Paid promotional consideration provided by Black Hills
Whether you’re shooting game on the hunt or defending your family, when you pull the trigger, you expect the gun to go bang and your target to drop. It has to. Lives depend on it. As shooters, we spend a great deal of time, effort, and money selecting the right components and accessories to make the perfect gun for what we need, especially when it comes to rifles. One of the greatest advantages of the AR platform is its endless customization. Tweak it ‘til your heart’s content! But what about bullets?
Just like our bodies, guns only work well if you feed them right. How do you choose what bullets to run? You can have the world’s greatest gun, but if the bullets don’t work right, all you have is a really expensive mantlepiece. This is an area where too many shooters try to save a few bucks by scrimping on the quality of the ammo, a decision that in the heat of battle they might not live long enough to regret.
Started by 37-year veteran law enforcement officer Jeff Hoffman, Black Hill Ammunition has been making extremely high-quality ballistics in their South Dakota manufacturing facility for many years. Their forte is the medium to large bullets ranging from .223 to .338 Lapua.
Black Hills has been in the 5.56 business so long and have gained such a great reputation for ultra-reliable ballistics that major rifle manufacturers use them as the standard to test their new guns. They are also a major supplier of all branches of the US military.
So when they sent me some of their new 62gr. 5.56mm Dual Performance rounds to try, I quickly found an excuse to go out and shoot. A cop friend of mine had access to his department’s outdoor range, so I grabbed my range bag, AR, and the case of Black Hills ammo and headed out.
Introduced in 2020, the 62gr. Dual Performance hollow point sits squarely in the middle of Black Hills’ 5.56 ammo
line, which ranges from 50 to 77gr. and everything in between. All told, Black Hills makes eight versions of 5.56. The 62gr. Dual Performance is rated at 3,000 FPS exit velocity. While I didn’t have a chronograph with me, I have no reason to dispute that figure.
My buddy Rich had also brought his AR, so we stuffed mags and set up both steel and paper targets. This range had firing lines at 25, 50, and 75 yards, plenty of distance to give this ammo a thorough run-through. We started close at 25, where both of our optics were sighted in, and put tight groupings on the paper targets. Next came the same test from 50, where we adjusted for the holdover and again put together two tight groups, this time on steel. Finally, we stretched out to the back fence at 75 yards and were plinking steel with zero misses and zero malfunctions from both standing and prone.
We closed out our three-hour session running transition drills, moving quickly from AR to pistol and back. You know the ammo is good when you totally forget about it and focus solely on putting shots on target and weapon manipulation. Not a single round misfired or failed to fire. No light primer strikes. Now, in all fairness, I expect a misfire or two when shooting over 300 rounds. That’s just the laws of probability from even the best ammo. But this batch performed flawlessly in both guns
One reason Black Hills ammo is so good is they inspect every round that comes out of the factory. Not every box of rounds. Every round. Not just once but multiple times.
This is the second time I have tested Black Hills ammo – the other was some of their excellent 9mm pistol rounds – and the second time I have been thoroughly impressed by the performance of every shot. It’s no wonder so many serious shooters shoot Black Hills. ~ David
David is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. In addition to being an NRA-certified RSO, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as you possibly can. "Real life shootouts don't happen at a box range."