Range Report TAP connundrum

SPDSNYPR

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I finally talked our firearms guru into getting some 155gr TAP to try out (just 1K) in our precision rifles. We still have a crap ton of 168 grain match, but after reading lots of reports and looking at the terminal ballistics thread on M4 carbine on sniper ammo, I was able to convince them to get it.

We ordered it awhile back (a few months). It came in yesterday. Problem is, either we ordered or we were accidentally sent 168 grain TAP instead of the 155 grain.

My question is, should I keep this and use it, or send it back unopened? The terminal ballistics look very similar between the 168 gr and 155 gr TAP, and I was thinking that since all of our match ammo is 168 grain, maybe we should just run with it what we have right now. If this goes well, I'm hoping we end up going to this as our standard round.

So what's the consensus from a terminal ballistics standpoint? Since the penetration is only an inch different and retained weight is higher, should we stick with this (maybe a sign)? Hoping I can get some info from someone who has used both pretty extensively.

Thanks in advance.
 

BOLTRIPPER

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Re: TAP connundrum

well yah see.....shit happens on the other side of the Red River......

regardless....save me the Brass
 

JSTARSZ

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    I shoot TAP ammo in 308 and 223 and have found it be very accurate. I also use Hornady AMAX bullets in 155, 168 and 178 and also found them to be very accurate. A lot hunters use the AMAX bullets for hunting and they do the job well. I would shoot the ammo and I am more than sure it will work out well for your rifles.
     

    Ken Darnell

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Ripper - bonded as in bullet construction? You sure about that?

    We use 168 AMAX duty rounds (BHA Gold and TAP) and have found it to be very accurate. No real terminal ballistic data other than a few deer. Bullet fragments as reported in the Horndy data.

    My rifle did not like the 155 TAP.

    Ken
     

    Triad

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Hornady makes a 165 bonded load

    http://www.hornadyle.com/products/more_detail.php?id=72&sID=79&pID=4

    I went to the Hornady LE school in 2000. Since that time, I have been around 24,000+/- rounds of the 168 TAP going down range out of GAP worked over PSS rifles. All good to go. I think the TAP round is a little on the soft side for LE, consistant, but soft. The softness was a consious descision in exchange for consistancy.

    I would not mess with the 155.
     

    Sniper1*

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    I am currently shooting 110 TAP for open air engagements and 168 TAP for any type of barrier/glass engagments! Both are extremely accurate out of my AI.

    FWIW, the 155 TAP was very accurate also.
     

    SPDSNYPR

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Thanks guys. I think we're going to give this stuff a shot. Right now we have 168 grain BH match as our primary ammo, and 165 gr Federal Tactical as our barrier round. In my two .308s, they shoot to almost the exact POI at 100. The reason we're looking at this is the over-penetration issues with the 168 gr match. Looking at the terminal ballistics of the the AMAX, it is a lot more consistent from a penetration point of view. We choose all of our duty ammo based on pentration, expansion, and performance through barriers . . . but with our sniper rifles we choose the ammo we have just because it shoots tiny little groups to a consistent POI. Important, to be sure, but we have to consider what the bullet will do when it hits flesh. Hopefully, this grand experiment goes well and we get an open air round that does it all.
     

    Sniper1*

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    I am actually waiting for more real world information on the 168 grain. If it is positive I may switch to it exclusively. But, for now we are using both because of the o-p issue. We have documention of the 110 TAP fragmenting inside the cranial vault from about 50 yards with no exit! It shoots very well out to 300 then the wind starts to really move it around and to top it off the 168 only needs 1 1/2 MOA up to dead on from my 110 zero!

    Overall, I think you will be happy! Shoots as well as Federal did for me atleast.
     

    LoneWolfUSMC

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    We are looking at switching to the 168gr TAP from the 168gr Gold Metal Match.

    We have tested some and found it's just slightly less accurate than the Gold Metal Match in our rifles. However the reduced penetration is worth the very, very slight accuracy difference. 168gr FGMM just likes to keep going for too long after exiting a body.

    We tested some of the 110gr, but I am not sure we want to go to that as a "all purpose" round and I don't really like the idea of multiple types of ammo and multiple zeroes when your heart is pumping and the "oh shit" meter is pegged.
     

    Tank

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    We tested the 155 TAP and if it ever works its way through the approval process that is supposed to be our new duty round. Several local agencies have done the same
     

    SPDSNYPR

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    I asked Doc Roberts via another forum about the 110 grain loads. He said to avoid it because of lack of penetration. I asked this over at M4, and he said the 168gr TAP is GTG. If there's an expert on terminal ballistics, he's it. I'm going to crack open the case this weekend, and see if it shoots in our rifles. I hope it does (crossing fingers). I have a personal bolt gun, a gas gun, and 6 remmy 700Ps to try it out in, so I have some work ahead of me. If it shoots really close to POA compared to our match loads and the Fed tac stuff, I'm gonna be happy.
     

    keithtb1

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Our department has been using the Hornady 168 grn TAP for several years now and has worked well all around with the AI/AE. Still have my original Remmy LTR which started out as my Duty Rifle and is now my primary Hunting rifle. Shoots consistently sub moa out to 500 and has put down everything I've hunted. Does and pigs are always head shot and are DRT. Bucks are still body shot (Still looking for that perfect mount) and I've never had to track more than 30 or 40 yards. You won't regret the performance. Good Luck.
     

