.308 Ammunition Choice / Transitioning from the range to the field
I'm new to the forum and to recreational rifle shooting. I competed nationally in skeet shooting in high school and college, have shot my fair share of quail, and did well with an M-4 and SAW in the Army, but I'm just now starting to get interested in engaging smaller targets further out. I've recently moved to Utah, and ultimately want to take advantage of the big game hunting opportunities here.
I recently purchased a Remington 700 5r, and have outfitted it with SWFA's supersniper scope, and had my first day at the range yesterday. After some user error with scope mounting (don't ask, it's embarrassing) I shot a couple of 1" groups at 100 yards just before the range closed. I was using 168gr Federal American Eagle OTM that I picked up for $16/box at the local gun shop.
Before I go to the store to buy more ammo in 20 rd boxes, I'd like to get some advice on ammunition selection so I can feel good about buying larger volumes.
Unless there's a really good reason not to, I'd like to plan to shoot something like that 168gr American Eagle OTM ammo or the 150gr Federal American Eagle (AE308D) for the next few months as I familiarize myself with the rifle shooting between 100 and 300 yards.
Part of my selection criteria will be the ability to find a good hunting round (as you guys know both of those rounds I'm considering for target practice aren't soft-tip) with ballistics matching the target-shooting round that I can easily transition to when it's time to go hunting.
Cost is a big consideration for the target rounds thus the selections I've mentioned, which are both in the $15 range, but I'm here to learn if there are other options.
So, my question is, what's a good choice for an inexpensive target round that will allow me to easily transition to a hunting round?
Thanks in advance for your advice!