TFB Review: Australian Outback Ammo-Accurate and Temperature Neutral -Fair Dinkum!

    Excellent Ammo from the Antipodes

    Some like it hot, some like it cold…

    “Some” being some powders/brands of ammunition, that is.  Australian Outback Ammunition, however, is designed to be consistent in a wide range of temperatures.  I personally first heard about Australian Outback Ammo in a print article that was discussing the effects of ambient temperatures on ammunition peak pressure and velocity.  AOA (Australian Outback Ammunition) has branded their ammo as having “Ballistic Temperature Independence”, or BTI.

    Per AOA:

    Our guys in white coats have developed a new line of ammunition that leaves your barrel at the same high velocity at extreme temperature ranges. No matter if it’s scorching hot or freezing cold, Australian Outback ammunition delivers consistent extreme high velocity and ultra-reliability you demand in all shooting circumstances.  For the technically minded, it’s called Ballistic Temperature Independence (BTI). But all you really need to know is Australian Outback ammunition will never let you down.

    More significantly, going into the review, I was expecting to achieve the same or similar velocity results in the freezing cold of the rockies as the company has achieved in the heat of the Australian desert.  Could I do so?  Read on…

    Military or Match

    AOA and out editorial staff at TFB got a good selection of AOA ammo headed my way.  I was to try out the following:

    • .308 168gr Sierra HPBT
    • .300 Blackout 125gr Sierra Matchking HPBT
    • .223 69gr Sierra 69gr Matchking HPBT
    • 7.62 F4
    • 5.56 F1A1 (Produced for the military as well, optimized for low muzzle flash)

    A word about the F4 and F1A1 loads, these are both produced for the Australian Military.  The F4 load is NATO standard 147gr FMJ and optimized to be clean burning for the Mag58 and MINIMI LMG.  The F1A1 load is 62gr, and has a hardened steel penetrator and lead core, with a gilding metal jacket.

    Package Deal:

    One of the first things I noticed about the ammunition when it arrived was the unique packaging of the .300 Blackout, .223 and 5.56 cartridges.  Though they came in what appeared to be standard card stock boxes, inside the ammunition was in plastic blister packs.  There are 5 loose rounds to each pack.  These packs could serve well to preserve the ammunition in a long-term storage situation, or keep rounds rust free if one lives in a humid enough environment to cause such an issue.  It should be noted that currently, the F1A1 is only available in 900 round ammo cans, but 45 of such boxes come to a can, making for a great option for long term SS109 type ammunition to store.

    Range Time:

    Armed with plenty of ammo, I took a few trips to the range to assess the ammo and their claims of BTI.  My test platforms were the following:

    • .300 Blackout: 8″ CMMG Pistol Upper
    • 5.56 and .223: 20″ LaRue OBR and 16″ JP Enterprise SCR-11, both barrels 1:8.
    • .308 and 7.62 F4: GAP Gladius 18″ and OOW M240 SLR (I had a Mag58 available, but it’s so old that it would be unfair to test ammo for accuracy in it)

    (All accuracy results are the average of 5-shot groups measured center-center, fired from a front and rear rest, all velocities are muzzle velocity averages recorded from a Labradar at ambient temperatures of 20-30 degrees F)

    .300 Blackout.  Tested at 50y, my results were as follows:

    • Velocity: Average 1908 fps, Std Dev 7.8
    • Accuracy Average: 1″

    .223 69gr Match, tested at 100y

    • Velocity w/16″ barrel: 2622 fps, Std Dev 22.4
    • Accuracy w/16″ barrel: 1″
    • Velocity w/20″ barrel: 2674 fps, std dev 19.8
    • Accuracy w/20″ barrel: .55″

    5.56 F1A1, tested at 100y

    • Velocity w/16″ barrel: 2998 fps, Std Dev 6.3
    • Accuracy w/16″ barrel: .717″
    • Velocity w/20″ barrel: 3100 fps, Std Dev 29
    • Accuracy w/20″ barrel: 1.77″

    .308 168gr Match, tested at 100y:

    • Velocity: 2680 fps
    • Accuracy: .53″

    7.62 F4, tested at 100y

    • Velocity out of 22″ M240 Barrel: 2745 fps, Std Dev 17.9
    • Accuracy: 1.5″ w/240SLR, 1.3″ w/GAP Gladius

    Overall Impressions:

    Though I found the plastic packed ammunition a but strange, it does serve a good purpose of keeping one’s ammo sealed from moisture.  I found all of the ammunition to be very consistent in performance, and did not have a single round fail on me.  The F4 ammunition did indeed function very well in the M240, and left the gun relatively clean as well, compared to other NATO ball ammunition I’ve put through the gun.  I was most pleased with the accuracy of their .308 168gr and .223 69gr loads.  This is to be expected when Sierra’s excellent bullets are properly propelled.

    Though accuracy was very good, I did find my velocities on the .223 69gr load were quite a bit lower than advertised.  AOA”s website states 2910fps, while the highest velocity I measured from the 20″ barrel were 2674 fps.  Other than that, I was satisfied with the velocities and performance of all of their ammunition.

    For good quality ammunition in unique packaging that will keep your ammo dry, give Australian Outback Ammo a look when one is next browsing around for quality ammunition.  No dingo will get anywhere close to your baby.

    For more information, please visit the Australian Outback.

    Thanks to Global Ordnance for logistical support!

    Rusty S.

    Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.