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Posted: 11/17/2008 11:10:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov]
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 11:21:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 8:10:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#2]
<Please re-read the original post. Ammunition reviews ONLY, not questions/general discussions - Z>

Link Posted: 11/17/2008 11:59:17 PM EDT

HSM 5.56 Ammo Comparison

There is now a third, commercially available 5.56mm cartridge being loaded to NATO pressures using a “heavy” OTM bullet on the market; the other two being Hornady’s 75 grain 5.56 TAP load and the Black Hills 77 grain MK262 load.  HSM (The Hunting Shack) has begun loading Hornady’s 75 grain OTM bullet with cannelure (the T1C as it has come to be referred to here at AR15.com) to NATO pressures.

The round is loaded using ball powder and has crimped and sealed primer pockets.  It also has a heavy collet crimped case neck and an asphalt sealant is used at the case neck.  The load is designated as the 5.56-17T.

HSM is also producing another load using Hornady’s T1C bullet, designated as the 223-17T.  This load also uses ball powder but is loaded to a velocity in between their NATO pressure load and the SAAMI pressure Hornady TAP FPD load.  The particular lot of this load that I received has a lighter collet crimp than the 5.56-17T load and does not use the asphalt sealant at the case neck.  Nor does it have crimped or sealed primer pockets.  It has been stated that the primer pockets will be crimped and sealed on future loadings.

asphalt sealant


case neck crimps

primer pockets

Since the 5.56-17T load is considered to be an alternative round for Hornady’s 5.56 TAP, I decided to do an accuracy and chronograph comparison between the two.  While I was at it, I also included the 223-17T load in the comparison as well.

Chronographing was done using an Oehler 35-P chronograph with “proof screen” technology.  All velocities listed are muzzle velocities as calculated from instrumental velocities using Oehler’s Ballistic Explorer software.  Three different Colt barrels were used in chronographing:  a 14.5” M4, a 16” light-weight profile and a 20” government profile.


The chronograph data.

Accuracy testing of the new rounds will begin shortly and the results posted ASAP.

Atmospheric conditions

Temperature:  74 degrees F
Humidity:   69%
Barometric pressure:  30.09
Elevation:  950 feet above sea level
Skies:  overcast, Jupiter rising

Link Posted: 11/17/2008 11:59:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Molon] [#4]

HSM 5.56-17T Accuracy Testing

As explained previously in this thread, normally when I evaluate the accuracy of a particular load I use one of my stainless steel Krieger barrels as the test vehicle.  However, since this test involves the NATO pressure 5.56-17T load I did not want to risk pressure issues by firing a NATO pressure load in a match chambered, tightly rifled barrel.  Therefore, I chose one of my Colt 20” HBARs to use as the test vehicle.  This barrel is free-floated and even though it has a NATO chamber and chrome lining, it is capable of shooting 10-shot groups from 100 yards that hover right around 1.00”.

Testing of the HSM 5.56-17T load was conducted following my usual method of accuracy evaluation.  Three 10-shot groups were fired at 100 yards from a bench-rest.  All ten shots in each group were included in the measurements.

Prior to firing the test rounds, I fired a 10-shot group from 100 yards using one of my standard hand-loads; a Sierra 55 grain BlitzKing with a muzzle velocity of approximately 3000 fps.  This group measured 1.06”.  This is typical of the accuracy this barrel is capable of producing.  I have fired a total of five control loads from this barrel throughout the testing for this thread.  Those groups measured 1.05”, 1.06”, 1.10”, 1.00” and 1.06”.  I believe this demonstrates the capabilities of this barrel rather well.  Here is a pic of the group fired using the control load.

The three 10-shot groups of the 5.56-17T load fired from 100 yards and used for analysis measured, in order of firing:


These three groups were over-layed on each other using the RSI Shooting Lab software program to form a 30-round composite group.  The mean radius (explained here) of this composite group measured 0.58”. In an effort to validate these results and give the 5.56-17T load ample opportunity to prove itself, I fired two additional 10-shot groups from 100 yards that measured 1.67” and 2.11”.  All five of the 10-shot groups were over-layed on each other to form a 50-round composite group.  The mean radius for this 50-round composite group measured 0.57”.

This is a pic of the smallest group from the 5.56-17T load.

For comparison, the 30-round composite group created from three 10-shot groups of Hornady’s 5.56 TAP ammunition fired from the same Colt HBAR had a mean radius 0.46”.  Here are the composite groups side-by-side.  

To give you an additional perspective, the mean radius of a 30-round composite group of IMI M193 fired from the same Colt barrel was 0.72”.

I’ll be posting the results of the accuracy testing of the 223-17T load soon.

Link Posted: 11/18/2008 12:00:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Molon] [#5]

HSM 223-17T Accuracy Report

Accuracy testing for HSM’s 223-17T load was conducted in the same manner as for the 5.56-17T load.  Three 10-shot groups were fired from 100 yards for evaluation.  All ten shots of each group were included in the measurements of the groups.

The shooting was done at 100 yards from a concrete bench like the one pictured below.  The same Colt 20” HBAR that was used in testing the 5.56-17T load was used as the test vehicle in order to give a fair comparison to the 5.56-17T load.

The barrel.

The bench.

The free-float tube of the rifle was rested on a Sinclair rest, while the stock of the rifle rested on a Protektor rabbit ear bag.  I used a modified Sinclair fore-end stabilizer that attached to the Picatinny rail on the free-float tube to help the rifle track better in the rest.  The LMT lower used as the test mule houses a Geissele Match Rifle 2-stage trigger that breaks at 1.5 pounds!  The buttstock has a 3.5 pound lead weight added to it.

The Sinclair rest.

The fore-end stabilizer.

The rabbit ear bag.

For sighting I used a Leupold 45 X 45mm Competition Series scope with adjustable parallax.  Wind conditions on the range were monitored using a “Wind Probe” produced by Gene Beggs (of bench-rest competition notoriety.)

Leupold 45 X 45mm scope.

The "Wind Probe."

Shooting was done at a slow pace in order to closely monitor the wind conditions and to reduce eye/shooter fatigue.  The Colt 20” HBAR used in testing is capable of shooting 10-shot groups from 100 yards that hover right around one inch.  Throughout the testing for this thread, I have obtained a total of five 10-shot control groups fired from this barrel at 100 yards using hand-loaded Sierra bullets.  The five groups measured as follows:


The composite mean radius for the control groups measured 0.32”.


The three 10-shot groups fired from 100 yards using the 223-17T load measured as follows:


Here is a pic of the smallest 10-shot group obtained.

The three groups were over-layed on each other using the RSI Shooting Lab software program to obtain a 30-round composite group.  The mean radius of the 30-round composite group measured 0.52”.   In an effort to validate these results and give the 223-17T load ample opportunity to prove itself, I fired two additional 10-shot groups.  Those groups measured 1.86” and 1.57”.  All five groups were over-layed on each to form a 50-round composite group.  The mean radius for the 50-round composite group measured 0.53”.  

For comparison, a 30-round composite group formed by over-laying three 10-shot groups of Hornady’s 75 grain TAP FPD load fired from the same Colt barrel had a mean radius of 0.37”.  Here are those two composite groups pictured next to each other.

Here are the 30-round composite groups from the 5.56-17T load and the 223-17T next to each other for comparison.

Lastly, here is an image showing the best 10-shot group from each load placed side-by-side for comparison.

Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:09:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#6]
Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:12:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:13:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:14:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#9]
Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:19:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:21:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:22:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2009 12:26:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#13]
Link Posted: 3/5/2009 11:33:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#14]
Link Posted: 3/5/2009 7:34:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: phoenix27] [#15]
General Zhukov-
I think you will find that the Cor-Bon 77-gr SMK 5.56mm load at 2800 fps (thru a 20" 1/9 barrel) compares favorably in spec terms to the MK262 and should be added to your short list of known 5.56mm 77-gr SMK loads. Surprisingly, it was only $15.95 a box/20 at Ammo to Go as of earlier this week and they still had some in stock. Cor-Bon also offers a 69-gr SMK load that is 3000 fps thru the same 20" 1/9 barrel and is also considered a 5.56mm loading. I bought a bunch of this stuff earlier this week for only $14.95/20 from the same source (ATG) and this once should also be added to your "Heavy OTM" list.

