Hunting vs. Competition Ammo

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by navvet08, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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    I recently posted a thread about Hornaday custom vs. superformance ammo. I am considering mainly hunting and light competition shooting with the same scope and rifle. Can you use the same high performance ammo for hunting and competition shooting?
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, that depends to some degree on what you are hunting, and what caliber you are shooting.

    I use an old .220 Swift for groundhogs/ prairie dogs. For them, I load an accurate bullet- at close to 4000 fps, for them, any bullet is more than effective.

    However, for .308 and deer, I do NOT want a fully jacketed bullet (and in many states, they are not legal for hunting deer). I want an expanding bullet that will penetrate but make a BIG hole while doing that.

    So..................whatcha hunting?
     

  3. Dennis845

    Dennis845 New Member

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    I learned the hard way! There's a big difference in accuracy between .22 hunting rounds and competition rounds, and price too! Also, your .22 hunting 2x7 or 3x9 rifle scope will be inadequate for .22 competition match shooting. You'll need a minimum of 16 - 24 power to be competitive. Switching scopes back and forth between competition and hunting (sighting in) is not for me. Guess I'll buy me a match grade .22 :D
     
  4. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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    I will be hunting deer and maybe hog. I will be using a Browning X-Bolt Medallion 30-06. I plan on buying a $500-$1000 scope. I like using the Hornaday ammo probably superformance or custom.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Hornady makes good stuff. Just be sure that you are using a bullet intended for hunting when hunting.

    I don't know you, or your experience level in deer hunting, so if advice is unneeded, just pay me no mind-

    Scope- new hunters tend to overscope in magnification. Higher the magnification (all other things being equal) the dimmer the image, and the narrower the field of view. My 26x varmint scope would be about useless for deer- cranked up, try to FIND the deer.

    Effective HUNTING range: I use the dessert plate rule. Get some paper dessert plates. The little ones you serve birthday cake on. They are about 5 inches. The greatest distance you can hit that plate with 5 shots using that rifle, that ammo, and THAT SHOOTING POSITION is your max range. 5 inches is about the size of the reliable kill zone on a deer.

    Improving your accuracy- I am damned good off the bench with a Caldwell Lead Sled rest. Too bad I can't drag 900 lbs of bench, rest and weights out to where the deer and the antelope play. :p BUT- where I hunt most often, I CAN take a collapsable chair (prone does not work in broomstraw that is 3 ft high) AND a set of shooting sticks. Works well for me.

    OK- lecture's over- and good hunting to you.
     
  6. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

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    Iowa doesn't allow high power rifles for deer in the area I live in and I've never been a big fan of deer hunting. But I do use match ammo in my .22 when squirrel hunting if that helps at all. Never missed and never not had one fall. Of course a good sling shot would do the same thing if close enough.
    I'd take match ammo for deer hunting but only for what I was willing to take a head shot at.
    In the end, it just depends on how well you can hit the vitals. The only thing worse than missing a shot is making it and never finding the target.
     
  7. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    This is truely where reloading comes into play. There are bullets that are similar to each other, close enough that your POI and POA are almost identical.
    Using match ammo on medium game is a foolish thing to do. It is not made to break bone, expand, or perform in a hunting roll. The Rifle you have is a hunting rifle. No matter how good the accuracy, it will not compare w/ a dedicated target rifle. C3 has a good idea w/ paper plates. I use Clay pigeons
    set at different distances. Shoot the way you hunt! I've never seen a bench in the woods, so practice shooting off hand. Try and find a 3 position shoot, or just do it w/ your buddies. It is much harder then most would suspect. It is great practice for the field. Best of luck, JP
     
  8. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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  9. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    POI = Point of Impact = Where the bullet strikes the target

    POA = Point of Aim = Where the barrel pointed so it strikes POI
     
  10. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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  11. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Just buy a desent quality scope ,You don't need a 500 to 1000 dollar scope for a good hunter rifle under for shoots at 500 yards and under as much as your rifle has to find an ammo it shoots best. You may end up reloading. I have simmons atec on a kreiger barreled ruger that shoots hornady heavy mag sst under 2" at 400 yards. For my rifle its accurate and a good killer. You need a great rifle first. Find that part out first. Guys around here use there very good hunting rifles in egg match's with vari up to 10 to 12 power scopes up to 500 yards and then go hunting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  12. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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    I will be hunting/shooting with a Browning X-Bolt Medallion 30-06. I would say that Browning makes one of the best if not the best hunting rifles around. The optics I will choose for my rifle is a Nikon NIK8440 4-16x50 BDC, BUSE4165 4-16x50, or Leupold 4-12x50 VX-R. I appreciate your input and advice. In a different forum, I have asked specifically about the best scope for that rifle with answers to questions that are on the sticky of that forum.
    Please do not be offended, however, I do not completely understand how my original question of which ammo is best for each application is directly related to which optics I choose for my rifle.
     
