Now that the Great Ammo Recession of 2008-2016 is over for most parts of the country, many shooters are hoping for a return to the days of cheap and abundant ammunition. Having had an opportunity in recent weeks to test out different 9mm loads, I was excited at the prospect of being sent an inexpensive practice round to put through the paces. How would this round from Philippine manufacturer Armscor hold up against something like the Liberty Civil Defense round I reviewed not too long ago? Given that the Liberty round retails at over twice the price of Armscor’s and is marketed as a premium defense round, this isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Life doesn’t always give you two apples though, so let’s see where the Armscor hit.
A full metal jacketed round, this 124 grain bullet is advertised to run around 1090 feet per second (fps) and have 348 foot pounds (ft/lbs) of energy at the muzzle. Running through my Caldwell chronograph, this bullet had groups with average muzzle velocities of 1112, 1113 and 1120 fps. The standard deviation was between 7 to 18 fps in the various groups: extreme spread was between 17 and 44 fps for the different strings of fire. For an inexpensive practice round, this was considerably more consistent than any other 9mm ammo types I’ve shot lately.
Caught in a bit of a winter storm, my cardboard “e-type” targets were blowing around too much to work tight groups. Not that it would have mattered much, the freezing rain was ruining my paper targets as fast as I could put them up so I changed gears. As I was also at the range testing the Safariland 537 holster and Talon Grips, I opted to start with drills from concealment. This round proved to be very soft shooting! When I slowed down a bit and went for informal groups, getting rounds to touch wasn’t tough at all. When I switched over to suppressed shooting at various targets littering the rock pit, I was granted two wonderful gifts. First, there was absolutely no unburnt powder tossed back into my face; this was a first for me. I’m used to mandatory eye protection or a series of stinging reminders to bring it next time when shooting suppressed pistols. Second, I was treated to easy shooting at distance. Hitting a fist sized rock at 75 yards (I still have blocky, stock sights on) wasn’t much trouble. One of the best range days I’ve had in quite some time.
So, keeping in mind that the Armscor 124 gr. 9mm round runs $11.63 for a box of 50, this ammo is worthy of buying at a higher price than $.23/round for sure. I’ll try to get my hands on some of their hollow point rounds in 9mm and 45acp to see how those perform.