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Thread: Black Hills 5.56mm 77 gr TMK and 69 gr TMK Review

  1. #1
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    Black Hills 5.56mm 77 gr TMK and 69 gr TMK Review

    I got the chance to try some Black Hills 5.56mm New Factory TMK ammo in 69 grain and 77 grain bullet weights. We run a 77 gr SMK house load in .223 pressure/velocity, so I thought we'd use that as the baseline, and go from there.



    I initially wondered why they would take the 69 gr to the 5.56mm loading, but after our first time running the ammo today, I think this load is going to be something very impressive.

    The ammo comes in the same red/black box that Mk262 does with the nice plastic insert that protects the ammo. The box insert holds the ammo by the neck to protect the round and the bullet. Both of these loads come in LC brass with primer crimps and the visible annealing iris.

    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    We only got to fire a box of each load today... getting the administrative stuff out of the way.... (POI check, chrono, etc.) The POI seems to come up very slightly for both loads. 1/2" high of POA which makes sense due to the higher velocities. We used the Magnetospeed today: Pappabear with his 20 inch 5R Rem 700



    Using the above pictured bolt gun, we captured the following:

    The 77 gr logged 2825 FPS with an SD of 10.

    The 69 gr logged 2969 FPS with an SD of 12.

    Both very nice velocities and standard deviations.

    At 500 yards, (we'll have to confirm this again) the 69 gr appeared to have a little edge over the 77 gr. Both of the loads creamed our SMK come up of 3.5 mils.

    The 77 got there with 2.9 mils, and the 69 gr got there with an even lower 2.7 mils. I hope to be able to figure out at what range the 77 takes over, but I was really impressed with both at 500.

    At 640 yards, (fighting mirage by now) Both rounds were getting good hits with 4.0 mils of come up. (impressive compared to my .308 175 gr SMK 20" bolt gun come up of 5.0 mils)

    At 900 yards, the 69 gr load was getting on steel with 8.5 mils of come up. (vs. 10.0 using a 77 smk .223 load)

    At this point, we were miraged out and getting hot... so we'll get back after it over the next several weeks. But so far, it's been easy to get quantifiable performance improvements over standard velocity ammo.
    Last edited by markm; 03-26-17 at 20:07.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    This should be an interesting thread to follow. I remember Sinister also having kind words for 69-grain loading as well.

    I got some of that 69-grain stuff a while back, but have not had a chance to run it through my BCM Recce-ish carbine.

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    The 69 blew me away for sure. Our spot is often a mirage and wind torture chamber. We have a lot of distance, but it's challenging and even frustrating many days.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    That sounds the perfect place to shoot.

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    Very happy to see this thread. I've wondered how the 69gr TMK would do. I'm generally limited to about 1/4 mile, so I wonder if the 69gr load would be hard to beat at that distance. How did it compare with wind drift to the 77gr load?

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    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondopreacher View Post
    How did it compare with wind drift to the 77gr load?
    I just don't know yet. I hope to be able to make that assessment, but we literally watch the wind ribbons reverse in the same 5 shot string. If this continues, we'll have to get two guns (with mil reticles) running at the same time.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    When did markm start liking Black Hills Ammunition?

    I must have missed something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 556Cliff View Post
    When did markm start liking Black Hills Ammunition?

    I must have missed something.
    Yeah... I kinda got burned out on the benchrest dogma that'd I had subscribed to for a period in my life. Specifically when I had some of those kind of fags (on this site) telling me that what I was doing was WRONG... even though I was gettin better than half MOA results.

    We ended up shooting some factory Mk262 from Black Hills. And on that day it kicked my ammo's ass on S.D., velocity, etc. So we've been shooting some B.H. 5.56 ammo with good results.

    When you let the bullets tell the story, and let go of what the calipers, gauges, and instrumentation are saying... you make better calls. I'm not letting go of my .223 77 gr OTM load at all. But I will post quantifiable results.. even when my hand loads get beat.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Yeah... I kinda got burned out on the benchrest dogma that'd I had subscribed to for a period in my life. Specifically when I had some of those kind of fags (on this site) telling me that what I was doing was WRONG... even though I was gettin better than half MOA results.

    We ended up shooting some factory Mk262 from Black Hills. And on that day it kicked my ammo's ass on S.D., velocity, etc. So we've been shooting some B.H. 5.56 ammo with good results.

    When you let the bullets tell the story, and let go of what the calipers, gauges, and instrumentation are saying... you make better calls. I'm not letting go of my .223 77 gr OTM load at all. But I will post quantifiable results.. even when my hand loads get beat.
    It's good to see you give Black Hills a shot, as long as you don't go all out full gueer and start using Sprinco springs and LWRC piston rifles.
    Last edited by 556Cliff; 03-27-17 at 23:19.

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