Can you compete/have precision and not reload?

Rockrivr1

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Long time lurker around here. I've been going back and forth about getting a new competition rifle in 6.5CM to start participating in PRS and similar rifle games. After a bunch of research I decided to go with a MPS BA PMR Pro Rifle II in 6.5CM. I was mentioning this in a group of shooters I know and one of them commented that unless I reload I'll never get to the full potential of this rifle. To him it was a waste of money and I'd be better served with a lower cost option like a Bergara or something similar.

I've tried to reload before and owned a Dillon 550B, but it just wasn't for me. I didn't enjoy it and in the end I sold the entire setup during Covid for a profit. So for me I'll most likely be shooting 140gr or 147gr ELD Match ammo out of this Rifle. I'd try a bunch of brands to see what works best as a start.

So my question is whether people agree with my friend or would you feel confident using factory ammo in the MPS and be competitive?


Thanks
 

phlegethon

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    The advantage of reloading for accuracy, compared to high quality factory ammo, is questionable at best, and most certainly irrelevant for positional shooting including PRS, for all but the very best shooters.
     

    OREGUN

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    Being competitive and “getting the full potential of the rifle” are two different things. You will be fine with high quality factory ammo for PRS and Field Matches. In 6.5CM that means spending somewhere in the 45$ a box range.
     

    spamassassin

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    Match grade ammo is match grade ammo. If some retail ammo groups well in your gun then there's zero reason to think that you'd have no option but to reload if you want to be competitive. It just means it'll be more expensive and a lot easier to deal with as long as your supply of retail ammo is predictable.
     

    wpeach1912

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    I shot with a guy a few times in Missouri that would win or place top 5 at most local matches shooting Hornady match 6.5 creed factory seconds. I used American gunner for a while and didn’t feel like the ammo was my issue for not doing well. Wind calls, position building, and marksmanship fundamentals are more important
     

    Lightning8

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    With primer shortages, I see a fair number of local PRS competitors shooting 6mm Creedmoor due to that availability of match grade ammo. Noteworthy by the amount of once fired 6CM brass on the ground at matches.
     
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    hlee

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    I’ve seen top shooters shooting berger and hornady factory ammo at PRS matches…
     
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    todd

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    I was at a one-day match and ran out of ammo (duh). A friend gave me some Eagle Eye (I think) ammo to finish the match. It shot just as tight as my handloads that shot in the .2-.4 range. I would not hesitate to shoot good quality factory ammo in a match if I were just starting out. Upgrade to reloading when your ammo becomes a liability in your scores. Before that, I wouldn't worry about it.
     

    hlee

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    I was at a one-day match and ran out of ammo (duh). A friend gave me some Eagle Eye (I think) ammo to finish the match. It shot just as tight as my handloads that shot in the .2-.4 range. I would not hesitate to shoot good quality factory ammo in a match if I were just starting out. Upgrade to reloading when your ammo becomes a liability in your scores. Before that, I wouldn't worry about it.
    And in the interim, save all of your brass...
     
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    Lightning8

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    Been in the shop prepping 6BR brass - doing the math in my head the whole time about switching to 6CM or something and just buying ammo!
     
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    Lightning8

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    I shot with a Production shooter recently who was doing very well and using the Norma 107 6CM.
     

    The4GunGuy

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    As Lighting8 stated above, I also shot with a shooter who used production ammo and he did well...I did a video a long time ago on production ammo compared to my hand loads which might interest you. It is a 6.5 Creedmoor comparison, but it should give you an idea of what to expect the differences to be between the two:
     
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    Huckmeat

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    I've pretty much only shot factory match ammo the past 4 years, including multiple national 2 day matches each year. The ammo is not a limitation.
     
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    357Max

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    I would also recommend trying at least 2 different brakes with the various ammo. The ammo won’t hold you back, but brakes can have a pretty big effect.

    My 6.5C ARC rifle was shooting the Berger 140 hyb ammo like shit. Switched brakes & went from 1.5 - .6
     

    spelunk

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    Jump in! Ammo quality isn't as high on the list as you'd think when it comes to what makes a good PRS shooter. Target acquisition, trigger/recoil/rifle fundamentals, and building good positions are MUCH more important.
     

    kthomas

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    You don't need benchrest quality ammo to win a PRS match.

    Plenty of PRS matches have been won with factory ammo. Hell, PRS matches have been won with burned out barrels that can hardly put a group together.
     
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    db2000

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    Also notable, once fired match brass tends to bring $0.50-$1/rd today depending on the caliber. Some guy was unloading 2K or so 6CM cases in the PX recently. I can only assume a non-reloader competitor.
     

    LV Precision

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    You don't need benchrest quality ammo to win a PRS match.

    Plenty of PRS matches have been won with factory ammo. Hell, PRS matches have been won with burned out barrels that can hardly put a group together.

