Co-branded products are always interesting to me. While many are a success and both companies are invigorated by the collaboration, sometimes it’s a flop and both parties retreat back to what they were doing before. So when Ammo Inc announced a collaboration with celebrity/motorcycle enthusiast/custom gun builder Jesse James in early 2017 to release the Jesse James line of ammunition, I wanted to know if this was a marriage borne of convenience or passion.
The Jesse James branded ammo is divided into two lines, the TML line and the Black Label line.
The TML line has a distinctive cowboy design to its boxes. Most of the rounds are TMC (total metal coated), with exception to some hollow point and soft point offerings. On hand, I had the 75 gr. boat tail hollow point (BTHP) in .223. With an advertised velocity of 2747 fps (20″ barrel) and a ballistic coefficient of .395, on paper, this looks to be a good setup for stretching a .223 rifle to longer ranges.
The Black Label line shares the cowboy packaging, but in an ominous black version. Likewise, the rounds themselves are stained in gloomy hues, from the projectile to casing. My test round was also in .223, this time topped with a 55 gr. Hornady V-Max bullet. Advertised MV of 3196 (20″ barrel again) and BC of .255. The V-max is a proven choice for varmint hunting.
Heading to the range, I brought one extremely accurate rifle and one I hadn’t tested yet: the V Seven Weapons Systems Enlightened AR-15 and the Noveske Gen 4 N4 PDW, respectively. Setting up my chronograph (one foot to my front) and paper targets (75 yards out), the range went hot.
Chrono data: The TMJ ammo came in at 2415 FPS (14.5″ barrel), with an SD of 54 and an Extreme Spread (ES) of 128 fps. Below are some of the groups
First with the V7 rifle:
And with the Noveske:
All the TMJ groups through the V7 rifle were close to the same size, .8-.9″. The Noveske really liked, and then really didn’t like the 75gr round. Certainly, some of that could have been attributable to the shooter.
As for the Black Label rounds, the chrono data: 2695.8 fps average MV, SD of 100 and ES of 269. Yep, nearly a 300 fps spread, mostly because of one hot round. Remove that, and the numbers are more like SD of 44 fps and ES of 95 fps. This does happen occasionally, one round gets crimped a little extra or the bullet gets seated back a little while chambering.
With regards to accuracy, the Black Label 55 gr V-Max looked like this:
These are pretty decent groups firing from the prone with no rear bag. Not amazing, but good. When doing an ammo accuracy test one should remove as many variables as possible, something I wasn’t able to do to my satisfaction here. That’s why each group has one round that is a bit of an outlier, but wasn’t so bad to where I had called a flyer. In the time since finishing this range test, I’ve acquired a Caldwell Stinger rifle rest, which will allow me to greatly reduce the external factors affecting accuracy testing. Simply put, the ammo was more consistent than I allowed it to show in the test. While most of my groups were a little over MOA, my prediction is the next range trip will show at or under MOA for all groups. If I have enough ammo left for a good sampling, I’ll get an update here.
The Black Label 55 gr. round goes for about a buck a round, less if you shop around a bit. The TMJ 75 gr BTHP round runs a little less, and can be found between $.80/rd and $.90/rd. If you’re in the market for ammo, check out Ammo Inc.’s offerings. Besides this review, I’ve run a few other Ammo Inc offerings and all have been 100% reliable so far, and accurate to boot. Check them out!
-featured image courtesy of Ammo Inc