Best AR-15 Ammo [2019]: Range & Home Defense

Not sure the best ammo to feed your AR for the range and home defense?

We’ll go over caliber, barrel twist, bullet type, and price range to find your perfect fit.

Bunch of 5.56 Ammo
Bunch of 5.56 Ammo

*UPDATED 2019*: New .223, self-defense options, and more online stores.

Can’t wait?  Here’s the best AR-15 ammo:

  1. American Eagle XM193
  2. American Eagle XM855
  3. PMC Bronze .223
  4. Wolf Gold .223
  5. Federal Gold Medal
  6. Federal LE Hi-Shok
  7. Speer Gold Dot Duty

Ready to see why we chose these and the best places to find them for cheap?

Table of Contents

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AR-15 Calibers: 5.56 vs .223

Your average AR-15 comes in two popular calibers, the 5.56x45mm NATO and the .223 Remington.

You can double-check what it is by looking at your model specs or physically on your barrel, which should be stamped with the caliber and barrel twist rate.

AR-15 Barrel Caliber & Twist
AR-15 Barrel Caliber & Twist

The two cartridges are physically identical but the 5.56 may be loaded to higher pressures than .223 ammunition.

The .223  is a civilian round and has SAAMI specs (an organization that sets standards for pressure and dimensions) while the 5.56 is a military round that has their own specifications that might require higher pressure for higher velocity.

Therefore, it’s best to follow the advice:

  • 5.56 chamber: OK to fire both 5.56 and .223
  • .223 Wylde chamber: OK to fire both 5.56 and .223
  • .223 Rem chamber: OK to fire only .223

Please note that .223 Rem and .223 Wylde are not the same things. One (Wylde) is perfectly safe to fire either 5.56 or .223, however, a .223 Rem chamber is not safe to fire 5.56 NATO.

Your barrel or rifle probably won’t instantly blow up from shooting a 5.56 in a .223, but why risk it?

Combine that with the variance in the machining of the barrel and ammo production standards, it’s best to use the proper ammunition.

AR-15 Barrel Twist

Your barrel stamp should indicate the barrel twist after the caliber.

You should see a ratio of 1:7 all the way up to 1:12 and it means that the barrel will spin the bullet one revolution every X inches.  Most barrels will be from 1:7 to 1:9 twist, with the most popular being 1:9.

Take a look at the chart below to see the ideal twist rate for your barrel.

Ideal Bullet Weight vs Twist, Shooters Log
Ideal Bullet Weight vs Twist, Shooters Log

The heavier grain bullets are usually reserved for the military and their tracer rounds.

With normal cartridges, you’re most likely to see 55 grain and 62 grain bullets.  These are fine to shoot in 1:7 to 1:9 barrels and you probably won’t even notice a difference up to 300 yards.

Bullet Types

You’ll see two big families of bullet types, the full metal jackets (FMJ) and the hollowpoint/softpoints (HP/SP).

The FMJ’s are great for plinking while HP/SP are more for home defense or long-range applications.  FMJ is also sometimes called Ball ammo.

Don’t you love multiple names for things…

Other confusing acronyms you might see include (BT) which means boat-tail and indicate the back of the bullet has a more aerodynamic shape than simply cutting off straight.  The middle one below is an FMJ-BT.

FMJ vs FMJBT
FMJ vs FMJBT

Lastly, if you’re looking at military 5.56 rounds, you’ll see M193 and M855.  The 55 grain M193 is the standard FMJ of the military while the 62 grain M855 is the “green tip” penetrator round that has a steel rod inside (light gray).

M855 Cutaway, Bearingarms.com
M855 Cutaway, Bearingarms.com

Things to keep in mind for M193 vs M855:

  • Pricing is similar
  • M855 is better at penetration (duh?)
  • Some ranges do not allow steel core ammo like the M855
  • M193 is better at soft targets under 100 yards
  • More info about the differences
  • Most of the time you’ll see XM instead of just M…that means it didn’t quite meet military specifications but still meets commercial specs.  Learn more here.

Where to Buy

We’ve selected a couple of our favorite online places to buy ammo.  We’ve been buying from them ever since we got started and they have great live inventory, appropriate shipping charges, and quick service.

And since prices and inventory fluctuates, we recommend looking at all the vendors to see the price differences.  Sometimes one will be running free shipping deals!

Finally…the recommendations!

