65g Sierra Gameking vs 75g Hornady Amax - wet newspaper


Nov 3, 2012
Just got through a wet newspaper test for the 223 Rem (a little RAR Compact) using two of my favourite bullets; the 65g Gameking and the 75g Amax.

As I often do I fired three of each at three different velocities, to approximate impact at different ranges. In this case I attempted to simulate impacts at 10, 75 and 200 yards. I personally wouldn't be likely to attempt to shoot a pig or deer further than that with a 223 unless the conditions assured me of a headshot, and in that case it would matter little what bullet was used.

So here's the test setup...

Sierra 65g Gameking:
1) 2875fps
2) 2650fps
3) 2300fps

Hornady 75g Amax:
1) 2750fps
2) 2620fps
3) 2375fps

I'll preface the data by saying both bullets performed well for such small bullets, and neither demonstrated a significant advantage, however there was one aberration which you'll note...

Sierra 65g:
1) 2875fps
Penetration: 190mm
Retained Weight: 42.2g
Expanded Diameter: 0.54"


2) 2650fps
Penetration: 220mm
Retained Weight: 62g
Expanded Diameter: 0.54


3) 2300fps
Penetration: 310mm
Retained Weight: 61.8g
Expanded Diameter: 0.45


Hornady 75g:
Penetration: 220mm
Retained Weight: 39.4g
Expanded Diameter: 0.50


2) 2620fps
Penetration: 210mm
Retained Weight: 38g
Expanded Diameter: 0.46


3) 2375fps
Penetration: 230mm
Retained Weight: 55.2g
Expanded Diameter: 0.49"


So what did we find?

The Sierra retained more weight in every case. The two at the slower speeds retained around 95%! That's excellent when the solid penetration and great expanded diameter are accounted. I think so anyway.

The Amax penetrated well, generally just as well as the Sierra. It also expanded wide. I found they were much of a muchness in this test, except...

That slowest Sierra, at only 2300fps, didn't even begin to start expanding (edit; thanks Guy) until around 12 cm (near 5 inches) into the stack of very soggy newpaper. It pencilled until that point, then it expanded just as wide as the others. The end result was that it ended up penetrating far more than any other. Over a foot!

I found this rather interesting and I don't know exactly how to explain it. I would need to test more at that impact speed to see if it was a consistent theme.

Of note, I've shot a lot of the Hornady 75g BTHP Match bullets into wet newspaper, and that's exactly how they perform; about 4 to 5 inches of pencilling then wide expansion, and deep penetration. The Amax it appears performs much more like a traditional soft point or ballistic tip type bullet.

Any thoughts?
Great test Bob. I've been running the 75 grain Hornady HPBT and the 77 Sierra Tipped MK.. Both of those have been amazing. Plus they shoot identical with the exact same load.
Scotty the Amax has been a little hard to come by here of late so I've been shooting lots of the BTHP in 75g as well. They're about as cheap as any bullet available here and very accurate.

No problems putting them on steel plates out to 750y either which a year or two ago I'd have thought I could never do with a short barrelled 223 - or any 223!
I love them. Need to load up some more. The 75 grain BTHPs can't be beat for the money in my book.