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Ah, the old ammunition consistency test. We’ve been running this series for years, and while it has been on hiatus for a bit we are back with a vengeance. Today for this fourteenth installment we are testing three flavors of 300 AAC Blackout ammunition on offer from Lehigh Defense, a relatively new ammunition manufacturer with some lofty claims and nifty looking projectiles. We will be looking at one projectile from each of their three lines: controlled chaos, controlled fracturing, and maximum expansion.

For a quick refresher on the testing procedure, go check out article #1 in the series. Basically we run 20 rounds of the ammunition through a chronograph, record the result, and compare the variability in the velocity of the ammunition to determine the winner. Since we are comparing the variability instead of the raw numbers, we can accurately compare ammo of vastly different velocities.

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First up today is the 110 grain Controlled Chaos round. My review of this round should have already posted today (unless Robert or Dan screwed with the schedule again), but I am including it again here. This round was designed to compete with the Barnes 110gr load available in most big box sporting goods stores like Cabelas and Academy, and has roughly the same ballistic properties. Except it’s about 50 fps faster and the projectile looks damn near mean. A box of this stuff will run you about $24.95.

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A little higher up on the scale is the 174 grain Controlled Fracturing round. Designed to be a subsonic loading running at about 1,000 fps, the bullet is lighter than most other similar velocity rounds (typically 220gr) but also sports some interesting features on the projectile itself. While the Controlled Chaos round is smooth with a simple hollow point, the similarly all-copper Controlled Fracturing round has scoring along the outside of the projectile to get it to split apart upon contact with an animal. This stuff runs about $40.95 — two bucks a round.

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Last but certainly not least is the 194 grain Maximum Expansion round. Heavier than the previous Controlled Expansion offering, the Maximum Expansion line follows the same general design but just a little more… bulky. More mass flying at the same velocity means more muzzle energy, and more muzzle energy means a better chance of putting down whatever you are trying to kill. Lehigh Defense recommends that SBR users choose this flavor over the other subsonic offerings because it will be more reliable, apparently. A box of this heavy stuff runs $49.95, the most expensive ammunition I have ever tested for this series.

LD-Box

Starting with the straight comparison, the chart doesn’t show much detail but gives you an idea of where everything stacks up in terms of velocity. The 194gr rounds seemed to chronograph a little higher than the 174gr rounds, which is strange since usually the lighter rounds are engineered to fly faster than the heavy ones.

LD-BoxN

The normalized graph (raw observation, minus average velocity) shows everyone on a much more equal footing. The Remington UMC ammo seems to be the most consistent, but the outliers in the results put it out of the running it would seem. Lehigh 110gr is fairly consistent, and while there’s definitely a much larger spread with the subsonic ammo that’s not entirely unexpected. Especially since subsonic is only really good for 100 yards and less, a 40 fps velocity swing might be acceptable.

LD-comp

Put in perspective, Lehigh Defense seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. The subsonic ammunition isn’t the worst we’ve ever tested, but it sure isn’t the best either. Not that subsonic ammo needs to be super accurate over the distances that it is typically used, but a tighter shot group from the ammunition leaves more room for user error with a successful outcome.

As always, here are the latest charts for every caliber we test.

Brand and Weight Caliber IQR $/round
Remington UMC 115gr .300 BLK 20 $0.52
Remington AccuTip Premier 125gr .300 BLK 20 $1.39
Lehigh Defense 110gr
Controlled Chaos
.300 BLK 22 $1.25
CMMG 147gr .300 BLK 26 $0.78
Remington Subsonic 220gr .300 BLK 27 $0.92
PNW M 155gr .300 BLK 28 $0.90
PWS 110gr .300 BLK 30 ???
Lehigh Defense 174gr
Controlled Expansion
.300 BLK 41 $2.05
Lehigh Defense 194gr
Maximum Expansion
.300 BLK 46 $2.50
PNW D 220gr .300 BLK 54 $1.08

 

Brand and Weight Caliber IQR $/round
Winchester
147gr FMJ
.308 Win 14 $1.00
Herter’s Select Grade
150gr SPCE
.308 Win 22.75 $1.00
Hornady Superformance Match
150gr SST
.308 Win 26 $1.21
Wilson Combat
168gr Sierra HPBT Match
.308 Win 28 $1.99
PMC Bronze
147gr FMJ BT
.308 Win 39 $0.50
PCP Ammunition
168gr SMK
.308 Win 47 $1.99
SetPoint – 44gr Varget
150gr Hornady FMJ BT
.308 Win 52 $1.74
Prvi Partizan
150gr FMJ
.308 Win 54 $0.82
Remington “Managed Recoil”
125gr CORE-LOKT PSP
.308 Win 125 $1.40

 

Brand and Weight Caliber IQR $/round
Winchester / Olin M855
62gr Penetrator
.223 Rem 9 $0.50
Wilson Combat
77gr Sierra HPBT Match
.223 Rem 19 $1.52
Wilson Combat
65gr Sierra SP BT
.223 Rem 21 $1.52
Hornady Steel Match
75gr BTHP Match
.223 Rem 25 $0.44
Hornady
75gr BTHP Match
.223 Rem 29 $0.79
CorBon
69gr HPBT
.223 Rem 30 $1.18
Remington Premier Match
77gr BTHP
.223 Rem 36 $1.50
Winchester
64gr “Power Point” SP
.223 Rem 38 $0.82
Wolf
55gr FMJ
.223 Rem 40 $0.21
Federal XM193F
55gr FMJ
.223 Rem 40 $0.32
Winchester
55gr FMJ
5.56×45 40 $0.50
Pierce
55gr HP-BT
.223 Rem 42 $?.??
HPR
75gr BTHP Match
.223 Rem 43 $0.50
Nosler Varmint
40gr Ballistic Tip
.223 Rem 44 $0.86
Handloads – 20.8gr N-135
75gr Hornady HPBT Match
.223 Rem 49 $?.??
Handloads – 21gr IMR 3031
75gr Hornady HPBT Match
.223 Rem 52 $?.??
Winchester PDX-1
60gr SC-HP
.223 Rem 58 $1.45
Freedom Munitions
55gr FMJ-BT
.223 Rem 66 $0.42
American Eagle
55gr FMJ-BT
.223 Rem 68 $0.30
Independence .223 Rem 69 $0.50

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4 Responses to Ammunition Consistency Testing 14: Lehigh Defense 300 AAC Blackout (110gr / 174gr / 194gr)

  1. I’m enjoying all this nerdy info. That 110 grain Lehigh is pretty fast for a 300 BLK at about 2400 FPS (and really slow for a 6.8 since I’m being nerdy). Any conjecture on the penetration of the 110 grain round? I was surprised it didn’t put an exit hole on your deer.

    While I realize the an exiting bullet wastes energy, it provides a much better blood trail and faster fluid loss.

    • Based on the data, I’m not sure your claim holds true. One might question the accuracy, however the precision appears quite good.

      Have you ran a 2 sample t tests between the lots that look close on the bar+whisker chart?

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