Barnes .308 175 gr match bullets


November 27, 2011, 12:35 AM
Anyone tried these?

I ran across some information about them and noted that they claim a very high BC... .521. This is higher than any other 175 grain .308 bullet that I can find, including Sierra MK's (.505), Berger VLD (.498), and Nosler Custom Competition (.505).

I was curious enough about these that I bought a box (they are significantly less than Berger and about the same price as Sierra or Nosler match bullets. I was surprised when I compared them to the SMK's and Nosler CC's.

I measured the bullet length and found that the Sierra MK's averaged 1.225", the Nosler CC's averaged 1.245" and the Barnes match bullets 1.325".

I'm wondering how the Barnes compare to the 174 grain GP11 bullet. Does anyone have BC information for that bullet?


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November 29, 2011, 09:01 PM
I just picked up a box of the Match Burners myself today, going to try them in a 308. So far the only thing it's shot well enough for me to be happy with are the 175 SMK so I'm looking forward to trying them. Here's a pic lined up w/ more 30 cals I had around.

November 30, 2011, 02:25 AM
Excellent picture, Gjgo

This is of primary interest to Swiss 7.5 x 55 shooters.

I pulled a GP11 bullet and photographed the three 175 grain match bullets next to the Swiss GP11 bullet. The Barnes MB 175 gr appears to more closely match the Swiss GP11 bullet on the right.
Sierra MK, Nosler CC, Barnes MB, and GP11

February 9, 2012, 11:05 PM
My first trip to the range with the match burners was promising, shot slightly better than the 175 SMKs @ 100yds. Need to go back for another round to see if it's consistent & to continue load development farther out.

February 10, 2012, 12:22 AM
Barnes has always used a little 'artistic license' when publishing their ballistic coefficients.

February 10, 2012, 12:50 AM
Do you need a 1-10" twist barrel or will they shoot in 1-12"?

February 10, 2012, 10:43 PM
12 twist technically would be no problem, just have to see if your barrel likes them or not.

February 11, 2012, 03:35 AM
I haven't tried any of the Barnes match bullets because they usually cost too much for my pocket. (I'm cheap) For the most part I'm sure any match bullet will shoot better than their standard bullet. I usually shoot 168gr Sierra and Hornady .308 bullets.

September 30, 2012, 05:51 PM
So I'm pretty darn happy with the 175gr .308 Barnes match burner bullets. I found a load with them that I liked in my Savage that was shooting a little better than the SMKs did at 100 yards. So, I decided to run some comparison groups at 200 yards & see how it shakes out. While the SMKs stayed right about the same .75 MOA they are for me at 100 yards, the BMBs.. well.. lit it on fire! I want to do some backup on different days but on this day I was seeing some really solid 200yd groups. Here's an example, all 4 shot groups.

September 30, 2012, 06:49 PM
Jesus, GJgo...that BMB group is fantastic. Was the load the same with it and the SMK?

I just loaded some 7.5 Swiss loads using RE17 and the 175 gr BMB's

Will try and shoot them this week.

September 30, 2012, 07:00 PM

September 30, 2012, 08:09 PM
Barnes has always used a little 'artistic license' when publishing their ballistic coefficients.
Looking at the shape of the bullet though, it probably isn't that far off.

I've used the 52gn .224 bullets and they work well. I've got a bunch of the 68gn .243 pills for my 6.45 but haven't messed with them yet.

September 30, 2012, 09:33 PM
Mustang, close but not quite. It's all Winchester brass, CCI primers, .015" off the lands.

**These loads are safe in my rifle but may not be in yours! Always start low & work up!**

The 200 SMK is 47.5gr RL17 @ 2630 FPS, the 175 SMK is 44.0gr Varget at (can't find my notes) FPS & the BMB is 44.3gr Varget at (can't find my notes) FPS. IIRC they're both in the 27xx FPS range though. The BMB load has about a 0.3gr sweet spot, so with the temp stability of Varget I stuck it right in the middle & it seems to be working. :)

September 30, 2012, 09:53 PM
Same Varget sweet spot range for me with 175 SMKs and 178 AMax. May try the Barnes some day.

October 16, 2012, 08:40 PM
I started some testing with the 175 grain Barnes Matchburners and Reloader-17 in one of my Swiss K31's.

46 and 47 grains /2.960 col/CCI 200 primer/Prvi brass on the bottom. 48 grains on the top (at 100 yards off a sand bag front rest)

A good start, except for the flyers. 46 grains looked good, it started to open up at 47 grains and came back together some at 49 grains.

About the best I was able to do with iron sights. I've loaded up another batch -- 49.0/49.5/50.0 grain loads.

October 16, 2012, 08:51 PM
You didn't look close enough at the Berger bullets...

The 168 gr Match Hybrid Target has a G1 BC of .519 and their 175 gr Match BT Long Range Target bullet has a G1 BC of .515...

And those are likely BC numbers you can trust...most others, not so much...

October 16, 2012, 09:49 PM
You didn't look close enough at the Berger bullets...

Interesting study, but I didn't see any tests on the Berger bullets. Any indication that Berger's BC figures are more accurate than Barnes, Sierra, et al?

October 16, 2012, 10:06 PM
Bryan Litz...the guy that did that the Chief Ballistician at Berger Bullets.

