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Hodge Defense In Review

Rudy Gonsior

Breaker of Things and Fundamental Fanatic
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Full Member
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Jan 3, 2018
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Dalton NH
ridgelineshooting.com
Ok so this is just a quick little review of a Hodge Defense upper. Over the last couple years I’ve seen a lot of folks and particularly some very reputable fellow instructors praise Hodge for their accuracy and speed…

…I’ve also heard folks dismiss Hodge Defense as nothing more than fanboy hype of what is essentially a standard FN CHF barrel.

Full disclosure, I’ve been a tax payer funded professional gas gun shooter for the last 20 years with that time split between the Marines and Army Special Forces as a rifleman, designated marksman, sniper, sniper instructor and administrative bitch and I now teach under contract for Ridgeline Defense in New Hampshire.

Sufficiently said I am not really a gun nerd when it comes to specs and shit, so I won’t bore you with something you can google. I am solely interested entertaining what this barrel might be able to do in the context of the SPR/DM roll. I (well technically the company) came by this 14.5” Hodge Defense complete upper directly from Hodge along with another for review at our leisure. I don’t know if we’re giving it back but I have every intention of keeping at this point.

Test Bed
CEF8CF3B-D8EF-4B86-BB26-A2C5DE0FE56A.jpeg

Notes on the test bed: Standard Knights SR15 lower, the Hodge upper was disassemble out of curiosity as I wanted to inspect the barrel extension/receiver fit. I have found that along with the general quality of the barrel, the barrel extension/receiver fit is paramount to accuracy and precision. And lets just say It’s fuck’en tight!

I reassembled the upper with a KAC URX3.1, the standard Hodge rail is sound but not aesthetically pleasing to me personally so I switched it out. I mounted a Leupold Mk6 1-6x w/CMR-W, which may sound like an odd choice and I agree at 1-6x is a bit light for truly effective DMish work in this day and age but the 0.5 MOA center dot makes great for 100y grouping. The parallax is technically set at 150y but I notice no discernible effects at 100y. Additionally I like only having 6x, I can’t really tell exactly where my impacts are so it’s kinda like shooting blind until your done, which is mentally preferable for someone as excitable as me.

The initial review I shot here took place about an hour before our Advanced Precision Class. I ran about 20 rounds of some steel cases commie bullshit through her to test function and foul the bore a bit and get rough zero.

I then let the gun cool and then shot a quick series of 5 round groups using some standard DODICs. Rate of fire was approximately 5 rounds a minute with about 5 minutes between groups. All shot prone off gravel with a Harris bipod and Armageddon rear bag. Environmental conditions are as follows:

Station pressure - 28.22 inHg
Temperature - 21F
Relative humidity - 41%

(Grid is 0.1 MRAD)
EB40B727-A0F4-4368-9ACB-CAD6948CDE41.jpeg

(The red “x” was a called shot)
E1991ED5-59FC-45BE-B217-89869BCE35F3.jpeg


The initial 5 round groupings showed some interesting trends. Standard ball seems quite capable of about 0.4-0.5 MRAD and with little POI shift which while not particularly impressive is more than adequate to pay the bills at 500-600y. The solid core A1 didn’t seem thrilled to be there. I suspect this might have been due to the alleged “tightness” of Hodge’s barrels/chamber and the solid copper core of the A1. The Mk255 also performed within those standards but with a slight POI shift, which wasn’t surprising for frangible.

Following this I was curious to see if the barrel would exhibit any POI shift under the rapid rate of fire. The following 5, 5 round groups were fired in slightly less that 60 seconds, all with M193.
54CC916C-948E-4E5B-9742-F48DC5F69D7E.jpeg


You can see it’s probably not my best work being rushed but fairly consistent POI in regards to the earlier slow fire groups.

Lastly I want to see what some match/special ball might produce.
C70B015E-CD2D-4F9E-AB5E-0FC843A5E98E.jpeg

The FGMM performance was splendid as expected and the Mk262 gave a heart warming show as well. Simply put the performance of QUALITY match ammunition is a notable thing. Both interesting trended high left in their POI, I made no adjustments in elevation or windage throughout the review.


