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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is useful information spread throughout this topic regarding six8 bullet terminal performance. As it has grown in length, these links have been added to take you directly to pages where new bullets and additional testing were added.

100 Yard Terminal Testing; Barnes 85gr TSX & 95gr TTSX, Sierra 90gr HP, Hornady 110gr V-Max & HPBT and 120gr SST
starts with this post below the links.

100 Yard Terminal Testing; Nosler 100gr and 110gr Accubond
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=362065&viewfull=1#post362065

200 Yard Terminal Testing; Barnes 85gr TSX & 95gr TTSX, Nosler 100gr & 110gr AccuBond, 120gr Hornady SST
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=380407&viewfull=1#post380407

300 Yard Terminal Testing; Barnes 95gr TTSX, Nosler 100gr & 110gr AccuBond, 120gr Hornady SST
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=381963&viewfull=1#post381963

100 & 200 Yard Terminal Testing; Barnes 85gr TSX, Nosler 85gr E-Tip, Sierra 110gr Pro-Hunter, Berger 130gr VLD,
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=416527&viewfull=1#post416527

Round 2 -> 100 & 200 Yard Terminal Testing; Hornady 110gr HP and HPBT, Nosler 115gr Match
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=417756&viewfull=1#post417756

Round 2 -> 300 Yard Terminal Testing; Nosler 85gr E-Tip, Barnes 95gr TTSX, Sierra 110gr ProHunter, Nosler 110gr AccuBond, Federal 115gr Fusion MSR
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=438667&viewfull=1#post438667

Comparison: 100gr & 110gr Nolser AccuBond with 115gr Federal Fusion MSR
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=438749&viewfull=1#post438749

Round 2 -> 200 Yard Terminal Testing; Sierra 90gr HP, Hornady 110gr V-Max & HP, Sierra 110gr ProHunter, Federal 115gr Fusion MSR
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=444275&viewfull=1#post444275

Round 2 -> 300 Yard Terminal Testing; Sierra 90gr HP, Hornady 110gr V-Max, HP & BTHP, Nosler 115gr Match
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=452605&viewfull=1#post452605

Federal Fusion MSR/GD Bullet Performance Comparison - 90gr Gold Dot, 115gr and 120gr Fusion MSR
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=453355&viewfull=1#post453355

Benefits of Ballistic Tips (or what happens when you remove them on monolithic bullets)
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=455172&viewfull=1#post455172

100 Yard Terminal Performance Testing; 110gr Barnes TTSX
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=455176&viewfull=1#post455176

100-300 Yard Terminal Performance Testing; 110gr Barnes TSX
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=456025&viewfull=1#post456025

All Copper Bullet Comparison; 85gr Nosler E-Tip, 85gr Barnes TSX, 95gr Barnes TTSX, 110gr Barnes TSX
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=456500&viewfull=1#post456500

What Defines Bullet Expansion? An analysis of monolithic and lead-core bullet performance.
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=457110&viewfull=1#post457110

Effects of Barrel Twist Rate on Bullet Expansion.
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=633586&viewfull=1#post633586

Round 3 - > 130gr Bullets
130gr Bullet Testing; Hornady SST, Sierra Pro-Hunter, Nosler Ballistic Tip and E-Tip http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=471451&viewfull=1#post471451
130gr Berger VLD http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=416533&viewfull=1#post416533
130gr Nosler Partition http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=533428&viewfull=1#post533428
130gr Sierra GameKing http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=562847&viewfull=1#post562847
130gr Federal Fusion, Remington Core-Lokt, and Speer Hot-Core http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=616848&viewfull=1#post616848
130gr Speer BTSP http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=628630&viewfull=1#post628630
130 Hornady InterLock and Woodleigh PP SN http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=681588&viewfull=1#post681588
130 Federal Flat-Base http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=946545&viewfull=1#post946545
130 Cutting Edge MTH http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=959122&viewfull=1#post959122

400 Yard Terminal Performance Testing
- The Challenges of Longer Range Shooting
- Varmint/Target Bullets: 110gr Hornady HPBT & V-Max, 115gr Nosler Match CC
- Hunting Bullets: 90gr Gold Dot, 95gr Barnes TTSX, 110gr Barnes TSX, 110gr Nosler Accubond, 120gr Fusion MSR, 120gr Hornady SST
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=549061&viewfull=1#post549061

Comparison: Nosler 90gr Bonded Core vs Federal 90gr Gold Dot
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=561863&viewfull=1#post561863

