Factory loads

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by rtabor, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. rtabor

    rtabor Well-Known Member

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    I am still new to long-range-shooting, and am probably in a category called 'longer-than-I-used-to-shoot-but-apparently-not-all-that-long-yet-range-shooting'. I've been learning to correct a few things I had learned wrong, and would now like to see what groups I am capable of shooting with my favorite rifles: a stock Sako in 270 win, and a stock Vanguard synthetic in 300 wby. My goal is to take deer and elk out to 500 or 600 yards if possible. My question is this: is it likely that I will be able to find factory loads that will shoot just under 1 moa? I don't mind making modifications to the rifles, if necessary, to get there. It seems from the threads and articles I've read that most of the experienced shooters here always shoot reloads. I am sure not against reloading, but I would rather spend what little free time I get shooting. Is there anyone who has found suitable factory loads in these calibers for their setup?
     

  2. kweidner

    kweidner Well-Known Member

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    I guess you are just going to have to experiment. I assume it is possible but not likely. I had a 22-250 one time really like factory fodder. So much in fact I bought the entire lot from the distributor. My swift liked a box of Norma offering. I couldn't find any more of the same lot # and the same load from the same factory simply a different lot number wouldn't hold MOA. I guess what I am getting at is if you happen to find factory ammo that your gun will shoot, find the lot number and buy all you can get your hands on of that particular lot if you are not going to reload. We roll our own because we can control the variables, we can manipulate things often overlooked by the production lines. In reality most of us shoot enough that factory ammo would cost a fortune reloading is cheaper, we can use premium components at a not so premium price and we have the ability to tune the load to the firearm. For example Federal premium offers a 300wsm loading with the Barnes triple shock at 58.99 for a box of 20. They are one of the few manufacturers offering premium components so I just randomly used them for an example. I can load that, tuned to a rifle for less than half of that. $34.00 for a box of 50 at midway for the pills and $20.00 for a pound of powder that will load a couple hundred.. add in less than 5.00 for 100 primers..... The brass I reuse 5 or six times so as you can see the potential savings are exponential. If money is not an option go for it if you can find a factory offering your rig likes. It is probably also worth mentioning the satisfaction of taking an animal with something you loaded is pretty awesome.

    JMHO
     

  3. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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    I found that the Federal Cheapo version, the Blue Box, was very accurate. Both in 25-06 and 30-06.

    Factory ammo can oftyen be very accurate and there are a lot of options as far as projectiles.

    I load because i am a tinkerer and I can tweak things a bit. I think I save quite a bit but you have to shoot a lot to reach savings that make it worth your investment.
     
  4. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    I roll my own as well, for reasons already mentioned.
    As far as factory ammo goes, Id check out;

    1. Federal Fusion-270 (dont know if they make 300wby)

    2. Hornady Custom for the 300wby, and Hornady Superformance for the 270

    3. Nosler Custom-Accubonds rock! (My favorite bullets to load so far in my 270wsm, and will be trying them out in my 300wby soon)

    4.Weatherby (green lable) for the 300wby

    5. HSM, if you like Berger Bullets. (Youll want to know some things about your rifle before going this route tho)

    In short you may go thru alot of boxes trying to find ''the one'' that shoots the best out of your rifle. And when you do, buying the whole lott as mentioned before is in your best intrest. That same amount of $ could go for loading equipment that can custom tailor ammo to your rifle, and take alot of the variables out of the equasion.
    Im alot like you as far as long range shooting/hunting goes.(Im now comfy to 600 on critters, but practice to 850 to get better) Ive extended my comfort zone considerably with ''roll your own's'' and my personal ability as well. But I still suck at doping the wind. So when it comes to the full on LOOOOOOONG range stuff that alot of guys here can do Im left in the dust. I wish I had the $$ for a custom rig that would help me do some of this amazing shooting. But in reality, I hunt VERY steep country, and theres no way Im gonna pack a 12-15 lb tack driver rifle where I hunt. Dont get me wrong, Id love to have one someday, but it just doesnt fit my current style of hunting. So I make the best of what Ive got, and tailor my own ammo to each rifle.
    Good luckgun)
     
  5. rtabor

    rtabor Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the helpful advice. It sounds like I'd be better off reloading unless I happen to find a factory load that always works well, no matter the lot #. I didn't realize there would be so much variation in ammo from the manufacturer. You'd think they should be able to make a more consistent load.

    Thanks again for all the help. I've really enjoyed reading up on all the good stuff on this site. And actually, more than that, I am impressed with the integrity and honor everyone conducts themselves with here. The world seems to be full of folks ready to tear into people if they ask a stupid question, or if they don't agree with their opinion. But from what I've read in this forum, there is a general respect for everone here, whether they are an amateur or an expert. How refreshing!

    Russell Tabor
     
  6. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Not always the case, but when your squeakin out every last bit of accuracy so you can fully depend on consistant ammo it helps to have the same lott number.

