Factory ammo questions??

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by grit, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I often have customers who would like to pursue long range with factory ammo. I am not a factory ammo shooter, and have no experince with factory ammo in a precision setting. My experience with load work is each rifle has it's own ideal recipe for accuracy and tight velocity spreads. I steer factory ammo shooters towards calibers with known match quality ammo and lots of selection.

    I would be very interested in some solid data. For guys running factory ammo in your long range rigs:

    1. What caliber(s) are you shooting?
    2. What ammo?
    3. How many types did you try before finding a good load?
    4. What accuracy and velocity spreads are you seeing?
    5. What ranges are you testing and shooting at?
    6. How consistent is the ammo from box to box?

    Thanks!
     
  2. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    I think that's going to be some tough information to get. Generally I shoot a box of cheap factory ammo in a new rifle just for the break-in process. After that, it's all handloads.

    Although, now that I think about it, probably the most common factory ammo is Federal Gold Medal Match for the 308.
     

  3. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    most accurate are matchkings available in 308 and 300 win mag for long range paper target. balistic tips and accubond and berger are most accurate bullets for hunting. have not tried factory ammo. but those three are available in 7mm mag factory ammo i know.
     
  4. midwesthunter

    midwesthunter Well-Known Member

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    Blackhills 308 175 SMK have worked great for me.
     
  5. woolecox

    woolecox Well-Known Member

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    I have not used Black Hills but hear it is good. They have huge military contracts and do extensive testing (see last issue of Shotgun News). The only factory ammo that I have ever gotten to shoot nearly as accurately as my precision hand loads is Federal Premium Gold Medal. I hear that some competitors will use it in a match if they run out of hand loads or get in a bind.
     
  6. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I agree with an above post, tough info to get. Of all the rifles I've owned in my life, I shot a few different types of factory ammo in each of them at one time or another, and never found the precision to match the handloads I had come up with. Maybe some folks are pleased with MOA accuracy at 200 yds, but I am looking for 1" 3 shot groups at 300 yds if I can get them.

    In the 223, Black Hills stuff is MOA accurate in my Bushy factory AR, but in my custom AR, handloads beat the snot out of any factory stuff I could find, including the Federal premium match stuff. Black Hills beat out the Federal in both guns.

    I once had a factory 22-250 Remington varmint contour that would shoot Four Corners factory ammo into 1/2 minute reliably, but I haven't seen any of that ammo for years. It shot some other brands into MOA accuracy.

    Overall, considering all guns owned, I'd have to say that Federal Premium stuff has showed the most promise in my experience (although just not in the 223).

    My problem with most factory ammo has been the occasional super group, but could just as easily throw a group of flyers next time out. I just don't have the desire to test 5 brands of ammo and a couple bullet weights of each to find something that my rifle really really likes..........that's alot of money spent on stuff that most likely wont do the job. IMO, in the long run they're way better off handloading for what the rifle likes, if you can convince them of that.
     
  7. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I figured this was a long shot. Thanks for the input. How about Law enforcement? Do they shoot factory ammo?
     
  8. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Most LE shoot factory ammo as handloaded ammo could create some liability for them. Factory ammo generally works well for LE because they typically are not shooting long range. e.g. average handgun fire-fight is seven yards and a long sniper shot is 75. As a result, they do not need extreme accuracy.
     
  9. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    The liability comment is the truth. I know four tac team guys from four different departments in my area. They all use a Remingtom 700 of sort in .308 and use 168gr SMK's in one factory load or another. They were all pretty much unanimous on the following: because it is accurate and there has been more research on this round and the 175 SMK performance then any other. As far as the "not needing extreme accuracy" comment goes, they would disagree. They need pinpoint accuracy at shorter ranges, that is for liability/collateral damage as well. Three of the four said their rifles have to shoot 1/2 MOA or better, the other said he doesn't known if they have a standard... It just flat out shoots!

    Factory ammo gets a lot of bad comments. I think the #1 problem with it is cost. I have a cousin that works for Remington and gets match grade and premium ammo for a price I won't even mention so as most dont wanna hear. I have a buddy that shoots nothing but factory ammo, some premium some generic and all his rifles shoot consistent 1/2 MOA. There is some good stuff out there. I kept a box of Remington 150 Scirrocco's for my 7 mag as backup in case I had trouble getting reloading components. They shot 1/2 MOA in my factory Savage. It would put almost all factory loads except Hornady (any for some reason) under 1 MOA. It really liked the 165 gamekings loaded by Federal, but I think they stopped loading them.
    The lake city 175 SMK we are issued shoot fairly well from all our rifles, at least under the Army standard-which is kinda pathetic to most, but sufficient I recon.

    Let me add; I load my own, there are reasons why we do it. I think that cost, wildcats, satisfaction, and accuracy improvent potential being the biggest reasons. But to some people it doesn't seem like it's worth the effort to even bother.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012