We met with Mead Industries at the 2022 SHOT Show to check out their .223 Remington “Dog Gone” ammunition, loaded with their 40 grain soft-point/HP projectiles. Based on the name alone, you have probably guessed that this ammo is geared towards Prairie Dog and other varmint hunting. I personally love light projectiles for varmint hunting, so I asked if they could send me some ammo to do one of our 4-Minute ammo reviews. They shipped me one of their #200 round ammo box units and I got to work on fully testing it at the range and in the field. These are my results from the range and in the field.
Most of the factory .223 hunting ammunition available is loaded with a 55 grain projectile. Although the 55 grain is a great performer, when I am hunting smaller, colony varmints, a lighter projectile that is extremely frangible is always my preference. You see, more terminal damage done to the varmint by the projectile, equals to a quicker, cleaner kill. That may seem ironic, but it is absolutely the case.
The Mead .223 Dog Gone ammunition features a 40 grain soft-point projectile that expands rapidly. These are soft-point projectiles, with a slight dimple in the tip, creating a soft-point/hollowpoint. I’ve seen first hand how these projectiles perform and they are not kidding when they say “You gotta see these POP!” on their website.
223 Rem “Dog Gone” Varmint/Predator Ammunition (from the Mead Ammo Website):
- 40gr SP, loaded in new .223 Brass
- Rapid Expansion like a hollow point
- Velocity 2810fps from a 16 inch A/R and 3248fps from a 26″ bolt gun
- G1 BC .185, sectional density .114, bullet length .501″
- 2.055″ Cartridge Overall Length (measured)
Chronograph Results – Tested in a Stag Arms – Stag 15 Varminter HB AR15:
- 3175 fps : 24 Inch Barrel / Twist Rate: 1:8″
- 24.7 Standard Deviation
- 66 fps Extreme Spread
Groups at 100 Yards – Tested in a Stag Arms – Stag 15 Varminter HB AR15 with Vortex Viper HST 6.5-24x50mm:
- 0.449 in : 5-Shot Group Average
A note on the groups. The ammo that I received shot incredibly well. The groups resulted in some of the best factory .223 Remington groups I’ve shot to date. The Stag 15 Varminter rifle is built for accuracy from the bench and shoots most ammo extremely well.
Idaho Badger: I happened to be shooting with some neighbors, so I threw in my Stag Arms .223 and the Mead Ammo, just in case something happened to show up in the area we were shooting. In this area, Badgers are a major problem and cause immense amounts of damage when they dig out Ground Squirrel holes trying to get at the fresh, tasty Squirrels that are down below hibernating through-out the summer and winter (typically July through February). What they leave is massive holes that undermine dirt roads and leave the landscape looking like it had been bombed. After a quick sight-in and some fun shooting, we packed up to leave the area. As I drove down the road, I spotted a Badger digging. I pulled over, grabbed/loaded my AR15 and found the Badger in the scope. I estimated the distance at 70-80 yards. By this time, the Badger had dropped low into the hole, with just its flat head peaking out. Knowing I was dead-on at 100 yards, I put my crosshairs on its face, just below the left eye. At the shot, the 40 grain Mead projectile entered its skull and made an audible “thump”. The Badger slumped down into the hole, stone dead. Check out the video for the aftermath.
Wyoming Prairie Dog:
Late September brought me to Wyoming to do some Prairie Dog hunting with Noor (The Dollar Sportsman). We were shooting other Stag AR15s chambered in the 6mm ARC and .224 Valkyrie, along with my Stag 15 Varminter in .223 Remington. I was eager to test out the Mead Ammunition on Prairie Dogs at distances typical of the wide open Wyoming badlands. I got my chance on a morning after a night of wind and rain. It was clear, calm and beautiful. A perfect day to track down some voracious Prairie Dogs who were chowing down on grass to fill their bellies.
I spotted a couple of Prairie Dogs at the 270ish yard mark, so I set-up on a fence post with a heavy bag and my AR15. I checked my ballistics table and prepared for the shots. Noor was spotting for me as I missed the first couple of shots. I wasn’t concerned, because ranging small varmints on the flat areas of Wyoming can be frustrating at times. Exact readings are almost impossible, so you have to fine-tune your shots based on your misses. In these situations, a spotter can be invaluable. The first shot was slightly low, nicking the back paw of one of the Prairie Dogs. He ran a few feet and stopped. I held slightly higher and punched the PD through the chest. It ran a few feet, rolled over and died. The next Prairie Dog was a few yards further out, so I made a slight adjustment, squeezed the trigger and popped it in the head. He dropped dead. While collecting the Prairie Dogs, I ranged back to the post. 267 yards and 276 yards! The Mead ammo performed very well on both of them at those distances. The 40 grain projectiles created large, nickel/quarter sized exit holes.
My final day in Wyoming found me on my own seeking out more Prairie Dogs to shoot. I drove into a small valley that held a couple of dozen, running around at 80 to 300 yards. I set-up and picked out some Prairie Dogs in the 100-150 yard range. I wanted to see how this ammo/projectile would perform at closer distances. The ones I shot blew-up, launching them into the air, causing instant death. So much so, that I could not include the shots in the YouTube video!
Mead Industries is not new to projectile manufacturing. Their business includes supplying bullet making equipment, design and manufacturing for other ammunition companies. This .223 Remington offering is not the only cartridge they load for. They also load for the .22 Creedmoor, .308, 30-’06, 5.56×45 and a few other cartridges. The developers and testers of this .223 Dog Gone ammunition are hunters that understand what type of bullet construction is needed to effectively kill varmints. The 40 grain soft-point/HP projectile used in this ammunition is a throwback to the original “hornet” style bullets made years ago. However, the addition of the small HP and increased velocity of the .223 Remington, makes the terminal performance much more destructive. I also had the chance to load just the 40 grain projectiles in my .221 Fireball (video here) and the performance on Prairie Dogs was outstanding. I’m hoping they offer this projectile as a component in the near future. In the meantime, I will continue to shoot their .223 Remington Dog Gone (I call it Dog Be Gone!) ammunition. If you are looking for more spectacular results in the Prairie Dog fields, give this ammo a try at MeadAmmo.com.
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