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Thread: What do you consider...

  1. #1
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    Smile What do you consider...

    as "match grade" ammo? I've heard that term in shooting, in particular sniping & precision shooting all the time, & just don't really know what ammo's are "match grade"...

    I know what a "match grade" barrel is, (heavier & longer with a crown) but really don't know what is "match grade" ammo...

  2. #2
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Gogoalie,
    Although I don't give a hoot about reloading "match grade ammo" because good reloading practices make accurate ammo. I care about one thing.......putting meat in the freezer. With that said here is what I do know about "match grade".

    1 Every round should be EXACTLY like the next.
    2 The neck thickness and squareness should be perfect
    3 The primer pockets and flash holes should all be uniform
    4 Custom Grade dies are usually used (tight tolerances)
    5 Bullets are weighed and seperated in three categories
    a. lighter than advertised
    b exact weight
    c heavier than advertised
    6 a powder that mantains exact velocity over a range of atomospheric conditions (humidity, and temp.) Do note that some precision shooters loading for 308 rave about Alliant Reloader 15.
    7 every powder charge has to weigh exactly the same
    8 "match grade primers" are used. Supposedly they are more uniformly constructed at the factory.
    9 After cases are tailored as mentioned above.....they are weighed and sorted accordingly. (uniformity of wall thickness)
    10 All bullets are to be seated to EXACTLY the same depth.

    I think I'm going to get sick. But do note that some of these practices are good for the hunter.....but you dont need match grade dies, or weigh the bullets, or use match grade primers, or match grade brass, or expensive reloading equipment to make really accurate hunting ammo.

  3. #3

    Default Match ammo

    MATCH GRADE ammo is a sales gimmick. Firearms are always going to be more accurate with one kind of ammo; and that ammo is what you would want to shoot a match with.
    However a High Standard Citation I used to own shot Federal Lightning ammo better than Eley ammo(I used the Lightning ammo for matches .99 cents a box), AS did a lot of other match shooters.

    A friend of mine has a HAKIM 8mm rifle he shoots metal plate matches with. It shoots 8mm Egyptian corrosive ammo and cleans the racks with open sights.

    The match ammo sold is usually designed for people who don't/can't reload for a specific job (like police snipers). This ammo is built in lots and are very consistent in accuracy for a lot.
    However lots may vary from lot to lot as bullets and components from different lots will change the ammos overall performance, some. This change in the field would be almost unnoticeable;however when someones life could be rideing on the difference little is left to chance.
    Boxes of ammo are numbered with the lot from which it came, usually on the inside of the flap or on the outside in a specific area of the box(usually on the back), cases of ammo are usually the same lot in match ammo.
    Most rifle calibers DON'T HAVE factory match ammo available and factory premium ammo suffices in the field. Normally only 22 rimfire and military calibers will have a match ammo available in the store (with 300 Win Mag the exception).
    Most match ammo is loaded with a bullet that is designed to punch a hole in paper. The object being that the hole should be as small as possible after several rounds have been fired. These bullets are nomally not considered well enough constructed for big game animals. Shooting holes in paper isn't the same as shooting holes in animals as it doesn't take into account hydraulic shock, wound cavity size and depth, bones, and entry angles, animal size.

    So in truth MATCH ammo is the ammunition that your particular rifle likes the best and produces the best groups with which is designed for YOUR given task.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  4. #4

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    I think the term, like National Match Rifle, or Magnum is very loose. Civilian companies use Match as a marketing tool for loads with premium target type bullets

    Originally, the military loaded ammo for Match use, because it was not for combat use and so marked. Primers were not crimped on the match round, bullets were not sealed with asphaltum in the neck. The 3006 M1 Ball and the A72 Match were about the same. Later when loaded with 168 HP bullets, the 7.62 HP was deemed not legal to combat use. That ruling was later changed. The 7.62mm M852 Match, marked not for combat use was replaced by M852LR, which is loaded with the 175 gr HP. The LR stuff is used in matches and combat use. Likewise the 300 Win Mag was loaded with 190 Gr HP bullets.

    The 5.56 never had a DODIC id's Match load that I can tell, but the Mk262 Mod0 and Mod1 is 77 Gr HP and is used for combat and match shooting. Services did buy HSDSM and Black hills for match use.

    The Service teams often load there own Match use ammo mostly now for serious match shooting.

    Some 45 ACP is military marked match, but the 230gr ball looks like the service ammo to me. I don't know what the difference is.


    22LR has all kinds of Match ammo. Eleyone name.

    Bench rest shooters have all sorts of routines to assemble their ammo.

    There must me Match shotgun ammo..

    Match use for me is whatever shoots best in my guns for the conditions. I have some 6.5X55 Swede, that is reloaded training ammo that should just fine out to 600 yards.
    OTOH the MK262 shoots the best in my AR15.

  5. #5
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Another reason the word came about was shooting matches where all shooters had to use the same exact ammo for the match, so they called it match ammo. I have not even heard of that type of match since I was in Cub Scouts in 1972 but we all used the same guns and ammo so the playing field was as level as they could get it.

    Today I just think of it as a selling hype meaning the ammo is more consistent from round to round than the brands lesser ammo. The lesser ammo may shoot as well or better in a given gun, so it has very little meaning to me.

    Great post and info Allen-Ak, thanks!
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  6. #6

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    Slight correction

    the M118 was the 7.62 combat Round loaded with t he 172gr FMJ and the M852 was the Match use only round.

    The new stuff is M118LR loaded with 175 Gr HP match bullet

    Quote Originally Posted by allen-ak View Post
    I think the term, like National Match Rifle, or Magnum is very loose. Civilian companies use Match as a marketing tool for loads with premium target type bullets

    Originally, the military loaded ammo for Match use, because it was not for combat use and so marked. Primers were not crimped on the match round, bullets were not sealed with asphaltum in the neck. The 3006 M1 Ball and the A72 Match were about the same. Later when loaded with 168 HP bullets, the 7.62 HP was deemed not legal to combat use. That ruling was later changed. The 7.62mm M852 Match, marked not for combat use was replaced by M852LR, which is loaded with the 175 gr HP. The LR stuff is used in matches and combat use. Likewise the 300 Win Mag was loaded with 190 Gr HP bullets.

    The 5.56 never had a DODIC id's Match load that I can tell, but the Mk262 Mod0 and Mod1 is 77 Gr HP and is used for combat and match shooting. Services did buy HSDSM and Black hills for match use.

    The Service teams often load there own Match use ammo mostly now for serious match shooting.

    Some 45 ACP is military marked match, but the 230gr ball looks like the service ammo to me. I don't know what the difference is.


    22LR has all kinds of Match ammo. Eley is one name.

    Bench rest shooters have all sorts of routines to assemble their ammo.

    There must be Match shotgun ammo..

    Match air gun pellets are more consistent in diameters and mass.

    Match use for me is whatever shoots best in my guns for the conditions. I have some 6.5X55 Swede, that is reloaded training ammo that should just fine out to 600 yards.
    OTOH the MK262 shoots the best in my AR15.

  7. #7
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    Default I caught that...

    I was just waitin'...(j/k)

  8. #8
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I bought a few boxes of Match ammo for my new 308 to see what it liked.

    Federal 168 very good groups
    Federal 175 very good groups
    Horandy 168 no good
    Black Hills 168 worst stuff I've ever seen on paper
    Black Hills 175 great groups, 4 inside of 1/4 inch at 100 yards.

    I figured I would save some time and measure velocity and COL of the best stuff and duplicate it with hand loads.

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