30cal Hornady cup & core wet newspaper test


Nov 3, 2012
So I've got the new Sako A7 dialed in with a couple of loads but at present my working load is the 168g Amax launched a smidge over 2700fps. I've got about 400 of these so they'll keep me going for a while, but I wanted to do a penetration test alongside a couple of other Hornady bullets I've also got several hundred each of, and which I like to use for pigs and deer.

The candidates were then, the Hornady 130g Soft Point Flat Base, 150g Interlock FB and the 168g Amax. As usual I loaded two of each up, at two different velocities and shot all six into the same bundle of wet newspaper.

The two different load speeds were designed to simulate impacts at 50y and 200y, when launched at MV of 3100fps for the 130g, 2850 for the 150g and 2700 for the 168g Amax.


1) 130g Hdy SP
Impact Speed 2900
Penetration 24.5cm
Retained Weight 86.2g
Expanded Diameter 0.580


2) 130g Hdy SP
Impact Speed 2500
Penetration 26.0cm
Retained Weight 108.2g
Expanded Diameter 0.595


3) 150g Hdy Interlock
Impact Speed 2700
Penetration 26.5cm
Retained Weight 105.6g
Expanded Diameter 0.570


4) 150g Hdy I'lock
Impact Speed 2350
Penetration 26.5g
Retained Weight 127.8
Expanded Diameter 0.565


5) 168g Amax
Impact Speed 2600
Penetration 23.0cm
Retained Weight 100.4g
Expanded Diameter 0.695


6) 168g Amax
Impact Speed 2325
Penetration 26.5cm
Retained Weight 124.6
Expanded Diameter 0.690"


So what do you blokes make of all that? For the most part my take is (and please pardon my French) that there was bugger-all in it.

The Interlocks do what Interlocks do; penetrate reliably and hold together well, at the moderate speeds they're designed for. The Amaxes expanded very wide, created a wider wound channel through most of the newspaper (I'll post a photo or two) and they held together quite well at those modest, 308-esque speeds.

It was the little 130g SPs that surprised. These non-Interlock bullets launched faster than the rest, really did a good job. Lots of penetration, good weight retention and they also expanded nicely. Go figure.

All good options.

- Bob
This was about 15cm (6") into the stack of wet newspaper. The Amax is really blowing a huge cavity through the media...


Top right is the Amax at 2600, bottom right is the slower Amax. Top left is the 130 SP at 2900fps, bottom left is the slower 130g. Interlocks are centre, fastest at top.

The next photo was around 8" into the stack.


Those Amaxes certainly do expand very wide and create trauma. They'll also haul the mail further out than the other bullets listed.

Still, hard to go past those Interlocks...
Bob - I am enjoying the heck out of the various measuring systems in use:

Velocity in Feet per second
Penetration in centimeters
Retained weight in grains
And diameter in inches



BTW - I know a fellow who has been using the Hornady A-Max as his primary hunting bullet for years. A decade or more perhaps? Including elk, with a .300 Win magnum. For him, the bullets have proven to be wonderful, one-shot killers.

He recognizes that they're a fast-expanding bullet, and that they may not penetrate as much as some other stronger bullets. He takes his shots accordingly.

What attracted him in the first place was their impressive accuracy. Seems to me that he started using them about the time that word got out of a new 1,000 yard record, using the A-Max from a little 6mm BR. That was at a range in Montana.

You posted some interesting info, accompanied by good photos. Thanks! (y)

Heheh yes I have my Imperial munched badly with my Metric 'eh?!

I still have 450 of these 168g Amaxes and I can think of no reason not to use them even on a big Sambar deer should one happen my way, and they're a very large animal. I was using them in the LR 308 but I'm changing over to Dyer 155g VLDs in that, so the 168g Amax will serve as my hunting bullet in the new A7 for now at least.

I was very encouraged by the light 130g bullets. I also have about 500 of those and with two boys now 11 and 12 (and a 7 year old sister coming up behind) I can imagine the pigs getting terrorised with the 130s for a few years!

Hey while we're talking I've been thinking about you and you're colleagues given the current goings on up there. Difficult times. Best wishes mate.
Thanks for your kind thoughts. The guys are having a rough time of it here and there.

Re the 130's - I haven't used those particular bullets, but have seen good success with Nosler's .30 cal, 125 grain Ballistic Tip on deer. Light recoil. Excellent accuracy, and quite lethal. Other than some accuracy testing, I didn't use them, but loaded them for a friend. She used the 125 gr bullet on a fat whitetail buck, and it did a fine job. It's quite possible that some of these lighter .30 cal bullets are a bit overlooked.

Regards, Guy
Yes I'm likely to try the 125BT when my stocks run low. I think they're a premium bullet in a plain wrapper and easy on the shoulder.
Found out I can load the 125 fast enough from my .30-06, it actually shoots FLATTER than my .25-06 with 115's... :shock:
Yes I reckon the 125BT in the 308 would give a 270 Win with 130 grainers quite a run for the money too. Wouldn't match for BC but within 400y you might not notice...
bobnob":30c6e4np said:
Yes I reckon the 125BT in the 308 would give a 270 Win with 130 grainers quite a run for the money too. Wouldn't match for BC but within 400y you might not notice...

Nosler has published 125 gr .30-06 data up to a tad over 3400 fps. :shock:

And 125 gr .308 Win data up to 3284 fps...

So yeah - the stubby 125 won't win any BC numbers contests, but it's a quick little rascal out of a normal sized .30 caliber cartridge and tough enough for deer sized game for sure. When I saw the .30-06 data, and saw how well the 125 was shooting from my .308 and Dani's .308 Win... I was IMPRESSED with the potential....

Regards, Guy
Great test Bob. They all look pretty danged good. That AMax is pretty impressive.
Those 125 gr 308 loads are just fun to shoot. Work up a starting load for your kids, they'll love it. Don't overlook the 125 gr Sierra PH either. Nice work with the testing. Thanks for sharing it. BN
When I get into some 125 NBTs I'll certainly put them through the wet newspaper routine as well.
bobnob":16y0fna0 said:
When I get into some 125 NBTs I'll certainly put them through the wet newspaper routine as well.

I'd like to see how they stack up. Cool little bullet. I'd really like a nice little 308.