Monday, February 6, 2017

Palette's Product Review: PMC .223 Battle Pack

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
FTC Disclaimer: This product was provided to me for review purposes by Widener's Reloading & Shooting Supply. I was not paid for a good review.

I'm never entirely certain what to say when I am asked to review ammunition. One the one hand, free ammo is always welcome; on the other hand, what can I say other than "It did or didn't go bang"?

If I were a more skilled shooter with a dialed-in rifle, I could review match-grade ammunition by giving you ballistic data regarding how the ammo performed in comparison to what I usually shoot. If I were reviewing defensive rounds and I had access to ballistic gel and a high-speed camera, I could show you video of the gel bouncing and a post-mortem of the wound cavity.

Range rounds, though, either work or they don't. If they don't, then there's a fair amount to be said regarding why they didn't work: maybe the rounds didn't load properly, or didn't eject, or didn't fire at all even though the pin hit the primer. But if they do, there's not much to said other than "The rounds went bang and the bullet hit the target."

So with that in mind, here is my review of PMC Bronze 55 Grain FMJ-BT .223 Rem ammo: It went bang, and all the bullets hit the target within the limits of my marksmanship. This lack of commentary is likely disappointing for a lot of people, but I think of it as praising via lack of damnation -- everything worked the way it was supposed to, no more and no less.

I've had good experience with PMC ammo in the past. I've shot PMC Bronze 9mm out of my Glock 26 and Sub-2000, I've shot PMC Bronze 7.62x39 out of my SKS, and I've even used PMC Sidewinder out of a particularly finicky .22LR boltie that refused to eat anything else. I cannot think of a time when any of those rounds failed to feed or fire (although I did have an issue with the JHP 9mm experiencing setback from being kept in a drum magazine). Overall, I think the range rounds offer great value for their price ($8.85 + shipping for a box of 20 at Wideners, which is roughly in line with what they cost at my local gun store, $9.99 + tax).

Being unable to say much more about the ammunition itself, I have three points I'd like to make:

1) There's a zeroing chart on the box itself. 
While this may be old news or useless information to shooters more practiced than myself, I found this to be a very nice bit of reference material on what would otherwise be wasted space on the packaging.
2) I received this ammo in a 200-count Battle Pack.
This means there were 10 boxes sealed in a plastic bag similar to what MREs come in. I found this very handy for transport -- when I evacuated Florida ahead of Hurricane Matthew last October, all I had to do was grab the bag by the carry holes and throw in my car -- and the sealed sleeve protects the ammunition from water (and presumably moisture in the air), which is good for the long-term storage that we preppers enjoy. 

3) The ammunition is manufactured in South Korea. 
In fact, while PMC might now stand for "Precision Made Cartridges", when the company was formed it was originally "Poongsan Metal Corporation" and that's still the name of the company which makes the ammo.

Now let me be very clear here: I have absolutely zero problem with buying South Korean ammunition. The Republic of Korea has been a longtime ally of the United States, and given that they're still technically at war with North Korea I trust that their ammunition will be top-notch (again, see how I haven't had a problem with any of their range ammo). I bring this up only because many preppers want to buy American products whenever possible, and individual boxes you buy in stores say "Houston, TX" as if the ammunition was manufactured there, when in reality that is only the American branch of the business.

With all that said, I feel comfortable recommending Battle Packs of PMC Bronze ammunition ($94) to preppers. The price is good (47 cents a round), although you will pay a touch more for the convenience of having the rounds sealed in plastic than you will if you buy the boxes separately (47 cents per round vs. 44 cents per round) Alternately, you can get better value (36.5 cents/round) by purchasing a 1000-round Battle Pack for $365.

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