Mk11 Mod 0 Load Development and Testing - 169g Sierra Matchking

nn8734

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  • Feb 26, 2013
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    Had a chance to load up and test the new 169SMK in my Mk 11 Mod 0. Overall, I like the 308 but found the 175SMK to be lacking consistency beyond 700m (that’s after I factor me as an average shooter out of the equation). I developed a few quick loads using Sierra’s new 169 Matchking and tested them yesterday in the desert. In short, they seem to be markedly better ballistically than the legacy 175 Matchking. On Feb 7th, shot three different loads side by side with my standard 175SMK load (load details below) at 100m and 600m to compare elevation and wind holdover requirements for each bullet at 600m from a 100m zero. Then today (Feb 15th) I shot an evolved version of one of the test loads at steel from 300m to 700m.
    mk11 mod 0 at Firing Line.png

    The Bullet

    The 169 SMK’s advertised G1 BC is .527, which is an improvement of 31 basis points from the 175 SMK’s G1 BC of .496 at 308 Winchester velocities. The bullet itself has a much longer, more streamlined profile compared to its elder siblings, the 175 and 168. Sierra clearly designed this projectile to compete with some of the more modern, higher BC bullets in the 165-185 weight class like the Hornady 178 AMAX/ELDM and 185 Berger Juggernaut. Specifically, they intend for this bullet to enable the 308 Winchester to be consistently effective out to 1,000 yards (915 meters).

    Here it is compared to the 175 along with relevant info. 169smk is on the left and 175 smk is on the right in both images.
    169vs175 side by side.png


    Load Development

    I used Varget and chose three charge weights, 42.8, 43.1 and 43.4. Primer was a Remington 9-1/2 Standard LRP and cases were 1x fired and full-length sized Lake City LR 07. All rounds were loaded to a cartridge base-to-ogive of 2.110, which put the OAL at 2.850, quite a bit longer than the 175 SMK which I load to a COAL of 2.800.
    BTO and COAL.png


    The extra length shouldn’t be an issue for most bolt guns but will be cutting it really close for semi-autos depending on what mag you run. Here is the loaded round in selected short action magazines...From left to right: KAC Steel, Magpul AICS, Accuracy International AICS, Accuracy International AX d/s, Magpul P-MAG for SR25/AR10s
    169SMK in various mags.png


    Testing - Feb 7th, 2021
    Loaded 15 test rounds each consisting of the 169SMK at 42.8g, 43.1g and 43.4g Varget. Though they are brand new, I figured them to be insensitive to jump like the legacy SMKs. I set the CBO for all test samples at 2.110” +- .002. Every round was measured to confirm seating depth was within those limits.

    Testing at 100 meters yielded similar or slightly better group sizes compared to the 175 so the rifle likes the bullet. Here is the OCW w/notations.
    1613420547195.png

    Load Test Data_175 and 169_2.7.21.png

    * The cold bore shot with the 175SMK was 2637 fps, which was 36 fps higher than the next fastest round, skewing the SD/ES numbers for that load. Excluding that shot, the SD would have been 15, ES 54 which is more typical.

    At 600m, the 169 was .5 mils flatter and required .2-.3 mils less wind compensation vs the 175. I elected to load up 40 more rounds at 43.1g Varget for additional testing (see below).
    169 loads vs 175 at 600m_2.7.21.png


    More Testing - Feb 15th, 2021

    Shot the same above 43.1g load at multiple targets in 100m increments out to 500m then from there, 50m increments to 700m. Conditions were largely the same as last week, the 169 required between .2mils left and .3 mils left wind hold at 650-700m.

