Elite Custom Ammo: X-TerminaTOR

Elite Ammunition, makers of custom 5.7x28 ammunition.

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Elite Custom Ammo: X-TerminaTOR

Post by Fudd » 22 Sep 2008, 07:36

I just received a lot of custom ammo from Elite designed for the upcoming whitetail deer hunting season. Now, I usually can be found with my trusty 30-06 because that's a very effective cartridge, but was interested in the PS90 for those short-ranged scenarios where speed, portability and quick target acquisition are an asset.

So, in discussing this with Elite, they came up with the following solution: the Barnes 53gr Triple Shock X bullet. This bullet provides good penetration and reliable expansion on deer sized game without the explosiveness of lighter varmint loads, yet is known to retain 100% of its weight.

I hunt from a ground blind in fairly close terrain with shooting opportunities from literally 10 to 200 yards. My closest shot in the past was 19 yards, and longest was 325 yards, but most targets appear in the 75-125 yard zone. Because of herd control regulations, this October's season will be for antlerless-only deer, limiting shots to under 150 yards because of target identification problems - you just can't make sure that it's antlerless past that range in a hazy morning or near-dusk environment. Also, October hunts tend to have more foliage and no snow cover. Because of the foliage, deer tend to pop up out of cover at closer ranges than during the later general season.

So, it seemed like a good idea to try out the PS90. I've taken over two dozen whitetail since '95 pretty much hunting from the same spot and am confident that if I can see the deer, I can put a solid hit on it (and I don't blaze away at runners).

The ammo from Elite arrived and I headed to the range to re-zero my PS90 from my normal SS195 load to the X-TerminaTOR (XTM). My normal zero is at 50 yards for SS195. Firing at 100 yards, the XTM's POI was 2" left and 3" down from my 50 yard zero. I used an EoTech 552 with a 3x magnifier.

I fired twenty-five rounds in five 5-shot groups, and held each group to about a 2-3" diameter at 100 yards with it at that range using my 3x magnifier. There were no flyers.

Chronographed five 5-shot groups as follows. The ammo is very consistent. First shot was from a cold, dirty barrel and the five shot strings were fired with each shot about twenty seconds apart. Strings were at least five minutes apart to allow the PS90 to cool.

avg 1656
sd 24.6
es 58

avg 1680
sd 12.4
es 30

avg 1681
sd 18.0
es 46

avg 1685
sd 27.8
es 73

avg 1667
sd 17.3
es 40

I'm very impressed with the ammo's performance and it's consistent target impact (tight group) considering the 3x magnification of my BIG red dot and the PS90's generally rough trigger compared to some of my bolt guns. Basically, it shoots where you point it and with a combat grade trigger you've just got to stick with the fundamentals and things work out.

From that, I ran a set of trajectory simulations on a PACT 5 chronograph using 1680 fps for the PS90, the altitude where I hunt, the expected temperature on opening day and the Ballistic Coefficient for the 53 grain TSX bullet. Here's what we ended up with:

1100 ft alt
25 deg F
BC .204 / corrected BC .206
Sight height 5.0 in (EoTech 552)
Zero range 100 yds

Dist Path Vel
25 -2.3 1556
50 -0.5 1516
75 +0.2 1441
100 +0.0 1370
125 -1.3 1303
150 -4.0 1246
175 -8.0 1150
200 -13.5 1144
225 -20.5 1090
250 -29.4 1067
275 -39.9 1036
300 -52.0 1004

It looks like my ballistic calculator actually computed two zeroes with the first at about 70 yards because I'm +.2" at 75 and then the second at 100 yards. What this means is that in "the zone" where I expect to see a target, I'm about dead flat on target from say 40 yards to 125 yards. I'm comfortable to about 175 yards then the rainbow effect takes over and I need to switch up to a bigger gun.

Either way, it looks like 175 is about it. What's funny is that once the round goes subsonic at about 200, there is very little velocity decay after that. I'm told that the Barnes TSX will expand reliably when supersonic, so it appears that this round is both perfectly matched to the PS90's capabilities, and performs significantly better than a lot of ammo I've seen in the 50-55 grain range from a velocity standpoint.

Hopefully, Elite will catalog this new round as a standard item. If I get a shot during the season I'll report the results (and maybe take a picture if possible).

Fudd (f/k/a "UltraFudd" from the old forum)

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Re: Elite Custom Ammo: X-TerminaTOR

Post by Wollychop » 22 Sep 2008, 07:41

Great review! Thanks for all the good info.

Now I have something ELSE to save pennies for.

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Re: Elite Custom Ammo: X-TerminaTOR

Post by jmz5 » 22 Sep 2008, 08:05

Great review! Thanks!

Don't forget the camera if you get a shot at a deer.

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Re: Elite Custom Ammo: X-TerminaTOR

Post by panzermk2wife » 22 Sep 2008, 09:34

Thanks for t he review Fudd.
Glad you like them
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