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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am new to the Forum and was hoping that someone could give me some advise.

Saturday I was at the range and shooting my Ruger M77, Tang Safety, 30-06. I was shooting some Remington Core-Lok 160gr bullets and at 100 yards was only getting 4" groups. I have been told in the past that the tang safety M77's were either accurate or not and it was the luck of the draw whether you got an accurate one or not.

So, as I was finishing up I decided to put some military ball ammo through it that I had. and that is when I became very confused....

I shot five rounds and four where at the bottom edge of the bullseye, touching, with one flyer.

My question is, can I use the military ball for hunting? Also, what would be a good load close to the military load that would take a good hunting bullet?

Thanks for everyone's help and I hope to become a regular visitor to the site.

Clem
 

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Before anything, clean your gun with a copper solvent and find a few different types of ammo. Use the military grade as your "baseline" to compare others to. The bullet length may be greatest factor in accuracy if the core-lok uses a shorter bullet length; find info from the mfgr.
Generally, hardball ammo is frowned upon for hunting more for overpenetration possibly harming another hunter than not killing game. Certainly hardball has taken more game than any other type of ammo.
 

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Ok, I have Sierra hollow point bullets that some-what mock the contour of the ball ammo. would it be reasonable then to try a reload that with that shell to the ball ammo's theoretical ballistics and load them to the ball ammo's overall length?

I was always taught that the ball ammo was loaded to quantity and not so much toward quality. So, when it shot so much better than brand manufactured ammo I was a little dumbfounded....
 

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What weight Sierra? I think that (possibly) the overall length of the bullet may be causing more/less stabilization by "engaging" it's self to the bore or by having more bearing surface. Sometimes the bullet will fly thru the bore without really starting to spin before the last inche or 2 of rifling, military ammo may not be the same quality as "sporting" ammo, but it is more consistant.

Pull a bullet from your surplus and check length compared to core-lok or Sierra, weigh and then shoot side by side; some rifles really do have ammo preferences and we just have to feed them what they like.
 

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If you don't handload, I would just pick several different factory hunting loads and try them out. You can never tell which will shoot best in any given rifle until you try it. If you do handload, you have a lot more options to confuse you.
 

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Some factory hunting ammo is hard to get good groups with. I've never had very good results with Ramington factory hunting ammo in any of my 30-06 rifles. Good reloaded mil-spec or factory ball ammo has always worked the best for me.

Unfortunately, many states ban ball ammo for hunting. Ball ammo is usually great stuff, but you need an expanding bullet for hunting in most cases. I try to keep my reloads at about 2800 feet per second. You didn't say whether or not you reload. If you don't, you'll have to try different brands of ammo to find whatever it is that your rifle likes.

For deer sized critters, I like 150 grain hunting bullets. For elk, I use 180 grain bullets. A good choice for both is the 165 grain soft point boattail. I try to stay with spitzer point boattail bullets in all cases. Those have always worked the best for me. I'm 'old school' and don't take shots past 200 yards, with nearly every deer or elk that I've taken at under 100 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First off, thanks to everyone for their replies and help.

I took what everyone said and did the following that I plan to try in a couple of weekends. I started reloading about a month ago and so far it has worked out really well. My father reloaded and left me most of his gear when he passed and was able to teach me a little over the years, but was far from knowing everything to keep in mind.

I found info online that on average military ball ammo was getting about 2810fps from rifles of similar barrel length. (+/- 2")

So, I went home and disassembled two of the ball bullets and took information.

............Min OAL........Bullet GN............Powder GN
#1........3.326"..........150.8 GN............48.7 GN
#2........3.329"..........151.3 GN............48.8 GN

I then cross-referenced this this against loading data from my Lee manual and Hodgodon's reloading info online and found the following loads to be the most similar.

Pdr.................Min.........Start..........Don't............Velocity
Type..............OAL.........GN.............Exceed..........FPS[/U]

IMR 4320.........3.2...........45.5 GN........51 GN.........2825
Varget............3.3............46 GN..........49.5 GN.......2860

The powder removed from the Ball cases was a longer cylindrical shape so I am going to look into which of the two types may fit that description, but right now I think I am going to try the Varget powder since its characteristics seem to be more similar than the other.

Again thanks for everyone's help and all the advise I can get would be greatly appreciated. I will let everyone know how It turns out.

Thanks ~ Clem
 

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Clem - Not knowing exactly what headstamp (year and maker) of your ball ammo, I'd toss in a guess that your ammo was loaded with IMR-4895 being that was what most '06 GI Ball ammo was loaded with.

IMR-4320 is a good powder, but slower burn rate than IMR-4895. Varget wasn't even a twinkle in the Chemist's eye when Government Arsenals used IMR-4895 in issued ammo. Your rifle (Ruger M77) is a great candidate for these other powders. If you were shooting a Garand I'd be preaching about powder types.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will find the head stamp and get some information if I can about the ammo, but thanks for the heads up. I will do a little more digging into the IMR-4895 and see if I can get my hands on some.

Here is another dumb question. I have seen instances where there will be say an IMR-4895 and maybe an H4895. Are these the same powder but different manufacturer or is there a difference that I should look out for?

Thanks ~ Clem
 

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Clem - those two powders (IMR-4895 and H-4895) are very close in burn rate, but not exactly the same. A good idea would be to pick up a current production reloading manual (Lyman is a good one) and stay within the charges they list for bullet wieghts.
 
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