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Factory ammo for Production


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I typically buy S&B 115 grain and use that with my Shadow 2 for competition. I don’t plan to reload, so I’ll continue to use factory. I’ve tried S&B 124 grain but didn’t really see any difference. The S&B seems to have a fairly high published velocity - 1280 for the 115 grain. But, it seems fine to me and plenty accurate.

 

Is there a better option in 124 or 147 grain at a decent price point? Or does it even matter that much in a heavy tank like the Shadow 2?

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S&B are hotter than necessary for Production.  You should switch to something loaded to normal specs, not NATO.  You can buy good 115 and 124 ammo for under $8 box/50 if you shop carefully.

 

115s should be going between 1125 and 1145fps.  124s- between 1050 and 1090fps.  147s- 980 or less.  There is no reason to use a hotter load, because the recoil is greater, muzzle rise is greater and your splits are slower.

 

Which you choose depends on what you prioritize.  If you don't care about the hit to your hand and want the quickest return of the sights for the second shot, go with 115s.  Factory 147s are a little on the stiff side at 144PF, so I'd pass on them, unless you decide to reload them to a lower PF.  That leaves 124s.  I like them for steel, pins and plates, etc.  For USPSA I'd shoot 115s, unless my gun did not like them.

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Since you don't plan to reload, there a lot of steel and aluminum cased options that are maybe less than half the price of S&B 155's (using ammoman.com as a reference). In the last 8 years or so I've shot many cases of Tula and Wolf (polymer, not lacquered) through my Glocks with only one failure. That was a few years ago when I found a round that had a severe setback. 

 

And I don't use them just for practice. They work. And they're cheap.

 

 

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4 hours ago, ima45dv8 said:

Since you don't plan to reload, there a lot of steel and aluminum cased options that are maybe less than half the price of S&B 155's (using ammoman.com as a reference). In the last 8 years or so I've shot many cases of Tula and Wolf (polymer, not lacquered) through my Glocks with only one failure. That was a few years ago when I found a round that had a severe setback. 

 

And I don't use them just for practice. They work. And they're cheap.

 

 

 

I got some Tula 180 grain FMJ .40 ammo awhile back when Walmart had it on super clearance. It chronoed at 166PF. If I could buy it at $4 a box all the time and USPSA hadn’t outlawed bi-metal bullets, that’s all I’d shoot. 

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Federal Synthetic is the most consistent ammo I have shot. However, such a high level of consistency is overkill, unless we are talking about bulls-eye type of shooting. I could get 1MOA from Blazer at 25yard, offhand. For me it is accurate enough to shoot any USPSA match. I don't like S&B and Winchester, because they are both not as clean as Blazer and Federal. 

As for the casing material, I hesitate to shoot any steel. Aluminium is fine, and its accuracy/consistency is on par with brass. 

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I saw some issues with the 124 Syntech this weekend. There were a couple of rounds that seemed just over squib level. This was a top level shooter who was giving the ammo a try as part of a sponsorship deal.  There is another thread on here discussing some other shooters having issues with the Syntech as well. 

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Whatever's cheap.  I don't think it makes a difference.

 

4 hours ago, Sean_ht said:

Federal Synthetic is the most consistent ammo I have shot. However, such a high level of consistency is overkill, unless we are talking about bulls-eye type of shooting. I could get 1MOA from Blazer at 25yard, offhand. For me it is accurate enough to shoot any USPSA match. I don't like S&B and Winchester, because they are both not as clean as Blazer and Federal. 

As for the casing material, I hesitate to shoot any steel. Aluminium is fine, and its accuracy/consistency is on par with brass. 

 

You can shoot 0.26" groups at 25 yards?  That's impressive 🤨

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6 hours ago, Southpaw said:

Whatever's cheap.  I don't think it makes a difference.

 

 

You can shoot 0.26" groups at 25 yards?  That's impressive 🤨

My bad, 1", not 1MOA :P

Still, very accurate. The point is the Blazer (which is not a special ammo in any sense) could be accurate enough (in this case very accurate).

 

BTW, a guy in the range at the line beside me told me the same thing :)

Edited by Sean_ht
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13 hours ago, Southpaw said:

 

You have to chrono whatever ammo you're using in your gun, can't just go by velocity stated on box for factory ammo.

 

Exactly - the data are quite off. Sellier Bellot 115gr are doing usually about 133 - 135 in a production gun (Tanfoglio Stock/Glock 17)

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Most any bulk 124 gr 9mm is gonna be around mid-130s PF......say around 133 to 139 or so depending on brand, temperature, etc.  I've been chronoed at Level 2 and Area matches with factory 124 gr multiple times in the past and it was all in this range.  As far as buying bulk factory 9mm ammo for USPSA goes, 124 gr is your best bet for consistency & price.  The price of a case of 124 gr is often the same as 115 gr, or very close, whereas 147 gr is often a little higher.  115 gr bulk PF range is a little wider than 124 gr and a little lower too.  It'll be close to the PF floor up to 135 or so depending on the brand & powder & temperature, etc.  Bulk 147 gr will often PF around 138 to 145.  Keep in mind that a certain brand of ammo may change powders over different batches over time.  They aren't so focused on velocity as much as they are on pressures.  So, if you buy a certain brand anticipating a set velocity you might not always hit that velocity, but with the 124 gr you will certainly always safely make PF.  Buy whatever bulk 9mm you can find on sale, 124 gr or 115 gr, and don't get tied into a particular bulk brand and you'll be fine.

 

If you get "9mm NATO" it'll be hotter.  Think of 9mm NATO as a +p round.

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