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A look inside: .223 Federal American Eagle 55grn FMJ

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A look inside: .223 Federal American Eagle 55grn FMJ

#1 Post by Zeliard » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:05 pm

Originally posted by cartech0.

Note: Unfortunately the graph is missing. I've left the placeholder just in case.

Today we look at Federal's American Eagle .223, specifically the 55 grain FMJ.
I thought it might be nice to have a common US commercial made ammunition that
many are comfortable with to use as a benchmark. This gives us a starting point
that is recognizable to most shooters, and useful to use in comparing many Mil-surp
rounds we encounter.





As in my other examinations, the weights were taken with an RCBS 10-10 scale, the
diameters and lengths were measured with Mitutoyo digital micrometers.
An RCBS collet type bullet pullet was used to dissasemble the cartridges, mounted
in an RCBS ammomaster press.

I have to say this is the most boring ammuntion I have ever dissasembled. Meant
by that is the fact that it's so darn consistant. Most measurements and weights are
so close that it seems more like drudge work than an investigation.

Usually I put graphs at the end of a write up, but this time I will lead off with it.
What is shown are the extraordinarily consistent weights of the components, which is the
hallmark of accuracy and quality control.


The numbers that follow drive the point even further home.

As before, the cases were measured for base diameter, neck diameter, and case length.
Only in case length was any significant variation found, and even that was only 0.0016".
This is astounding.

The base diameter was within 0.0002" across the sample, at 0.3723".
The neck diameter was within 0.0007" across the sample, at 0.2470"
The case length was within 0.0016", ranging from 1.7540" to 1.7556".
This level of quality control is excellent.




While pulling the bullets I noticed several details. There was no sealer used as is common
in military ammunition. Perhaps as a result, each bullet pulled easily and with almost
exactly the same force as every other bullet in the sample. I honestly could not feel
the slightest difference in any one of them. Each bullet pulled on the first try
and left no marks on the bullet.


The bullets are 55 grain full metal jacket boat tails with a canalure. The bullet was seated
in the neck to the canalure and lightly crimped into the groove. In measuring and weighing the bullets
they were found to be extremely consistent. Not quite to match standard, but awfully darn good
for what is considered to be 'blasting' ammunition.



Bullet weights ranged from 54.8 grains to 55.0 grains, only a .2 grain spread. Their diameters
were all within 0.0001" of each other at .2245"

Again, this is excellent quality control, especially at $4.99 a box!

The powder is a fine ball powder that measured within 1/10 grain across the entire ten round
sample. A low of 24.2 grains to a high of 24.3 grains.

The powder is a dead ringer for Winchester 760. So much so, that I pulled a sample of
commercial Win 760 and pictured it beside the powder from the Federal .223 so the
readers can judge for themselves.



The case weight ranged from 99.0 grains to 99.8 grains, exhibiting the widest variation
of any component in the ten round sample. While this weight variation might matter to
a dedicated match shooter, it's still quite lower than most commercial brass samples
would yield.

My conclusions?

Rifles differ in their preferences with ammunition. I am certain there are rifles that would
not shoot this Federal offering in stellar fashion. On the other hand, there is no reason
at all that most .223 rifles would not shoot this ammunition well, and I am just as
certain that many rifles would give match level accuracy with this ammo.

Federal's quality control, as judged be weights and measures, is outstanding in this case.
Considering the normally bargain basement pricing of the Federal American Eagle brand
this is an excellent buy. If I had assembled this ammuntion myself on my own bench
I would be happy with what I have seen here.

While I am not in any way trying to pass judgements on various ammunition, instead trying for the
most part to present the data and let the reader decide..... I have to say this:
Well done Federal!

Proud alumni of Transylvanian Polygnostic University. "Know enough to be afraid."

"Vertroue in God en die Mauser".-Faith in God and the Mauser.

"Send lawyers, guns and money." -Warren Zevon

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