Shooter and Reloader, Bob Shell, take Aguila Ammunition to the range for some testing with positive results.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Since gun ownership is increasing more ammo is needed to feed all of these smoke-poles. It seems that every day a new company is coming out producing ammo for many of the common calibers.
Since 1961 Aguila Ammunition has been producing various types of ammo, some standard as well as a few unique products. The ammo is produced in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. In 2011 Aguila partnered with Texas Armament Technology, who distribute their ammunition in the United States. For more information on their line of products you can go to www.aguilaammo.com
An interesting thought is the ammo is produced in Mexico but, the citizens of Mexico are not allowed firearms unless they are a drug lord or cop so, the ammo is exported to the US and other countries.
They have a fairly extensive line of centerfire handgun rounds from the 25 auto to a loading in the 45 Colt. Most of them are offered in HP or FMJ designs as well as soft-points. They have a couple of rifle rounds available such as the 223 and 308. The 30 carbine is also available. They have a good line of 22 rimfire including 22 shorts and subsonic rounds of varying styles and weights. Some 22 magnum is also in the mix.
There is also a variety of shotgun shells from the 12 to some 410 offerings. Field and competition loads are offered including a Pigeon load advertised at 1400 FPS for live bird competition shooting.
One neat offering are some shorter than normal at 1 & ¾” in length shot shells. They come in shot, buckshot and slug loads. I have shot a number of slugs and they perform better than expected. The slug weighs 5/8 OZ and has a velocity of 1250 FPS. That could be an ideal home defense load. A 5/8 OZ would pack plenty of punch and not have excessive recoil or penetration. If they feed in a pump or semi auto more ammo could be put in the gun but that would be something each gun owner would have to try.
Naturally, in a single or double barrel functioning would be perfect.
I was going through the ammo and putting the loads in my book in preparation for chronographing when I noticed that the 357 bullets looked like they were seated deeper than normal. So being curious, I decided to pull a bullet to see if it has a cannelure and was seated past it. When I started to pull with an inertia bullet puller the core started to come out but the jacket was tighter and until I really hammered it the jacket stayed in place. There is no cannelure so it appears that they use a different method to secure the bullet. The bullet measures .358 which will aid in keeping the bullet secure until it is fired. It is important to have the bullet tight to prevent walking out of the case and it will result in more consistent ammo. If it works, why knock it. In other words, any criticism on how the ammo is made isn’t valid because it performs.
This is nit picking but the rifle cases are discolored which does not affect their performance. My guess is it is a result of the heat treating and cleaning up afterwards. I don’t consider it any type of problem but there would be someone out there who would complain about it. None of the handgun ammo displayed discoloration which seems to enforce my thought about the annealing. Of course the real test is in its performance. I am much more interested in how the ammo performs such as accuracy, reliability, and velocity.
The ammo performed up to those expectations with zero mechanical problems.
I received samples of various calibers that they offer including some 223 and 7.62 X 51. The 223 is offered in the 55 grain FMJ only as far as I know, so hunting would be very limited. Functionality was perfect.
The 223 is the most popular rifle cartridge at this time. Anyone who makes rifles probably makes some type of a M-16 platform and the 223 is always on the list. It is used for many types of hunting and matches as well as in the military. There is not a wide selection of bullet weights and styles offered but for general shooting this load is fine. With a 16” barrel 2900 FPS is about all of the velocity that you can expect. I have chronographed various types and brands of ammo and in order to get the 3200 FPS a longer barrel is needed. Most 22 or 24” barrels will get that velocity. Reloading the brass presented no problems other then the primer crimp found on many of these rounds.
Aguila Ammunition - .223
|Aguila||55 gr FMJ||2903||Smith & Wesson M&P 15 - 16" Barrel|
That is the military version of the 308 round which is popular for hunting. At this time they don’t offer a soft point so the ammo is limited to military style shooting. Both loads show the same velocity but the es (extreme spread) & sd (standard deviation) were somewhat different but not by a lot.
There were no problems with the ammo tested in either rifle. Both rifles have short barrels 18” so the velocities recorded are normal for a 308. A longer barrel such as a 24” will go up to 2700 FPS or so which isn’t a big deal.
