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Factory hornandy SST doesn’t group well out my 16” either. I have a few hundred of these projectiles but haven’t tried loading them yet.
I concur on powder choise for the same reasons . That just goes to prove no two identical barrels are truly identical . My 12.5" and 18" both shoot 120 SST at or less than moa but my wife's 16" 5r ARP shoots them into tiny little groups . As matter of fact the best 5 shot group I ever shot was with it at 200 yards . I thought it was a fluke so I tried it the next day and almost duplicated it . Hers doesn't like 90 grains and she likes the SST so much she won't consider cavity back .

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Both the 105 and 120 MKZ ammo is loaded to what folks here have been loading for over 4 years now.
I intentionally had DHA load 2.285 COAL (site has a disclaimer to this fact) to duplicate what handloaders are using.
The 120 is loaded to 27.5 grains of AA2200, the signature loads everyone has been using.
The 105 at 29.5
The pressure trace data shows that to be right around 57000 PSI.
Anything higher would not be good considering freebore differences in barrels.

As Xman said a 3 shot assessment is really not a good indication.
This is a first run of ammo. We want feedback, I can adjust anything on the next (only 20 boxes left in this one) if the need to do so surfaces.

As to the 2.285 COAL this was intentional to keep the pressures up and increase accuracy with less jump to the lands. SSA used to load 130 Bergers at 2.30.
I have not tested in DH mags, but have tested in PRI, CPD and ASC.

Which crono do you have? Was is sunny? Cloudy? Mix of both? This also alters readings.

We are looking for more feedback so please continue.
It was partly sunny, I have the following chrono: Competition Electronics ProChrono DLX Chronograph (midwayusa.com).

DH mags are a no-go for this load, my dad has a bunch of DH mags and they will not fit the 120 MKZ's loaded by DHA for CBB. But they fit and feed fine in my ASC 25rd mags which I let him borrow for our range day. I intend to re-test the 120 MKZ with 7-shot strings which is what I normally do, however I was pressed for time and wanted to do some gel testing as well and not waste ammo given it's cost and scarcity, so I decided to move on to gel testing all of the 6.8 loads and some 5.56 loads along with .308 and 9mm.

Neck length at these velocities (about 2350 FPS average assuming it doesn't get better with more shots in a string) was about 3.5 inches, so this load would be good for large bodied game, but not ideal for tactical applications or deer unless maybe quartering away.

110gr Hornady OTM produced a 2" neck length, very good and VMax was even better with a 1" neck length. Both of those loads would be ideal for tactical applications. The wound track of both Hornady loads (and a 95gr TTSX loaded by Wilson) was about 8" long all with similar neck lengths and wounding, the MKZ however produced a wound track nearly 12" long before it exited the 16" block, which is why I say it's a very good deep penetrating load, even at my slightly lower than desired velocity.

I never bought the MKZ for tactical applications, I got them for difficult to kill medium to medium-large game as a deep penetrating load for use at longer distances and I think it will still work very well for that based on the gel results even at around 2350~2400 FPS average muzzle velocity.

I was just surprised that I was getting as low of velocities as I did from my 16" given the loads +P nature and the results I've had with other loads in both of my 16" barrels. The only load that has consistently underperformed on both 16" barrels was the heavier 115gr Prvi which is why I'm starting to think the 115 to 120 gr bullets like longer barrels given that load was tested on both an ARP and DD 16" barrel with nearly identical results and then compared to a 20" ARP barrel.

For reference, the following are listed velocities by the mfg. for 16" SPC II barrels:

2570 FPS for 110gr OTM
2575 FPS for 110gr Black (VMax)
2460 FPS for 120gr SST
2550 FPS for 110gr TSX
2600 FPS for 95gr TSX (I did a gel test on this but forgot to chrono it, wound track in the gel looked indistinguishable from VMax or OTM, but had a neck length as short as VMax)

Here's a summary of what I've tested and the results, all of them 7 shot strings or more (a few of them were 10 shot strings from the Prvi):

16" ARP 3R 1:11 Scout Profile (mid-gas) -
2591 FPS average from 110gr Hornady OTM factory
2405 FPS from 115gr Prvi BTHP factory
2500 FPS from 110gr Wilson Combat TSX

16" Daniels Defense 5R 1:11 SPC II (mid-gas) -
2599 FPS average from 110gr Hornady OTM factory
2415 FPS from 115gr Prvi BTHP factory
2563 FPS from 110gr Hornady Black (VMax) factory
2650 FPS from 110gr Nossler (loaded by DHA), this is a +P load

20" ARP 3R 1:11 (rifle-gas) -
2575 FPS from 115gr Prvi BTHP factory
2661 FPS from 120gr MKZ (loaded by DHA) from CBB

Next time I go out, I intend to test 5 shot strings for the 95gr TTSX and 110gr TSX in my 16" DD barrel. Both of those loads are for SPC II chambers, which is what Wilson uses. Why? Because I have 80 rounds of each and I'd like to keep at least 3 twenty five round mags available....so I get 5 test shots of each.

Then I will test two sets of 7 round strings of 120 gr MKZ to see if there's any noticeable affects of barrel heating (which typically has been very small) and to get a better average. I may even try one set with the gas port fully closed just incase I'm getting early unlocking but the carrier speed doesn't seem to indicate that as ejection was in the 3-4 window, the brass is freakishly clean and there's no flattening of the primer pocket (aka no indication of excessive chamber pressure).

It was partly cloudy but then transitioned to sunny during testing, so it may be possible my chrono readings were indeed off that day as I didn't have the sun guards on the chrono.
 

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It was partly sunny, I have the following chrono: Competition Electronics ProChrono DLX Chronograph (midwayusa.com).

