.308″ hunting bullet test day! – Barnes, Hornady, Lapua, Norma, Sako & Red Moose

Hello bullet enthusiasts!

Last month we participated the copper bullet testing day together with the Nordicshot.fi and Riista-magazine.

The caliber used was the 308win and bullets we shot to ballistic gelatine were :

  • Barnes Tipped-TSX 168gr / 10,9g
  • Hornady GMX 150gr / 9,72g
  • Lapua Naturalis 170gr / 11g
  • Norma Ecostrike 150gr / 9,7g
  • Sako Powerhead Blade 162gr / 10,5g
  • Red Moose Tarvas 165gr / 10,7g

We simulated the 50m, 100m and 200m impact distances and recorded a slow motion video from every impact at ballistic gelatine!

Results has been reported in Finnish, but all the slow motion videos and bullet datas you can find here –> https://www.nordicshot.fi/hirvikivaarin-kupariluodit-testissa-osa-2/

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Rhino Solid Shank – .458″ – 300gr – Bullet test

The .458″ Rhino bullet test this time! The Rhino Solid Shank!

Rhino bullets are designed in South Africa. They wanted to design a “no-nonsense bullet” which would be suited to the harsh African conditions. By the manufacturer, the Rhino Bullets have been designed and constructed to stand up to anything you throw at them, and yet retain the accuracy required by a benchrest shooter. More information about the Rhino bullets, you can found on their homapage: https://rhinobullets.co.za

We want to thank you the P&H EsVo Group Oy for possibility to test the Rhino bullets in our Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab. You can found Rhino bullets on their online shop at https://www.esvo.fi

But to the results!

Rhino Solid Shank .458″ 300gr bullet.

TESTING

This bullet is one of the so called “Scandinavian edition”-bullets. Testing was made by reloading the bullets to the .458 Winchester Magnum & .458 SOCOM cartridges. We measured the impact velocities ca. 5m from the muzzle. The fastest impact velocity was 724m/s (2375fps), the second fastest was 617m/s (2024fps) and the lowest impact velocity was 574m/s (1883fps).

In addition to these three impact velocities, we also tested this bullet with the velocity of 538m/s (1765fps). The bullet fully penetrated the 120cm (47,2″) of wet paper, a big water jug and a two inch thick wood. The hole at the wood was the size of the caliber, so the bullet did not expand at all. Unluckily, we did not find the bullet at the rear terrain.

We do not know the ballistic coefficient of this bullet, but it MIGHT be somewhere around 0,225 (G1). So if the velocity at the muzzle is 724m/s (2375fps), the impact velocity of 617m/s (2024fps) simulates the impact at the distance of 88 meters (96 yards). The impact velocity of 574m/s (1883fps) simulates the impact at the distance of 126 meters (137 yards).

The impact velocity of 538m/s (1765fps) simulates the impact at the distance of 160 meters (174 yards). At this distance, the bullet would not have expanded at all.

THE BULLET

Rhino Solid Shank is specifically designed for hunting. It has a copper jacket with lead core. The lead is bonded to the copper jacket and the bottom half of the bullet is solid copper. It is designed to form four mushroom petals that produce a large but controlled wound channel.

This bullet is made for the .45-70Gov caliber, so we wanted to test it with little wider velocity range, because there is also older trapdoor- and lever action rifles available for this caliber.

This bullet will start expanding somewhere between 538m/s (1765fps) and 574m/s (1883fps) like the test is showing. This is little tougher bullet than some of the competitors, and that is good to keep in mind, if someone is reloading this bullet for trapdoor- or lever action rifles. We believe that this bullet can take even more beating, than what we pushed it on this test. With the impact speed of 724m/s (2375fps), the retained weight was still almost 100%, even if the expansion was quite extreme.

The amount of expanding on the tested bullets was at the good level. Width of the all three expanded bullets are on the same level (1,8x), even though the impact velocities varies almost 150m/s (492fps).

Retained weights of the bullets was almost 100% and of course at the excellent level.

WOUND CHANNELS

Test targets were wet newspapers. The bullets penetrated as follows:

  • With impact velocity of 724m/s (2375fps), penetration 63cm (24,8″).
  • With impact velocity of 617m/s (2024fps), penetration 45cm (17,7″).
  • With impact velocity of 574m/s (1883fps), penetration 46cm (18,1″).

