Hand loading is synonymous with long range precision rifle shooting. We have all heard “consistency is accuracy”, which is a continuous theme in our sport and printed on every box of Eagle Eye Ammunition. That saying applies to more than just your ammunition when shooting long range. Many of us hand load because traditionally we can produce higher quality lots of ammunition for our rifle than we can purchase. Hand loading is a time consuming process and it seems you either love it, or hate it. I fall into the “hate it” category, but because of my passion for practical long range precision rifle shooting I spend a lot of time behind the reloading press.
Those of us who prefer to purchase our ammunition rather than load it, buy “match grade” ammunition. Match grade refers to ammunition suitable for competition use, sometimes simply changing the projectile used in the ammunition is enough to deem it match grade. This is where Eagle Eye Ammunition is different. They are a Six Sigma company, meaning the quality control of the product is built into every aspect of its production. They use a set of techniques and tools that allow them to maintain a very small bell curve when measuring variances in their components and finished product. I’m not going to pretend to know exactly how the quality assurance process works, but if you would like to know more I suggest reading the explanation from The Firearm Blog under “Warning- Science Ahead”. They did a great job in explaining how Eagle Eye Ammunition ensures an extreme level of quality control. That level of quality control combined with top of the line components allows Eagle Eye to produce very accurate and truly match grade ammunition. Where does Eagle Eye get their components? They manufacture their own .223 and .308 brass along with .308 projectiles. Creating these components in house and applying their QA program the manufacture of the components further ensures the performance of the finished product.
What do the best components and an extreme level of quality control get you? Also printed on the box is their 0.5 MOA guarantee for both their .223 Remington and .308 Winchester ammunition. That is a pretty lofty guarantee especially when considering the variables in different rifles and the liability associated with ammunition. They have to produce .223 Remington and .308 Winchester ammunition that will safely function and fire in every rifle chambered for those cartridges. To achieve the 0.5 MOA guarantee we expect low extreme spread and standard deviation numbers. Which proof of, can be found on the Eagle Eye Facebook page. We also expect consistency throughout the different lots of ammunition produced. If you stop by their website, you will learn that Eagle Eye Ammunition uses actual shooters and factory rifles for the final testing of each lot of ammunition they produce! This is a very practical manner to test the ammunition and uphold the 0.5 MOA guarantee.
When the ammunition arrived I was excited to open the package. I already had a few things in mind that I wanted to do. First, I wanted to see how consistent the weights of the loaded cartridges were. To have a comparison or bench mark I first weighted 20 of my hand loaded 6.5mm Creedmoor rounds left over from the Sin City Precision monthly practical LR rifle match. I shoot and reload a lot of 6.5mm Creedmoor. My reloading process in not nearly as involved as what a Bench Rest shooter might do, but I do carefully weigh every charge and do my brass preparation in phases by lot. This allows me to ensure every case has had the same process done to it; de-prime, clean, lubricate, FL resize (0.0015”-0.002” head space bump), trim/chamfer, re-prime, charge and seat projectile. This method allows me to also maintain 0.5 MOA or better accuracy without spending too much of my free time reloading. To me the task is still arduous especially when loading 200-250 rounds in preparation for a Precision Rifle Series match.
6.5mm Creedmoor Hand Load Results (measured in grains):
Mode: 334.5 (20% of cartridges weighed)
.308 Winchester Eagle Eye Ammunition (measured in grains):
Mode: 393.5 (15% of cartridges weighed)
.223 Remington Eagle Eye Ammunition (measured in grains):
Mode: 195.8 (20% of cartridges weighed)
The spread in weight is what I’m really paying attention to, across 20 hand loaded 6.5mm Creedmoor rounds, the difference from the lowest weight to the highest weight was 7.4 grains. The spread in loaded rounds contains all the combine weight variances in; primer, brass, bullet and powder charge. After measuring 20 rounds from the first package of Eagle Eye.308 Winchester ammunition I pulled out of the box I was surprised by a spread of only 3.6 grains. That is less than half the spread from my hand loaded 6.5mm Creedmoor ammunition. The Eagle Eye .223 Remington ammunition was especially impressive with a weight spread of only 1.2 grains!
