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There are a lot of ammunition manufacturers out there that make some rather impressive claims about accuracy, but so far very few have been able to back those claims up with solid performance. We have been testing the big names in the ammunition world, and so far those tests seem to put Winchester on the top of the pack. Even then, they don’t make any claims about the accuracy of their ammo. Eagle Eye is a new ammunition manufacturer that not only claims to be the best on the market, but backs it up with a guarantee — 1/2 MoA accuracy from every box, every time. But it gets better . . .

Even if you find a box of ammo that works with your gun, that doesn’t mean that it will always work. Pro shooters, especially those in the precision shooting world, do something called “lot testing.” There can be massive variation in everything from case thickness and composition to powder charge between different lots of the same SKU of ammunition, and that can mean the difference between a one hole group and not even hitting the target. I have not so fond memories of doing lot testing of Eley ammunition back in college to try and find a lot that worked in my Anschutz .22lr rifle, and despairing at the idea of doing it all again when that lot eventually ran out. Eagle Eye wants to end that process by guaranteeing that every lot will be identical, every single time.

I first heard about Eagle Eye when I was contacted by Holger Kamin, a charismatic German who is currently in charge of their media relations. Holger isn’t just some PR guy — he has a pedigree in this industry. He’s been off running his own deep sea lure manufacturing business lately, but at one time he was the head of sales and marketing for Lapua. He made the above claims to me, and I was very interested in seeing if they could pull it off.

The secret to their success: a massive nerd.

The man behind the company is Justin Brown (Ph.D.), and he comes from the medical world instead of the firearms world. His idea of precision and consistency is much, much higher than anything the ammunition companies currently cranking out rounds uses. If you have any doubts about his statistical background, simply mention the mean radius shot group measurement standard and sit back as he unleashes a full hour long dissertation on exactly how dumb that idea is. He brought that love of statistics to the ammunition manufacturing process, and the results are something that a number of notable people are standing behind.

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I spent a few days this week hanging out with the Eagle Eye guys and their sponsored shooters, including Kelly Bachand (of Top Shot fame) and Glenn Dubis (who has a rather impressive number of world records in shooting). They wanted to show off what the ammunition can do, and they made a very compelling argument. They started by showing off some chronograph results that showed their ammunition’s standard deviation being smaller than the IQR of the best ammo we have tested yet (FYI, StDev is a bigger range than IQR, hence the impressiveness), but it didn’t end there. They shot a bunch of 3-round groups to prove that the ammunition is indeed performing to the spec, but then they changed it up.

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They had three different lots of ammunition on the table. For these three groups above, they fired one round from each lot into the group. The results of any other ammunition brand would normally be much bigger groups than when grabbing from the same lot, but in this case the groups were still just as impressive. These groups were fired from 100 yards with a custom bolt action rifle from Desert Arms called the X24, but even with factory guns the groups were remarkably small.

There’s some real potential here. No need to re-zero for every new lot, no wondering if the ammo you’re using is going to suddenly start shooting remarkably different from one box to the next, and a much tighter group than with any other brand on the market. We’ve got some of their ammo on hand for further testing and a full review, but from what I’ve seen I am very damn impressed.

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48 Responses to First Look: Eagle Eye Ammunition

  1. Seems like we kicked this around not too long ago. I believe this stuff is probably pretty good ammunition, but their claim of 1/2 MOA groups every time, out of every box, is a bit “far fetched” I would like to see the wording of their guarantee! Do they specify what rifle must be used, what scope must be used.
    Seems to me that that even if a person had all the right gear, they might not even be able to hold the rifle in position steady enough to shoot small groups. AND! Are we talking 3 shot groups, or the standard 5 shot group?
    Did they use a “Rail gun” to shoot their groups, or did they just shoot a number of rifles until they found one that would do the trick?
    Too many questions, and not enough information

    • Why not? It is basically commercially available hand loaded bench rest ammo. It wont necessarily be tailored to every gun but from their press material it sound like it will be extremely consistent. I mean they are basically hand making every part of the ammo. I am fairly confident the 1/2 MOA, my question is always, at what price? If someone paid a benchrest shootera fair hourly wage for their time to handload ammo for them it will be pretty consistent even if it is not tuned to your rifle, but I guarantee it will be a hell of a lot more expensive than even the nicest factory loaded ammo currently out there.

      • Tex
        I have shot and loaded a little “Benchrest” and I am familiar with the processes used.
        Folks who load for their benchrest rifles, go to far more pains to construct a round, than any commercial manufactures would, even ones who claim 1/2 MOA.