Overall this quick review is pretty limited statistically speaking, being one barrel and handful 5 round groups of different ammunition types, this is anecdotal. The reality is AR barrels are something of a lottery as discussed frequently here.

However I do think it suggests the Hodge Defense barrel warrants some serious considerations given it’s performance with match ammunition alone but also it’s willingness to digest quality ball ammunition in a pinch and take rapid strings of fire without POI shifts.

In short this barrel is a keeper for sure.



P.S. - To everyone wants to know if I chronograph the barrel…no I ran out of time. I’ll get a chance later this year after the holidays.
 
P.S. - To everyone wants to know if I chronograph the barrel…no I ran out of time.


Here's some data on that subject matter . . .



m855a1_muzzle_velocities_002-2426796.jpg




Originally Posted By DevilDoc602:

"Proven, repeatable velocities of common off the shelf 855" (from Hodge rifles) . . .

hodge_barrel_velocities_with_m855-1984409.jpg





Proven, repeatable velocities of two different lots of common, off the shelf M855, chronographed from five different Colt barrels.


IMI_m855_muzzle_velocities-1984289.jpg



imi_m855_2009_chrono_data_02b-1984403.jpg




Originally Posted By DevilDoc602:


"Black Hills MK262" (from Hodge rifles)

hodge_barrel_velocities_with_mk262-1984292.jpg





Black Hills MK262 chronographed from three different Colt barrels.


blackhills_mk262_muzzle_velocities_03-1984309.jpg





…..
 
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But the Hodge barrel is O P T I M I Z E D for M855A1.


m855a1_hodge_barrel_gonsior_measured-2641388.jpg



....
I have not heard of Hodge being optimized for M855A1. Hard to optimize for such an inconsistent round lot to lot. Early lots of M855A1 that I used in Afghanistan cir 2012 would hover around 1.5 MOA out of Block IIs and Mk12s but 2.5ish is what I see these days even out of true match great rifles. 2.5 is functional for general issue I suppose but it’s leaves a lot on the table from what is otherwise a spectacular round.
 
I have not heard of Hodge being optimized for M855A1. Hard to optimize for such an inconsistent round lot to lot. Early lots of M855A1 that I used in Afghanistan cir 2012 would hover around 1.5 MOA out of Block IIs and Mk12s but 2.5ish is what I see these days even out of true match great rifles. 2.5 is functional for general issue I suppose but it’s leaves a lot on the table from what is otherwise a spectacular round.
Supposedly the optimizing is for the accelerated wear and pressure not the precision. Claimed different alloy, profile and smaller gas port size.
 
It is nice to see you shooting real groups prone off a bipod and bag vs the concrete bench guys.

Off topic question, how did that ACI earn a spot on your rifle?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rudy Gonsior
I have not heard of Hodge being optimized for M855A1. Hard to optimize for such an inconsistent round lot to lot. Early lots of M855A1 that I used in Afghanistan cir 2012 would hover around 1.5 MOA out of Block IIs and Mk12s but 2.5ish is what I see these days even out of true match great rifles. 2.5 is functional for general issue I suppose but it’s leaves a lot on the table from what is otherwise a spectacular round.
Would you prefer -A1 over standard 855 or vice versa, and why?
 
Supposedly the optimizing is for the accelerated wear and pressure not the precision. Claimed different alloy, profile and smaller gas port size.
I don’t know, but I would say the port size is definitely optimal for running suppressed with “Spicy” loads. All the DODICs cycled great (all unsuppressed) but the steel case bullshit was problematic in that cold weather, always ejected but maybe 50% failures to feed. Which isn’t at all surprising, given the suspicion that half that “powder” seems to sawdust! 😅 🙄
 
It is nice to see you shooting real groups prone off a bipod and bag vs the concrete bench guys.

Off topic question, how did that ACI earn a spot on your rifle?

The ACI kinda just hangs out for clout these days 😅. High-Angle shooting really isn’t much of thing as people make it out to be 99% of the time. Honestly it’s a great conversation starter for why high-angle isn’t a big deal, exceptions being aerial platform. For that an ACI is nice for a quick reference but overall it’s just a nice to have sort of thing.
 
