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Thread: A thread over in hand loading got me wondering...

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default A thread over in hand loading got me wondering...

    Who of you will buy a box or two of high end shells to hunt with this season?

    Game has been taken with Core lokt and similar bullets for decades. The prices are reasonable and you can afford to buy a bunch of boxes for pre-hunt zeroing in and range practice, and still have a box or two for hunting.

    But if you buy the high end shells you will have to go through a few boxes to sight in and practice with that particular round since it may have unique ballistics. And that just prepares you for the hunt. You could easily be into it for over a $100, without taking a shot at an animal.

    I'm not talking to the guys who have lots of money. For you spending it on all the high end stuff is BAU. But for the guy who pulls a hunt together on a budget, is it worth it to buy the expensive stuff and practice with it before you hunt with it? I don't know. I've been considering "biting the bullet" and spending the extra bucks... but then....

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    My go to model 70 .300 win mag shoots federal 180 grain Speer cheapos. 20 bucks a box. It shoots 3/4 inch groups with those and 3-4 inch groups with high end federal or Winchester factory loads. I've even loaded up barnes x bullets in several variations to no avail, it likes those cheapos. My 350 yard caribou was tasty in spagetti tonight and I could not tell what it was shot with. . The only reason I figured it out was after having some trigger work done and a paint job I bought a couple boxes of those cheapos to feel out the trigger and the accuracy was stunning. So I shot a couple groups with "hunting ammo" and it was back to the same crappy groups so why argue with a good thing, that rifle has logged a lotta miles since that day.
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    No, get the cheap stuff and put more money into...i donno...socks maybe, they always get wet and never dry. shoot a butt-ton of "cheap" ammo and take that same cheap ammo and be happy. nothing wrong with it. Core-lokt's (and its federal made equals) have killed almost every biggame animal my family has ever shot. 5 boxes of cheap stuff is better than one box of expensive stuff, these days, it'll kill it alllll the same, if not quicker with cheap bullets. it takes me a days hard work building houses to buy a expensive box of bullets. its dumb
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkb View Post
    My go to model 70 .300 win mag likes those cheapos. ...why argue with a good thing, that rifle has logged a lotta miles since that day.
    Who could ask for more? Like a woman who prefers burgers to lobster on a date, or a sports car that likes low octane gas. Gotta love it.

    I have never shot anything (for hunting) other than Remington or Federal. I guess I don't really know the difference since I don't load my own and don't have money to throw around on expensive stuff by the end of the summer.

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    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    I have a buddy load mine up, I just have to give him brass and bullets! I also have a box of heavy Mags bought over the counter. It all shoots the same for me.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    I buy a premium round (.300 WM 200gr Swift A-Frames) not because of the game I'm hunting, but because of the game I hope I never have to shoot in self defense. Could I take black bear, caribou or probably a moose with 150 grain core-loct's? Sure, but is that what I want in the magazine when facing a charging brownie? Ideally, no.

    You can sight in with a similar cheapy load like 180 grain core-loct's or power points and then fine tune with just a half a box of your hunting round. The horizontal deviation is going to be next to zero and the vertical will be splitting hairs at 100 yards.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    My 45/70 puts just about everything within a three inch group open sights 100 yards. I know my 400gr BB will shoot this group four inches higher than the Remington 405gr trapdoor load and the 300gr Winchester and 325Hornady split the difference.I learned this shooting four of the spendy shell.My bonus is I will never shoot anything that far off which mean any round will do the job for my normal hold point
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I have found with a few rifles I have owned that I can shoot nearly anything in it and it's all good. Other rifles are particular as far as bullet type and weight, as jkb noted above. Probably powder also. So I don't think you could universally say that you could switch between cheaper rounds and more expensive and have nearly the same result in every gun.

    The two rifles I will be using this season, a Savage .270 Win and a .303 are still new to me and I'm not sure how they will take to differing ammo. Not sure I want to pay to find out. My old Model 70 .30.06 seemed to spit out everything about equally.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyrex13 View Post
    You can sight in with a similar cheapy load like 180 grain core-loct's or power points and then fine tune with just a half a box of your hunting round. The horizontal deviation is going to be next to zero and the vertical will be splitting hairs at 100 yards.
    Thanks Tyrex, you'd think guys hunting on a budget would think of that. Or would a guy hunting on a budget be loading his own? Best of both worlds.
    Then, of course, wouldn't an ethical hunter want to have the best possible..........you know, clean kill and all?
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    There are thousands of ethical hunters out there who make clean kills with over-the-counter, economically priced ammunition.
    Hunters are always looking for an edge, and I am one of them. It was just a topic for discussion. Tyrex's ideas are well thought and worth trying. Furthermore, it was offered cordially. Your 2 cents worth, is worth just about that much.

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    I handload my 7mm with 154 grain Hornady's and they shoot slightly better than 160 grain Nosler partitions. The caribou have never seem to notice the difference. Over the counter for my .375 are Winchester Silvertip, they shoot extremely well in my rifle. I have used Remington Corelok in my .308 and do not see anyreason to change it.

