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Z -max projectiles

12 Jul 2017
@ 03:01 pm (GMT)

Aussie hunter

Does anyone have experience with Hornady Z-max projectiles. Numerous google searches a year or 2 back had people suggesting they are a re-marketed Hornady V-max. Sounds feasible, I am not fussed on their marketing hype but the price point was the attraction, the 500 count value packs are great buying in Australia.
Can anyone confirm or correct the theory about these being rebranded Vmax?
I've used these 55gn a bit in my Howa .223 , my son used this rifle with success on pests.
Last week while shooting with my brother and his girls we doubted the 50gn projectile performance in his .222 . We also thought the 168gn in 308 were punching through. On foxes we did not really hear the report or thud on confirmed hits. On some shots he thought he had hit foxes but we thought they ran or at least moved and were not retrieved. We started thinking they were performing like a full metal jacket projectile, we had no scientific basis or testing procedure just that they seemed to be punching though. One bullet on a fox hit bone and left an obvious exit wound but chest shooting a goat with the 308 168gn Zmax seemed similar as though it was punching through it Took a few steps and while it dropped I'm sure a soft point would have been more effective. Is it punching through the vitals without fragmenting in someway like a varmint bullet would be expected to do?
I have used Nosler 55gn ballistic tips in my Remington .223 with great success, I always hear the thud, it drops stuff pretty quick, it's accurate and they seem to be a whole lot better performance . I doubt we would have been thinking it was punching through or if foxes were moving.
What are your thoughts or experiences? Should I sell or save my max for targets or is my son just a better shot than my brother?

Replies

13 Jul 2017
@ 09:47 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Z -max projectiles
I use 168gn Z-Max in my 308 & 30-06, love them! I shoot a lot of game up to big Pigs & Samba Deer and that is the only projectile I use in 30 cal.
13 Jul 2017
@ 10:21 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Z -max projectiles
Hi AH, yes, these are the A-MAX rebranded. I covered this in the book series and you can see these in use on my youtube channel regarding long shots taken with the .308 and also in the homogeneous copper bullet video where I used these as a comparison.

Many of our guys are using the Z-Max in their .30 cal rifles, out to very long ranges, using the A-MAX as the BC input. And like Bob, many guys will using nothing else.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNYq-QeHEuw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f93Q0L7FLAg

13 Jul 2017
@ 01:25 pm (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Z -max projectiles
There might be a bit of confusion here
what I have heard is that the zmax are re-branded vmax
I have also measured both projectiles and believe this to be true
My experience with them has been with varmint calibers and I have found them to be ok with smaller light game, pretty accurate, but explosive when hitting hard surfaces, I tried them for culling roo's at around 100yards max, head shots and found them not as good a killer as soft points, some had to be shot twice, not good enough
maybe the bigger cals eg: 168gr 308 are re-branded amax, no idea

the z in zmax is for zombie,
they are a sales ploy by hornady for shooting zombies when zombiegeddon comes LOL

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/video_popup.jsp?new=true&productId=1330008&scene7Id=hornady_zmax_218307-OOYALA%20EXPORT

read the box

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hornady-reg-Z-MAX-Zombie-Rifle-Bullets/1330008.uts

if they work for you good,
they didn't for me but I did like the price of 500

regards Mark




13 Jul 2017
@ 01:35 pm (GMT)

AUssie Hunter

Re: Z -max projectiles
So you are saying tbey are an A-max . There is a lot of old forums elsewhere quoting them as Vmax which i expected to be a softer or more prone to break up. Sounds like they are a good projectile and for me i will use them on tougher game like pigs.
The 40gn 50gn and 55gn .22cal will be A-max to i assume and i found aimage showing them have a thicker jacket than V-max last night.
I think i wont be usin these on foxes. . I will read up on Amax and atheir construction and inteneded use.
Its a shame youve put this straighr. I was looking forward to telling my brother that my son
Must be a better shooter than him as he has dropped plenty of pests with Zmax.
13 Jul 2017
@ 01:35 pm (GMT)