    At 700m, I initially went with 6.2 mils, which resulted in the two low impacts on the target, one at 5:30 near the bottom edge and another at 8:00 left edge. I adjusted up another .2 mils and shot another 5 rounds, which can be seen in/around the water line (yes, my water lines are a bit thick and not entirely straight - going to make/use a card board template to paint them for next time).
    500-600-700m targets_2.15.21.png

    Here are the Mk11's drop charts for the 169 and 175 side by side: Data was taken at the same shooting location.
    Distance (meters)Elevation (mils) - 169 Sierra Matchking (2.7.21)
    Temp: 54*F
    Hum: 30.1%
    DA: 4300 ft
    Elevation (mils) - 175 Sierra Matchking (1.24.21)
    Temp: 58*F
    Hum: 34.9%
    DA: 4500 ft
    3001.41.7
    4002.72.8
    5003.54.0
    5504.55.0
    6005.25.8
    6505.86.5
    7006.47.3

    Assessment

    I'm very happy with this new bullet and next time will take it to 850 meters side by side with the 175SMK for the sake of comparison and will update this thread when the drop data is available. 850 is prob the max I would take the Mk11 so will be a good glimps of what its capable of at those greater ranges. Going forward, I will be switching over from the 175g for my Mk11 as well as M40A5 (I'll post a separate load development and testing thread on that rifle in the near future).

    Hope this helps someone (esp. those with SR25s chambered in .308 Winchester).
     
    Last edited:

    NukeMMC

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    Good data!
    I shoot a Mega Maten in both 6.5CM (22" JP barrel) and 308 (20" Proof steel). I run either KAC or ASC magazines that give me a max COAL of 2.850"
    My AICS magazines (AI# 3902) give me 2.865" max COAL. My AIAX mags (AI# 6677) give me 2.955" max COAL while the AW mags (AI# 0726) that work just fine in my AXSA have 2.965" max COAL.
     
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    MOUNTIC

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  • Apr 29, 2017
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    Thank you. Very helpful. I'll be loading up these 169s for my SR25 and this saved me some time and effort. Appreciate it.
     
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    nn8734

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  • Feb 26, 2013
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    Good data!
    I shoot a Mega Maten in both 6.5CM (22" JP barrel) and 308 (20" Proof steel). I run either KAC or ASC magazines that give me a max COAL of 2.850"
    My AICS magazines (AI# 3902) give me 2.865" max COAL. My AIAX mags (AI# 6677) give me 2.955" max COAL while the AW mags (AI# 0726) that work just fine in my AXSA have 2.965" max COAL.

    Thank you. Very helpful. I'll be loading up these 169s for my SR25 and this saved me some time and effort. Appreciate it.


    Thanks, fellas. Glad to hear - I’ll be doing some additional testing with this bullet using Federal brass, IMR4064 and F210 primers soon and will update this thread when I have some data/results to share.

    meanwhile, feel free to post any load info and results you get with this bullet here.
     

    winniedonkey

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    Feb 13, 2017
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    I'm gona have to try these out. The 168 ELDs have done well so far, these seem to have great potential. Nice review/testing. Thank you.
     
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    rskibo

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    Jan 9, 2020
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    Had a chance to load up and test the new 169SMK in my Mk 11 Mod 0. Overall, I like the 308 but found the 175SMK to be lacking consistency beyond 700m (that’s after I factor me as an average shooter out of the equation). I developed a few quick loads using Sierra’s new 169 Matchking and tested them yesterday in the desert. In short, they seem to be markedly better ballistically than the legacy 175 Matchking. On Feb 7th, shot three different loads side by side with my standard 175SMK load (load details below) at 100m and 600m to compare elevation and wind holdover requirements for each bullet at 600m from a 100m zero. Then today (Feb 15th) I shot an evolved version of one of the test loads at steel from 300m to 700m.
    View attachment 7557823
    The Bullet

    The 169 SMK’s advertised G1 BC is .527, which is an improvement of 31 basis points from the 175 SMK’s G1 BC of .496 at 308 Winchester velocities. The bullet itself has a much longer, more streamlined profile compared to its elder siblings, the 175 and 168. Sierra clearly designed this projectile to compete with some of the more modern, higher BC bullets in the 165-185 weight class like the Hornady 178 AMAX/ELDM and 185 Berger Juggernaut. Specifically, they intend for this bullet to enable the 308 Winchester to be consistently effective out to 1,000 yards (915 meters).