.223 Remington ammunition
To test the Eagle Eye .223 Remington ammunition I was able to meet up with my friend and Sin City Precision Club President Dane Miller. He brought out his bolt action .223 training rifle. This rifle is very accurate and we felt it would allow us to see what the Eagle Eye .223 ammunition was capable of. The rifle is fed by an Accurate Mag AICS style 10 round magazine. The rounds fit with a little bit of room to spare, this was also the case when loading the rounds in an AR-15 magazine.
After firing a round or two, to get the rifle on paper I shot my first 100 yard group. The 3 rounds measured 0.321”/.307 MOA right out of the gates. I felt the rifle and ammunition was capable of more and knew I was the weakest link in the system. We let the rifle sit for a little bit as we drank water and spent some time visiting. The next group I shot at 100 yards was 5 rounds and I feel is a true representation of what the rifle/ammunition combination is capable of, the group measured 0.184”/.176 MOA! Both Dane and I were pretty blown away when we walked up to the target to see just how good it was.
After checking the target we went back to 200 yards and it was Dane’s turn on the rifle. He easily shot a 3 round group measuring 0.965”/0.461 MOA. We shot the ammunition sparingly and still have a few rounds left. Unfortunately at the time of my writing this I did not have the opportunity to run the .223 ammunition over a Magneto Speed V3 chronograph. I hope to get that done in the near future and update this article with that information. Aside from the impressive accuracy, all of the rounds we fired functioned perfectly and did not display ejector marks or pierced primers.
I fired the majority of the .223 ammunition through my AR-15 built with a Primary Weapon Systems 1-8” twist 16.1” long barrel. The rifle also features a Young Manufacturing NM SLC BCG. Despite the quality components I was not able to achieve 0.5 MOA with the semiautomatic carbine. This gives me the opportunity to mention that if neither the rifle nor shooter is capable of 0.5 MOA it does not matter what ammunition you are shooting. My AR-15 was shooting 1-1.25 MOA at 100 yards with Eagle Eye Ammunition. I was actually pretty happy with the accuracy and found it more than capable of reaching out to 550 yards.
.308 Winchester Ammunition
I got lucky with the .308 Winchester ammunition and was able to meet up with my team mate and Pro Shooter Tyler Frehner at Nellis Gun Club. Tyler was gracious enough to lend a hand with this article by bringing his Desert Tech SRS A-1 with 20” .308 conversion kit. The Desert Technology SRS system is truly impressive and capable of extreme accuracy. Tyler also brought his Magneto Speed V3 chronograph so we could easily check muzzle velocity, extreme spread and standard deviation.
When I arrived Tyler was already on the line sending rounds down range with his 6mm Creedmoor making preparations for the Snipers Hide Cup in Colorado. He quickly and easily switched from his 26” 6mm barrel to the 20” .308 for our testing of the Eagle Eye .308 Ammunition. Before getting started Tyler informed me that his .308 barrel has 5,000 rounds + through it and has not been cleaned since 2011. He did not exactly remember the last time he even shot .308! The first 3 rounds were not impressive but the low SD on the chronograph caught our attention. He loaded up another 5 rounds and the accuracy of the Desert Tech and Eagle Eye Ammunition came together with impressive consecutive 5 round groups and a nice clover leaf 3 round group.
The .308 ammunition functioned perfectly and the low standard deviation produced by the ammunition impressed us. We did take some long shots at 900 yards in some stout wind and even though I cannot give you and exact ballistic coefficient for the 175 grain bullet produced in house by Eagle Eye, I can tell you we have a strong indication it is higher than the Bryan Litz information for the 175 grain Sierra Match King. I can go on and on about how good Tyler, the Desert Tech SRS A-1 and Eagle Eye Ammunition are but instead I’m going to let the pictures do some talking.
After our experience with Eagle Eye Precision Ammunition we have to admit we are impressed. The SD on the 14 rounds Tyler fired over the Magneto Speed V3 chronograph came in at 9.1 fps. That beats the 5 rounds of hand loaded 6.5mm Creedmoor I fired earlier today which registered an SD of 11.2 fps. I plan to update this review once we get the chance to chronograph the .223 Remington ammunition and we encourage you to check out a statistical analysis of Eagle Eye brass versus Lapua brass by Kelly Bachand. When you consider that this ammunition is factory loaded and made to perform in a wide variety of rifles chambered in .223 and .308 do you realize how impressive the results really are. We look forward to more offerings from Eagle Eye Precision Ammunition down the road and hope they eventually offer ammunition for cartridges like 6.5mm Creedmoor.