Personal observations of M855A1s terminal ballistics in the field have been “impressive” 😉
From what Ive read.. 500~600yd hits w/ Blk II's and URG-I's + -A1 was fairly commonplace in Afghanistan.
No mean feat with rack grade 14.5's ! (y)


And they apparently carry lethality down to much lower velocities than what 855 is usually capable of.
 
From what Ive read.. 500~600yd hits w/ Blk II's and URG-I's + -A1 was fairly commonplace in Afghanistan.
No mean feat with rack grade 14.5's ! (y)


And they apparently carry lethality down to much lower velocities than what 855 is usually capable of.
Yes Afghanistan was a interesting backdrop, combative engagements tended to stretch out thus I think you tend to see a lot more probability for such observations. That said I don’t think of Block IIs or a URGI as “rack grade”. I tried to shoot the Winston P. Wilson back in 2018 with a Block II and they would not let me, which was probably fair because after having to shoot that with an A2, I can confident say I would have mopped the floor with a Block II. The advancement of FF rails and combat optics is significant improvement in lethality.

But from a doctrinal standpoint M855A1 is quite adequate in regards to the accuracy to volume ratio and it’s terminal performance carries most of that effective distance with significantly lower fragmentation thresholds. As documented M855 while quite capable in the accuracy department became handicapped especially out of shorter barrels.
 
@Rudy Gonsior,
Great write-up

Of the 6 14.5" Hodge barrels I've put into guns, they've all behaved a little different.

I really only had one that suffered significantly from heat:
bfwBDMt.jpg


Damn shame as it was one of the most accurate barrels (cold).

The 2x that I still have will hold very well with most things. Here's a pic from my favorite setup with a 5-round group (standing to prone in 10s, no bipod or bag) after getting the gun pretty toasty.
IGDAeet.jpg


Two other barrels wouldn't hold anything 77gr (be it IMI, Fed GMM, or BH red box) anything under 2" and would shoot M193 just as well if not better...🤷‍♂️

All this despite everything built with the same Hodge components. I dunno....
 
The various FN CHF barrels are nice and very tough. But IMO its extremely hard to beat a Colt SOCOM when it comes to chrome lined. Criterion would probably be the best bet next to a Colt SOCOM for a good shooting chrome lined tube.

BCM's SOCOM barrels for whatever reason dont seem to be up to par to Colt.
Remington Defense had a contract overrun of SOCOM profile 14.5's a couple years ago, and at least at first they were only going for like $90. Haven't seen hardly any reports of how they perform however.
 
hard to beat a Colt SOCOM when it comes to chrome lined.

Yup.


Colt M4A1 SOCOM Barrel Accuracy: Another Look


colt_m4a1_socom_upper_receiver_group_21-1305764.jpg



In 2010, I posted one of the first publicly available, in-depth accuracy evaluations of a Colt M4A1 SOCOM barrel. At that time, the Colt SOCOM barrel was relatively new to the civilian market. Many people, including myself, were pleasantly surprised by the level of accuracy/precision that I obtained with the SOCOM barrel; particularly since it is a chrome-lined, NATO chambered “military-grade” barrel. Since that time, the Colt M4A1 SOCOM barrel has developed a significant appreciation amongst AR-15 enthusiasts.


The M4A1 SOCOM barrel
colt_m4_socom_barrel_01_resized-1305762.jpg



colt_m4_socom_barrle_02_rsized-1305763.jpg



Recently, I assembled another upper receiver group based on the Colt M4A1 SOCOM barrel. This new build features a Colt cage-code marked M4 upper receiver, a Colt “C” marked bolt carrier group and a 13” Geissele MK14 M-LOK free-float hand-guard.


colt_socom_21d_resized-1305765.jpg




A genuine Colt M4A1 SOCOM barrel is 14.5” long and has a medium contour; it is not an HBAR. The barrel has a 5.56mm NATO chamber and a 1:7” twist.

Colt SOCOM barrel
stripped_socom_barrel_02_resized-1305778.jpg



Colt HBAR
colt_16_inch_hbar_6721_02-1305761.jpg










A genuine SOCOM barrel has the typical M4 circumferential cut-out located approximately 1.4” forward of the gas block for the attachment of an M203, as well as rectangular shaped cut-outs underneath the hand-guards on the port and starboard sides of the barrel, located approximately 1.4” aft of the gas block, for the same reason. The gas port on a genuine SOCOM barrel has a diameter of 0.062” and the barrel employs a carbine-length gas system.


