Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Product Review - Remington UMC Nickel-Plated Target Ammunition

Remington recently came out with nickel plated target ammunition, and the folks at Lucky Gunner sent me a box of their .38 Specials to try out.  Nickel plating on the brass casing is supposed to provide better corrosion resistance and allow the round to feed better in an automatic.


The ammunition retails on Lucky Gunner for $17.00 for a box of 50, or $0.34 a round.  If you use Remington's Golden Saber nickel plated hollowpoints as a self-defense round, these would probably make a good lower-cost training alternative for your revolver.  The bullets themselves are 130 grain copper jacketed ball ammunition.


I ran these bullets through my five-shot 2 inch Taurus Model 85, which was thoroughly cleaned the night before going to the range.  I chose this gun because it's one of my carry guns, and if I was using these rounds for practice, I'd want to use the gun I would have with me in an emergency.  The 12 inch target was set at 21 feet under mostly cloudy skies and no wind.  All shots but the last 10 were done single action strong hand using slow aimed fire.  The last 10 were done double action strong hand as fast as my front sight came down on the target. 

Felt recoil was surprisingly light, which helped a lot with gun control after the shot.  That also made it a lot less painful to shoot all 50 rounds in one sitting.  After the first two or three strings of five, I was able to bring my groups in a bit and get closer to the bullseye.
Initial strings are in the upper left corner. Couple of fliers from the double action shooting in the lower right corner.


During firing, there was quite a bit of smoke and sparks at the muzzle.  After firing all 50 rounds, the front inch of my barrel was very smudged with soot.  However, when cleaning the gun, I found that the interior of the gun itself was pretty clean.  Also, I noticed that after about 30 rounds, the effort needed to get rounds into and out of the cylinder increased, but not to the point that I had to break out the multitool.
The nickel casings showed very little carbon after firing
Note the smudging at the end of the barrel.  The cylinder and forcing cone were remarkably clean after firing 50 rounds.
This is all the carbon that came off of the gun during cleaning.  Most of the crud on the paper towl came from the end of the barrel.
Final Thoughts:
  • The relatively low cost and light felt recoil of these rounds would make it easier for me to shoot more at the range.
  • Other nickel plated ammunition I use has stood up to a lot of abuse over the time I've owned them.  Buying this ammunition in bulk would be a good way to put back target ammunition at a good price and not have to worry as much about corrosion.
  • The condition of the gun after shooting surprised me.  After seeing all of the soot on the end of my barrel, I thought the interior of the gun would be gunked up.  As you can see from the pictures above, all it took was a toothbrush, some Kroil, a bore brush, and some patches to get the gun ready to wipe clean.  
  • I'd be interested in hearing how well these rounds went through a Coonan .357 automatic.  The nickel plating is supposed to improve feeding from a magazine fed gun.
  • I would definitely recommend these rounds for plinking or training, especially to those who use similar ammunition for self-defense.

Please note that Lucky Gunner provided me with the box of ammunition I used in this review, and I will be their guest at the Memorial Day bloggershoot later this month.

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