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Factory ammo accuracy

06 Mar 2019
@ 09:23 pm (GMT)

Nick Dawson

After bedding my 5r .308, I headed to the range and in 2 sessions (over two days) put down 40 odd rounds re zeroing and group testing. The set up was the standard approved Foster method over a day pack with rear rest and groups shot at 100yds. I was shooting a consistent .75 Moa with 165gb SST Superformance, and 168gn ELD-M Superformance Match ammo.

Am I smoking drugs expecting better accuracy from factory ammo? If so, I’m happy to practice more to improve technique, and if not, I’m happy that I’m getting the best performance from the setup as it stands. Reloading isn’t an option for me at the moment (long story....)

Replies

07 Mar 2019
@ 08:56 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Hi Nick, considering the demands on Hornady at Present and the resulting concentricity specs of the ammo, this is a very good result. If we add to this some level of field error in comparison to a sturdy bench and bags, it makes this an even greater achievement.

What you are talking about here is reality, away from the bench and what could or should happen, and away from the hype of how high the BC is for this load versus that and what its effective range could be under ideal conditions.

It may not seem like it, but you have done exceptionally well with this rifle, starting with a raw item and yourself with limited skills, bedding and refining the rifle, then working on yourself in field positions.

There is a big difference between a guy quoting velocities, ES, group centers and hits on gongs versus being able to simply lay down, place the rifle over a pack and hit and what you are aiming at when it really counts (the movie Sully springs to mind).

But to get that last 200 - 300 yards from your rifle in order to obtain the cleanest possible killing at the maximum ranges for which those bullets will expand, then yes, it would be good if you could work towards some reloading kit.

If you cannot afford the time space or funds to reload, then perhaps if you want to, you could for now save funds for a Sinclair concentricity gauge and simply batch your ammo. Ammo below 3 thou can be marked with a vivid marker pen on the primer for long range, over 3 thou for hunting at closer ranges. There is no need (unless you want to) to take measurements further than this if taking practical killing ranges for your loads into consideration versus the amount of ammo you will most likely have on hand to choose from. This may not shrink groups right down as the rifle may prefer a unique node. But it will help and this is the very best piece of kit one can purchase for reloading, before any other equipment.
07 Mar 2019
@ 01:39 pm (GMT)

Nick Dawson

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Thanks Nathan,

That’s great to know. I half expected that to be the case, I could see deviance in the groups due to technique but reached a point where the groups just wouldn’t shrink any smaller.

I used to reload, but got rid of all my gear during a ‘change of circumstances’. To get back into it may require a change in marital circumstances! (That’s the long story) Will see how it goes.... For now, a concentricity gauge will be the way ahead. I’ll see what info that can reveal.

Thanks again
11 Mar 2019
@ 04:21 pm (GMT)

Nevada Smith

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Which egocentricity gauge is recommended?
11 Mar 2019
@ 04:22 pm (GMT)

Nevada Smith

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Damn spell correction; I meant concentricity gauge
12 Mar 2019
@ 06:07 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
That was funny.
12 Mar 2019
@ 06:29 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
hi Nevada
this is the one Nathan is referring to https://www.sinclairintl.com/reloading-equipment/measuring-tools/concentricity-gauges/sinclair-concentricity-gauge-prod37479.aspx

i use a rcbs version as i picked it up second hand cheap.
few people i know like the 21 century ones http://www.xxicsi.com/concentricity-gauge.html

and some forum members have made their own.
either which way you go they are one of the handiest things to have
cheers
28 Mar 2019
@ 05:23 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Hi Nick

I use factory ammunition in .308.

After re-training my shooting techniques following Nathan's guide I'm better at the shot placement and have the following observation about cartridges in my .308.

Started with 165 Rem Scirocco then onto the Barnes Vor-tx 168. The Barnes halved the MOA grouping. Standing the two cartridges side by side showed the Barnes being a taller cartridge. The bullet is closer to the lands and I thought this is the reason for improved MOA BUT the Barnes bullet has an area around the bullet for reducing pressure and possibly this is the reason for improved MOA. I don't know. Now Barnes has replaced this bullet with the 300 Blackout and the specs recommend a 1 in 11 twist or faster. My barrel is 1 in 12. Manufacturers are always tweaking so at this point in time uncertain about the 300 Blackout.

Stay with me. As I'm staying with the .308 as my all round ungulate harvester the Hornady 178 ELD-X specs ( 1 in 12 twist rate) looked promising. Purchased 20 cartridges. At 100 yards the bullet placement was 3 inches high and 2 inches right from the 168. I am not pulling the rifle to the right. This is where the shots went. Although I was overwhelmed with the accuracy. Dialed it in to center and the bullet placement was either in the same spot or next to one another.

That was last autumn. Weather was less than -15C dropping to -33C for weeks during winter and now the thaw is on and the range is mud, snow and water. I have purchased another 20 178 ELD-X and will be out to test the accuracy in the near future.

After all this prose i will make a statement of possible fact.

The physical dimension of the 178 is once again a taller cartridge due to the bullet. SO possibly with the bullet being closer to the lands this contributes to the accuracy as well as the research Hornady invested to provide this cartridge.
02 Apr 2019
@ 07:32 pm (GMT)

Nick Dawson

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Hi Frank,

Thanks for the input. I am going to try more factory ammo, and perhaps the 178 Precision Hunter will be the first stop. A concentricity gauge is also on the wish list (as Nathan suggests) it will go some way to provide concrete evidence of what is or isn’t going on with manufactured ammo.

