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We just looked at some fine choices of 5.56 ammunition, and to balance it out I think it’s a good idea to do some .308 ammo as well. With the ammo shortage hitting all the major calibers, the local shelves are starting to re-fill and this time there’s nothing available except some brands that either I’ve never heard of or don’t usually associate with quality. But just because they aren’t Hornady doesn’t mean they’re not consistent. So let’s look at Winchester and Herter’s locally available .308 Winchester options.

Here’s a quick reminder of what’s going on: we run 20 rounds of each brand through a chronograph and look at the IQR or InterQuartile Range to get an idea of how tight the group is going to be downrange. There are plenty of other factors in accuracy, but velocity is the only one that’s “clean” enough to calculate and compare (as everything else can be influenced by the shooter, equipment, etc.). For the full methodology check out this article. Just remember LOW = GOOD and we’ll be on the same page.


First up is Winchester White Box, their lower level product. The “el cheapo” version that is mass produced and no one really expects much. But is it actually just the gun shop’s best kept secret?


Next we have some Herter’s “select grade” brass cased ammo, which is really just Wolf ammo in Cabela’s clothing. Wolf is recognized across the internet as some of the worst ammunition available, and certain firearms manufacturers actually put a clause in their warranty that voids it should a single round of Wolf ever touch the chamber. But is it really that bad?

Strap yourselves in, here come the charts!


Ah, the standard boxplot. Useless as always, but some people like to use my posts to get an idea of what the true velocity of a round is compared to what is stated on the box. Normalized is how I like my data, though:


That’s better. And as we can see, Herters appears to be about as consistent than the current leader, but Winchester appears to be much more consistent. In fact, both of these brands beat the current leader, taking the new #1 and #2 spots on the chart.


And no complaining from the peanut gallery — this is the same rifle I’ve been using for ages now, and the atmospherics were roughly identical to the last time we tested Hornady’s ammo.

So, we have a new winner! And surprisingly, Herter’s ammunition isn’t that bad! Well, at least the brass cased stuff. Looks like I’m heading to Cabela’s again to get the steel cased version for comparison.

Brand and Weight Caliber IQR $/round
Winchester / Olin M855
62gr Penetrator
.223 Rem 9 $0.50
Wilson Combat
77gr Sierra HPBT Match
.223 Rem 19 $1.52
Wilson Combat
65gr Sierra SP BT
.223 Rem 21 $1.52
Hornady Steel Match
75gr BTHP Match
.223 Rem 25 $0.44
75gr BTHP Match
.223 Rem 29 $0.79
69gr HPBT
.223 Rem 30 $1.18
Remington Premier Match
77gr BTHP
.223 Rem 36 $1.50
64gr “Power Point” SP
.223 Rem 38 $0.82
55gr FMJ
.223 Rem 40 $0.21
Federal XM193F
55gr FMJ
.223 Rem 40 $0.32
55gr FMJ
5.56×45 40 $0.50
55gr HP-BT
.223 Rem 42 $?.??
75gr BTHP Match
.223 Rem 43 $0.50
Nosler Varmint
40gr Ballistic Tip
.223 Rem 44 $0.86
Handloads – 20.8gr N-135
75gr Hornady HPBT Match
.223 Rem 49 $?.??
Handloads – 21gr IMR 3031
75gr Hornady HPBT Match
.223 Rem 52 $?.??
Winchester PDX-1
60gr SC-HP
.223 Rem 58 $1.45
Freedom Munitions
55gr FMJ-BT
.223 Rem 66 $0.42
American Eagle
55gr FMJ-BT
.223 Rem 68 $0.30
Independence .223 Rem 69 $0.50
Brand and Weight Caliber IQR $/round
Remington UMC 115gr .300 BLK 20 $0.52
Remington AccuTip Premier 125gr .300 BLK 20 $1.39
CMMG 147gr .300 BLK 26 $0.78
Remington Subsonic 220gr .300 BLK 27 $0.92
PNW M 155gr .300 BLK 28 $0.90
PNW D 220gr .300 BLK 54 $1.08
Brand and Weight Caliber IQR $/round
147gr FMJ
.308 Win 14 $1.00
Herter’s Select Grade
150gr SPCE
.308 Win 22.75 $1.00
Hornady Superformance Match
150gr SST
.308 Win 26 $1.21
Wilson Combat
168gr Sierra HPBT Match
.308 Win 28 $1.99
PMC Bronze
147gr FMJ BT
.308 Win 39 $0.50
SetPoint – 44gr Varget
150gr Hornady FMJ BT
.308 Win 52 $1.74
Prvi Partizan
150gr FMJ
.308 Win 54 $0.82
Remington “Managed Recoil”
.308 Win 125 $1.40

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  1. I’ve never used the brass cased Wolf ammo. You buy Wolf for the largest number of shots for your ammo budget. It’s filthy, smelly ammo that works and is great for plinking with your Russian surpluss guns. My SKS looks like I’ve been shooting black powder in it when I run Wolf thru it.

