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Rifle ammo preference?

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  • Rifle ammo preference?

    My .308 Win. rifle seems to prefer 168gr boat tails. I have gotten lighter bullets (150 &155) to group just as well at 100m, but when stretching out to 300yrds, I can't get them to group under 1/2 MOA which the 168s do on a regular basis. I've fiddled with velocity only to make things worse. Can a rifle show a preference to a particular size/shape bullet, or am I missing something? BTW, the barrel twist is 1.10 and 22in. in length.

  • #2
    Yes, a rifle can show a preference (but doesn't HAVE TO).

    I've been in a lot of discussions over the decades with people who wanted to shoot Nosler Partitions, perfectly good bullet, but their rifle just wouldn't group them worth a darn, switch to a Gameking or Interlock, and the rifle would try to stack them, just one example.

    My LR308 (1:11.25")shoots great with 150gr Interlocks, 168gr TSX's, throws 150gr GMX's in a buckshot pattern.
    My BAR hates the GMX's equally (1:12" barrel), groups 110gr, 130gr, 150gr various bullets just fine (including scary-good with M-80 Ball Milsurp).

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    • #3
      My old Savage 110FP 308 Win seems to just love Sierra 150 round nose bullets designed for a 30/30. With IMR 4166 or 4064 it will try to put them all in one hole. Same thing with 168 Amax's . and 150 interlocks. However, you'd think it was a shotgun with just about any brand 155gn match bullet with any of several powders tried.







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      • #4
        My 308 with 1:11.25" twist shoots from 155 to 178 consistently. I use Berger and Lapua Scenar bullets.
        Each rifle is an individual, has it's own likes and dislikes.
        "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

        "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

        "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"

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        • #5
          Weird story but I have three Ruger M77RSI rifles in .308. Don't ask, I said it was weird. Anyway the acquisition was over a period of several years, and all for the same reason, their original owners could not get decent groups from them and sold them cheap. It took a bit over two years to find a load that would consistently should 1.5" or better which is the largest grouping I will accept from any bolt action rifle. I'll just add that it took a stiff load of W760 and the 165 gr. Speer hot Core to deliver that 1.5" group. The key word is "CONSISTENT". Later I found that relieving that metal nose cape at the muzzle made 1.25" groups a bit more common. factory ammo? Don't make me laugh. In those rifles they're a joke, a bad joke at that. There was one exception. The Speer Nitrex with the 165 gr. Grand Slam bullet. I've never forgiven them for dropping those. They shot exactly the same and my reloads. I still have two boxes left. I'll have to check and see of both are full or if one is a partial. The interesting thing is all three RSI rifles shoot good with the same reload but shoot like garbage with anything else. I've tried Sierra and Nosler 165 gr. bullets and it's scattered bullets all over the target. I'm still kicking myself for not buying a case of that Nitrex ammo before they disappeared. I did get a goodly supply of the 165 gr. Hot Cores though. Now that there are a few powders available, maybe one will replace the W760 I've been using for that load. FWIW, velocity from the 18.5" barrel of the RSI is 2550 FPS. The same load from a 22" Winchester M70 is 2610 FPS. I'm thinking I might get a bit more speed from Re15 or Re17. The only question is will I still maintain the accuracy?
          Paul B.

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          • #6
            the bullets nose shape matching or close to the shape of the rifles throat also seems to make quite a difference.
            I believe this enough that I had a swage die made to match a couple of my most accurate rifles.
            [the die cost more than a couple of the rifles did]

            look at Paul's [post] example above about the same type and brand of rifle preferring the same loads and bullets above everything else.

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            • #7
              "look at Paul's [post] example above about the same type and brand of rifle preferring the same loads and bullets above everything else."

              That's not necessarily gospel BTW. It just happened to work out that way. I've talked with people who've seen my posts on that particular set of rifles who have one and for some it worked out just fine and for a few utter failure. Off and on gun writer John Barsness has included "loads that work" in some of his articles and while they work most of the time, sometimes they don't. All you can do is try.
              Paul B.

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              • #8
                yep,, just throwing an observation out there that might work for someone else.

                I can assure you that throat matching will improve both your velocity window and accuracy when shooting cast bullets.
                I believe that enough to have invested in custom chamber reamers, new barrels, and bullet molds, and have the high velocity results to prove it out.
                no I didn't buy slow twist barrels.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Savageluvr View Post
                  My old Savage 110FP 308 Win seems to just love Sierra 150 round nose bullets designed for a 30/30. With IMR 4166 or 4064 it will try to put them all in one hole. Same thing with 168 Amax's . and 150 interlocks. However, you'd think it was a shotgun with just about any brand 155gn match bullet with any of several powders tried.






                  I've been doing this with Berry's plated bullets out of my Mossberg MVP in .308 using a particular gallery load keeping the velocity around 1750 from an 18" barrel.

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                  • #10
                    Some rifles are finicky some are not, usually depends on the twist rate, rifle harmonics and quality of the barrel.
                    When the hammer drops the BS stops.

                    Don't let them beat you down with their inexperience.

                    You won't know until You Actually try it.

                    The impossible just takes longer.

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                    • #11
                      My .308 mil-spec shoots the 175gr SMK boringly accurate all day over varget. It doesn’t mind the 168 SMK either. Anything lighter than 168 and it’s just sloppy.

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                      • #12
                        Every rifle is an entity unto itself....and you can quote me on that.

                        My most recent acquisition, a Wilhelm Brenneke in 7 X 64 Brenneke, strangely will not shoot 150 or 160 gr. Sierra Game King bullets. 4-5 inches at 50 yards is not uncommon. The RCBS 7mm-168, a cast, gas checked bullet that throws 174 grs. from my mold, shoots bug holes. Could be I need a heavier jacketed bullet and/or try a different make, I don't know. I also doubt I'm going to look any further.
                        "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools". Romans 1:22

                        "Those who fail to study history are condemned to repeat it"

                        NRA Benefactor,

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