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Page AR-15 » Ammunition
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Posted: 9/2/2023 10:34:59 AM EST
Down to my last case of ADI 69gr SMK(.223spec) and thought it would be a good time to maybe switch to something else. Bought some AAC Sabre Black Tip in both the 62 and 75hr variety to try. The 75 doesn't group all that well in my rifle but the 62gr is really good.

Between  the 69SMK or 62 Black Tip which would be the better choice for defense use and coyotes? Both choices shoot about the same from my rifle. The ADI is slightly more accurate but it costs a bit more and is about 200fps slower (published data).

ETA. My guns just don't seem to like the bullets heavier than 70gr. I've tried a few of the cheaper options for 75 and 77gr and they just aren't as good for me. Can't figure out why though because they are all 5.56 chambers with 1/7 twist.
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 11:08:32 AM EST
[#1]
69gr SMK doesn't penetrate enough (usually it's around 10" in gel). The ADI is a great match/target round though
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 11:41:50 AM EST
[#2]
I would be concerned about the 62gr saber blade lacking penetration. I haven’t seen any proper test on it so I could be wrong but medium weight Polymer Tip rounds tend to fall below the 12 inch minimum.
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 1:48:23 PM EST
[#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I would be concerned about the 62gr saber blade lacking penetration. I haven’t seen any proper test on it so I could be wrong but medium weight Polymer Tip rounds tend to fall below the 12 inch minimum.
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Watched a video from MrGunsandGear and another one from a southern guy. Both were using 16" barrels, one test was at 10yds and the other at 28yds. Penetration was 12.5-13"for the 72gr black tip. The permanent wound channel started around 3-4"in. They both said the bullets started fragmenting a little sooner than expected and they lost quite a bit of weight, almost half when recovered.

I haven't seen a video for the 69SMK I'm using.

ETA. Both claim the penetration will increase the farther out you are because I assume the velocity will slow down enough to retard expansion?
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 2:01:15 PM EST
[#4]
Clear gel does give deeper penetration depth than calibrated organic gel why I have suspicions on its defensive use. I was hoping Saber Blade was actually an expanding round with heigh weight retention like PSA website describes. Supposedly the Saber blade has a thicker jacket than say a VMax maybe it is capable of meeting the minimum.
Also I do believe 69gr SMK was on Doctor Roberts list of recommended defense loads if barrier penetration is not a concern. I believe Molon has also posted some ballistic gel test results on them from Doctor Roberts. I’ll see if I can find you some links unless someone else beats me to it.
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 2:01:52 PM EST
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Watched a video from MrGunsandGear and another one from a southern guy. Both were using 16" barrels, one test was at 10yds and the other at 28yds. Penetration was 12.5-13"for the 72gr black tip. The permanent wound channel started around 3-4"in. They both said the bullets started fragmenting a little sooner than expected and they lost quite a bit of weight, almost half when recovered.

I haven't seen a video for the 69SMK I'm using.

ETA. Both claim the penetration will increase the farther out you are because I assume the velocity will slow down enough to retard expansion?
View Quote

Their gel isn't calibrated, so I'd be a little wary with results that are on the bubble like that.
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 2:47:38 PM EST
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Clear gel does give deeper penetration depth than calibrated organic gel why I have suspicions on its defensive use. I was hoping Saber Blade was actually an expanding round with heigh weight retention like PSA website describes. Supposedly the Saber blade has a thicker jacket than say a VMax maybe it is capable of meeting the minimum.
Also I do believe 69gr SMK was on Doctor Roberts list of recommended defense loads if barrier penetration is not a concern. I believe Molon has also posted some ballistic gel test results on them from Doctor Roberts. I’ll see if I can find you some links unless someone else beats me to it.
View Quote

Ok, didn't know that about the different gel types. Never really cared about that stuff before, just figured any rifle round would put the hurt on something. Now I'm wanting to get more refined in my choices.

