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Match Grade Ammunition Manufacturing

Posted by Jay Duncan on 10/14/2015

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The precision behind match grade ammunition manufacturing

When you shop for ammo, you can find different prices for the same caliber ammunition. Even ammunition from the same company will vary in price, depending on how the box is labeled and what's inside.

There are some obvious differences. Hardball, the short name for full metal jacket, is often the cheapest to buy. That projectile is the easiest to manufacture. Soft points, an exposed lead tip, are a bit more. Hollow points and the plastic-tipped rounds are even more. The polymer-tipped ammo is nothing more than a hollow point with a plastic insert. This helps the bullet to expand when hitting targets that might otherwise fill the hollow and prevent expansion. It also allows expansion at long ranges.

Most ammunition manufacturers also produce a line of match grade ammo.

MATCH GRADE IS WHAT?

So what is match grade ammunition manufacturing? The short answer should be: this is the most precise ammo that comes off an assembly line. It can have tighter manufacturing tolerances. Projectiles could be checked for uniform weight with more stringency. Cases could be examined for uniformity.

That sounds great, but it doesn't really tell you anything, except the ammo should produce tighter groups than the same company's regular rounds.

There is no industry standard for "match grade ammo." One company's match grade may use a slightly different brass. Another company may grade projectiles.

The military does set performance standards for match grade ammo. Writing for Lucky Gunner, Kyle Eggimann says, "According to military specifications the standard FMJ rounds had to produce and average group size of no more than 15” at 600 yards over multiple targets. The Match grade rounds had to produce average group sizes of no more than 7” at the same range. In terms of MOA accuracy the standard FMJ was required to shoot 2.39 MOA and the match ammo just 1.11 MOA."

That's cutting the group size by more than half. A good way of looking at that from a hunting perspective is regular ammo should be able to hit a deer's chest area at 300 yards. Match grade should be able to hit a deer's head at the same distance. Think about that. Is your hunting ammunition good enough to head-shot a deer at that distance?

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FINDING A TRUE MATCH GRADE

There's no way to tell if one company's match grade ammo is superior to another except by hitting the range and throwing some lead down range. The gun and the shooter play a role in this too. One rifle may turn out sub MOA with Brand X Match Grade and just MOA with Brand Y Match Grade. The same goes for the shooter, with the exception that a good shoot is going to get more from any gun than a bad shot. The better the shooter, the better the performance no matter the gun.

Sniper Central ran a test of some "match grade" ammo in a .308. The tightest average group was .586 and the biggest average group was 1.362. That may not sound like much, but tightest was less than half the size of the biggest group. Reach out to 500 yards and group size becomes a lot more important.

The author provided this take away from the tests, "I would also venture to say that the single biggest limiting factor of modern factory match ammunition is the person behind the rifle."

That is very true, but think about this. You are shooting precision ammo, either punching paper or trying to put meat in the freezer. One company's rounds group 1.3 inches and another company's match grade groups at .586 inches, which will you shoot?

You're going to be dropping a hammer on the ammo that delivers the group just a hair bigger than a half inch. That three-quarter inch grouping difference at 100 yards turns into several inches at 500 yards and even more the farther you go.

At Gorilla Ammo, our match grade ammunition is the best we can produce at every step in the production process. Because we're a small company, we can devote the time to produce truly superior match grade ammo. Your gun will let you know the difference.

Want to know more about match grade ammunition. Interested in knowing how we produce match grade rounds? Contact us and we'll fill you in.

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