Nick Latus tests a value-for-money round from Serbian manufacturer Prvi Partizan and is impressed with the results
The Prvi Partizan ammunition factory is situated in the town of Uzice, south-west Serbia, some 200km from Belgrade. The company has been producing ammunition since 1928, and has a large customer base including both the Serbian military and police force plus other international armed forces, as well as producing hunting and match ammunition that is distributed throughout the world. Prvi Partizan has prospered, and has garnered a reputation for producing value-for-money ammunition.
Prvi products available to the sporting rifle shooter are: PPU standard expanding, used for thin skinned quarry; PPU GROM, aimed at big game; and lastly PPU Match Line, made solely with the target shooter in mind.
The ammunition I had on test was the popular calibre 6.5×55 Swedish, which sported a 139 grain soft-point bullet tip. In the stout cardboard box, 20 rounds of ammunition were separated individually by a simple cardboard sleeve. This maybe isn’t as strong as some other brands, but it certainly does the job, and if it keeps the overall cost down I am not going to complain. Inspecting each round, I could find no deformed bullet tips – cases were bright and showed their annealed neck. Measuring carefully with a digital micrometer produced a col average of 2,776 with a plus / minus tolerance of 3,000 – more than acceptable. These readings were backed up when I re-measured with a comparator, which in theory gives a more accurate reading especially when using soft points. Again, plus or minus 3,000 was the difference.
It was time to put some lead down the range. Conditions couldn’t have been better, as there wasn’t even a hint of a wind. After attaching two targets at 100 metres, and after a couple of test shots to warm the barrel, it was down to business. I put three of my home-loads into the magazine – I knew these shot point of aim and would act as a guide to evaluate how the Prvi Partizan was performing. The resulting group off the bench was the expected ½MOA. I repeated the exercise with three of the Prvi test rounds. They cycled with ease, and there was no noticeable difference in recoil. Inspecting the target board, I found that the Prvi group was only marginally bigger – a pleasing sub-¾MOA– and an inch lower than my home-loads.
The chronograph showed an average speed of 2,464fps, confirming them deer legal, and that was with my relatively short-barrelled Sako. Home-loads were pushing 2,800fps – obviously accounting for the inch-low group. After a 10-minute cool down period, I sent another three rounds down range, and achieved almost identical results. This certainly confirmed the Prvi ammunition’s consistency.
I was certainly impressed at the Prvi’s performance. Sportsmen looking for value-for-money, accurate ammunition should give the Prvi Partizan range some serious consideration. Sporting Rifle contributors Mark Nicholson and John Robson use them as their ammunition of choice, and I too will be using them this winter at the does.