The SOCOM barrel has a stripped weight of 1 pound, 14 ounces. That is only 2 ounces heavier than the ubiquitous 16” government profile barrel found on the Colt 6920.


Colt SOCOM barrel
stripped_socom_barrel_02_resized-1305778.jpg




Colt 6920 barrel
Colt_16_inch_government_profile_6920_bar-1305760.jpg




The stripped weight of the SOCOM barrel is 5 ounces heavier than the stripped weight of the standard Colt 14.5” M4 barrel. The pic below shows the difference between the standard M4 barrel and the SOCOM barrel. From the gas block journal forward, the two barrels are identical


SOCOM barrel on top, standard barrel on bottom
socom_barrel_comparison_to_standard_m4_b-1305776.jpg



The next pic is a close-up comparing the two barrels in the area between the chamber and the gas block journal, showing you were the extra weight is added.



socom_barrel_comparison_02-1305775.jpg




The date-code on my original SOCOM barrel was “11/03” and the date-code on my newer SOCOM barrel is “02/18”


date_code_fro_socom_barrel_01-1305768.jpg



new_socom_barrel_date_code_01_resized-1305773.jpg




My original SOCOM barrel hand an “F-marked” front sight base. Colt no longer stamps an “F” on their front sight bases, but their newer front sight bases maintain the length of 1.98” from the top of the barrel to the shelf for the front sight post.


f_marked_front_sight_base_of_socom_barre-1305770.jpg




f_marked_front_sight_base_comparison_21-1305769.jpg




My original SOCOM barrel was stamped:

“C MP 5.56 NATO 1/7”

The newer SOCOM barrel is stamped with Colt’s cage code.

“13629 M P 5.56 NATO 1/7”




socom_barrel_stamp_01_resized-1305777.jpg



new_colt_socom_barrel_stamp_01_resized-1305772.jpg




Both of these SOCOM barrels have the “O” stamp near the chamber portion of the barrel, indicating the barrel has a chrome-lined chamber and bore. Naturally, the M4A1 SOCOM barrel has M4 feed ramps.


0_stamp_for_socom_barrel_01-1305759.jpg



m4_feed_ramps_of_socom_barrel_01-1305771.jpg




Accuracy Is Final


In 2010, my original SOCOM barrel with the “11/03” date-code produced a 10-shot group fired from a distance of 100 yards that had an extreme spread of 0.90”. That group was fired from my bench-rest set-up using match-grade hand-loads and a high magnification scope.


colt_socom_barrel_10_shot_group_at_10_ya-1305767.jpg



My newer SOCOM barrel with the “02/18” date-code produced a 10-shot group fired from a distance of 100 yards that had an extreme spread of 0.93”. This group was fired off of sand-bags using match-grade hand-loads and a high magnification scope.


colt_socom_2020_10_shot_group_at_100_yar-1305766.jpg



. . . .
 
@Rudy Gonsior
sir would you say the advent of Blk II's(especially SOCOM barrel versions) and now the URG-I's, combined with Vortex 1-6's/Nightforce 1-8's/etc + Mk 262 were what made the Mk 12 ultimately totally obsolete/unnecessary?
Or was it moreso the SCAR 17 that pushed the Mk 12's out of service?


Always glad to read the input, conclusions, and lessons of someone of your.. qualifications. ;)
They're much appreciated!
 
@Rudy Gonsior
sir would you say the advent of Blk II's(especially SOCOM barrel versions) and now the URG-I's, combined with Vortex 1-6's/Nightforce 1-8's/etc + Mk 262 were what made the Mk 12 ultimately totally obsolete/unnecessary?
Or was it moreso the SCAR 17 that pushed the Mk 12's out of service?


Always glad to read the input, conclusions, and lessons of someone of your.. qualifications. ;)
They're much appreciated!
That’s actually a really interesting question point. Ultimately yes, I think the technologies presented by the Mk12 essentially became more and more mainstream. Good triggers like the KAC triggers from the Mk12s, early LPVO like the, Schmidt Bender short dots, Leupold MTRs, Nightforces etc and FF rails all demonstrated how effective a modernized rifle could be.

