Long Range Lethality
In part 1 of this review of Fort Scott Munitions’ TUI (Tumble upon impact) Solid copper spun (brass in the case of the 5.56) ammunition, we took a look at their short range offerings in 9mm and .300 Blackout. To reiterate: These rounds are designed to tumble upon impact with soft tissue and create wound trauma via hydrostatic shock while retaining over 95% of the original weight of the projectile. While the .300 Blackout and 9mm offerings performed well, Fort Scott also sent me some 5.56 and .308 cartridges to try out.
Fort Scott Munitions’ 5.56 62gr SBS load features a solid brass projectile that is sharper than all get-out. I accidentally dropped a round off my loading bench and caught it in my palm point down, which drew blood!
|Bullet Design||Solid Brass Spun (SBS™)|
|Size||OAL: .990”; COAL 2.255”|
MSRP: $23.99/Box of 20
Vs. the standard 62gr green tip’s OAL of .915″, FSM’s 62gr TUI “Brass Hog” round has a longer OAL of .990″. As with their other rounds tested, driving bands are featured on this round, though they differ in location than the USMC’s SOST round. Besides other benefits, driving bands allow for a better gas seal behind the projectile.
Testing of the 5.56 SBS TUI cartridge was conducted with a 20″ LaRue OBR (1:8), 14.5″ Noveske (1:7), and 10″ Sig M400 Pistol (1:7). The temperature was rather cold (12-18 degrees F), which could explain the loss of velocity compared to their average with the 20″ barrel. Velocity results measured with a Labradar are as follows:
- 20″ Barrel: Avg 2975 fps, Std Dev 10.3
- 14.5″ Barrel: Avg 2751 fps, Std Dev 5.9
- 10″ Barrel: Avg 2558 fps, Std Dev 14.7
The standard deviations are pretty low, giving a good indication of the consistency and quality of manufacture. Next, I fired the rounds for accuracy with 5 shot groups at 100 yards with each different barrel length/twist rate. Front and rear supports were used. Average results are as follows:
- 20″ LaRue: 1.2″ (I did manage one .88″ group but it was not representative of the average)
- 14.5″ Noveske: 1.32″
- 10″ Sig M400: 2.09″
Overall, accuracy on paper was acceptable, though not the best load I’ve tested in any of the platforms used. Armed with the velocity DOPE and Hornady’s 4DOF ballistic app, I proceeded to try my hands on steel targets from 200-800 yards. The SBS TUI rounds did not fail to clang the steel, as shot after shot connected.
Fort Scott Munitions’ was also kind enough to send TFB their .308 Solid Copper 168gr TUI load to test. FSM’s round design is patented and features 4 driving bands and a boat tail profile.
|Bullet Design||Solid Copper Spun (SCS®)|
|Size||OAL 1.424 COAL 2.780|
MSRP: $45.59/Box of 20
Again, one has a longer OAL than a conventional BTHP bullet (Sierra’s 168gr BTHP is 1.215″). While their price might seem high at first blush, it is right on target with other manufacturer’s copper offerings which are usually in the $45 range (Federal Premium’s Trophy Copper line comes to mind).
Testing with the .308 cartridge was conducted with a Tikka T3 Lite, an FN SCAR 17s, and a GA Precision Gladius. Rounds grouped well with all three platforms. There were no feeding problems with this cartridge in any of the rifles either.
Muzzle Velocity was tested with the Gladius’ 18″ barrel, temperatures were in the mid 20’s. Results are as follows:
- Avg 2671 fps, Std. Dev 9.6
Accuracy on paper at 100 yards was very good with the .308 as well. While the Tikka and SCAR kept 5 shot groups usually around an inch, the Gladius managed to wring .65″ 5 shot groups out of this round. The round was accurate enough that I kept the SCAR zeroed with it to provide a guest of mine a rifle to hunt with. I also stretched the shots out to 400-1100 yards, with satisfying hits on steel each and every time.
Hell on gel
Fort Scott Munitions provided TFB with Clear Ballistics 10% Clear Gel to test the efficacy of their TUI bullets on soft tissue. Both the 5.56 and .308 rounds demonstrated two very large temporary wound cavities within a 20″ gel block shot at 100 yards. The 5.56 round in particular exhibited quite a bit of yaw in that short space. While there is something to be said for the expansion of a lead bullet, with proper shot placement this round has the potential to be very effective at providing a quick death on game animals. The caveat is that, as with other hunting bullets, one needs to be aware of the range at which the round still has the appropriate velocity to kill instantly.
Speaking of harvesting game-a big benefit of using a solid copper or brass projectile is that it enables one to hunt and harvest where the use of “lead-free” projectiles are mandated by law.
I have found all of Fort Scott Munitions’ cartridges so far to be accurate, as well as demonstrating very good consistency of velocity. Such traits are demonstrative of good manufacturing with a close eye on quality control. I was able to independently verify their claims of “hydrostatic shock” created by these rounds, as well as weight retention for the rounds that I was lucky enough to recover. Though their rounds are expensive, they are right in the price range of many other dedicated match grade hunting or self-defense selections. For consistent quality with an interesting (and lead-free) bullet design, Fort Scott Munitions would be well worth a try.
For more information, please visit Fort Scott Munitions.