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Does brand/price matter?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by The German, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. The German

    The German Sharpshooter

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    For the last couple of years I have just purchased a cheap box of 30/6 and 25/6 ammo and have been successful deer hunting. But I also have missed some where I thought there is no way I should have missed and also at the range it seemed like there was a flyer every now and then, even when using a led sled. So, my question is, do you think it would make a difference if I upgraded the bullet? How do I know what is a quality bullet? Do I just need to drop a bunch of money to figure out which bullet fires best from my rifles?
     
  2. doctorjj

    doctorjj Sharpshooter

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    I would never hunt with any ammo that had occasional fliers. Yes, you should invest the time and money to figure out the best ammo for your gun.
     
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  3. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    Learn to reload and find the bullet/powder combination that makes your rifle the most accurate, then continue to build that same load.
    Factory loads are notoriously not that accurate unless you go to the premium loads that are more consistent but even then, may not work in your particular rifle.
    Every combination of brass/primer/powder/bullets produces a harmonic in the barrel when shot. The trick is to to find the combination that makes that harmonic happen at the same time, every time. Then you have accuracy.
    Different gun manufacturers have brought out brakes, or in the case of Winchester/Browning compensators that are tunable to adjust for the sweet spot of accuracy, but as you change lot numbers of factory ammo, you might lose that harmonic.
    I've been using the same load for my 30-06 since the 80's and it has taken untold numbers of deer and 8 elk at some pretty long ranges.
     
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  4. Aries

    Aries Sharpshooter

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    If you don't reload, you should at least try several brands and bullet weights to see what shoots best in each gun. As dennishoddy says, you can work up handloads that will shoot better than factory loads and dial in the best powder/bullet, etc. combination. it's a little tedious, but assuming you like to shoot anyway it can be rewarding.
     
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  5. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    I have been down this road.
    Old trusty 30-30 never missed a shot and put many deer in the freezer.
    That was with ammo from the 1980's when a 20 count box of ammo would last 5 years.
    Yep did not shoot much.
    Fast forward to 2008 buddy is going hunting with me and needs a gun EEEHHH hand him the 30-30 he shoots it well and it is dead nuts on.
    Almost out of that Remington ammo from the early 80's.
    I figure go to the store get 2 boxes one Remington and one Federal same weight.

    WOW!!
    That ammo was terrible I was lucky to hit 8x11 paper at 100 yards with any of it.
    I thought my buddy dropped the gun or something.

    I had 6 rounds of the old ammo that had been in and out of that gun and in pockets and hands and cases were getting a bit green.
    I chambered that old stuff into the gun and it became the laser beam it always was.

    I began handloading after that with a Lee Field Loader.
    I got 3/4" groups with that loader and No scales were used.. just a scoop of powder.


    The correct bullet will make a difference The 155 Palma sierra I have shot deer with pass through with little hole in and little hole out.
    NO expansion.
    The 150 Hornady 3031 bullet will leave a lime size exit hole.
    The 178A-Max bullet will leave a soft ball sized exit hole or just tear the off side shoulder apart.
    The 295 grain plated Power belt Hollow point from a 50 cal muzzleloader will just about decapitate a medium sized doe.
    I kid you not.
    Only had Hide about the size of a dollar bill holding the head to the rest of the body.

    Bullet choice matters.

    Like stated if you do not reload then you will need to try different ammo until you find what works and shot placement is key.
    Another thing is not all shot deer will leave blood.

    I have heart shot them and had them go 80 yards before they piled up but no blood.
    Not just one time many times.
    Get a bullet that expands faster or goes off like a hand grenade inside of a deer and they fall over much sooner.

    I tossed stones at the .223 for years and then decided to try one with 55gr bullet a Hornady V-Max bullet.
    I have never had so many deer and other critters die so fast.
    Band flop, Bang flop, Bang flop.
    It is my go to now. poor .308 and 30-06 do not get used much. Unless I know I will hunt the pipe lines.
    Hornady 155 A-Max is my go to bullet now It shoots like a lazer and gets fast expansion without tearing all my shoulders up like the heavier 178gr.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
    turkeyrun and dennishoddy like this.
  6. dlbleak

    dlbleak Moderator Staff Member

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    I had a similar experience as swampratt. The old Remington core-lokt from the 80’s wasn’t bad. When my son started hunting, I gave him my Ruger 77 but was about out of my old ammo. Bought some new core-lokt and it was complete junk. Went from clover leafs to 4-5 inch groups.
     
  7. Pulp

    Pulp Sharpshooter

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    I read an article in one of the gun mags about bargain brand ammo. The author pulled bullets and weighed powder charges, there was no such thing as consistent powder charge in the ammo he tested. Powder charges could vary as much as .3 grains from shell to shell.
    Wish I still had that magazine.
     
  8. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    I have dissected factory ammo a few times and weighed everything and my findings were the powder weights were very close .
    I will see if I can find the write up.

    End results for factory ammo being not great on paper was the crimps were not consistent and the OAL was not optimum for my gun or many others.
    And on some .308 the charge weight in my opinion was past an accuracy node or optimum charge weight for that type of powder.
     
  9. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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  10. HFS

    HFS Sharpshooter

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    Sir, step away from the toolbox!
    I hate to pile on Remington Core-Lokt soft point ammo, but I will.

    I had bought some of their .303 British ammo years and years ago (180 grain bullet).
    Running low several years ago, so I looked at a box of fresh stuff in a gun shop.

    In .303 British, those 180 grain Remington soft point bullets had a cannelure.
    As was said above, the bullet seating was sketchy.
    You could look at those rounds with the naked eye and see they were not crimped correctly.
    Within the same box of ammo, some rounds had the entire cannelure down inside the case and some had most of the cannelure sticking out.

    I can't speak for the accuracy as I set them back on the shelf.
    But they looked worse than hell.
     

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