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I've read about how much of a difference ammunition can make. I've found that it is one thing to read about something and experience it yourself. I took four different types of ammo to the range just to see how different they were from each other. It was a very educational experience.

The last time I shot my M1A was with Portuguese surplus and I used a block of wood with a piece of carpet laid over it as a rest. This time I was using a recently acquired GG&G bipod purchased from a fellow forum member. I know this is not the most scientific or meticulous approach, I just pretty much wanted to see what would happen and get some practice with my technique. I set up some targets at 100 meters and gave it a go.

The first ammo I used was Herter's, steel cased, 150gr. To my surprise, the rounds went about the same place with no adjustments to the scope. grouping seemed a bit larger.

Next I tried Prvi Partisan Match, 168gr. This is the first time I've shot match ammo. I know Prvi isn't the best but I decided to give it a try. The first shots went way high, about 5 inches. Had to bring the crosshairs down quite a few clicks. The grouping seemed worse than the Portuguese stuff I usually use but I think there was another very significant factor at play that'll I'll address later.

Next up was Ventura Ammunition, remanufactured, 150 gr. It seemed not much different than the Prvi.

Last was some MFS, zinc-plated, steel cased, 145gr. It took a few rounds to even see where the rounds went as it behaved so differently. Grouping seemed about the same as the Herter's and surplus.

There is another big factor that prevented serious analysis. I was shooting with a bipod for the time and if you've never tried it, it's different and takes some getting used to. The thing kept coming loose and the feet kept sliding on the wood table of the bench setup. I eventually had to put one of the feet into a rivet hole in the surface of the table in order to pre-load the bipod to any degree. That said, I know this means no serious analysis of grouping or accuracy can be performed. When everything was tightened up though, I could at least tell there was quite a bit of difference in the types of ammo.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to use any type of ammo in a firearms and have it perform consistently? Unfortunately, we all know that can't be true. Even in the IT world where I work, we often refer to "Plug and Play" as "Plug and Pray". This made me think about a SHTF scenario or any other situation where you might be forced to use whatever ammo is lying around that you can get your hands on. If you've got your rifle sights set up for one type of ammo and you have to use another, God only knows where that first round might go. Made me whimsically think of all those action movies where the bad guys can't hit anything. Maybe they are using a different type of ammo that they trained with?

If you've never taken a few different types of ammo to the range and just tried them to see what would happen, I think it is worth it just to experience it first hand. It was worth it just to know that everything would at least go bang.
 

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Probably not a bad idea to find a brand and lot that you like, at a good price, and buy a ton of it. At least that way there wont be any surprises.

Of course, I just count myself lucky to be on target at all. GI2

I should add, I also recently got set up with a bipod and noticed it coming loose after a bit. I got the impression that I just didnt tighten it enough.
 
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