GS Customer Bullets for the 6.8 SPC: 80gr and 99gr HV
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=578650&viewfull=1#post578650

Hornady's New 100gr GMX
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=581055&viewfull=1#post581055

Comparison: Hornady 100gr Soft Point vs Remington 100gr Pointed Soft Point
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=594765&viewfull=1#post594765

Sellier & Bellot 110 FMJ
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=605488&viewfull=1#post605488

Remington 115gr Ultra-Bond
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=616848&viewfull=1#post616848

Lehigh Defense 100gr Controlled Chaos (CC)
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=642566&viewfull=1#post642566

Comparison: 110gr Hornady V-MAX and Sellier & Ballot Plastic Tip Special (PTS)
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=681671&viewfull=1#post681671

Cutting Edge 120gr & 130gr Match, Tactical, Hunting (MTH)
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=959122&viewfull=1#post959122

Speer 90gr TNT HP
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=976985&viewfull=1#post976985

Cavity Back Bullets 105gr & 120gr MKZ
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=983682&viewfull=1#post983682

Nosler 110gr Flat-Base Soft Point (FBSP)
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=1021418&viewfull=1#post1021418

Cavity Back Bullets 95 CB Tech
http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?33178-6-8-SPC-Bullet-Performance&p=1072809&viewfull=1#post1072809
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Original Post
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I had the opportunity to take six 6.8 SPC bullet combinations to the range and test terminal performance. My goal was to verify the bullet I would be using for deer and hogs. I tested performance using a bullet “trap” that I have refined and used for a couple of years. The trap consists of a gallon jug of water (typically an empty milk jug) in front of a box of phone books and magazines. The water jug provides the hydraulic medium to effect bullet expansion/mushrooming. The box catches the bullets and provides relative penetration performance. I’ve used this bullet trap with .223 Rem to .300 Win Mag and have seen similar terminal performance results on elk I have harvested with a .270 Win. With that said, I realize this method of testing is not as good a medium as ballistic gelatin but that’s a whole other story and not very convenient to use. More details on the bullet trap can be found in this on-line article. Note, I now use a single phone book in front of multiple magazines like G&A, Shooting Times, etc.

http://www.huntingnut.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=84

These are the bullets and their respective muzzle velocities shot from and 18-inch PSA SS SPR barrel. There was a 15+ mph headwind and the temperature was 48F.
85gr Barnes TSX - 2815 fps (31.0gr AA2200)
90gr Sierra HP - 2775 fps (30.5gr AA2200)
95gr Barnes TTSX - 2805 fps (29.6gr AA2200)
110gr Hornady V-Max - 2615 fps (factory)
110gr Hornady HPBT - 2640 fps (factory)
120gr Hornady SST - 2525 fps (27.5gr AA2200)

Caution - these loads worked in my rifle but this is no guarantee that they will work safely in yours.

Here is a link to a picture of the 6.8mm (0.277”) bullets used with some .270 Win bullets I typically load on the right side for reference.
 

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The results were more than interesting as you can see in the picture below. Note, I had only worked up loads for the 95 TTSX. All the other bullets arrived from Midway the day before and I loaded up enough rounds at a safe powder charge to put 2 on paper to judge POI then one into the trap. I plan to work up my loads for accuracy and velocity prior to repeating this test at longer range.

85gr Barnes TSX - perfect expansion. After testing numerous Barnes and Hornady GMX monolithic bullets in various calibers, I expected nothing less. Every one of these bullets I have shot has had reliable and flawless expansion with 100% weight retention. The penetration was not quite through the phone book (note, the velocity is less than what I would expect after I develop this load).

90gr Sierra HP - completely fragmented, did not penetrate into the box of paper, and was not recovered. This wasn’t surprising for a varmint HP.

95gr Barnes TTSX - this is the bullet I had planned to hunt with before I even started my 6.8 project. I bought the others to have a comparison and learn more about my newly built rifle. This bullet did not disappoint and shows why it has such an excellent reputation in the 6.8 community. It mushroomed to 0.556” – the largest I have ever recovered including .308 caliber bullets. It was fully expanded and as you can see was shorter than the 85gr TSX. It penetrated through the phone book and one magazine. Note, my .270 130gr GMX bullet penetrates through 7 more magazine issues. The 95gr Barnes TTSX will be my go-to bullet for hunting deer with a 6.8 SPC.

