Factory Hunting Bolt Action Rifles with what Factory Ammo

AutoBolt308

Small Groups Matter
Minuteman
Aug 31, 2022
46
12
S.E. Michigan
2nd post WooHoo!
Anyways Deer Hunting is starting soon for rifle season and besides taking YouTuber's word for it lets start our own thread of what we purchase and what factory ammunition we have tested and found works best. Honestly I have not hunted in over 20 years however do enjoy going for accuracy at outdoor ranges around Southeast Michigan with an AR-10.

Last month I purchased a Mossberg Patriot in .308 with a Dead Ringer 3-9x40 scope and acquired a good amount of factory loads purchased online. Ranged Hornady 165 grain White Tail to start at 25 yards then on paper at 50 yards and set aim 2 inches low in hopes to be super close at 100 yards. Did not go as hoped as I had a hard time holding steady at 100 yards so called it quits and planned on a 6-24x50 Vortex Crossfire ii in a week or 2. While researching I have found the bedding system to be inferior so I stopped in my local auto parts store and got some JB plastic weld and that sure firmed up the recoil lug area.

Returned to the outdoor range last Sunday and started to sight in the new Vortex and was confident I would be on paper at 100 yards in 5 shots while being blasted by the 7mm Mag next to me with the comp. Best 3 shot group was with Norma 150 grain soft point at 3/4" and 2nd best was HSM 165 grain Gameking just over 1".
Also tried Remington 150 grain Core-lokt Tipped was 6" high and 2.5" group and it really smelled the plus P and lastly Federal 165 grain Nickel coated Meateater was 3" low and ran straight to the right of target 4".
Ran just over half a box of Hornady 165 grain White Tail again just to get rid of the box.
Had a great time cleaning all the muck out of the barrel and plan on returning in a couple of weeks for some clean cold bore testing with the HSM to test if that performs better. Lets hear your stories.
 

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diggler1833

World's Okayest Rancher and Hog Hunter
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  • Jul 22, 2007
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    Congratulations on the 2nd post. You really started the dumpster fire here. However, the good news is that most of what you seek can be readily found using the search function on this site...and everything you ask has been asked 10 times before. I bet that if you spend an evening or three here perusing you will be smarter many times over.

    I really do wish you the best of luck this season. And Norma is usually some "pretty dang good ammo" for killing deer.
     
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    AutoBolt308

    Small Groups Matter
    Minuteman
    Aug 31, 2022
    46
    12
    S.E. Michigan
    I performed a search and found little tech with a lot of BullSnot I don't plan on getting into. Also been googling my ars off on the Patriot to see what others have performed with whatever results. Guess I just got lucky with some $10.00 JB Weld epoxy.

    Well I'm a carguy so starting fires comes naturally. Also if this Mossberg Patriot didn't firm up groups this past 2nd time at the range I was planning on trading it in for a Franchi Momentum Elite that is in stock local to me. Would like some info on that one as well since it is 1-11" twist rate.
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    May 3, 2020
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    Welcome.

    You're going to find as you experiment that each, and every rifle had it's own character. They all like something different. You're on the right track by trying different loads if you don't hand load. That's my problem too. I'm not a reloader, so when I get a new rifle, I have to find out what it likes. That means trying out several (sometimes 10 or 15) different types of ammo from various makers with different (or the same) bullet weights, and types.

    For example, my favorite is my Remington 700 in .243. It doesn't "look" factory anymore. I put a Surefire brake on it so I can run a can, and it now has a Badger Ordinance bolt handle, and is in a KRG Bravo chassis. However, the rifle itself... is the same barrel, and action as came from the factory. It has not been to any gunsmith to get the bolt lugs worked on, the action trued, a new barrel, or any of the very expensive work you may read about here. I'd love to, but just can't swing it. Some of these guys pay more for a barrel than I did for my entire rifle.

    I did get lucky though. I found a factory loading that the gun likes. Of course by that I mean one that I can live with. It wouldn't meet the standard of a lot guys here, but I myself, am happy with it. After trying many types of ammo, I found a factory loading, that goes well with my "factory" rifle, so I'm constantly looking for this one particular loading every chance I get. It's worked so far, but it will be different with every rifle, and when I can't find that one certain loading... I'm back to the drawing board looking for the next best choice. Unless I ever get into handloading.

