Federal 62 Grain Fusion vs Federal 62 Grain Fusion MSR vs Speer LE 62 Grain Gold Dot

Speer is no longer producing the 223 Remington LE 64 grain Gold Dot load. That load has been replaced by the LE 62 grain Gold Dot version (SKU: 24445SP). I recently did a brief comparison of the new LE 62 grain Gold Dot load to the Federal 62 grain Fusion and Federal 62 grain Fusion MSR loads. The results are shown below . . .

The muzzle velocities shown in the two tables below were obtained back-to-back during the same chronograph session using recent lots of all three of the 62 grain Fusion/Gold Dot loads chrongographed.

Chronographing was conducted using an Oehler 35-P chronograph with “proof screen” technology. The Oehler 35P chronograph is actually two chronographs in one package that takes two separate chronograph readings for each shot and then has its onboard computer analyze the data to determine if there is any statistically significant difference between the two readings. If there is, the chronograph “flags” the shot to let you know that the data is invalid. There was no invalid data flagged during this testing.

The velocity stated below is the muzzle velocity as calculated from the instrumental velocity using Oehler’s Ballistic Explorer software program. The string of fire consisted of 10 rounds over the chronograph.

Each round was single-loaded and cycled into the chamber from a magazine fitted with a single-load follower. The bolt locked-back after each shot allowing the chamber to cool in between each shot. This technique was used to mitigate the possible influence of “chamber-soak” on velocity data. Each new shot was fired in a consistent manner after hitting the bolt release. Atmospheric conditions were monitored and recorded using a Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker.

Atmospheric Conditions

Temperature: 73 degrees F (plus or minus one degree)
Barometric Pressure: 29.68 inches of Hg
Humidity: 62%
Altitude: 950 feet above sea level

Muzzle velocities from a 20” Colt M16A2 barrel with a NATO chamber, chrome lining and a 1:7” twist.

Muzzle velocities from a 14.5 Noveske N4 light barrel with a NATO chamber, chrome lining and a 1:7’ twist.

A 10-shot group of each of the 62 grain Fusion/Gold Dot loads was fired from one of my precision AR-15s with a Lothar-Walther barrel with a 223 Wylde chamber and a 1:8” twist. The groups were fired from the bench at a distance of 100 yards with the same sight settings on the scope for each of the three groups.

The shooting set-up will be described in detail below. As many of the significant variables as was practicable were controlled for. Also, a control group was fired from the test-rifle used in the evaluation using match-grade, hand-loaded ammunition; in order to demonstrate the capability of the barrel. Pictures of shot-groups are posted for documentation.

All shooting was conducted from a concrete bench-rest from a distance of 100 yards (confirmed with a laser rangefinder.) The barrel used in the evaluation was free-floated. The free-float handguards of the rifle rested in a Sinclair Windage Benchrest, while the stock of the rifle rested in a Protektor bunny-ear rear bag. Sighting was accomplished via a Leupold VARI-X III set at 25X magnification and adjusted to be parallax-free at 100 yards. A mirage shade was attached to the objective-bell of the scope. Wind conditions on the shooting range were continuously monitored using a Wind Probe. The set-up was very similar to that pictured below.

The Wind Probe.

Prior to firing the 62 grain Fusion/Gold Dot loads, I fired a 10-shot control group using match-grade hand-loads topped with the Sierra 77 grain MatchKing. That group had an extreme spread of 0.78”.

The 10-shot groups of the 62 grain Fusion/Gold loads . . .