AUssie Hunter

Re: Z -max projectiles
So you are saying tbey are an A-max . There is a lot of old forums elsewhere quoting them as Vmax which i expected to be a softer or more prone to break up. Sounds like they are a good projectile and for me i will use them on tougher game like pigs.
The 40gn 50gn and 55gn .22cal will be A-max to i assume and i found aimage showing them have a thicker jacket than V-max last night.
I think i wont be usin these on foxes. . I will read up on Amax and atheir construction and inteneded use.
Its a shame youve put this straighr. I was looking forward to telling my brother that my son
Must be a better shooter than him as he has dropped plenty of pests with Zmax.
13 Jul 2017
@ 03:32 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Z -max projectiles
Would I be wrong in assuming if there is no corresponding bullet weight in the amax range then it would be a green tipped vmax? Also vice versa, therefore the .224 zmax are most likely vmax and the .30cal zmax are amax?
13 Jul 2017
@ 05:14 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Z -max projectiles
straight from the box (of 500 I bought the other day 50grn .224)
be prepared for "zombiegeddon"
when VARMINTS attack!


now if that doesnt make it clear they varmint projectile.....
delivers ultra flat trajectories
match grade jacket design enhances accuracy at all ranges


and last but not least

explosive expansion even at low velocities

so they better plurry well be super explosive varmint type pills...I bought them for wallabies after so so preformance with privi factory ammo.
cant wait to try them out.
13 Jul 2017
@ 09:37 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Z -max projectiles
I shoot a lot of Deer, Fallow, Rusa, Rusa/Samba & Samba & big heavy Pigs from 10-600yds. I use 168 z-max in my 308 & 30-06, I have only ever recovered one projectile, I get complete pass throughs on the shoulders on big heavy Samba cross Rusa stags, smashing through heavy bones at 200yds. I get pass throughs on the shoulders of 100kg Boars at 20yds out to 400yds. I couldn't wish for a better projectile.

Bob
14 Jul 2017
@ 12:21 am (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Z -max projectiles
here is a utube vid showing a pretty good review of zmax ammo, not 168gr but still 30 cal, after watching I am sure you would agree the 30 cal zmax is pretty good stuff

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYznd88KJ-Y

regards Mark

14 Jul 2017
@ 01:31 am (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Z -max projectiles
He He blows my theory, although it's .310cal I'm not sure if there was any previous vmax or amax? Thanks Mark.

http://www.hornady.com/store/.310-7.62
14 Jul 2017
@ 08:15 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Z -max projectiles
The V-MAX and A-MAX have the same jacket, same thickness. The Z-MAX also has the same jacket. The TAP is also the same. All four are made from the same AMP sheet. Each differ only in final design elements such as the V-Max may feature a flat base while the Z-Max bullets may feature a cannelure. The A-Max was the base design from which all of these came from.

All of this was covered in my Cartridges book.
14 Jul 2017
@ 12:20 pm (GMT)

Aussie hunter

Re: Z -max projectiles
So thanks for all the replies.
Nathan has confirmed these are al, the same jacket.etc.
Personally we had doubts about performance on small game, some here had similar issues and some have great results on on heavy game. These things support my theory they are a tough bullet. Perhaps they were punching through foxes. The Nosler would seem to be softer or break up more but at maybe twice the price I am happy I see a difference. The main with a Nosler is you have stick your hand up and claim you pulled the shot as a chest shot/ head shot fox seems dead on its feet with them, they just go bang flop. We are not trying anything fancy just shooting pests but I like a quick kill. I know of a pro roo shooter that uses Nosler for the job but I guess that would add up quick. His idea is they don't kick.

All said the Zmax have been good and good value but I don't think I will be targeting lighter animals with these.

Quote:
The V-MAX and A-MAX have the same jacket, same thickness. The Z-MAX also has the same jacket. The TAP is also the same. All four are made from the same AMP sheet. Each differ only in final design elements such as the V-Max may feature a flat base while the Z-Max bullets may feature a cannelure. The A-Max was the base design from which all of these came from.

All of this was covered in my Cartridges book.
14 Jul 2017
@ 09:43 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Z -max projectiles
all going according to plan by tomorrow I will be able to tell you how the 50grn zmax go on wallabies
Aussie Hunter......put up a cardboard box and place some 1" planks behind it or better still some plastic milk bottles filled with water
try out your zmax load
then try out your ballistictips
see which penertrate the most...... Ive seen bergers in this size fair take cardboard to bits with shratnel
Ive missed my fair share of animals at around the 125 yard range and believe Im right on money but have poked pills over the top due to mid range trajectory.
what did recovered animals look like????
you mentioned one where bone was struck and others with little internal damage....... having used all sorts of projectiles in my .223 loaded to .222 speeds (around the 3000 fps mark) over the years..... nothing has really done what you are descibing including FMJ.
tomorrow will tell.
14 Jul 2017
@ 10:11 pm (GMT)