Fast forward a decade we realized a modern CHF 14.5” like the SOCOM barrels being feed good ammo is hardly a ballistic compromise compared to an 18” but also good deal handier. And add about 5lbs of weight savings and you got something that greatly surpasses need original intent of the Mk12.

On a side note I’ve seen really phenomenal accuracy out of some of the issued Colt SOCOM barrels like Molon has displayed. Again not every single barrel is an ace but generally speaking 1.0-1.5 MOA not at all surprising. The URGIs have also been equally impressive.

I think this highlights the point that modern barrels have come a long way. The Hodge barrel may be a run of the mill FN CHF barrel but even if that’s true remember then FN is known for making some great barrels. I think the vast majority of the Hodge barrels/upper are at the very least just we’ll manufactured barrels with great QC. That alone offers a functional accuracy (probably better that most end users are capable of) and durability that most will never exceed. Of course some barrels may be unicorns like mine while someone is bound to get a lemon but over all the chances of getting a great shooter are good.



As for the Mk17, no I think it stands as it’s own platform as a modernization of the battle rifle. While it’s has certainly been pressed into the DM role and actually does quite well, the lack of commonality (ammo/mags) within the team makes it somewhat less desirable for DM work and the SASS role is definitively held now by more specialized rifles like the Mk20 and M110 at this point. Mk17 will probably live on in the inventory for another decade but it’s probably a dead end at this point.
 
Here's some data on that subject matter . . .



m855a1_muzzle_velocities_002-2426796.jpg




Originally Posted By DevilDoc602:

"Proven, repeatable velocities of common off the shelf 855" (from Hodge rifles) . . .

hodge_barrel_velocities_with_m855-1984409.jpg





Proven, repeatable velocities of two different lots of common, off the shelf M855, chronographed from five different Colt barrels.


IMI_m855_muzzle_velocities-1984289.jpg



imi_m855_2009_chrono_data_02b-1984403.jpg




Originally Posted By DevilDoc602:

"Black Hills MK262" (from Hodge rifles)

hodge_barrel_velocities_with_mk262-1984292.jpg





Black Hills MK262 chronographed from three different Colt barrels.


blackhills_mk262_muzzle_velocities_03-1984309.jpg





…..
we get it dude, you have a hate boner for Hodge.
 
Ok so this is just a quick little review of a Hodge Defense upper. Over the last couple years I’ve seen a lot of folks and particularly some very reputable fellow instructors praise Hodge for their accuracy and speed…

…I’ve also heard folks dismiss Hodge Defense as nothing more than fanboy hype of what is essentially a standard FN CHF barrel.

Full disclosure, I’ve been a tax payer funded professional gas gun shooter for the last 20 years with that time split between the Marines and Army Special Forces as a rifleman, designated marksman, sniper, sniper instructor and administrative bitch and I now teach under contract for Ridgeline Defense in New Hampshire.

Sufficiently said I am not really a gun nerd when it comes to specs and shit, so I won’t bore you with something you can google. I am solely interested entertaining what this barrel might be able to do in the context of the SPR/DM roll. I (well technically the company) came by this 14.5” Hodge Defense complete upper directly from Hodge along with another for review at our leisure. I don’t know if we’re giving it back but I have every intention of keeping at this point.

Test Bed
View attachment 8024701
Notes on the test bed: Standard Knights SR15 lower, the Hodge upper was disassemble out of curiosity as I wanted to inspect the barrel extension/receiver fit. I have found that along with the general quality of the barrel, the barrel extension/receiver fit is paramount to accuracy and precision. And lets just say It’s fuck’en tight!

I reassembled the upper with a KAC URX3.1, the standard Hodge rail is sound but not aesthetically pleasing to me personally so I switched it out. I mounted a Leupold Mk6 1-6x w/CMR-W, which may sound like an odd choice and I agree at 1-6x is a bit light for truly effective DMish work in this day and age but the 0.5 MOA center dot makes great for 100y grouping. The parallax is technically set at 150y but I notice no discernible effects at 100y. Additionally I like only having 6x, I can’t really tell exactly where my impacts are so it’s kinda like shooting blind until your done, which is mentally preferable for someone as excitable as me.