Best AR-15 5.56 FMJ (Ball) Ammo

Now we combine the good stuff we learned above and stick to 55/62 grain bullets that are close to military specifications.  These are the rounds that we’ve shot tons of and never had a problem.

Our suggestions are also all brass cased so you can keep them if you think you might ever start to reload your own ammo in the future.

American Eagle XM193

Our Editor’s Pick is currently American Eagle XM193 since it’s never failed to go *boom* and the price is almost always one of the lowest.

Best 5.56 XM193 55 gr
164
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Readers' Ratings

4.98/5 (421)

Your Rating?

PMC X-TAC XP193

Our second choice is PMC which also has never failed but is often a cent or two more than American Eagle.

American Eagle XM855

Our favorite green tip ammo suggestion is going to sound about the same…what can I say, it works and the price is right.

Best 5.56 XM855 (Green Tip)
44.75
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

PMC X-TAC XM855

And PMC’s X-TAC XM855 variant is also GTG.

8.25
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best AR-15 .223 Ammo

If your barrel is .223 or if you want to shoot some slightly lighter loads in your 5.56 barrel.

PMC Bronze

My personal favorite is PMC Bronze since it’s affordable and the brass is great for reloading.  Plus…it’s on the low end of recoil so I love it for competition.

Wolf Gold

If you aren’t looking to reload and want the best bang for the buck…all my buddies and I love Wolf Gold.  Buy it cheap (1000 round boxes) and stack it deep!  Wolf Gold is made in Taiwan and not Russia like other Wolf ammo.

Best .223 Bang-for-the-Buck
7.40
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And finally…if you’re going for pure accuracy…

Tula & Wolf Polyformance

We don’t readily use these next suggestions in our AR’s, but if you’re really trying to save money, you can opt for Russian steel or coated steel cartridges.

Start off with a small batch first since some AR-15’s don’t like steel cased ammo.  They offer pretty good savings but are dirtier shooting and less accurate…but probably great for the range.

Also keep in mind that you can’t save these to reload later, and you need to shoot at a range that allows both steel casings and bi-metal bullets.

5.95
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Self-Defense AR-15 Ammo

For self-defense you want the bullet to put all its energy into the bad guy by breaking apart.

That means FMJ and the penetrator rounds are usually not the best choice.

I recommend going with specific use self-defense ammo that is hollow/soft point and is used by law enforcement.

Hornady Critical Defense 55gr

Both Speer and Hornady are great but I give the edge to Hornady since I love their pistol defensive ammo.

21
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Speer Gold Dot Duty 55 gr

Another go-to brand for self-defense rounds…Gold Dot.

12.75
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Conclusion

So there you have it, our recommendations for the best AR-15 ammo in both .223 and 5.56.

Let us know what you went with and how it runs in your AR.

Want more AR-15 guides…check the all out here.

69 Leave a Reply

  • Brian

    I’m an avid target shooter, and I would like to know your recommendations for a all wood Ak47 that fits the highest standards of quality, and yet exist on the market for sale. I own a Wasr, and I own an AR bushmaster- I decided to buy a M&P AR and want to to upgrade my AK and keep the same look and traditional feel. AR are cool to tac up, the AK looks better naked.

    1 week ago
  • Nam Vet

    Surprised you didn't mention Hornady in your list of best ar rounds in .223. With their excellent engineering, variety of various offerings, and supreme craftsmanship in their ammo one can't go wrong in using it from game to targets. They are the top of the list in my experience.

    3 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Article is due for an update soon and we were planning on adding Hornady, their .223 ammo is very nice and is what is currently loaded in my HD AR.

      3 months ago
  • John

    Have you tried Frontier(Hornady/ Lake City) 223 / 556 offerings? I find the 55gr PMC bronze shoots well but runs quite dirty/smokey.

    4 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      When it first released we heard nothing but horrible things about it, however it seems they have fixed the issues. I haven't personally run any yet, but based off of feedback it should be good to go.

      4 months ago
  • Kenny

    ... I give the edge to hornady since I live their pistol defensive ammo. That's merely opinion, if you are making recommendations at least use factual evidence to present an arguement. In a self defense situation price is irrelevant too, buy the best most reliable and effective ammo so you don't have to worry. Hornady doesn't even make the best pistol ammo. Anyway, the other issue is so much ammo left out. I'd say the biggest one being neglected is MagTech for price, target ammo, "always goes bang" and groups really well.

    4 months ago
  • Celltech

    Hornady Steel Match 75 gr BTHP. Cheap and stunningly accurate with the right twist...