Aguila Ammunition - 7.62 x 51
|Aguila||150 gr FMJ||2615||LAR 8 Semi - Consistent|
|Aguila||150 gr FMJ||2615||Mauser - Nice|
|Aguila||150 gr FMJ||2839.22||FN-FAL - Very Consistent|
The 9 mm in both functioned perfectly in both of the guns used. In this instance, there wasn’t much difference in velocity between the guns. A target is shown which shows the accuracy potential of this ammo. It was offhand shooting and it is a typical group that can be expected. All of the ammo fired was accurate enough for its intended purposes.
Aguila Ammunition - 9mm
|Aguila||115 gr FMJ||1181.38||Handgun - Consistent|
|Aguila||115 gr FMJ||1209.8||9" Rifle - Very Consistent|
Aguila Ammunition – 357
The 357 is the most flexible revolver round with bullets weighing from 110 to 200 grains. Aguila makes a 158 grain soft point round which would be useful for a verity of uses. This is not to criticize Aguila but, they make their 357 differently than most ammo makers. When I saw them, they appeared to be seated a little deeper than normal. I thought that they were seated beyond the cannelure so I pulled a couple. There is no cannelure and the bullets are so tight that the core came out but the core stayed inside the jacket. This happened with all of them I tried. So I found that the bullet diameter is .358 and possibly the cases are very slightly smaller than normal. That will produce a tight fit, which is necessary when producing consistent ammo using this method. It may be less expensive to produce ammo that way. It shoots ok in both the rifle and handgun tried.
The bottom line is how the ammo shoots. In honesty, most shooters don’t know or care how it is made as long as it works properly. Note the difference between the handgun and rifle. This ammo performed in a manner that I would trust it for the tasks that it was made for.
Aguila Ammunition - 357
|Aguila||158 gr Soft Point||1708.4||Rifle - OK|
|Aguila||158 gr Soft Point||1111.5||Handgun - Fair|
It has been around and like most of the other offerings by this company only FMJ bullets are offered. In the 45 caliber a FMJ would be decent for self-defense due to diameter and weight. They have come out with a HP bullet but as of yet I haven’t had a chance to try them.
Aguila Ammunition - 45 Auto
|Aguila||230 gr FMJ||871.6||H & K MK 23-5”|
The 45 Colt has been around forever. Aquila makes a cowboy load. These loads are very slow but consistent and accurate. There is virtually no recoil.
Aguila Ammunition - 45 Colt
|Aguila||200 gr cast||512.2||Handgun|
|Aguila||200 gr cast||761.4||Rifle|
Companies all have different ideas as to how to make good ammo and any method that works is fine. To produce low-cost, quality ammo requires fewer steps than may be otherwise used but they work. The same is true with some of the new low dollar rifles. In order to keep cost down, they have figured out how to do so and not compromise quality. I have tested some of these rifles and I am here to tell you that they work very well.
The same is with the Aguila ammo. It shot well never jammed and was consistent.
The chronograph results showed consistency, which indicates that some effort was put into load development. Accuracy is as good as any other brand and never had any ammo that showed signs of excess pressure. Yes, you can buy fancy and very good-looking ammo but the price will be higher and it is up to the shooter to determine what is important to them. Personally, I want ammo that performs well and the cases are reloadable afterward since I use a lot more reloaded ammo than factory fodder. I sized and reloaded some of the rifle brass and it gave me no issues and it was pretty consistent.
One thought to keep in mind. Yes, there are more accurate and higher performing ammo available. The problem is very few shooters can take advantage of the high price fodder. Almost all guns and ammo can outshoot their owners and I am included in that bunch. So unless you are shooting a match gun in a match the high dollar ammo has no advantages over the low dollar stuff.
If I was a customer looking for some inexpensive shooting ammo I would definitely purchase this brand. With all things considered I would recommend that you give this brand a try and I don’t think that you will be disappointed.
About Bob Shell:
A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo, Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting and Related Subjects. Visit: www.bobshellsblog.blogspot.com.