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Old October 15, 2002, 09:54 AM   #1
Rifter
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What do you guys suggest for cheap practice ammo?

Ok you reloaders what do you guys use for cheap practice ammo? Im going to start loading some up within the next few weeks so when my gun arrives I will have lots of differnt loads to try and see what is the best for my gun. I have decided for the match quality ammo I will go with Sierra 168 grain HPBT MK's and Laupa Brass, what powder would you suggest? Also Im looking to load up some cheap practice ammo, im thinking remigton brass cause its about $20 for 100 and the winchester is $18 for 50 so for cheap I will go with the remigton. Im thinking something along the 140-160 grain for bullet weight, who makes some good cheap bullets? bullet design really doesnt matter much for these cause all they will be doing is punching paper so as long as they fly fairly strait Im going to be buying probably a few differnt powders to try then buying a keg of what works best. So what powder's do you guys suggest, it will be for a Bolt gun only at this point. Thanks guys.
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Old October 15, 2002, 10:52 AM   #2
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What caliber are you loading? ? ? Someone here will have a very good starting load, if we knew which one....
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Old October 15, 2002, 12:05 PM   #3
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Personally, I believe that practice ammo should be match quality ammo. I use the same ammo for both.
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Old October 15, 2002, 02:25 PM   #4
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i agree w/ steve... my practice loads are identical to my prairie dog loads which are identical to my hunting loads...

if you practice w/ different ammo, how are you ever going to get a feel for how your match ammo works? if you are shooting the same stuff, then nothing is different. wind drift, drop, recoil, etc, it is all the same, therefore no surprises.
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Old October 15, 2002, 02:32 PM   #5
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You should use the same ammo for "practice" as you do for "real".
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Old October 15, 2002, 05:41 PM   #6
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My pratice ammo is the same load as my match ammo. I'm practicing inorder to learn the behavior of the rounds under all types of conditions. That way I ready for the match without nearly the amount of guessing and re-zeroing. Same goes for hunting ammo.

The only exception is 3 gun match ammo. The degree of accuracy required is substantially less than high power, BR, service rifle,... but the round count is much greater.
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Old October 15, 2002, 08:29 PM   #7
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opps, forgot, .308 win. I would love nothing more than to always load match ammo but i would go broke doing so, you know laupa brass is running about $60-70 for 50 pcs, up here in canada. And the sierra matchkings are running about $30-40 for 100. Its just not going to happen, i need something in a lower price bracket or a better supplier one or the other, i could save some cash and get some sirrea gamekings instead which is what i might do for practice. And use remington brass. I just dont see the need to shoot some very accurate match grade ammo at beer cans. When im sighting it in and actually shooting matchs i will use match ammo but for every day practice i would go broke, unless i loaded up some reduced loads and stretched the brass's life time. Thanks guys.
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Old October 16, 2002, 11:00 AM   #8
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Well, there's always surplus ammo. Portugese .308 is running around $140 for 1,000 rounds.

Cheap, new ammunition seems to come from Sellier & Bellot with their 147gr soft points running around $8.50 for 20.
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Old October 16, 2002, 07:48 PM   #9
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that true, but i would prefer to handload some cheap ammo, it should still be more accurate than surplus ammo. I hope.
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Old October 16, 2002, 11:11 PM   #10
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if you run gamekings for practice, then switch to match kings for match, you may run into problems as far as long range shooting. for short range (200 yards and closer), probably won't be much different.

sierra gamekings are quite accurate. why not save some headache and use gamekings for practice and match?
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Old October 17, 2002, 01:58 AM   #11
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well, if your rifle can feed it, I like light cast loads. but you should always practive with at least some of what you're using in real life

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Old October 17, 2002, 09:26 AM   #12
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It does not matter. If your practice load is not identical to your match/hunting/serious load, you wil not build good shooting techniques or confidence in your abilities. Shooting sub-standard ammo can only negatively affect your mental performance.



Edited to say this: If you cannot afford to shoot a lot with match ammo, shoot less, and make sure each one counts.
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Old October 17, 2002, 09:38 AM   #13
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hmmmmm. maybe you are right, are you trying to tell me you guys always shoot match quality ammo, you guys never shoot surplus ammo or cheap white box ammo? i find that hard to believe. However maybe you have a point, BTW the above poster said i would have long range problems shooting gamekings and then matchkings, why is that, as long as i have the dropchart for both what will the ptoblem be?
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Old October 17, 2002, 09:44 AM   #14
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You are correct, I do not shoot anything but match ammo through my match guns, period. Every practice is fired as a match. If I cannot judge improvement because the ammo sucks, I cannot improve, period. I don't know if a shot that was 3" off was off because of a bad wind call or because the ammo wasn't up to snuff. With good ammo, I ALWAYS know.

The poster that said that was merely stating that each bullet is "a law unto itself" and you cannot take a X weight Game King and the same weight Match King and expect them to shoot the same...weight is but a small part of the formula. Choose one bullet and shoot it.

Think of it this way. If you have to go to the range with just 20 rounds because that is all you can afford to practice with, then make every one an absolutely perfect shot. You are given the best tools to learn from, now put them to use. Quantity does not equal quality.
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Old October 17, 2002, 10:30 AM   #15
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As usual, Steve is balls on. I might add one personal observation. I spent too much money on my rifle to shoot junk 'recreationally'. When I see the hole, I want to know it was there because of me, and that the rifle which always constant, is shooting its' best because it's being fed best.

The only time I'd use junk ammo is if I was shooting at gallon jugs or watermelons, but I still wouldn't know if it was the ammo or me if I missed.
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Old October 17, 2002, 11:17 AM   #16
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Rifter,

I just checked my log books for 2 bolt-action guns one is a "match rilfe" the other is for varminting...

