March 20, 2020
By Brad Miller, PhD
Winchester has added a new line of semiautomatic pistol ammunition called USA Ready. Billed as a select-grade ammunition designed to provide sport shooters with optimal accuracy, it is great for competition, training, and general range use. It’s currently offered in 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.
USA Ready ammo features flatnose bullets. Flatnose bullets have tended to be more accurate, on average, than roundnose bullets in many of the accuracy tests I’ve done over the years. The USA Ready ammo also uses match-grade primers for better shot-to-shot consistency.
Uniquely, Winchester publishes the ballistic data for each lot number of USA Ready ammo on the company’s website (winchester.com/usareadyinfo). The lot number is printed on the inside of the box flap, and the ballistic information includes velocity at 15 feet from the muzzle, chamber pressure in psi, and accuracy of a five-shot group at 50 yards.
I have to hand it to Winchester. Its willingness to share technical information with customers is refreshing. It’s going out of its way to appease the serious shooters among us, and that’s a good thing.
I checked the website, and the lot number information at the time showed two lots of .45 ACP and one lot each of 9mm and .40 S&W. SAAMI standard barrel lengths were used for the testing: 4.0 inches for 9mm and .40 S&W and 5.0 inches for .45 ACP.
I got my hands on some ammo in each of the three calibers, and all were from lot No. 1. I fired them at 25 yards with the guns mounted in a Ransom Rest.
The velocities were as advertised. My average .45 ACP velocity was just 2 fps different than the published speed. My 9mm and .40 S&W velocities were a little more than 50 fps faster, but my guns have 5.0-inch barrels, so I expected the results to be to higher than Winchester’s data.
Feeding and function were perfect. And accuracy was very good. I fired three 10-shot groups with each caliber, and the group averages were smaller than Winchester’s five-shot group at 50 yards for each respective caliber. My aggregate 30-shot groups were very close to Winchester’s five-shot group size. My 9mm 30-shot group was 1.92 inches. The .40 S&W 30-shot group was 2.61 inches. The .45 ACP 30-shot group was 2.39 inches. That’s mighty fine shooting for that many rounds at 25 yards. For more information, head to winchester.com.
MSRP: $10–$12 per 50-round box (9mm) ; $15–$16 per 50-round box (.40 S&W) ; $17–$20 per 50-round box (.45 ACP)