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Ammo Manufacturer Tier List


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looking for some suggestions on the different ammo manufacturers out there as I am a novice. 

if you could make a list of the top five ammo producers  that you wouldnt think twice buying from who are they?  this is for 9mm and 556, no particular order just in the event i walk into a store with a small selection.

who would you stay away from at all cost even if you needed one bullet to save a family members life?  (extreme i know) 

Edited by NwoSlave
proper english
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Most of the time you'll find that different guns seem to run better on different ammo.  This question comes up a lot, and there never seems to be much agreement on it.  Experiment with as many different loads as you can with your particular firearm and make the determination yourself for  whatever arms you normally shoot.  That being said, given the present circumstances with ammo availability, if you're short on supply you might consider just settling for whatever you can find at a price you're comfortable with ...

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I agree with @No_0ne. Once available, try as many brands as you can, in the bullet weight of your choice, for reliability and point of impact with your sights, on your chosen gun.

The twist rate of your AR (5.56) should direct you to bullet weight ranges.

I have a preference for Federal handgun ammo. But Federal, Winchester, Speer, Hornady, Remington (and several others) make quality ammo.

Maybe they'll be readily available again... one day. 😉

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9 hours ago, NwoSlave said:

who would you stay away from at all cost even if you needed one bullet to save a family members life?

Every ammunition manufacturer makes reliable ammo. If it's on the store shelf, it's going to meet SAAMI specs and should chamber and fire without any problems.  Stay away from old ammo you may find with evidence of corrosion on the case, or from reloaded ammunition from anyone you don't know and trust very well. I load virtually all my own ammunition, but I'd never fire reloads that I found at an estate sale, for example.

As the others stated, your particular arms are going to be more or less accurate with different loads, but they aren't talking about hitting or missing the target entirely.

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4 hours ago, Darrell said:

Every ammunition manufacturer makes reliable ammo. If it's on the store shelf, it's going to meet SAAMI specs and should chamber and fire without any problems.  Stay away from old ammo you may find with evidence of corrosion on the case, or from reloaded ammunition from anyone you don't know and trust very well. I load virtually all my own ammunition, but I'd never fire reloads that I found at an estate sale, for example.

As the others stated, your particular arms are going to be more or less accurate with different loads, but they aren't talking about hitting or missing the target entirely.

 

ive read negative opinions of wolf and tula. while federal pmc speer and blazer are quality ammo.  would you concur with those sentiments?

 

 

7 hours ago, Jamie Jackson said:

I agree with @No_0ne. Once available, try as many brands as you can, in the bullet weight of your choice, for reliability and point of impact with your sights, on your chosen gun.

The twist rate of your AR (5.56) should direct you to bullet weight ranges.

I have a preference for Federal handgun ammo. But Federal, Winchester, Speer, Hornady, Remington (and several others) make quality ammo.

Maybe they'll be readily available again... one day. 😉

ammoseek.com  ?

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1 hour ago, NwoSlave said:

 

ive read negative opinions of wolf and tula. while federal pmc speer and blazer are quality ammo.  would you concur with those sentiments?

 

 

ammoseek.com  ?

Wolf and Tula make reliable and reasonably accurate ammo. Many folks don’t like steel case ammo for several reasons, but the ammo shoots find.

What you have to consider is what purpose said ammo will be used for. Hunting ammo will be different from benchrest competition ammo or plinking ammo.

Short answer is anything commercially produced for the chambering of your rifle or handgun should reliably go “bang”. I’d steer away from handloads of unknown origin.

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Wolf and Tula, like other manufacturers, make a variety of types and loads on ammunition.  Wolf Gold, which is their brass-cased variety, is generally considered about as good as anything made domestically by many people.  On the other hand, as greg pointed out, some guns don't seem to run reliably on steel cased ammo, however many Comm-bloc surplus weapons feed steel case ammo with no problems and some seem to even prefer it.  Ammoseek is normally a good resource for finding in-stock ammo, but lately supplies sell out so fast that by the time their bots list it, it's already gone.  Some stores don't allow their wares to be listed on Ammoseek and similar sites, Aim Surplus is one.  Your best bet for finding supplies is to be on everyone's mailing list and be prepared to move quickly once the email blast goes out.  Once the current shortage is over, remember the lessons learned and "but it cheap and stack it deep" as the saying goes so you won't be caught short-handed the next time we have one of these "sky is falling" runs on ammo ...