        As mentioned in my post , I think the Eagle is probably pretty good stuff, but it cannot be compared to benchrest ammo.

        • “Folks who load for their benchrest rifles, go to far more pains to construct a round, than any commercial manufactures would, “

          Even the dude that used to run Precision Crafted Ammunition that commercially loaded ammo FOR the BR competition crowd?

          Now, admittedly, so far as I recall, he did use the the shooter’s fire-formed brass and worked up loads with them, so it’s not like he was just cranking out formulaic loads, but still…commercial can equal custom.

    • Yeah, I have seen ads for barrels that guarantee 1 MOA, or 1/2 MOA, and wondered if that was supposed to be for any ammo, or a specific bullet weight, or what. The idea that my National Match M1A and someone else’s standard M1A built 20 years earlier, and with 4-5000 rounds thru it, will BOTH shoot 1/2 MOA with this ammo stretches my imagination.

  2. OMG what is with all the ads? I do not care about ’15 controversial Miley pics’, the Now Trending and the You May Like ads.

    • How do people still not know about Adblocker? Use Chrome or Firefox (delete Internet Explorer immediately) and download Adblock or Adblock Plus as an add-on and never see ads again

      • And Ghostery. Ghostery prevents tracker cookies from loading. There are typically 9 tracker cookies attempting to load here.

    • I highly recommend Ad-Block Plus, its a free plugin/extension for whatever browser of your choice that will block unwanted ad’s. It will keep the websites from garnering revenue from the blocked ad’s though. If you wish to support TTAG leave the ad’s up.

  3. Those “three shot” groups look pretty impressive, let’s see what they look like with two more rounds fired into the groups!

    • Or, ten shot groups at 300 yd +.

      I’ve long since given up load testing bolt gun loads at 100 yards. It does not really tell much. Well, I may do for my iron sighted 30-30 Win., but that’s a little different.

  4. I just mounted a scope on a CZ 527 Varmint in .223 last night. I might have to try some of this ammo out. That way I don’t have to drop hundreds on precision grade dies and components and days setting it all up and making some rounds, before I can shoot it.

  5. I know there are exceptions to every rule and I also have my preferred ammunition but I am a strong believer in the gun/ammo is going to be more accurate than the shooter

    • What does “more accurate than the shooter” really mean?

      We say this all the time, but I’m not sure it means much. Any gun and ammo combo can always be shot more accurately by a better shooter. Similarly, any shooter will shoot more accurately with a more accurate gun and ammo combo than he will with a less accurate combo.

      If by “more accurate than the shooter,” we’re just saying a better shooter could shoot the gun and ammo combo more accurately than the one currently shooting it, you’re not really saying much of anything. That’s always true.

      If you’re saying “more accurate than the shooter” means if you eliminate all human variables from the equation (like with machine rest), the gun will shoot a tighter group than you can, that’s also always true. Again, it doesn’t really mean much of anything.

      • “If by “more accurate than the shooter,” we’re just saying a better shooter could shoot the gun and ammo combo more accurately than the one currently shooting it, you’re not really saying much of anything. That’s always true.”

        Not always. At some point, no matter how good of a shot you are, the accuracy limitations of the barrel, the bullet etc will come into play. Think about it this way: the “ideal shooter” is a vise with a gun fixed in it perfectly unmovable.

        • Yes, but that’s saying the shooter is more accurate than the gun. The cliche I’m bitching about is the reverse, saying the gun is more accurate that the shooter.

          Maybe I can illustrate the point this way. If you put a rifle in a machine rest, you’re going to find out pretty much what its mechanical accuracy limitations are. Let’s say a rifle shoots 1/2 moa out of a machine rest. That same rifle is going to add a 1/2 moa of variability to whatever variability the shooter brings into the equation. The rifle will always add a 1/2 moa of variability regardless of whether the shooter introduces another 1/2 moa or 3 moa.

          If you replace this 1/2 moa rifle with a rifle that shoots 1/4 moa out of a machine rest, you’re going to see any shooter’s groups drop by about a 1/4 moa. It works the other way too if you replace the 1/2 moa rifle with a 3/4 moa rifle. Group size for any shooter will go up 1/4 moa.

          A given rifle will always bring the same level of variability into the group size regardless of who is shooting it. A given shooter will always bring the same level of variability into the group size regardless of what rifle he’s shooting. (Of course, there are some limitations such as a shooter’s familiarity with a specific rifle, trigger preferences, etc.)

