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difference between SHTF ammo and hunting ammo?

This is a discussion on difference between SHTF ammo and hunting ammo? within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; i would like to start buying ammo and would like to know what ammo is match grade out to 800 meters and what ammo is ...


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Old October 3rd, 2011, 08:02 PM   #1
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difference between SHTF ammo and hunting ammo?

i would like to start buying ammo and would like to know what ammo is match grade out to 800 meters and what ammo is good for hunting? i have a nice listing of stock pile ammo for range use from a forum member that has been very helpful. i would like a little clarification on the match grade and hunting ammo. thanks

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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:10 PM   #2
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That's a big question but here's a starter answer (I assume we're talking .308). In my experience, ball ammo (FMJ) isn't nearly as accurate at a distance as 'match' bullets like the Sierra MatchKings. You can get cheap versions of the SMKs like those available from Wideners, but you get what you pay for. Consistency is a huge factor in accurate ammo and cheaper bullets just can't match the Sierras. Of course, Berger and Lapua also make 'match grade' bullets that cost even more than the Sierras. There are others (Barnes, etc) but I have no personal experience with them.

That's not to say that FMJ or other cheaper bullets have no use in SHTF stockpiles. Any ammo is better than none and at closer ranges they will work just fine. Just ask the military.

In terms of accuracy, the Sierra 168gr MKs are legendary, although the more expensive bullets are as good or better. But beyond around 600 yards the 168s begin to get unstable as they approach the sonic barrier. The 175gr SMKs are better for the longer distances because they hold their velocity longer. Again, the high dollar match bullets are also excellent. If you're shooting a bolt gun, the Berger VLDs are very hard to beat, but they don't work well in semi-autos because the best loads are typically too long to fit in a magazine. The new Berger 175 Tactical is an exception and is designed for mag-fed weapons.

In terms of hunting, we need to change gears a bit. The match bullets I'be been talking about are BTHPs, but the 'hollow point' designation doesn't mean what it does in most other situations. These bullets do not expand consistently and are not designed for that purpose. More than likely they will punch right through a game animal with little or no expansion. Sierra makes GameKing bullets that are soft points and those bullets are designed for hunting. Berger makes VLD bullets that are excellent on big game, but you have to make sure you use the VLD Hunting instead of the VLD Match - the difference is in the jacket thickness.

Are hunting bullets as accurate as match bullets? Usually so in my experience. There are some arguments against using them for pure accuracy (match) purposes - the soft points can shed pieces on a feed ramp and possibly jam up the works in some guns (M14), the soft points can flatten up against the front wall of a magazine due to recoil and lose some of their BC, etc. That's a case by case deal in my book. Or you can go to the ballistic tip bullets that were originally designed to counter these arguments. I don't use those much so I'll leave that to those who do.

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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:16 PM   #3
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To me, Both are one in the same. I use Hornady 150 gr SSTs. Bonded and give good terminal performance and accurate out to 200 meters.

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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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Get some HSM ammo loaded with 168 Hunting VLDs for dual purpose application. The current hunting VLDs are the same VLDs produced years ago, thinner jackets than current VLDs. VLDs tend to shoot in the lands, but they shoot equally well jumping, but a lot of jumps like .040, .080 or even .120. My best hunting load for my M1As is using the old M118 ammo with the 173s pulled and replaced by 175 Berger VLDs loaded at mag length. The combo shoots as good as my best match ammo, I don't shoot it in competition because I do not have enough of the M118s to last me a barrel.

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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:50 PM   #5
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Well, i handload my own hunting ammo meant for all three of 7.62X51 rifles(My M1A, My M1 Garand rebarreled to .308 and my TC Precision Hunter.

I utilize the Sierra SPBT 165Gr. bullets, which will stop anything edible in the woods of Pennsylvania i'll encounter.

For crowd pleasers(Read "human threat elimination software") i have a stockpile of M-80 "LC" 150Gr. Ball, factory loaded when you could get it relatively reasonable priced in loose packed bulk a few years ago.(FMJ will stop a human as we are not as hard to kill as an animal).

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Old October 4th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #6
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as of right now for my range ammo im leaning towards 168 gr. PPU Match at $14 per 20rds. for less than 600 meter shots

for my beyond 600 meter shots ill look into the sierra matchking rounds at $20-$25 per 20rds. for this i just want to be able to hit within a 10 inch pie plate at 800 meters.

im basically doing what every gun guy here does and has a wish list of guns, ammo, etc. and am putting it together over time.....

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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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I have both surplus and reloads in fmj bullets.

A good rifle/load will give you ammo plenty accurate enough (if you've learned to shoot your rifle) to kill deer sized animals at reasonable hunting distances.