The wound channels can be seen below. The harder impact of faster bullet can easily be seen from the cavitation. At this case, the fastest bullet penetrated the most.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

The bullet that I could use at the moose hunting in Finland with a modern 45-70gov, .450 Marlin or .458winmag rifle. Those would definetely do the job with this bullet. You can expect nice expansion and exellent retained weights when the velocity range is ok.

Like we wrote previously, this is little tougher 300gr bullet, than some of the competitors. Our opinion is, that you should keep in mind the impact velocity range, when reloading this bullet. How much velocity you can achieve with trapdoor rifle for example? What will be the working distance area of the bullet?

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Barnes – .375″ – 270gr TSX – Bullet test

Barnes Bullets is a copper bullet manufacturer from USA and is one of the biggest and oldest copper bullet manufacturers. Their history starts from the year 1932. You can found their homepage here: https://www.barnesbullets.com

We want to give our thanks to our reader who sent these .375″ Barnes TSX 270gr bullets for us to test  in our Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab. 

But to the results!

Barnes – .375″ – 270gr TSX ( Triple-Shock X ) bullet results!

TESTING

Testing was made by reloading the bullets to the 375 H&H Magnum cartridges. We measured the impact velocities ca. 5 meters from the muzzle. Harder impact velocity was 766m/s (2513fps) and the lower impact velocity was 619m/s (2031fps).

The ballistic coefficient of this bullet is 0,326 (G1). So If the velocity at the muzzle is 766m/s (2513fps), the lower impact velocity of 619m/s (2031fps) simulates the impact at the distance of 172 meters (188 yards).

THE BULLET

The Barnes TSX bullet was introduced in 2003 and they say it has become their most popular hunting bullet. Like they say on their homepage:

“Barnes’ TSX Bullet Features include all-copper construction, no fragmentation, rapid expansion, 28% deeper penetration than lead-core bullets, and maximum weight retention.”

“Barnes TSX, TTSX, and LRX share the same all-copper design resulting in virtually 100% weight retention. Four razor-sharp cutting petals expand to double the bullet’s original diameter to create a very long and wide wound channel. The TTSX differs from the TSX in that it features a re-engineered nose cavity that accommodates a polymer tip. The LRX also features a polymer tip along with a longer nose profile and a boattail design that delivers match grade accuracy at long range with an incredibly high B.C. without sacrificing terminal performance.”

At the higher velocity of 766m/s (2513fps) the expansion of the bullet was good. The bullet doubled (2,1x) its width, as the manufacturer advertices. The bullet expanded to the very end of the expansion chamber. It is possible, that this bullet can handle more velocity without breakdown, or not. By reloading you can push it even higher velocities and adjust desired impact velocity for example to the 50 meters.

Also at the slower velocity of 619m/s (2031fps) the expansion of the bullet was at the OK level (1,68x), considering that we are talking about the big-game rifle cartridge and bullet, and the impact at the 172 meters (188 yards).

Retained weights of the both bullets was almost 100% and of course at the excellent level.

WOUND CHANNELS

Test targets were the wet newspapers. The bullet with impact velocity of 766m/s (2513fps) penetrated 76cm (29,9″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact velocity of 619m/s (2031fps) penetrated 74cm (29,1″). The amounts of penetrations was exellent. 

The wound channels can be seen below. Lower impact velocity and lesser mushrooming of the bullet, can clearly be seen from the cavitation.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

Really good bullet choice to .375 H & H Magnum for the big-game hunting. You can expect good working at the wide velocity range and with exellent penetration. Quality big game bullet from the biggest copper bullet manufacturer.

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Fox Bullets Classic Hunter – .366″ – 250gr – Bullet test

Fox bullets is a bullet manufacturer from Slovenia. They are producing a lead-free hunting and training bullets which are made of copper- zinc alloy. You can found their homepage here: https://www.foxbullets.eu

We want to give our thanks to the Finnish importer Corenius for the possibility to test the Fox Bullets products in our Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab. Yes, we have quite good selection of Fox Bullet products for testing purposes, so there will be more tests! You can found Corenius’s homepage and the availability of Fox Bullets products here: https://www.corenius.fi

But to the results!

Fox Bullets Classic Hunter .366″ 250gr bullet results!