Link Posted: 3/5/2009 8:12:02 PM EDT
In reference to your assertion that a 1-9" not stabilizing the Prvi 75 Gr OTM.
This is NOT scientific, and they are only 3 shot groups. They were shot with a Remington SPS tactical, 20" barrel 1-9" twist:
<a href="http://s476.photobucket.com/albums/rr124/fdkay/?action=view¤t=1-21-200930623PM.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i476.photobucket.com/albums/rr124/fdkay/1-21-200930623PM.jpg" border="0" alt="grp 2"></a>

<a href="http://s476.photobucket.com/albums/rr124/fdkay/?action=view¤t=1-21-200930712PM.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i476.photobucket.com/albums/rr124/fdkay/1-21-200930712PM.jpg" border="0" alt="grp 1"></a>

They do appear to be stabilized. Of course individual barrels are unique. This rifle does NOT like the 68 grain Black Hills match load.
Link Posted: 3/5/2009 8:43:45 PM EDT
I have a 16" Colt barrel with a 1:9" twist that averages 1.6"  for 10-shot groups of 75 grain OTM loads at 100 yards.  My only point is that a 1:9" twist is theoretically not appropriate for the 75 grain OTM match loads and if you haven't thoroughly evaluated your 1:9" barrel with these loads, you may find out at the worst moment that you really should have used a tighter twist.
Link Posted: 3/5/2009 10:12:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Molon:
I have a 16" Colt barrel with a 1:9" twist that averages 1.6"  for 10-shot groups of 75 grain OTM loads at 100 yards.  My only point is that a 1:9" twist is theoretically not appropriate for the 75 grain OTM match loads and if you haven't thoroughly evaluated your 1:9" barrel with these loads, you may find out at the worst moment that you really should have used a tighter twist.

Of course you should do that with any load.
When the wind isn't blowing 25miles an hour down here, I'll get to the range some more.

It was a handload with mixed range brass, 24.5 grains of varget and Winchester primers.

Link Posted: 3/12/2009 2:53:11 PM EDT
This is WEALTH of information!
Link Posted: 7/14/2009 9:24:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2009 11:26:38 PM EDT
I would like to add some info about the Silver State Armory 77gr OTM ammo.  It appears that they are now using a Sierra Matchking 77gr with a cannelure.  I just purchased 320 rounds this week.  The brass used is Lake City brass manufactured this year with the Nato headstamp.  The markings on the brass are LC 09 and Nato headstamp.  I shot a box of twenty today from 100 and 200 yards.  My setup is as follows:

16" ADCO Chrome-lined barrel with A2 FH.
LaRue 11.0" Handguard
CMT Upper with Denny's Guns Supper Duty bolt carrier group
Bushmaster Lower with Jewel Trigger and MIAD grip
MagPul CTR Stock with 9MM buffer.
Aimpoint CompM3 in a LaRue Mount
Harris Bipod

I shot a five shot group at 100 yard and a 10 round group at 200 yards.  Both groups were shot laying prone off of the bipod with the rear stock supported by my shoulder and my left hand.  All rounds fed and ejected with zero problems.  5 shot group at 100 yards was 1" and the 10 shot group at 200 yards was just under 2".  Muzzle velocities were not measured but must have be very close to SSA's advertised 2690 fps from a 16" barrel.  Based on my iPhone ballistics calculator using SSA's advertised velocities, the impact points at 100 yard and 200 yards were as predicted.

This is a very accurate, powerful round.
Link Posted: 7/19/2009 10:14:17 AM EDT
Here are some recent MVs from a lot of Prvi 75gr OTM purchased in late May 2009:

66deg, 66% humidity, 900ft ASL, using a CED M2 chronograph at 10' from the muzzle
14.5" Sabre Defence 1:7:


AVG: 2475
SD: 18.5
ES: 59
12.5" Global Tactical Operator 1:7:


AVG: 2402
SD: 13.6
ES: 46
11.5" BCM 4150CMV C/L 1:7:


AVG: 2333
SD: 16.5
ES: 66
This is pretty much on par with Molon's latest Prvi results, accounting for the cooler temps and normal lot variations.
Link Posted: 8/21/2009 4:10:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#23]
<This is a review thread - please keep on topic - Z>

