Can You Get 1 MOA Groups from Wolf Ammo?

In this episode of TFBTV, James tests Wolf Steel Ammunition against Wolf Gold Ammunition in order to see if there’s a difference in quality and accuracy, or if either of them can beat 1 MOA – that is to say if either of them can put up a five round group in less than a 1 inch pattern at 100 yards. Wolf is notoriously inexpensive and gets a bad reputation from shooters as being poor quality or inaccurate – but is it truly bad ammunition, or is this just urban legend and gossip from shooters who can’t get on target?

Ruger was kind enough to send James a Ruger Precision Rifle in .223/5.56mm for use in this test. If there’s any gun that can maximize the accuracy of inexpensive range ammo, it’s the Ruger Precision Rifle. James puts it to the test in this episode of TFBTV.

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Transcript ….

[coming soon]



James Reeves

• NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
• “Co-Director” [air quotes] of TFBTV
• Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
• Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
• GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
• Lawyer
► Instagram: jjreevesii
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  • Mack

    I have found wolf GOLD to be excellent, it is what i use to test all of my shop builds and actually consistently will throw .75-1″ groups.

    Also when chorno’d-the wolf gold is much more consistent and actually has higher MV then other most common inexpensive brass cased ammo. (PMC, PPU, American Eagle, Armscor)

    • int19h

      Wolf Gold is awesome. It’s the cheapest brass cased ammo on the market, and it’s very good for the money. Definitely better than anything else that is similarly priced. Aside from good accuracy and no steel (or anything else magnetic) anywhere, it’s also properly sealed. My reloader friend also swears by the quality of their brass, and takes any that I have off my hands.

      Curiously, despite the .223 branding, it’s actually much closer to 5.56 in velocity (and therefore, presumably, pressure) –
      which makes sense given that it’s manufactured by some factory in Taiwan that ran military contracts before. Not that I’m complaining – where do you even get a gun that’s not 5.56-safe these days? – but I wonder if they are going to get into some kind of legal troubles eventually.

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        The TAA (Taiwan made GI 5.56) is hands down the best brass I reload. It easily outlasts the Lake City brass. Another plus is has a circular crimp that is much easier to remove than the ugly crimp on LC.

        • int19h

          Do you know if this is indeed the same thing rebranded? There’s lots of speculation about it, but I have never seen a definitive answer…

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            I don’t. I’ve never seen the Wolf Gold up close in fact. Does it have a light circular crimp? If it does I’d bet that’s what it is.

  • tony

    5 round shot groups are not good at indicating ammo consistency, just saying…

    • Flounder

      I think this is just leftover footage from another range trip snipped together to make a separate video.

      And it is better than a three shot group.

      • Charlie

        I agree 5 round groups are 200% harder to accomplish than 3 round groups. I never use 3 round groups when working up a load.

  • CZ 521 Carbine in 7.62x39mm, topped with a Vortex 2-5 variable optic. Wolf HP ammo. .5″ group at 100 yards.
    Once.

    • Raptor Fred

      I like the Cz 527 carbine in that chambering. When was the 521 model brought into this country?

    • iksnilol

      What do you usually get?

      • Usually right around 1″ And I didn’t think it could get tighter until a Vietnam Vet Marine Sniper shot .5″ off hand the first time he tried my gun. Looked the gun over, and said “That’s a fine rifle, Son” as he handed it back to me. I was floored. I humbly accepted my schooling that day.

        • Russ Kell

          Glad to see someone else having good sessions with their 527. When I take it to the steel silhouette range at our club, folks are always surprise when it can consistently ring steel chickens at 500M with Tula steel ammo. #archery I really love that little carbine.

    • FlaBoy

      Using my CZ carbine with a scope & suppressor from a bench, I usually get the first three shots within a half inch at a 100 yards with 7.62x39mm. Most five shot groups are more like an inch to inch and a half. I was very surprised after what my AKs were able to do, which was “angle of human torso”, at best. I was basically called a “liar” when I posted my CZ results on another blog, so it’s nice to see someone else say the same. It’s not the cartridge…it’s the gun.

  • Just my opinion

    I would imagine the Ruger isn’t that accurate. Your trashbuild Ar marginally out shot it. I do think it would shoot better with heavier ammo. Thus far, that Ruger doesn’t look any more accurate than a Savage Axis. Certainly not sobin an accuracy for the dollar analysis. In fact, most group testing that I have seen shows the Ruger Precision not testing favorably against even hunting rifle grade Savages. I think there are several companies selling rifles that out shoot it for equal or less dollara, Savage and Tika chiefly, although I don’t think it would fare well against a Cz 557 either. I feel this is an unremarkable rifle dressed up with a chassis for the gotta have tacticool gear crowd.