    6 months ago
  • Will M

    accurate 5.56 is Hornadys Frontier 55g HP. Inexpensive too. Shoots (for me) 1 moa and better.

    7 months ago
  • DrRJP

    I buy Fiocchi's 50 grain V-Max for SD (and range training) that sells for under $20 for a box of 50. They also have a hotter 55 grain V-Max but I like the less recoil with the former. FYI: Hornaday makes their V-Max bullets. Fiocchi has clean, accurate ammo. My second choice are the new Hornaday Black 75gr. Interlock SBR rounds that actually work quite well in a carbine even though they were designed for 11.5" barrels.

    8 months ago
    • Matthew Collins

      All good choices, I also like Fiocchi quite a bit, especially for shotgun ammo. I'll have to shoot more of the AR stuff, thanks for the tip!

      8 months ago
  • Bill O' Right

    oooo good. Cheap ammo... :P when do we get one of these for AR10?

    8 months ago
    • David

      https://www.pewpewtactical.com/best-308-ammo/ :D

      8 months ago
  • Jeff

    I've experienced very respectable accuracy with "Geco" (50 rd. box) of both .223 & 5,56, "Hornady - Black" (20 rd. box) of .223 & 5,56 and "Lapua" .223 in the 50 rd. box. Plus they all make excellent brass for reloading my own. Best results are with my own "worked up" reloads.

    8 months ago
  • Bravo Tango

    Warning!!! This is my 2 cents. I'm not claiming to be an expert, just going with my experience. After dozens of hours on the internet and several sessions on the range, I have found that the best milspec ammo that I can find, for my 16", 1:7 twist barreled rifle, is Sellier & Bellot M855/SS109 ammo. It gives me the best groups at 100 yards, almost always sub-MOA, and I have no problems hitting a human sized torso target, somewhat center mass, every time out to 500 yards. I've never had a single issue with them. I tried several others, of the 55 and 62 gr., and these are the best milspec that I found. They are hard to find. I'm out right now. Ammunition To Go and Ammo For Sale generally have them. They are out as I am writing this. If you know another place to get them, please let us all know. The best thing to do, really, is to try as many as you can and then pick the best for your rifle, at a price that you think is reasonable. I would also like to point out that saying the heavier a bullet/projectile the more rotations it needs to maintain stability is not entirely accurate. To be accurate, it's that the longer the bullet the more rotations it needs to maintain stability. I realize that in general the heavier a bullet the longer it is, but there are exceptions. As a rule of thumb, weight of the projectile can be used to determine the right ammo, but be aware that these exceptions exist and if you run across some ammo that defies the logic of the bullet weight/barrel twist relationship, you will know why.

    9 months ago
  • Glenn

    The shooting instructor a 25 year retried cop/swat. That i took classes from has seen & used the Hornady 223rem 55gr TAP Urban. He was very impressed with it & it didn't exit the people shot with it. I found it for $13/20rd box at Sportsman's Outdoor Superstore 3/18 Just my 2 cents.

    1 year ago
  • Don

    should state this is talking about 223 Rem, since wylde is safe for both

    1 year ago
  • Connor H

    Hey, can you guys do am update on all your recommended ammo pages for various calibers? I've read the 9mm, .40, .45, and .223/5.56 articles, and many of the recommendations seem to be based on Federal's awesome rebate last year. Updated recommendations based on non-rebate pricing would be great. Thanks, love the site. :)

    1 year ago
  • Smoke USMVMC

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most people choose mil-spec because it is so readily available. In the event of a catastrophe and economic collapse / zombie apocalypse, many people with AR-15s will have mil-spec weapon systems. If they go down and you need parts for your weapon you have a higher probability of solving your problem by taking someone else's weapon if it is in fact mil-spec. I believe that's why most people try to stick with that. As for the ammo choice, why wouldn't someone look at the 300 Blackout? It's far superior in short and medium range to the 855. That said, I have the Scorpion, 855, 193 + 300 Blackout. I have a lot of fun with all of them and train with them as well. Each one serves a purpose. You just have to find out what's right for you and don't worry about what everyone else says.

    1 year ago
  • H. Michael Sweeney

    Author H. Michael Sweeney, privacy security consultant./lecturer: Kudos for a great job, Eric... very concise and succinct, an easy read for the amateur and meaty enough for the serious shooter, with minimal room for opinionated arguments.

