Precision shooting, factory ammo questions...

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by icallshotgun88, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. icallshotgun88

    icallshotgun88 New Member

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    Hey ya'll...
    I've been into skeet shooting, handguns, and the AR world for a while but my most recent interest has been precision shooting...

    My question is, how bad can cheap factory ammo be? (Compared to match grade factory ammo)

    For example, if I just buy a cheap white box of brass .308 stuff from Federal, let's just say, how bad can it be compared to super high end factory match grade ammo?
    I know most of it depends on the shooter and many other factors, but if all else is the same, how bad can cheap ammo be for accuracy compared to top dollar stuff?
    I know certain rifles like certain loads, but on average, how much more accurate is expensive factory match loads vs the cheapest factory loads?

    Is it really worth paying higher prices for high quality ammunition if I'll only be getting 1/2" better groupings?
    Or will I see a 1 MOA improvement by paying top dollar?
    Etc.

    AGAIN, I already understand that so many things factor into a rifles accuracy. But all else being the same, how much better can expensive factory match ammo be compared to the cheap stuff?
    Is it worth it?
    1 MOA? 2 MOA? Etc..
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  2. crockett007

    crockett007 New Member

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    If you buy a box of Federal Gold Metal Match, and shoot it against factory crap ammo, you will answer your own question.

    Shooting non-premium ammo through a precision rifle is an oxy-moron. Precision rifles aren't cheap, but, outside of stocks, optics, triggers, barrels,,,etc...match ammo is critical.

    The answer for ultimate accuracy from a precision rifle is to handload.
     

  3. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member

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    88,

    With inexpensive ammunition as a rule, you will see far more difference than a 1/2 MOA difference between it and good ammunition. As you stated, it also depends on the shooter, the specific rifle and other factors like uniform powder charges, primers and other important parts of any good round like bullet uniformity. So you can have fun with cheaper ammunition but do not expect them to compete with good match rounds like Federal Gold Medal GM308M for example in the 308 cal. and similar rounds. Your groups with cheap ammunition will do well to stay under 3 - 4 MOA at 100 yards where good quality match ammunition is 1/2 to 1 MOA. It just depends on what you want or define as accurate!

    03
     
  4. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I am shooting Brown Bear ammo in my 91/30. It is shooting well under a 3 or 4 inch group just propped against a tree at 100 yards plus. I shot some just plain old winchester soft point ammo with the 91/30. It put two shots touching each other at 117 yards. I have a surveyors tape. I measured the distance. My Browning shoots far better than my 91/30. Hornady Whitetail ammo is the most exacting ammo I have ever shot in the Browning. The Browning eats Winchester super X most of the time.

    Weatherby guarantees their guns to shoot a .99 inch group with quality factory ammo. Weatherby means quality hunting ammo, not target ammo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  5. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    consistency is the key to accurate ammo. the higher the level of the consistency of the components, generally the higher the level of potential accuracy from the ammo.

    premium ammo is generally loaded to higher standards of consistency than other ammo. the quality control on premium ammo is held to higher standards than the lesser priced ammo. this is why premium ammo is higher priced. this is why many rifle shooter handload, simply because they can get a higher consistency in the handloads and also using premium components, and still make ammo that is cheaper in cost than premium factory loaded ammo.

    as a handloader, you have much better control over the consistency of the ammo you load, because as a handloader, you are able to match the ammo and fine tune that ammo to a particular rifle. you are usually loading for one rifle in smaller batches than the factory, rather than thousands and thousands of rounds for thousands of rifles. you can also adjust powder charges, bullet seating depth and bullet weights to help fine tune that particular load to perform much more accurately than any factory load can.

    i have seen some of the name brand cheaper factory ammo perform very well and accurately before in rifles. simply because they were probably held to more consistent loading from the factory.

    and at what level does one determine accuracy? varies IMO. what works on game and gets the job done may be completely unacceptable to someone shooting in a competition. 1-3" groups at 200-300 yards will put a deer down, and would be acceptable to me for a hunting round. but for precision shooting that i like to do, that isn't acceptable to me at all.

    most people who are looking for smaller groups on paper, handload. they could possibly achieve the same results with premium factory loaded ammo, but the costs are much higher if a person plans on shooting alot.

    example: a box of Winchester Premium Ballistic Silvertips 140 gr bullets, for my 280 Rem. rifle cost me about $46 per 20 at the store.

    even buying the cases new for the first batch of 20 rounds if i reload costs me about $34 and then reusing that same brass, the next batch of 20 rounds costs me about $13. so calculating that by the cost of factory premium ammo, once i have the brass cases for reloading, i can shoot 70 rounds of my loads vs. 20 premium factory loads.
     
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Active Member

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    I have had rifles that would shoot roughly 1 MOA with good quality factory hunting ammo. My hand loads would do sub MOA. Just recently I took my Mini 14 out. I was getting 2-3MOA with milsurp. PMC Bronze cut that in half. A target load would probably cut that in half again. This was shooting from a rest but you never know what will shoot well until you try it. I had a small batch of milsurp 5.56x45 that shot 1 MOA in the Mini but that was a fluke and I dont have any more. Silver Bear has surprised me more than once but I never expect to get better than 3 MOA with steel cased Russian ammo or milsurp. I have only shot hand loads in my MVP and it is sub MOA. To get the most out of a rifle you really need to load your own and work the load up for the rifle. What shoots best in one may not work in another.
     