Rifle #1 has seen hand loads with "match" bullets (several different types during load development) and factory match ammo (because sometimes I do run out of homebrew) only.

Rifle #2 has seen 200rds of factory (Federal) for fire forming brass then nothing but handloads with the bullet of choice (after load development).

This is done for the reasons Steve has written.

Also noted: very few of my practice sessions go beyond 60 rounds for a single rifle. The exception is IPSC-style upclose hose practice with a semi-auto. The ammo is still quality (usually Blackhills or non-match bullet homebrew), though.
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Old October 17, 2002, 08:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
The poster that said that was merely stating that each bullet is "a law unto itself" and you cannot take a X weight Game King and the same weight Match King and expect them to shoot the same...weight is but a small part of the formula. Choose one bullet and shoot it.
I do understand that, they will have differnt BC's of course. But as long as you are using the right drop chart/wind chart for the right bullet i dont see the problem shooting long range with differnt ammo.

And i never said this was going to be a match only gun, It will be used for hunting as well as match shooting as well as for me to learn how to shoot on and have fun with as it will be my first real gun. I have a bunch of pellet guns, some match grade and have shot them in competition before im just moving up to longer than 10-30 yards shooting now. When i shoot the barrel out i will send it in for a match barrel and probably have some other work done to it to get it shooting real strait, and at that time should be able to afford a new gun for plinking and then the one i started with will be match only, but in the beggining it will have to be a one gun does it all because i simply can not afford to buy 2 guns right now. BTW I will need to load some gamekings anyways for hunting and learn how to shoot them, i hear the matchkings dont expand so well even though they are HP's. Thanks again guys.
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Old October 17, 2002, 11:49 PM   #18
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I understood from the get-go that you weren't shooting matches...I was just using that as an example because that's what I know. If all I did was hunt and practice for hunting, I'd still practice with only the bullet I was going to hunt with. I don't mean to sound eletist, but "blasting" is just not something I have time for or interest in. If I am at the range, I'm there to learn. You can't learn a thing from bad ammo.
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Old October 18, 2002, 12:03 AM   #19
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Well, I don't even know if this is available in Canada, but how about mil surp projectiles? Granted, these are less than ideal (sometimes they aren't even THAT cheap). However, if I had to face those kinds of prices, I sure would give them a try.

Your handloaded ammo will still be better than all but the most expensive loaded ammo if you are using fire-formed Lapua brass. Reloaders in the U.S. used the .308 mil surp projectiles for a long time when component bullets were not common or readily available.

Some people may not mean to sound elitist, but they sure come across that way. If my options were 1) can't really afford to learn to shoot or 2) shoot mil surp projectiles, I know what I would do.
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Old October 18, 2002, 09:55 AM   #20
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Ok, I will try to load match ammo only and practice less. And shoot less, i can get surplus here but its usualy like 20 years old and may/may not be of good quality and its not that much cheaper than some factory ammo. I may buy some federal gold match just gor the brass and use it, since the laupa brass is so expensive and norma brass is even worse. What powder do you guys suggest? i ordered some winchester 740 and am thinking of ordering some IMR 4895, any others i should try?
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Old October 18, 2002, 10:45 AM   #21
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Ok, fine, I MAY come across as "eletist" but I am also the KING of CHEAP.

I'd suggest you get some LC brass from www.scharch.com It is darn good brass and so cheap you can afford a ton of it. Feel free to go through it and weigh cases, true primer pockes, debur flash holes, do whatever you want, or not...at distances out to 300 yards, you may never see a difference anyway. Lapua IS the "king" but I know an AWFUL lot of Master and High Masters using Winchester and LC, and I know very few using Lapua...we just shoot too much to afford it.

Buy top quality dies. This cannot be said enough times.

Get some IMR-4895 from www.hi-techammo.com Cheap and accurate. A little tough to meter properly, but sould be a-ok in a .308

Buy good bullets...all the same. The real way to do this is to buy one box and try them, and if they shoot buy all you can of that lot. You don't REALLY have to do this, so buy whenever the price is lowest. If you live near St. Louis, or have a friend there, get some of Sierra's Match King seconds...they shoot GREAT.

Buy primers in 5K boxes...they're cheaper that way.
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Old October 18, 2002, 01:42 PM   #22
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I don't think you are an elitist Steve, but some new guy reading those posts sure could...

Steve is right though. You would be better off in the long run practicing with your hunting load/match load. Personally, I wouldn't spend the money for top quality bullets while I was learning the whole process.

I am also the kind of person who bought a cheap hangun to learn on so I wouldn't ruin a good gun while learning to clean it, handload, etc. In the end, I sold a gun that was in BETTER condition than when I bought it! In other words, it may have been a waste of time.
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Old October 18, 2002, 06:07 PM   #23
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Forget that Laupa brass! If you`re not bench-resting, you wont notice the difference between Laupa and GI match brass. Try www.gibrass.com They have great 308 match mil brass cheap, and mil-surp 4895 for $80/8lbs too! Ill try to get you the web address for a cheap place for 168 SMKs, too. Ill be back with it when I find it.
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Old October 18, 2002, 06:07 PM   #24
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Steve says, "Ok, fine, I MAY come across as "eletist" but I am also the KING of CHEAP."

Agreed. Steve is 'eletist', no doubt about it. Anyone who would make that comment in complete darkness has to be elitist.

I AM THE KING OF CHEEP. Spelled, c-h-e-e-p, just like it's supposed to sound. Only a King would know that. Nobody else I know recycles Hoppe's. My tumbling media is workin' on its' 5,300th lot of brass without a change or liquid charge. Beat that, Steve.
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Old October 18, 2002, 06:40 PM   #25
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I re-use my own ear wax.

HA!!!
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