EDIT: And I'm not trying to discourage the use of Barnes bullets (but it is true...I'm no fan of Barnes)...if they shoot for you, use them...I just thought it was worth mentioning that the advertised BC's of almost all bullets are, more often than not, wrong...most company's don't want to, or cannot afford to, invest the time and money into proper testing equipment and they just use computer models which simply don't work all that good...not to mention the G1 vs G7 drag functions.

October 16, 2012, 10:30 PM
Bryan Litz...the guy that did that the Chief Ballistician at Berger Bullets. he tested his competition's bullets?

I don't have anything against Berger bullets...I just question whether many people will benefit from the 50% premium that Berger charges for their bullets over other brands.

October 16, 2012, 10:39 PM
I doubt he would lie about his results...his reputation would be on the line, and especially not in a study that was organized by the USAF Academy.

I'm believer in that you get what you pay for, no matter what it the question is whether or not a person is satisfied with less.

I'm a recent convert myself...but last week when I finally decided to do some serious load work with Berger bullets that my son bought before he left (USMC)...I found it hard to argue with the results...these are from a plain Jane, over the counter rifle (M70...30-06), no real load work up at all...just did the research, loaded them up...and fired this group.

175 Berger Hunting VLD, 58.5 grains of H4350, chrono'd 2,775 fps...I know, only 3 shots, but this is a hunting rifle.

I fully expected them to be "complicated"...but this is the easiest load I ever came up with...some tweaking of the seating depth might tighten it up a bit, but even if it don't...I think its a keeper.

Also, I know not every rifle likes the same bullet...some rifles shoot great with SMK's and some don't...Bergers are no different in that respect but I can see why they cost more...the testing and research and development that goes into them isn't cheap, neither is the way Berger produces these very consistent bullets...and Bergers sole mission, above all accurate bullets (their roots are in BR shooting)...LOL, I guess maybe I drank too much koolaid...but dang it, I was/am genuinely impressed with them.

So much so...that I've been hunting with Nosler Ballistic Tips for over 20 years...and they've never failed me in any way, shape, form, or fashion...accurate too...but I'm gonna hunt with those Bergers this year.

October 16, 2012, 11:41 PM
That is a nice group....308 caliber?

I've had good luck with Hornady in my Swiss rifles, but was intrigued with the shape of the Barnes 175 gr bullet.

Duplicating the performance of Swiss military ammunition is kind of a Holy Grail for many Swiss rifle's why

5 shots of 30+ year old Swiss GP11 surplus ammunition through a $100 Sported Swiss rifle with a Bushnell scope at 100 yards

So far, the Barnes 175 match bullet seems to most closely match the profile of the 174 grain GP11 projectile, although I haven't had the opportunity to compare the Berger 175 grain.

October 16, 2012, 11:51 PM
The Berger isn't even close to the GP11 bullet...the ogives are completely different.

You can see a pic in the link below, maybe not the exact bullet but its not hard to see the difference in the VLD.

October 17, 2012, 12:10 AM
That is a sleek looking bullet.

My sons and I shoot Swiss rifles in various vintage military rifle matches, including a silhouette match with chickens, pigs, turkeys and rams at distances of 220 to 550 yards.

and "vintage long-range" matches, shot at 300, 500, 600, and 800 yards.

Here's a link to an aerial pic of the range complex that we shoot our matches at. The silhouette range is in the middle of the complex and the "long range" match is shot on the 1000 yard range at the top of the pic.

We use "as issued" rifles, so I do my load development using iron sighted "as issued" rifles.

October 17, 2012, 12:13 AM
I generally use Swiss surplus ammo in the long range match, which is shot at paper targets. The ammo is still fairly cheap...about 50 cents a round... and is non-corrosive, but Berdan primed.

Unfortunately, the silhouette matches may not be fired with FMJ ammo, so I reload for those.

October 17, 2012, 12:29 AM
Thats pretty neat...

September 15, 2013, 12:55 PM
I agree that the Bergers are better bullets & generally shoot better if you put the time into tuning them (seating depth). That said, I can't stomach $50 a box for target shooting so I settle for "less".

I'm finding that I'm more interested in consistency than all out accuracy, seems the most accurate loads (secant ogive) I come up with will float a lot with temperature, throat erosion etc. where some loads with tangent ogive bullets don't. Not always, but usually. I'm not shooting for money so I don't care to tune at each match.

Anyway on to some new info. Yesterday I shot these loads in very rainy / stormy conditions. The flags were full tilt sideways. I shot a gong at 300 yds, painted black to see hits. The 175 SMKs & the 175 BMBs were getting blown all over the place, and averaged being blown from the wind almost a full mil (mil dot scope). The groups were both pretty bad, probably 2-2.5 moa. I was expecting better from the sleek BMB. My 200 SMK load however was shooting right about the same .75 moa it does at 100 & 200, and it was only getting blown 1/3 mil from the wind.

Since the BMB is a secant ogive it's possible that I need to re-tune it for 300+ yds. This is my long range rifle so really I should be tuning at 300 yds anyway to see what it's going to do way out there. That said, and I've seen this before a number of times, it's frustrating when I see a load that's great at 100 & 200 but really starts to open up at 300+. (Granted yesterday the wind played a role.) While my 200 SMK load is only shooting around .75 moa, which isn't match material for 1K shoots, it's doing it consistently at all ranges AND is WAY less affected by the wind. I'm leaning towards consistency.

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