Hammer Bullet Review
.243-80 Grain Hunter
Throughout the past year I was able to acquire the components necessary for my first fully custom build and I began to piece together my first 6mm. The finished product consisted of a Bighorn TL2 action, Benchmark 1-8” twist Sendero contour barrel chambered in 6 Creedmoor, Timney Calvin Elite 2-Stage trigger and I slapped it all into my existing Manners T5-A stock with my Kahles K624i scope.
Bighorn 6mm Creedmoor in the high mountain desert.
While my build was being finished up I was selected to review some of the new Hammer monometal bullets. After looking over their offerings I chose the 80 gr hunter because it would stabilize well in my 1-8” twist barrel. I ran 100 rounds down the new barrel loaded with some 105 Amax’s and the rifle showed some real potential with many sub 1/2 MOA groups at 100 and great accuracy out to 825 yards. At this point I hoped the barrel would be settled in well enough to give the Hammer bullets a fair shake.
Before loading up the bullets I called and spoke with Hammer to see if they had any recommendations; they said to pick a powder that was appropriate for the bullet weight, use a magnum primer, seat the bullet to the length I want and load up till I got the velocity I wanted and the rifle should shoot well. They told me the bullets seem to be very insensitive to jump and easy to tune and they assumed this was due to the parabolic nature of the bullets.
Hammer bullets claim to have a parabolic shaped bullet with no straight bearing surface as seen on traditional bullets. They are able to achieve this through the use of a CNC lathe that can easily be programmed to create any shape bullet that they want. I threw the bullets on an optical comparator and was not able to visually see the parabolic curve at 20x magnification but if I put the bullets in a set of calipers they will spin about one band instead of having even contact on all driving bands which helps support their theory. Examining the bullets closer I noticed that all of the hollow points were slightly off center on the meplat but I was not able to photograph this feature well enough to include it in this review. Chances are that it’s only even visible because the leading edge of the bullet is cut very square to the axis of the bullet and shows concentricity errors that would not be visible on normal bullets. The base of the bullet also has a little nipple on the back from where the part off tool made its cut, but it is very small and comes off with MINIMAL sanding with 1000 grit sand paper; moral of the story is just leave it alone.
For initial testing I loaded the bullets to a length of 2.634, which placed the base of the bullet just below the neck and shoulder junction. I used standard large rifle primers and H4831SC and RL15 for my initial load work because they were available on my bench and I could easily acquire more for further testing if needed. The H4831SC loads shot around 1 MOA but RL15 shot ½ MOA right out of the gate.
Seating depth used during testing
I loaded up 30 additional rounds with the same charge of RL15 to get some chronograph data and verify the initial accuracy wasn’t a fluke. I was rewarded with more sub ½ MOA groups at 100 yards and a velocity of 3152 with a SD of 7.3. I plugged the velocity from my chronograph into Shooter and dialed up to shoot some 300-yard groups. My first group went into .63 MOA and the second group had 4 rounds within .36 MOA and another shot that was a called flyer that opened up the group to almost 1 MOA. All groups were shot off a bipod and rear bag in very quick succession and I was very impressed with the results.
Typical 5 shot group at 100 yards
First 5 shot group at 300 yards
With validated accuracy and chronograph data I headed out to hit some long-range steel. I entered in the data to Shooter and dialed up to make a hit at 825. I noticed that at this range the bullet was just hitting the transonic barrier but I figured I’d try the shot anyway. Impacts at this distance were extremely difficult to spot but for the most part the shots looked high and required dialing down to get the correct elevation.
I moved to a closer target at 625 yards, doped the scope and again sent rounds over the target. I pulled out the Magneto and double checked the velocity and found it had gone up to 3183fps on the new bottle of powder I had used to load these rounds. Entering the new velocity into the firing solution didn’t much change the outcome so I dialed down the necessary correction from the previous shot and was rewarded with a hit.
Additional rounds down range confirmed that less correction was needed to hit at long range than what the calculator called for. Since I trust the velocities from the Magneto I tweaked the listed G7 BC from .130 to .145 and my dial ups synced perfectly with field data all the way out to the initial 825-yard shot. The new BC now showed the bullets hitting the transonic range at 1000 yards but due to the difficulty in spotting impacts at 825 yards I did not attempt to stretch the little bullets legs quite that far.
With validated firing solutions I made a few trips to the mountains and desert to try and get some terminal data on coyotes, jackrabbits, or rock chucks. A few unsuccessful trips were made and at the time of this writing I do not have any terminal data but still have 20 loaded rounds I hope to hit fur with later this fall and I will update the review thread on the LRO forums with the results.
Overall my experience with Hammer bullets was very positive. For hunters needing a monometal bullet that is super easy to get shooting well these should definitely be put on your short list.
Justin Hyer LRO Product Review Editor
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