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Gorilla Ammunition: new ammo for “silverback” shooters

I always like to hear about new ammunition manufacturers, if for no other reason than because I like to shoot. As I see it, the more quality makers of rifle cartridges there are, the better. Not only does that help us keep a healthy stock at the ready it also means more competition. Competition keeps prices down and drives improvement to quality. One new company that I only recently become aware of is Gorilla Ammunition.

Gorilla Ammunition specializes in rifle caliber ammo (for now), producing several choices for .223/ 5.56, 300 BLK and .308 Winchester. I'd heard they were a source of 300BLK ammo in quantity and quality and that they had loads to suit just about everyone. I wondered about their other calibers. Since the company has their ammo priced right, I decided to try some of the .223 Remington my buddy had while we checked out a new rifle.

What initially attracted me to Gorilla wasn't just their pricing, though it is extremely competitive with the more recognized titans of the industry. My interest was piqued by their claim of superior quality assurance. In the past I have pulled ammo out of the box that had dimpled brass, crooked projectiles and improperly seated primers. More than just a handful of companies have put faulty ammo out the door. I'd say a majority of them have. Pulling a damaged round out of the box is more than just a ‘WTF moment', it leaves you feeling cheated. Furthermore, it doesn't bode well for confidence – what if that had been loaded into a life or death gun and not a one-way square range?

Gorilla Ammunition advises they quality check their ammo through a series of both high- and low-tech means. Using laser inspection and high speed camera equipment, the rounds are inspected mechanically as well as personally with the good old Eyeball Mk1.

Says Gorilla,

“At Gorilla Ammunition every round that passes through our loading equipment is measured for dimensional conformance six times with laser inspection equipment capable of repeatable measuring accuracy of .0005″ (1/2 of one-thousandth of an inch). This inspection process yields the most control in our manufacturing processes and results in you receiving product that is the pinnacle of accuracy and performance!”

It's easy for a company to boast about how good their QC/ QA is, but sometimes it's a little less than stellar in execution. My buddy and I headed to the range to see if what they said was true or hype.

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On The Range

The test weapon for this excursion was a hand-built custom AR-15 I assembled myself. I built the rifle for my YouTube buddy “Capt Berz” and each component part was selected for quality and accuracy. The weapon features a Nordic Components 18” stainless match barrel, Bean Firearms 4.5 lb trigger and Young Manufacturing match bolt carrier, topped with SWFA 3-9 mil radian scope. Free floated and set up in a DMR style, the rifle was zeroed at 50yds with 55gr FMJ ball. At this range, using M193 spec ammo, the virgin barrel shot 1-2 MOA. We fired a single 3 round string of Gorilla Ammunition’s 77 grain match at this distance before moving on to 100yds. The single ragged hole created by the 77 grain match was a good indicator of things to come.

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Shooting from both prone supported and from the bench, we continued to test the new rifle and Gorilla's .223 load. The ammunition is loaded with Sierra brand MatchKing projectiles (in our preferred weigh of 77 grains). My experience with ‘match' .223/ 5.56 tends to make me lean towards the heavy 77 grain projectiles, particularly the Sierra brand. I have found that 77 grain tends to shoot consistently well from all twists ratios and barrel lengths, and to perform better at extended range. The cartridges are packed in a plastic clam shell holder, which slides easily out of its cardboard box. We found it easy to pluck the ammo out of the clam shell to load our magazines. The SMK projectile is loaded into bright, polished Lake City brass and is appealing to the eye under close inspection (we spent a lot of time looking for flaws). Of the several hundred rounds shot, we failed to find a single damaged round. Each was a mirror image of the next and shot with the same consistency.

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At 100 yds we achieved several 1 and sub-minute of angle groups with the unproven rifle. There was no time spent ‘breaking the barrel' in, as I generally judge accuracy of a rifle on how it performs out of the box. I set up the custom rifle was set up with a crisp trigger, tight match bolt carrier and precision-oriented barrel hoping it would be a pleasure to shoot; I was relieved that it proved to be so. The ammo contributed to this by printing consistently and uniformly down range, with only an occasional flyer leaving the 1” groupings from shooter error. For a brand new, lightweight AR-15 being shot off a day bag we were impressed with the performance and were very happy with the ammunition. We experienced zero malfunctions, nor any problems whatsoever.

Overall I am very pleased with my experience shooting the Gorilla match .223 offering. It would be well suited for competition shooters who don’t have the means to reload, or anyone desiring a match grade loading at a good price. The next step will be for us to test the 300 BLK from a suppressed SBR and to shoot the .308 win in our battle rifles. If the rest of their loads shoot as well as the .223, we just might have found a new favorite ammo maker.

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Check out Gorilla Ammunition at the links below. You can also take a look at some of the rifle components as well. If you've shot Gorilla ammunition I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.
http://www.gorillaammo.com/

http://www.beanfirearms.com/

http://youngmanufacturing.net/

http://nordiccomp.com/retail/shop/ar-15-10/nordic-223-rem-18-competition-barrel/

http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-3-9×42-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P50716.aspx

Murr

Nate Murr instructing proper Nerf shot placement


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