    1 year ago
  • Bill Bligh

    For the record: I have several semi auto .223 rifles and a bolt .308. The idea that anyone here will ever need to use their weapon(s) for home defense is slim to nil. Stockpiling ammo to take advantage of low prices is one thing and entirely reasonable. To do so with the expectation of ever needing any of it for home defense is simply ridiculous. Honestly ask yourself, how many combat vets, without PTSD, stockpile thousands of rounds of ammo for home defense.? The likely answer is very few., probably far less than one percent. To quote BOWDITCH, aka "The mariner's bible, "Rarely does the mariner who has experienced a fully developed tropical cyclone ta sea, wish to do so a second time. He has recognized the wisdom of avoiding them whenever possible," Ditto for combat. Very few combat vets have any desire to engage in it again and fantasizing about fighting off an armed intruder with one's personal arsenal is absurd. The statistics about this may be unappealing, but they do not lie.

    1 year ago
    • 82nd_ABN

      So how does owning several .223 rifles and a bolt .308 make you an expert on why other people buy ammunition? Put your psychology certificate back in the cracker jack box.. I"ve never been in a car accident yet at 48 yrs old I have had insurance on my trucks since I was 16. Owning a firearm is insurance against bad guys... Someone makes up crime statistics. Someone is the victim of a home invasion, robbery, assault or worse. Guns are used everyday in self defense. I Have 2 combat tours with Aco 3/505 as an Infantryman, so because of that , I'm not suppose to have firearms and ammunition to protect my family? About the only thing you said right is I hope I never have to be put in a situation where I have to pull the trigger again..

      1 year ago
  • Robert

    Eric, are you getting paid by Lucky Gunner? They are high on prices and availability is hit or miss.. Ive yet to see you mention. SGammo,... Targetsportsusa . or aimsurplus.. These are some great ammo sites that didn't jack their prices sky high after sandy hook ...unlike lucky gunner, ammoman and cheaper than dirt...

    1 year ago
    • Chad Wilkins

      sgammo is a jerkoff.

      10 months ago
    • Robert

      I use sgammo and was surprised they were not mentioned i buy the target ammo there 500rounds for104$ plus shipping great deal

      1 year ago
  • RiverManPaul

    IMO, a 223 (or 5.56) for home defense is silly. One needs only to turn to the pump shotgun for home defense. A shotgun is not only a defensive weapon but it also qualifies as an offensive weapon. I have many shotguns stationed around the house and all of them are 870 pumps except for one and it is a Beretta 1301. My favorite of those is the youth 870 20 gauge. It has a shorter butt stock and is lighter than a 12 gauge (I’m 6’1″ and 225 lbs). For shear fire power, the Beretta can put an S-load of rounds out in seconds. A pistol is a great defensive weapon but I will go for one as a secondary choice only. With many shotshell choices, you can tailor your loaded rounds to your situation. I prefer to use something #8 – #4 for indoor use. If you have family in your house, you should consider over-penetration collateral damage. And…FYI…my opinions are based on more than 12 years as an LEO and not a video game. Regarding Lucky Gunner, they are a good bit more expensive than other online vendors.

    1 year ago
    • Kona Golden

      The "which weapon is best argument is dumb", there is no best. There are too many factors involved and different weapons excel in different areas. AR's can be great home defense weapons, and have proven to be many times. Same for shotguns, handguns, and other rifles. A rancher, who may be protecting his livestock or property in a barn, as well as his home, has far different needs than an apartment dweller in Baltimore or Los Angeles, or a homeowner in Peoria or Springfield. A long barreled weapon is less maneuverable in certain environments. A handgun may not be the best choice if you have a large ranch and may need to defend at longer ranges. What you can shoot well, matters. YOU are the most important variable. You need to educate yourself, evaluate your environment and needs, and most importantly, learn to quickly assess the situation, shoot well and practice often.

      8 months ago
    • Robert

      Mossberg 500 was my home defense gun id load slug or 00buck rounds now way a intruder is walking that off lol

      1 year ago
    • Robert

      I have a hard time believing 12 years LEO and recommending using #8 shot for home defense, not to mention if they have body armor on , it will not penetrate at all. You might want to do some actual testing and you will see the over penetration of shotguns.. then shoot a 55 grn sp 5.56 into the same barriers, the results will be enlightening , then come back and say " thank you "

      1 year ago
      • Daisy Lee

        Inside? Body armor? HEAD, FACE, NECK, KNEE, UPPER LEG, HAND/WRIST SHOTS work every time - I'm told. Inside? I don't want a around that goes thru him AND my apt walls. OK? Just cocking a pump with scare the hell out of most anyone - you might get away with an UNLOADED pump!

