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178 Amax Terminal Performance

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by kis2, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    Hey gents, long time no post. I'm sure you missed me :rolleyes:

    Hunting season is coming up. While examining the load I currently have to see if it would be suitable for the task, I came across some contradicting information on the 178gr Amax from Hornady. Hornady website says 'match bullets are not intended for hunting'. Yet, my Hornady reloading manual places a green checkmark in the 'medium game' category for the 178gr Amax. Several people online saying 'don't use match bullets', several people online saying 'don't use match bullets, except the 178gr Amax'.

    Thus, I set out unscientifically to put the bullet to the test. I'm just going to post the results and let you guys discuss it's suitability based off my single point experiment :)

    Target: Phone books. Soaked with water, duct taped together.
    Load: 178gr Amax, 2700fps
    Distance: 200yds

    Picture 1: A good enough zero. Only three shots.
    Picture 2: Initial entry. I'd say it's about .308" in diameter. :D
    Picture 3: Entry into final phone book. A little more than 1" across.
    Picture 4: Bullet pulled from last phone book. Correspondingly an 1" across, about 3/4" long.


    Overall it penetrated 14" of phone book. Right after about 4" is where you start to see the 1" hole showing up. That maintains until the last book that stopped the bullet with no divergence in the course. The bullet I pulled weight 79.8gr. The last 1/4" of the bullet looks to have kept most of it's shape, with the base clearly visible.

    I leave this to your much more experienced minds. Thoughts?
     

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  2. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    Ive used 7mm 162s to good effect. Performance has been about like a balistic tip, havent shot anything large tho.
     
  3. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    what have you used the 162's on LoonWulf?

    what good is a post without a picture of the gun?
     

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  4. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    Here's the deal on match bullets for hunting. If you are hunting thin skinned game such as deer, antelope, or varmints they are good to go providing correct shot placement (iffy on shoulder shots on deer sized animals). If elk or moose you need a bonded or hunting bullet.
     
  5. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    Deer and goats, largest was about 200 id guess smallest was about 40.
     
  6. USSR

    USSR Member

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    I've been hunting deer with the 178gr Amax loaded with 57gr of IMR4831 in .30-06 for several years now. Great bullet for thin skinned large game.

    Don
     
  7. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    are you shooting .30-06? If you are loading your own and interested in match performance chances are you are a good enough shot to make any center fire work. Have you tried Berger yet?
     
  8. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    this is out of a .308. I think I'm pretty content with this for anything around deer and smaller. I was recently given a handful of 150gr bonded bergers that I think I'll do some mild load development on and use for elk. Just keep a handful of them in reserve with some ballistic info.

    I don't see anything bigger than elk in my future.

    USSR: What kind of velocities are you getting with 57gr behind the 178 amax? Sounds like it'd be smokin.
     
  9. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    my next question would be: the farther away the target gets, what does that do to this bullets expansion? retain more or less with what kind of channel? Essentially: more, less or equally effective as the distance increases?
     
  10. USSR

    USSR Member

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    kis2,

    Haven't chronographed it, but I suspect it is in the neighborhood of 2700fps out of my Model 70's 24" barrel.

    Don
     
  11. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    One of the reasons match grade bullets are not suggested for police sniper work is they have inconsistent performance. Sometimes they expand and work great, sometimes they act like a FMJ. The bullet was made first and foremost to be accurate with little to no thought given to terminal performance.
     
  12. USSR

    USSR Member

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    C-grunt,

    There's a difference between HPBT Match bullets, and Ballistic Tip Match bullets like the Amax. You are correct in that HPBT Match bullets such as the Sierra MatchKing will normally not expand, but the AMax with it's ballistic tip definitely will expand, the key being to match the velocity to get the amount of expansion you desire.

    Don
     
  13. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    kis2, it's good to see you back. I haven't been around in a while either.

    As for those Bergers that your friend gave you, throw them away. Do yourself a favor and don't even try them.

    A friend of mine gave me five of his hunting rounds to try out at the range. He just said that they were Berger "hunting bullets." For the first four rounds, I had my first ever "0" group going, but I threw the fifth round out. The group measured something around .002". I don't remember exactly.

    Bottom line is, unless you're willing to commit to something around $45 for a box of 100, don't even go there. On the other hand, they sure did make me look good.
     
  14. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    TonyAngel, welcome back to you as well then sir! hopefully all the fine rifles are still shooting straight.

    Not only am I not willing to pay twice as much for bullets, but I would also have to liquidate the couple thousand amax's I have on hand!

    I'm just gonna get them up to decent velocity, subMOA, and call it good. put the rest in a box on the shelf for elk.
     
  15. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    Here's a thread I put up after last hunting season on my recent terminal experience w/ Amax bullets. I have a suspicion that the key is to make long enough shots that they've slowed down & will hold together & penetrate.
     
  16. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    ^^that's interesting. so you watched a 168 Amax take down an elk? pretty impressive.
     
  17. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    Yes, it was a perfect shot & it worked that one time. I generally don't think that the Amax would be a *good* idea for hunting Elk because perfect shots are hard to come by, and it's just not a tough bullet. In general I only use TSX when hunting for this reason. But, here's some real world evidence.
     
  18. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    yeah, I'm sticking with my original plan of amax for deer and smaller, berger for elk. and it just so happens those are the two tags I have to fill.

    hopefully this sheds some light on the amax though.
     
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