Ammo supplies are starting to return to normal levels, and thankfully normal pricing. A quick check around the web shows that .45 ACP practice ammo of the 230 grain FMJ variety is once again available for the fairly reasonable price of $20-24 per box of fifty. One of the newer outfits that’s producing ammo is a company called Freedom Munitions. Located in Texas, they’re turning out re-manufactured and new ammo at a prodigious rate. I took the time to order a case of their 230 grain .45 ACP FMJ for testing in my Colt 1911.
The ammo showed up neatly packed in individual boxes of 50, with the rounds loose in their specific boxes. The cartridges I ordered are made on once fired brass, and use a plated bullet of unknown origin. Testing consisted of using the Freedom Munitions rounds as my regular practicing and training round for a week, which amounted to 425 rounds fired. During this time, I encountered one badly out of spec round; the round that caused the issue had the bullet deeply recessed into the case and would not feed into the chamber of my Colt. I checked the remaining 75 rounds and found no defects, and would feel absolutely comfortable using them for training and practice.
While the factory specs on the rounds state that they’re loaded to 860 FPS, felt recoil out of the Colt was considerably less than my Federal American Eagle ammo, which I know is loaded to around a 190 Power Factor. It was on par with the Wilson Combat Match ammo that is my round of choice currently for Major PF shooting. I wouldn’t be surprised if I put them over a chrono and saw muzzle velocity closer to 780. But that’s speculation for now. My subjective interpretation of recoil is that they’re quite soft shooting.
In the accuracy department, they’re just fine. I shot a clean Dot Torture at 5 yards with the Freedom Munitions round, and they grouped acceptably well at 25 yards for generic practice ammo. Best group was right around 3 inches at 25 yards.
My recommendation on Freedom Munitions is that they’re a solid buy for practice or training ammo. Because I did encounter a significant defect in my 500 test rounds, I wouldn’t recommend them at this time for self-defense or competition. If there’s something important on the line, such as a match trophy or even more importantly your life, I’d look to other options for now. I am going to order so more ammo from Freedom Munitions, because I’d like to see if further testing will lower their defect rate from 1:500 to something more reasonable. Ideally I don’t want to see anything worse than 1:2000 from “factory” ammo, regardless of whether it’s made on once fired brass or new brass.
Bottom line on Freedom Munitions: if you’re looking for reasonably priced practice or training ammo, I’d absolutely recommend it. For match or defensive ammo, look to a major brand like Hornady or Wilson Combat.