TESTING

Testing was made by reloading the bullets to the 9,3×62 cartridges. We measured the impact velocities ca. 5 meters from the muzzle. Harder impact velocity was 708m/s (2323fps) and the lower impact velocity was 646m/s (2119fps).

Note: This bullet is quite long for this weight class and it steals quite much powder capacity from the brass. Measured lenght is 38,00mm (1,49″).

The ballistic coefficient of this bullet is 0,332 (G1). So If the velocity at the muzzle is 708m/s (2323fps), the lower impact velocity of 646m/s (2119fps) simulates the impact at the distance of 74 meters (80 yards).

THE BULLET

Fox Bullets Classic Hunter bullets are designed for hunting. As they say on their homepage:

“The Fox Classic hunter are lead-free bullets designed for all hunting situations that an European hunter can experience, from a close distance shot on a wild boar on a driven hunt, to an extremely long shot on a gams in the high mountains. Bullets are lead-free and are made of copper- zinc alloy. The selected material provides an adequate deformation even at a lower impact velocities”.

“The grooves on the bullet reduce the contact surface between the bullet and the rifle barrel, which reduce the pressure and increase the speed. The degree of deformation is determined by the depth of the hole at the top of the bullet. The tip is made of thermo-stable plastic that increases the ballistics as well as the terminal effect.”

“At the impact, the bullet deforms into a mushroom shape of a double off the diameter off the caliber. A controlled and rapid expansion enables an effective transfer of energy from the bullet to the body of the game. All this together provide an extraordinary stopping effect, while at the same time keeps the games meat undamaged.”

This 250gr bullet is quite long and the shape of the bullet is quite special. With the Blaser R8 rifle, you usually can reload 9,3×62 cartridges to quite long OAL. But with this bullet, the cartridge’s overall lenght became shorter than normally, because of the shape of the bullet.

So this bullet steals quite much powder capacity from the brass, and you cannot expect very high velocities with it. We would gladly push this 250gr Classic Hunter bullet to even higher velocities than what we archieved in this test, to ensure the good expansion at the target.

At the higher velocity of 708m/s (2323fps) the expansion of the bullet was good. With this velocity, the bullet did not expand to the very end of the expansion chamber. So this bullet can probably also handle little greater impact velocities and expand even little more.

At the slower speed of 646m/s (2119fps) the expansion of the bullet was too modest, concerning the caliber used on the test and the impact velocity of the bullet. Consequently the long lenght and the heavier tail of the bullet resulted bullet to turn sideways inside the target after the expansion.

Retained weights of the both bullets were over 99% and of course at the excellent level.

WOUND CHANNELS

Test targets were the wet newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 708m/s (2323fps) penetrated 71cm (28″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact speed of 646m/s (2119fps) penetrated 69cm (27,2″). The amounts of penetrations was really good. The slower speed bullet traveled completely sideways and it can be seen from the wound channel. It tumbled quite fast after the expansion.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

Copper alloy bullets usually likes quite high velocities, because the material is harder than it is on the bullets that are made from the pure copper. And it can be seen on this bullet test. Density of the copper alloy is also usually little lower, which can be seen on the bigger size of the bullets, compared to pure copper bullets.

Our opinion is, that this bullet is not for the slow velocity reloading. You have to push it hard, to get the good results at the greater shooting distances. But with this bullet, the size and the special shape of the bullet will not help you on that mission!

At the short distances, the bullet will expand ok, and you can expect really good penetration!

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

North Fork – .458″ – 300gr FP – Bullet test

The North Fork .458″ 300gr FP (flat point) will be the first bullet for our .458″ bullet test section!

Manufacturing of North Fork bullets were formerly located in Oregon USA, but in the year 2020, the production were sold and moved to Sweden. For us, the Finnish hunters, this is of course the great thing.

As they say on their homepage: “Over a decade ago, North Fork Bullets began with the goal of creating the best hunting bullets in the world while providing exceptional service to its customers.“. What they want to offer are the bullets that are extremely accurate, bore friendly and devasting.

We want to give our thanks to the new Swedish manufacturer of North Fork bullets for the possibility to test the North Fork bullets in our Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab. You can found North Fork bullets on their homepages : https://www.northforkbullets.com & https://www.jbhunting.se

But to the results!

North Fork .458″ 300gr FP bullet results!

TESTING

Testing was made by reloading the bullets to the .458 Winchester Magnum cartridges. We measured the impact velocities ca. 5m from the muzzle. Harder impact velocity was 759m/s (2490fps) and the lower impact velocity was 618m/s (2028fps).