    Maybe 5 years ago, but not lately. Can't think of a single PRS 2-day match won in the last 3 years that meet that criteria.
     

    kindabitey

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    Maybe 5 years ago, but not lately. Can't think of a single PRS 2-day match won in the last 3 years that meet that criteria.
    Tucker Schmidt won the 2020 and 2021 Pigg River HAM matches and finished 4th in 2022 shooting Federal factory 6 Creed ammo.
     
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    Ensemble

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    The main argument I see for handloads is that you can tune the cartridge for the barrel harmonics / barrel whip unique to your rifle to produce the minimal amount of upset to the bullet as it leaves the barrel.

    A barrel tuner does essentially the same thing.

    So if you DO want to try and tighten your groups using factory ammo, just get a barrel tuner. Kinetic Security Solutions makes one that is compatible with suppressors and existing muzzle brakes, that's what I use, but there are several out there. They all do the same thing though, shift the weight ever so slightly in increments to adjust the harmonics of the barrel whip. $200 for a tuner is a LOT cheaper than any quality reloading station and takes up no space.

    Hand loads may give you better standard deviation in muzzle velocity (when you get your load fully developed) because you have maximum quality control in every part of the bullet's construction.

    Like has been said before though, unless you're benchrest shooting there are other, bigger variables to worry about (namely shooter's skill) that will affect the bullet more when you start having to build stable shooting positions, shoot after doing tons of burpees, time pressure, etc. Quality match ammo is plenty good. I've shot out to 711yds with .223 horn match ELD and I know it can go further. The limitation is not the bullet, but me.

    Don't let the gear race get you. Hand loads are fun to play with, but not necessary to do really well.
     
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    LV Precision

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    Tucker Schmidt won the 2020 and 2021 Pigg River HAM matches and finished 4th in 2022 shooting Federal factory 6 Creed ammo.

    Interesting, because IG shows he handloads, and says in his post that he was running 6GT back in 2020.

    1658695802768.png
     

    mikeshaw2

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    N00b opinion time: I guess it depends on whether your wallet or your time is the limiting factor.

    I have more time than money so tend to reload

    M
     
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    Hickswr

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    The best shooter in the country runs 153 bergers out of a 6.5CM, arguably the highest recoiling bullet you can shoot.

    And he wins almost every match he shoots and the ones he doesn't, he comes in 2nd place.

    Oh…..so you assume a newbie that’s asking about factory loads vs hand loads can manage recoil as good as Morgun King 😂.

    A 6.5 CM is only superior to a 6mm IF you can manage recoil really well. 100% of folks can shoot a 6mm as well as a 6.5 but only a select few can shoot a 6.5 as well as a 6mm. Thus the reason the Dasher is so popular in PRS.

    The name of the PRS game is spotting missing and correcting. Much easier done with a 6mm than a 6.5. IF you master it with a 6mm then move up to a 6.5 for the bigger splash and slight ballistics advantage.
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    The dasher is not popular because its low recoiling. You can get the same recoil out of any 6mm cartridge and get close slinging 130's out of a 6.5 of some flavor.

    The reason dasher is so popular is its rediculously easy to load for like all the BR cartirdges. Just pick a velocity and go shoot bugholes. No load development or dealing with sensitive to load for cartridges like 6CM/6XC/x47. It is optimized to run with 31-33 grains of varget, with a high fill %.

    Same can be said of 6 GT. All the benefits of a dasher/BR with the added benefit of being able to run H4350 (Which is better than varget IMO) and it feeds flawless from a regular AICS mag. No tuning or custom kits needed.
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    You really think a newbie can shoot a 6.5 as well as a 6mm in a PRS match?
    Absolutley. The first year of shooting is all positional, time management, target ID,ect. What they are shooting matters very little. Its not until year 2 or 3 that most people would even see a benefit going to a 6mm. And if you shoot out here with high winds and long distances, you get a big advantage running the high BC 6.5s.
     

    acudaowner

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    berger ammo is pretty good if you can find it hornady make some pretty good ammo as well depending on what you mean by precision no ammo is going to magically shoot one hole groups without you having the skill to shoot it . but accurate most of it is pretty good . best of luck figuring out what your looking for and how to get what you want .
     

    99mpower

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    PRIME ammo!!!!! 140 berger loads, or the 130 Norma stuff they have loaded is awesome. Every box of Prime I've bought has been sub .6moa precision.

    I handload, but if Im short on time, I always have 200-400rds of Prime in the closet if needed
     

    kthomas

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    PRIME ammo!!!!! 140 berger loads, or the 130 Norma stuff they have loaded is awesome. Every box of Prime I've bought has been sub .6moa precision.

    I handload, but if Im short on time, I always have 200-400rds of Prime in the closet if needed

    Prime has never shot great out of my rifles. But my 6.5 Creedmoor chambers have all been cut for Hornady or Berger.
     

    357Max

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    Prime is also loaded on the hot end. You will get into pressure issues in the rain. Ask the GT boys.
    Depends on free bore. Some have reported the Prime 115 6GT is jammed in shorter free bore chambers. In mine it shoots great (about 350 rds so far) even in the rain, PVA barrel.