Friday, June 12, 2015

Rifle Ammo - - Then and Now

My 1000 rounds of 223 came in today, and I went and picked them up. I got a good deal on PMC from our friends at Bulk Ammo, and since the rifle/carbine class I'm taking on Sunday said to bring 100 rounds, and I know I'll be shooting this rifle a lot, I popped and bought the case.

As I was bringing it in from the car, I realized I still had a 50 Cal ammo can full of 30-06 surplus that I got a few weeks ago from the folks at Midway so I could properly feed my M1 Garand.


This is British surplus ammo specifically loaded for the M1 Garand, made in the late 1960's in Pakistan, and has gotten very good to excellent customer reviews on the Midway website.

The first lot I bought smelled really musty, just like the reviews have said, but this second lot doesn't stink at all. I'll probably buy more, as "MIL SPEC" M1 Ball ammo doesn't exactly grow on trees anymore, and it's good practice ammo.

I'll save my CMP Hornady ammo for those times when I really need accuracy. And yes, I'll compare the two at the range to see how much sight adjustment I need to do, and keep the info with the rifle.

Since my wife isn't as gunny as most of my readers, I thought she'd be interested in seeing how "front line" rifle ammunition has changed over the years. So, I plopped a couple of rounds of each down on the table, and took a few pix.

First, the 30-06. I remember my Dad telling me this stuff could shoot through two palm trees, and still take out a Japanese solder at 300+ yards.

Pretty impressive stuff. 174gr bullet, traveling at 2650 ft/sec, and producing around 2700 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

Definitely hits hard!

Then I showed her a "typical" 556/223 round:

This particular PMC round has a 55gr bullet, loaded to produce about 3200 ft/sec, and delivering around 1250 ft-lbs of energy.

Here's the two side by side:

When she held the "Then and Now" rounds in her hand she was astounded at what our troops are carrying these days.

HEY!......I am NOT bad-mouthing the 5.56x45 round, so don't go there!

It is what it is, and our troops still have the 308 round for when things get really tough, but since this is the first time that I've ever put the two rounds side-by-side, I can now understand the furor that occurred when the M16 was first put into service.

And as much as I value my Garand, I know I'm going to really enjoy my M&P15.


  1. I definitely don't want to go down the caliber wars route, either, but the differences between the two rounds are quite something. 2700 ft-lbs vs. 1250? .306-06 (150 gr. FMJBT) has more energy at 400 yards than that .223 at the barrel. I can see why the guys who have to make longer shots prefer the larger rounds.

    I own both and reload both. They both have their places. The military has to include the long tail of logistics in every decision, and N rounds of .223 cost less, take up less space and cost less to ship than .308 or .30-06. You know that was part of the decision.

  2. Absolutely!

    Plus, the troops could carry more rounds in the field, and that was part of the decision, too.

  3. "Every Blade of Grass" has been included in our A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that we hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

  4. Significant decrease in both weight AND stopping power... sigh

    1. The instructor at the rifle class on Sunday made the same comment Graybeard did, and said he considered the 5.56 a 250 yard cartridge "at best".

      He's an former military instructor, and taught at Frontsite for years. I've had many courses under his guidance, and tend to trust him.


Keep it civil, please....

More Business....As In "Busy-Ness"....

 Put a new wheel, tube, and tire on the wheel barrow we picked up off the street some years ago. The old tire and tube were done beyond &quo...