View Full Version : SMK's 69 vs 77 grain
I've recently picked up a Centurion Arms SPR barrel. It's shooting about 3/4 moa with 69 gr match kings. I understand this barrel is optimized for the 69 & 77 grain smk. 90% of my shooting is 200 yards or less. Am I going to see any difference shooting the 77's? I need to place a bulk order and I'm trying to decide which to get. I'm imagining the 69's will be a bit less expensive. So if I can save some money...
In my experience the 69's generally (every barrel has its preferences) produce smaller groups from 0-200M, but are overtaken by the 77's past that due to superior external ballistic performance, especially if there's wind involved. So, if you're seeing sub MOA performance out of the 69's and don't plan on shooting past 200M, there is no advantage to shooting the 77's. Save the $$$
Try some of the lighter offerings from Sierra and Hornady as well. Molon uses a control loading for those fast twist barrels and it's a 53 gr Sierra bullet. V-MAX bullets are very cheap compared to Sierra products and yield very good precision for me. Regardless, you'll find much of this forum is not centered on group sizes but ability to hit larger...often living targets.
Thanks for the reply a0cake. I've been reading of your experience with the SPR and was hoping you'd have some advice. I believe I've made the right decision in barrel choices.
So, if you're seeing sub MOA performance out of the 69's and don't plan on shooting past 200M, there is no advantage to shooting the 77's. Save the $$$
Plus you'll gain the added benefit they fly to generally the same trajectory as GI Green Tip Ball if you're using some kind of optic with drop graduations or markings.
First off, be happy if you are getting 3/4 MOA in an AR. Most of us cannot hold that steady in the first place.
But at about $.20 each + shipping (Midway dealer price) I don't see any advantage to the 69 SMKs unless it's just what your barrel happens to prefer (not too likely). You can get 1k bulk 77 grain Noslers for less, which should be significantly better at distance, if you get the chance. A 250 ct box added to another order would be a way to try some out. IMO, it's best to get the experimenting out of the way before loading up on inventory.
My M&P15T's 1/9" (1/8.8" if measured) also prefers the 69gr. Matchkings, but will shoot the 77's as well.
Also, remember that you'll only get 50 77's per box rather than 100 69's.
You may also want to try Hornady's 68gr. OTM, they have a higher B.C. than the 69 SMK's and are cheaper to boot... and they group slightly tighter from my rifle. The 69/77gr. Nosler Custom Competition bullets are also useful.
I've also had great luck with Hornady's 75gr. Match also.
Honestly I'm a bit tiered of load development right now. I've spent the better part of a year finding a couple loads for my Colt 6922, with my limited range time and funds. I have thought about Noslers though, as they do seem very similar. But I'm not finding them to be anymore cost effective. I'm sure I could mess around and find a couple more loads. I just don't want to spend the time or money right now. Plus I would like to stick to the heavies right now.
As it is though, my barrel is supposed to be " optimized" for the 69-77 gr match king. I'm hoping that'll help get me to shooting instead of developing for once.
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