[ETA - Files work for me. IM Molon with any problems]

Link Posted: 8/21/2009 5:34:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#24]
<This is a review thread - please keep on topic - Z>

Link Posted: 8/22/2009 10:51:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#25]
<This is a review thread - please keep on topic - Z>

Link Posted: 8/22/2009 12:36:26 PM EDT
I shot a deer last year with red box hornady 75 grain tap, not the .556 version. The shot was right at 100 yards and it was a quartering towards shot. The shot entered behind the front shoulder and did not strike any bone upon entry. The projectile traveled just in front of the diaphragm until just before it exited. It punctured the diaphragm, struck one rib on the way out and exited. The deer ran about 20 yards and laid down where it was dispatched with a second shot to the head, which curiously did not exit. Upon butchering the animal there was a small entrance wound as one would expect with about a two inch hole for the exit wound. I did not find any bullet fragments inside, but I was not extremely careful while checking for them either. The size of the exit leads me to believe that some fragmentation occurred, but not violent extensive fragmentation. This was from an 18" barrel.
Link Posted: 8/23/2009 1:27:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#27]
<This is a review thread. Please restrict posts to actual reviews only. -Z>

Link Posted: 2/14/2010 6:30:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#28]
<This is a REVIEW thread only. Please start another thread to discuss other topics - Z>

Link Posted: 2/14/2010 11:09:59 AM EDT
I shoot the PRVI 75 out of a 1:8 SS 24" AR and the accuracy is as good as the Hornady TAP (silver case) that I purchased. I can shoot the PRVI cheaper and just as accurate so I'm sticking w/ it. It is true match ammo which I was very skeptical to say the least before trying it.
Link Posted: 2/14/2010 12:04:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#30]
<This is a REVIEW thread only. Please start another thread to discuss other topics - Z>

Link Posted: 2/14/2010 12:30:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#31]
<This is a REVIEW thread only. Please start another thread to discuss other topics - Z>

Link Posted: 2/14/2010 12:34:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#32]
<This is a REVIEW thread only. Please start another thread to discuss other topics - Z>

Link Posted: 2/14/2010 8:40:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#33]

Originally Posted By DrBackJack:

<This is a REVIEW thread only. Please start another thread to discuss other topics - Z>

What happen to my review? Cheers for being strict on people who are off topic, but why remove my review?

<Because you didn't provide what I would call a review. If you have any questions, IM me. - Z>

Link Posted: 3/3/2010 5:18:45 PM EDT
I have been meaning to test out heavier bullets in my Smith for a while, but bad weather lately has made range trips tough.

Like a lot of folks, I'd kind of believed the mantra of 1:9 not being any good for heavier bullets, not enough stability... I don't have any real need for heavier stuff, but figured I'd give it a try to see what the results were in my particular rifle. Barrels vary, results vary, different bullet designs vary, it was worth a little testing.

Short version:
55grn M193 - 2.7" ten rounds
69grn - 2.35" 10 rounds
75grn - 2.35" 10 rounds - No signs of key holing

I did a bunch of handload testing today and figured I'd toss in Prvi Partisan's 69grn and 75grn match stuff to see how it compares and see if the 75grn would stabilize. For giggles I also fired ten rounds of their M193 which I have found to be very reliable but not particularly accurate in the past.

100 yards, wind varied from the left but never more than a few mph. The rifle is a SW MP15 ORC with 1:9 chrome lined barrrel. Lower is a cav arms mk2 with mixed lpk, trigger tuned by me and using JP yellows for a smooth and short clean trigger pull of about 4lbs. I used a bench, but the rest was a backpack, not formed sandbags. Scope is a 4-12 Bushnell run at 12x. The stock handguards have been replaced with DD Omega 7" but that's the only change on the upper. It has a little over 1k of 5.56/223 through it, and several thousand 22lr's.

For a baseline of what I am capable of using the same rest, on a similar day, I put 5 rounds into a group you could cover with a nickle at 200 yds using my benchrest rifle with a 4x lyman from the 50's. So I am fairly confident that the groups represent a fair indication of what the SW will do with this ammo. Obviously I would not expect similar results from a standard production AR barrel, but it had been a while since I've done this type of shooting and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be a significant handicap on the results.