DH mags are a no-go for this load, my dad has a bunch of DH mags and they will not fit the 120 MKZ's loaded by DHA for CBB. But they fit and feed fine in my ASC 25rd mags which I let him borrow for our range day. I intend to re-test the 120 MKZ with 7-shot strings which is what I normally do, however I was pressed for time and wanted to do some gel testing as well and not waste ammo given it's cost and scarcity, so I decided to move on to gel testing all of the 6.8 loads and some 5.56 loads along with .308 and 9mm.

Neck length at these velocities (about 2350 FPS average assuming it doesn't get better with more shots in a string) was about 3.5 inches, so this load would be good for large bodied game, but not ideal for tactical applications or deer unless maybe quartering away.

110gr Hornady OTM produced a 2" neck length, very good and VMax was even better with a 1" neck length. Both of those loads would be ideal for tactical applications. The wound track of both Hornady loads (and a 95gr TTSX loaded by Wilson) was about 8" long all with similar neck lengths and wounding, the MKZ however produced a wound track nearly 12" long before it exited the 16" block, which is why I say it's a very good deep penetrating load, even at my slightly lower than desired velocity.

I never bought the MKZ for tactical applications, I got them for difficult to kill medium to medium-large game as a deep penetrating load for use at longer distances and I think it will still work very well for that based on the gel results even at around 2350~2400 FPS average muzzle velocity.

I was just surprised that I was getting as low of velocities as I did from my 16" given the loads +P nature and the results I've had with other loads in both of my 16" barrels. The only load that has consistently underperformed on both 16" barrels was the heavier 115gr Prvi which is why I'm starting to think the 115 to 120 gr bullets like longer barrels given that load was tested on both an ARP and DD 16" barrel with nearly identical results and then compared to a 20" ARP barrel.

For reference, the following are listed velocities by the mfg. for 16" SPC II barrels:

2570 FPS for 110gr OTM
2575 FPS for 110gr Black (VMax)
2460 FPS for 120gr SST
2550 FPS for 110gr TSX
2600 FPS for 95gr TSX (I did a gel test on this but forgot to chrono it, wound track in the gel looked indistinguishable from VMax or OTM, but had a neck length as short as VMax)

Here's a summary of what I've tested and the results, all of them 7 shot strings or more (a few of them were 10 shot strings from the Prvi):

16" ARP 3R 1:11 Scout Profile (mid-gas) -
2591 FPS average from 110gr Hornady OTM factory
2405 FPS from 115gr Prvi BTHP factory
2500 FPS from 110gr Wilson Combat TSX

16" Daniels Defense 5R 1:11 SPC II (mid-gas) -
2599 FPS average from 110gr Hornady OTM factory
2415 FPS from 115gr Prvi BTHP factory
2563 FPS from 110gr Hornady Black (VMax) factory
2650 FPS from 110gr Nossler (loaded by DHA), this is a +P load

20" ARP 3R 1:11 (rifle-gas) -
2575 FPS from 115gr Prvi BTHP factory
2661 FPS from 120gr MKZ (loaded by DHA) from CBB

Next time I go out, I intend to test 5 shot strings for the 95gr TTSX and 110gr TSX in my 16" DD barrel. Both of those loads are for SPC II chambers, which is what Wilson uses. Why? Because I have 80 rounds of each and I'd like to keep at least 3 twenty five round mags available....so I get 5 test shots of each.

Then I will test two sets of 7 round strings of 120 gr MKZ to see if there's any noticeable affects of barrel heating (which typically has been very small) and to get a better average. I may even try one set with the gas port fully closed just incase I'm getting early unlocking but the carrier speed doesn't seem to indicate that as ejection was in the 3-4 window.

It was partly cloudy but then transitioned to sunny during testing, so it may be possible my chrono readings were indeed off that day as I didn't have the sun guards on the chrono.
"not ideal for deer " I believe hundreds of examples of superb performance on whitetails and even coyotes trump gel test . The other two bullets you gel tested are have pretty much been proven not to be great deer loads because of early fragmentation .

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"not ideal for deer " I believe hundreds of examples of superb performance on whitetails and even coyotes trump gel test . The other two bullets you gel tested are have pretty much been proven not to be great deer loads because of early fragmentation .

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Yes indeed, hundreds of real world kills on game.
Professional yote hunters using them because they open faster than anything else from the 6.8 on yotes.
I think ill take 5 years of confirmed quick kills over gel tests. Which by they way we have done as well.

I also have crono tests from the exact same crono he is using. Ironically DHA uses the same optical crono.
Im going to say user error due to not using the guards the crono was designed to have in place.
I'll question everything from someone not using guards on an optical crono.

I'll be willing to bet all this is from someone thats never even used our bullets on game yet is stating unfounded opinions.
Perhaps all of it should be taken with a grain of salt.

As to non tactical use I've yet to hear of a situation where naked assailants were encountered.
Because comparing pure gel tests and making that assumption without considering clothing or gear is ludicrous.

Which gel for that matter? Clear gel? FBI quality gel or homemade knox gel?
Gel temps? Test temps? Gel hot from the sun?
A whole bunch of absent factors here.

You will see 30 to 40 fps per inch in the 6.8 using 2200, from 12.5 to 20 in barrels. From the same rifling profile, Period.
4 groove, poly, 3R and 5R all make a difference in engraving friction.
There is a whole lot of conjecture without facts and conditions going on in this thread.
As well as errant testing methods.

I congratulate the efforts. However there is to much missing for the assumptions being made.
I will stand by the statement that there is no better bullet available for the 6.8, in any game. 2 legged or 4.
We dont need gel tests or conjecture. We have 5 years of thousands of proven kills under our belt at this point.
From Yotes to Elk, Armadillos to huge hogs ( yea Armadillos lol) I think that speaks miles for CBB performance on game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Clear ballistics 10% FBI spec gel, in the shade (under trees). Gel was never in direct sunlight and kept in the boxes / bags until used. Gel testing was done in the shade to prevent heating while chrono testing was done in a different area (we had to move at one point). The gel doesn't even begin to melt until 110F. Ambient was in the mid 80's.