The initial review I shot here took place about an hour before our Advanced Precision Class. I ran about 20 rounds of some steel cases commie bullshit through her to test function and foul the bore a bit and get rough zero.

I then let the gun cool and then shot a quick series of 5 round groups using some standard DODICs. Rate of fire was approximately 5 rounds a minute with about 5 minutes between groups. All shot prone off gravel with a Harris bipod and Armageddon rear bag. Environmental conditions are as follows:

Station pressure - 28.22 inHg
Temperature - 21F
Relative humidity - 41%

(Grid is 0.1 MRAD)
View attachment 8024729
(The red “x” was a called shot)
View attachment 8024730

The initial 5 round groupings showed some interesting trends. Standard ball seems quite capable of about 0.4-0.5 MRAD and with little POI shift which while not particularly impressive is more than adequate to pay the bills at 500-600y. The solid core A1 didn’t seem thrilled to be there. I suspect this might have been due to the alleged “tightness” of Hodge’s barrels/chamber and the solid copper core of the A1. The Mk255 also performed within those standards but with a slight POI shift, which wasn’t surprising for frangible.

Following this I was curious to see if the barrel would exhibit any POI shift under the rapid rate of fire. The following 5, 5 round groups were fired in slightly less that 60 seconds, all with M193.
View attachment 8024737

You can see it’s probably not my best work being rushed but fairly consistent POI in regards to the earlier slow fire groups.

Lastly I want to see what some match/special ball might produce.
View attachment 8024731
The FGMM performance was splendid as expected and the Mk262 gave a heart warming show as well. Simply put the performance of QUALITY match ammunition is a notable thing. Both interesting trended high left in their POI, I made no adjustments in elevation or windage throughout the review.


Overall this quick review is pretty limited statistically speaking, being one barrel and handful 5 round groups of different ammunition types, this is anecdotal. The reality is AR barrels are something of a lottery as discussed frequently here.

However I do think it suggests the Hodge Defense barrel warrants some serious considerations given it’s performance with match ammunition alone but also it’s willingness to digest quality ball ammunition in a pinch and take rapid strings of fire without POI shifts.

In short this barrel is a keeper for sure.



P.S. - To everyone wants to know if I chronograph the barrel…no I ran out of time. I’ll get a chance later this year after the holidays.
Crazy good shooting with nothing more than a 1-6 and bipod/rear bag. I need to get my hands on the FGMM stuff, their big boomers are shooting sub 0.2 MOA out of my TacOps. Some of us dont need bench rest setups to put up a good group;)
 
Last edited:
. Some of us dont need bench rest setups to put up a good group;)

Stuck On Stupid Much? I fired the 10-shot group pictured below prone off a bipod using a semi-automatic AR-15. The group has an extreme spread of 0.54 MOA. Get back to me when you can post a pre-existing link showing that you've shot a smaller 10-shot group than that using a semi-automatic AR-15 off a bipod.


lothar_walther_77_smk_bipod_100_yards_me-2804382.jpg



...
 
Stuck On Stupid Much? I fired the 10-shot group pictured below prone off a bipod using a semi-automatic AR-15. The group has an extreme spread of 0.54 MOA. Get back to me when you can post a pre-existing link showing that you've shot a smaller 10-shot group than that using a semi-automatic AR-15 off a bipod.


lothar_walther_77_smk_bipod_100_yards_me-2804382.jpg



...
Oh wow, once again, comparing a Lothar Walther to an FN CHF. Dude, you’re a clown. Good thing Jim doesnt even know or care that you exist🤣
 
I know this comment is quite late to the game, but I spent some time training with guys from a CIF company (now called CRF i think?) and they said that A1's was like the hand of god when it came to terminal ballistics.
 