We do not know the ballistic coefficient of this bullet, but it MIGHT be somewhere around 0,225 (G1). If the velocity at the muzzle is 759m/s (2490fps), the lower impact velocity of 618m/s (2028fps) would simulate the impact at the distance of 113 meters (123 yards). Note: There might be error of guessing the ballistic coefficient!

THE BULLET

They say that the bullets are : “Engineered to give you the utmost in expansion and unfailing reliability over the widest Range of velocities possible whether shooting a high velocity magnum or a standard Cartridge. North Fork bullets produce the “perfect mushroom” every time. The benefits, Whether the game is up close or at a longer range, are predictable expansion and high Retained weight providing deep penetration. With the lead core in front of the bullet and the Solid copper shank in the rear, impact results in a “perfect mushroom” over a large range of Velocities. At impact, the front lead core expands until it reaches the solid copper shank Stopping the mushroom at its maximum diameter.

The jacket of the bullets are made of pure copper, and gilded metals or copper alloys are not used. Lead core is bonded to the jacket to produce a bullet, which will have a high retained weight and which will not break and separate under the impact.

We believe this bullet is made for a .45-70 government cartridges, so the higher impact velocity of 759m/s (2490fps) was little bit out of the specifications! But we wanted to try it! The bullet held up the abusing really well, and did not break! Width of the mushroom narrowed little bit because of the high impact velocity, but the retained weight is still at the acceptable level (83%).

At the slower velocity of 618m/s (2028fps) bullet expanded well. Retained weight is also at the exellent level (ca. 99%). You don’t need to reload this bullet to the 760m/s muzzle velocity, because this bullet will also work on the lower velocities! But if you want, you definetely can!

It would have been great to test this bullet with even slower velocities for the .45-70gov users, but we run out of bullets. If we have possibilities to test lower velocities on the future, we will update the results to this article! We believe, this bullet probably will expand at the impact speed of 550m/s (1804fps).

WOUND CHANNELS

Test targets were wet newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 759m/s (2490fps) penetrated 57cm (22,4″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact speed of 618m/s (2028fps) penetrated 56cm (22″). The amount of expansion of the bullet was really good for the weight of it, and it leaded also to the good penetration.

The wound channels can be seen below. The harder impact of faster bullet can easily be seen from the cavitation.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

Really good bullet choice, for a many different type of guns! The lowest velocities are still untested, but we would easily recommend this to the .45-70gov caliber. With the muzzle velocity of over 700m/s (2300fps) this bullet is really good choice for moose or bear hunting. Good penetration, nice velocity for moving subjects and really manageable recoil. Like Doug Marcaida would say; it will kill.

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Sako Gamehead Varmint RX – 308win Factory cartridge – Bullet test

At april we had a “Sako Shooting Day” at the Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab! We tested the Sako Gamehead Varmint RX 308win factory cartridge at the same day, when we tested the new Sako Powerhead Blade 308win cartridge. Sako Powerhead Blade test you can find here -> LINK

Before we go to the test results, we still want to give our big thanks to Sako Oy, who handed these brand new Sako cartridges for us to test! Really great gesture for the enthusiasts, because there are a lot of people who are intersted about these new Sako cartridges!

But, to the results!

Sako Gamehead Varmint RX 308win cartridge with 130gr varmint bullet!

TESTING

Tests were shot with the Tikka T3x Tactical rifle with the 600mm barrel. We measured the velocity ca. 5m from the muzzle and got a 942m/s (3090fps) impact velocity. Manufacturer promises the velocity of 940m/s (3084fps) at the muzzle, so it was spot on!

THE BULLET

The optimal working style of the varmint bullet is to explode to pieces! This Sako Gamehead Varmint RX, is the hollow point, boat tail bullet for the varmints! Developed by Sako Oy. With the weight of 130gr it is little heavier than the other manufacturer’s varmint bullets in 308win. Maybe it will have same kind of trajectory than the normal hunting bullets, because of the weight? The possibility to use also the varmint bullet without the need of re-adjusting the rifle scope? I do not have answer to that yet, but I am eager to see it.