Distance for gel testing and for chrono was 10 feet. As I stated, the day started out as overcast, but then became sunny as the day moved on. The chrono manual specifically states that for over cast you do NOT use the sun shades on the chrono. I simply wasn't paying attention every moment of the day weather a cloud was blocking the sunlight or if it was getting sunny again as I was pressed for time, so I can't verify if the sun affected the readings for the MKZ factory +P load that may have resulted in erroneous readings.

I can say with certainty the chrono graphs for OTM and VMax, done at a later time are accurate as they replicate previous tests on heavy over cast days which I've now done a few times to see how consistent the load was over a variety of temperatures / humidity levels. The results are very close from three different days and temperatures with those loads in both ARP and DD barrels.

I would beg to differ on the deer performace of OTM or VMax according to DHA and other examples I've seen including an entire thread on this forum for OTM's use as a general purpose hunting load. VMax is a very popular load for deer according to DHA (I literally spoke on the phone with them) despite it's marketing and there's a whole thread on the OTM's effectiveness for a variety of game (before Hornady stopped making it) including deer. There are also a bunch of posts of the S&B 110gr BTHP used on deer, the bullet is actually made by Hornady for S&B, says right on their website. They market that frag round, basically a VMax bullet, as a medium game load, not as a varmint / small game load.

You don't get an exit with those loads for deer typically, but it dumps all of it's energy and completely destroys the organs in the chest cavity for a DRT shot with adequate placement with great consistency. And penetration in my gel testing was over 16" with every load I tested (OTM, VMax, MKZ, TTSX, Nossler bonded HP). Obviously with any load, shot placement is more important and any load can fail to expand for various reasons.

Some prefer an exit wound produced by MKZ, 110gr Nossler or a 115gr Soft Point, others prefer one load they can use on a variety of game from small to mid or even for home defense with early fragmentation and complete energy expenditure to maximize the chances of DRT effect.

If a bullet is exiting the body mass, it has NOT expended all of it's energy into the target, meaning there is potential damage it could have done but didn't. For tracking purposes, that's what the extra energy is being used for, to create that exit wound and blood trail, which is still useful in that regard. For actually killing the game, it's being wasted as the energy is not transferred into the target, thus not doing as much damage as it could, thus reducing the chance of an immediate effect.

That doesn't mean it's not lethal or highly effective, you can kill a deer with a .22 Long with a shot to the spine at close range, it's a very common poacher caliber in South America because it doesn't mess up the pelts. But just because it's lethal doesn't mean it's ideal for a given application in all regards. Obviously other than for poaching, .22 Long is very much NOT suited for deer hunting or tactical applications etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Based on my 10% FBI Spec gel (these are brand new blocks right from Clear Ballistics, never shot before or remolded), the MKZ at the velocity of impact (about 2350 FPS) opened after 3.5" (neck length) of penetration while 110gr OTM and VMax were 2" and 1" respectively. 95gr TTSX (loaded by Wilson Combat) was also 1" as was 110gr Nossler all of which mirrored the wounding of OTM and VMax. I doubt you could tell the difference of which bullet hit the target after you gut it save for the fact that the frag loads leave small fragments unlike the monolithic TTSX. Yet 95gr TTSX is known as a really good hog load, yet it opened up as early as VMax...

In my Dad's 20" ARP 3R barreled upper, the 120MKZ behaved very similarly to when we shot it from my 16" DD barreled upper even at the higher muzzle velocity of 2661 FPS he was getting, opening a little earlier at 3". We tested 120 MKZ out of both our barrels in two different gel blocks with similar results and those results indicate a deeper penetrating load not well suited to tactical applications, but ideal for tough to kill game where deeper penetration is needed or for applications where you want an exit wound for tracking.

I wouldn't take any of my comments as an "attack" on the MKZ projectile design or effectiveness which seems to be how it was taken. It's an excelled load which is why I purchased it and no, I have not used this load yet for hunting live game (only gel tests at this point) and no, gel testing is not 100% of the real world and I never suggested that.

But neither are anecdotal accounts of "well it's killed thousands of deer over x years" yada yada yada. Those arguments have been made for decades by proponents of various handgun calibers and hunting cartridges. We all know where those arguments go. Every major manufacturer out there now uses gel testing as a baseline, including the US Military who has killed more living things than all of us combined. It's a reasonable proxy for the expected average performance and should not be dismissed just because it doesn't show you what you want.

MKZ, 110gr Nossler, VMax are all lethal on deer. Each has different properties making each one more or less ideal for a given application and size / type of deer. But if you hit a vital organ, it's going to die. The question is, how fast and do you want or need an exit. What is ideal or deer however may not be ideal against human enemy combatants due to physiology and technology (clothing, barriers, chest rigs etc.) that deer don't have / use.

5.56 FMJ (XM193 and M855) has killed more people than there are deer on the planet, including terrorists wearing chest rigs filled with AK mags (barrier performance) hopped up on opiates. Various 5.56 loads have taken many deer as well by hunters in states without caliber limits. That doesn't make 5.56 an optimal choice for tactical applications or hunting deer.

Lethal, yes, but ideal, no, based on its known limitations and other factors such as immediacy of effect, tracking etc. The torso of the deer around my area are no thicker than that of a human and clock in at about 100 to 125 lbs max, so a typical broad side shot would favor loads that open more rapidly like a tactical load.

Perhaps I should have clarified a bit more as I think my comments were taken out of the context I intended. I have no doubt MKZ would still kill that sized game or be lethal against a bad guy, even if not expending 100% of it's energy, but I may not get as many DRT hits due to the fact it's not dumping 100% of it's energy and opening a bit late unless it's behaving very differently in game than in the gel. The deer in my area are not large, 75 to at most 125 lbs and fairly thin. Lots of doh's.