I know the 69gr SMK is on the defensive list sticky above but I assumed it was for a 5.56 pressured load and not .223. Maybe I should also give more thought about being able to shoot through barriers then I am. Also, the ADI load I'm using is not sealed at either end if my research is correct.

Just trying to find the perfect blend of terminal ballistics on two and four legged vermin, accuracy, and not so expensive that Im afraid to shoot it occasionally. Maybe I'm asking too much from one load.
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 3:34:53 PM EST
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Ok, didn't know that about the different gel types. Never really cared about that stuff before, just figured any rifle round would put the hurt on something. Now I'm wanting to get more refined in my choices.

I know the 69gr SMK is on the defensive list sticky above but I assumed it was for a 5.56 pressured load and not .223. Maybe I should also give more thought about being able to shoot through barriers then I am. Also, the ADI load I'm using is not sealed at either end if my research is correct.

Just trying to find the perfect blend of terminal ballistics on two and four legged vermin, accuracy, and not so expensive that Im afraid to shoot it occasionally. Maybe I'm asking too much from one load.
View Quote


No worries glad to be of help. Yes penetration will increase with distance. Some rounds can be push to fast and decrease penetration at close range. 77gr TMK fails to meet the minimum at close range in a 20 inch. My budget defense load has always been a 75gr BTHP but that probably wouldn’t work for you since your rifle doesn’t like em. Have you considered looking into 62gr Gold dot or Fusion? They do cost more pre round but are easy to find especially fusion and offer great performance. Wouldn’t hurt to try em out and then keep a few mags worth and supplement it with more 69gr SMK.
I don’t think you’re asking too much from one round. I had hoped the Saber Blades were as described by PSA. It would be the best defensive load at the price point.
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 3:50:06 PM EST
[#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


No worries glad to be of help. Yes penetration will increase with distance. Some rounds can be push to fast and decrease penetration at close range. 77gr TMK fails to meet the minimum at close range in a 20 inch. My budget defense load has always been a 75gr BTHP but that probably wouldn’t work for you since your rifle doesn’t like em. Have you considered looking into 62gr Gold dot or Fusion? They do cost more pre round but are easy to find especially fusion and offer great performance. Wouldn’t hurt to try em out and then keep a few mags worth and supplement it with more 69gr SMK.
I don’t think you’re asking too much from one round. I had hoped the Saber Blades were as described by PSA. It would be the best defensive load at the price point.
View Quote

I'll look into the gold dot or fusion rounds. I remember when the gold dot ammo was really cheap on PSA but I didn't buy any because at the time I was too cheap also. I do remember the PMC X-tac 77gr OTM round was pretty good through my rifle accuracy wise but wasn't better enough compared to the ADI to justify the cost in my mind, I didn't really think about terminal ballistics at the time.

I will admit the heavier stuff I've tried wasn't the most premium ammo so maybe that's the problem. Here's the heavy stuff I've tried so far

69 and 75gr OTM from PPU- both were terrible for accuracy

AAC Saber 75gr- accuracy wasn't what I wanted

PMC X-Tac 77ge OTM- good accuracy but pretty expensive, also kind of slow if I remember correctly.

ADI 69gr SMK- good accuracy and price point

Not really interested in the Black Hills stuff because it's too hard to find and probably the most expensive.
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 4:06:38 PM EST
[#9]
Why not the AAC 77gr OTM?
Link Posted: 9/2/2023 4:32:28 PM EST
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

I'll look into the gold dot or fusion rounds.
View Quote

Terminal ballistic properties of the 62/64 grain Gold Dot approaches that of the 62 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw and Nosler 64 grain Bonded Solid Base.  Accuracy wise, the 62 Gold Dot produces match grade accuracy when hand-loaded, and sub-1.5 MOA from the factory loads.

62 grain Gold Dot handload . . .