I know this comment is quite late to the game, but I spent some time training with guys from a CIF company (now called CRF i think?) and they said that A1's was like the hand of god when it came to terminal ballistics.
I won't say "hand of god" but its probably one of the nastier 5.56 projectiles and with a frag threshold down around 1900fps it brings a lot to the table for short barrels. M855A1's precision capabilities are a bit inconsistent unfortunately and limit it to a 400 meter-ish round in my opinion, which is fine for GP but lacking for SPR/DMRs. I typically use 10 round groups for rough evals of ball ammo and 2-3 MOA ball park out of Mk12s and Mk18/URGI's seems to be the average variance among all the lots I've shot over the last decade. I've seen early (2012) lots hover around 1-1.5 MOA out of but I've seen lots in the 4-6 MOA. Even with high end match barrels often times you'll see 8 or 9 rounds stack up in a 2 MOA-ish group and then 1 or 2 rounds zip out to bring the group to 3-4 MOA for no apparent reason, its an aggravating load to shoot sometimes, Lol.
 
I won't say "hand of god" but its probably one of the nastier 5.56 projectiles and with a frag threshold down around 1900fps it brings a lot to the table for short barrels. M855A1's precision capabilities are a bit inconsistent unfortunately and limit it to a 400 meter-ish round in my opinion, which is fine for GP but lacking for SPR/DMRs. I typically use 10 round groups for rough evals of ball ammo and 2-3 MOA ball park out of Mk12s and Mk18/URGI's seems to be the average variance among all the lots I've shot over the last decade. I've seen early (2012) lots hover around 1-1.5 MOA out of but I've seen lots in the 4-6 MOA. Even with high end match barrels often times you'll see 8 or 9 rounds stack up in a 2 MOA-ish group and then 1 or 2 rounds zip out to bring the group to 3-4 MOA for no apparent reason, its an aggravating load to shoot sometimes, Lol.

do you have any experience with the mk318/319 rounds?

some of the early reports where good but no one talks about it much.
 
Hodge barrel?

Are they spinning barrels now or are they still hitting up FN?

Nice set up.
 
do you have any experience with the mk318/319 rounds?

some of the early reports where good but no one talks about it much.

318 was about like Rudy described his A1 stuff. Firing 10-shot groups, 7 out of the ten would be 1” to 1-1/2”, and then there would be three rounds that would kick the group out to 3”. Happened every time. I stuck with 77gr.
 
318 was about like Rudy described his A1 stuff. Firing 10-shot groups, 7 out of the ten would be 1” to 1-1/2”, and then there would be three rounds that would kick the group out to 3”. Happened every time. I stuck with 77gr.

my bad, i was looking for terminal results on various targets.

i bought a few thousand round's of 318 when it was available and keep it for a rainy day.

i’ve experienced that same accuracy you mentioned as well. i get 3-4 rounds that print great, then fliers that make my head tilt sideways.
 
@Rudy Gonsior - any experience with the HK S-DMR?
No I haven’t even seen one in the arms room yet. Honestly seems neat but the URGI with the ATACRs has been filling the SPR/DMR role pretty effectively for a couple of years now and we still have the Mk17/20s for battle rifles /SSRs if something with a little more heat is needed. I am curious but I don’t how impactful it will be for SOF.
 
Has anybody been able to determine what powder is used in FGMM 77gr? That is a pretty good target by the OP. Maybe I bought one of these barrels so getting close to FGMM seems the way to go. thanks.
 
my bad, i was looking for terminal results on various targets.

i bought a few thousand round's of 318 when it was available and keep it for a rainy day.

i’ve experienced that same accuracy you mentioned as well. i get 3-4 rounds that print great, then fliers that make my head tilt sideways.
I shot a doe which I estimate at 100-120# on the hoof. The shot was taken with an 11.5" 5.56 SBR, suppressed. The distance was 90m. The deer ran 125m and promptly expired. At the impact site there was foamy blood with chunks (lung tissue). Within about 20 feet of where the deer lay, there was significant blood trail. I did not bother tracking all of it, because I could see where the deer piled up. The reaction to being shot was a shoulder twitch (or maybe that was impact?) and a little "startle kick" and then the deer took off running, keeping pace with the other 2, until it didn't. It just collapsed and died. The structures impacted were ribs upon entry, both lungs, and ribs upon exit. The angle was directly perpendicular to the shooter. Ammunition used was MK318 MOD 0 SOST.


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This is the exit, picture taken without moving the animal at site of recovery:

377149342_1355374622032333_8333044699019392666_n.jpg
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This is the entrance. Note the immediate appearance of expansion and disruption:


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This is the lung tissue. Note the appearance of copper and lead fragments and small secondary channels caused by same (maybe not visible in photos):

400241795_1523724485046322_5289853298345738368_n.jpg


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Fragments were recovered from lung tissue (very small, not photographed).

