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Hunting round test - a precursor

This is a discussion on Hunting round test - a precursor within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Good day all, This is probably jumping the gun a little but as I'm about a stone's throw from buying my optic, maybe even ordering ...


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Old March 2nd, 2017, 08:41 AM   #1
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Hunting round test - a precursor

Good day all,
This is probably jumping the gun a little but as I'm about a stone's throw from buying my optic, maybe even ordering it today, I have decided to go ahead and order up 1 each test box of my updated hunting round top 5 based on intended targets (feral pig, elk and deer in that likely order), my desire for a lead free bullet, some additional research, and the vast intellectual resources and recommendations of this board. I will be installing my Schuester bored plug as soon as my BAD-T4 arrives to ensure these rounds do not over-pressure my gas system and cause potential damage.

The following is my planned methodology for testing these rounds (hence the precursor title) that I wanted to bounce off you all to see if this seems viable / reasonable / logical:

My plan will be to zero in the optic with my standard M80 147gr ball ammo to start using the optic's recommended method of "one shot zeroing" at 50, then 100 yards to confirm, save that profile,...

Then I will let the barrel cool back down then adjust the computations to the 5 different ammo's respective specs respectively and fire as "cold bore" as possible (2 minutes between each shot seems reasonable in a shaded situation in a week or two's early Spring weather, given one does not typically hunt much of anything with a pre-warmed-by-plinking barrel, right?) with each individual round, doing 3 rounds with each ammo type, 3x, the 10th round in theory being the "first round" shot to confirm the adjusted profile auto-re-zeroing concept (placing that specific round in a different target spot but shooting for bullseye nonetheless. Also, since this is going to be for hunting, just to be sure there is no concerns with feed variables I am only going to use my state requisite 5 round magazine as well for consistency.

My most critical goals are to gauge two things:
Which ammunition my gun likes the best as far as feeding and firing and more importantly which ammunition my gun likes best as far as accuracy in a cold, not perfectly clean bore, then order ammunition of that type in more "bulk" for hog hunting later this spring first, then elk / deer hunting later this fall or early winter.

IF I am able to take a certain forum member up on his offer - I'd like to get her out to the longer range options to see just how well the accuracy holds beyond 50 and 100 yard zeroing with the optic and ammunition combination, maybe even daring the 1000 yard target :). If the timing is not right to be able to do that, I will save the other 10 rounds for my son's rifle he's getting for his birthday gift early by end of month to see which it likes best too.

My roster of test ammunition on the way is:

Barnes VOR-TX 308 Win68GR Tipped TSX Boat Tail
On paper it looks like the best option for quality control, solid brass design with penetration and impact value, etc, so I will actually probably test this one last to compare to all that come before it.

Fiocchi Extrema 308 Win168 GR Tipped TSX Boat Tail

Same bullet, different MFG, with solid reviews on quality too, about $5/box less expensive than the Barnes direct MFG

Nosler Trophy Series 308Win 168GR E-Tip Lead-Free
Very solid reviews, many on par with the Barnes, in a non-"Custom" series offering. Basically the same price as the Barnes

Federal P308TC2 Vital-Shok 308 Win Trophy Solid Copper 165 GR

The only Federal solid copper offering I could find. Vital-Shok series but apparently the solid brass is not common enough yet to be locally stocked by Gander, , Cabelas, or Bass Pro though. Right in between the Barnes / Nosler pricing and the Fiocchi.

Hornady 80987 Full Boar GMX 308 Winchester 165 GR GMX
It was this one or the Superformance series w/ the GMX bullet (their full copper offering) and honestly I didn't want to risk, even with the Schuester plug, the possibility of the SP series possibly over-pressuring the M1A just to get 100-200 fps faster, considering they only mention / show testing of the rounds in semi-auto on the AR series specifically, no mention of the M1A so I went with the slightly slower / lower pressure offering on par with the others. Closer in price to the Fiocchi at only $1 more per box.

So there it is.
I will post range reports as I get the new optic and get out to the range and test these BMF rounds out hopefully in the next couple or few weeks!

Anyone see any glaring flaws in my planned methodology logic or have any advice to add / for me to consider?

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Old March 2nd, 2017, 08:52 AM   #2
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The Barnes Vortex 300 blackout ammo is great so I would expect good results with their .308.

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Old March 2nd, 2017, 09:02 AM   #3
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fyi hornady
http://www.hornady.com/support/heat-shield/


i just read about it,posted as an fyi so all would be aware of the new findings, if your wondering about long distance accuracy issues.


Last edited by POLACK; March 3rd, 2017 at 04:23 AM.
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Old March 2nd, 2017, 09:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POLACK View Post
At the moment they don't offer the heat shield tipped in pure copper - so for me it is considered a non-viable round.

Thanks though! I'll keep an eye out and see if maybe they start tipping their pure copper with those soon.

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Old March 2nd, 2017, 01:37 PM   #5
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Keep us posted Walt, I'm curious as to how these solid copper bullets will perform. I have never shot any in any type rifle. I have read good things about the Barnes TSX.

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Old March 2nd, 2017, 06:05 PM   #6
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I used the Barns VOR-TX 168 round you mentioned last Friday on a pig hunt. Have to say I am a believer after seeing the results of this particular round. Then again I already am a big fan of Barnes solid copper rounds from when Federal still loaded them.

