Does anyone know what XM means with respect to 5.56 ammo. I saw a posting on another site that suggested it is not as accurate and the military is not using it.
2. Loose-packed. In the 2005 time frame, loose packed ammo was being sold on the market as XM193PD (and the XM855PD equivalent). It was quite apparent that this ammo was much below the standard of the boxed ammo: Split necks, loose bullets, severely dented cases, etc. As of early 2009, this ammo has not been available for several years. XM193BK has recently surfaced on the market, but there's not enough known about it yet to see if it's more like XM193PD in quality, or if it's different enough to warrant its own review
I have wondered about this and I suspect the following (based on having spent a long time as an engineer and worked with various factories around the world):
1. MIL Spec inspections are not that difficult to pass if the stuff is manufactured in a plant with good processes in place. Passing MIL Spec has more to do with the design and processes that are in control.
In any manufacturing process, you will have fall out or rejects. The way the inspection works is that if the sample has a certain number of defectives (there could be a number of reasons) the enitre lot is rejected. Without going into too much detail this is one possible source for "XM" ammo, since the stuff still has commercial and/or training value.
2. Tooling and machinery to make ammunition on the scale of Lake City costs mind boggling amounts of money. Lake City is no doubt required by contract to have a certain amount of capacity to fill the military's need during war time. Idle machines and idle workers (when the contract is fulfilled) do not make any money, so they keep the plant running, forgo the inspections (usually involving destructive testing - you can't sell a fired round) on the lots that are for training or for the civilian market, saving the cost of inspection. The military gets "low" cost training ammo, and the civilian market is satisfied.
Now that the M885 is standard issue, I don't suspect there is as much demand for M193, but the tooling is still sitting at the plant - and there is a lot of consumer demand. This also explains the much higher price demanded for XM885.
X means rejected.
The military will reject ammo due to sealant overrun, over/under velocity, improper primer crimp, reversed primers and brass blemishes. Once a defect is found, the entire lot is rejected. Civilian ammo does not have the same requirements as military ammo, so the companies can sell it to LE and the public.
Pat Rogers has made several post on the issues with X marked ammo. He has witnessed everything from blown primers to guns that have blew up due to X marked ammo.
Up until lately, I would have agreed with you. However, M855 has come down considerably. A 1,000 rounds can be had for under $350 nowadays if you come across the right place. Several months back, XM193 was atleast $400 a case.
Atleast its coming down
Agreed. Now if we can just get components back down to sane levels ($12-15 /1k for primers, and $15/lb powder).
I'd buy it in a heartbeat if I could find XM885 for that price. I've never seen XM885 that low.
The last time I bought XM193 it was just over $300/1k.
Really though, I should just load up the brass and bullets I've been collecting, and I'll come in about half that price.