    243 in KRG.JPG


    The orange dot is the little pasties you use to fix targets.

    100 yds.

    .243 Best group - Copy.jpg


    Obviously, with the factory barrel not being real heavy, I'm not gonna be doing any long range sessions without allowing it to cool off, but it does shoot very well, and I anticipate the kind of work I may need this for (if I ever do) won't be the kind where I'm shooting a lot all at once. For now, I'm trying to learn stuff like how it does at different ranges, and in different conditions. Oh, and always looking for my load. Unfortunately, .243 is a popular hunting round, so other "hunters" keep supply in demand, making my preferred load hard to find.
     

    NewsShooter

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    These days if it's a "factory" rifle I suggest Tikka, Tikka, and Tikka. :) Factory triggers are great, all mine, 30-06, 7RM, 6.5CM all shot 1 inch groups or smaller with factory ammo. Tolerances are good enough that you can order a shouldered prefit barrel. That isn't going to happen with a remington, mossberg, franchi etc... Every barrel is different, what works in one might not work well in a different barrel. Looks like that 150 softpoint is your best bet.
     

    DocRDS

    No One
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    Feb 21, 2012
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    Every ammo will shoot different point of impact. Knowing the landscape of MI, you typically don't get a lot of long range shots--so you are going to be fine.

    Every person starts their journey somewhere--just keep practicing and you will be amazed at where you started and where you end up.

    Not a fan of the cheaper scopes (Vortex is fine, Crossfire is a cheapo tho). Best thing to do is KEEP SHOOTING and striving to get better. You'll come around to what you want in a rifle.

    Factory Rifles:
    Tikka
    Howa
    Everyone Else (Sorry I formally renounce my Bergara fanboy status)

    Not to say what you have is bad--just not a lot of growth potential.
     
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    AutoBolt308

    Small Groups Matter
    Minuteman
    Aug 31, 2022
    46
    12
    S.E. Michigan
    Every ammo will shoot different point of impact. Knowing the landscape of MI, you typically don't get a lot of long range shots--so you are going to be fine.

    Every person starts their journey somewhere--just keep practicing and you will be amazed at where you started and where you end up.

    Not a fan of the cheaper scopes (Vortex is fine, Crossfire is a cheapo tho). Best thing to do is KEEP SHOOTING and striving to get better. You'll come around to what you want in a rifle.

    Factory Rifles:
    Tikka
    Howa
    Everyone Else (Sorry I formally renounce my Bergara fanboy status)

    Not to say what you have is bad--just not a lot of growth potential.

    In all honesty I only purchased a bolt gun cause a buddy that has northern land refuses to let me hunt with my AR-10. Have that sighted in with Norma 180gr Bondstrike with a 5-20X50 Trijicon Acupoint.
    But in his defense it is his land that his father left him so I have to respect that.
    I take no offence to any comments about entry level equipment and actually from what I have been researching I think I did pretty good with my findings. The Norma 150gr soft point is $16.99 online so I look at it as the least expensive rifle likes the least expensive ammo and good enough to ethically take a deer.

    Any insight as to why the Remington 150gr Coke-Lokt Tipped was so much higher? More velocity? Projectile design?
     
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    RedTimber

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    Jan 23, 2021
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    In all honesty I only purchased a bolt gun cause a buddy that has northern land refuses to let me hunt with my AR-10. Have that sighted in with Norma 180gr Bondstrike with a 5-20X50 Trijicon Acupoint.
    But in his defense it is his land that his father left him so I have to respect that.
    I take no offence to any comments about entry level equipment and actually from what I have been researching I think I did pretty good with my findings. The Norma 150gr soft point is $16.99 online so I look at it as the least expensive rifle likes the least expensive ammo and good enough to ethically take a deer.