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    Member roughneck6883's Avatar
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    I use 150 grn boat tails for my .300 win I use the same load for everything my dad and I came up with it years ago and it shoots outstanding....last year however I didnt have my reloading kit and was forced to buy over the counter I got 150 spire tip cheapos and they did okay but I get more pleasure from reloading so I will continue to do it if I have the time.
    "Horns make pi$* poor soup"

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Of course we need to remember the man here that shoots more each year than any ten of us uses Mil Surp on everything
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I cringe at the high prices of some "premium" ammo. I often wonder just what premium should mean - to me or the animal - afterall things can only get so dead - right?
    I play with some good stuff with reloads but am not caught up with "I gotta have the next best newest" bullet as now my proven loads all of a sudden became obsolete and non-effective.
    I firmly believe shot placement is always more critical then bullet construction, velocity, energy ft lbs etc....
    I seldom buy a premium loaded round - reloads - yeah sometimes but do I feel they really have a needed advantage over older proven performers - no... Perhaps with very dangerous game I would be a bit more selective...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I've shot more than my share of cheap ammo and a fair amount of "premium" ammo. Accuracy wise you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference when you've got the load your rifle likes and a cheap box may produce much better results than spendy stuff. My .300 shoots the cheapest blue box Federals just as well as Nosler's "Custom" ammo with stunning accuracy. There's $40 a box difference.

    But to me the difference isn't about accuracy- its about bullet performance. Standard cup and cores (Speers, Corelokts, Powerpoints, etc) work fine in standard rounds where the MV is lower or the range is longer with less impact velocity. But take that same bullet with 200, 300, or 400 more fps impact velocity and bullet failures are almost certain. I look for "premium" ammo when the MV hits 3000fps as a general rule but YMMV.

    I personally think "premium" bullets in an '06, .308, .375 or similar rounds with MVs in the 2400-2800 fps range is just a waste of money and may actually be "too tough" and fail to expand at lower impact velocities.

    Just my $.02

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    Been handloading since I began hunting but I do purchase some ammo off the shelf when I purchase a new firearm, or for self-defense. Take the new firearm for example; typicaly I purchase a box or two of Remington Core-Lokt for initial sight-in and break-in, now I have 40 rounds of brass to begin my handloading, I find that Hornady Interlocks/Spirepoints and Nosler Partitions shoot to the same POI in my rifles. The performance of both bullets has never failed me at any range in any caliber from 27 yards to 400 yards for their intended purpose.

    Oft times I carry a box of each bullet loaded exactly the same way. Oft times I have the Noslers in the magazine and the Hornady rounds in camp for a re-sight if the scope gets smacked/damaged. This has worked well for me and is a far more economical, satisfying and most definitely accurate method for me.

    I do not recall ever having purchased big game centerfire ammo soley for the purpose of hunting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    But if you buy the high end shells you will have to go through a few boxes to sight in and practice with that particular round since it may have unique ballistics. And that just prepares you for the hunt. You could easily be into it for over a $100, without taking a shot at an animal.
    Yeah, one could go with a box of cheaper ammo, only shoot enough to have the gun place bullets in the kill zone at 100 yards. But many hunters want more (perhaps desire 1 MOA to 300 yards and beyond), so they may shoot more to gain more confidence with their equipment. So bullet performance and precision/accuracy (which is a subjective criteria).

    I like the chart that shows bullet deformation versus bullet velocity that was posted in one of the sub forums. Pick a concept (mushrooming, penetration, bullet retention) and go with it. I tend to use the more expensive bullets and shoot plenty of varieties to find one the gun shoots well.

    After purchasing a gun, sights, consumables (ammo) the issue of which combo is expensive becomes pretty subjective. If money is the factor, consider archery as the arrows are usually reusable when target shooting.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    I've been handloading since I began hunting too, and right off the bat it was my practice to sight in with the cheaper bullets rather than with the noslers, then do any fine tuning that was necessary. Just common fiscal sense.

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    Member Ryan J's Avatar
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    Agree with most. I bought 1 box each of Federal Premium Accubonds and Partitions a couple of years ago when I got the rifle I use now. Still have most of them. I carry the Accubonds right now for hunting. When they're gone it will be the Partitions.
    In between for range time I use Remington CL and (gulp) American Eagle. At the end of the range session I still touch off one of the hunting rounds to make sure everything is still good.
    When they're all gone, then I start reloading.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    Core-lokt's (and its federal made equals) have killed almost every biggame animal my family has ever shot. 5 boxes of cheap stuff is better than one box of expensive stuff, these days, it'll kill it alllll the same, if not quicker with cheap bullets.
    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I have never shot anything (for hunting) other than Remington or Federal.
    What they said. I've used Core Lokt and Federal. Since I'm handloading, I'm going to be using my own soon. Still working on developing loads for my 444 and 30-06.

    Tim

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