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Freedom Is Not Free
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Oh, no! I have some of them, why?
It's reliable enough but it just shoots dirty. I use to buy the value packs from Walmart way back when and my XDm 45 ate it up like candy. Just takes more time cleaning up.
 

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PMC 115 ball is pretty good ammo, the 9A stuff. The cases come out spotless in my pistols, and I think it translates well into the pistol itself. You might try some of that. All 1911s get dirty, it's just part of the process. They are easy to take down and clean, so just do it.
 

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Wilson SFX9’s and 1911’s
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I shoot a fare amount and don’t reload, so my philosophy on buying and stockpiling bulk pistol practice ammo is: is it a known reliable brand, is it reasonably priced, is it American made, is it European made, can I get it at all? I’ve had the most success with Federal, Speer, CCI, Fiocchi, S&B and Geco. To a much lesser extent I’ve purchased PMC, Aquila, PPU and a few cases of hot Winchester NATO Ammo. Winchester is a great company, I just haven’t found much bulk packaging at a competitive price. Now that they are operating the Lake City Plant that may change.

As to how “dirty” the ammo is, I don’t really care. Cleaning your firearm is part of the process of using your firearm. All my firearms are kept clean, lubricated and ready for the range, training or battle. A CC, home protection or other working firearm gets cleaned, lubed and loaded with performance ammunition immediately upon returning home. Occasionally, I try to test a certain firearm with the “how many rounds until it malfunctions” but after a thousand rounds or so, I can’t stand it and am compelled to go ahead and clean it. Must be a character flaw.
 

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Les Baer Elk Mountain Resort .45 government, Les Baer 38 Super Comanche, Colt 1991 gov, etc...
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Shoot now, clean later. Pretty simple, ammo is dirty period, just the way it is. Keeping your firesrms clean is entirely up to you how. Not your ammo.
 

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I did ask the same questions myself here; got several suggestions and did my own experimentation. I have put how many rounds of each I have shot to date over the last 18 months, sometimes I bought whatever was on the shelf or available online at a price I was willing to pay.

I was starting a year and a half ago after the freeze and had the same questions when I noticed how dirty some of the ammunition was. My research was for .45acp. I also noticed some ammo tended to jam sometimes more than others. Mine is not a ramped barrel, so I know that might cause more jams. I did shoot between 2 and 20 boxes of each. After all, last year I took whatever ammunition I could get. I tend to clean my gun after each use, and did so while I was curious which were the dirtiest. My own little semi-scientific tests are listed below.

I own a full size Ruger Production 1911, nothing fancy, but I really Love it. Stainless steel, so I can really tell the difference in amount of residue left. I am an old submariner, worked on the nuclear weapons, so I am kind of picky on what clean is. I shot the old Colt 1911’s in the service, qualified marksman the first time I ever shot a postol in my life, and Expert each year after during nuclear weapon security guard qualifications. But I did not shoot a weapon from 1983-2017. And caught the bug/addiction last year after the freeze, so when you see the amount of rounds shoot below, you will see just how bad my addiction/bug as become. I am trying to be a little more frugal now a day though.

I just caught the bug of going to range every spare minute last year after the big freeze, so all my research might be slightly off since the manufacturers might have used whatever powder was available that was not their normal production.

I did start with a clean gun and cleaned it when I was done.

So not sure if my research applies, but here is what I found:

I liked best:
Speer Lawman seemed to be a lot cleaner than most, and I prefer it now, no jams with it either. 1500 rounds. I also tended to shoot more accurately with this.
Fiocchio also ran cleaner than most, no jams with it either, my second favorite. 500 rounds. I also tended to shoot more accurately with this.
Federal American Eagle, also ran pretty clean, but the above 2 were cleaner, and no jams, and my third favorite. 2500 rounds

Hornady JHP; shot several types, fairly clean and accurate.
Loved the Critical Duty 45 Auto+P 220gr Flexlock JHP. You can really notice the recoil. Says "For Law Enforcement Only" on the box. Got it from a clearance online, $36 for a box of 50.

a little dirtier, but about average:

Selliers & Ballot was not as clean, and tends to jam sometimes, and I can always feel a little ripple in the bullet coating when it did. 1500 rounds
SIG was a little cleaner than most, but not as clean as the top listed 3, and no jams 150 rounds
Monarch (Academy) was average dirty, and no jams. (Made by PPU in Serbia, where a jam is the difference between life and death) 500 rounds. I do like this ammunition and if I cannot find the top 3 above will gladly use it.

Armscor was not as clean as average, but cleaner than the ones below, and maybe a jam here or there, but not many. 200 rounds

The following really were a lot dirtier than the above ones, and all tended to give me at least one jam per box or more.

