BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test, DISCUSSION 02: What's Next?

The Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test’s first batch of 6 rounds is through, but there’s more to come. In the last post, we reflected on the test methodology, and some possible solutions. In this post, we’ll talk about what you can expect in the future.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test, DISCUSSION 01: What Happened?

We’ve seen how the 6 different .223 Remington and 5.56mm loads have fared in the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test, but we still have more to talk about. Specifically, we need to discuss what I did wrong (or what I am not satisfied with), and what I plan to do next. This post will concern the former, and a second installment will cover the latter.

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CTTSO Releases Solicitation for .264 USA Rifles, Carbines, PDWs

The Army Marksmanship Unit’s .264 USA – a medium-sized 6.5mm round in-between the 6.5mm Grendel and 6.5mm Creedmoor in size – is not yet dead, it seems. The round, about which little had been heard in official channels for a couple of years, is the subject-in-part of a new solicitation released by the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office’s Technical Support Working Group (CTTSO TSWG). The Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) describes a need for a Lightweight Intermediate Caliber Cartridge (LICC) and an “Individual Weapon System (IWS), designed to “overmatch” targets out to 800 meters. The specifications for the new weapon are quire ambitious, with a threshold velocity requirement of 2,650 ft/s with a 108gr bullet, and an objective requirement of 2,750 ft/s with the same, both from an 11.5″ barrel!

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 012: RUAG SS109 (M855 Equivalent) 5.56mm NATO, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is RUAG Ammotec’s version of the NATO-standard SS109 round (equivalent to US M855). I believe the ammunition I tested may have been made in RUAG’s facility in Thun, Switzerland, although I have not confirmed that.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 011: RUAG SS109 (M855 Equivalent) 5.56mm NATO, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is RUAG Ammotec’s version of the NATO-standard SS109 round (equivalent to US M855). I believe the ammunition I tested may have been made in RUAG’s facility in Thun, Switzerland, although I have not confirmed that. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 010: Mk. 318 Mod. 0 62gr SOST (T556TNB1), 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Federal’s T556TNB1 load, which is the civilian market name for the Mk.318 SOST projectile developed by US SOCOM as a “barrier blind” round for the M4 Carbine and Mk. 18 CQB upper receiver. This ammunition uses a reverse drawn jacket to improve accuracy, and couples a fragmenting front end with a solid gilding metal base that improves penetration through tough barriers. I love this ammunition and use it religiously for home defense.  Continuing on from the last installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 20″ barrel (more on the 16″ later).

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 009: Mk. 318 Mod. 0 62gr SOST (T556TNB1), 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Federal’s T556TNB1 load, which is the civilian market name for the Mk.318 SOST projectile developed by US SOCOM as a “barrier blind” round for the M4 Carbine and Mk. 18 CQB upper receiver. This ammunition uses a reverse drawn jacket to improve accuracy, and couples a fragmenting front end with a solid gilding metal base that improves penetration through tough barriers. I love this ammunition, and use it religiously for home defense. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 008: PMC M855 5.56x45mm 62gr LAP, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M855, called X-TAC M855 LAP. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. I formerly used M855 as a stockpiling round, although I have since switched to other rounds like Federal’s T556TNB1.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 007: PMC M855 5.56x45mm 62gr LAP, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M855, called X-TAC M855 LAP. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. I formerly used M855 as a stockpiling round, although I have since switched to other rounds like Federal’s T556TNB1. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 006: PMC XP193 5.56x45mm 55gr FMJ, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M193 Ball, called XP193. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. Interestingly, XP193 appears to use a lower drag 55gr bullet, possibly based on the Sierra 55gr, instead of the somewhat draggier Remington-style projectiles used by Federal, IMI, and others for their M193 clones. I like to use XP193 when I need full-power ammunition without spending too much.  Continuing on from the last installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 20″ barrel (more on the 16″ later).

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 005: PMC XP193 5.56x45mm 55gr FMJ, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M193 Ball, called XP193. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. Interestingly, XP193 appears to use a lower drag 55gr bullet, possibly based on the Sierra 55gr, instead of the somewhat draggier Remington-style projectiles used by Federal, IMI, and others for their M193 clones. I like to use XP193 when I need full-power ammunition without spending too much. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 004: Vympel .223 Remington Golden Tiger 55gr FMJ, 20 Barrel

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Vympel’s budget 55gr FMJ load in .223 Remington, made in Amursk, Russia. This ammunition features a lacquered steel case, bimetal jacketed 55gr FMJ bullet and purple neck sealant. This is one of my favorite practice rounds due to its environmental toughness.  Continuing on from the last installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 20″ barrel (more on the 16″ later). The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 003: Vympel .223 Remington Golden Tiger 55gr FMJ, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Vympel’s budget 55gr FMJ load in .223 Remington, made in Amursk, Russia. This ammunition features a lacquered steel case, bimetal jacketed 55gr FMJ bullet and purple neck sealant. This is one of my favorite practice rounds due to its environmental toughness. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 002: IMI 77gr Razor Core 5.56x45mm, 16″ and 20″ Barrels

The first round up of the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is IMI’s take on the Black Hill’s classic heavy precision load, Mk. 262. Branded as “77gr Razor Core”, IMI’s version sports annealed 5.56mm NATO cases, neck and primer sealant, and of course 77gr Open Tip Match projectiles. Continuing on from the first installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 16.1″ and 20″ barrels. The test procedure was as follows:

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.224 Valkyrie AR-15 Introduced by Savage

The .224 Valkyrie may be the most interesting AR-15 round to come out in years, but the question many have been asking in my comments section is: Cool, but where are the rifles? Approaching the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas Nevada, we are already starting to get answers, and one of them is the Savage MSR-15 Valkyrie. As the name suggests, this marks Savages first offering in the .224 Valkyrie round, and one of the first factory guns of this caliber.

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