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Never have I seen...

This is a discussion on Never have I seen... within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; ...such a wide difference between quality projectiles. I've generally had very good results with Hornady projectiles. Given their price point, I've been very satisfied. However, ...


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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:23 PM   #1
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Never have I seen...

...such a wide difference between quality projectiles.

I've generally had very good results with Hornady projectiles. Given their price point, I've been very satisfied. However, last weekend I compared some ELD match 168 with some SMK 168. The results were actually shocking. The groups were shot on the same day with the same lot of once fired LC Match brass, same powder can, and same conditions at 200 yards.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Ran the test again with a 41.5gr IMR 4895 load and got nearly identical results.

Tried a 10 shot group with the bullets .020 off the lands and the results improved marginally. Hornady 168 HPBT bullets shot nearly as well as the SMK in the same rifle. My barrel is a 1:11 Wolfe SS medium wt.

Curious if anyone else has tried the ELDs?

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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:08 AM   #2
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Not that there aren't equally good bullets or perhaps even better ones on the market, but long time ago old experienced Long Range shooter told me that if the bullet you were using did not start with an "S"(as in Sierra) and your caliber not start with a "3" as in 308 you were wasting your time and money. He was definitely set in his ways, but I for one have always used Sierras in force of habit and good results. Local dedicated bench rest shooter does indeed like the Hornady bullets and have seen some of his groups @ 100yds. and impressive, but he is very, very, particular and precise in his reloads, some would say he would pick fly droppings out of his oatmeal.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 04:47 AM   #3
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Almost 40 years ago (yeah, everyone gets better in that amount of time - if they really want to) I put a lot of time/money into trying to get my M1A to shoot better. At that time I was limited to Speer, Hornady and Sierra bullets. Sierra gave me the best groups.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 05:50 AM   #4
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I'm not a big fan of Hornady, but I believe their ELD match bullets were intended for a higher velocity than what you are using.

Hornady factory ELD Match .308 loads have a muzzle velocity of 2700 to 2800. You are probably in the 2500-2600 range.

However, I would not recommend using their ELD Match ammo in an M1A, unless you use a ported gas plug. I would not recommend the Superformance under any condition.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtC View Post
I'm not a big fan of Hornady, but I believe their ELD match bullets were intended for a higher velocity than what you are using.

Hornady factory ELD Match .308 loads have a muzzle velocity of 2700 to 2800. You are probably in the 2500-2600 range.

However, I would not recommend using their ELD Match ammo in an M1A, unless you use a ported gas plug. I would not recommend the Superformance under any condition.

What KurtC Said ....

I shoot a lot of ELD bullets in 6.5 x 55 and they have poor performance at lower velocities.

You aren't pushing them fast enough. Everything is different about the ELD, and you have to throw your AMAX data out the door.

Also, you can't fairly compare the ELD and SMK unless you find the accuracy node for each and shoot them.

Now, you could run into the issue of your rifle doesn't like them because you can't push them fast enough, but they will hang with any other bullet out there. Don't blame the bullet if you haven't done your part.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #6
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I shoot a lot of 168grn Nosler CC's, but I had a box of 168grn SMK... so I loaded up 20 over an identical load... and they did shoot better, not by much, but I could see it on the target. And this from a Socom16, so bullets do make a difference. FWIW, I've never had much luck with Speer rifle bullets, for some reason.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 07:37 AM   #7
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I shoot a lot of 168grn Nosler CC's, but I had a box of 168grn SMK... so I loaded up 20 over an identical load... and they did shoot better, not by much, but I could see it on the target. And this from a Socom16, so bullets do make a difference. FWIW, I've never had much luck with Speer rifle bullets, for some reason.
I like Nosler CC also, and Midsouth has a 'Match Monster' brand that is Nosler Factory Seconds. I've never compared the two bullet's anatomy, but I can use the exact same loads with each and get identical results.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 08:20 AM   #8
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All you need is the green box Sierra's in any caliber.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:06 PM   #9
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A couple of guys have been to the range lately testing ELD loads out of their bolt guns. I've seen them shoot some pretty impressive groups after some not so good groupings during earlier testing. I don't recall powder/load/velocity specifics, but they may very well be hotter than gas gun loads.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 09:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtC View Post
I'm not a big fan of Hornady, but I believe their ELD match bullets were intended for a higher velocity than what you are using.

Hornady factory ELD Match .308 loads have a muzzle velocity of 2700 to 2800. You are probably in the 2500-2600 range.

However, I would not recommend using their ELD Match ammo in an M1A, unless you use a ported gas plug. I would not recommend the Superformance under any condition.
That makes a lot of sense, especially with the 1:11. I do use a ported plug. In this case I'm looking for a great 300yd load for the Perry M1A match, so I dont see much value in chasing the matter right now. The Sierra load will do its job if I do mine.

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Old May 10th, 2017, 05:34 AM   #11
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I had similar trouble from the H 168 z-max, when the 168 match did much better. Nutshell
Socom 16 with a 3x9 scope
168 z-max (hey, you never know...) 39.5 imr3031, lake city brass, Win LR primer - repeatably about 6 MOA
39.6 - 39.8 marginally better.
39.9 - 40.0 still marginally better
40.1 - maybe 3 MOA? itís been a while.
40.2 of 3031, under 2 MOA

I have not tried the newer eld in my M1A yet.

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Old May 10th, 2017, 07:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripcord View Post
All you need is the green box Sierra's in any caliber.
You sir, must have a snobby rifle..... I haven't owned one M1 or M1A that could tell the difference between the Sierra 168 from the Nosler 168 CC, yet.

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Old May 10th, 2017, 02:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McGrath View Post
You sir, must have a snobby rifle..... I haven't owned one M1 or M1A that could tell the difference between the Sierra 168 from the Nosler 168 CC, yet.
I'm with you, so far. Even my accurate rifles can't tell the difference between those two bullets, Same prep, load, & length check works for either bullet.

Hopefully my new-to-me Supermatch doesn't screw up this rare convenience.

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Old May 12th, 2017, 05:04 PM   #14
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I too have found accuracy to be not as good as expected. Now it's not bad by any means, but it is not as good as the SMK's.
I shot some SMK's one weekend and some ELD-M the next, just like you, the exact same load, powder, gun, and distance. I was getting a 5/8 in group with the SMK's, the ELD-M I am getting between 1 to 1.5 in groups.
I have had similar results with the same in 6.5 cal. I was shooting berger, and figured I would give some of the ELD-M a try, and have noticed larger groups.
I will try what was suggested above and bump up the speed a little and see how they do.

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