          I feel like what people really mean when they say “the rifle is more accurate than I am” is that they are not getting the groups they thought they would get out of a rifle so they’re going to the judge the rifle’s accuracy by what it might be able to do in the hands of a hypothetical, better shooter instead of what the rifle is actually doing in the actual shooter’s hands. People like to find ways to overstate the accuracy of their rifles. (TTAG does it in their reviews all the time. Most shooters I’ve known, including myself, find ways to do it.) I think this statement is just another way of doing this.

          To be fair to Eric L, I think what he’s saying is that a good rifle and good ammo combined will introduce less variability into the group size than most shooters will. I agree with that.

  6. One of the first steps in setting up really accurate ammo for your particular rifle, is to neck turn your brass, and then go through other processes, including fire forming, to fit the particular chamber it is to be used in. I don’t know if this “super” accurate ammo has turned necks, but most assuredly it has not been fireformed to fit YOUR chamber!

    • I agree neck turning has its place, but I’ve never neck turned a piece of brass and do get 1/2 MOA out of a sporter weight, almost OTS Rem 700. That’s with crappy R-P brass that everyone loves to hate.

      Rather than say “always turn,” I’d say measure the necks and see if they need to be turned before doing it. There’s no panacea, but certainly one of the most common causes of brass-caused-inconsistency is run-out (which bad necks can lead to, of course).

      All that said, I do have my own pretty strict “routine” of case prep. It’s benchresty with some shortcuts, given I load mostly for hunting (and just to see what I can squeeze out of a load).

      • If your not “neck turning” your not shooting benchrest ammo, no matter what your necks measure. I’m impressed that you getting 1/2 MOA groups out of your factory Rem. cases, but in no way can those case ever be transformed into “benchrest” cases!

        • Oh, I’m not calling them BR cases…not by any stretch. My point was with a factory cut chamber and a lightweight, factory barrel on a rifle with a wood stock, neck turning really isn’t “necessary” to get the kind of accuracy out my setup I want to get, which is not BR class but pretty darn good for that rifle.

          Bottom line, if you measure case mouths with a tubing micrometer and measure run-out with a dial gage and both those are within your specs, there is absolutely nothing really gained by turning necks.

          Programmers call it “early optimization” and comes under the engineering idea of fixing a problem before it exists. One can squeeze out a TON of accuracy without turning necks.

          Turn the necks because they need it, because there is a uniformity (in thickness or roundness) problem that needs fixing, not because it’s some sort of “have-to.”

        • JR
          You probably don’t need to neck turn for the kind of shooting you are doing. You say that you inspect cases, and if they are within your “specs” they are good to go, so to speak. I’m wondering what your “specs” are.
          The last batch of cases I turned were Lapua 223 cases, which are considered one of the best cases you can buy. I turned every single one of them, none were perfect from the factory. They were all turned to a tolerance of .0001″ That’s 1/10th of a thousand.
          This kind of turning is not needed for hunting, and non precision shooting.

        • Let me just say this. I shoot with a dude that is a former 1000 yd BR competitor (yes, he was competitive) and he does not turn every neck of every case. He routinely shoots prairie dog size varmints at over 1000 yards, in wind. He’s shot big game at over 1000, too.

          He’s shooting custom wildcats of wildcat cartridges, and he gets results. Again, he does NOT turn necks on every case lot he shoots. That’s not me (or him, by extension) saying “don’t turn necks.”

          Mic the cases; if they need it, turn the necks. If you need to turn the necks to fix a run out problem, turn the necks. If you have a custom cut chamber that requires a specific neck wall thickness…turn the necks. Etc.

          There are a lot of reasons to turn necks. But to say it is ” necessary” is a bit disingenuous for the general case, especially outside the rarefied air of BR. But, hey, at the end of the day, it’s your ammo and so use your own procedures. It’s no skin off my nose.

          Happy loading. And shooting. 😉

        • JR,
          Neck “runout” is a condition where the case neck is not centered with the center of the the case body, the neck can also be slightly “tilted”. All this can easily be checked with a dial indicator in a fixture that will turn the case and hold it perfectly true along it’s longitudinal axis.
          Point is, this is not corrected by neck “turning” The only way to correct runout in an unfired case is to full lenght resize or, and fireform the case.
          Neck turning is done for a couple of reasons, one of which you mentioned, that is, to obtain the correct wall thickness for a specific chamber neck, such as a “tight” necked chamber. The other reason, which is done for benchrest, and non benchrest rifles, is to obtain a uniform wall thickness, which will better keep the bullet centered in the chamber.
          The material removal must be kept to a minimum in the latter case to keep the neck from expanding too much, up against the chamber wall.
          Neck turning a case with poor runout will not improve the runout problem, it will only give you case that has uniform neck wall thickness and poor runout.
          To say it again, if you are happy with the results you are getting from your handloaded ammunition, that has not been neckturned, then I wouldn’t suggest you start turning necks now.