Speer LE 64 Grain Gold Dot:  Velocity, Accuracy and Terminal Ballistics






Speer has expanded its line of Gold Dot ammunition to include rifle ammunition in 223 Remington. The ammunition examined for this post is loaded with a 64 grain bonded soft point bullet that has less exposed lead at the meplat than Federal’s 62 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet that is used in their LE223T2 load.

The 64 grain Gold Dot bullet has a boat-tail and a cannelure. This load is charged with a ball powder that according to Speer is a “flash suppressed propellant.” The primers are sealed and crimped in place, however, there is no sealant at the case mouth.


















The 64 grain Gold Dot bullet has a nominal length of 0.825” and a specific gravity of 10.0. A barrel with a 1:9” twist should stabilize it quite well.





From ATK’s website:

“Like their handgun counterparts, the Gold Dot rifle bullets are constructed using Gold Dot technology. The process of joining the jacket and core one molecule at a time eliminates the potential for the leading cause of bullet failure—jacket/core separation. It also ensures impressive weight retention through barriers as tough as auto-glass.”

Manufacturers typically use bolt-action “test barrels” to obtain their advertised velocities for their ammunition. These test barrels are usually 24” long and often have minimum spec SAAMI chambers. These factors combine to give ammunition higher advertised velocities than the velocities that we actually obtain from our AR-15s. Also, due to its gas operating system, the AR-15 looses 20 fps or more of velocity compared to an equivalent barrel without a gas system.

Sierra test barrels

Shooting Times 2009



The 64 grain Gold Dot load was chronographed from a 20” Colt M16A2 barrel, a 16” Colt light-weight barrel and a 14.5” Colt M4A1 barrel. All of the barrels have chrome lining, NATO chambers and 1:7” twists. 10-shot strings of the load were fired over an Oehler 35-P chronograph with “proof screen” technology. All velocities listed are muzzle velocities as calculated from the instrumental velocities using Oehler’s Ballistic Explorer software program.

Each round was single-loaded and cycled into the chamber from a magazine fitted with a single-load follower. The bolt locked-back after each shot allowing the chamber to cool in between each shot. This technique was used to mitigate the possible influence of “chamber-soak” on velocity data. Each new shot was fired in a consistent manner after hitting the bolt release. Atmospheric conditions were monitored and recorded using a Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker.











Accuracy testing was conducted following my usual protocol of firing 10-shot groups from a concrete bench at a distance of 100 yards using my 24” Krieger barreled AR-15. This barrel has a 1:7.7” twist. The free-float rail of the rifle rested in a Sinclair Windage Benchrest and the PRS stock was stabilized in a Protektor bunny-ear rear bag. Wind conditions were monitored using a Wind Probe. Sighting was performed using a Leupold Competition Series scope with a mirage shade. The scope was adjusted to be parallax free at 100 yards.










Prior to testing the 64 grain Gold Dot load, I fired a 10-shot control group using hand-loaded 69 grain Sierra MatchKings. That group had an extreme spread of 0.86”. Three 10-shot groups of the Speer LE 64 grain Gold Dots fired in a row had extreme spreads that measured:

1.11”

0.91”

1.30”

for a 10-shot average extreme spread of 1.12”! I over-layed those three groups on each other using RSI Shooting Lab to form a 30-shot composite group. The composite group had a mean radius of 0.33”.





For comparison, previous testing of the Black Hills blue box 75 grain MHP load fired from the same set-up as above produced three 10-shot groups at 100 yards that had an average extreme spread of 1.14” and a mean radius of 0.37” for the 30-shot composite group.



Terminal Ballistic Properties of the 64 grain Gold Dot

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. G.K. Roberts, we now have some excellent answers to the questions of terminal ballistics pertaining to the Speer 64 grain Gold Dot LE load. The results shown below indicate the penetration of this load in bare ballistic gelatin as well as after having passed through auto-glass. Auto (safety) glass is one of the most difficult barriers (of those commonly tested) for 5.56mm/.223 Remington loads to penetrate and still perform adequately in ballistic gelatin.








Comparisons.




….

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