Sunday, June 8, 2014

223 Australian Outback 55 Grain Sierra BlitzKing Clear Gel Tests

Australian Outback ammunition is made in Australia by ADI.  From the information available on the manufacturers website, ADI produces ammunition for the military and civilian markets.  The load tested here is intended for varmint hunting and is loaded with the Sierra BlitzKing bullet.  Another unique feature of the ammunition is what ADI calls "Ballistic Temperature Independence".  From my layman's understanding, it reads like ADI has developed powders that deliver consistent velocities from 5 to 125 degrees F.

Overall, I was really impressed with the packaging and appearance of the ammunition.  It was clean, and securely packaged.

Test Rifle:

Test Protocol:
Step 1)  Measure and record temperature and relative humidity.
Step 2)  Run a 3 shot velocity average over a ProChrono Digital Chronograph at a distance of 25 years.
Step 3)  Run various terminal test shots, with and without simulated clothing barriers, into a block of Clear Ballistics Gel that is calibrated to 10% Ordnance Gel density.  Shot distance is 25 yards.
Step 4)  Run a 600 fps calibration test bb shot into the Clear Ballistics gel block and record penetration depth to verify density.

Test Results:

Video Documentation of the Entire Test from Range to Bullet Recovery:

My Thoughts on This Load:
One of the most surprising things of this test was that 3 of the 5 test shots shared the same velocity.  I'm not really sure if I should give credit to the ammunition, or if my chronograph isn't up the challenge of 25 yard velocity tests.  Regardless, it was impressive.

I really liked the terminal performance of the BlitzKing bullet.  Even at short barrel semi-auto velocities, the impacts were dramatic.  Shoot this round from a 22 to 24 inch bolt action rifle and I bet you would get another 200 to 400 fps from this load.  Should I ever fulfill my bucket list wish to spend a day on a prairie dog shoot, I would definitely include this load in my kit.   

Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested.  All tests represent actual performance in ballistics testing media.  Terminal performance in all other media will show different results.  It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision on which specific ammunition to use for their needs.  It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.

Ammunition labeled as +P or +P+ should only be used in firearms that have been certified by the manufacturer as safe for the additional pressures generated by these ammunition types.


  1. I am glad to see you are testing .223/5.56. It would be interesting to see a comparison of hollow points with military ammo, which can't use expanding ammo due to the Hague Convention. There has been quite a bit of controversy over the effectiveness of various types of military ammo.

    1. Mrgunsandgear on YouTube has done some military ammo tests. Not sure when I will have the chance to test more 5.56/.223

    2. Military 5.56mm ball ammo doesn't "expand" but does tumble after impact and fragment. It's just as nasty as a hollow point or soft point.

  2. Assuming a G7 ballistic coefficient of 0.125 (this is about average for 55gr spitzer bullets of 0.224" diameter; published data I've seen gives figures of 0.120-0.133 for different varmint bullets and FMJs from different manufacturers), an average of 2876 feet per second measured with the chronograph at 25 yards indicates an actual average muzzle velocity of 2970 ft/sec.

    A 270 ft/sec loss is about what I'd expect with 55gr .223 ammo when fired from an 18.5" barrel, compared to the 24" pressure barrel most manufacturers claim to use--45-50 ft-sec per inch velocity loss is what I generally expect to see, though the loss it tends to drop by about half once we go shorter than that, maybe due to higher bore pressure as we move back toward the breech.

    If it were loaded to military 5.56mm specs it'd run about 200 ft/sec faster, approximately, though whether this would significantly change its terminal ballistics, I can't say.

    If I had a Mini-14 and it were my home-defense gun, and it had the 1:9" twist barrel, I'd be looking at the 68-69 grain match hollowpoint bullets from Hornady, Sierra, or Nosler. At 2800 ft/sec or thereabouts they tend to yaw in the first 1" or less then yaw and fragment with tremendous violence, and generally the deepest penetrating fragment penetrates 11-12", at least in bare 10% gelatin.

    The 75-77 grain match hollowpoints in this caliber tend to start yawing a bit later, especially the Sierra, possibly due to the lower velocities with which they can be launched, and the maximum penetration tends to go up to 14"-15" but of course a 1:9" twist barrel won't always stabilize them.