    • Nicks87

      For the price you could get a .308 AR and have a lighter, more accurate semi-auto… Just sayin.

      • Just my opinion

        That is one of many routes to having a better shooting rifle for less.

    • civilianaf

      I had a Howa that was crazy accurate as well. I heard great things about the Ruger initially, wondered if they could hold on to that reputation over time. When a rifle goes into production and mass distribution, usually the bean counters get involved, and screw everything up.

    • Charlie

      The ruger will probably shoot as well as most new shooters with their 600.00 optics.

  • CommonSense23

    Hka did the idea that a single 5 round group is any indicator of the precision of the round and gun get so entrenched.

    • Nicks87

      Maybe 5 shot groups from multiple boxes and different lot#s of ammunition but not one or even a couple 5 shot groups is really enough.

      • CommonSense23

        The biggest issue I’ve seen with people who do shoot multiple groups is that they have different POIs with the same POA. Which yeah each of those 5 round groups is around 1 MOA. But the center of each group is different on all 5. But if you overlay them all of a sudden its a 1.5 to 2 MOA target. Which what blows my mind is when we talk about mass produced guns and ammo. 1.5 to 2 MOA is really good.

        • Redfoot

          It is called different variables. Most ppl are not trying to zero each load to the gun, nor should they for time and cost.

          • CommonSense23

            You don’t need to zero your load to the gun to test precision

          • Redfoot

            You actually answered your own question. One POA, different POI. That is precision, not accuracy, as described in any chemistry or statistics course. Each group is measured on its own. If you want to test yourself, get a lead sled, a lot of time, ammo, skill, and identical atmospheric conditions, and report back your findings. The rest of us are happy to see someone else footing the bill for a test that will give us potentially reproducible results on the cheap. If you want to really want to add to the discussion, you can Targetscan the results and show us your findings.

          • CommonSense23

            Except the point is a single 5 round group is worthless for measuring precision. 5, 5 round groups provide very limited data, if POI shifts every time and that data is not made available. The test he presented is worthless.

        • iksnilol

          I fail to see your point, expecting different ammo to have same POI is ridicilous.

          • CommonSense23

            I’m saying people shoot the same ammo thru the same gun and measure their 5, 5 round groups. And get roughly 1 MOA per group. But they are getting different POI centers on each group. I used to see this all the time when people would zero their rifles with M855. They would shoot a nice group them adjust their optic. Then the next group would be off a inch and they couldn’t figure out why.

          • iksnilol

            I’ve literally never experienced that phenomena.

            Closest I’ve come to that is that I repeat a mistake which makes my group wander over to a specific yonder consistently.

          • Charlie

            I agree, I have never seen two different poi’s from the same ammo unless the scope was removed and replaced.

          • Redfoot

            Non floated barrels and incorrect eye relief would be good places to start.

    • Raptor Fred

      It’s more than 3 and less than 10, 10 shot groups at multiple ranges. People want quick fast nasty and dirty logic. Not logic that holds any truth. Just enough truth to make a point on a video. So they can replay the video and prove the point. People are smart. Logic is antiquated.

    • Hoplopfheil

      I shoot 10 round groups from pretty much every gun when I test for accuracy. But I don’t kid myself and pretend that the BEST group of the batch is representative…

      The best reason I can think of to shoot 3 to 5 round groups is the cost of the ammo! I saw Hornady BLACK at Sportsman’s the other day, 20 round box for $20 bucks! A dollar a shot? That stuff had better be made of depleted uranium and charged with RP2 rocket fuel.

  • Edeco

    I would think so, get a lucky batch, run it thru a varmint AR. I guess weighing loaded cartridges wouldn’t help since variation could come from a few sources.

  • datimes

    Get rid of the rickety folding table!

    • Just Sayin’

      ….and the Harbor Freight calipers….

  • My PSL loved Wolf Gold. I really miss that rifle.

  • Big Daddy

    I like the Wolf Gold. The steel, I won’t touch in 223.

    • USMC03Vet

      Lucky Gunner did a test with it. If you actually shoot a lot going steel case is going to save you enough money before your barrel even comes to wearing out to buy whole knew rifles. Brass is a scam in the current market. Steel case is fine with any properly made rifle.

      • Just my opinion

        Couldn’t agree more. I have had this same discussion many times with friends about steel 9mm and 45. I shot steel heavily til I finally started loading on a progressive press. Any wear is negligible. By the time it wears a gun out you will have shot your moneys worth out of it and will have saved enough by shooting steel to repair or replace it.

        • Jim_Macklin

          The extractor maybe the weak spot on an AR15, particularly if it is over-gassed and the extractor spring is weak and you don’t have the black O ring/D ring.

          • Just my opinion

            I own Aks so that don’t apply to me. But even so, I think an extractor for an Ar would be more than cheap enough to offset any that might happen to break.

