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Old February 19, 2012, 10:39 PM   #1
SerenityNetworks
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Federal Premium versus Fusion - accuracy

I'm a bit confused on this. I had thought the Fusion was supposed to be the more accurate bullet. When I was in Cabela's the other day, the Fusion cost a bit more than the Premium. However, online I'm seeing the Fusion was 2/3 the price of the Premium.

I'm just getting back to rifles after 30+ years and have a Browning BBR 30-06. It was recommended by a (highly) competitive shooter that the Federal 30-06 150gr Nosler BT would be a great factory bullet to use (considering accuracy as primary). But this bullet is $36 a box.

The 165gr Fusion-BT and 150gr Fusion (I don't think it's a boat-tail) are $24 a box. I'm all for a buy two get one free situation. But will the Fusions perform at least the same?

Thanks in advance,
Andrew

PS. I don't (yet) know that twist rate on my rifle.
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Old February 19, 2012, 10:50 PM   #2
TheGunGuy762
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Really the only way to know is shoot some of each. Most individual rifles are ammo specific when it come to accuracy and consistency. Find a brand you rifle agrees with and stick with it.

My 2 cents

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Old February 19, 2012, 10:54 PM   #3
Jimro
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You paid a pretty penny for the browning. Buy a box of each and see what your rifle likes.

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Old February 19, 2012, 11:45 PM   #4
SerenityNetworks
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Yeah, I know that I'm likely going to need to experiment around for what my rifle 'likes'.

The shooter that recommended the Federal Premiums did so based on two characteristics of the bullet. (1) He used to have a BBR and it 'liked' Federals. (2) The stat's of the Premium are almost identical to his custom loads in a rifle with similar characteristics. Knowing that I'm somewhat constrained by budget and can't just buy a box of each brand and type to try, he thought there would be a good chance that the Premiums could get me consistent small groups. But at that big of price difference, I think I'm going to have to try a box of each.

Thanks,
Andrew
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Old February 20, 2012, 02:51 PM   #5
Cowboy_mo
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My 2 cents

Buy the cheap Federal (some are blue box and some are red box) and shoot them through your gun first. Later try the Fusion.

My impression is that the $36 per box premiums are more about the performance of the bullet on the game than super improved accuracy.

I would also suggest (if you want to shoot this rifle a lot) is to look into reloading. It isn't that expensive to start if you look for a cheap set up (Like Lee) and look for used dies. Ebay is a great source for used reloading equipment All of my RCBS dies were purchased that way and work like brand new for about 1/2 the price.

I had two 30-06 rifles a while back and while 1 of them LOVED the Fusion rounds, the other hated them. Both shot the standard Federal rounds equally well.

Last edited by Cowboy_mo; February 20, 2012 at 02:53 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old February 20, 2012, 03:26 PM   #6
SerenityNetworks
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Thanks for the input. Right now I'm looking to learn how to shoot again, getting some accuracy and consistency going. In the fall I'll be for game performance, but now it is just shooting.

I'm thinking I'll try your strategy. If I understand correctly, I will:
1) Shoot the Federal red box.
2) Shoot the Fusion.
3) If they perform reasonably the same then shoot the Fusion.
4) In the fall I can switch to the red box if I'm not already reloading.

Thanks for the tips on reloading. I'll definitely want to go the used route, but I'll also want to head in the direction of improved accuracy (over boxed).

Thanks again,

Andrew
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Old February 20, 2012, 05:50 PM   #7
Rimfire5
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Sounds like you might be considedering different weights of bullets in each brand and concluding that the brands with different names will determine the accuracy.

The bullet weight, shape (how much of the bullet touches the barrel) and the velocity determines what the accuracy of your particular barrel will be.

I started my new .30-06 with 150 grain bullets from different manufacturers and was not overwhelmed with the accuracy with any of them. They were all over 1 inch at 100 yards.
I then moved on to 165-168 grain bullets and while they were a bit better, they still weren't what I had expected - they were about 0.8 inches at 100 yards.
When I got to 175 grain bullets, I found my rifle's preference and, even though only a couple of manufacturer offerings yielded good accuracy, I knew I was on to something.
After trying different hand loads, I have one or two 175 grain loads shooting under 0.7 inches at 100 yards on average with best groups just under 0.4 inches.

You will have to look at velocity as well as weight in order to make any conclusions about what your rifle likes as you try different ammos.
Otherwise you'll just have to stumble onto something that works and it might take quite a bit of cash to find the right ammo.
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Old February 20, 2012, 08:10 PM   #8
SerenityNetworks
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Rimfire5, yes, I'm just educated guessing here. I've spoken now to a couple previous owners of the 30-06 BBR. Although neither could tell me about current rounds, both had good luck with 150 boat tails and both had shot Federals before going to hand loading.

While I didn't see the Fusion in 150 with a boat tail, they had one at 165. I would have preferred both weight and shape side-by-side, but it wasn't to be. So I went with a common shape. Hopefully you all won't be telling me I should have tried common weight first, as I already made the purchase :-) But maybe like you I'll find this particular rifle likes the heavier bullets.

Anyway, I am just trying to minimize the number of boxes I need to by before I find the one(s) my rifle likes. If I can get at or under 1 MOA with factory loads then I'll quite pleased. If I can do it with bullets that cost two-thirds the price of another then I'll be even happier.

Thank you everyone for all the input. It is very much appreciated and I'm learning and relearning with every post.

Andrew
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