Federal in a white box (Range Target Practice) was a little dirtier than the above listed, no jams. 500 rounds
PMC, dirty, and at least one jam a box average, ripples in the bullet coating. 500 rounds
Blazer, very dirty and more than one jam per box, a lot of ripples in the bullet coating, 1200 rounds
Ammo Inc was pretty dirty to me, I don't remember any jams though, but It was really noticeable how much extra residue was in the gun. 300 rounds
Magtech was pretty dirty, and several jams in the boxes I shot. hated it. 100 rounds
Winchester was very dirty, and had jams, one or more a box, very dirty. about 600 rounds
Midwest are remans sold by Range USA (formerly Shoot Point Blank) gun shops and ranges. very dirty. 400 rounds
When I mentioned it to the manager his comment was, Just clean your gun after. It was during the bullet drought and sometimes all I had to shoot and it sold fast.

Just my 2 cents, and again this was what I found for .45acp
 

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Les Baer Elk Mountain Resort .45 government, Les Baer 38 Super Comanche, Colt 1991 gov, etc...
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938 Posts
You really put some time into checking different ammo. I dont have your patience to do so but you did well. In all honesty I guess I never gave it a lot of thought but I understand why you compared. I’ve just bought what I could and used it up. If it was no good I wouldn’t buy it again but I’m loading most of my own now so that definitely helps control factors more of course.
Good job on your comparisons, will help a lot of people for sure and myself included. Thank you.
 

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You really put some time into checking different ammo. I dont have your patience to do so but you did well. In all honesty I guess I never gave it a lot of thought but I understand why you compared. I’ve just bought what I could and used it up. If it was no good I wouldn’t buy it again but I’m loading most of my own now so that definitely helps control factors more of course.
Good job on your comparisons, will help a lot of people for sure and myself included. Thank you.
It really wasn't like I set out to do that. Last year I took whatever I could get and started noticing the differences. I kind of took an inventory and wrote it down and shared. sometimes People just want to know, with no other reason than to know. if I can choose I choose the top 4 above. but if 2021 shortage started up again, I will take the best I can find, just like I did last year.
 

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I shoot a fare amount and don’t reload, so my philosophy on buying and stockpiling bulk pistol practice ammo is: is it a known reliable brand, is it reasonably priced, is it American made, is it European made, can I get it at all? I’ve had the most success with Federal, Speer, CCI, Fiocchi, S&B and Geco. To a much lesser extent I’ve purchased PMC, Aquila, PPU and a few cases of hot Winchester NATO Ammo. Winchester is a great company, I just haven’t found much bulk packaging at a competitive price. Now that they are operating the Lake City Plant that may change.

As to how “dirty” the ammo is, I don’t really care. Cleaning your firearm is part of the process of using your firearm. All my firearms are kept clean, lubricated and ready for the range, training or battle. A CC, home protection or other working firearm gets cleaned, lubed and loaded with performance ammunition immediately upon returning home. Occasionally, I try to test a certain firearm with the “how many rounds until it malfunctions” but after a thousand rounds or so, I can’t stand it and am compelled to go ahead and clean it. Must be a character flaw.
+1
 

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Just about anything except white box Winchester. I had 4 100 round value packs that I ended up giving away. Never again
I found 5 100ct boxes of these during the drought last year, it was so dirty, you could even see it in the brass, and shooting only 50 rounds at a visit with it, my gun looked like sludge inside. I was too broke to give it away. but I think I will do without if it ever gets that bad again.
 

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Freedom Is Not Free
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6,958 Posts
I found 5 100ct boxes of these during the drought last year, it was so dirty, you could even see it in the brass, and shooting only 50 rounds at a visit with it, my gun looked like sludge inside. I was too broke to give it away. but I think I will do without if it ever gets that bad again.
I mentioned that I gave mine away. I gave mine to one of my son's that has a DW Heritage 45. He complained to me after shooting some of it. Then I reminded him that it was free to him. He replied, "yeah, I guess I can't complain too much but now I know what not to buy".
 

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Back in The 1970’s, before all the foreign ammo was commonplace, and on average ( relative to wages and general costs) ammo was more expensive than it is today, Winchester and Remington was high quality ammo. Not that we had much of a choice back then.
while you would expect competition for market share would improve products ( it usually does) ammo these days has been for domestic producers at least, a race to the bottom quality wise.
unfortunately Remington and Winchester are both producing some of the worst quality ammo they have in history.
it will be interesting to see with vista outdoors acquiring Remington if ammo quality changes. It can’t get much worse!
part of the problem is Americans are especially attracted to the “low bid” ( price) for ammo, and while some of us maybe more discerning ( when availability allows) I see most people buying ammo focusing only on price, with a box that is a dollar less expensive being bought more frequently than better quality ammo only a bit more expensive.
most of the posts here confirm cheaper ammo does tend to be dirtier than more expensive ammo, but again doesn’t matter that much if you do even minimal cleaning after shooting.
 
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