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            Breaking an extractor can become quite expensive if it happens in a gunfight.

          • Kelly Jackson

            Switch to your second weapon, it’s faster than reloading.

        • Hoplopfheil

          I shoot Federal Aluminum from basically all my pistols. It’s even cheaper than Tula Steel, and seems cleaner and more reliable.

          • mosinman

            that’s a good point

      • Raptor Fred

        Not if you reload that brass, Devil.

        • Klaus Von Schmitto

          I should have scrolled down more before I replied to him lol!

        • USMC03Vet

          Reloading ain’t worth the time. There I said it. 😱

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            Not if you want accuracy and cost savings. There, I said it.

          • iksnilol

            You can get better accuracy, sure, but not savings.

            How much is your time worth to you?

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            I look at reloading as an enjoyable time, not a job. I don’t figure in the “cost of my time” when I go to Disney either.

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            It is to me, but I also have 4 hours a day of down time at work. My boss doesnt like primers and powder at work, but its great time for processing brass which is more than half of the work.

          • Paul White

            Sure as hell not for 223 or 9mm. If you’re doing stuff like 45-70 or 41 mag or something, sure, but reloading 9mm? SCREW THAT.

        • mosinman

          technically, you can reload a steel case……. if you really wanted to

          • iksnilol

            You just need a deal of grease.

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        Not if you want to reload that ammo. I buy factory ammo to have the brass when I’m done shooting it.

      • Paul White

        I get much less accuracy with their steel cased ammo and it seems dirtier–that’s in 223 or 9mm, haven’t tried 45.

      • iksnilol

        I am a bit worried about extraction. I mean, 5.56 has basically no taper.

        • USMC03Vet

          Check out Lucky Gunners testing. The issues they had were basically non existent.

      • Monf*%&intana

        I disagree with the “steel case is fine with any properly made rifle” part. There are varying brands and types of steel ammo and in various calibers. For CF rifles, I’d say those with high-case tapers and larger extractors (7.62×39+AKs) it’s totally fine. Those with narrower case-tapers and extractors designed with only brass in mind (5.56+AR15 or 7.62×51+AR10), you really got lucky if you’ve not had any case-head separations, mouth-shoulder separations, mouth splits, web-blowouts or ripped rim @ extractor/stuck-case scenarios.

        I’ve been an armorer now for 9 years, working on AR’s (amongst others) in a professional capacity and setting, and I would say the ammo is far more the variable than any given rifle. What lot did you get? Which brand? One lot may shoot fine out of most rifles and the next lot could be garbage. One brand may be made in Ukraine one month and Russia or Romania the next.

        I’ve seen way too many “perfect rifles” (meets all headspace, torque, gas-port, chamber concentricity specifications, etc.) choke on bad steel ammo (one of the issues listed above). It has been, a few times, just a rough chamber or too short a chamber throat, which is the rifle’s fault then, but you run into issues with brass too at that point.

        Barrel wear would be the least of my concerns. Granted, I personally shoot a ton of steel cased 9mm in my Glocks. Pressure isn’t high enough and the Glock’s beefy extractor make it fine for that application; for me. But out of my AR’s, yea Wolf Gold is a bit more expensive, but your value/shot is way better deal than any under-pressured steel cased stuff out there. I say this excluding Hornady from the equation, of course, as that’s always been 100% solid in every rifle we’ve built.

        • Jason

          Get a Christensen chamber reamer. Guarantee you that will solve all those problems. Are you checking to make sure the correct carbine extractor spring, insert and o-ring are installed and not the rifle?

      • Jason

        I have 22K, with 19K being steel cased, through my LMT. Barrel still shoots good as new and looks good as new too. The issue is how fast they were firing. Good brass cased ammo is more accurate at longer ranges, so I wouldn’t say it’s a scam.

  • 22winmag

    Perhaps Wolf 75gr HP would help?

  • Darrell

    Perhaps the question should be: can James shoot anything to 1 moa? 😉

    And yes, needs a better table.

  • Blake

    if you want to put some effort into getting the best precision possible from cheap ammo, here’s a tip: Sort it by weight.

    Of course there will be variations between two cartridges of the same weight (it’s not like you’re sorting e.g. bullets or cases, you’re sorting the finished product), but it should tighten up your groups a bit, & at the very least you’ll learn which brands (or even which lots) of ammo are the most consistently loaded over time.

    • Charlie

      I agree

  • Kelly Jackson

    AIn’t never been done before

  • Raptor Fred

    So TECHNICALLY NO.. or YES?? 1 MOA is actually 1.047in @ 100yds. HMMMM the mystery continues.

  • Robert Kruckman

    Wolf Gold MOA. Wolf Steel Beer Can angle. Which do U want to use to blow up stuff at the range??