I would wager that larger deer in the 200lb range (maybe down in Georgia for example) with much thicker torsos would require slower opening loads with deeper penetration and 120gr MKZ would work the best there, or for hogs which typically have thick torsos and heavy bone structure, but we have nothing like around here except on rare occasion (regarding the deer). Mostly yotes and smallish white tail along with a variety of small nuisance critters like *****, ground hogs etc.

And for tactical applications however, especially civilian home defense, exit is bad as it increases risk of hitting a bystander significantly and reduces the chance of immediate performance given human physiology which is very different from deer or hogs, leaving the bad guy more time to injure / kill you or a loved one.

Also the range plays a big role, so given the very low opening velocity, MKZ would easily out perform OTM or VMax at the limits of range because neither of those frag rounds will frag past 300 (OTM) to 400 yards (VMax) based on XMan's testing, but MKZ will still open up at those ranges. Is there anything I've said that is unrealistic or way off base that warrants such a response against my competence or intelligence? I have provided more actual verified testing data than the majority of people on this forum, both my own test data and particularly from some of the most reputable sources in the world regarding load performance.

The above post is in no uncertain terms claiming I'm incompetent because the results were not as good as one wanted them to be in ballistic gel from two different barrels, a 16" 5R 1:11 Daniels and a 20" 3R 1:11 ARP. Even if the chrono was off due to too much sunlight...that' doesn't change the literal behavior in gel we tested twice, in two different brand new 10% FBI spec blocks from Clear Ballistics. It is what it is, just like the velocities I'm getting (which I will verify and post back once I have time to test full 7 shot strings). I will be sure to be uber careful of the chrono conditions and setup just to make sure there's no doubt next time on the velocity, but I'm not holding my breath, this is just the level of performance I get from this barrel and this load.

The entire thread was started primarily because the muzzle velocities I recorded were lower than expected, especially given the performance I get from other loads such as 110gr OTM, 110gr Black (VMax), 95gr TTSX, 110gr Nossler loaded by DHA etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Regarding tactical applications, the US Military seems to think that the OTM loads tested (115gr and 110gr, both Hornady) were quite ideal for "non-naked" bad guys. See attached. They also state that a neck length of 2" or LESS is ideal but up to 3" is permissible, which in my testing MKZ produced a 3.5" neck length from my rifle and 3" from my dad's before opening up, making it not well suited for the application.

Just because I'm suggesting it's not well suited for one application doesn't mean I'm inferring it's a bad projectile design or ineffective or even non-lethal. But the best results are from the best tool for the job. MKZ absolutely has applications it's stellar in, just not tactical applications based on the gel tests and highly reputable testing that I've gathered over the years which have determined ideal terminal performance on human enemy combatants.

But again, it really did perform as I expected in gel, figuring it's a heavier monolithic it should have good deep penetration performance, I'm just not getting the muzzle velocity I had expected. I intended this for use in deep penetration applications and for longer ranges and in that it should excel even at the lower than expected velocity.

Maybe XMan could work up some "slow loads" to see how it does down at 1500 to 1400 FPS range if he has time. I would do it myself, but currently I don't have the equipment or experience for hand loading so I only shoot factory ammunition.
 

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Sorry for this little interjection and not meant to hijack the conversation, but it is nice when two men can have a civil discussion. Sometimes it is easy to take things the wrong way on the internet and easy to attack. The reason the 6.8 Forums is so nice is because the men here seem helpful and not snarky as on other boards. Also, yall don't mind someone mentioning another caliber and welcome the idea there is sometimes more than one way to skin a cat. Thanks to both men above! Continue on...
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
I'll put it this way, I wouldn't want get shot by anything from .22 Long up to .50 BMG...all bullets can kill with the right shot placement. Heck, my pops and I did some testing on arrows from cross bow. I forget the model, but it produced some of the higher velocities in the 300 FPS + range for 100gr arrows and was an expensive unit. With a razor broad head, that's one nasty wound. Yet that arrow only delivers a little over 30 ft-lbs of energy....even a lowly .22 Long delivers quite a bit more KE at the muzzle.

I wouldn't consider a cross bow or even compound bow optimal even if it's lethal for anything but hunting. And unless it's a CNS it, what ever game gets that arrow will probably still run away some distance or if it were ever used for self defense, the perp would be very loudly screaming in pain (in some situations, adrenaline or narcotics could enable them to continue to fight) until they bleed out absent immediate medical attention. Again, lethal but not ideal.

That's really the context of my comments from the results of the MKZ projectile which I have for specific applications. Other than the velocity being lower than anticipated from my 16" barrel, it pretty much performed as I expected it to. I guess my reasoning ruffles some feathers, but my results are what they are. That doesn't mean it can't be used in situations where it's not ideal, it's just...not ideal and you have to work around certain limitations.

Don't we all wish there was a perfect bullet and cartridge that had the recoil and cost of a .22 Long, the power and penetration of .50 BMG with the capacity of 5.56 for the AR? But none such load exists, as with every feat of engineering, it's a series of compromises to get things as ideal as we can for the intended purpose which means inevitable it's not going to work as well in some situations as it will in others.