  2. Once again while Nick is weighing merit in weapons of war, Winchester/Odin is given his due. Praise be the All Father, who rules over Asgard and makes all Valkyries call him “Daddy”.

    • His secretaries lack a sense of humor, but he apparently makes some nice ammo. Cool.

    • Failed marketing slogan for Winchester/Odin: “You’ll put an eye out with that!”

      Think it is safe to say that the typo is in Nick’s source file for that table.

    • He looks a little funny on the box though. He’s not carrying Grungir and Slepnir is missing some legs. This is what you get when you get Loki to design your box art.

  3. Note, it’s Winchester/Olin.(grin) Just like the .223 test. Glad to see the consistency of the Winchester products, much more than the Big Black Wolf, the dirty stuff. Not bad for the cheap stuff in the white box, the Winchester USA .

    BTW, great humor guys! Glad to see everyone hasn’t lost that with all we’ve been thru!

    • ‘Tis only natural that Winchester/Odin may defeat The Black Wolf, Fenrir. So it shall be until the time of Ragnarok, the End of Days, when all ammunition is spent and the fields fall silent.

      Hey wait a minute…

    • Maybe we should have a post about the average amount of time ” Winchester / Odin” is used.

      Then again, I’ve got typos in plenty of my posts as well.

  4. Good report for a starting point on accuracy. Velocity variability is probably less important for long-range accuracy than uniformity and shape (ballistic coefficient) of the bullet itself. And what will probably trump both of those factors is what your rifle “likes” as far as bullet weight, velocity range, and BC. This is a great excuse (oop, sorry, “rationale”) for lots of ammo and lots of range time. “Hey, this is scientific research.”

    • So…you’re saying that microscopic differences in BC are going to have a greater difference in shot placement over 1,000 yds than would a deviation in bullet drop generated by a 100 ft/sec variance in velocity acting over that distance??

      I know someone who can make repeatably precise shots at 300 yards with a .45-70. That’s a blunt-nosed slug with a “rainbow” trajectory, but he says that it’s predictable as the sunrise so you just aim for the right spot in that arc.

      A high BC projectile may get more efficient use out of the energy you give it, but in order to place a shot accurately you have to know where it’s going to go. Predictable consistency is what’s most important.

      • No. No, that is not what I was saying. Here is what I was saying: “And what will probably trump both of those factors is what your rifle “likes” as far as bullet weight, velocity range, and BC.” Velocity consistency is a good starting point, but it does not always translate into the “best” load for a specific rifle.

        • Kindof agreeing with Idaho….The first rule of testing anything is to not forget what you are testing is what you tested. In other words don’t make leaps of faith or logic from what the test is all about. IMHO Nick tested “velocity” of ammo. That’s it. I wouldn’t make any other assumptions or draw any other conclusions from it. For the congenitally nerdy like me, that is fine, and makes my day. But that’s just me.

        • I think I disagree with your last statement, Pete. I would argue velocity consistency is what gives you tight groups as long as your gun likes the bullet weight and design. You cannot have cloverleaf accuracy without very consistent velocity.

  5. I would prefer tables and graphs that are not such a challange for those of use with Low IQs to comprehend.
    But Hey, when your writing to impress yourself,,,,,,

  6. The Herter’s ammo I’ve shot through my AR’s has been decently accurate, but pack a little less power than most other .223 / 5.56 loads. I have Herter’s .338 Lapua, but haven’t shot any yet because project .338 is waiting a scope.

  7. In the spirit of scientific inquiry, if you want to play with other chonographs I might be convinced to share my Oehler 35p.

  8. Firearms and training have been my pay check for 48 years now (since I was 18). In the early days I had a 25-06 (not the commercial Rem cartridge) that would put a certain load into 1/4 inch groups. Those days meant accuarcy HAD to be reloads. Factory ammo was JUNK. This was also when even 1 inch groups were lauded and sought after with much energy. There are many things that factor into accuarcy and velocity consistency is a small one of them. A very high to low variation can mean stringing of the shot groups but this takes a pretty large difference in velocity and is seen at longer ranges. However, I have never found anything more important than two issues. 1. Consistent quality in ammo and 2., the most important, the rifle has to like the load. Each rifles best groups at up to 600 yards didn’t have much to do with velocity variation. Pistol velocity variation has even less to do with accuaracy at normal pistol ranges, even past 100 yards.

  9. That’s funny because the Herters I just bought says right on the box and is stamped “sellier and bellot” also says made in czech rep. Which last time I checked is where Russian wolf ammo is born.

  10. Herter’s Ammo today is definitely made by Sellier and Bellot and is a respectable option. Before Cabela’s bought Herters the ammunition was Russian made.

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