        1 year ago
        • Chad Wilkins

          you should try that.

          10 months ago
        • 82nd_ABN

          You really don't understand ballistics that's clear.. Shoot someone in the hand, knee, leg " works every time"?? how many people have you shot in the hand? You need to educate yourself on the penetration of shotgun rounds. Buckshot, and slugs out penetrate most .223 rounds except M855. The chance of a through and through on a bad guy is slim to none with 55 gran m193 or many other 5.56 in 50 grain variety. Look it up for yourself. With 2 combat tours with Aco 3/505 as an Infantryman I have a rather unique perspective on what 5.56 Ammunition will do as well as what shotguns do, since I carried a Mossberg 500 to breach doors and clear buildings... But you keep shooting people in the hand, leg and wrist,, hope that works out for you.

          1 year ago
  • Ethan

    Just a clarification: The 55 gr. M193 was the standard round of the U.S. military during the Vietnam Conflict, and was changed to the 62 gr. M855. I believe the M855A1 is now the latest standard.

    1 year ago
  • Charlie

    Winchester PXD1 .223 for self defense, awesome Ammo. Hornady 75gr TAP 5.56 is also a devasting round.

    1 year ago
  • SnW-Wolverine

    The Federal .223 64 gr Hi-Shok Law Enforcement is out of stock and i have never seen it in stock anywhere. The Hornady TAP Personal Defense Ammunition 223 Remington 55 Grain Polymer Tip Point Box of 20 is discontinued!

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks for that! I've updated the article to reflect stuff more in stock.

      2 years ago
  • Beaver4Badgers

    I don't know why the stigma of the AR-15 in .223 or 5.56 NATO as a home defense gun ever came to be. If you want to get in a battle, throwing rounds out to 300 yards to protect your home, go ahead. My idea of a self defense, home defense carbine is a CZ 9mm Scorpion. AR-15's are long range, flat shooting rifles and I enjoy shooting them, but when I am going to defend myself or my home, I don't think I'll be shooting beyond 50 yards. And that's only if I pursue someone, which is stupid and illegal. Once the threat to your life has past, it's up to the police to follow through. Giving advice to people to buy an AR-15 platform rifle for home defense doesn't make much sense. 9mm and 40 S&W or 45 would be better choices than a .223 or 5.56. I'll stand by my CZ Scorpion with a blinding light on it and a Mepro sight as a gun needed to protect myself and my family and leave the .223 for shooting Coyotes.

    2 years ago
    • Scott Mitchell

      Hmm, i do know for a fact, I used the 5.56 nato in an A2 M-16, then to a M4 platform....to clear buildings all of the time......have no idea why people continue to chirp about it is a bad idea. It shows quickly that they have no idea.

      1 year ago
    • RiverManPaul

      IMO, a 223 (or 5.56) for home defense is silly. One needs only to turn to the pump shotgun for home defense. A shotgun is not only a defensive weapon but it also qualifies as an offensive weapon. I have many shotguns stationed around the house and all of them are 870 pumps except for one and it is a Beretta 1301. My favorite of those is the youth 870 20 gauge. It has a shorter butt stock and is lighter than a 12 gauge (I'm 6'1" and 225 lbs). For shear fire power, the Beretta can put an S-load of rounds out in seconds. A pistol is a great defensive weapon but I will go for one as a secondary choice only. With many shotshell choices, you can tailor your loaded rounds to your situation. I prefer to use something #8 - #4 for indoor use. If you have family in your house, you should consider over-penetration collateral damage. And...FYI...my opinions are based on more than 12 years as an LEO and not a video game. Regarding Lucky Gunner, they are a good bit more expensive than other online vendors.

      1 year ago
    • Steve

      Actually an ar15 is better suited for home defense. With a red dot, it is incredibly fast and accurate. It's easier to fire a shouldered weapon accurately under stress. The round hits harder than any pistol round. You have higher capacity than any shot gun or pistol. Most .223s penetrate less than 9mm or 00 buck. The only downside is can think of is the noise. Ar15s are my first go to

      2 years ago
      • Thumper

        If someone enters my house or multiple people with ar15,ar10,m1,m4 etc. I will grab 12 guage or .40 .. The time it takes someone to shoulder a ar, etc I'll have 2 rounds in each person . I know my house better than some skumbag. Shoot a AR gun in a house with other family members inside is crazy. The 30 rounds you spent on one person , lol You might kill your family and the skumbag gets away. People you need to think for yourself. Be careful and safe and stay trained A once shot gun beside your bed can get you killed. Shoot as often as you can. You should know your gun inside & out .