  • Jim_Macklin

    Statistically, you need 100 rounds from the same lot of ammo, fired over a period of several hours on an indoor range to begin to get a true sample. Then do it again with a different shooter.

    • iksnilol

      Adding another shooter would just muddle results. Systematic error it would be called then.

    • Charlie

      no you cannot change any variable or you loose the test accuracy.

      • Jim_Macklin

        Testing the gun and the ammunition. Different shooters allow the errors introduced by the shooters to be eliminate. If the shooter is partially blind or has a nervous tic, using one shooter only is not testing the gun and ammunition.

        • Charlie

          so the bad shooter is just wasting ammo.

  • Sean Glenville

    That P3AT Pointing up range made me uncomfortable

  • BattleshipGrey

    Now see what kind of groups that Mini 14 does with the same ammo. I bet it does worse, but not as bad as some make it out to be.

  • supergun

    So Wolf Gold 308 would be fine to shoot in the Smith and Wesson AR 10? It will not damage the gun?

    • El Duderino

      Why would you think it would?

      • supergun

        I heard that it is made by liberals.

        • Charlie

          the company might be owned by liberals. I read soros bought into several gun mfg when Obama was elected.

          • supergun

            I was being facetious. Just ordered over a thousand rounds from Washington State, one of the great liberal wastelands. And the Browning Hi Power came from kalifornia, of all things. Go figure. But there is never a stupid question asked, just those that aren’t. Example, should not fire lead bullets in certain model Walther and H&Ks because of the poly rifling. You learn something everyday,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,if you ask.

          • Charlie

            I learned that the hard way in the 90’s with a glock 21 and hardcast reloads. boy was it hard to clean out.

          • supergun

            I am always learning new stuff. I know a lot, but what I know is only a drop in the ocean.

  • civilianaf

    I would shoot Wolf over white box all day, every day. Recently I got some white box that wouldn’t cycle in any of my Glocks. Thanks for the post James.

  • .45

    I knew that pistol was going to hit the ground at some point, I just didn’t expect it to be shown on film.

    “… Better than you expected.” Not really. I own an AK (Wasr 10) that is fed Tul and Wolf steel cased, and was once told by a shooting instructor that I was squeezing more accuracy out of my AK than he had ever gotten out of his. Since this guy can shoot circles around me with anything else, I thought that was an interesting thing to say.

  • Ken

    As has been alluded to here, you’re kind of behind the curve on the Wolf Gold. MAC tested it a few years ago and found it to be quite accurate. On the basis of that, I bought a case and tried it out. Out of my 12.5″ LMT AR, the 55gr equaled or bettered a lot of the more expensive 55gr stuff to include Black Hills reman AND new. I still buy case-lots now and still do comparisons but, so far, it has held its consistency. May be a different story out of a bolt-gun, but I don’t have one of those.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    Posted a link to IMGUR pics. Waiting for the mod.

  • Just Say’n

    Two observations:

    1. Those Harbor Freight calipers could be off by as much as .030″, so maybe it was 1moa, maybe not.

    2. What is it with Ruger and proprietary mags??? Why not STANAG mags? Yes I know you can fit longer bullets in the Ruger mag, but they could’ve made the gun compatible with both maybe?

    • Charlie

      really? how would you make a magazine well hold two different size magazines and place each one up front in the well?

  • Chuck

    My son and I used to shoot prairie dogs at 200 – 650 yards with many brands of ammo and found that the Wolf shot as good or better than most. I used Wolf Gold in .22-250 and was very happy with it’s accuracy, reliability and cleanliness. Wolf shot many, many MOA 5-shot groups in tests and an occasional 3/4 MOA was no surprise. Mostly, this ammo was shot from my factory stock Savage LRPR.

  • rdsii64

    There should be a law against putting something a crappy as wolf ammo in a rifle as good as a Ruger precision, Especially that steal cased junk.

  • J Choots He scores

    Accuracy was never the issue with Wolf for me. The bi-metal (including steel) bullet is what ruined it. Steel bullet and a steel barrel just doesn’t sound like a great combo for me for the rifling. I have heard the bullet consistency has recently changed. I have yet to throw a magnet on it sincerely I’ve heard that. Maybe someone could test??

    Nice comparison though. Great vid.

  • Brian Diffenderfer

    the best and most accurate steel-cased ammo(5.45×39) Ive used is the Golden Tiger ammo, but damned if I can find any of it anymore, its been a few years, GT in 7.62 can be found all day

  • CavScout

    I like and use a lot of Wolf Gold, but it’s not 1moa ammo. 1moa ammo stays 1moa or less, not out of one cherry picked… 4rd group, measure inside edge to inside edge? The best testing on the net shows about 1.5moa. 10rd groups, vised match guns with high end optics.