For SHTF I could never see myself shooting as far as I might shoot at a deer. If they don't see me/bother me they can keep on walking by. I'm not engaging anyone/anything at 300 yds or more (most likely at 200 yds. or more). Shooting at someone you don't know who isn't bothering you anyway is not self defense and its stupid as it just lets everyone know where you are.

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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:23 AM   #8
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i suppose your right. when i think about it when would i ever engage an enemy target out to 800 meters? probably never even in a SHTF situation. i still have a lot to learn. i guess i wont worry about the better match grade ammo and just focus on the PPU match?


Last edited by Landon7; October 4th, 2011 at 03:43 AM.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearjammer View Post
Well, i handload my own hunting ammo meant for all three of 7.62X51 rifles(My M1A, My M1 Garand rebarreled to .308 and my TC Precision Hunter.

I utilize the Sierra SPBT 165Gr. bullets, which will stop anything edible in the woods of Pennsylvania i'll encounter.

For crowd pleasers(Read "human threat elimination software") i have a stockpile of M-80 "LC" 150Gr. Ball, factory loaded when you could get it relatively reasonable priced in loose packed bulk a few years ago.(FMJ will stop a human as we are not as hard to kill as an animal).
+1 on the Sierra 165gr. Game King. Performs equal to 168gr. SMK at respectable hunting ranges in my 7.62mm Tanker. Also factory hunting ammo will most likely have higher velocity and pressures. Equaling more down range energy.

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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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Non-expanding FMJ isn't really effective , or humane on game. Ya risk only wounding and a long track.
There was some Hirtenberger ammo going around a few years ago , same 20rd box as the ball , but with a red label that said 7.62x51 NATO , but was loaded with 150gr pointed soft points.

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Old October 4th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landon7 View Post
i would like to start buying ammo and would like to know what ammo is match grade out to 800 meters and what ammo is good for hunting? i have a nice listing of stock pile ammo for range use from a forum member that has been very helpful. i would like a little clarification on the match grade and hunting ammo. thanks

In a SHTF situation, FMJ for penetrating hard targets or personnel in the open. Ballsitic tip type bullets such as the Horn SSTs for hunting or for personnel in the open. I definetly wouldn't hunt w/fmj because of its lack of expansion. dozier

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Old October 4th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #12
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If the SHTF , we are not compeled to use ball or non-expanding ammo.

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Old October 4th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by M14E2 View Post
If the SHTF , we are not compeled to use ball or non-expanding ammo.

That is true, but if the BG was behind a cinderblock wall, or behind a vehicle, the FMj has better penetrating qualities to take out the threat. dozier


Last edited by dozier; October 6th, 2011 at 11:20 AM.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #14
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The only perk to FMJ over a hunting bullet is price, really...you can have more of it for less.

I'd be happy with the Hornady SST as some of the others mentioned. Its the same price as their match bullets, and honestly I feel its a better bullet.

Unlike the SMK's, a Hornady A-Max expands very violently. Its a thin skinned bullet with a polymer tip and it acts rather like a Nosler Ballistic Tip, if anything possibly more fragile.

The SST gives a decent mushroom, retains a lot of weight, and I feel would better get through things to what you want to hit than any match bullet...something I think we all like about our 30 caliber rifles :)

They certainly don't shoot any worse than match ammo for what I can see from a battle rifle to 300 meters. Maybe precision handloads for a bolt gun will give you different mileage, but me with an iron sighted M14 and moderate ranges will never be able to tell the difference. Seat to the cannelure and don't worry about it :)

On the topic of game and FMJ, I have to second or third what the fellows are saying about shooting things with ball ammo. I had guided a hunt where my hunter had shot a smallish buck whitetail at very close range with a 300 Winchester Magnum using a bonded bullet that did not expand. Too small of a target at too high a speed.

I was completely unimpressed. So was the deer. He showed absolutely no reaction and then ran like a bat outta hades. Found him, but the track was not a nice way to spend an afternoon.

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Old October 4th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #15
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I would test the following Factory ammo, Federal 168 Match, Federal 175gr Match, Federal 150gr Ballistic Tips,Federal 150gr Tripple Shock, and Winchester 168gr Ballistic Silvertips.

You just do know know what will shoot best in yhour gun.
I have tested the 168 Federal Match ammo on game, wild pigs and coyotes, and whild it killed them I will not hunt with them now. They are just not designed for hunting. Even Sierra will tell you this.

The other 3 loads have proven very accurate in my M1-A and other rifles. I have killed a lot of game with them.

You may find that they are accurate enough for you needs to 800 yards.

If so then you may just onlyhave to buy one kind of ammo for your hunting and long range field use.

Then I would also stockpile some good 147gr Military type ammo, as it will be a fair amount cheaper that the match or Hunting ammo.

Thanks from Greenhorn
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