A-Max vs. MatchKing

May 6, 2003
According to the numbers that Hornady comes out with, the 162 gr. A-Max is one sleek number. Sure, the ones I have are real slick, but the 168 gr. Sierra MKs I have are also sleek, but come in at a much, much lower BC. Also, when calculating the downrange speed, the A-Max really stretchs the gap.

So, will the MK perform well enough for a longer shot? What is the "ideal" impact speed for a A-Max & MK?
The Sierra bullets are tested at many ranges for velocity and true drop... then BC's are assigned to them. They use G1 form factors (even for the boat tails), and then adjust the BC for different velocity ranges.

The Hornady bullets are assigned a BC based on the velocity loss from the muzzle to 200yds... tested at only one velocity.
They are only aproximations, and will NOT give you true trajectories in your gun, at your velocities.

Howsomever... the Hornady bullets are excelent bullets, VERY slippery, and worth shooting... just don't plug their BC numbers into your favorite software and expect miracles.


[ 05-06-2003: Message edited by: CatShooter ]
Catshooter is right on....

I found that the A-max is a very forgiving and accurate bullet but.... you need to shoot them to make your drop charts.. can't just plug 'em in the program like CS said...

I do like em very much though.. the other day I was putting eyes on the iron sheep at the 500 yard silhouette range with the 30 cal. 168's.. that was kinda cool...
It would be nice if everyone was to switch to the G7. BC's would be then using lower no.'s, bet then they would be more accurate. Sierra's are currantly the most accurate.
It would be nice if everyone was to switch to the G7. BC's would be then using lower no.'s, bet then they would be more accurate. Sierra's are currantly the most accurate.

It's not that easy... not all boat tails are G7... most are G5, and some don't make it, and are really G1 (G1+
)... just because it has a tail, that don't make it slippy.

In my limited testing, I have found Amax, SST and Vmax to have real world BC much higher then print. In fact, using the same bullet weight, the 165gr SST has the highest BC of 168gr AMax/Nosler BT > Nosler J4 168gr.

It seems that the poly tip really does help reduce drag and allow for a longer bullet of equal weight. Same effect is seen with the Scirrocos.

There is no denying that the MK and J4 are accurate bullets but when you need 4 MOA more elevation to hit the same target way out there, makes you wonder how much you are giving up in wind drift.

For me, the best mid weight "target/hunting" bullet in 30cal is the 165gr SST with the 155gr Amax a very close second. Now you have the benefits of a hunting bullet with the aerodynamics of a heavier match bullet.

Please calculate BC on your program from this real world data: all from 100yd zeros

165gr SST '06 2700fps 28min to 1000yds
Gibbs 2950fps 23min to 1000yds
Wby 3150fps 19min to 1000yds

I'm wondering if all your rifles were absolutely zeroed at 100 yards before your testing with a different bullet? I seen a difference of -4 moa with a 178 A-Max today when shooting my sons 308win and have seen this with the 180 Nosler BT with my Ultra in the opposite dirrection, both were zeroed with other bullets.

Without thinking about it, I've done it before and wondered what happened because the trajectory never made sense. Going back to 100 yards reminded me I was zeroed with the other bullet and the one in question was quite a bit off.

What BC's did you come up with on the ones you tested?

I spoke to an exec (who's name will go unmentioned) at Nosler about this very fact a few years ago. I was talking about the 55 grain ballistic tip from my 6mm Rem Varmint rifle. He told me that while they knew the BC was higher, if they had published the true BC's, nobody would have believed them.


Don't forget BCs play a big part in marketing - good and bad. While most MFGs are honest or err on the side of caution (Nosler), don't trust them for one minute. Shoot them in the field. I agree that of the lot, Sierra seem to be the most accurate of the bullet MFGs when reporting BCs and spend the most time proving their data.
Not to start any kind of war, but has anyone used the A-Max for hunting?
I know the killing ability of the SMK has been well documented, but I just picked up a box of the 30 cal 178 gr A-Max and was wondering if they would work for hunting.
A member of the Point Blank From Long Range team uses 178 A-Max's in a STOCK 300 WBY.He has taken deer out to 800 yards with that combo.Two years ago a guy shot a doe at 750 yards.When they were skinning it it fell apart in two pieces
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