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#1 StrangeRanger

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:18 AM

Does anyone have a recommendation for M33 ball?  The American Eagle that came with my rifle is, to put it mildly, less than satisfactory.  It strings vertically to the point that it's impossible to establish a good 300 yard zero.  I talked to the people at 50 BMG Supply about it and they characterized it as "out-of-spec rejects from the Lake City ammo plant."  They blamed the vertical stringing on wide variances in powder charge.  They hold their ball reloads to much tighter tolerances but say the accuracy is still not great because the GI bullets are simply not that accurate.

 

I know that I can get very good accuracy out of either Hornady or 50 BMG Supply match ammo but I'm looking for something a bit less expensive for plinking at 600 and closer

 

Loading my own is out of the question.  I'm not going to invest in the equipment needed to roll .50 BMG for what is going to be a fairly low use rifle.  I've read some good reviews of both IMI and PMC ball and I have some IMI on order.  Are their other options that I should be looking at? 


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#2 emmagee1917

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 11:15 AM

Well , I use the Talon reloads of the Spotter / Tracer round where a few inches one way or the other don't really matter . :o

There is no reason to have a machine gun fire hundreds of rounds a minute and put them all into one hole . Kinda defeats the purpose . I'd look into what ammo is issued to the M82A1 Barrett teams and see if it's available on the surplus market .Might look at what the Brits use as well .

Chris


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#3 StrangeRanger

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 12:22 PM

The target rounds aren't really a problem.  There are several sources aside from the two I listed above.  One or more of them are certain to work out nicely.  I'm looking for a less expensive plinking/practice ball round that can hit something smaller than the engine block of a a BRDM at 600.  American Eagle ain't it, at least not in my M99.  I have hopes that either the IMI or 50 BMG Supply's M33 reloads will get me there.  If they don't, I'll try the PMC but after that I'm out of brilliant ideas and was hoping for additional sources that have proved reasonably accurate.


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#4 emmagee1917

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 11:49 AM

That was what I was saying . The barretts are semis and more of a sniper rifle , so their issued ammo would be more accurate than the run of the mill M33 . What I am saying is that I do not know if the military makes a target grade M33 type round for them and if any are available for us . Other countries use it as well , maybe one of them offers something .

I have a Ruger RPR in .308 . With Federal factory match it groups 10 shots under 1/2 inch at 100 all day long . With Privi match it is doing good to stay under 2-1/2 at 100 . Imagine my suprise when the Labradar showed the load performances were neck and neck between the two . Difference has to be the bullet or just simply rifle preference .

Go ahead and try a couple boxes of each . Only one has to be good .

Chris


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#5 StrangeRanger

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 02:12 PM

AFAIK the military doesn't acknowledge issuing .50 BMG ammo to sniper units outside of the normal range of types available for Ma Deuce.  Having said that, I'd just about bet the farm that Santa left them a few crates of Hornady A-Max in their stockings last Christmas.

 

That way they can hit targets accurately at 1500+ yards

 

Although I bet they really like to play with Raufoss when the mission allows it.  ;)


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#6 50 Shooter

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 03:32 PM

IMI used to make a match ball round, I still have a box or two somewhere. That and some pulldown projos, not sure if they still market it.

The Canadians make a match ball or AP round also, you can tell them apart as they look like the center or rear portion of the projos appear lathe turned.

The French Anthena round is another known for its accuracy. The only problem is getting them here in the U.S. The Anthena round won the competition for the new U.S. .50 sniper round. For some reason the whole project was scrapped and that was the end of getting a chance of us getting any here.

If you can find any IMI, PMC or other known ammo, buy it as the Fed stuff is just surplus Lake City. Not really known for its accuracy as the M2 is shot into a beaten zone.

Lathe turned projos will also do better accuracy wise then most other ammo on the market. But then the price goes up to about $2 a projo or $5-$10 a round depending on who you buy it from.
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#7 StrangeRanger

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 09:08 AM

Well I ran a phase 1 trial with American Eagle, PMC and IMI ball plus reloads from .50 BMG Supply.  I shot off a front bench rest rather than the bipod and used the monopod rather than a rear bag.  PMC was very slightly the best but they all shot 5 rounds into about 2 MOA @ 300 with a best 3 out of 5 into slightly less than 1 MOA. Is that typical for M33 in a Barrett M99?  There is a definite flinch factor with this rifle which I am working hard to ignore so I'm trying to suss out whether the errant rounds in each group are me or the ammo or a combination of the two.


