Best Ammo for AR-15 (2020) – Rated and Reviewed

Having the best AR-15 is the first step to achieving your ideal shooting experience and performance. For the next step, you should be pairing your AR-15 with the best AR-15 ammo you can find on the market. 

Due to the sheer number of options available on the market, finding one might not be a walk in the park. As such, we have done most of the research work for you in your search for the best AR-15 ammo. Before that, there are some factors you should consider before making a decision. 

Factors to Consider When Buying The Best AR-15 Ammo

Caliber

If you didn’t know, .223 rounds are smaller than 5.56mm NATO rounds, hence they aren’t the same. You should always check which caliber is your rifle chambered to as you wouldn’t want to end up buying the ammo that your AR-15 is not chambered to fire.

Shooting applications

Your shooting applications will largely determine what kind of AR-15 ammo that’s best for you. If you plan on hunting with your AR-15, most hunters would prefer a ‘full metal jacket’ AR-15 ammo. These rounds were specifically designed to offer greater impact and hence, it will shred through animal skin much easier compared to the other AR-15 ammo. Other accessories like long range scope and iron sight will always play an influence on the efficiency of your rifle

Price

If you are shopping on a tight budget, you don’t have to worry as there would still be ample of great AR-15 ammo choices on the market. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, you should always go for clean AR-15 ammo as it has always been the preferred choice for most shooters.

Top 4 Best AR-15 Ammo

1. PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammo

Specifications

  • Caliber: 223 Remington/5.56 NATO
  • Bullet Type: Jacketed Soft Point
  • Bullet Weight: 55 GR
  • Muzzle Energy: 1250 ft-lbs
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3200 fps
  • Rounds Per Box: 20
  • Boxes Per Case: 50
  • Casing Material: Copper/Lead

Features

If you didn’t know, the manufacturer – PMC has been coming up with some of the best ammunition at an extremely affordable price for quite some time. Head down to the range and ask some of the shooters there, they will tell you how flawless the PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition is.

Essentially, the PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition is one of the best ‘one size fit’ AR-15 ammunition you can find on the market. Additionally, this AR-15 ammo is soft-point ammunition, as such, you know it’s incredibly effective defensive ammunition for home defense applications.

The PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition comes in a brass case, therefore you won’t be getting the sort of fouling and barrel wear as you would experience with some of the cheaper steel-cased AR-15 ammo on the market. With the PMC, your AR-15’s barrel is going to last you a whole lot longer.

One of the PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition’s biggest selling points is its affordability. If you are looking for the best AR-15 ammo to practice on the range with, the PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition will provide you with all the firepower, range, accuracy, and muzzle velocity that you need.

You will absolutely love shooting with the PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition because you won’t come across any serious problems and/or jams as you shoot on the range throughout the day. It never fails to deliver in terms of performance and reliability, which are 2 of the most important aspects of AR-15 ammo.

You will like this product if:

You want to reduce barrel wear. The PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition is brass-cased and copper jacketed. As such, your AR-15’s barrel will experience a significant reduction in terms of wear and tear as compared to the cheaper steel cased AR-15 ammo.

You want great value. Besides being available for such a reasonable price, the PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition is also suitable for both home defense and training applications. Especially for the latter, you wouldn’t want to spend a fortune on them just for training. With this ammo, every dollar spent is worth it.

You might not like this product if:

You are a hunter. The PMC Bronze 223 Remington 55GR SP Ammunition is soft point ammunition that is commonly used for home defense and training applications. If you are looking for the best AR-15 hunting ammo, you might want to look at full metal jacketed ammunition instead. This won’t be your ideal option for that.

2. Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition

Specifications

  • Product Type: Ammunition
  • Manufacturer: Rainier Munitions
  • Caliber : .223 Rem
  • Configuration: Quantity 50
  • High % Once Fired Mixed Military/Commercial Brass
  • Hornady 55gr Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail (FMJ BT) projectile
  • Clean Burning Powder
  • Indoor Range Brass
  • 3050fps out of the Rainier Arms Ultramatch .223 16” Barrel

Features

At first glance, you might not find the ammo’s ‘remanufactured’ status to your liking, but make no mistake, the Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition is extremely well-remanufactured thanks to Rainier Arms’ set of high standards when it comes to quality control.

The Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition is mostly reloaded from once-fired brass, therefore you will be receiving casings in excellent condition. You won’t experience any feeding, extraction, or ejection issues that are often caused by overused brass that’s been reloaded many times.

The primers and powder of the Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition run extremely clean to ensure you get the same shooting experience as you would get from high-quality factory AR-15 ammunitions.

Additionally, the Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition comes with a stunning muzzle velocity of 3050 fps from a 16-inch AR-15 barrel. You might think that it isn’t the fastest AR-15 ammo around, but it’s definitely one of the most consistent and reliable AR-15 ammo you can find on the market.

Furthermore, the Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition incorporates an all-copper jacket to minimize the wear and tear on the bore of your AR-15’s barrel as you shoot. If you often shoot throughout the day, this AR-15 ammo is going to help you achieve the longest service life you can squeeze out from your barrel.

You will like this product if:

You want consistent muzzle velocity. Although the Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition might not be the fastest AR-15 ammo around, it definitely provides an extreme level of consistency when it comes to muzzle velocity.

You want to enhance your AR-15’s lifespan. With Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition use of clean-burning powder and primers along with an all copper jacket, it effectively minimizes the wear on the bore of your AR-15’s barrel.

You might not like this product if:

You are a long-range shooter. Although the Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition has pretty good long-range precision, there are a few better rounds out there for long-range shooting than the Rainier Arms.

You don’t want remanufactured ammunition. There are a handful of shooters that don’t fancy shooting remanufactured ammunition. This isn’t surprising as there is some pretty bad remanufactured ammunition on the market. However, the Rainier Arms Munitions Remanufactured .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammunition is definitely not one of them.

3. Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo

Specifications

  • Cartridge: 223 Remington
  • Grain Weight: 55 Grains
  • Quantity: 50 Round
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3240 Feet Per Second
  • Muzzle Energy: 1282 Foot Pounds
  • Bullet Style: Full Metal Jacket
  • Lead-Free: No
  • Case Type: Brass
  • Primer: Boxer
  • Corrosive: No
  • Reloadable: Yes
  • Velocity Rating: Supersonic

Features

If you don’t really fancy shooting remanufactured ammunition, it’s fine. There are plenty of other alternatives that are just as affordable, one of them is the Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo. This AR-15 ammo is probably one of the most frequently used ammo you can find on the range thanks to its incredible affordability.

The Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo is brass-cased ammunition. As such, it’s going to give you the reliability you need when shooting on the range throughout the day. One of the main selling points of brass ammunition is that you can use it for reloading to make your ammunition.

Additionally, boat-tail bullets like the Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo feature an all-copper jacket. Thus, it’s going to significantly reduce the wear and tear on your AR-15 compared to ammunitions that use a copper coating over the usual steel jacket. Unlike some other AR-15 ammo, this one isn’t going to tear your AR-15 barrel apart.

Moreover, the Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo also delivers an excellent muzzle velocity to ensure you receive the most reliable shooting experience you can get from AR-15 ammo. Having a muzzle velocity of 3240 fps, this ammo sits pretty high on top in this area.

Although there is a good amount of ammunition that does not deliver a consistent muzzle velocity, the Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo is quite the opposite. You can expect to perfectly predict the muzzle velocities of your next shot because it will always be the same.

You will like this product if:

You use it for training and recreation purposes. The Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo is a 55-grain full metal jacket boat tail ammunition. These rounds are the preferred choice for shooting training due to its incredible consistency and affordability.

You often shoot throughout the day. The Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo comes with an all-copper jacket to ensure that it doesn’t wear your barrel down especially during a whole day of shooting.