    Here it is compared to the 175 along with relevant info. 169smk is on the left and 175 smk is on the right in both images.
    View attachment 7558808

    Load Development

    I used Varget and chose three charge weights, 42.8, 43.1 and 43.4. Primer was a Remington 9-1/2 Standard LRP and cases were 1x fired and full-length sized Lake City LR 07. All rounds were loaded to a cartridge base-to-ogive of 2.110, which put the OAL at 2.850, quite a bit longer than the 175 SMK which I load to a COAL of 2.800.
    View attachment 7557792

    The extra length shouldn’t be an issue for most bolt guns but will be cutting it really close for semi-autos depending on what mag you run. Here is the loaded round in selected short action magazines...From left to right: KAC Steel, Magpul AICS, Accuracy International AICS, Accuracy International AX d/s, Magpul P-MAG for SR25/AR10s
    View attachment 7557794

    Testing - Feb 7th, 2021
    Loaded 15 test rounds each consisting of the 169SMK at 42.8g, 43.1g and 43.4g Varget. Though they are brand new, I figured them to be insensitive to jump like the legacy SMKs. I set the CBO for all test samples at 2.110” +- .002. Every round was measured to confirm seating depth was within those limits.

    Testing at 100 meters yielded similar or slightly better group sizes compared to the 175 so the rifle likes the bullet. Here is the OCW w/notations.
    View attachment 7557787
    View attachment 7557807
    * The cold bore shot with the 175SMK was 2637 fps, which was 36 fps higher than the next fastest round, skewing the SD/ES numbers for that load. Excluding that shot, the SD would have been 15, ES 54 which is more typical.

    At 600m, the 169 was .5 mils flatter and required .2-.3 mils less wind compensation vs the 175. I elected to load up 40 more rounds at 43.1g Varget for additional testing (see below).
    View attachment 7557801

    More Testing - Feb 15th, 2021

    Shot the same above 43.1g load at multiple targets in 100m increments out to 500m then from there, 50m increments to 700m. Conditions were largely the same as last week, the 169 required between .2mils left and .3 mils left wind hold at 650-700m.

    At 700m, I initially went with 6.2 mils, which resulted in the two low impacts on the target, one at 5:30 near the bottom edge and another at 8:00 left edge. I adjusted up another .2 mils and shot another 5 rounds, which can be seen in/around the water line (yes, my water lines are a bit thick and not entirely straight - going to make/use a card board template to paint them for next time).
    View attachment 7557809
    Here are the Mk11's drop charts for the 169 and 175 side by side: Data was taken at the same shooting location.
    Distance (meters)Elevation (mils) - 169 Sierra Matchking (2.7.21)
    Temp: 54*F
    Hum: 30.1%
    DA: 4300 ft
    Elevation (mils) - 175 Sierra Matchking (1.24.21)
    Temp: 58*F
    Hum: 34.9%
    DA: 4500 ft
    3001.41.7
    4002.72.8
    5003.54.0
    5504.55.0
    6005.25.8
    6505.86.5
    7006.47.3

    Assessment

    I'm very happy with this new bullet and next time will take it to 850 meters side by side with the 175SMK for the sake of comparison and will update this thread when the drop data is available. 850 is prob the max I would take the Mk11 so will be a good glimps of what its capable of at those greater ranges. Going forward, I will be switching over from the 175g for my Mk11 as well as M40A5 (I'll post a separate load development and testing thread on that rifle in the near future).

    Hope this helps someone (esp. those with SR25s chambered in .308 Winchester).
    What neck tension are you running?
     

    nn8734

    nn8734
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  • Feb 26, 2013
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    Good info.
    Way late to this one. Did you post the M40 load info on another thread?
    Thanks, Carlos….actually compiling load t/e info on my A5 now…i got sidetracked from making more threads on my M40A5 and Mk13 since this one was posted but getting back to load development. Hope to have the M40 thread up in mid December either in this subforum or the Vintage Sniper Rifles forum.

    Testing several bullets in the A5 w/Varget last week and this week (175,169 sierra mks) and will follow up with berger 185 jugs and prob one or two more.