120gr MKZ on the left @ 2661 FPS from 20" ARP 3R 1:11 Barrel with a 3.5" neck length and 95gr TTSX by Wilson Combat on the right @ 2750 FPS (the darker one) with a 1.5" neck length:
72560


In this shot, the MKZ is harder to see as there's very little burning of the gel (black), but impact velocity is around 2350~2400 FPS from my 16" barrel (MKZ center, 110gr Nossler right, 110gr OTM and VMax at the back middle and left), but is fairly easy to pick up in the lower half:
72561


110gr OTM @ 2599 FPS to the right of the ruler (VMax to the left and slightly behind the ruler):
72564


110gr VMax @ 2563 FPS to the right of the ruler (center of the block, the furthest right and back is the 110gr OTM), VMax hits that ideal 1" neck length for maximizing wounding in tactical applications, 110gr OTM at a 2" neck length is still in the optimal range also:
72563


110gr Nossler @ 2650 FPS (my 16" dd 5R 1:11 barrel) loaded by DHA also has an optimal neck length of only 1", this load, being a bonded hollow point would be a good multi-role load for both HD and hunting a variety of game:
72565


Take what you will from this, but this gel is used extensively by premium ammunition suppliers such as Federal as well as many others as a baseline. Obviously real world testing needs to verify but there's a lot of difficulty with establishing that because ANY of these loads can fail to expand / frag or adequately kill game in certain situations, but loads that do well in gel also tend to behave very similarly in soft tissue on average which is why it has become the standard test. These a 10% FBI spec calibrated blocks shipped directly from Clear Ballistics, these have not even been melted down yet so no chance of me damaging the gel from over heating it if anyone wants to make that bogus claim.

Weather shot from a 16" 5R 1:11 chrome lined barrel @ 2350ish FPS or a 20" 3R 1:11 nitrided barrel at 2661 FPS, MKZ performed consistently but with a much longer neck length more ideally suited to a deep penetration load or as a long range load pending your rifle shoots it accurately (which I also need to verify in my rifle still) due to it's stellar minimum expansion threshold of about 1400 FPS.

For general purpose combat load, I'll stick with OTM and VMax. The 2008 Roberts Report among other's I've provided in the past suggest that to be a wise choice based on the performance which I've verified. I have not seen a single gel test of 110gr OTM, but only of it's predecessor the 115gr OTM. 110gr was the final result after some tweaking by Hornady towards the end of testing in which they determined the 110gr slightly out performed the 115gr in barrier blind applications, particularly through auto glass which is a common barrier that service members need to defeat.

And, just an FYI, every single load we tested in 6.8 SPC, 5.56 and one 147FMJ .308 from a 29" barreled Mauser 98K clone (just of kicks and giggles) exited the gel. Even the lowly 124gr 9mm FMJ (which sucked royally) exceeded 16" of penetration. Wish I had an extra block to catch them all, but with limited resources, we at least got these results which are the most important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb - YouTube

Although I will admit, if you watch until the 10:30 mark, they both suggest not getting hung up on velocity, especially with modern projectile designs (like MKZ) that expand at very low (for caliber) velocities. The only negative effect is drop and drift are more at the lower muzzle velocity, which was the original content of this entire thread. It's not a "bash MKZ" thread, it's a "these are my results, what do you think" type of thread even if some took it as the former.
 

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Gell test results are fun and give an idea of performance , the actual performance on intended animals are what is important . V max and other fragmenting bullets will definitely kill a deer BUT if the angle is steep or leg bone is hit at close range they are more likely to wound than bullets designed for deer. We know ," If you hit them in the right spot " That don't always happen . As far as otm or bthp bullets they leave devastating wounds except when they don't . They have a tendency to just flip and pencil through instead of fragmenting at lower speeds . We have personally taken game and or varmints with about every 6.8 bullet made . Up until CBB became factory I would say S&B 110 pts was the factory round that was #1 for all reasonable distances out of 12.5" and 18" both . Nosler makes a great bullet but is anemic out of 12.5" and effective range drops off unless hand loaded . Federal MSR has good penetration and tears things up I just personally don't like bullets that become round balls , they sometimes don't make straight line wounds . 120SST is usually one of the most accurate but unless you hit a big bone the jacket doesn't peel back past the groove and it ceases to flatten and the core seperates and fragments after it has past the vitals . Performance on coyotes and armidello with hpbt - otm is enough to tell me they are not dependable deer loads . I have killed hog , armidello , ground hog, racoons , deer , sick cow , injured horse, bobcat and stray dogs with 6.8 bullets but I have never shot a gelliten block .

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I'm done mincing words with this guy. Those of you that know me know I dont hold back.

First off your title is an assault on 5 years of in the field perfect performance by CBB bullets. "Are they worth it" for 5 years they have proven they are.
Your title itself shows your intent.
Gel tests are exactly that, Gel tests.
You are stating your gel test are better that 5 years of results in actual game.
5 years without one single instance of our bullets not performing as we state they do.

95 TTSX bullets are known for not opening up sometimes. This is why CBB even came into existence. I used to use them exclusively until I had total pass throughs with no expansion at all.
Todd Huey of Lone Star Boars has used every single bullet in your gel tests on hogs and rates the CBB the best of any 6.8 bullet.
I've shot every bullet you listed, every 6.8 bullet I could get my hands on for that matter.
You stated somewhere the PTS is a Vmax made by Hornady. Its made by Hornady but its not a Vmax. Its is built to S&B specs and has a thicker jacket.

You haven't shot a single animal yet you keep spewing out these assumptions.
You are stating 5 years of pictures, comments, results etc mean nothing because of your assumptions of your gel tests.
Reports like a recent one where hogs went to a butcher that were shot by a Creedmoor and a 6.8 with MKZ's.
The butcher stated the Creedmoor did a good job but that 6.8 bullet is an assassins bullet by what it did to that hog.

You state our bullets are not the best for deer, yet 5 years of kills in actual deer prove they are. Direct close range to long range off angle bad shots.
Everyone says they drop an animal faster than any other bullet they have used.

You cannot find one instance of poor performance in game by MKZ's. Not one, in any game, none, zip nada.
Yet in every bullet you compare it to you can find reports of poor performance in game.

