ammo tips for newbies
I'm a newbie. I know ammo makes a difference, and I also know that the experts tend to talk microns and place great importance on things that are quite simply beyond my range of knowledge and experience. Sometimes, I start to tune out good information when it gets too arcane.
I bought my new gear gear and, being on a budget, bought bulk ammo to sight in my rifle and break in the barrel. I figured that I would start shooting 'the good stuff' after I had the barrel broken in and the sighting 'roughed in' to the 200yd mark. (I know, I know! ...poor naive bastard...)
Some of you may have seen my posts about having trouble with my bipod, and asking if I should sight it in on the sandbags first, then put my pods on. I was shooting all over the place and wondering if it were the bipod, my scope or what. After shooting about 75 rounds of 150gr MagTech ammo (on sale for a great price!) I was about to sell my rifle or use it to shoot myself in the face and end the misery. I suspected it could be the ammo, but didn't think that ammo would be the cause of the crazy, random, 8 inch groupings I was getting at only 100 yards from a sandbagged, heavy-barreled, .308 fitted with a 10x42 scope.
As I was cleaning up, I commented to a couple of crusty old dudes near me that I was happy with one rifle and ready to throw the other down the hill. One old saint handed me 6 rounds of his match-grade 168gr boat-tails, pointed out one of his clean targets while another gentleman settled in behind the spotting scope, and directed me to blaze away.
I put four holes in the paper an inch apart, only 1 inch from center. They patted me on the head, told me I wasn't the lousy shot they thought I was, and told me to invest in decent ammo. Apparently, my rifle won't stabilize 150gr rounds at that loading, but those 168gr bullets were MONEY at his loading.
Moral of the story to us newbies: take several different loadings to the range with a new rifle, and don't scimp on the ammo. Buy quality right off the bat, and take your time.
I'd like to thank the old guys out at Dulzura for the lesson.