110gr Hornady V-Max - the bullet flattened, barely made it through the water jug, and was laying on the ground in front of the box. Only 52 grains of the bullet remained. IMO, not the best bullet for deer or hogs.

110gr Hornady HPBT - fragmented and went ½-way into the phone book. The jacket separated from the lead core and the largest fragment recovered was 32gr. I plan to use this one as my general purpose/target shooting bullet. Just wanted to see what it would do.

120gr Hornady SST – this was a surprise for me. I thought this bullet at this low a velocity would have retained more weight. The jacket separated from the lead core and the largest fragment recovered was 30gr. It was hard to distinguish from the Hornady HPBT. The 30gr lead fragment did make it through the phone book and into 3 magazines, however, I have often found a projectile with a smaller diameter will penetrate further than a larger diameter projectile with more energy, e.g., I’ve had a 270 130gr GMX bullet out penetrate the a 300 Win Mag 165gr GMX. I anticipate this bullet will perform better in a longer range test when it is at a lower velocity.

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Other Observations:

- The expansion must be very rapid for both the TSX and TTSX as the jugs jumped over 10 feet away while all the other bullets only moved their jugs 2 or 3 feet.

- Because the 95gr TTSX expansion was so complete, I am not going to be concerned if I need to drop velocity a bit to achieve better accuracy for my particular rifle. Based on this performance, I believe this bullet will open up/mushroom at the advertised 1600-1700 fps.

- There were many small lead fragments, more like flakes embedded in the paper that were not recoverable. I know that fragmentation is lethal, however, I have found that penetration and the path of penetration is not always reliable or predictable with lead-core bullets that fragment like this. I’ve seen a Core-Lokt shot from a .300 Win Mag fragment and not even penetrate the outside of the cardboard box. I also don’t like to lose meat to lead fragments. I’ve watched a butcher remove an elk’s shoulder and toss it because it was full of lead fragments. I have also lost the far shoulder too many times when I hunted deer with fragmenting lead-core bullets.

- I would expect that a bullet like the Nosler Accubond with is bonded lead core would have retained its core and ultimately had better weight retention. I may have to look for an opportunity to test one of these bullets.

The testing isn’t over. I need to work up loads optimized for my rifle and head back to test at longer ranges, likely 300 yards. That may not be for a couple of months will all the activities coming up.
 

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Interesting test, thanks for posting.

ETA: I fixed the photo links
 

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Cool test. If you want some Accubonds to test, send me a PM and I will mail some to you. I have both the 100 and 110gr.
 

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Good post, thanks for your effort. I love the 95's...
ETA: At what distance did you set the bullet trap? The link had the trap set at 100 yds.
 

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Good work (on the test and the report back). Thank you for taking the time to share it.
 

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Thanks for the great info. I know it took some time to do. I've done the phone book thing a few times myself.
 

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Cool test. If you want some Accubonds to test, send me a PM and I will mail some to you. I have both the 100 and 110gr.
Dittoes!!
Beat me to it.

EDT: The 120SST is interesting to me. Those are currently in my mag. I had issues with my 110 Acubond cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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yes. This test was at 100 yards. The next test will be at 250 to 300 yards.
And you will have Accubonds to test too. Dropped some in the mail for you yesterday.

Looking forward to seeing the results and both ranges.
 

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And you will have Accubonds to test too. Dropped some in the mail for you yesterday.Looking forward to seeing the results and both ranges.
Anxiously awaiting the test results for accubonds as well. The SST performance surprised me- I'll reserve them for whitetail and paper. Now need to get some Barnes or Accubond (pending test results) for piggies. You guys rock on this forum- thanks for the great info and write ups!
 

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Thanks for the effort you put into this post. Very informative. The SST really did look like the 110 HPBT in the pic. I took a deer with the 120 SST last year and am hoping to take one with a 100 Accubond this season.
 

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Great test Xman. The SST results aren't surprising if you look at their construction. They are Hornady's Interlock bullet with a polymer ballistic tip instead of the exposed lead tip. I used interlocks for over 10 years in 30-06 and 7mag and had to stop using them when I had poor performance on 3 different deer. They did exactly what your test showed. Twice I had a 154gr not exit at 7 mag velocity. I'm convinced that you can't bond a jacket and lead core together with a simple crimped groove around the bullet. The Hornady interbonds are a different story. They hold together great, but they don't offer them in a weight suitable for 6.8 . I'm an Accubond fan, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with their weight retention.
 
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