CBB's kill exceptionally, they pass thru to leave a blood trail in almost all instances. Dumping the energy and leaving a blood trail, the best of both worlds. With 99% weight retention.
They expand to almost 3 times caliber and cause massive blood loss causing most to say the game looked it got shot with a bigger caliber than it did.
Their performance and real world results are unblemished in any game they have been used on.
Yet you are using gel tests to state that its not true. You are saying all the real world results cant be true because of your gel tests
Gel tests are not the end all, they are an indicator to use before testing in the field.
But your like 5 years late, because the MKZ's have proven themselves in real game animals of all sizes and distances from 20 feet out to 425 yards.

So what are you really trying to do here?
Because actually and frankly at this point, your gel tests mean absolutely nothing.
 

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I have been trying to figure out motive from the time he started confusing words with grape shot. I keep yoyoing between a kid pretending to be a man to gain credibility and a man pretending to be a boy in order to conduct an assassination on the facts. CBB does not appear to be his only target as he prattles on about hammer forged barrels and such. One thing is certain in all this. He has demonstrated a world class master's talent for cut and paste in an effort to build his image as an authority without using any substantive data.

Probably drives them crazy at Starbux when he tells them how his Latte should be made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Now we resort to character assassination and ad hominem attacks...nice. All because I suggested I do not see the performance of CBB in the gel tests as ideal for tactical applications or certain hunting applications due to the repeated long neck length that falls outside the ideal range for that application. This entire thread was originally started due to the lower than expected velocity.

While there are many factors that play a role in that, I don't seem to get lower than expected velocity from any other load. That as the start of this thread. If it performs differently in living tissue than in gel that's all well and good, it may indeed, but the standard testing in 10% FBI spec gel blocks don't indicate it will.

But why would I use or suggest to anyone a projectile that opens late repeatedly for a tactical load unless it's at longer ranges, pushing the limits of the cartridge (because at that point, any expansion at the extremes of range is difficult to achieve and MKZ has the lowest velocity expansion threshold I'm aware of)?

Every bullet will fail to expand or fragment in certain situations, including the MKZ. I've never seen such hostility towards ballistic gel testing and so many people decry it as "meaningless" because they don't like what the results are. Good grief...and some of you claim I'm the child?
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
As to my character...well I'm 35 years old, I have been working in the industry as an Electrical Engineer for over 11 years and design electrical safety equipment for the gas and oil industry. I have a family with three children, one adopted, one baby and a teenage daughter.

I lost my other daughter (to illness) I had with my former wife in 2012, then I lost my wife in 2017 to a car accident. I remarried in 2018 (hence the new baby). My son that I adopted with my former wife was a Tier 1 trauma child whose father beat him so bad he broke his jaw, ribs and lacerated his liver.

You can imagine the severe behavior issues that kind of abuse comes with and immense amount of work it takes to help heal and correct that...but I'm just some dumb "boy" because you don't like the results of the gel testing I provided of your favorite bullet right? Or because your limited experiences contradict the test data I have...good grief Charley Brown!

My primary application of the AR-15 is not for hunting or other fun but non-essential endeavors, it is true to the original intent. It is to stop as quickly and efficiently as possible human threats to my family (what is most precious to me) or myself should the need arise. It also serves the role of the primary and original intent of the 2nd Amendment, as a necessary tool for use against foreign invasion or local insurrection if things get desperate enough they call on anyone who can shoot to aid.

That is the primary focus of application and is to be used in conjunction with the knowledge gained from 7 years of handgun and rifle training at my own expense with our county's lead swat instructor and some retired marines that instruct in our area (all of them have combat experience from their service and the LE's are still active duty).

Disagree with my data or reasoning, fine, we can have a civil argument and a debate or just agree to disagree. Attack my character because you don't like the data or what I interpret from it and you are simply showing yourself to be the "little child" you claim I am. I'm talking to you Strawdawg.

And to Yamarja, you claim that just the title of this thread is some conspiratorial attempt to defame the MKZ projectile's performance for this caliber (you never know, I could secretly be a 6.5 Grendel fanboy!) and spread propaganda against it...yet the title is literally an open ended question as to the velocity results I was getting for others to weigh in on.

Are my results "good or bad"? Heck, I even bought this load to test because of it's 5 years of reputation as a consistently high performance deep penetrating load, but I had not seen any gel testing performed on it to characterize performance and my application was to have it serve a dual purpose of a true mid-range tactical load and if need be for limited hunting use in my area.

Was the velocity of 2350~2400 FPS good or bad for a 16" barrel from this load? It says on the CBB website the load is +P and approximate MV of 2550 FPS (but what barrel length, chamber, rifling was that established etc.?). Since I get 2599 FPS from 110gr OTM and 2563 FPS from VMax factory ammo loaded to SAAMI spec and 2650 FPS from 110gr Nozzler by DHA to +P spec, yet this 57k psi +P load produces nearly 100 FPS less than the 120gr Hornady SST SAAMI spec load was unexpected. I test every load in small quantities prior to considering it for use for an application.

1. Feed reliability
2. Cyclical reliability
3. Acceptable accuracy
4. Expected muzzle velocity
5. Terminal performance inline with the claims / intent (10% FBI spec gel is a reasonable proxy)

So why was this load running so much slower than factory SST despite being at a much higher chamber pressure....that was my question. Might just be the monolithic SC engraving force is much higher in a 5R vs. 3R...I don't know, that's why I started the thread to understand the results and compare to other's experiences because the velocity was not what I expected.

We only got onto the subject of gel performance as the thread veered in that direction over time. If your so offended and I'm such a "child" then why do you keep posting responses? If your done arguing then stop arguing and go post on another thread about the merits and anecdotal performance of the MKZ over the last 5 years to all members of this forum. Explain to them why nobody should consider anything I have to say and why 10% FBI spec gel is useless or unreliable for load testing...

