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MEN 223 Rem soft point

MEN 223 Rem soft point

There’s little doubt the 223 Remington (5.56x45mm) calibre has come of age since it’s humble beginnings back in the 1960s. Once only considered as a varmint round, much development has gone on as the calibre now offers bullet weights from 40 to a staggering 90-grains in a range of types from ballistic tip to Match-styles.

In the UK it has always been popular as a fox buster and has become top choice for Practical Rifle competition in AR15s and similar rifles pre and post the SLR ban. More recently in England and Wales a change in the law now allows it for small deer species – muntjac and CWD. So the arrival of some German MEN for test pleasantly surprised me as the load is a soft tip, which would seem ideal for hunting.

Let’s Twist Again!

From experience MEN has always made military, FMJ ammo so to see a soft point was intriguing. The bullet weight of 63-grains means straight away that you need to be thinking about tighter rifling twists than 1-12” to stabilise it. I have two 223s; a Mauser M03 (1-10” twist) and an SGC Speedmaster (AR15) which is 1- 8”. Experience with the Mauser shows it likes a 60-grain pill (Hornady SP), which it can shoot around ½ - ¾”. The AR runs well on 69-grain Sierra Match Kings to the tune of ½”.

Taking down a few rounds showed a boxer-primed case, so good for reloading, that uses a Magtech small rifle primer. I say this as the primer cup has a C on it which is their mark. The bullet shows a massive soft tip with a long canelure and a flat base. It’s military roots show through as it’s sealed in the neck with a bitumen-type compound to keep out moisture. Likewise the primer is lacquered around the pocket.

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Bullet weight was good at an average of 63.1-grains. Propellant was an average of 23-grains of a fine, flatted ball not unlike Hodgdon BLC2.

Over Compensation

As I suspected the bullet weight proved critical and through the 1-10” twist Mauser tube groups were 1 ½ - 2”, acceptable but not as tight as I am used to. In the Speedmaster’s 1-8” barrel it was less consistent, which was odd as it shoots both 62 and 69-grain load very well. Over the chrono the MEN was averaging 2835 fps/1124 ft/lbs, with an ES of 39 fps. More than enough energy for small deer and certainly fox. On that point I found the bullet a little frangible with larger wound tracks than a corresponding 60-grain Hornady soft tip.

In terms of bullet weight/construction this would be a good round and well up for deer or foxing. The downside is finding out whether your rifle will shoot it well enough… Typical of its military-style the ammo comes in cardboard boxes of 30-rounds.

For: Good hunting potential
Against: Fussy on rifling twist
Verdict: A good choice if you have the right gun

PRICE: £39 per 100

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  • MEN 223 Rem soft point - image {image:count}

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