Aguila Ammunition : Hecho en Mexico ~ Ammo Review & Range Test

Shooter and Reloader, Bob Shell, take Aguila Ammunition to the range for some testing with positive results.

Since 1961 Aguila Ammunition has been producing various types of ammo some standard but a few unique products.
Since 1961 Aguila Ammunition has been producing various types of ammo some standard but a few unique products.
Bob Shell
Bob Shell

U.S.A.-( 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

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.

Aguila Ammunition

Aguila 12ga 1-3/4" 7/8oz Slug Minishell Shotshells
Aguila 12ga 1-3/4″ 7/8oz Slug Minishell Shotshells

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.

Aguila Ammo
Aguila Ammo

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.

223 and 308 offered by Aguila
223 and 308 offered by Aguila

Aguila Rifle Ammo 223 Remington 55gr FMJ

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

Aguila55 gr FMJ2903Smith & Wesson M&P 15 - 16" Barrel

Aguila Rifle Ammo 7.62X51mm NATO 150Gr FMJ-BT

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.

Aguila 308
Aguila 308

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

Aguila150 gr FMJ2615LAR 8 Semi - Consistent
Aguila150 gr FMJ2615Mauser - Nice
Aguila150 gr FMJ2839.22FN-FAL - Very Consistent

Aguila Ammunition – 9 MM

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.

20 yards 9mm Aguila with Ruger Handgun
20 yards 9mm Aguila with Ruger Handgun

Aguila Ammunition - 9mm

Aguila115 gr FMJ1181.38 Handgun - Consistent
Aguila115 gr FMJ1209.8 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.

An odd situation on the 357 loads from Aguila
An odd situation on the 357 loads from Aguila

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

Aguila158 gr Soft Point1708.4Rifle - OK
Aguila158 gr Soft Point1111.5Handgun - Fair

Aguila Ammunition – 45 auto

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.

15 yards using 45 Auto 230 gr from Aguila
15 yards using 45 Auto 230 gr from Aguila

Aguila Ammunition - 45 Auto

LoadBulletVelocity Comment
Aguila230 gr FMJ871.6H & K MK 23-5”

Aguila Ammunition – 45 Colt

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

Load BulletVelocityComment
Aguila200 gr cast 512.2Handgun
Aguila200 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.

The chronograph results showed consistency, which indicates that some effort was put into load development.
The chronograph results showed consistency, which indicates that some effort was put into load development.

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.

Aguila 308 fired from Mauser
Aguila 308 fired from Mauser

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:

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Sergio EV

Just to correct one article statement: It is mention that mexicans are not allowed to own guns, actually that is not exact, mexicans can purchase and own several rifles and handguns either for sport or self defense, for legal gun owners, we have the permit to purchase 200 rounds of each caliber per month….all guns sales comes from an official Army store…plenty of shooting ranges and huntings fields are available everywhere…what is not allowed is to carry guns on streets…is pity because good citizens have not the possibility to defend ourselves from these bad hombres roaming everywhere in México as… Read more »


I bought some of the mini 12 gauge shells and they worked quite well. I’ve heard there is an issue with feeding in certain brands of shotguns but, in my Winchester model 1200, I had no problems. I think they would be great for home defense.


I have gotten some of the .22 LR ammo from this company and it has worked very well, for some reason I have had trouble getting the short 12 Gauge shot shells or slugs around where I live but oh well. On the .22 LR Colibre shells, I found that shooting them in a pistol is louder than a pellet gun, but in a rifle they work fine – ONE WORD OF CAUTION – BE SURE THE BULLET EXITS THE BARREL EACH SHOT OR YOU WILL WIND UP WITH BULLETS STACKED INSIDE (THIS INFORMATION IS FROM MY GUNSMITH, WHO HAS… Read more »


I’ve never seen the mini shells locally either but there are places on line to order it from


my only complaint is years ago Aguila .22 ammo was readily available and came in a multitude of choices these days I just don’t’ see it unless it is as over priced as the other .22 ammo I see. I like to shoot shorts in my gallery .22 at the range.

Graham Baates

I’ve heard Aguila can be an explosively good time! (Too soon?)


Bob is really a “straight shooter” with his reviews. If he likes it, it must be pretty good!


They also make two .22 LR cartridges called colibre that is only powered by a primer and leaves the barrel at either 375 fps or 500+fps. They create little noise and are great for pest control. I have witnessed them being shot out of a Ruger 10/22. it was not any louder than a Pellet Gun


They make a really fast .22lr that is good for semi-auto handguns. I used it in my Ruger MkII, 6 7/8 barrel to shoot pond turtles.


Don’t know about pond turtles but green sea turtle stew is really good.


Buy American! Make America Great Again!

KY Jim

Mexico is part of North America. (Yes, I am being picky/tacky.)

L. Lundeen

I tried their 22 cal ammo last year. Was pleasantly surprised by their performance and consistency. No reason not to buy them. Price is good, as is the quality.


I’ve used it for years in a variety of firearm calibers with no complaints. The 9mm 124g load runs excellent and whenever I was able to buy it for $2 less a box for it than other makers 124g loads… no complaints. That said now they are priced about the same as others. When U.S. ammo makers had stupid high prices on their ammo, not to long ago and for too long, I gave Aguila and European makers ammo a try to save some serious money. I found some really good ammo that saved me a ton of money and… Read more »


I’ve never had a problem with it. What I do hate is that past administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have had such unfriendly business restrictions that it keeps new ammunition companies from developing in this country. I’d like to believe that will change but I sure won’t hold my breath.


No bueno!

Matt in Oklahoma

Good review


You oose mexican ammo to choot at coyotes, especially as they cross the border.


There should be a bounty on those “Coyotes” .


So what do I want mexican ammo for?


Ammo is ammo, more or less, don’t be silly my friend…


It shows you have no knowledge of Ammo, Dum Ass, i hope this does not trigger you to your safe room

E. L. Rofs

When the Jew-American ammo manufacturers deliver a product as good as Aquila, they’ll want to charge 50% more…


What is this anti-Semitic comment doing here?

Roy D.

For the same reason we bought COMBLOC ammo; it was cheap and went bang most of the time.


Because it’s readily available, low cost, quality ammo.