Why not just leave the thread alone and let me post my childish findings...what I have to say should be accepted or rejected on its merits, not because several members have emotional outbursts and then attempt to assassinate my character because what I say "offends them".
 

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Clear ballistics 10% FBI spec gel, in the shade (under trees). Gel was never in direct sunlight and kept in the boxes / bags until used. Gel testing was done in the shade to prevent heating while chrono testing was done in a different area (we had to move at one point). The gel doesn't even begin to melt until 110F. Ambient was in the mid 80's.

Distance for gel testing and for chrono was 10 feet. As I stated, the day started out as overcast, but then became sunny as the day moved on. The chrono manual specifically states that for over cast you do NOT use the sun shades on the chrono. I simply wasn't paying attention every moment of the day weather a cloud was blocking the sunlight or if it was getting sunny again as I was pressed for time, so I can't verify if the sun affected the readings for the MKZ factory +P load that may have resulted in erroneous readings.

I can say with certainty the chrono graphs for OTM and VMax, done at a later time are accurate as they replicate previous tests on heavy over cast days which I've now done a few times to see how consistent the load was over a variety of temperatures / humidity levels. The results are very close from three different days and temperatures with those loads in both ARP and DD barrels.

I would beg to differ on the deer performace of OTM or VMax according to DHA and other examples I've seen including an entire thread on this forum for OTM's use as a general purpose hunting load. VMax is a very popular load for deer according to DHA (I literally spoke on the phone with them) despite it's marketing and there's a whole thread on the OTM's effectiveness for a variety of game (before Hornady stopped making it) including deer. There are also a bunch of posts of the S&B 110gr BTHP used on deer, the bullet is actually made by Hornady for S&B, says right on their website. They market that frag round, basically a VMax bullet, as a medium game load, not as a varmint / small game load.

You don't get an exit with those loads for deer typically, but it dumps all of it's energy and completely destroys the organs in the chest cavity for a DRT shot with adequate placement with great consistency. And penetration in my gel testing was over 16" with every load I tested (OTM, VMax, MKZ, TTSX, Nossler bonded HP). Obviously with any load, shot placement is more important. Some prefer an exit wound produced by MKZ, 110gr Nossler or a 90 / 115gr Soft Point, others prefer one load they can use on a variety of game from small to mid or even for home defense with early fragmentation and complete energy expenditure to maximize the chances of DRT effect.

If a bullet is exiting the body mass, it has NOT expended all of it's energy into the target, meaning there is potential damage it could have done but didn't. For tracking purposes, that's what the extra energy is being used for, to create that exit wound and blood trail, which is still useful in that regard. For actually killing the game, it's being wasted as the energy is not transferred into the target, thus not doing as much damage as it could, thus reducing the chance of an immediate effect.

That doesn't mean it's not lethal or highly effective, you can kill a deer with a .22 Long with a shot to the spine at close range, it's a very common poacher caliber in South America because it doesn't mess up the pelts. But just because it's lethal doesn't mean it's ideal for a given application in all regards. Obviously other than for poaching, .22 Long is very much NOT suited for deer hunting or tactical applications etc.
Vmax as a deer hunting round has turned several friends of mine away from the 6.8 as a whole. It killed deer but finding them 40-50yds away in a thicket with no blood trail isn't what they were looking for. I tried telling them it was the bullet choice not the round but they kept seeing it recommended on forums etc. You want some neck on a game bullet as immediate expansion isn't ideal unless for HD and expecting the perp to be wearing nothing more than a t-shirt. The PTS is not a vmax it just shares a polymer tip, manufacturer and same weight, but not same construction. OTM work great at times I have shot deer with them in the past. I was on a depredation hunt once and shot 3 deer out of one group, the OTM performed great on one deer and pencil holed the other two, and one of those required a followup to put it down. The other died in the field after running several hundred yards, thankfully it was open and we could see it. Gel testing doesn't include bones its meant to mimic muscle tissue of a human, not the full structure. When you find a deer or a human that is made up of only one monotonous substance let me know. You have hide, muscle, (possibly leg/shoulder bones) ribs, various organs of different density, ribs again (possibly more leg/shoulder bones), muscle, and hide. Bare gel does not duplicate that. Now the velocity differences have been covered, your particular chamber/freebore might be larger resulting in reduced velocity. However, you might be able to handle hotter hand loads. There is variability in chronos even of the same brand some have been known to be off by 100fps. Have you calibrated yours? or shot against others to ensure the same results? As has been said the bullet has a tract record of exceptional performance on game so go hunt and then let us know how it did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
I have been trying to figure out motive from the time he started confusing words with grape shot. I keep yoyoing between a kid pretending to be a man to gain credibility and a man pretending to be a boy in order to conduct an assassination on the facts. CBB does not appear to be his only target as he prattles on about hammer forged barrels and such. One thing is certain in all this. He has demonstrated a world class master's talent for cut and paste in an effort to build his image as an authority without using any substantive data.

Probably drives them crazy at Starbux when he tells them how his Latte should be made.
Cold hammer forged 4150 CMV provides significant improvement to wear and superior rigidity to cut 4150 CMV barrels. Especially when combined with a heavier profile. That is the reason machine guns all use cold hammer forged barrels and why most of the major militaries around the world now also use them for their standard infantry rifles. There are SEVERAL precision rifle manufacturers for tactical rifles used in service that also cold hammer forge and chrome line their barrels.

That and it makes mass production more cost effective and consistent barrel to barrel, since the majority of low volume producers cannot afford the machinery, they resort to more traditional means. There are plenty of traditional machining and finishing processes that can produce extremely high accuracy barrels, just not in mass and they still are not well suited to heavy use because you forgo the benefits of cold working the steel and aligning the grain structure.

