Federal’s new 90gr SMK load...odd meplat

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 11B CIB, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. 11B CIB

    11B CIB Administrator Staff Member Charter Life Member

    Dec 17, 2016
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    Gilbert, SC

    I posted this on Instagram and tagged Sierra and Federal. I picked up a box of the “new formula” 224 Valkyrie 90gr SMKs by Federal because I read it was improved over the original and wanted to compare it to my handloads.

    I open factory ammo boxes out of habit to make sure I’m not buying a box with damaged or missing rounds and I noticed the meplats on the factory ammo looked....strange. (Top picture/top row) They look way different than the loose 90gr SMKs available for reloading (top picture bottom row). The tips/meplats aren’t rolled or uniformed on the factory ammo; it looks like it was shaved or hammered down flat. The open tips are gone and all the excess meplat material was like pressed inward. I opened all the boxes on the shelf and they were like this. The camera focused as much as I could get it to on such a small surface so it’s not as clear as it could be

    Any guesses?
  2. AR10ShooterinNC

    AR10ShooterinNC Happy to be here

    Dec 23, 2016
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    North Carolina
  3. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Active Member

    Mar 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Davidson, NC
    While the meplats may not be perfect on these bullets, i think you should be looking to see if they are all consistent. According to Brian Litz, the longer the bullet, the harder it is to make with consistent tips due to the length and excessive drawing.

    If you're seeing a wide variety of meplats in the box, then look to trimming (and also bullet pointing) to improve consistency. If the meplats all look relatively consistent, then trimming & pointing won't do much

    I'd go ahead and test fire some of the rounds to see what kind of accuracy you're getting. If you note grouping problems, then worry about trimming & pointing.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019