    Triad

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    For you LE guys, contact Buford Boone at FBI Quantico (Firearms Research Unit or something like that). With creds, Boone can send your agency a copy of the FBI testing of sniper loads (handgun and carbine as well). A ton of info comes with the stats, takes a very hard look at barrier ammo. If you have tracked FBI ammo use in handgun and 223, you will see the move to barrier rounds there as well.

    My 02. The 168 TAP is not a good barrier round. We were not comfortable with the wide variance in penetration of the 168 BTHP offerings. Some of the over penetration was excessive to say the least. The TAP was not a great round but it was a good compromise. I have personal knowledge of at least one suspect that got to walk this earth for just a little longer because of the lack of barrier UMPH with TAP. My attempts to move to a bonded round were blocked by a supervisor that was not willing to listen or learn.

    The idea of two loads, open air/barrier was not one we really looked at. One more variable to screw up, and as sure as there is Sniper VooDoo, the wrong load would in the chamber when the shot presented itself.
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    IMHO, the best bullet weight in a .308 chambering is 168, TAP is a damned good LE Precision round for a whole hatful of reasons, and unless I was going to absolutely, positively need to do the bulk of my 'money shots' beyond 800yd; I'd end this converstaion right here and now.

    For the longer shots, I'd acquire and familiarize with some 175's, but only as a 'standby, in case' loading.

    IMHO, the best barrier round isn't a .308, but I don't think the .260 is ready for adoption because of legal implications of going outside the narrow 'generic' definitions. I'd definitely go with Triad's recommendations, he does this stuff and I don't; and do the same with the specialized barrier round as I just suggested with the 175's. I, like many, am of two minds about considering alternative service loadings.

    Greg
     

    LoneWolfUSMC

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Triad</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The idea of two loads, open air/barrier was not one we really looked at. One more variable to screw up, and as sure as there is Sniper VooDoo, the wrong load would in the chamber when the shot presented itself. </div></div>

    Our supervisor asked me about carrying a selection of rounds to be able to match the situation. I told him I had the same concerns of Murphy creeping into my magazine and changing my ammo on me.

    Add to this the fact that in the dark it's damn near impossible to tell the difference between the 110, 155 and 168 and you have a recipe for disaster.

    We did some non-scientific glass tests with the 110gr TAP, 168gr TAP, 168gr FGMM, and 165gr Federal Tactical Bonded.

    With residential glass the 168gr FGMM seemed to retain the best trajectory after penetrating the glass (at 90* and 45*). The 168gr TAP and Hornady 165gr Bonded performed well. The 110gr TAP seemed to produce a lot more spall. The target was peppered with glass.

    One of these days I will get some pics of the glass rig that one of our guys came up with. We salvage residential windows whenever we can. Every couple of months we set up a glass shoot with some of these windows. We can set them so that we have to penetrate multiple layers of glass (like thermal pane windows) as well as screens. If you are a professional Sniper this is a mandatory part of your training. You need to have glass shoots in your training folder.

    Hopefully later this year we will get out and do some auto glass with the TAP.
     

    Zebra644

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    We use 168 gr. FGMM for our .308's and the Federal Prem. in our M-4's. in 55 gr.
     

    LoneWolfUSMC

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Give the 168gr TAP a try. I think you will find that it's a great round.

    We are not 100% ready to convert yet, but we are leaning that way.

    BTW it shoots the same close range zero as the 168gr FGMM.
     

    SPDSNYPR

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    I can't think of anything being worse through glass than the 168gr BTHP match rounds we use right now. They're just awful. They have shed their core every single time I've fired them through windshields and regular window glass. Usually, you have two holes in the target - one where the jacket hit, one where the core hit. I can't imagine that the it'd be effective unless the BG had his forehead pressed against the glass. That's when we started looking at barrier rounds - and back then the 165 gr Fed Tac was pretty much the only game in town. We don't keep them loaded in the mag, so it has to be a deliberate act to put them in.

    I'm about to start using a gas gun that I've been having good luck with. I plan on running our primary round in the P-Mags (in the gun) and the barrier ammo in metal mags - that way I have to deliberately insert the barrier round, and I can tell by feel easily which is which.

    Looking at the BC of the AMAX, it looks like it performs well at a distance, and according to the info posted by Doc GKR, it looks like it performs consistently when barriers aren't an issue.

    Long story short - it looks promising. I'll find out tomorrow when I start shooting it.
     

    Ken Darnell

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    The 168 TAP is a marginal barrier round in our testing. If the target was 5 feet or closer to the glass (double pane residential), no issues. POA-POI was within a 1/4" and a single hole in the target. Bullet separation started to appear at distanced beyond 5 feet and very pronounced at 10 feet. At 10 feet it was intresting that one hole was be pretty close to POA and the other was in a 5" radius around it.