        2 years ago
        • Scott Mitchell

          Negative, By the time you try to spray and pray, i will have 3 to 4 rounds center mass.

          1 year ago
        • Ron

          You're thinking of inside your house only, Ever see the roving gangs following Katrina? I'm guessing you guys down on the AR for PD don't live in hurricane or flood prone areas.

          1 year ago
    • Americas Rifle Owner

      What if it was more then one threat and they come in with bigger weapons than your 9mm or your 45? You'd wish you had that AR then wouldn't you!

      2 years ago
      • RiverManPaul

        No...shotgun all the way

        1 year ago
        • DENVER

          REALLY ALL THESE WEAPONS WILL KILL THE BAD GUYS IF YOU KNOW HOW TO USE YOUR WEAPON AND YOU KNOW YOUR OWN HOME IF ANYONE THAT HAS A WEAPON IN THERE HOME TO USE TO DEFEND THERE FAMILY AND THEMSELVES THEY BETTER DAMM WELL TRAINED WITH THAT WEAPON AND REALLY KNOW HOW TO USE WHAT EVER THE WEAPON THEY HAVE BECAUSE I DON'T CARE WHAT KIND OF WEAPON YOU HAVE IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU ARE DOING WELL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE JUST SHIT OUT OF LUCK DON'T JUST BUY A GUN KNOW HOW TO USE THE GUN AND HOW TO CLEAN YOUR WEAPON AND SECURE YOUR HOME SO THE BAD GUYS WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GET INTO YOUR HOME AND IF THE BAD GUYS ARE TRYING TO GET INTO YOUR HOME MAKE THEM READY WORK TO GET INTO YOUR HOME AND THEN YOU WILL BE WAITING FOR THEM SO THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEND THEM TO HELL TO MEET THERE FATHER THE DEVIL WITH WHAT EVER WEAPONS YOU HAVE NOW HAVE A VERY BLESSED DAY

          1 year ago
  • Dick Coombes

    One of the Great Mysteries of Life is why manufacturers make primarily 1:7 twist barrels and shooters continue to buy them. My non-scientific estimate is that 80% of the ammo available for sale to civilians is 55 grain, which shoots optimally through a 1:12 twist barrel. The M855 is a non-starter for home defense. The 75, 77, and 80 grain bullets that shoot well in a 1:7 barrel are too darn expensive, even if you load them yourself. All the affordable ammo runs best in 1:12 barrels yet everyone wants a milspec 1:7 barrel optimized for heavy [and expensive] bullets. I don't get it.

    2 years ago
    • Ron

      People will spend the few extra cents to have Mil-Spec...it's tacticool doncha know...

      1 year ago
    • RiverManPaul

      One of my 5.56 barreled actions is a 1:8 twist and will shoot 55 grain Hornady SP bullets into inch or better groups all day long. I don't know that one can go specifically by the twist rate and bullet weight. I think that as a rule of thumb, the twist rate is a starting point when making decisions. I don't just shoot 55 grain bullets. I shoot all the way up to 69 grain and the faster twist rates seem to be more of a compromise over the 1:12 which would limit your accuracy with heavier bullets thus giving you more options. I get good accuracy with all weight bullets instead of just light bullets.

      1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Yup, I prefer the 1:9 that seems to feed 55gr fine for me.

      2 years ago
  • Tim

    Yeah... so I clicked on the link to the PMC X-Tax ammo at luckygunner..... It said something about a bad link/script... So I deleted everything from the web address except "luckygunner.com" and now it says.... "You have been blocked due to suspected unscrupulous activity. If this is a mistake, please contact the webmaster." I tried a different browser and it says the same thing. So they blocked my IP address for following you link and I can not order from them or even visit their website. Just thought you should know. You have prevented me from being able to shop at luckygunner with your link that caused nothing but problems.

