That's a 25-yard group. Not bad for the economy stuff!

That’s a 25-yard group. Not bad for the economy stuff!

Here’s a quick range report and ammo recommendation.

Last year I stocked up on Federal American Eagle 9mm 147 grain flat point ammo for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun Invitational. I wanted a slower and heavier bullet, with less muzzle blast, appropriate for night shooting. As I continue to burn through the supply of this practice ammo, I become more and more impressed with what you get for the dollar.

Earlier this week, I was at the range testing a new secret gun (stay tuned) and shot this particular American Eagle load for accuracy and velocity out of the new gun. To eliminate any “iron sights” imprecision from 25 yards out, I mounted a Bushnell Elite 3500 2-7x Handgun Scope on the pistol using one of those nifty rail scope mounts from UM Tactical. Using the scope may look a little dorky on a semi-auto pistol, but it does allow exceptionally precise aiming, and that allows me to get a better idea of what any particular gun and ammo combination will do.

Another 25-yard group.

Another 25-yard group.

Anyway, I set up targets at 25 yards and shot five consecutive 5-shot groups. You can see a couple of the groups in the photos here, with groups measuring 1.56 and 1.30 inches. Yeah, I lost count on that 1.3-inch group and forgot to fire the fifth shot. The other three 5-shot groups measured 1.78, 2.34 and 2.91 inches. Of course, some of that is the gun, but lesser ammo won’t shoot accurately from any gun. Most of the other ammo I’ve tested for groups in this price range exceeds 3-inch diameter groups by a good margin. In a variety of rifle and pistol calibers, I’ve found the American Eagle loads to be amazingly accurate, especially considering the price point. For example, these 147-grain 9mm cartridges come in at the mid 20 cents per round range.

I suspect part of the reason for great accuracy results stems from the attention to loading consistency. I shot 10 rounds through a Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph placed 15 feet down range to test velocity. The average of all ten shots from this particular gun was 880.3 feet per second. More importantly, the extreme spread, or difference between the slowest and fastest round was only 20.2 feet per second. That’s pretty amazing for any ammo, much less bulk practice stuff. If you’re interested, the standard deviation worked out to 7.21 – also an incredibly consistent outcome.

Good stuff, check it out. I think you’ll also find the recoil of the slower and heavier 147-grain bullets very pleasant. I did.