    Any insight as to why the Remington 150gr Coke-Lokt Tipped was so much higher? More velocity? Projectile design?
    That is just how those bullets and load react to your specific rifle. You have to buy and test bullets/loads like you do shoes. Everyone makes a 12, but not every 12 is the same and not every 12 size fits a 12 foot. Find what your rifle likes ( apparently Norma) and buy and shoot lots of Norma. Almost everything will kill deer and most species smaller than it. Put the round through the thoracic cavity and it will turn to strawberry jam, regardless of bullet design or choice.
     
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    Oldmauser

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    Apr 2, 2018
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    You bought the cheapest rifle on the market, put a cheap scope on it. You probably will be able to hit a deer at 100 yads. Good luck.
     
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    NBPRP

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    Jan 16, 2014
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    Just a thought, would be to consider getting into reloading so as to find the primer, case, powder and bullet that best performs in your rifle.

    I would not let yourself get down about $$ you spent on your rifle and/or scope. Back when I was on a limited budget and wanted to emulated all my buddies that were shooting metallic silhouette, I could only afford a Winchester 670 in .243 with a short and light barrel. All my buddies had varmint barrels of about 24".

    With a bunch of practice and immersing myself in handloading I was able to conquer the short comings or my demure equipment and bring home trophies.
     

    DJL2

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    Oct 16, 2013
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    The Hide has been... kinder in response to this than I expected. Personal growth moment? Collective growth? I will say that if you already used search and characterize the majority of what you found here as a "bull snot," you may wish to be slightly less vocal about that ;-).

    There are a number of threads on rifle bedding. You're not the only guy here to use JB, but it's certainly not the best choice for the job.

    Ammo is a personal choice and the rifle gets a vote. You can find guys here, and anywhere else, that insist on only the finest, lathe turned depleted uranium, tipped with unicorn horn, capable of penetrating at least 600mm of rolled homogeneous armor for hunting animals that are less than 200 lbs on the hoof. No idea why, really, I guess some of them just like tracking or pretending they have a loud bow. If you've got a factory load your rifles likes, seems like you're all set.
     
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    Hobo Hilton

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    In all honesty I only purchased a bolt gun cause a buddy that has northern land refuses to let me hunt with my AR-10.

    Curious ... What does your buddy use for hunting ?
     

    AutoBolt308

    Small Groups Matter
    Minuteman
    Aug 31, 2022
    46
    12
    S.E. Michigan
    In all honesty I only purchased a bolt gun cause a buddy that has northern land refuses to let me hunt with my AR-10.

    Curious ... What does your buddy use for hunting?
    Most likely something old school as I do not know however I will find out and reply.
    A couple of years ago we had a shoot off with 30-30 lever actions. I had my older brothers Winchester on irons that I had not shot in 10+ years and buddy had 1 with a side scope. Target was a 10" paper plate on a retailors steel for sale sign at 130 yards shooting out of a raised blind. I had 8 on the plate and he only had 3.
     

    AutoBolt308

    Small Groups Matter
    Minuteman
    Aug 31, 2022
    46
    12
    S.E. Michigan
    Ogive gauge arrived yesterday and I gauged 100 rounds of Norma 308 180 grain Bondstrike and found .013” variation in their factory loads from 2.163” to 2.176”. Also noted measurement on case with a sharpie and grouped together in the boxes.

    Next to either purchase the Hornady gauge or search out some other method to measure.

    Has anyone tried to adjust factory ammunition? Say with a bullet puller? And when pulling a bullet does that effect neck tension?
     
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    AutoBolt308

    Small Groups Matter
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    Aug 31, 2022
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    S.E. Michigan
    Went through 60 rounds of Remington Core Lokt TIpped 180 grain yesterday evening and measured base to ogive and gathered reading from 2.04x" to 2.09x" variance and they also measured .100"+ less than the Norma. Truly amazing to me coming from the automotive industry and witnessing all the inconsistencies in this factory ammunition.
     

    Hobo Hilton

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    Went through 60 rounds of Remington Core Lokt TIpped 180 grain yesterday evening and measured base to ogive and gathered reading from 2.04x" to 2.09x" variance and they also measured .100"+ less than the Norma. Truly amazing to me coming from the automotive industry and witnessing all the inconsistencies in this factory ammunition.
    How does it shoot ?