    We shot the Black Hills loading with the 180 grain AccuBond and found that is stayed together and hit POA at 10 feet when we were shooting the glass at 90 degrees. POI remained the same (within 3/8") when we angled the glass 30 degrees and 45 degrees from the shooter. We did see some keyholeing at 45 degrees but the hit was still POA. At 100 yards, the AccuBond and AMAX shot the same POI. The AccuBond also had a white tip so it his visually distinguishable from the red tip on the AMAX. I am leaning to carry two loads, AMAX for open air and AB for barriers. I need to contact Burford and see what the terminal ballistics for the AB look like. Would be nice to just use one load.

    Food for thought.
     

    SPDSNYPR

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Well - we didn't get the TAP at all. We got the Black Hills Gold 168 gr AMAX load. I guess they're pretty well the same thing.

    I just did some groups and a qual course with it in my LR308 20", and I didn't have to click the old knobs once. My rifle doesn't like this stuff quite as well as the BTHP match loads, but it likes it about 1 MOA (and I was shooting almost directly into the sun - had trouble seeing the 1" square target). Pretty happy so far and cautiously optomistic. Nobody else shot this stuff, since we were pressed for time and were hot and tired. Next month we'll ring it out a bit better and stretch it a little (only shoot 100 and in today).
     

    jeepone

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Gents: I apologize if anyone feels this is a thread hijack but feel it's important to put this out since many in LE are not aware of this new round. All good points above and I agree with most.

    We also are looking for one round to do it all and thanks to Frank and Jacob, we were introduced to the Hornady Superformance 178 Gr round. Due to the new powder (I assume) it is traveling close to 2800 fps (guess). We have done some very preliminary tests and on glass, it appears to be working as good as a 180 gr bonded round we just switched to for glass. It is as accurate as Fed GM 168.

    See Rob01's thread on it if you haven't already: http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1669162&page=1

    It is not a bonded round, but a match round...obviously not as good as a bonded bullet for glass but several have the hypothesis that since it is heavier and faster, it will perform almost as well, yet still give excellent accuracy. And much cheaper than match ammo (I don't expect it to stay that way).

    I will have more data on it in less than two weeks when I run it through all types of glass and compare to our other rounds.

    Good luck to all in the quest for the "one magic bullet".

     

    SPDSNYPR

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Jeep, not a hijack at all. But what I am looking for is consistent performance in gelatin and humans. If this new 178 gr Hornady round is good on barriers, but acts like an FMJ for all practical purposes once it hits flesh, it does me no good. In the reports I have read, it seems like the BTHP match bullets seem to be the worst offenders in the "sometimes it expands, but most of the time it acts like an FMJ" arena. That's why I was looking at the AMAX loads in the first place.

    Also, according to the thread you linked, it seems like gas guns don't like the new round, and they are having pressure problems. When I got to the range yesterday, it was 107 degrees. I can't use a cold-natured round at all. I need something that can deal with our hot summers.

    And I appreciate the info. The more I get, the better my decisions will be (I hope).
     

    GhostFace

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    Re: TAP connundrum

    Before we switched to TAP we used to shoot the 168 FGMM. I went to a bunch of glass stores in our area and told them I wanted a variety of scrap glass. I had metric ton of all kinds of glass. Single, double pane, windhsield and the thick shop glass with chicken wire in it. I set the glass up and put a hostage target behind the glass about five feet. The FGMM was unpredictable when shot through windsheild and shop glass.When shot through single and double pane it was pretty much not effected, TAP reacted just about the same but seemd to strike a little truer.

    The Hornady Bonded performed great through these barriers, the Bonded rounds doesn't shoot nearly as tight on paper as the AMAX does but it's still accurate enough for what we do. The Barrier does penetrate damn near as much as ball does when it doesn't hit a soft target. We were able to secure a vavcant house for training and when we were done with it the fire department was going to burn it down. The house was way out in the middle of no where and sat on a hill. To the rear of the house was another hill about 200 yards out and behind it was a thick set of woods. We shot a target through a window with 9mm subguns, .233 and our .308s. The TAP went through the target, through a wall in lodged inside a hot water heater. The Barrier went the same route but continued through the hot water heater through two more walls and exited the residence and logded somewhere into the hill 200 yards behind the house, .308 ball did the same. I would not carry the Hornady barrier as a general purpose round because it penetrates too much unless it finds a soft target. I carry a short 10 round mag ( I carry an AR-10) loaded with the Barrier rounds in my pack should have need to shoot through thick glass and I have the time to change the mags. I know all of my full sized 20 rd mags are loaded with the AMAX bullet. So far in all of our ops I have not needed to insert the bonded mags but I know where it is should I need to.

    We found the AMAX round to be as accurate as FGMM at short distances and our zeros not change nearly as much as FGGM does when the temps change. We shot the TAP out to 1k with great results, not that we need or would ever shoot that far on a op but it's nice to know the accuracy is there. Another plus for the AMAX is it's cheaper than FGMM.