Match Grade .223 Ammo Review – Freedom Munitions .223 69gr and 77gr plus more – by 54i

As many of my close friends and shooting buddies might know, I swear by piston ARs and while they have their problems being proprietary, the reward of a very well assembled and cleaner shooting system attracts me and so far I had very good results shooting with both my PWS MK116 Mod 1 and recently added a Mod2.

(Unfortunately, I have shot out the Gas Adjustment Knob indent on the Mod1 and awaiting parts from the US. Hopefully it is not a design flaw on the system).

Just two days ago, a shipment of POF P415 Edge rifles landed in Auckland, and the distributor Tactical Imports called me up and asked me if I am able to help test the accuracy of the rifle and do up a simple review from the inspectors company, go visit, as well as getting 54i to fit custom coloured Cerakote E-series stocks on them.

The photos of the rifles are on another post and they look really, really good.

Weather was a disaster today at the shooting range. Winds were constantly at 35-40km/h with gusts up to about 70km/h or so. The targets were moving a lot and I am sure the accuracy test would be a car crash. I had to wait for periods of calmer (30+km/h) wind before taking the shot and it was a long long shoot.

Finally had to do a 50m test instead and had to pile sandbags at the base of the target to minimise movement although mother nature still have the upper hand.

Ammunition used in this test were :

PMC 77gr SMK
Freedom Munitions 77gr HPBT
Freedom Munitions 69gr HPBT
Geco 63gr MATCH
Fiocchi 77gr SMK
Norma 77gr SMK (did not shoot)
Australian Outback 69gr SMK (sighting in ammo)

Set up on the rifle are as follows :

POF P415 Edge
16″ Barrel in 1:8 twist
Nightforce NXS 2.5-10 x 42 with parallax adjustment
Spuhr Mount SP-3016
54industries AT2 3-gun race stock
Lancer 5-round magazine
Bench rest
Rabbit ears rear bag

Rangefinder :

SIG SAUER Kilo 2000 rangefinder

Sighting in at 25m, target tests were at 100m, and then 50m.

Performance results :

1. Freedom Munitions 77gr HPBT
2. PMC 77gr SMK
3. Freedom Munitions 69gr HPBT (tie)
3. Australian Outback 69gr SMK (tie)
5. Geco 63gr Match
6. Fiocchi 77gr SMK – performed so badly in the last two tests that I have decided not to use them any more. I am quite sad that this trusted brand had performed so badly in the last two years that I have totally lost faith in them.

Personal sentiments after shooting the POF P415 Edge rifle :

The P415 Edge is a well engineered, over engineered piece of shooting equipment. Much can be read on the website for its bells and whistles.

The feel of the piston system adopted by POF has once again produced that familiar to me, but strange to most recoil impulse. The first thing anyone would notice is the ports on the factory muzzle brake. Three holes on one side and one on the other. This counters the twist of the rifle as the bullet leaves the barrel.

MAE NZ made some really good suppressors and for some reasons, Gary tweaked one of the suppressors and it smoothed out that recoil impulse pretty well and I highly recommend it for those who shoots piston rifles.

Comparing the P415 to my previous experience with the HK 416, I prefer the POF as it shoots softer and the recoil did not produce any funky fishtailing at the rear end of the rifle. This ensures pretty fast follow up shots and with the factory brake, the gun moves in a nice backwards straight line and muzzle climb was negligible.

The recoil impulse is similar, as to my PWS MK116s. So it is something that I am very used to. The operating rod moving the bolt back and then forward again in a clink-clonk-clink movement drags that recoil impulse and by pulling in on the pistol grip, and tugging the rigid stock into the shoulder, the shooter can recover quickly back into the previous position quite nicely. This takes practise, as I have shot thousands of rounds on pistons to be familiar with the response.

Shoot a piston and DI side by side, handheld, and you will know what I mean.

Accuracy is good with the rifle, and it is a guaranteed 1MOA from factory in the hands of a good shooter. Looking at my results I think POF was being modest in their claim. I believe a 0.75 MOA is achievable with the right matching ammo, and the rifle I was shooting with loved the Freedom Munitions 77gr Hollow Point Boat Tail. It performed well in strong winds and had a good grouping at 100m.

Freedom Munitions can be found online at

Note that every rifle is unique, and while one rifle from the same company may like one particular brand and weight, always go through the match-making ritual and find out what ammunition works best with the rifle in your hands. And then decide which two kinds of ammo to stock (buying by batch, in bulk, gives consistency), one for match shooting (the most accurate) and a cheaper one for plinking and pest control/hunting. Check for loan help.

I had a blast today, and walked away very impressed with the POF rifle. If only I didn’t purchase the PWS MK116 Mod 2 a couple of weeks ago (and have yet to shoot it!) I would have kept the P415 for myself.

Don’t want to push my luck and incur the wrath from the Ministress of Home Affairs. I know many of you reading this would know what I mean.

NOTE 1 :

The POF is a premium rifle and over engineered, and it is a GREAT rifle. Worth every penny it costs. Coatings were so good on the BCG that I simply sprayed some Ballistol GunCer on it and after shooting, wiped it clean. The rifle’s piston system worked as advertised and as you can see in the picture, the BCG was relatively clean after going through the test shoot.

NOTE 2 :

Freedom Munitions 77gr HPBT has been consistent in its performance despite being a “reman” (re-manufactured) round and despite some negative comments online, it has worked flawlessly for me. I shoot a lot and so far the thousands of rounds that has gone through both semi-autos and bolt rifles have not failed nor failed to fire. In NZ shooters can get them at very reasonable prices too from the importer so I highly recommend them.

DISCLAIMER : I do not get paid to test guns or write reviews. It is my passion to build rigid and high quality stocks and scope mounts for the competitive shooter to enhance the shooting experience. I come from ISSF precision shooting and was a sharpshooter in the army. Shooting is a passion and a sports that I truly enjoy.

Extra Photos

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