Range Report: Lehigh Defense Brass Bullets

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Range Report: Lehigh Defense Brass Bullets

Postby Hoot » Mon May 14, 2018 8:02 pm

"Got more balls than a Big Brass Monkey"

I received a box of Lehigh Defense 245gr, Solid Brass, Xtreme Penetrators, to test last year and never got around to them. Well I finally did today and let me tell you, If I were going to compete in a 450b Precision Shooting Contest these have knocked my venerable 225gr FTX bullets out of first place, for my personal best 5-shot, 100yd groups and in 3 charge weights and two different powders! If I had not shot them myself, I would have had a hard time believing someone else got them to fly so well, especially from an AR platform. I'm a good shot but not a great shot and this was my first time out with my 450b this year to boot. It usually takes me a session of two to go my mojo back, but Da'yum! they made me look like an old hand at this. The Bartz 20" 1:24 upper ran flawlessly as always.

The first time out each year for me involves a lot of planning so that I remember to take everything I'll need, short of the kitchen sink. I came close but forgot a crucial tool, especially so when dealing with an unknown bullet for the first time, for which I have not seen a published load. You want to proceed cautiously when breaking new ground. I was kinda lucky but not totally in regard to what charge weights I guessed were appropriate. As it turned out, I started my ladder where I should have been finishing, so my test was somewhat truncated and I have 20 rounds that need to be pulled down. :roll: I've always believed that Case Head Growth was the best indicator of where you are in chamber pressure. At least without buying a pressure testing barrel. A good Micrometer is a good companion on missions into the unknown like this and I forgot it. So, I was left at the mercy of my chronograph and my gut feeling when I touched off the rounds, to keep me out of trouble. I'm not much of a subscriber to gauging exotic calibers like the 450b, based upon where ejected brass fall, not to mention I use a brass catcher anyway, so that they don't get dinged up on the concrete pas at the range.

OK so based upon how the 250gr FTX performs, I decided to test these 245's using charges from 36gr of Lil Gun to 39gr, as an initial evaluation. I also loaded up 5 rounds each with W296 using 40 and 42gr. For my control rounds, I loaded 5) 225 FTX and 5) 250 FTX over 38gr of Lil Gun. The latter two turned in velocities close to what I got back in 2015 when I rook the Bartz upper out for a test drive.

Enough Foreplay, here's what made my day:

Here's the loads Ready to Rumble!

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WRT taking the micrometer to the range. If I had, I would have seen how they were stacking up and would not have relied upon my gut feeling for how the rifle handled, to decide to skip the 38 and 39gr rungs on the ladder.

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Here what the tested charges achieved:

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Now for some target Porn! 1/2 Inch Bull and 1/2 inch grid. 100 yds off of a BR front rest and rear heavy sand Protektor bag.

The 225 FTX over 38gr Lil Gun were the first 450b shots I have taken in 2018 and it shows. I had left off last year with the scope set for slow, plodding, 325gr FTX's so the first shot almost missed the target. These and the 250 FTX were as much to get me into the groove of shooting again as they were Control Groups:

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Next were the "Blue Tip" 250gr FTX's. They fly identical to Red Tipped Hornady's:

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Now the juicy pics! First up, the 245 XP over 36gr Lil Gun. Pinch me! :

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Even though they were hot, I just had to try the next 1gr increment. Shake me! :

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Those were as hot as I wanted to go with Lil Gun. The poor Bartz was Rockin and a Rollin.

On to the W296 and again, I was guessing where to start the charge at. Based upon my experience in the past when comparing the two powders, I started off at 40gr.
Throw Cold water on me! :

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Hmmm, just about the same velocity as 36gr Lil Gun. Wished I had just gone up 1 gr more instead of 2. Oh well, here goes 42gr:

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They felt as out of the sweet zone as they shot and I aborted after 3 rounds. The Bartz was grunting!

Too bad I don't have a use for penetrating rounds as these bullets shoot phenomenal if you keep them around 2400 +/- fps.

It was quite a heady experiment. I might just have to try these over IMR4227. ;)

"In spite of my faults, I'm a sittin' on a Rainbow..."

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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby commander faschisto » Mon May 14, 2018 8:39 pm

Hootster, you da man, yet again! Thanks for a great range report which will be very useful to our reloaders...and me! :)

I bought a couple boxes of Underwood Ammo with these boolits at 2360 fps, but I haven't had a chance to check 'em out yet...I'll post what I find. Hopefully in the vicinity of what you did with these.

