Highpower Rifle Ammo Selection question


January 21, 2003, 05:11 PM
From what I've been finding out most Highpower rifle matches in Massachusetts are shot on reduce courses with the exception of one or two which have a 600 yard range.

I don't reload yet so I'm looking to find a good source of ammo without breaking the bank. For 200-300 yrd shots is 62 or 63 gr ammo sufficiently accurate for this range. I'm figuring for matches at the 600 yrd range I will need a heavier gr but am not sure what I should be looking for. I'm thinking 75 gr or higher. THAT will break the bank if I shoot it often enough.

I know, I'll need to start reloading pretty quick at those prices, but I figure one step at a time. The one thing I did see over and over again is to stay away from the 55 gr for this type of shooting.

Let me know what you think.


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January 21, 2003, 05:22 PM
a good overall round to use out to 300 yds is the 69 gr sierra BTHP. when you get to 500 or 600 yds, you'll need a 77 or 80 gr bullet.

Jon Coppenbarger
January 21, 2003, 07:47 PM
I know you have been trying to get together the items to shoot highpower for a little while.
its hard to get everything else and then try to keep the ammo prices down, tough to do when you are shooting 50 to 80 shot matches. even using stuff like win. q3131 white box gets expensive.
not sure what upper you have but know the lower you have and its a great one.
I am going to guess a 1-8 or 1-7 something twist.
it will shoot light weight bullets fine but likes the 68 to 80 grain stuff depending on the range.

if you have a match chamber upper in .223 not 5.56 you really need to be carefull about shooting military ball threw it as its not really made for that.

man about the best ammo out there for matches is black hills remanifactured stuff. it will give you good results for your buck. but still is going to cost you around $15 to $18 for 50 rounds.

maybe steve has some good advice for you on this .
let me ask how many matches do you plan on shooting every month? because if you only plan on shooting 2 matches a month you are not talking about alot of money for ammo if you restrict your practice to alot of dryfireing. and when you do go to the range stay off the bench and shoot and work on things from the position. rapids you do not have to do 2 and 8 on everything but try 2 and 1's or a few 2 and 2's it great practice.

think about looking around for reloading items during your trips to the gun shows or flea markets are also good places to look, get there early and you might just get a steal on some good reloading items.

January 22, 2003, 07:54 AM
Thanks for the good information. Going with Steve's advice, I had John Holliger make me an upper. It has a 1-8 twist rate.

To be honest I'm not sure how many matches I'll hit at first. I'm attending a HighPower clinic here in Mass in the early part of April that has a 50 shot NRA classification match as part of the deal.
I definately want to get some trigger time in before the classification just to get a feel for the AR.

As I was looking at some online ammo sites I noticed that Ammoman.com had some Remington American Eagle 62 gr FMJ for sale. I was figuring it wasn't milsurp and might be decent to do some practicing with.

I was thinking (wrongly) that I didn't want to spend a whole lot on ammo as I am saving up to get a good spotting scope. The more I think about it the more I realize that stratagy is off base. Ammo probably is one of the "more" important parts.

Of course spending money on cheap milsurp shooters isn't helping me save either. Gunshows, I go in looking for something specific and I always end up leaving with something else. I guess you could call it a weakness.

Jon Coppenbarger
January 22, 2003, 08:35 AM
what I did when I got back into it in sept. of 2001 for ammo was to buy a case of 500 of the black hills 75 bthp remf. blue box stuff from tommy haskins at georgia precission. good guy to deal with, and alot of clubs you can buy the black hills from the cmp right from the factory.

this gave me some brass to work with also.

I then followed a plan to find the reloading items at a discount.
#1 bought the rockchucker like new at the flea market for $50

#2 bought me a nice set of dial calipers also at the flea market for $10

#3 found the scale rcbs 5-0-5 for $35 in like new shape at a gun show for $35

#4 from same guy for $40 bought the rcbs uni-flow powder thrower from the show

#5 bought a chamfer tool actually it was kinda free with a couple reloading blocks and a cae lube pad when I bought some shooting items and sold the other stuff and kept what I needed.

#6 bought a very good set of redding competition s- dies fl and redding competition seating dies. got them from midway at the dealers price and saved some bucks.

#7 went to wall mart and bought the rcbs hand primer and lube and was set to go.

so I had everything I needed including the dies I wanted for around $300 to get started using good reloads.

have since started upgrading on things like a power trimmer but the first year I got by the other way and got it as my budget allowed.

now I buy bulk rvo pre-processed brass by the case of 3,500 and do lot to it.
trim to uniform lenght
chamfer inside and out
deburr flash hole
uniform primer pocket
run threw die to set neck tension and set shoulder exactly the same where I want it on every load
hand seat every primer
weight every load
and measure the oal on the loaded ammo.

I get results this way but also had good results with black hills and my first reloads.