    2 years ago
    • Rob

      I've had the same issue with luckygunner.com and bulkammo.com who obviously use the same database. I had placed several large orders with bulkammo without issues over several years and was happy with their service. Logged in to place another purchase early last year and bang! Got welcomed with the message: "Your IP has been blocked temporarily due to suspected unscrupulous activity. If this is a mistake, please contact the webmaster." Contacting them I got a single reply to call and place my order over the phone... not to correct the issue. After reading your comment figured its been a year (and well over $1k in ammo from other sites) and as soon as I provided my login info I get this message again. I've emailed them, again. Perhaps someone gives a crap now and would like to take an order for a couple 1000 rounds of range ammo in various calibers as well as an order for 500 rounds of 9mm and 38 defensive ammo. If not... plenty of other sites out there to take my order!

      1 year ago
      • Ron

        Just get an IP generator or call up your ISP and tell them to change your IP.

        1 year ago
  • Hans Fischer

    Hi...Im Retired Military....and just recently purchased a Colt Expanse 2000 with the Forward Assist and dustcover......also just got in some Winchester White Box 5.56 in 55 grain......and after reading a ton of blogs...notes...comments....have finally convinced myself that the 5.56 in 55 grain is a Good Choice of ammunition.....both for range and personal protection........and hoping that you agree with me.......I just don't care that the Winchester White Box I purchased ...has TARGET on the front of the box.. :( kinda negates the opinion its a good self defense round.......I appreciate anyone taking the time to answer..Kind Regards....Hans Fischer

    2 years ago
    • RiverManPaul

      Trust me...if you have to use an AR for self defense, it won't matter if it is target or self defense rounds. The human body at close range will be devastated by a "high power" rifle round passing through their body. Most of the homicides/shooting fatalities I saw (double digit numbers) were DRT by non-expanding ball ammunition from 25 ACP or 22 LR. Unless you are going up against a REALLY bad bad guy, fmj (ball) ammo at 3000 + fps will do the trick.

      1 year ago
      • Ron

        What does DRT stand for?

        1 year ago
        • javadog

          dead right there

          1 year ago
    • ehung

      Hi Hans, it should be fine plinking ammo. But there's better options for self-defense rounds out there.

      2 years ago
  • James

    What is the best self-defense and plinking for 1:7 twist ratio is what i would like to know! Thank you

    2 years ago
    • Ron

      As for "plinking"...it's the cheapest ammo you can find...EXCEPT when reloading is to be considered because then the quality of the brass MUST be considered. No one wants to be reloading crappy brass. You will never see me with WOLF or equivalents in my BCM for that reason and others.

      1 year ago
    • Ron

      James, if you have a 1:7 twist barrel, it will "eat" anything, hence it's popularity. For self defense well some would say the higher grain 5.56 and some would say the lower pressure .223 it really depends on how close the "enemy" is. If we get invaded by guys in blue hats (no offense Hung) or the dreaded zombie apocalypse happens you would want the former. Close up and personal you may want a different round altogether like the 300 AAC blackout in a short barreled AR platform. But if you don't want to go new AR with a new caliber get .223 hollow points or a shotgun.

      1 year ago
  • Alex Tung

    How come you chose only a .223 for home defense and only not a 5.56? Is there a specific reason?

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Alex, great question. There's more options for .223 defense ammo and just in case I have readers that have a .223 chamber instead of the more highly pressured 5.56.

      2 years ago
  • Dan B.

    I really enjoyed reading, and learning from this article, I am a bit curious, Why is the NO Barrett recommendations? I recently purchased the REC7,.... I couldn't have made a better choice. I realize it is a very close brother to the Daniel d, gun, and Hopefully as reliable. Thanks for your Newbee insight..

    2 years ago
    • Ron

      Why is there no Barrett recommendations? I don't understand your question. Why would someone recommend a gun manufacturer in an article about ammo for the range and self defense??? Then you thank him for his "newbee" insight? I think we need a mall cop alert here.

      1 year ago
    • ehung

      Hi Dan, I just haven't had a chance yet to use any of their rifles...but I've heard great stuff with the REC7. Let me know how it keeps running!

      2 years ago
  • John B.

    Eric Thanks for straight forward topics, information and additional links to AR platforms. Well written and understandable for those of us in 'learning phase' before purchase mode. Hopefully, we, as citizens, will legally still have federal or state permission to buy this weapon.

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      You're welcome John!

      2 years ago
  • DaWidowBetke

    Hello Mr. Eric, I just bought my 1st AR, the S&W M & P sport 2. Thanks for the knowledge base boost!

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      You're welcome and let me know how you like your new gun!

      2 years ago
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