        • “Point is, this is not corrected by neck “turning” The only way to correct runout in an unfired case is to full lenght resize or, and fireform the case.”

          This is incorrect. Fireforming has little to do with correcting runout in the general case.

          If the case neck wall thickness is non-uniform, it can lead to runout. For all you are saying authoritatively in this discussion, you should know that.

          Runout is a measured condition where the axis of rotation of the bullet is not the same as/aligned with the axis of the case. There are many possible causes. One cause is non-uniform neck wall so that the when the loaded cartridge is spun, the bullet axis is not the same as the case body axis.

          There are authoritative articles detailing this sort of thing, so it’s not like it’s a big mystery.

        • And, for those playing at home (looking to get started in handloading):

          (1) http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/lid=16099/GunTechdetail/Steps-to-Minimize-Bullet-Run-Out

          Quote:

          “As mentioned earlier, there are a few steps that can be taken in your reloading process that can help minimize bullet run-out. The first steps that can be taken are in your case prep regiment. One of the first areas to look into with new brass is to check neck wall thickness consistency. … Either sort through and cull your brass for consistent walls or perform a “cleaning cut” by neck turning the difference in consistency off the necks of the entire lot to create common consistency.

          (2) http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.rifle-reloading-bullet-run-out.html

          Quote:

          ” Bullet runout is the cause of most reloaded rifle cartridge inaccuracies. “

          Under “Bullet Runout Correction:”

          A. All cases that have more than .002″ neck runout should be set aside and checked for case neck thickness, if this is the problem the necks will have to be turned and trued.

          Neck thickness can lead to runout issues (as discussed in these links and others) and can be remediated with neck turning.

          End of the day, runout is one of the biggest problems of inaccurate ammo. No matter the cause, fix it. Better seating die, better sizing die, better brass, whatever. Rock solid ammo cannot be had with less than top notch bullet concentricity.

        • Can’t add too much to what you say. I agree with most all of it. Turning a neck may or may not improve runout. It depends on what is causing the runout. Cases can be deformed slightly when they are originally formed. If one wall of the case body is much thicker than the other side, this will “bend” the case and surely cause the neck to deviate and be tilted. Turning the neck will not improve this situation. However if you turn the neck and then fireform the case, it should come near perfect.
          Of course if the cases neck runout is only because of the neck wall being a little thicker on one side, then neck turning will correct the runout.

          It’s my bedtime, Good shooting to you sir!

  7. I’ve said this before on other forums, but you should really wait until you, or someone you trust explicitly, has tried this product out and seen the results. Otherwise you may end up with egg on your face. I personally doubt it will turn in 1/2 MAO groups from a shot out barrel with a bad crown, but it may turn out the results promised with a good barrel.

    As far as the price goes, it is advertised as premium ammo, so it is priced like premium ammo.

    • I have personally shot groups with it. I have personally watched them chrono a box of ammo. And I have used it to hit a 1,100 yard target. I’m happy, but I purposefully didn’t call this a review because it was with their equipment. I have a couple boxes and will be verifying the results shortly.

      • Nick,
        Will be awaiting your testing, but unless you use several guns it won’t tell us much except how accurate a particular brand of ammo is in a particular gun. Hope you will using a chronograph.
        Gunr

      • Nick,

        Here is some information that would be helpful in evaluating this product:
        – Are powder charges measured by weight or volume?
        – What was the MV and SD for the load you tested?
        – What was the group size for the load you tested?
        – What kind of standards are used for case weight, internal volume, neck thickness, and runout?
        – What bullets does Eagle Eye use, and what are the ballistic coefficients for these bullets?
        – How has Eagle Eye dealt with the accuracy issues caused by SAMMI spec OALs being relatively short when compared to the long throats used in factory chambers? This is an area open for *huge* improvements and is, IMHO, the largest problem facing a company trying to provide accurate ammunition for factory rifles.

        Answers to any of these questions would be super interesting, way more interesting than the marketing fluff in the article.

        • Shakey,
          You have some pretty good points and questions for Nick. The question concerning throat length or depth, deserves to be looked at closely. How close or far away the bullet is from the lands can make a decided difference on accuracy, as well as pressure.
          Assuming the ammunition is loaded with the bullet being tight in the case neck, I would also assume that the bullet is seated rather deep in the case to prevent a steep pressure rise, that would result if the bullet was “jammed” into the lands.