55grn M193 - 2.7 inches,
main group was 1.75 with two off to the left opening it up, 10 rounds fired. About what I expected from reports here.

69grn "Match" - Group 1 - 0.9" but only 3 rounds fired, this was the first group after sighting in and was just what was left from the 5 I'd initially loaded.
Group 2 - 2.35 Inches? sheesh. I honestly do not know what to think. I expected much better. Ten rounds fired, pretty random clustering. From the spread it is possible I had more wind than I thought for part of this group, 4 rounds are slid about 1 inch right to make their own group.

75grn "Match" - 2.35 inches. Again, I'd expected better. Ten rounds, fairly wide spread. Most importantly for my purposes, NO KEYHOLING. It appears that the 75grn was at least stable enough to punch circular holes at 100yds from this gun. I did shoot the remainder of the box later and managed to ring a 5"x10" steel plate once at 200 using a microdot and no magnification and send some bowling pins flying. These rounds had a lot more effect on the pins than other ammo seemed to.

Boxed hole on the first image was part of sighting in, remaining three rounds on that target were 69 grain OTM PPU using the box as point of aim and about 1moa height adjustment to push the impact point downward.
Right hand target is the PPU M193, the upper left and middle were the 75 grain PPU OTM and 69 grain PPU OTM respectively.

Link Posted: 3/4/2010 1:57:41 PM EDT
I had similar results with the 75 TAP out of a 20" 1/9 Bushmaster barrel.

Nice clean round holes but only so, so accuracy.

At close range it would do fine I'm sure.

Thanks for taking the time to post your results!


Link Posted: 3/4/2010 4:15:04 PM EDT
that was my thought as well. a lot of the premium defensive and hunting ammo is 75-77 and 2 or 3 moa is acceptable for me in self defence roles, longest sight line in the house or on the property is a lot less than 100 yards.

as long as it feeds reliably and goes in with the right end forward performance should be fine.  

I will report back after getting some supplies for heavy handloads.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 3/25/2010 3:19:05 PM EDT
I got my 65grain SP game kings and 75grain hornady match bullets in yesterday and loaded up 10 of each in time for a quick range trip today before the weather closes in again.
Loads were with mixed brass but all trimmed to length and nothing too old or brand new.
Primer - Rem 7 1/2 br
Powder - Varget
Press is a Dillon RL550B and I'm using the standard powder measure but weighing each case then reweighing to get the powder drops consistent. All drops are within 0.05grain, my scale doesn't read past tenths.
The rifle is still my Smith and Wesson M&P ORC upper on the cav arms lower. 4-12x Bushnell scope and an improvised rest. This is a 1:9 chrome lined barrel. My only change to the upper is swapping the DD Omega rails in place of the stock handguards.

65grain Game Kings with 25 grains of Varget, overall length 2.23"
 Group size is roughly 1.25" ignoring a called flier when I goofed. From the look of the group I wouldn't be surprised if it would have been a much tighter group with a better rest, I generally knew as the shot went downrange whether it would be right or not. Still, for a first load I'm happy with the results

75grain hornady hpbt match with 24.5 grains of Varget, overall length 2.25"
 Group size is roughly 1.4" but consistent, throwing out one or even two holes won't significantly change group size.
Most importantly from the perspective of using this bullet in this rifle, the holes show no sign of instability. Several people suggested this bullet to me as one of the shorter 75's that would stabilize better in a 1:9 and they appear to have been correct. I'm going to try again at 200 and see what happens but it looks promising. I'm with Molon, in general I would not expect a 75 grain to stabilize well in a 1:9, but some of the more compact designs will do better than longer bullets, and some barrels do better than others.

I've never checked my actual twist rate on this barrel so when I get to cleaning in a bit I'll check and add that in here. I'll also see about posting target images.
Link Posted: 3/29/2010 6:08:04 PM EDT
Ok, so I took a bit longer than planned to for part two of that post.