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#8 emmagee1917

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 11:03 AM

2 MOA out of a rifle that kicks that much and you not being used to it is excellent performace in my book . I'm 63 and I used to love to shoot the big kickers ( 375 H&H , 458Win. , 44 Mags , etc . ) but I only took out my single shot bolt action 50 once and then talked myself into a M82A1 which I just love . Have not put it on paper yet , just having fun with it .

Chris


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#9 StrangeRanger

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 02:23 PM

Actually the recoil is surprisingly light.  I'd put it at less than my 03A3.  It's the backwash off the muzzle brake that gets my undivided attention.  The autoloaders have a less effective brake in order to permit recoil operation, the M99's brake is a whole different animal


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#10 emmagee1917

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 11:25 AM

I did not know that . I do know the Barrett M82A1 is much more friendly than the Ferrett I had , although it was not painfull , it was much more distracting . Out there on the net is a clip of me showing a little lady how to operate my M82A1 . When she pulls the trigger with me sitting beside it , my shirt bellows out and my beard blows out horizontal .

Chris


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#11 StrangeRanger

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 11:57 AM

https://barrett.net/firearms/

 

Shows the 107, 82, 95 and 99 in a single view.  The brake on the autoloaders is much smaller and therefore I can only assume much less effective than the one used on the bolt guns.  The recoil system makes up the difference.

 

I'm still curious as to whether the M33 ammo has inherent flyers or if my anticipation of the muzzle blast is causing them.  I've got lots of American Eagle and I don't mind spending it if I can reliably get to 1.5 MOA with it.  I want to address whatever my issues might be before I start working with the match ammo at $5.50-$6.00 a pop.


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#12 50 Shooter

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 12:08 PM

M33 was never made for accuracy, if you hand load it, you might be able to get 1.5 MOA from it.

Flinching can be overcome by dry firing practice, have someone place/balance a quarter on the barrel, then pull the trigger, if the coin falls off, keep practicing. When you can pull the trigger w/o the coin falling off, you're doing it right.
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#13 StrangeRanger

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 04:59 PM

My flinch issues are unique to this rifle, they do not occur with any others.  I could dry fire this one all day and never flinch.  It comes from the anticipation of the shock wave that's about to hit when I pull the trigger on a live round.


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#14 50 Shooter

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 10:28 PM

I hear ya brother, I own an AR-50 and the muzzle blast will clean your sinuses out! Best other advice I can offer is to concentrate on your breathing and trigger control.

The less you think about the blast the better you'll get at controlling your flinch reflex. Or maybe have someone load it for you while you're not looking. They could put a live or dummy in, another way to train yourself.
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#15 StrangeRanger

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 08:43 AM

Barrett anticipated the issue with their trigger design, it's damned near flinch-proof and I may not be flinching.  If I got 3 into less than 1 MOA and 2 flyers with my .25-06 or 6.5 CM I'd know it was me.  Given the Barrett M99's reputation for extreme accuracy I'm pretty sure it's not the rifle.  Considering M33's reputation for inaccuracy I really don't know whether it's me or the ammo.  I may have to burn some match loads to figure it out


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#16 StrangeRanger

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 10:55 AM

I re-ran the test shooting the same four lots of ammo but in reverse order to offset any degradation of accuracy in the first test due to a flinch that might be occurring from the accumulated effects of the muzzle blast.  The winners and losers were more or less the same and still nothing to write home about.  The last group I fired was the best by the slimmest of margins so I'm now pretty confident that the problem isn't me or the rifle, it's just the ball ammo.  2 MOA is all it's going to deliver.  I am going to retest the two best brands PMC and American Eagle once more, this time at both 300 and 600, before I completely give up on M33


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#17 50 Shooter

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:32 PM

Yep, M33 is just plinking ammo for people that you let try out a .50. If you know anyone that's a machinist, you could have them make you some brass projos.

I have a can of some that were made in the M33 profile, also have Barnes and a couple others.

If they have a CNC screw machine, the machine will pop one out every minute or so. They'll get you to MOA or better for sure, even the M33 profile ones.
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