  7. Franklin1995

    Franklin1995 New Member

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    I use winchester and federal ammo in my Marlin XL7. At 100 yards, I'm shooting about 2MOA (I've been getting better, took me a little while to not anticipate recoil). 2MOA at 100yds is well within a kill shot for just about any animal out there. It really depends on your purpose, as others said. If you want to go hunting or just have a fun day at the range, factory ammo is great. If you want to punch one solid hole in your target, time to go get premium, or better yet, hand load.
     
  8. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I agree with everything mentioned but I would like to add that there are many different grades of ammo out there. What I considered cheap ammo when I was young was something like Remington core locks or Winchester Super X both of which are definitely a much higher grade than some of the cheap brands out there now. It's also possible to find a rifle that likes either of those and shoot some really good groups. But in general the premium ammo is going to shoot better and nothing touches handloads worked up specifically for you rifle. And some of the really cheap brands out there now do well just to go bang every time much less actually hit anything. :)
     
  9. Franklin1995

    Franklin1995 New Member

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    I use the Super X and the core locks. So far the federal has been the best, but it also costs $4 more a box. A box of the Winchester costs about $20.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    for factory ammo for rifles, i like the Federal Fusion line. very accurate in my rifles. sometimes i do buy the cheaper Remington ammo to shoot, but i am not as concerned with it's accuracy since the main reason is for getting the brass for reloading. pretty much that is the reason i buy most factory for in the first place.

    i do keep a few boxes of premium factory ammo for just in case for a few of my rifles. i like to use them for comparison shooting to evaluate my handloads.
     
  11. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    The difference is often exaggerated by the manufacturers (and the media writers virtually on their payroll). I failed to see the difference more often than not, after spending my buck on the golden diamond platinum bs. You will however see the difference in the POI. The smaller the cal, the more the difference. But that's a matter of adjusting your sights.
     
  12. rn-cindy

    rn-cindy New Member

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    This might be a dumb question...But thats never stopped me before....:D. What kind of ammo is used by our Military Snipers to land a head shot hundreds of yards away.... Is it a handload, high end factory stuff, or....????. Always wondered about this. Good bet one of you guys posting in this thread will know the answer..............
     
  13. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool New Member

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    What are your plans? :eek:


    No offense and none taken
     
  14. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    The army has it's own manufacturing facility for ammo that is impossible to buy. The army doesn't produce ammo unless they have no choice. Most of those long shots are made with a 50 cal BMG or a 338 Lapua mag. There is no cheap ammo for those calibers.
     
  15. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member

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    It depends on your rifle. Some rifles will shoot the "cheap stuff" very well. The "premium" ammo is loaded with better bullets. Better bullets have more consistant weights and concentricity. It may give better terminal performance.

    Do manufacturers "overstate" the benefits? Perhaps. Why do gasoline refiners claim their 93 octane is "better" than 87 octane? Running premium gas in a regular car give ZERO benefit aside from making your wallet thinner.

    For accuracy, there are some loads proven to be "better". Federal Gold Medal Match .308 is the standard by which all others are judged. Is it the "best"? In some guns, it may well be the best. In other rifles, Hornady TAP may be "better". Some guns love the old tech Remington Core-lockt ammo. Some shoot shotgun like groups with it
     
  16. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I saw a show on the History Channel once that showed Marines hand loading rounds for their rifle team. Each load was specifically worked up for the individual rifle and shooter. I don't remember if they loaded for their snipers or not. :)
     
  17. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    In the past whenever I bought a new rifle the first thing I would do is buy a box of Winchester Super X, Remington Core Lock, and the plain old blue box Federals and try all three. Which ever the gun liked best is what I shot in it. All three killed a lot of deer for me with no problems what so ever. I reload now but I wouldn't think twice about going back to any one of those three. And if I didn't reload I would still be shooting those three. For me I can't see paying the difference for the premium bullets even if the premium bullets performed better. Of those three I would expect one to group around 1 MOA. I could probably get under 1 MOA if I tried different premium bullets and have done that in the past while trying different rounds. That little bit of gain in accuracy looks good on paper but is irrelevant for hunting. :)
     
  18. Mule659

    Mule659 New Member

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    I am required to shoot factory match ammo through my precision rifle. I serve as my agencies precision marksman; reloads/handloads are strictly forbidden for legal/liability reasons. However, Federal Gold Medal Match is great stuff. Granted, the shooter must possess the skills and knowledge to obtain the type of accuracy a match-grade rifle and ammo are capable of. Bottom line...spend the money of match-grade or learn the finer points of hand loading your own target ammo.

    This group was fired at 200 yards through a Remington 700P with Federal Gold Medal Match 168 grain. I've held better than half MOA accuracy with that combo out past 800 yards. ImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1402648293.969230.jpg ImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1402648341.567982.jpg


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