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May 11, 2012
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Andrew L. Butts Firearms Evals
with Andrew L. Butts

Ammunition used in testing piston-driven ARs

I want to offer a word or two about the ammunition I used for my tests of piston-driven AR systems from Barrett, Primary Weapons Systems, Lewis Machine and Tool, Rock River Arms, Ruger, and Sig Sauer.  My ammo was provided by Prvi Partizan, Golden Tiger Ammo, and Hornady Manufacturing.

Prvi Partizan of Serbia has been producing ammunition for nearly a century and produces both sporting and military ammunition (including artillery shells). In addition to the two loads tested, they also make 62gr FMJ and a 55gr softpoint as well as a 75gr match load. I’ve used Prvi rifle ammo before and have always found it to be good ammo for the money.

Golden Tiger sent me several hundred rounds of their steel cased 56gr full metal jacket ammunition. Hornady sent me samples of their steel cased 55gr FMJ and 75gr BTHP loads. Prvi was kind enough to send a case of their brass cased M193 55gr ball as well as a case of their 69gr BTHP match load.

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Golden Tiger Ammo is imported by Star Vector Corporation in New Hampshire and is steel cased ammo made in Russia. Like most Russian ammo, the Golden Tiger uses a bimetal bullet. Currently, there is only one .223 Remington load available but Golden Tiger also sells 7.62x39 has plans for other calibers in the future.

Hornady is an established American company and has a reputation for innovation. With that in mind, Hornady has partnered with a Russian manufacturer and has started producing “training” ammunition. Hornady obtains primed steel cases from their source overseas and uses these cases to produce both 55gr and 75gr ammunition that is intended to be a cost effective alternative to using duty ammo for practice. This ammunition has been a success for Hornady and they are now producing “Steel Match” that is made on Russian cases but is available in an impressive array of calibers, to include 9mm, 40 S&W and 45ACP.

I have experienced stuck cases and failures to extract with some brands of steel cased ammo but did not have any problems with the Hornady or the Golden Tiger in any of these rifles. Either of these FMJ loadings would — in my experience — be a good choice for inexpensive practice ammo. The Hornady 75gr BTHP training load proved surprisingly accurate and I was able to produce several groups under an inch in several rifles while using this ammo.

Prvi’s ammo also proved to be excellent and their 55gr FMJ load would make an excellent practice load for those wishing to use conventional brass cases. The 69gr match load also proved to be consistent and accurate. The 69gr load would be my load of choice for inexpensive target work.

About the author

Andrew Butts has served as a soldier in the Army National Guard and also served as a correctional officer in Montana, and is currently with a federal law enforcement agency. Butts currently holds an Expert classification in IDPA and an A classification in USPSA in both Limited and Single Stack Divisions.

Contact Andrew Butts




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