  13. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    If you reload,Berger makes some of the best bullets that I've tried that are a dual purpose design.The Hunting VLD bullets that Berger makes are super target bullets,and are made to expand for hunting.
    There are a couple factory loads that use these bullets also,but you can load them far cheaper.

    Cabela's: HSM Trophy Gold™ Rifle Ammuntion
     
  14. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    navvet08 Scope does not matter Its all about how your rifle shoots your choice of bullet. You got to try it to find out. That caombo my make a great hunter but be very average on the range. Scope is really a minor part of the mix. Browning makes a good rifle maybe know better a shooter than weatherby vangaurd or savage ,till you fire your choice of ammo you will still not know if it works well in your rifle. In general some rifles shoot hornady's ammo great ,, I have one that loves the old heavy mag 139gr sst but will not shot the 150gr well enought to use it and one rifle that likes nothing hornady. Now shoot your rifle and see how it does. On the scope, It just does not matter much at this point what it is. It could be a S&B or bsa and still show if it can group well.Thats my point. Its way more about your rifle and ammo choices. And as good as vld bullets are you still have to shoot it to see. They are rather explosive up close ,just like ballisitc tips can be.
     
  15. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Thats debateable but more a matter of choice than anything. Im assuming you dont reload. If you do reload your ability to better match hunting loads to competition accuracy loads will be a lot easier.

    The thing you need to look for is hunting bullets that have very close weight ballistic coefficient and speed to your competition target bullets. The more similar the closer they will match. Thats the easy no effort way and will yield so-so results.

    My advice (this is what i do since i use my target rifles for hunting) is to get a small notebook get a scope that has good adjustable turrets where you can easily record your zero in clicks and work up two different sets of scope data. This is where a scope with target style knobs is worth the 500-1000 price. Its a lot more work but it works verrrrrrry well with very good results if you put out the effort.

    I know its not really part of your question but hunting rifles seldom work well in a competition role due to the very thin barrels. Hunting rifles are designed to take one shot and thats it for the day. In competition your taking many shots heating the barrel up. The thin barrels work great for hunting where weight is sometimes an issue but not so great for multiple shots. Take it for what its worth.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  16. navvet08

    navvet08 New Member

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    Hardluk,

    Thanks, i apologize for not understanding your earlier post. I would have never known that guns are like people and could prefer different ammunitions. I do not know near as much about firearms even the guys behind the sporting goods counter at walmart do. That is why I am here, I do not believe in "dumb" questions, just ignorance. I appreciate your advice and comments and greatly appreciate your guidance without making me feel stupid. I do not currently have the rifle. My brother is giving it to me for Christmas as he already has two other 30-06's. As soon as I get it, i will shoot it definitely and find out which ammo shoots best. I will keep you updated with the results and maybe you could give further guidance. One more question: I would assume that the reason every rifle reacts differently to different ammo is because every rifle has different twist ratios and also different twist patterns. Would this be a correct assumption?

    Jon,

    Like Hardluk, you have also given me great info. No, I do not reload. However, one of the local gun shops where I buy the majority of my ammo and weapons hosts a weekly or bi-weekly class on reloading. I believe that this will be a great opportunity for me to learn and grow. Thanks for your input and your patience as you guide/teach me in the right direction. I will be asking many more questions regarding this topic and others as time goes on.
     
  17. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Good kuck with with your rifle and finding that perfect choice of ammo.
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    guns have manufacturing tolerances, just like anything that is machined. tolerances change minute amounts during machining operations. take ten factory rifles from the same day, in the same caliber and shoot them. you will fine that noe of them shoot exactly the same. this applies to any rifle, handgun or shotgun regardless of the maker. if you don't reload, then you are then limited in what ammo is factory loaded. buy a bunch of different brands and bullet weights, then go to the range and try them out. you will be very amused at the difference in the performance of them. when you find one that works well, buy a bunch of that one, then practice and then practice some more. most target shooters reload. they try many different combinations to find just the right load. they also build their rifles from the ground up. these guys are not shooting off the shelf rifles. they match their barrels twist rate to the size of bullet they intend to shoot and the distance they will shoot at. these guys will spend more on a barrel than most of us spend on an entire gun or even several. some of them spend thousands of dollars trying to poke very small holes at great distances and true gun fanatics. lots of them even have bulletmakers make custom bullets for them. competion shooters are different type of shooter, and spend lots of money and time, and do lots of research. plus they shoot a lot!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011