March 4th, 2010

Hornady Releases New .308 Superformance Match Ammo

Hornady has started shipping its new .308 Winchester Superformance™ match ammo. Loaded with a high-BC 178gr BTHP, the new ammo, which employs a proprietary blend of propellants (some of which are NOT commercially available), has shown outstanding velocities. One shooter reported 2820 fps from a 26″ barrel, while Hornady claims 2775 fps from a SAAMI-spec 24” test barrel. Hornady says this .308 match load is approximately 175 fps faster than any comparable factory .308 load.

CLICK HERE for Technical Info on Superformance ammo.

New Projectile Developed for this Match Ammo
With a 0.530 BC bullet moving around 2800 fps, the new Superformance™ ammo offers impressive ballistic performance — better than many reloaders may be able to achieve with their handloads. Accuracy has been very good also, according to Hornady Engineer, Joe Thielen, due in no small part to bullet design: “The new 178 grain BTHP Match bullet was purpose-built, and optimized specifically for the .308 Winchester chamber. It features an aggressive ogive as well as an extremely efficient boat tail that makes this projectile highly effective aerodynamically, [with] less wind drift and … flatter trajectories. Accuracy results were excellent. We shot a .680″ group at 200 yards with our test equipment, and field tests out to 1250 yards yielded 8″ groups (8 inches at 1250 yards is 0.611 MOA).”

The 178gr Superformance .308 ammunition should stay supersonic to approximately 1,275 yards. That’s a lot farther than any other factory .308 load for 175-180gr bullets. The ability to stay supersonic well past 1000 yards is a boone to long-range .308 shooters.

Here is how Hornady has achieved high velocities with its new Superformance ammunition:

1) Superformance ammo uses advanced new Ball Powders (not yet for sale).

2) The powders are BLENDED, with different “recipes” for different cartridges.

3) The new powders maintain high-energy longer in barrel (like Reloder 17).

4) The new powders burn almost completely, reducing ejecta, for less exit pressure, and less felt recoil.

5) Superformance ball propellants pack very densely, so more grains of powder can fit inside a case, compared to typical extruded stick powders.

Can Reloaders Replicate the Superformance .308 Match Ammo?
Forum members have asked: “How can we duplicate the Superformance ammo with our handloads?” Unfortunately, this will not be an easy task. The Superformance line of loaded ammo uses special blends of propellants customized for each cartridge/bullet combination. Hornady spent a lot of time and effort “tweaking” the blends to achieve maximum velocities. In addition, Hornady “commissioned” some new propellants expressly for the Superformance ammo. Therefore there’s no easy way to replicate Superformance loads with a single, off-the-shelf powder, and we caution strongly against “blending your own”. REPEAT: do NOT attempt to blend commercial powders to try to replicate Superformance velocities with your handloads.

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