Ammunition Consistency Testing: SetPoint, Hornady and Prvi

Until this point our consistency testing’s been focusing on the .223 Remington / 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. This time we branch out into another popular rifle caliber: the .308 Winchester / 7.62×51 NATO round. Specifically, I’m testing Prvi Partizan factory ammo, Hornady Match ammo, and SetPoint ammunition.

The basic testing outline was described in the first post and repeated ad nauseum, but this time we’re switching things up. As the ArmaLite National Match rifle we usually use doesn’t take .308 ammo, we’re substituting the recently reviewed Mossberg 100 ATR as our standard test rifle.

Using the Mossie (with a 22″ barrel and 1:10 twist) I fired 20 rounds of ammunition through a chronograph and record the results. At the end of the testing, I determined the interquartile range of the velocities and used that as our metric to compare the ammunition.

Prvi Partizan ammunition is considered by some to be the best of the western European ammunition plants. Prvi Partizan manufactures the ammunition for Wolf’s “Premium” Gold line. It also sells its own premium line of ammunition. We tested the cheap versions of their ammunition; the ammo found in the “bargain” section of a gun store and sold in nondescript white boxes. It’s the baseline for the tests: the “cheap” ammunition to which all “premium” ammunition would be compared, much like Wolf and XM192F in the .223 tests.

As we saw at the NRA convention, Hornady touts their new Superformance ammunition as being some of the best commercially available ammunition in the world. Today we’re looking at the 150gr SST version, with a claimed muzzle velocity around 3,000 fps (feet per second). This round has a polymer ballistic tip and match grade jacket specifically designed to improve accuracy.

SetPoint Ammunition is a brand new player in the match grade ammunition world. The company makes ammo to order: your choice of bullets, powder load, even the C.O.L (Cartridge Overall Length). SetPoint will happily churn out as few as 20 rounds to your oder, or as many as you want.

Each box of ammunition has your name on it. Literally. They also list your load data so you know exactly what you’re getting every time. I was a little hesitant about trusting someone else to load my ammo; I went with a conservative recipe: 44gr Varget under a 150gr Hornady FMJ BT bullet with a C.O.L. of 2.78 inches. When the ammunition arrived SetPoint had yet to open their doors to the public. They’re now taking custom orders for .308 rounds from anyone who wants to handload but doesn’t have the time / patience / practice / budget / equipment to do it themselves.

As we can see in the boxplot, Hornady Match ammunition is over 200 feet per second faster than the SetPoint load I chose, and over 100 feet per second faster than the Prvi load. But speed isn’t everything.

Consistency is what we’re looking for. In terms of consistency, Hornady takes the cake. While there is a definite “winner” and “loser” in terms of consistency, the difference between the two seems much smaller than the current best and worst in the .223 Remington brands.

Due to the difference in testing procedures, with one caliber being tested in a semi-auto firearm and the other being tested in a bolt action, it seems prudent to keep the results separated. For that reason this bar graph excludes all of the .223 ammunition we tested and only looks at the .308.

From these results, it looks like Hornady takes the lead in .308 Winchester ammunition consistency. SetPoint appears to offer acceptable consistency (much better than my handloads) while offering full ammo customization—something no one has yet been able to do on this scale. Expect a full report on their ammunition after I get some glass on my rifle.

Next time: Wilson Combat .308!

Brand and Weight Caliber IQR
Hornady Superformance Match
150gr SST
.308 Win 26
SetPoint – 44gr Varget
150gr Hornady FMJ BT
.308 Win 52
Prvi Partizan
150gr FMJ
.308 Win 54

Here’s the current .223 Remington table as well, just FYI.

Brand and Weight Caliber IQR
Wilson Combat
77gr Sierra HPBT Match
.223 Rem 19
Wilson Combat
65gr Sierra SP BT
.223 Rem 21
Hornady
75gr BTHP Match
.223 Rem 29
CorBon
69gr HPBT
.223 Rem 30
Winchester
64gr “Power Point” SP
.223 Rem 38
Wolf
55gr FMJ
.223 Rem 40
Federal XM193F
55gr FMJ
.223 Rem 40
Nosler Varmint
40gr Ballistic Tip
.223 Rem 44
Handloads – 20.8gr N-135
75gr Hornady HPBT Match
.223 Rem 49
Handloads – 21gr IMR 3031
75gr Hornady HPBT Match
.223 Rem 52