Aussie hunter

Re: Z -max projectiles
We didn't look to closely at recovered animals. Nothing obvious, We were not hearing the report on known hits. So when my brother used his .222 with Zmax he occassionally had foxes we thought he might have missed but we both shot for years we didn't think he missed that many. We think at least a couple were punching right through and the animal was running off and we would lose it. Presumably dead within a short distance if they were actual hits.
No chronograph so no actual velocities just estimates from load data.
I was shooting foxes with soft points recently and no misses no fancy shooting just chest shooting but all hit and all stayed down dead. All shooting would have been under lights and all under 150 metres
We found .30 calibre 168 gun Zmax seemed to be similar . They'd do kill but we saw animals run 10 metres before dropping, I don't see that with soft points. I like ballistic tips I just think think these Vmax are hard.
I have used Nosler in my .223 with mid range loads and seen red mist and I have some Zmax loads my son uses and I will play with that a bit to see how I go.
15 Jul 2017
@ 08:23 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Z -max projectiles
Aside from Bob's input, this thread should be treated with caution. Anyone new to hunting should be wary of this thread because it contains a great deal of misinformation, non evidence based anecdotes and zero necropsies.

I will try my best to correct some of this.

Hornady jacket material is generally softer than Nosler.

If a bullet is too soft for the job at hand and meets too much resistance on impact relative to its weight and construction versus game weights, the bullet may cause sufficient internal wounding but there may be no nervous reaction. This occurs due to the surface water tension in the animal becoming so hard, that it overcomes the energy of the soft bullet with regards to nerve (trauma message) impulses. The animal does not therefore lose consciousness. It does not respond to trauma by shutting down and instead uses whatever oxygen that has remained in its muscles to move towards escape. Even this is a very hashed description.

Internal wounding may well be very broad and in the case of the little 50gr V-Max, the wound may be about 6" deep and 2 to 3" wide. Without a nervous reaction, the animal may run some distance before bleeding out. The bullet may not exit and we may not see much physical evidence of wounding unless we open up the animal.

Head shots can be worse, the bullet expending all energy on the outer skull of game, failing to penetrate. Depending on the size of the animal in question, 40-50gr bullets can prove insufficient for head shots.

One would think that based on the above, performance (nervous reaction) should improve at extended ranges. It can to some extent but the trouble is, this bullet weight is very light and so it loses what little energy it had after traveling a little way out. The same goes for penetration, again depending on the size of the animal.

If the hunter fails to perform a detailed necropsy (autopsy), he may misunderstand what has happened and make a statement that the bullet has just passed through without causing damage. This is not uncommon.

In ballistics, it is not uncommon to find the truth in the very opposite of what we have initially concluded. This factor makes it very difficult for bullet makers to find middle ground with hunters. If you go to my blog page, you will see a photo of Hornady's senior ballistician Dave Emary. If you look at his facial expression, you will see a good many years of practicing the smile and nod.
15 Jul 2017
@ 05:28 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Z -max projectiles
well they went bang....hit animal with clearly heard thud at 150ish yards and animals moved off very crook....unfortunately due to terrain and me being tired hua we didnt get any to open up and look at but they reacted like well hit and Im confident didnt move far before expireing,if my aim was better they would have been bangflops....... my mate was using his mighty .270 with pmc 130 grn soft points and was on fire....5 single shot bang flops one after the other..... no comparison in animal reaction as expected....you just cant beat shear horsepower.
will load up some more and primers looked fine so will up charge a wee bit.... we were having fun and stretched barrels a tad trying for hits at 350+
a great day out.
will re post when get some animals to disect.
23 Jul 2017
@ 08:27 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Z -max projectiles
A.H. after much effort to drag sorry butt out of bed this morning the son and I had great day out shooting wallabies.....FINALLY got to open one up that I had shot with dreaded "zombie load" (the mickey mouse ears at 40 yards in tussock was just too hard to resist) hit in shoulders instant flop and kick. took off leg that could see a hole in....... well that leg was full of holes like it had been stabbed numerous times. under that leg was NOTHING........ till reached skin on other side...no chest/neck left to speak off,bits of lung and meat and bone and blood galore...holy smoke Batman these puppies are violent.
we shot 18-20 for mornings effort and anything hit in the right region with these loads was instant smackdown..... the hits that were not so correctly placed had wobbly moving off VERY sick and slowly.
the animal cut open would have weighed about 15kg chest 6" through.
plurry pleased I purchased 500 as they will be my goto wobbly load from here on.
 

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