Budget ammo comparison in G36 - WWB, Blazer Brass, Federal Champion
Since there was some discussion about ammo, especially some issues with the Winchester White Box, I decided I'd post a brief comparison having shot all 3 now.
When I first bought the G36 at French Creek Outfitters here in PA, I bought a box of Blazer Brass with which to shoot at their indoor range, at $25 for a box of 50. I had absolutely no problems and it was quite clean. I didn't have anything to compare it to, since this was the first time I had ever shot a Glock, let alone a .45 out of anything other than a custom 1911. Nevertheless, I was satisfied with a 5" grouping shot one-handed at 7 yards.
I then made a trip to Walmart and bought the 100 round box of the Winchester White Box for $32. At the range I noticed that for a couple rounds out of the 100, the slide didn't cycle as smoothly - but still did cycle. In other words, after the shot, you could see the back of the slide take a very split second to finish chambering the next round. In one round of the 100, the slide locked open mid-way through the magazine. I simply dropped the slide by hand and was back in action. Accuracy was seemingly worse. My groupings were noticeably larger than they had been the last time I was at the range with the Blazer Brass. I certainly don't claim to be more accurate than any ammo, so it could have entirely been placebo effect. I had my cousin there at the time, and asked him to load his custom Combat Commander with a magazine of the WWB, and the difference in groupings was insignificant, so the difference was likely just in my head. The WWB ammo is also very dirty. The smell was stronger, and it wasn't long before the end of the slide had the chalky white color.
With some digital calipers I compared the overall cartridge length of 2 of the WWB rounds to the Federal Champion rounds I discuss below. The overall length of the WWB cartridges was 1.272 inches. For reference the SAAMI maximum length for any .45 acp cartridge is 1.275 inches. The federal Champion cartridges were 1.263 inches in length. The differences is enough to be seen with good naked eyes. I and others on here suspect this difference may account for why the WWB doesn't always feed as smoothly in the G36.
When it comes to range ammo though, the issues with the WWB were very minor compared to the price difference - $16 per 50 versus $25 per 50 of the Blazer Brass. I therefore headed back to Walmart for another box of the WWB. The ammo case was even more bare than last time, and there was absolutely no .45 ammo. I returned the next day since I was driving by the store anyway just in case I was lucky. I was. They had just received 8 50-round boxes of Federal Champion, at $16 a box. Yes, that's the same price per 50 as the WWB. I grabbed 2 boxes.
I've seen others say the the Federal Champion is basically the same round as the Blazer Brass. I think that's likely the case as both are owned by the same parent company, both look the same, and are advertised as 830 fps. The Federal Champion appears to be a Walmart-specific line, especially since the model number begins with "WM". It basically shot the same for me as the Blazer Brass - clean, smooth, and accurate. Given that it's the same price per 50 as the WWB, there's no reason I would shoot anything other than this ammo.
So if you can find Blazer Brass or Federal Champion for the same price or even slightly more than the WWB, without a doubt I'd go for the BB or FC. If all you can find for less than $20 a box is WWB, then it's still perfectly suitable as range ammo.
Mace Em All, let God Sort Them Out...
Built Colt 1911 in .38 super; Walther PPK; Glock 36
Last edited by MaceEmAll; 03-28-2010 at 12:52..