  8. Eagle Eye guarantees “every lot is tested to 1/2 minute of angle or better.” Each lot gets fired from “real rifles (not accuracy barrels bolted to a bench) at 100 yards. If the group size from the test exceeds 1/2 inch [they] reject and scrap the lot.”

    So it’s a guarantee that they can shoot a 1/2 moa group, not that you can.

    I don’t reload, so I’ll probably try a box of this stuff. I’m guessing for .223 it’s not significantly better than Hornady V-Max, but we’ll see.

    • There’s a good chance you will get some improvement in accuracy, on the other hand, it might be worse. No two rifles are exactly the same. minor differences in the way the boring was done, the rifling cut or swagged, the way the crown was cut, all these things and many more influence the way a gun will shoot. There’s also the scope to consider, and the way you hold the rifle. Too many thing to cover! This is why their claim of 1/2 MOA groups can only apply to THEIR particular rifle and not yours.
      What makes these claims ever more “far fetched” is that probably every manufacture of ammunition can claim their ammo can shoot a 1/2″ group, out of one of their selected rifles, and probably has at one time or another.
      Does this mean that their brand will definitely shoot great in YOUR gun? Of course not!
      Eagle Eye should concentrate on telling you how well their ammo is made, instead of how accurate it will shoot in your gun

  9. This is Kelly here checking in. It was nice to meet Nick this week in AZ for the ammo demo. Doing a shooting demo with the Eagle Eye Ammo was lots of fun indeed! I figured I’d stop by and offer a few comments as I have a little bit of insight into this new product.

    Of course it won’t shoot 1/2 MOA out of every rifle, every time. A promise like that would be silly to make and impossible to keep. The promise is that the ammunition is tested to 1/2 MOA every time. That means you won’t be getting ammunition which isn’t capable of 1/2 MOA. That promise is made relevant to us shooters when we learn that this is done with factory rifles and people, not with test barrels bolted to benches and fired by electronic triggers.

    If you’re into precision shooting you know that ammunition which shoots really well in my rifle is not guaranteed to shoot as well out of your rifle. So what’s up with Eagle Eye Ammo? Well the bullets were designed in such a way that they can shoot very well out of many rifles (super nerd Justin Brown refers to this as “robust parameter design”). Also, the manufacturing of the cases and the assembly of the loaded ammunition is done with extreme care and consistency. Put these things together and what we have is some ammo that will shoot really well out of just about anything. Of course you’ll need a rifle/shooter combo capable of some 1/2 MOA groups in order to see them; that should go without saying.

    At the ammo test earlier this week we tested a handful of rifles and the results were good in every case. About 2/3 of the rifles were able to turn in 1/2 MOA (or smaller) groups while the other 1/3 of the rifles shot groups no larger than 1 MOA. So even if this ammo isn’t perfect for your rifle, you can count on it to provide consistent results.

    I’ve got some pretty darn accurate rifles and I can make some pretty good hand loaded ammo. In the tests I’ve done so far, the Eagle Eye Ammo that I’ve shot out of factory rifles has matched the consistency I get from my hand loads out of my custom hand built rifles. That was enough to convince me that this is the real deal.

    I’ve got tremendous faith in Justin and the others at Eagle Eye to deliver on their promises by bringing a new kind of ammunition to the market and I’m extremely excited that I get to be part of it.

  10. A few brief comments from the old man, Glenn Dubis. I concur with all that Kelly wrote. I’ll add that factory made match ammo has been around for a while. The Army’s shooting team has been using factory loaded ammo for national and international competitions since the early to mid 80’s. I won my first 300 meter world championship title, setting a new world record, with factory loaded ammo in 1986. Granted that this success required lot testing by the Army Marksmanship Unit’s custom gun shop and possibly some collaboration between the ‘shop’ and the manufacturer, i.e. Federal. Late in my Army shooting career, when the world of international 300m rifle competition had switched from .308 to 6mmBR, the Army was simply lot testing factory made Norma. Our (the Army Marksmanship Unit’s) test standard for a gun at that time was 2” at 300m, i.e. the barreled action in a test sled. That is about .6 MOA. Often we (the AMU shooters) thought the gun would shoot slightly better when shot from the shoulder. So that is what has been done in the past. Eagle Eye is going to raise the bar, by producing ammunition to tighter tolerances and with greater consistency than has ever been done previously. That is the basis of our confidence in the product.

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