Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ammo Family Review - Remington UMC JHP Bulk Packs

For those that follow the blog, you probably saw this one coming over the last few weeks.  I had this idea to do a review of the Kahr PM series of pistols and while I was working through that, I thought I would tie in a terminal test and review of the Remington Bulk Pack JHP ammo as fired through the short barreled Kahr pistols.  It was an amazing amount of work, but I'm really glad I did it because I discovered both the good and bad points of this line of ammo.

I'll start with a list of the good points.
1)  It's reasonably priced.
2)  It's generally available.
3)  It's space saving and stores well.
4)  There's a convenience factor with boxes of 100.

Points one and two can be validated by walking into any mass retailer that sells ammunition.  It's rare to find another brand of US made JHP ammo on the shelf that is going to end up being cheaper per 50 rounds than these 100 count boxes.  You will often find the brand in-stock when other brands are sold out.  The picture above was taken at a local store back in February 2012.  While the prices have changed slightly, the availability has remained quite good.  Your local prices may be different, but they should be similar.  Since February the 9mm has gone up $2 per 100 and the 45 up $1 per hundred.  The 40 and 380 have held their price points.  If you really look at the items and their prices above you will see that the 100 count boxes of JHP are similar or cheaper than buying two 50 count boxes of Remington UMC FMJ ammo.  

Packed in convenient brick packs containing two trays of 50 rounds, it maximizes shelf space in the store and also your personal storage space when you store it or drop it in your range bag for your next shooting outing.  In areas with limits on the number of boxes you can purchase per visit, I've never had a clerk count a box of 100 differently than a box of 50 or 20.  You can literally double the quantity you purchase by buying these boxes of 100 vs. boxes of 50.

One other thing to consider is each box of 100 comes from the same manufacturing lot.  This isn't always the case when purchasing two boxes of 50.  If you are the kind of person that shoots 43 to verify function and carries the last 7, now you have 57 left for future use.

There are some bad performance points to consider with this line that I discovered through terminal testing.  When I tested in short barrels, and fired into 2 layers of denim and SIM-TEST, only half the loads actually expanded.  If you purchase the 45 or 380 and expect expansion when fired from barrels of similar length as the test pistols, you will probably be disappointed.  I say probably because I may have tested a bad box of each, but failure is failure and it's enough to make me move these loads into the practice ammo category.

I don't really have a good explanation on why the 45 and 380 failed to expand other than their velocities were on the low side.  Low velocity is great for reducing recoil, but generally bad for expansion.  These two may perform better when fired from a longer barrel with more time to develop velocity.

The following data sheets have all the data points captured during the testing.

When tested through the short barreled test pistols, the 40 S&W and 9mm both performed and expanded well. These test shots were through 2 layers of denim and into the same block of SIM-TEST media.

The following data sheets have all the data points captured during the testing.

The four links below will take you to the individual test recaps previously published on the blog.  Please feel free to visit any of them for more details on the tests.

45 Auto Test
40 S&W Test
9mm Luger Test
380 Auto Test

While I don't really consider myself to be a hoarder, I do remember what a huge pain the butt it was to locate ammo at reasonable prices about 4 years ago.  Learning from that experience, I've picked up a few of these bulk packs over the years to keep for a rainy day.  I'm happy with that decision for the 9mm and 40 S&W loads, but now I find myself flush with practice ammo in 45 and 380.  I guess I'd better start looking for some substitute items.

Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested. It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision about which specific ammunition to use for their needs. It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.  Ammunition labeled as +P should not be used in any firearm unless the firearm manufacturer specifically states you are permitted to do so. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post and thanks for your work. I have always said my guns need to thrive on what Walmart sells. They were about the only place to get reasonable prices for the last 2 years around here. My standard carry load for my SR-9 and Beretta 92 is the 100 pack of Remington 9mm JHP. Runs flawless and is very accurate in both. I do also carry Hornady Critical Duty +P 135 grain when I'm driving. Again great work - nice to know.