We did a little Sellier & Bellot easter shootout at the last weekend! Thank you for the Aseliike Remes to make it possible! This is the second part of the article series that will concentrate on the S&B Exergy factory cartridges. We already published the 6,5×55 test and this will concentrate on the 308win caliber. The 9,3×62 will follow on the next article! The S&B Exergy Blue bullet test articles will follow right after these Exergy articles!
Exergy is the original copper made hunting bullet of the Sellier & Bellot. At their homepage , they are writing that the jacket material of the Exergy, is not available. But on the Exergy 30-06 cartridge page, they are mentioning that it is made of 100% Solid Copper. So we cannot be sure about the exact material, but we know that it is a lead free bullet with little round aluminium tip on the top of the bullet.
But, to the results!
Sellier & Bellot Exergy 180gr –308 Winchester Factory Cartridge
Test gun was a T3x rifle with the 600mm barrel. We measured the velocity ca. 5m from the muzzle and got a 804m/s impact velocity, which is little more than the manufacturer promises to the factory load ( 795m/s v0 @ 600mm barrel).
The slower impact velocity was achieved by reloading. If the velocity at the muzzle is 795m/s what manufacturer claims, the speed of 630m/s simulates the impact at the distance of 166 meters (ca. 181 yards).
The working style of the S&B Exergy bullet is to open in five petals and retain its high weight after the impact without losing the petals.
The harder hit, with the velocity of 804m/s (2638fps) was too harsh for this 180gr Exergy bullet and it lost four of it’s five petals. Which can also be seen on the retained weight (77,9%). Result was quite same, as it was with the 6,5×55 130gr version of the Exergy. Like we wroted in that previous 6.5×55 article, this kind of close distance impacts are not common in normal hunting, so we don’t see this breakdown to be very significant thing. It tells us that the velocity of the factory cartridge has probably been adjusted to the working velocity area of the bullet. The more velocity you dare to add, the better and more reliably the bullet works at the longer distances. So the the breakdown at the close distances might be a well considered decision to achieve longer working distance to the factory cartridge.
At the impact of the 630m/s (2067fps) the bullet worked great and kept all the petals intact as can be seen on the photo above. The retained weight was also very good (98,4%). This slower velocity simulates the impact at the distance of 166 meters (ca. 181 yards) and the bullet opened almost to the bottom of the expansion cavity and achieved very good 16mm width! You can expect reliable working on the normal shooting distances!
This S&B Exergy .308″ 180gr bullet is only available in factory cartridges.
Test targets were wetted newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 804m/s (2638fps) penetrated 72cm (28,3″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact speed of 630m/s (2067fps) penetrated 49cm (19,3″).
The wound channels can be seen below. From the upper diagram of the wound channel image, it is easy to see the effect of loosing the petals. Bullet has been broke immediately after the impact and made huge wound channel right from the outer surface. The remaining part of the bullet had smaller diameter and it penetrated a huge amount of wetted newspapers, because of the smaller resistance.
On the lower wound channel diagram, the bullet worked as planned. The wound channel is normal type, as is the depth of penetration also.
Factory cartridge with a good copper bullet! Quite much same kind as the 6,5×55 130gr version on the previous article! You can expect good working at the wide velocity range. Low ballistic coefficient (G1: 0,287) affects the velocity quite fast at the greater distances. Not the bullet for the real long range hunting, but at the normal hunting distances you can expect very good results! Don’t forget the suprise factor possibility at the really close shooting distances.
Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab