As far as affordable ammunition goes, people tend to go for Winchester “white box” or Remington’s value line, UMC. However, when I search for ammo by price, lowest to highest on Cheaper Than Dirt’s website, Win white box and UMC rarely pop up as the cheapest. Now, I tend to pick guns in calibers that ammo stays relatively consistently cheap and easy to find—.22 Long Rifle, .223 Remington and 9mm. My recent foray into the sub-compact .380s means I have been spending a little bit more, but I recently found a reliable round that doesn’t break the bank. For .22 LR, I’ve been able to shoot CCI through rifles and handguns without much issue. TRAJETECH surprised me in 9mm and Armscor tops my list in all calibers.
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The lead smelting plant, Doe Run, in Herculaneum, Missouri, will cease operations in the next couple of weeks. The loss of another domestic facility will certainly cause an additional strain the price of secondary lead—and lead-based ammunition. It is hard at this point to say how much of a strain, but hold on to your wallets. However, there is some good news coming out of all of this.
Consistent, accurate and reliable. The three most important—in fact you should demand it—traits you need your ammo to be. American-made Armscor ammunition provides you all of that in a surprisingly affordable price. This isn’t cheap, dirty or foreign ammo. Your AR-15 will love this clean, crimped properly .223 Remington ammunition. The 55-grain full metal jacket bullet reaches 3050 fps and is perfect for plinking and target practice. Every single round is new production with polished casings, uniform crimps and consistent overall length made in Stevensville, Montana.
One of the hottest names in the black rifle business may be one you haven’t heard yet. Windham Weaponry, started by previous Bushmaster’s previous owner, Richard Dyke has gathered an experienced group of ex-Bushmaster employees to continue to build and improve the AR-15 platform. If someone on your list or even for yourself, Windham Weaponry’s MPC (Military Preferred Carbine) M4 rifle does not cut any corners on quality. The Windham looks exactly like a standard AR, but you will be hard-pressed to find other rifles under $1,000 with so many features.
Not intended as a substitute for an AR-15, the SU-16C is piston operated, like an AK-47 and uses a Johnson/Stoner breech locking system. It is a simple gun with few parts. Other than the receiver, barrel and operating parts, the rifle is made of high-impact reinforced polymer. The stock is not adjustable, however it folds under the rifle for compact storage. Unloaded, the SU-16C weighs only 4.7 pounds. Though it sounds like there isn’t much too it, this is not a flimsy gun. Just wait until you shoot it.
As an avid hunter since the ‘80s, Buck is quite aware of the problems with commercial ammunition. On a hunt, you need reliable ammunition that performs well ever time and carries enough stopping power to drop that big buck, bear, or other game. Working closely with some big names in ammunition development, Colorado Buck has developed his “Right Choice Ammunition” that is the most dependable and accurate ammunition in the market.
When I read that the Army had cancelled the carbine competition because the B.E.A.R. Elite and seven other highly regarded rifles hadn’t made it out of phase II function and accuracy testing, I admit I raised my eyebrows. I didn’t take very good care of my B.E.A.R., but I never had a hiccup. I know recreational civilian shooting is not Army torture testing, but from my experience on the gun, I can only say the B.E.A.R. Elite from Adcor Defense is an awfully good piece of machinery.
Colt has a rich history on the battlefield and in law enforcement, so there is no surprise it would be a top choice in service rifle competition and 3-gun matches. However, Colt has upped the ante with the Colt Competition Rifle thanks to its partnership with Bold Ideas to offer a purpose-built rifle specifically for 3-gun competition. Bold Ideas is not just a name, it’s a concept, and the innovative adjustable gas block of the CRP-18 is proof. While gas blocks are not uncommon on gas piston guns, Bold Ideas’ design on a direct impingement system is incrementally and externally adjustable without tools.
Handloading for America’s service rifle is not that difficult. After all, we have successfully loaded good, accurate ammunition for the Garand and the M14 for generations. But the AR is a bit trickier while remaining the same. We have to carefully consider powder selection, which M1 shooters appreciate, but there is also that sticky problem of bullet twist. However, neither is a problem if we have done our research.
Today there are many opportunities to own a great rifle. There are even high dollar celebrity branded rifles that allow you to pay a premium to get the other guy’s name on your gun. No kidding. And then there are the basic claptrap rifles that work most of the time and are OK for plinking. They are a little loose and tie up on occasion, but hey, we are only shooting rats at the dump, right?