Dan Newberry's OCW system
is as good as any in finding a good load for your rifle. There is no simple explanation, but the link above should give you some good reading.
As far as bullets, I use Gamekings for hunting and I don't find that the exposed lead at the tip causes any problems at all. There are alternatives, however, and for target work I'm playing with the Hornady A-Max. They seem to be pretty good bullets. They have a polymer tip, so if you're really worried about tip deformation the A-Max will reduce those fears.