I have talked about my Remington 5R rifle (1:9 twist) with the Accuracy International Stock and a Jewel trigger that has been trued by Gunsmith Mark Penrod. I do have a hand-load ammo recipe for this rifle when I am able to reload in Indiana. Here in California, to get the best accuracy out of this rifle, I have been using Federal Gold Medal Match factory precision .223 ammunition. The other day I was in a Cabela’s and found a display with Winchester Match .223 ammunition, I had not known it existed previously. It was also a couple dollars cheaper, per 20 rounds, than the Federal Match, so I decided to buy a box and do a comparison test. This would help me in two ways, one because it is a little cheaper, and the other just so I would have two types of ammo that I could use in cases when I cannot find one or the other. To get started with this comparison, the chart below compares the ballistics of the two match rounds. They use the exact same 69 grain Sierra MatchKing bullet, but as you see the Winchester Muzzle Velocity is 110fps higher than the Federal.
Allow me to set the stage for this test. It was about 83 degrees, I was out east of San Diego. It was actually one of the windiest days I have seen in quite a while, but since there was no cell signal out where I was shooting, and I did not have a wind gauge, I have no idea exactly how strong the wind was. This range is surrounded by mountains on all sides, and so the wind swirled around, and varied from gusts strong enough to blow several targets down off the boards to calm. I sat the test up at 100 yards, shooting off a bench and a sand-bag. I was using a Nightforce NXS scope set at the highest magnification, zeroed at 100 yards.
I shot four 3-round groups of the Federal rounds, and six 3-round groups with the Winchester. The average size of the Federal groups was .7135″, and the average group for the Winchester was .9843″. Below you will see the best groups for both brands. The Best Federal is under 1/2 MOA at 100 yards, and the Winchester is just at 3/4 MOA at 100 yards.
They both performed very well with my rifle and scope set-up and considering my ability to shoot a group. I am sure, depending on what type of shooting you are doing they are the next best thing to hand-loads. I am going to stick to the Federal Gold Medal Match for now, and I think I will occasionally try this test again. The Federal does seem to work best in this rifle.
Note: I measured the groups from the widest point, then subtracted the diameter of the bullet to determine group size.