You might not like this product if:

You are looking for the best self-defense ammo. The Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics .223 Rem 55GR FMJ Ammo, just like most FMJ ammo are not the best option for self-defense ammo you can find on the market. Nonetheless, they are still going to deliver the firepower you need for home defense situations.

4. American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition

Specifications

  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm
  • Bullet Weight: 55
  • Bullet Style: Full Metal Jacket Boat-Tail
  • Package Quantity: 120
  • Muzzle Velocity:3165
  • Ballistic Coefficient: .246
  • Bullet Length In: 0.735in. / 18.66mm
  • Usage: Target Shooting

Features

The American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition is your classic military green-tip bullet. Mil-spec might be an overused term, but it sets a benchmark as to how AR-15 ammo should perform with AR-15 rifles that have barrel lengths between 14.5 and 20 inches (standard military configuration).

If you own an AR-15 that has a shorter barrel, the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition is just as reliable as other ammunitions. If you an AR-15 with a full-length barrel, this AR-15 ammo is going to offer you a muzzle velocity of 3100 fps. Additionally, you will also be getting a high level of consistency in terms of muzzle velocity.

In most cases, shooting ammo with a consistent muzzle velocity will win you half of the battle in hitting the bullseye. Couple that with some practice on the range, you know you’re gonna hit the bull’s eye consistently with the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition.

Since the manufacturers specifically designed this ammo to offer great reliability, it has to come with a brass case. This AR-15 ammo doesn’t fail to run reliably. Most shooters haven’t suffered from jams/feeding issues since switching to the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition.

Coming with a total copper jacket, the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition is going to significantly minimize the wear and tear on the barrel from extended sessions of shooting.

If you are a short-medium range shooter, you will love shooting the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition as it is, after all, one of the best 55-grain AR-15 ammo you can find on the market. This ammo is going to do solid work on the range and training so you can have enjoyable shooting experience.

You will like this product if:

You have a 14.5 to 20-inch barrel for your AR-15. As mentioned above, the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition is mil-spec ammo that was specifically designed to work perfectly with military configurations. As such, you will be pushing your 5.56mm NATO round’s firepower, accuracy, and muzzle velocity to the limits.

You want great reliability. Since the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition come with brass casings, you pretty much saw these criteria coming. Besides that, this ammo also delivers a consistent muzzle velocity for you to always hit the bullseye.

You might not like this product if:

You are a long-range shooter. Since the American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition is a 55-grain bullet, it will not perform as well in long ranges as compared with the true mil-spec 62 grain 5.56mm NATO rounds. If that’s what you want, this might not be your best buy.

You don’t clean your rifle often. The American Eagle 5.56mm 55GR FMJBT Ammunition tends to produce a little more carbon fouling than the other ammunitions. As such, you might have to clean your AR-15 a little more often before it starts jamming.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it illegal to own armor-piercing ammunition?

The simple answer is yes. You are allowed to buy and possess armor-piercing ammunition. However, it is actually illegal to sell armor-piercing ammunition without a license. Therefore even though you might own a few at home, you can’t sell it to anyone without a valid license.

Is it illegal to carry ammo across state lines?

Generally, you can do so as long as your firearms are unloaded, cased properly, and locked in the trunk/stored in a place where it would be inaccessible to the driver and passengers. Nonetheless, if you are planning to do something like that, it’s always best to consider consulting your local law enforcement or the state attorneys before attempting to carry any ammo across the state.

Can you point your gun at a trespasser in home defense situations?

Although gun laws vary from state, pointing a firearm at a trespasser on your land is generally not illegal. However, you should also take note that the law on this area is not in black and white, therefore it would be on a case to case basis. In-home defense situations, it would usually revolve around the reasonable expectation of death, rape, or grave bodily harm to you and/or your family.

Why is steel ammo banned at many ranges?

This is because firing steel ammo would bring no benefit to the firing range. Steel projectiles are essentially a fire and ricochet hazard. They will place accelerated wear and damage to the steel backstops and target systems in a short period of time.

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