A one interesting thing learned since. My barrel is closer to 1:10 than 1:9 measured by the turn rate of a cleaning rod with both brush and patches.

my cat messed up the targets but careful inspection didn't show any signs of out of round holes. After finding out about the slower than rated twist I'm rather surprised, but pleased. I'll check at 200 yards next time I'm at the range, it's certainly possible the relatively short range isn't allowing a mild lack of stability to show.

I should have my 1:8 BCM barreled upper this weekend as well, so hopefully weather permits testing results with that as well.

I'll also do a very subjective test and compare how distinct hits sound and look on steel plate that can swing. The plate is at 200, and regular 55 grain ammo pretty much has no audible results from the shooter's position and depending on hit location the plate hardly moves. A similar test on hanging bowling pins at 50 yards should be fun too. :) Not very scientific, but fun.
Link Posted: 4/3/2010 4:10:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Remyrw] [#39]
I tested the exact same 75 grain load in the new upper. 1:8 twist stainless BCM middy barrel. This is a mid/heavy barrel. There is an FSC556 comp on the end.

Results were essentially identical. I'm actually a bit disappointed, overall results for this new upper are not that great.

Groups ranged from 1.5 to 2 inch at 100 yards with loads from 55 to 75 grains. That's not horrible, but I'd hoped for better. I'm going to redo some of the loads, both good and bad, with a bi-pod and then a more solid rest to see if it was just me or some other outside factor. I'll also run some factory match ammo through it. These were not individually weight charges so it's possible the variation was influenced by changes in velocity.

I also did NOT give any real rest time for the barrel. It went from one load to the next within a minute or so. I fired twenty rounds at the start to warm it up and pre-foul it a bit for consistency so even the first test string was a warm barrel. It will be interesting to test without this, doing slow fire and letting it cool between sets.

I got impatient so I did some more tests today (4/4/10)
Again with the 1:8 stainless 16" middy with FSC556 comp. The wind was acting up but mostly in line with the bullet's path so at 100 yards I don't expect much effect. I was letting the barrel cool between sets this time.

75 grain hornady bthp match gave multiple 10 round groups between 1.25 and 1.5. The 65 grain game king spbt had slightly larger groups but still improved and I didn't get a chance to try as many variations of this bullet.

Given my wiggle factor with an improvised rest this is about as tight as I can probably manage for ten rounds. I might have to break down and get a new rest and bags.

Interestingly, the accuracy seems to follow velocity for this bullet more than any other factor other than my shooting. Benchmark powder rather than varget made little change at the same velocity, but varget has a higher velocity window with known safe loads. I'll have to check out some other options but those two were all I had for 223.

The other significant factor is fairly obvious but also easily ignored unintentionally. Seating depth on AR's tends to be limited more by our magazines than anything else with heavier bullets. I seated most of my loads in this test batch to 2.26 and saw a distinct improvement over otherwise identical loads at shorter lengths. I'm not interested in single shot loads, so I won't bother testing even longer, but I WILL be doing some tests on other bullet profiles. OAL is fine and dandy for feeding, but a different bullet profile can change how far the bullet actually jumps before engaging the rifling and I'm going to have to look at some less pointy bullets maybe.

I don't have the full data handy for this set handy but I'll add it tomorrow along with pics of some targets. This set's out of the cat's way.

65gk - 25.5 varget - 2.21oal - 1.6
65gk - 25.5 varget -  2.25oal - 1.5
65gk - 25.0 varget - 2.25oal - 2.0 (main group 0.9) / 1.35
65gk - 24.5 varget - 2.25oal - 1.75 / 1.25 (different trips)
75hdy - 24.5 varget - 2.25oal - 2.0 (first trip)
75hdy - 24.5 varget 2.26 - oal - 1.65 / 1.4 (cool barrel, more recent)
65gk - 24.8 varget - 2.26oal - 1.65
75hdy - 25.0 varget - 2.26oal - 1.25
75hdy - 22.5 Bench - 2.26oal - 1.4
65gk - 22.5 Bench  - 2.26oal -1.5

I tried 23.5 grains of varget with the 75 grain bullet but for some reason I can't find the results. It wasn't particularly impressive but was also a shorter OAL load.