I did pretty much the same thing you are doing only with some different rounds. The Barnes 169 shot well out of my SA NM (1.5 MOA with a coffee soaked shooter and a wobbly bench:-), so it got the nod as my new hunting round for now. All the lighter rounds 150 gr grouped poorly with my new NM barrel. FYI this round grouped very close to FGMM in my rifle, almost as good.

The pig was running up the other side of a canyon due to my hunting partner having taken a shot just prior to mine. It was more or less a 125 yard snapshot and the round was not as well placed as I would have liked but it did its job. Lost a hind quarter due to bone fragments permeating the whole thing. And by bone fragments I mean tiny tiny pieces. The round passed completely through. Huge exit wound. Since it was a fairly close shot the bullet was still moving at a good clip so expansion was excellent.

I have yet to work out the comes up for this round past 200 yds as it is a new round to me. Things are looking up for a good on this front as the ranch manager of a friend’s cattle ranch recently completed a 1000yrd range and offered me free use of it. Score!!!

I am going to try out some of the rounds on your list and will post how they do. One suggestion you might consider is a larger group size when evaluating new rounds. I use min 5 round groups now instead of 3 after a lot of reading on this forum. It gives a better picture of the rounds performance.

Best of luck on your efforts Walt!

Thanks from Walt Longmire

Last edited by Faronth; March 3rd, 2017 at 09:29 PM.
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Old March 2nd, 2017, 07:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faronth View Post
I am going to try out some of the rounds on your list and will post how they do. One suggestion you might consider is a larger group size when evaluating new rounds. I use min 5 round groups now instead of 3 after a lot of reading on this forum. It gives a better picture of the rounds performance.
Noted Faronth...
5 does make more sense. I see the logic.

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Old March 3rd, 2017, 02:23 AM   #8
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The only hunting ammo I've shot/hunted with in my M1A was my reloads, so I can't add anything about commercial ammo.

I do shoot lots of groups, just for fun and to work up loads in rifles or find out how old rifles shoot the new loads (won't say I've got too many rifles...who would say a thing like that?)

I sometimes shoot 3 shot groups and sometimes 5 or even, rarely, 10 shot groups. If it's hunting ammo, how many times are you going to shoot more than 3 rounds? Really. The animal drops on the first shot, or you're either cussing yourself for missing or scrambling while burning up some ammo (how many shots you going to get a deer making itself scarce?)

Some rifles just don't handle a gradually heating up barrel very well. Makes the groups get bigger and it's not the shooter's fault, or the ammo's fault. I hate those rifles and either don't keep them or don't shoot them very much (if it's one I don't want to trade in/sell for one reason or another). You need to be sure, if the groups go south, if it's you or the rifle. Are 3 shot groups decent? Do the 5 shot groups, or 10 shot groups open up too much or in a funny pattern (like the group trailing on in one direction or another? Saw a Rem. M700 .222 one time that would shot two shots touching, 3rd about 1" up and right, 4th even farther up/right and the 5th shot would open the group up to about 4" at 100 yds.) That was barrel/bedding and when fixed it would shoot a 5 shot group a dime would cover at 150 yds.

I guess, too, when I'm sighting a rifle in I'm just shooting 3 shots (sometimes just one when I know the rifle is good, the ammo is good, the shot was good and I'm trying a new/different optic) then making an adjustment, shooting 3 more shots, making and adjustment, etc. So the barrel is getting warm, even with 3 shot groups.

I guess the point is, how many of us are national match shooters that are going to go through 10 rounds in 50 or 60 seconds? How many shots you fire for a group might be better determine by how well you know your rifle, yourself and your ammo. Or a combination of the three.

Seems like I'm leaving something out. It's just after 5 am, the dogs were barking like crazy and I checked but didn't see anything. Now I've gotten chilly, my coffee's cold and my mind wandered away from where I was going part way through this post, sorry, maybe it'll come back to me later.

Good luck with it.

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Old March 3rd, 2017, 04:14 AM   #9
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I have used the Barnes on hogs and deer in bolt gun they are impressive performers.

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Old March 3rd, 2017, 04:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POLACK View Post
fyi hornady
http://www.hornady.com/support/heat-shield/


i just read about it,posted as an fyi so all would be aware of the new findings, if your wondering about long distance accuracy issues.
I have heard of Hornady's findings on the polymer bullets deforming in flight and coming up with these new bullets, but haven't heard the particulars of their studies. I'm going to print and save this article. Thanks much for posting it.

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Old March 3rd, 2017, 06:42 AM   #11
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Small update:
Interestingly I received an email from Horandy last night as I sent them a query about the use of the Superformance series in the M1A and they flat out said without a modified gas system (the implied changing the gas plug to the Schuester w/o actually saying it by name) they HIGHLY recommend ABSOLUTELY NOT using the Superformance series in a stock M1A, period, and even w/ a gas plug modification - it might be best to not risk it. They directed me to the already ordered Full Boar series for both safety to the rifle and "proven capability" for one shot drop kills with larger / thicker quadrupeds hunting like elk or hog.

I must say it was nice they didn't push their "latest and greatest" on me - they actually took the time to say "better safe than sorry." While I've never shot Horandy before in any of my handgun rounds or dealt with them in any way prior to this, I have to give them mad props for being a stand up and thoughtful company in this respect. I might just have to order me a polo shirt to further add to my collection of work compliant shirts that irritate my work management by their various logos or "logo" placed embellishment! :)

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