back, but I was wary it might cause FTFs. Some other shooters had a blue nosed round, not sure what that was.
#46301
Yes they were already on the list! One caveat on the Fiocchi, which my wife and I have been shooting lately: we have been getting occasional fail to fires with solid looking firing pin hits. These rounds often will go off on the second strike. So looks like the lot we are shooting may have an occasional "hard primer" issue.

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