Unfortunately I’m on a wife induced hunting hiatus, so who knows when I’ll get to the bottom of it all. Barrel won’t wear out between now and then though I guess...
05 Apr 2019
@ 10:19 am (GMT)

Mike R

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
I ran some 155gr Hornady TAP through my new 308 on Monday ended up around 0.53 inch at 100 yards and shot a 1.4 inch group at 300 yards also shot another group at 2.2 inches but that had one shot caught by some wind which was gusting through at times. I believe this ammo is specifically designed for 20inch barrels
05 Apr 2019
@ 11:45 am (GMT)

Michael Rayner

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
[img]https://flic.kr/p/2ejRt7L
05 Apr 2019
@ 03:44 pm (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Outstanding Michael! Appears you have a rifle, technique and cartridge that facilitates ethical hunting. Are you hunting? Scope mounted on a rail or directly onto rifle dove tails?
05 Apr 2019
@ 10:34 pm (GMT)

Mike R

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
I will be hunting with it when I work out what scope I want. Rifle is a Howa varmint CT, rail is a EGW 20 moa scope currently is a Nikko Diamond long range 6-24.
I zeroed and “broke” the barrel in with a box of 178gr TMK ammo made by ADI accuracy was only adequate. Cleaned barrel switched to 155gr TAP first shot took out the bullseye second shot was a fraction higher third shot enlarged the first shot. Then dialed 4 Moa on the Nikko shot a group at 300yd
which appeared a little low, dial back to zero to check which was perfect so dialed up 4.2 moa for next group which was pretty much bang on then. Repeat zero to 300 once more.
10 Apr 2019
@ 12:42 am (GMT)

john black

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
nick....did you bed the recoil lug area only or all the way back to the rear tang? what kind of bedding material? i have used devcon and brownells for years and am really bummed i can't get nathans any longer. i have recently acquired a 5R rem 700 in 308 but haven't had a chance to do anything with it. we're in the process of moving from 2 acres to 250 acres and have set up a 300 yd range. in south texas. however, i honestly thing my trigger finger would fall off if i ever bought/fired a factory rd. but i'm expecting great things outta this rifle so any help/results you have are appreciated. oh, i did put on a timney 1.5 lb trigger.
13 Apr 2019
@ 07:35 pm (GMT)

Nick Dawson

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Hi John,

I used Nathan’s Matchgrade bedding compound, and did a full length bedding job on it. At the same time I put a timney trigger on it also. To be completely honest, the difference in group size from pre bedding to post bedding was somewhere in the region of- bugger all. I was hoping that the bedding would get me into the 1/2” groups that I was after, but as Nathan has alluded to it may not be possible with the factory ammo that I was using anyway. More investigation to be done there.
All of my group testing has been done in “feild” positions (prone over a daypack) so 3/4” is doing ok at this point I guess. I would love to reload for it but that’s a bit of a stretch for the marriage at the moment.

Enjoy your 5R, I love mine. It looks and feels like a proper dedicated long range machine. A bit of a beast to long long and high, but lovely ergonomics when shooting,
14 Apr 2019
@ 01:09 am (GMT)

john black

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
so you full length bedded it, including the bbl channel? just from my own perspective and having bedded my first in 1970, i have found that bedding from behind recoil lug to approx 1" fwd and leaving the bbl channel free floated and leaving lots of room between bbl and wood (yes wood stocks, thats all we had back in antiquity) gave the best results. and sometimes a bit under fore end. i think chasing that last bit of quarter inch would be a fun project but personally i would settle for 3/4" any day. thanks for reply and infor.
hopefully by the time i get around to fooling with this rifle nathans bedding will be available here too.
14 Apr 2019
@ 08:24 am (GMT)

Nick Dawson

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
John, a bit of a mix up with terminology. I bedded around 1.5” ahead of the recoil lug all the way back to the tang, leaving the barrel floated.

Given the proven track record of the 5R I believe that the last bit of accuracy to be found will be in the diet it is fed. If I get time I will try some other ammo, but other than that it will be a waiting game till my daughter is a bit older and I can get more time at the range
25 Apr 2019
@ 08:56 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
Was trying out different factory ammo yesterday at 100 yards, best place i can get to test if on the coast with wind gusts yesterday of 7-15KPH

Shooting here from right to left, it's on a slope with body and legs slightly uphill, have a bit more work to do, had front sandbags I made but it is with a slippy material.

25 Apr 2019
@ 09:02 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
highest shot is a fouler

25 Apr 2019
@ 09:02 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
25 Apr 2019
@ 09:03 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
25 Apr 2019
@ 09:04 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
25 Apr 2019
@ 09:13 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
25 Apr 2019
@ 09:14 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
I was a bit too distracted to shoot very well, was heading for a flight and a few more things.

So I'm happy the gun has more to give.
14 May 2019
@ 09:53 am (GMT)

john black

Re: Factory ammo accuracy
don't wanna hijack this thread, but since i have posted in it before i'll do so again. got to FINALLY take my rem 700 5r 20" bbl bottom metal 308 (i glass bedded the recoil lug with devcon) to the range today. using some of my run of the mill reloads i also shoot in an M1A ( 168 gr sierra HPBT over 42.5 REL15 in LC military cases). i say run of the mill as they weren't checked for concentricity etc. they WERE loaded on my forester co-ax. i messed around at 50 yds getting it on paper etc then at 100 yds decided to get serious when i discovered i had a half a box left, not a full one. so...first 2 were touching at 1" ? high and right so adjusted scope and put the next 8 into 1/2" in basically one ragged hole. YES i have pics but figuring out how to post em is.....hey! i'm old ok? i'm still figuring where the rotary dial is on my cell phone. if anyone cares i'll send em and maybe someone else under 50 can figure how to post pics. looking fwd to taking out some berger 175s next.
 

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