EDIT: Forgot to add that you really kicked some paper butt out there today! Nice work, dude.

EDIT#2: What I really meant to say was: "Holy crap!"
Last edited by commander faschisto on Mon May 14, 2018 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby Bmt85 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:01 pm

Awesome job, once again.
Honestly those groups are down right AMAZING! When I was testing the Lehigh 135 Xtreme Defense out of my Tromix, they made a couple groups similar to yours, at 50 yards! For me, that was straight up SPECTACULAR! My scope died shortly after, so I feel I have to go back and retest, just to make sure. I picked up some Lehigh 220 Xtreme Defense, and honestly, I was planning to test them at similar charges to what you were pushing on the these 245’s. As you mentioned, try slower powders. 4198 might be a decent option, too. That is if you can get enough powder behind it without being too compressed.

I’m really hoping I can do test’s like you do. I was so close to doing so, until a family friend sold his place last month. I was getting all setup to do some heavy testing, then he tells me he’s putting his place up for sale because the market here is REALLY good. About a week later, papers were signed, and they were moving out. Can’t blame him one bit, but now I need to look for a new place to hunt, and another place to do load work up, so I can be a true help to this great forum.

Sorry for getting off tangent, just had a lot setup, and now I’m back to square one. Hopefully, I can get something going this year, even though work is going to be absolutely crazy this summer. Can’t turn down that much overtime. Lol
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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Mon May 14, 2018 9:03 pm

Holy Cow....... I’m speechless.
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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby Hoot » Mon May 14, 2018 9:19 pm

So was I. Initially thought that they were going off into the wild blue yonder, missing the 4x4 target boards.

I wonder how the Xtreme Defense version flies. I still have a box of the 250gr all Copper Xtreme Penetrator bullets that I can test as well. Not sure why they came out with two so close in weight, just different metals? From my research, I know that the Brass ones are slipperier than the Coppers ones but the Copper ones are softer, as in less start pressure. Definitely don't want to start the Copper ones at the same charge weights as I did the Brass ones, lest the Bartz get the impression that I don't love it.. At least I've established a baseline now. The Starline brass, which I forgot to resize, performed well. None of the loads produced any sooting and only the 40 and 42 gr W296 charges showed the slightest hint of swiping beginning, as well as the primers losing their roundness ever so slightly. I hate pulling down loads but I throw the powder on the Stella D'Oro plants out back. At least I can re-use the bullets, unlike softer copper cup and lead core ones, which get tossed in the scrap bucket. The taper crimp hit down into the second from the front driving band groove right at 2.27 COL. That was nice for a change, not having to load them deep into the case to hit a groove. BTW, in case anyone is wondering, that taper crimp holds onto those 245gr XP's just fine. I slam-chambered one of the pull downs 3 times to see if they held their position. After the 1st chambering, it had slipped out .0015" and did not slip any further on the 2nd and 3rd chamberings. I count that as a win. ;)

Time to head for the bed. 04:30 gives no quarter. :|

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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby commander faschisto » Mon May 14, 2018 9:26 pm

Man, as far as I'm concerned, 04:30 doesn't even give a dime!

Be interesting to see if there's a difference with the copper Xtreme Penetrators...would be another good piggy-popping load.

Just info you: there's a very good chance you'll be able to load up some for a test of their Xtreme Defense 220gr copper boolits, too...jus' sayin'

Go Hoot!! :D
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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Tue May 15, 2018 5:51 am

I got home from work around midnight and crawled in bed around 1:30. Woke up at 4:30 and now I’m sitting here at the plant again. Eight hour turnarounds have become a way of life here.
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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby Hoot » Tue May 15, 2018 8:38 am

Texas Sheepdawg wrote:I got home from work around midnight and crawled in bed around 1:30. Woke up at 4:30 and now I’m sitting here at the plant again. Eight hour turnarounds have become a way of life here.


Ouch! Those double-backs will take their toll on your health. I had to endure those for a year and a half when I was in my late 40's and it caused me to develop some medical issues that didn't go away once I bid out of that assignment. :x

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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby plant_one » Tue May 15, 2018 9:41 am

wowzers - you had those guys cooking along!

i bet those would do some serious damage on meat!

nice chooting! :mrgreen:
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Re: Range Report: Xtreme Defense Brass Bullets

Postby papajohn » Tue May 15, 2018 11:48 am

DANG Hoot, that's pretty darned impressive. If I ever grow up, I wanna be just like you! :P

Does this mean that load development with that bullet is pretty much over?
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