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Posted: 8/25/2003 4:03:54 PM EDT
Is this my best bet for a tactical load for a 1 in 9 barrel? Has anyone done any actual research on its fragmenting properties like they have for the 75 and 77 gr. loads? How does it compare to these two (minimum fragmentation velocity and fragmentation effect)? Also, what are people's opinions on blue box (remanufactured) vs. red box (new) Black Hills?

Thanks for your help
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 6:40:03 PM EDT
.223 Black Hills 68 gr BTHP Match velocity: 2615 fps penetration: 12.1" temporary cavity max diamater: 9.0cm recovered diameter: 0.39" recovered weight: 31.5 gr fragmentation: 53.6% .223 Federal 69 gr BTHP Match velocity: 2646 fps penetration: 14.7" temporary cavity max diameter: 10.0cm recovered diameter: 0.40" recovered weight: 27.5 gr fragmentation: 60.2% * The above .223 results were obtained with a 1/7 twist 16" barrel carbine fired into bare gel at a distance of 10 ft from the muzzle. This test was conducted by Dr. Gary Roberts and can be found in Wound Ballistics Review. 3(4):16-28, 1998 My advice is to pick the one that is most reliable and accurate in your weapon. If both are equal in this regard, pick the one that costs the least. Both of the above mentioned loads are very good. The 69 gr SMK load seems to have a slight edge in penetration, temporary cavity and total fragmentation. But the 68 gr has a shorter neck (depth of penetration when fragmentation begins) and this is important to many people. Basically, either will get the job done. Neither is quite as good as the 75/77 gr Hornady/Nosler bullets, but otherwise they perform as well as anything else out there. I personally use the 68 gr Black Hills blue box in my 1:9 twist carbines. Their reloads seem to be very good and I have no problem using them. And I hardly ever trust reloads for anything, so that speaks volumes about how much I like Black Hills ammo. Other acceptable loads for 1/9 twists barrels include the Winchester 64 gr JSP's (w/ cannelure). If you want barrier penetration, the Federal Tactical 62 gr bonded JSP (TBBC) or the Federal Premium 55 gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw are the best in this caliber. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 6:43:27 PM EDT
Also, let me add, the 68 gr Black Hills load seems to perform best when fired from barrels in the 14.5" to 16" range. If you have a tactical weapon with a 1:9 twist barrel shorter than this you might want to consider something else, such as the cannelured Winchester 64 gr Power Point. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 7:50:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2003 8:11:06 AM EDT by Kreutzberg]
Thanks. Mine is a 14.5 in Bushy, so I'll get a few boxes of each and try them out. So is there a magic velocity where these loads tend to fragment at like the 2700 rule for M193/M855? I think I heard 2100 somewhere, but that may be for something else.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 12:02:20 PM EDT
Hey CH, do you have the same numbers for the Nosler 77 and Hornady 75? It would be nice to see them side by side in a thread to help quantify what you are gaining by going to a 1/7 barrel.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 3:12:02 PM EDT
Bartholomew, I don't have anything for the 75/77 gr rounds from The Wound Ballistics Review. But from Tatjana and Brou's most recent test, they share much of the same type of data. Below is some of that data: It appears the Nosler 77 gr NATO pressure load from Black Hills penetrates to an average depth of 12.5". I think the SAAMI version penetrates an average of 13-14". The average largest recovered fragment was 34.2 grains (55.6% fragmentation) for the NATO load. They recorded a neck length around 1.6", which as I recall was nearly identical to the SAAMI pressure load tested earlier. The wound cavity was listed at 3.875" at a depth of 4-5". Now, here's the comparsion between the 77 gr NATO and SAAMI versions. It appears either will work very well at CQB distance and I suspect even the SAAMI version will still be fragmenting out past 100 yards, even from an M4 length barrel. Again, here's the comparison and I am borrowing this straight from Tatjana's post:
Comparison to SAAMI pressure 77 grain nosler (no cannelure): Recovered Weight: SAAMI 77gr: 74.2gr. NATO 77 gr: 73.7 gr. Fragmentation: SAAMI 77 gr: 58.3% NATO 77 gr: 55.6% Largest Recovered Fragment: SAAMI 77gr: 32.1gr. NATO 77 gr: 34.2 gr. Neck: SAAMI 77gr: 1.57" NATO 77gr: 1.60"
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If you want more in-depth information, just check out the post. It's still on the front page of this forum. It appears based on what has been presented here and elsewhere that both the 75 and 77 gr (whether NATO or SAAMI pressure) are a bit better than the 68 gr BH. It's not a huge difference, but big enough many would rather use it if they had a choice. The NATO load will obviously be better at longer ranges, but anything inside 100 yards should be handled well by either. But if I had a 1:9 twist barrel and didn't feel like spending money on a new one, I wouldn't be overly worried about using the 68 gr. I have a 1:9 twist Bushy and I just use the 68 gr as opposed to rebarreling. While the 75/77 gr loads are better, I feel the 68 is good enough. Therefore I don't worry about it. I hope this was of some help. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 5:05:54 PM EDT
(Edited in the same thing, just wanted to get it at the bottom) So is there a magic velocity where these loads tend to fragment at like the 2700 rule for M193/M855? I think I heard 2100 somewhere, but that may be for something else
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 8:09:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2003 8:15:00 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]
Originally Posted By Kreutzberg: (Edited in the same thing, just wanted to get it at the bottom) So is there a magic velocity where these loads tend to fragment at like the 2700 rule for M193/M855? I think I heard 2100 somewhere, but that may be for something else
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I don't think anyone has tested this load thoroughly enough to determine the exact cutoff point for fragmentation yet. I believe the 2100 fps number you are bringing up is for the 75/77 gr Hornady and Nosler bullets. But it may also apply to the 68 gr Hornady bullet as well. I can tell you that Dr. Gary Roberts has reported the 68 gr bullet in question is still fragmenting down in the 2350 fps velocity range. Again, this particular load was giving a velocity of 2615 fps 10 feet from the muzzle. So if you can locate the ballistic coefficient of this bullet, you may be able to determine pretty precisely at what distance the 2350 fps velocity will be reached. And again, I am not saying that the floor for fragmentation is 2350 fps, that just seems to be the minimum known velocity so far in which it is fragmenting. Basically, from 0-100 yards, I think this load will offer acceptable performance. I can't think of too many defensive shooting situations where the target would be farther away than that anyway. I hope this helps. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 8:22:24 AM EDT
FYI 2350fps at sea level's standard conditions, would be at 110 yards - given the above conditions(MV: 2615fps @ 10' and BC of .355)
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 10:04:56 AM EDT
Thanks Forest. Let me also add that the test gun had a 16" barrel. A 20" rifle might get you a few more yards. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 11:20:34 AM EDT
Thanks for your help once again.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 11:22:00 AM EDT
Dr. Roberts has stated the 77 grain Nosler is fragmenting dramatically at 2300 fps. When loaded to NATO pressure this results in about a 150 yard range for a 14.5" barrel. I assume its still fragmenting at 2100 fps which is close to 200 yards but not as dramatically.
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 9:55:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DevL: Dr. Roberts has stated the 77 grain Nosler is fragmenting dramatically at 2300 fps. When loaded to NATO pressure this results in about a 150 yard range for a 14.5" barrel. I assume its still fragmenting at 2100 fps which is close to 200 yards but not as dramatically.
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I have seen VERY good fragmentation on the Nosler 77 OTM with cannelure at LEAST down to 2170 fps. Extrapolating I suspect that 2100 is a good floor to work with and MAY even be conservative.
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