Many higher tier units around the world have moved over to cold hammer forged barrels including US forces such as SF for their carbines because it enables them to provide cover fire for teammates or themselves to move into a position, but then take a precision shot even with a hot barrel. The service life the barrel is markedly longer, meaning you won't have to replace the upper and start the zeroing / breaking process over again. Reliability is paramount.

Hence why, given my application which I've explained numerous times, I "prattle on" about hammer forged barrels. But you know, I'm just some kid on the internet just like YOU...
 

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I wouldn't use the OTM or Vmax to hunt deer, sure they will kill but there are better bullets. First choice, the CBB and Barnes hold together, still expand for terminal performance but many times pass through and leave a second hole for blood trail. I've used Noslers ABs with good results too but they were handloads not the slow factory ammo Nosler puts out. I have not had a chance to try out the newer Federal bonded bullets yet. I'll stick with what my experiences on game show me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
Vmax as a deer hunting round has turned several friends of mine away from the 6.8 as a whole. It killed deer but finding them 40-50yds away in a thicket with no blood trail isn't what they were looking for. I tried telling them it was the bullet choice not the round but they kept seeing it recommended on forums etc. You want some neck on a game bullet as immediate expansion isn't ideal unless for HD and expecting the perp to be wearing nothing more than a t-shirt. The PTS is not a vmax it just shares a polymer tip, manufacturer and same weight, but not same construction. OTM work great at times I have shot deer with them in the past. I was on a depredation hunt once and shot 3 deer out of one group, the OTM performed great on one deer and pencil holed the other two, and one of those required a followup to put it down. The other died in the field after running several hundred yards, thankfully it was open and we could see it. Gel testing doesn't include bones its meant to mimic muscle tissue of a human, not the full structure. When you find a deer or a human that is made up of only one monotonous substance let me know. You have hide, muscle, (possibly leg/shoulder bones) ribs, various organs of different density, ribs again (possibly more leg/shoulder bones), muscle, and hide. Bare gel does not duplicate that. Now the velocity differences have been covered, your particular chamber/freebore might be larger resulting in reduced velocity. However, you might be able to handle hotter hand loads. There is variability in chronos even of the same brand some have been known to be off by 100fps. Have you calibrated yours? or shot against others to ensure the same results? As has been said the bullet has a tract record of exceptional performance on game so go hunt and then let us know how it did.
Which is exactly why I continue to suggest MKZ is not an ideal tactical load. So as you mentioned, the longer neck may be IDEAL for hunting medium to medium-large game and that deeper penetration before it opens up, but NOT for tactical use against human enemy combatants. I literally stated above from my gel results it seems to be an ideal deep penetration load for medium to medium-large game.

But probably not for the deer in my area, they are white tail and fairly smallish, maybe 75 to 125 lbs range (again, I did state this above to be clear), not like some the 200 lb monsters down south farther etc. There's deer and then there's deer if you know what I mean, different speciation, sizes and shapes. Some small and thin, some rather large with very thick torsos. Bigger deer require deeper penetration for optimal stopping power, smaller deer require more rapid expansion. Again, the right tool for the job.

There is a very particular reason the US Military has been so keen on early frag / expansion and the failures of M855 in 5.56 have proven that beyond doubt, including actual experiences by trauma surgeons examining actual gunshot wounds (thousands of instances now) to US soldiers and in some cases captured enemy combatants. They do not hunt deer, they hunt bad guys and my application has been the entire time a tactical application first and fore most, but in a civilian capacity in self defense, weather things are calm and it's a single perp or a violent riot or SHFT. Perhaps people are assuming differently, but that's not what I've tried to portray.

I really don't understand this sudden hostility just because of some ballistic gel testing didn't show results people expected or assumed and they didn't like what I had to say. I think the actual issue at hand is literally that people assumed MKZ's stiller performance as a hunting bullet means it opened up sooner and just kept plowing some massive wound channel until the next county was reached.

When in reality, it opens up late, producing the bulk of its wounding deeper within which happens to be very ideal for hunting applications. Perhaps it was assumed it would be just as ideal for tactical applications because it works well on game...but that's not necessary the case based on criteria the US Army marksman units responsible for the creation of 6.8 SPC have established.

I think that is what was taken as an affront. I also mentioned MKZ not being ideal on deer, but then later clarified (which you can see above if you read through) that comment's context is to deer in my area which are fairly small and thin. A neck length of nearly 4 inches means it has passed nearly half way through the deer before it even starts to open up on a typical broadside shot....hunting is a different game than war. Different requirements.

6.8 SPC may work well for hunting using AR-15's with modern ammunition, but that could not be further from it's original design intent and I see it's value in the original intent as a benefit over the more common 5.56.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
Can anyone find a post in this thread suggesting I stated the MKZ is a poor hunting load (except possibly against small game, for which VMax is better suited)? Nor have I suggested OTM is an ideal hunting load, it's just a general purpose combat load that can be used for hunting, it's not IDEAL to that application but usable.

I literally quoted myself below just to show this. Sometimes, I think maybe I should just keep testing information to myself because it's going to "offend" someone and start a big meaningless debate along with personal attacks against me due to others emotional outbursts.....

Weather shot from a 16" 5R 1:11 chrome lined barrel @ 2350ish FPS or a 20" 3R 1:11 nitrided barrel at 2661 FPS, MKZ performed consistently but with a much longer neck length more ideally suited to a deep penetration load or as a long range load pending your rifle shoots it accurately (which I also need to verify in my rifle still) due to it's stellar minimum expansion threshold of about 1400 FPS.

For general purpose combat load, I'll stick with OTM and VMax. The 2008 Roberts Report among other's I've provided in the past suggest that to be a wise choice based on the performance which I've verified. I have not seen a single gel test of 110gr OTM, but only of it's predecessor the 115gr OTM. 110gr was the final result after some tweaking by Hornady towards the end of testing in which they determined the 110gr slightly out performed the 115gr in barrier blind applications.
 
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