Edited by No_0ne
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1 hour ago, NwoSlave said:

 

ammoseek.com  ?

I stand corrected. 

"Affordably priced " readily available ammo LOL 

 

I shot a good bit of Wolf and Tula ammo,  in both carbine and handgun ( 9mm and 45 acp).

I've found it a bit dirty,  but totally functional. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Jamie Jackson said:

I stand corrected. 

"Affordably priced " readily available ammo LOL 

 

I shot a good bit of Wolf and Tula ammo,  in both carbine and handgun ( 9mm and 45 acp).

I've found it a bit dirty,  but totally functional. 

 

i know the prices are high compared to 2019 but they have come down from their highs.  556 was hitting 1.00+ per round and 9mm was .80 cents per round late last year as far as ammoseek was concerned, thats when i stopped buying. i wont even touch gunbrokers for any ammo auction or BIN.  at least their has been a reduction instead of a steady increase. it will either come down further or this is the new base line prices. 

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3 hours ago, NwoSlave said:

ive read negative opinions of wolf and tula. while federal pmc speer and blazer are quality ammo.  would you concur with those sentiments?

I've used neither Wolf nor Tula (I shoot my own hand-loads almost entirely). But I know a LOT of it gets burned. 

Edited by Darrell
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Keep in mind that many of the biggest producers have several different lines of ammunition.  Usually they break down to plinking, range/target, self-defense, and premium ranges.  Quality can be VERY different across those lines.

The Russian-made steel case ammo tends to be very dirty.  Some of it also tends to be loaded to be low-powered.

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  • 7 months later...
Quote

I don't use steel-cased ammo.

Why not? Can you provide some arguments against steel cased ammo? Yeah, I know that some people don't like steel ammo because it can affect the weapon in negative way. Well, I agree with that, and that's why I rarely use steel.  I mostly use the federal 9mm HST ammo which I get from a good online platform. But in general, I prefer different manufacturers and it depends on what I need atm. For example, when I need smth for my Winchester...the company is on my radar, and so on.

Edited by GunStun
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A lot of folks use and like steel cased ammo. I'm not one of them. There are lots of stories out there about it doing lots of bad things to guns. Mostly connected to the varnish coating the chamber of the guns its used in causing extraction and ejection issues. 

Years ago I bought a case of Wolf steel cased .30 Carbine ammo because it was cheap and I didn't know better.  Dadgum stuff broke the extractor in my rifle not once, but twice! 🤬 I've never had any problems with brass cased ammo. I'll never use any steel cased ammo of any caliber again.  But that's just me. 🙄

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9 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

Mostly connected to the varnish coating the chamber of the guns its used in causing extraction and ejection issues. 

Brass case ammo expands and seals the chamber so no gas gets by into the chamber. Steel case will not expand, thus gas gets by and contaminates the chamber with burned debris. If you do not CLEAN THE CHAMBER WELL and then shoot brass, the brass will expand and get caught in the chamber, even break the extractor or the case rim.

https://www.typicalshooter.com/shooting-steel-ammo-in-your-ar-15/

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Much of this has been mentioned already but I regularly purchase and shoot (when actually available) 

Laupua
Norma
Federal
Hornady

Less often but still always on my radar;
CCI
Winchester
Remington
Sellier & Bellot 
Aguila
Fiocchi

Most or my components for reloading are CCI, Hornady, Starline, Lapua, S&B, Hogdon, and Federal.

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Only ammo I have ever had a bad experience with was a brand called Maxx Tech. I tried 9, .40, and .45 in multiple guns. I could never get it to cycle the slide reliably and got occasional bad primers. I have my preferences, but I’d trust my life to almost any ammo you can find, other than Maxx Tech. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think the more helpful thing would be to report any current problems encountered with ammo brands. Winchester white box has been falling off a cliff the last few years in quality. 15 years ago it was all I used. Stopped buying it a couple years ago when i started noticing seating depth was all over the place, dirty cases, crooked bullets and smashed primers. Various calibers and various boxes. Could be fixed at any time though if they recalibrate their lines. Has been nothing but federal for me since.

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