I'm honestly starting to think my improvised rest is the major factor with some of these. There's too much wiggle and with ten shot strings it's pretty likely to have "wiggled left and shot was already going to drift left naturally as part of the group" for example. I went rest shopping at Midway and was happy to find that they DO have some less expensive rests these days. I ordered one along with a box of hornady 75grain match to use as a comparison with my loads.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=682659   If it's as good as the reviews indicate it'll be perfect for me. Nice and simple but effective. I've got stuff that works as rear bags with a real rest so that's covered.
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 12:16:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Remyrw] [#40]
Pics as promised, sorry for the delay.
#1 is 75 grain Hornady, 24.5grains of Varget, 2.26 oal, 1.4" group
#2 is 75 grain hornady, 25 grains of Varget, 2.26 oal, 1.25" group
#3 is 65 grain Sierra soft point Game King, 25 grains of Varget, 2.26 oal, 1.35" group
#5 is 75 grain Hornady, 22.5 grains of Benchmark, 2.26 oal  1.4" group

The X on the last one is from a called flier when the guy next to me started firing again just as the trigger was about to break, I twitched and blew the shot. Still a lousy group but no need to penalize the load for my mistake.

I can't wait to try out the new rest, but it looks like not till mid next week. Just fooling around at home shows a significant improvement in steadiness but I'll have to see how that translates at the range. It's been a while since I used one, I'd forgotten what a difference it made.


Yesterday was the day to try out the new rest and a bunch of Benchmark powder loads. I also compared with Hornady 75gr Match.


1. 75hdy––benchmark ––––22.5––––2.265––1.5
2. same load   –––––––––––––––––––––––––1.5
5. 60 Varmint––benchmark ––-24––-2.26––1.25
(cut out all the other 60 and 55 grain loads, just left the one 60 because that was the best of the day)

Hornady 75grain Match
First group––1.5
Second group––1.75

Wind was fairly strong but I managed to do most of the shots in lulls, but without a wind gauge. I also didn't have time to let the barrel completely cool between sets, but I did keep it from getting untouchably hot and it's a mid weight so I doubt heat was a significant factor.

I think my conclusion is that one or all of the following are true:
 1. Molon is significantly better at this kind of shooting than I am.
 2. Molon has sigificantly more appropriate equipment for this type of testing. (that wind gauge is definitely on my list for the future)
 3. Shooting is fun, even load testing.

It doesn't help that I'm using basic Lee dies, including the seating die. I might have one of the more serious reloaders from the club make up a batch of the better loads using their more precise equipment and see if it changes anything. I was happy to see that my loads are right about the same point as the factory match loads though. Some better, some worse.

My conclusions specifically related to the 75 grain OTM's are that they work well in the 1:8 BCM stainless 16" barrel out to at least 100 yards. They're not as good in the 1:9.5 barre on my S&W upper but still perfectly acceptable for social purposes within 100yards. The groups are better than I can probably hold while offhand, stressed, and using a red dot or buis.

My targets show similar point of impact vertically between my handload with 22.5grains of benchmark and the Hornady match. I can't be 100% sure, but the horizontal appears to be the same as well. I'd adjusted 1/2" right between my 75gr handloads and the point I got to the factory ammo and that is about the difference on the target.
Link Posted: 9/27/2010 12:03:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/27/2010 12:05:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/27/2010 10:29:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: FAB-10_Guy] [#43]
Edit:  should have posted this as a new post.

Took my Mk 12 out a few days ago and shot some Hornady 75gr TAP FPD and Mk262 (BH cosmetic seconds)

Rifle: 18" Douglas SS match grade SPR profile 1:7 twist, free floated
Wilde chamber
Shot through Ops Inc 12th model can at 100yd

Hornady 75gr TAP FPD:
5-shot (I know, should be more)

4-shot (ran out of ammo––used it to sight the rifle in with)

Chrono'd all 20 shots (some were used in the beginning to sight the rifle in at 100yd)

Switched to Mk262:
5-shot groups

10-shot group

Chrono'd 19 of the 20 shots

Sorry I don't have Molon's software or time to calculate mean radius for these groups, but the Mk262 was not what I was expecting both accuracy-wise or velocity/consistency-wise.  I was a bit disappointed.
Link Posted: 10/10/2010 4:04:49 PM EDT
Also, the above report was shot from a bipod off a bench.  Wind at 6:00 about 5-10mph.
Link Posted: 10/12/2010 9:19:55 PM EDT
Hornady 75gr TAP FPD 10-shot groups:

Link Posted: 6/1/2011 3:27:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Zhukov] [#46]
<No need to bump - it's marked as "Do Not Archive" and is linked to from within the Ammo Review thread. - Z>

Link Posted: 12/12/2013 8:00:19 PM EDT
This is not an accuracy post but a bullet effectiveness post.  I have a friend that has been borrowing one of my ARs to hunt with the past three years.  I hunt on his family land.  The first year we hunted with it 223 hunting ammo was not on hand so I grabbed what I thought was the next best thing for him to hunt with.  I grabbed some PRVI Match 75 gr which also happens to be of BTHP design.  A fragmenting bullet.  I know not the best hunting bullet.

My friend was using a Spikes 16 inch, M4 profile, 1:7 twist M4 clone.  Sighting was using a Aimpoint CompM4 with 2 moa dot.  To date he has shot 8 deer with none running more than 20 yards.  Several were DRTs.    This season we were finally able to recover one of the bullets as the rest were pass throughs.

Here are pics of the recovered bullet.

This was an 80 yard shot.  As you can see the bullet fragmented some and mushroomed some as well.   The lead core completed separated from the casing.   The shot was a shoulder shot on a young buck.  The round completely passed through one side and the casing was found in the opposite shoulder.  However at first it appeared to be a pass through as the opposite shoulder appeared to have a large exit wound.  Upon processing the deer we found the casing embedded as found here.  So the assumption is the molten lead core continued on through to cause the exit wound.

Velocity is unknown however PRVI match is known to be a little slow.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:26:49 PM EDT
I have been using the Hornady red box (of 50) 75 grain moly coated match ammo since it first came out back in 1993 (I think).  A long time anyhow.

It chronographs right around 2700 fps from a stainless steel 1-9 twist 20 inch barrel.  And about 2590 fps from a 1-9 16 inch Bushmaster  Both NATO chamber.

I reload this bullet with BLC-2 and can get safely 2850 fps from a 20 inch or about 2720 fps from a 16 inch.  This equals T2 in my rifles.

Ive shot alot of coyotes at night with the standard velocity 75 grain ammo.  It fragments reliably out to 150 yards which corresponds to Molons predicted results.  Past 150 yards the coyotes dont react nearly as dramatically as at close range.  Two hits for humane kill fairly normal at "long" range.  Which is why I am beginning to use hand loads.  I seldom shoot over 200 yards at night, so the little bit of extra velocity seems to work!

this is very accurate ammo.  I have shot it out to 900 yards and it is stable.
Link Posted: 12/30/2013 10:12:28 PM EDT
We (and sorry but I am unable to specify who 'we' are) have fired in excess of 500K rounds of Mk 262 the last few years, through a number of different weapons types, including M4s. Unfortunately I am at home on holidays and do not have access to detailed chronograph results. If anybody wants I can fill them in later .  To date there has been not one single documented complaint or failure report with Black Hills Mk 262.  Accuracy (when the shooter does his part of course) is sub-MOA.  Jeff Hoffman and his people at Black Hills have always been extremely helpful.
Link Posted: 12/31/2013 12:28:03 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DaveBNZ:
We (and sorry but I am unable to specify who 'we' are) have fired in excess of 500K rounds of Mk 262 the last few years, through a number of different weapons types, including M4s. Unfortunately I am at home on holidays and do not have access to detailed chronograph results. If anybody wants I can fill them in later .  To date there has been not one single documented complaint or failure report with Black Hills Mk 262.  Accuracy (when the shooter does his part of course) is sub-MOA.  Jeff Hoffman and his people at Black Hills have always been extremely helpful.
View Quote

If you get it later, I would be interested in seeing some velocities with barrel lengths other than 14.5, if any.

Sure the 5.56 T2 TAP is a little hotter, but the BH MK262 is much more accurate out of my guns. Inside my house neither speed nor accuracy will matter much, but it is nice knowing if I need to hit a "varmint" at 300 yards I could.  Both are very good cartridges.
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