This is the exit. Note fragments clearly visible embedded in rib and ribcage, as well as small secondary wound channels caused by other fragments:

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Projectile entered from (photo) Right to Left:
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Has anybody been able to determine what powder is used in FGMM 77gr? That is a pretty good target by the OP. Maybe I bought one of these barrels so getting close to FGMM seems the way to go. thanks.
While exceptions exist, ammunition manufacturers typically do not use “canister powders.” Unless you can get the build card for the ammo, you’ll never know for sure.

Buy some FGMM and shoot it over a chrono, from your barrel. Pick a powder that is expected to deliver this velocity. Duplicate the velocity with your handloads. But, be aware that your barrel might not like the FGMM as much at the OP’s barrel.

As I said, exceptions do exist…
IMG_0782.jpeg
 
While exceptions exist, ammunition manufacturers typically do not use “canister powders.” Unless you can get the build card for the ammo, you’ll never know for sure.

Buy some FGMM and shoot it over a chrono, from your barrel. Pick a powder that is expected to deliver this velocity. Duplicate the velocity with your handloads. But, be aware that your barrel might not like the FGMM as much at the OP’s barrel.

As I said, exceptions do exist…
View attachment 8356134

I upped my googlefu and found a post by Dan Newberry, the OCW guy, and he's pretty sure Federal used AA2520 in the lot he tested and took apart. I have some of that.

Buy ammo?

That's why reload, right? just kidding. Thanks for the reply.
 
I shot a doe which I estimate at 100-120# on the hoof. The shot was taken with an 11.5" 5.56 SBR, suppressed. The distance was 90m. The deer ran 125m and promptly expired. At the impact site there was foamy blood with chunks (lung tissue). Within about 20 feet of where the deer lay, there was significant blood trail. I did not bother tracking all of it, because I could see where the deer piled up. The reaction to being shot was a shoulder twitch (or maybe that was impact?) and a little "startle kick" and then the deer took off running, keeping pace with the other 2, until it didn't. It just collapsed and died. The structures impacted were ribs upon entry, both lungs, and ribs upon exit. The angle was directly perpendicular to the shooter. Ammunition used was MK318 MOD 0 SOST.

This is the entrance, picture taken at site of recovery, after rolling the animal to expose entrance:


368127253_361694579869788_6518818246878407034_n.jpg



This is the exit, picture taken without moving the animal at site of recovery:


377149342_1355374622032333_8333044699019392666_n.jpg



This is the entrance. Note the immediate appearance of expansion and disruption:


370193699_311364748456944_5898985368162494687_n.jpg


371310616_1310628739600158_1053150083497222782_n.jpg







This is the lung tissue. Note the appearance of copper and lead fragments and small secondary channels caused by same (maybe not visible in photos):

400241795_1523724485046322_5289853298345738368_n.jpg



400500935_897817514665966_4977741848842969285_n.jpg





Fragments were recovered from lung tissue (very small, not photographed).

This is the exit. Note fragments clearly visible embedded in rib and ribcage, as well as small secondary wound channels caused by other fragments:

371503377_3018145224988359_7110696329362298871_n.jpg



367392287_187774424398567_7412709571813881195_n.jpg



400358941_992340815201508_6002670401760442360_n.jpg







Projectile entered from (photo) Right to Left:
400700859_1288010491991067_5139116647824156741_n.jpg
I can’t see any of your photos for some reason.
 
I found myself curious, so I fired 4 ten shot groups, consecutively (letting the weapon cool, though), yesterday with mk318 mod 0 sost. I changed my position behind the gun for one of the groups, and you can see it shifted left and shows a bit of vertical movement...no butterfly shots here, though. The weapon used is a Hodge mod 2 with a KAC 11.5" barrel and URX4. It is topped with an nx8 1-8 in a Badger c1 mount. The muzzle is tipped with a MAMS, and this range session saw a QDC 5.56 can in place. The groups were fired from the bench with a bag under the front of the rail, and under the buttstock.

Distance is 100 yards.
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