Factory ammo

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by LIK2HNT, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. LIK2HNT

    LIK2HNT Active Member

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    Anyone have a long range (800 to 1200 yards) hunting rifle (either factory or custom built) and shoot factory ammo? If so what brand and bullet. I have had great performance from Federal Premium w/ 160 grain Nosler Acubonds out to 500 yards in my 7mm Rem. mag. I am thinking of having a 7mm WSM built and not sure if I want to get back into reloading due to time constraints.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  2. RMulhern

    RMulhern Well-Known Member

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    Bill

    I'm quite certain there are 'some' individuals that might reply back that think that 'factory ammo' is the best thing since sliced bread however after 60 years of shooting highly accurate rifles at the longer ranges I know of no SERIOUS SHOOTERS that depend upon factory ammo to deliver optimum performance from a well built accurate rifle! I equate that with putting a washing machine engine into an Indy race car!
     

  3. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    LOVE the analogy, and couldn't have put that any better!
     
  4. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    There are some things you can't control such as the wind and movement of the animal.

    There are other things you can control such as the quality and suitability of your ammunition for your particular application.

    Over the last 40 years, I have not had great results with factory ammo out past 400 yards.

    Anymore, I'm just the spotter. So, I like to control as much as I can long before my son starts starts lining up his shot.

    All the best...
    --Richard
     
  5. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    I hear guys talking 40 - 60 years....BUT...everyone talks about how far factory ammo has come in the last 5 - 10 years.

    Or course NONE of them claim to actually shoot it in thier own guns.

    Me neither!!:D
     
  6. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Rifles, optics, and factory ammo have all come a long ways.

    In the early 1970's, I would frequently shoot 1/2" groups at 100 yds from my Kleinguenther K14 30-06 with Hornady Frontier ammo. We thought 350yds was long range because the Leupold gold ring scopes we could afford didn't have reliable turrets or BDC reticles.

    We also didn't have the selection of VLD bullets of today and the twist rates often wouldn't support them anyway.

    Whether the industry has come far enough is something only you can decide based on actual practice. If you're consistently in the kill zone on paper or steel out past your likely hunting distances with factory ammo, then hit or miss on live game, I'd be hard pressed to criticize.

    -- Richard
     
  7. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    I bought some HSM 168VLD ammo for my 7mm Rem Mag which is box stock.( Its the same wonder ammo they advertise on "Best of the West" ( oh no not that show!!!) but I got it cheaper from Cabelas). It's supposed to shoot flatter than the no longer mfd Hornady Heavy Mag ammo I was using and maybe flatter than the new Hornady Superformance ammo too.

    I used to reload but after 40 yrs of it I guess I got tired, or lazy. So I just buy a few doz boxes of diff factory ammo every year for the little bit I shoot and hunt.
     
  8. 375fan

    375fan Well-Known Member

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    Factory ammo has gotten better the last ten years, they have started loading premium grade bullets, and consistency is much better in the premium loadings . However it is manufactured to specs to go in all firearms, handloading really allows one to get the most out of load/rifle combination. I shoot factory ammo when it is real cheap, mostly using it for plinking and to get the brass. Hunting or serious target comp. I only use my reloads.
     
  9. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Like silvertip-co and 375fan stated, HSM, Black Hills and others make premium (almost semi-custom) ammo. I tried those in my 6.5x284 hoping to have some long range fun without sinking a bunch into reloading gear.

    It hovered around MOA in my rifle, but nothing spectacular. Not until I made the investment to get back into handloading did I get the performance I expected at 1k.

    A friend wanted help dialing in his 300WM, but didn't want to handload. So, we chronied a box of superformance ammo. He was sub-moa at 100yds and the ES was less than 10fps. Even so, it would be interesting to see how consistent the ammo might perform across various batches and over time.

    I've read that ammo companies often make subtle changes from batch to batch. I don't know how true that is. But, I have seen instances where a given rifle is very forgiving of certain deviations and very unforgiving of others. I have to assume that applies to factory ammo that is "manufactured to specs to go in all firearms" as 375fan stated.

    On the other hand, I've heard of spectacular results using 6mm BR factory ammo from Lapua and Norma. Factory-Loaded 6mm BR Ammo

    I guess it depends a lot on whether your rifle likes it and the manufaturer's ability to maintain consistency.

    --Richard
     
  10. drt4lfe

    drt4lfe Active Member

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    I have a .308 that shoots sub moa with Federal gold medal match....my Ar30 shoots sub moa with HSM ammo if I do my job behind it.....these might be on the rare end for factory ammo but, they work for me....
     
  11. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    What ammo do Military Snipers use?
     
  12. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the weapon system, but all of it is mass produced in a "factory".
    In our 7.62 rifles the preferred ammo is the M118LR, which is a 175gr SMK loaded by Lake City. In the M107 LRSR we use what is basically delinked M2 HBMG .50 cal ammo, preffering the MK211 mod 0 multi purpose round. I haven't got my hands on the new .300 mag yet.

    The difference is the Army's idea of acceptable accuracy is 1 moa for the M24 SWS bolt gun, 1.5 moa for the M110 SASS, and.... you don't even want to know about the Barrett. Even though all of my section's rifles perform better then this, most LR shooters would consider this unacceptable (myself included). The rifles are made to shoot the round, not the ammo made to shoot in the rifle.
    Like silvertip and 375fan stated, there are some good factory loadings out there. My favorite was the Federal Premium 165gr SGK loaded for the 7mm Mag, however this was several years back and I don't even know if it still exists. I would give the HSM a try if I were limited to factory ammo for LR. The problem with LR shooting is you need to do a lot of shooting to get proficient, this eats up time and money. A LOT of money on ammo if you don't load your own. My equipment has paid for itself many many times!
     
  13. 375fan

    375fan Well-Known Member

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    Reloading can be time consuming as well as load development to find the "magic load" for each rifle. If you don't shoot a lot then some of the premium factory ammo will be fine for some guys. However the premium factory ammo is fairly pricey too. Like Bravo 4, my reloading gear has paid for itself multiple times. With the amount of shooting/practice I do, no way could I afford factory ammo. Heck, when I look what I spend just on components, (which have went up quite a bit last few years) , it gets to be quite a bit. There are no cheap hobbies.
     
  14. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Bravo 4, I did suspect it had to be factory cooked! :)