Originally Posted by Cburs
OK, ... What, if any, is the difference between Hornady 168gr Amax bullets #8096 and Hornady 168gr Amax TAP bullets #80965....cb
I realize I'm jumping into this thread a little late...
I have several hundred rounds of both Hornady 8096 168gr A-MAX (tan box) and 80965 A-MAX TAP Precision (red box). I also have a hundred or so rounds left of Hornady's 80968 168gr A-MAX FPD (black box). I've fired all of them through my Sig 716 and my Remington 700. The 80968 is currently out of production. Hornady also produces an 80964 "A-MAX Superformance Match" round, though I don't own any of them.
Hornady is big on acronyms. TAP stands for "Tactical Application Police". TAP is marketed to the Law Enforcement and Military markets. FPD is "For Personal Defense". The TAP FPD products are marketed to the civilian market.
All of these rounds use the same Hornady 168gr A-MAX bullet, stock number 80502. This is Hornady's premier match grade, AMP (Advanced Manufacturing Process) bullet. It has a secant ogive profile, a G1 ballistic coefficient of .475 and a sectional density of .253. It is fitted with a red polymer tip, similar in appearance to the Hornady FTX flex tip and the GTX lead free bullet. The A-MAX is copper jacketed, swaged lead core and, like the GTX, the tip is hard red polymer (not flexible, like the FTX).
In comparing these rounds, let's eliminate the 80968 168gr A-MAX FPD first, since it's unavailable currently. This round is, in all respects including ballistic performance, identical to the 8096 168gr A-MAX with the following exception: the cases are silver nickel instead of brass. Of this case, Hornady says "Silver nickel cases eliminate the potential for corrosion, improve feeding in all firearms, and are easily visible in low light conditions."
The 8096 168gr A-MAX is a slightly hotter load than the 80965 A-MAX TAP Precision (though not by much). The 80964 A-MAX Superformance Match round is hotter still (by quite a bit). Here's what Hornady says about the external ballistic performance of the three rounds:
Velocity fps/Energy ftlbs/Trajectory inches
muzzle:2676/2671/-1.5 100yds:2490/2313/2.1 200yds:2312/1994/0 500yds:1822/1238/-49.9
muzzle:2700/2719/-1.5 100yds:2513/2355/2.00 200yds:2333/2030/0 500yds:1839/1261/-48.9
muzzle:2840/3008/-1.5 100yds:2647/2613/1.7 200yds:2462/2261/0 500yds:1951/1420/-43.6
In use, the 8096 168gr A-MAX (and A-MAX FPD 80968) is nearly identical to the 80965 A-MAX TAP Precision. I've been trying to track down some 80964 A-MAX Superformance Match. If I find some I'll add my thoughts here. There may be some quality control difference in the rounds, but in my experience, all have been incredibly accurate and consistent through both my 16" Sig Sauer 716 patrol and my 26" Remington 700 bolt action.
Note that none of these rounds are designed for hunting.