Have you ever heard of Lake City ammo? Chances are that you have, for reasons that will be disclosed in this article.
If not, read on. There’s more to Lake City ammo than you might expect.
What Is Lake City Ammo?
First, we need to get some potential confusion out of the way. Lake City ammo is not technically a brand, even though it is sometimes referred to that way.
Now, there is a line of ammunition called Winchester Lake City ammo - but this “brand” is named after the ammunition plant in Independence, Missouri, where it is produced.
That would be the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, which is one of the largest ammunition production facilities in the world, where many of your favorite lines of ammo are (probably) manufactured.
In fact, Lake City AAP is the largest single producer of small arms ammunition in the world. The facility is nearly 4,000 acres, has been in operation since 1941 (nearly continuously), and produces over a billion rounds of ammunition per year.
Winchester Lake City ammo is, unsurprisingly, made there.
Is Lake City Ammo Good Quality?
If you’re thinking of “Lake City ammo,” you are probably thinking of the line manufactured by Winchester that bears that name.
These are predominantly Winchester’s Lake City available in military calibers like their 5.56 ammo, available in a few different configurations. Notable versions include the company’s M855 (A.K.A. green tip 5.56) and M193 ammo.
Winchester’s Lake City line exhibits excellent quality as well as really good value and reliability at the price point. They’re made with high-quality reloadable brass and dependable Boxer primers, making reloading easy for those that practice it to save money and control the quality of their ammo.
Regardless, all of the calibers offered in the Lake City line are pretty affordable, and often much more affordable than those of other lines.
This helps keep per round costs down for discerning shooters, especially amid the current ammo crisis that has kept ammo prices comically elevated for far too long.
Winchester’s Lake City ammo is also valuable because it is reliable under a wide range of diverse climatic conditions. It feeds reliably, and when you pull the trigger, the gun goes off. This reliability alone makes it a quality ammo line.
The ammo also offers solid ballistics. Notable versions like their M855 and M193 are not suitable for defensive or sporting applications but in some circumstances might make excellent rounds for training or even competing - as well as low-cost long-distance shooting.
Since these cartridges feature Boxer primers, they are easy to reload - and the fact that they use reloadable, high-quality brass cases is another bonus for shooters of all backgrounds and disciplines.
Also, for what it’s worth, some might also consider it a selling point that this ammo is manufactured here in the United States. Some popular lines, like TulAmmo and Venom are not - at least with Lake City ammo you get American-made quality and reliability.
With that said, it’s not all sunshine and roses with Lake City ammo, and depending on the reasons you might want to buy, it just might not be worth it for you, despite the low costs.
One is the limited caliber selection. Most of the ammo produced in Winchester’s Lake City line is for military calibers. If you have an AR in 5.56 (who doesn’t) it’s a good line. If not, you might be out of luck.
Another potential limiter is the fact that most of them are steel tipped (like their M855) or FMJ rounds. They’re potentially great for target shooting, but pretty useless for defensive and sporting applications like hunting. There are far better rounds out there for that.
One final potential drawback is more or less anecdotal, but all the same, some shooters have commented that Winchester’s Lake City ammo tends to shoot a bit dirty.
But, hey, it’s cheap, and that’s sort of a hallmark of cheap ammo. At least it’s reliable.
What Brands Are Produced at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LAACP)?
As stated, the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, is the largest small arms ammunition manufacturer in the world. It stands to reason that Winchester’s Lake City ammo is not the only line loaded at that facility.
Lake City AAP produces a huge range of calibers, including 5.56 and 7.62 NATO, .223 Remington, .50 BMG, .300 Winchester Magnum, and 6.8 Remington SPC.
If you buy ammo from Federal, Winchester, or Remington, there’s a good chance that it was loaded at LCAAP.
One thing you can do is check the head stamp. Ammo produced there is often marked with “LC.”
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