    If you ever get the chance to measure factory ammo for C.O.A.L. youd probably choke:D. On the other hand factory ammo has come a LONG ways from what it used to be.
    If you read some of the re-loading posts on here youll notice alot of comments about seating depth, and how crucial it can be for fine tuning accuracy. Factory ammo has to fit ALL chambers, so its gonna work great in some rifles and so-so in others, and not worth a darn in some rifles.
    Powder is another deal all togather. Its like having a NOSS button on your trigger:D. You can exceed factory velocity in most cases, giving you an edge for reaching out there. As long as it meets my personal accuracy standards, I hot rod the snott out of it. When accuracy starts to go away, I back off to a more mild accurate hot load- again your ahead of the game. Theres tons of little things about hand loading add up to a suprising amount of accuracy gain over factory ammo in most cases. Usually the farther you shoot, the more you notice the little things adding up.
    There is accurate factory ammo. There are guns that like anything you shove down thier throat. Theres also guns that only like 1 lott number of 1 particular brand of ammo. Hand loading, or factory ammo, Either way you can achieve accuracy. It just takes time to find ''the'' load or brand. 1 gives you the option to tailor it to what your rifle likes, the other is what it is. If its accurate, shoot it.
     
  7. kweidner

    kweidner Well-Known Member

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    a good point for lot number may be to go to benchrest.com and read the rimfire posts. This is a little extreme example but gets the point across. These guys will buy all of a said lot for their rimfire guns if it is a shooter. The difference in X count is often the decider on these matches. Remember the 10 ring is roughly the diameter of the 22 pill they are shooting at. Anyway, A manufacturer has many machines making the same "load" Each machine is calibrated the same but there are still many variables that aren't consistent from machine to machine day to day, shift to shift. A lot number usually indicates the date, the machine, and the shift it was made on. There is usually a window of tolerances that are acceptable. Most people not super into accuracy that are happy with a 2" group would never notice the difference from lot to lot. Those of us that like super sub MOA at medium and long distance would rather quickly. I am not a super long distance guy. 800 yds is my farthest shot available on the land that I hunt most shots are under 400. You are in the right place here...I have been a member since 2005 and reading this forum has enabled me to do things I only dreamed of doing 5 years ago. The bottom line is if you find accuracy acceptable shoot it. It sure helps my confidence that when I pull the trigger I will get the same result every time. If something goes south I have no one to blame but myself.:D
     
  8. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Excellent recommendations thus far. Like long range hunting/shooting, accurate reloading does not happen overnight, practice, practice, practice, experiment, experiment, experiment ... :D:rolleyes::).

    LR shooting/hunting is fun ...
    Reloading is fun ... fair warning, could be addicting ...

    GO FOR IT!

    Good luck and happy safe shooting/hunting.

    Ed
     
  9. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I am thinking that if you must shoot factory ammo, then you'll probably be able to find more accurate ammo for the 270 than for the 300 WBY. It will also be cheaper to shoot and/or load for if you go with that gun.

    Alot of people will cringe at the use of a 270 on elk at long range, but you've always got the 300 for that. Elk are alot bigger than deer, and the accuracy wouldn't be as important at any given range simply due to the larger vital area of an elk.
     
  10. Troutslayer2

    Troutslayer2 Well-Known Member

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    I had a rifle in .300 WM that loved Remington CoreLokt. It shot them lights out, and CoreLokt is about the cheapest option out there. It didn't particularly like any other factory ammo. I now reload everything. If you're limited to factory ammo you should try everything you can get your hands on. At the very least you'll be building up a supply of once fired brass to work with in the future, you might be surprised by the performance of what most here consider sub-standard ammo, then again, you might not find anything that works well.
     
  11. DanMan

    DanMan Well-Known Member

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    Without a doubt handloading gives you many advantages. Namely you can often choose the bullet you want based on bc, or other performance factor and work up a load that is accurate in yourrifle. However if your not ready to go there yet
    500 -600 yds hunting accuracy is very realistic even with factory ammo. In fact every rifle in my safe will shoot good enough for that.
    Rule # 1. Make sure your rifle is getting its full potential. Usually means bedding
    the action / adjusting the tip pressure or free floating barrel.
    Often a trigger job is needed. Check barrel crown and make sure its clean.
    With the rifle in top shape I can most often find a factory load that will give 1 moa
    and that is plenty good for shooting deer at 500, 600 yds.Take that same rifle and you likely can build a load that will cut the group in half.
    My first trip to the range with a new X-Bolt 300 WinMag out of the box rifle shooting Rem Premium 180 Gr Scirroco factory ammo I got slightly less than 1 moa. :)
     
  12. rtabor

    rtabor Well-Known Member

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    It's good to read all of your responses. I agree that if I continue to go the factory ammo direction for a while I will probably be able to find more accurate loads for my 270 win than my 300 wby. There just doesn't seem to be much out there for the 300 wby compared to others. I'll have to do some more shooting and report back if I find any factory ammo worth shooting out to 500+ yards.

    Thanks for your help.

    Russell