First target was 70cm of wetted newspapers and after that a 5-liter water jug. Our idea was to secure also the end part of the bullet, if the bullet would not explode completely. I can tell, the first shot was a blast! The water jug fell off the table, though it was on the other end of it! There was a huge crater emerged on the newspaper pile! The hole on the external surface of the paper, was almost 10cm (3,9″) wide! After our laugh little settled down, we noticed that there is a huge wound cavity inside the newspapers! It was 24cm (9,4″) deep and it was getting even wider inside. We measured the width of the cavity to be a 16-17cm (6,5″) wide inside of the crater!

Below you can see the wound channel of the Gamehead Varmint RX.

Second target was 5-liter water jugs. Those exploded one after another. Yes, we could not stop after the first one. It was a great joy! =D What we noticed, was that if the backside of the water jug did not rip apart, there still were no exit holes of the bullet at the back wall of the jug. The bullets were completely exploded before the back wall. I would say that Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullets works as good varmint bullets should work… they explode!

Below you can see the picture from the homepage of Sako Oy, it shows the structure of the Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullet.

Image copyrights: Sako Oy

RELOADING

At the moment, this bullet is only available in factory cartridges.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

The Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullet exploded almost completely, as you can see on the photos above. It is a true varmint bullet. When you are shooting a fox with the Gamehead Varmint RX the skin of that fox will be a quite tight at the short period of time! It would not take a single step after the impact. I am sure of it!

PS. This Sako Gamehead Varmint RX will also be available in 30-06spr caliber, which is really great, because the selection of 30-06 varmint cartridges in Finland, is completely zero at the moment. The velocity of the 30-06 is adverticed to be 975m/s (3199fps).

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Rhino Solid Shank – .375″ – 235gr – Bullet test

The first .375″ bullet test for our homepage! The Rhino Solid Shank!

Rhino bullets are designed in South Africa. They wanted to design a “no-nonsense bullet” which would be suited to the harsh African conditions. By the manufacturer, the Rhino Bullets have been designed and constructed to stand up to anything you throw at them, and yet retain the accuracy required by a benchrest shooter. More information about the Rhino bullets, you can found on their homapage: https://rhinobullets.co.za

We want to thank you the P&H EsVo Group Oy for possibility to test the Rhino bullets in our Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab. You can found Rhino bullets on their online shop at https://www.esvo.fi

But to the results!

Rhino Solid Shank .375" 235gr

Rhino Solid Shank .375″ 235gr bullet.

TESTING

Testing was made by reloading the bullets to the .375 H & H Magnum cartridges. We measured the impact velocities ca. 5m from the muzzle. Harder impact velocity was 845m/s (2772fps) and the lower impact velocity was 719m/s (2359fps).

If the velocity at the muzzle is 845m/s (2772fps), the lower impact velocity of 719m/s (2359fps) simulates the impact at the distance of 162 meters (177 yards).

THE BULLET

Rhino Solid Shank is specifically designed for hunting. It has a copper jacket with lead core. The lead is bonded to the copper jacket and the bottom half of the bullet is solid copper. It is designed to form four mushroom petals that produce a large but controlled wound channel.

On our tests the bullets performed exellent on both speeds. Retained weights were very good and the width of the mushroomed bullets were exellent. The bullet with the harder impact formed over 2,5x to the width of the caliber, and the bullet with lighter impact also formed almost to 2,5x width.

WOUND CHANNELS

The great expansion of the bullets can also be seen on the little shorter penetration. Test targets were wet newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 845m/s (2772fps) penetrated 43cm (16,9″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact speed of 719m/s (2359fps) penetrated 36cm (14,2″).

The wound channels can be seen below. The harder impact of faster bullet can easily be seen from the cavitation.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

The bullet that I would gladly use at the moose hunting in Finland. Little shorter penetration is desired feature when hunting moose with the dogs. When the bullet does not exit from the moose after the hit, there are always less threats to dogs to get the hits.

This Rhino Solid Shank bullet has really good capabilities to form to a really wide mushroom and with the 375H&H you can push it to really high speeds. I believe, you can definetely see the effect when this bullet hits to the moose!

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Sellier & Bellot Exergy – 9,3×62 Factory Cartridge – Bullet test

We did a little Sellier & Bellot easter shootout earlier! Thank you for the Aseliike Remes to make it possible! This is the third and last part of the article series that will concentrate on the S&B Exergy factory cartridges.  We already published the 6,5×55 and 308win tests and this will concentrate on the 9,3×62 caliber. 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.

