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  1. #1
    Senior Member labradort's Avatar
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    Changes to Winchester 223 FMJ

    I have not bought 223 for a couple of years, and went to replenish my target supply recently.

    Canadian Tire used to see a plastic ammo box containing many 20 round cardboard boxes of Winchester FMJ 55 Gr for an OK price. I forget what it was, but I notice the value pack of 40 rounds of 223 hollow point from Winchester have jumped from $26 to about $40 in two years, so that's a shock.

    I bought a value pack of 150 rounds of Winch 223 FMJ, and to round it up for free shipping, added one box of 20 rounds of the same. The 150 rounds were loose, and the 20 rounds box from Winchester is not set up with a box flap that can be re-closed. To double check what I think is going on, I found a box of the old 20 round FMJ at Walmart, and it looks like my older rounds. The older supply have the same new shiny appearance casings as what I'd see on $36/20 rounds hollow point of any brand.

    I still have some rounds of the same thing from 2 years ago, and the photo below compares the old, the new, and a spent casing from the old that has been in room temperature and dry conditions for a couple of years.

    winchester223.jpg

    I compare with the spent casing because it looks a bit like the "new" cartridge near the neck.

    I've also found some 100 round value priced Federal American Eagle with brass casing and it does not have darker looking brass, although there is some patina randomly spotting the brass case.

    There is no claim on the outside of the package about whether the brass is new and not a reload, but I'm thinking this is reloaded factory ammunition. Does anyone know more about this stuff?

  2. #2
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    It's just been annealed and not polished back to a shine
    the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept

    "It must be poor life that achieves freedom from fear" - Aldo Leopold

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  4. #3
    Senior Member linung's Avatar
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    What's the head stamp on them?
    Member of CWTF, NDA, CSSA, OFAH



    More Shooting! Less Posting!

  5. #4
    Senior Member labradort's Avatar
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    OK, thanks for the information. Not familiar with annealing, but reading up on it, it's better to see that and realize they just skipped a cosmetic step than to read it as a sign of past history.

    Now I'm curious who is making all the money on the ammunition price increases. Winchester are obviously saving by reducing a step in manufacturing and condensing the packaging. When the 40 pack of Winchester 223 45 grain hollow point went from $26 to $40 in two years, is it the retailer or the manufacturer or the importer making the profit? It seems like all centerfire has become expensive lately.

  6. #5
    Senior Member labradort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linung View Post
    What's the head stamp on them?
    The head stamp is the same for all of them... WINCHESTER on the top and 223 REM on the bottom of the circle.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Zinilin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labradort View Post
    OK, thanks for the information. Not familiar with annealing, but reading up on it, it's better to see that and realize they just skipped a cosmetic step than to read it as a sign of past history.

    Now I'm curious who is making all the money on the ammunition price increases. Winchester are obviously saving by reducing a step in manufacturing and condensing the packaging. When the 40 pack of Winchester 223 45 grain hollow point went from $26 to $40 in two years, is it the retailer or the manufacturer or the importer making the profit? It seems like all centerfire has become expensive lately.
    None of the above, a lot of that increased can be attributed to currently exchange rates.
    Trudeau policies have trashed the Canadian dollar and the ammunition is manufactured in the United States of America.

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  9. #7
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    Usually ammo manufactured for military contracts is not polished as it is one way of saving a tiny amount of money and when you have a contract for multi millions of rounds the savings add up.

    Fairly common in bulk ammo.

  10. #8
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    I've read that visible annealing marks is required to meet the military requirements, not sure if that's true or not.
    the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept

    "It must be poor life that achieves freedom from fear" - Aldo Leopold

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone-wolf View Post
    I've read that visible annealing marks is required to meet the military requirements, not sure if that's true or not.
    That would make sense.

    I recently did a accuracy test on some .308 bulk ammo that was probably from a military production run. It showed mild annealing and was actually a little "hot" so bet it was originally loaded for FA machine guns. Flattened primers and not very accurate.

    The LGS owner was not pleased when I gave him back the spent cases showing the primer issue and a report it wasn't very accurate. He had purchased 15,000 rounds in 1,000 round bulk packs.

  13. #10
    Senior Member Hidyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone-wolf View Post
    I've read that visible annealing marks is required to meet the military requirements, not sure if that's true or not.
    I've heard that myself.
    "You can break the surgical procedure of removing an appendix down into about 30-35 individual steps each of which is not overly complicated or beyond an enthusiastic amateur."

    -Survival and Austere Medicine, 3rd ed.

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