Sellier Bellot exergy

But, to the results!

Sellier & Bellot Exergy 250gr –9,3×62 Factory Cartridge

TESTING

Test gun was a Blaser R8 rifle with the 480mm barrel. We measured the velocity ca. 5m from the muzzle and got a 714m/s (2343fps) impact velocity. Manufacturer promises the velocity of 745m/s (2444fps) to the factory load, from the 600mm barrel.

The slower impact velocity was achieved by reloading. If the velocity at the muzzle is 745m/s (2444fps) what manufacturer claims, the speed of 637m/s (2090fps) simulates the impact at the distance of 134 meters (ca. 146 yards).

THE BULLET

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 714m/s (2343fps) wasn’t too harsh for the 250gr Exergy, like it was for the 6,5×55 and 308win versions. Bullet opened all-the-way to the bottom of the expansion cavity, and it did not lost a single of it’s five petals. Which can also be seen on the retained weight (99,4%).

9,3×62 is more close range caliber than the previous tested Exergy calibers, so it is possible, that cartridges are adjusted for the shorter shooting distances. Of course we did not achieve the velocity that manufacturer promises, because of our 120mm shorter barrel. That also can affect to the working of the bullet.

At the impact of the 637m/s (2090fps) the bullet worked great again, and kept all the petals intact as can be seen on the photo above. The retained weight was also again excellent. With this velocity, the bullet width was almost exact same than it was on the harder hit. Only clear difference can be seen on the lenght of the bullet. Also with this Exergy cartridge, we can expect bullet to open reliably even on slightly longer distances.

RELOADING

This S&B Exergy .366″ 250gr bullet is only available in factory cartridges.

WOUND CHANNELS

Test targets were wetted newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 714m/s (2343fps) penetrated 64cm (25,2″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact speed of 637m/s (2090fps) penetrated 57cm (22,4″).

The wound channels can be seen below. Both are very classical example’s of the wound channels.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

Factory cartridge with a good copper bullet! You can expect good working at the over 100m distances also. Low ballistic coefficient (G1: 0,348) 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 on big-game hunting!

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Sellier & Bellot Exergy – 308win Factory Cartridge – Bullet test

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.

Sellier Bellot exergy

But, to the results!

Sellier & Bellot Exergy 180gr –308 Winchester Factory Cartridge

TESTING

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 BULLET

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!

RELOADING

This S&B Exergy .308″ 180gr bullet is only available in factory cartridges.

WOUND CHANNELS

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.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

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

Sellier & Bellot Exergy – 6.5×55 Factory Cartridge – Bullet test

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 first part of the article series that will concentrate on the S&B Exergy factory cartridges. This part will consist the 6.5×55 caliber and the 308win, and 9,3×62 will follow in different articles! 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 130gr – 6,5×55 Swedish Factory Cartridge

TESTING

Test gun was a Blaser combination gun with the 600mm barrel. We measured the velocity ca. 5m from the muzzle and got a 792m/s impact velocity, which is quite spot on to the promises of the manufacturer, which is 805m/s v0 velocity from the 600mm barrel.

The slower impact velocity was achieved by reloading. If the velocity at the muzzle is 805m/s, what the manufacturer claims. The speed of 691m/s simulates the impact at the distance of 91 meters (ca. 100 yards).

THE BULLET

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 792m/s (2592fps) was too harsh for this 130gr Exergy bullet and it lost three of it’s five petals. Which can also be seen on the retained weight (81,8%) 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 691m/s (2267fps) the bullet worked great and kept all the petals intact as can be seen on the photo above. The retained weight was also excellent. With this velocity, the bullet opened all-the-way to the bottom of the expansion cavity. So we can expect reliable opening of the bullet also on the greater distances than 91m/100yards.

RELOADING

This S&B Exergy .264″ 130gr bullet is only available in factory cartridges.

WOUND CHANNELS

Test targets were wetted newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 792m/s (2592fps) penetrated 49cm (19,3″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact speed of 646m/s penetrated 51cm (20,1″).

The wound channels can be seen below. With some bullets, it is easy to see the effect of loosing the petals, from the shape of the wound channel. But between these two, the difference is quite small.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

Factory cartridge with a good copper bullet! You can expect good working at the over 100m distances also. Low ballistic coefficient (G1: 0,240) 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