January 22, 2003, 09:31 AM
Thanks jc121.

I looked at Georgia Precision's web site and found the 75 gr Heavy Match HP remanufactured ammo. I'm not sure it's the same as the BTHP you were indicating but I'm thinking that this is what they are offering now. What is the difference between straight remanufactured and "Moly" they have listed?

$190 for 500 with "moly", $180 without. If I go the extra step and buy Sierra then I'm in the mid $200 range. That $300 investment on reloading equipment is looking better and better.

January 23, 2003, 10:21 AM
What is the problem with shooting military ammo in a match chambered rifle? Will I damage the rifle?

Steve Smith
January 23, 2003, 01:33 PM
You will simply waste a good barrel and possible learning experiences shooting sub-par ammo. Good barrels and strict disciplines deserve sub-MOA ammo.

FWIW, I miss talking to all you guys...I'll be back to normal soon...this trip is taking my valuable THR time away. Ack.

Jon Coppenbarger
January 23, 2003, 07:48 PM
steve can get you more info but the problem you encounter with the wylde chamber which is the one the rr uses on the wilson 1-8 twist and most of mr. holligers chambers unless its cut for the amu length for 90 jlk's.
now not being a standard nato chamber is not the big est problem as the wylde chamber is very forgiving for ammo that is made for either 5.56 or .223.
where you run into problems for the most part is the (throat) to most folks or leade as it is called and it is longer on a nato chamber and nato ammo is usually much hotter than most match ammo so what this causes is excessive pressure in his match rifle with gi ammo. he might never have a problem and I have fired about 100 rounds of ss109 threw one of mine while checking the rifle out with no ill effects.

plus as steve said why do you want to run bad ammo threw the match rifle as it is not really good for it plus you do not get the correct feed back from your progress in getting better.

also the only difference in the 75 and 68's is that moly is a coating on the bullet and you do not really need that as only a small % of the shooters use it but I know as many folks winning without moly as are winning with it. its something for you to decide on down the line if it will help you.

the 75 hornady round that you talked about is the same one that I talked about.

if you want some good advice written down on paper and not covered by most books on prone and off hand as it goes into every little detail of the position and what to do and how to know when you are doing it right email me or steve and I will send you a copy of what you should read and you will see what I mean.
good luck shooting, jon

Steve Smith
January 23, 2003, 09:58 PM
Finally got a little time on the computer. Sorry about that short and not-so-informative post, but Jon said what I wanted to say. Regarding throats, the Wylde is the longest .223 throat you'll be able to get in a factory gun, but when compared to a 5.56 throat it is short as Jon said. The throat is the part that degrades fastest and when eroded will negatively affect accuracy.

That Hornady remanufactured match ammo (75 grain) is supposed to be really good, and for tghe price, it is worth considering...in lieu of reloading for 200 yard matches. You will have to shoot some from a bench with a scope and see what it will do for you in your gun at 200 to really see, and then compare its price to that of reloading. I know a few state rifle teams use it for short range (up to 300 yards) match work.

Moly's supposed benefits are still debated, but pretty much everyone stopped discussing on the competition boards because they're tired of the argument. I am in the no-moly camp, only because moly is more expensive and takes more time. If the stuff worked as well as it is supposed to do it would be worth it in barrel savings. Obviously its worth is still questionable or there would be no argument.

Note, if you are really pushing some HIGH pressures and trying to get a bullet to go REALLY fast, then it will help you out. Something tells me you're not at that level yet. ;)

IMHO, a spotting scope is MORE important than good ammo, but only slightly. Even if you have 3 MOA ammo, but can't tell that you're 2 feet off the center of the target until the string is over and you walk to the target, you're screwed. You MUST be able to see your hits in order to adjust and save as many points as possible! This is paramount! Just ask Jon who has spent a season not seeing his hits and losing points all the while. (This would normally be seen as a slam on Jon, but since he and I are shootin' buddies, I know the problems he's faced with a sub-par scope. He's got that handled now.

One more thing...unless you face heavy wind, the 69 gr SMK should be perfectly fine at 200/300. The 77 is poplular with folks who shoot in windy places, but I have to tell you, in a stiff switching wind, the 77s are blown quite a bit at 300 as well!

Jon Coppenbarger
January 23, 2003, 11:05 PM
no slam here as you are right on the money with what I went threw, but some of my scores and the proper learning of positions have shown that as long as you know your positions are solid you still are going to be close.

a point about the scope as steve said. the month before I went into the last stage of the slow prone 20 shots and because of the scope could not tell the .223 holes at 200 yards but every once in awhile and when the light hit the target right and you could see a few of the holes you did not know which one's they where and only could see a few of them and the group was not where it was suppossed to be due to winds and just guessing the windage.
I went into the last stage 11 points ahead of the closest person to me and after a dismal 184 I lost the match to a great shooter on x's.
steve had a very nice 197 in those same conditions and he could tell you he could see alot more of what was happening.

now when I shot that 198 last week my first shot for record was a 9 just out at 6 o'clock as the sun had come out and I now needed to come up 1/2 moa but because I could see the holes now with my new scope I came up and only lost 1 more point because of a gust of wind caused a 9 out of the 10 ring by a eyelash. without the good scope it would of been most likely a high 180 day.

the colorado state rattle battle team uses and loads the same 75 hornady bullets and shoots them out to 600 yards quite nicely and it also gives you a round that fits in the mag.

I was and have been shooting 69 smk's at 200 all winter as I am working on a few loads and even in the wind that load rocks. it will be a killer come spring.

steve went down to that store on bucannan that does all the olympic stuff, big place and nice. had a few problems at the last match and wanted to take care of and fix a few things.
got me a new creedmore mat, its still a tri-fold but has the extended rubber double pad. now my elbow will not slip out and cost me points in my rapid prone anymore and with the extra length of the rubber I will not have to be so exact on my left elbow and right elbow placement , just drop, npa and bang.

also bought a great pair of side sheilds for my eye glasses and they are extremely nice and will help me keep my eyes from watering and drying out this year.

you guys are going to be in trouble this year as I also think I have a nice creedmore jacket coming my way in a few weeks. green cordura tapperd hard back with the leather sleeves.

I can see 495's and 790's by the reduced states at boulder. (I hope).
p.s. steve you know that tent I was talking about that I stayed in when hunting. I own it now and its in the house, yeah!!!

January 24, 2003, 07:39 AM
You guys are a wealth of knowledge! I appreciate all the feedback. I think i'll try the 69 gr first. It's only $20 cheaper, but that's $20 more towards the scope.

Well after the ammo and scope I'll be attending matches using an old piece of carpet, wearing a sweatshirt and a cut up old glove I use for shoveling snow. But then I figure I'll not be the only one set up that way. At least until I can scrap together a few more dollars. I'm starting to catch up with my wife's clothing and shoes expenditures. :D

Seriously though, thanks for all the help.


Jon Coppenbarger
January 24, 2003, 08:59 AM
troy after you get going we can get you a few places that have used jackets and mats and the such. its a great way to get your stuff untill you decide what exactly you like as there are a few choices. good luck and let me know how you are doing or if you need any help on anything. good luck and happy shooting jon

Steve Smith
January 24, 2003, 03:07 PM
One thing you may want to do is find an elbow pad (the somewhat flexible ones like volleyball players wear) and use it under your sling so you can get your sling good and tight without pain or pulse. You can't have it arranged where the sling is stopped by the pad, but the pad can provide padding. I know Jon does this and I might start.

Ditto on the used shooting coats. Keep in touch with us and we'll see what we can find, both on the net and at Neil Johnson's. You'll just have to tell us what size.

Jon, come on dude...tapered? You know your stomach is supposed to be at least 6" smaller than your chest for that one, right? No offense man, but I don't think the taperd is going to work. :) BTW, I'm very jealous of the tent, but at least its in the house!

Troy, one more thing. In RETROSPECT I wish I'd gotten leather sleeves instead of cordura on my new coat. I had an old 10X leather coat before this one, and it must have been 25 years old and had seen 15 or more shooters. Man that thing was supple. This cordura is not even close to being broken in after a hard half-season. Get leather sleeves when you buy a new one!!!

Jon Coppenbarger
January 24, 2003, 03:57 PM
troy I have a nice 10x cloth gi type shooting jacket in size 38 and it has the right pads on it and is in great shape if thats your size. it could be yours for a small fee or I might give it to the junior program.

hey steve its a used jacket but it fit nice and is like new for $200.
remember I get that gut in my 36 that I bought back when I was 30 pounds lighter.( and no I did not get taller).
I think I will go shoot your ar's later today as its really windy and dusty as I think it will help to lap your barrel and action in. thats ought to give me a little edge for a few weeks anyway.
oh yeah got your cav-arms working again it's amazing how epoxy works on those plastic frame guns. if you look at it from across the room its hard to see where the hole was cut in the side to pry the carrier out. ha! ha! ha!

Steve Smith
January 24, 2003, 04:03 PM
:uhoh: :what: :D

January 24, 2003, 07:55 PM
You guys must have a great time when your out shooting together. I got a few chuckles out just reading the email banter between you two.

Jon, thank you for the offer of the jacket and I WISH I could take you up on it. Unfortunately I can't remember the last time I would of been able to fit into that size. I'm a solid 42-44 long when it comes to jackets. If you see or hear of anyone selling one that size let me know.

Hell at this point, with all the good advice, direction and looking out for used stuff for me, I definately owe you both a drink or two. If we ever end up at the same match somewhere, I've got the first round after the shootings done for the day.

Decent size gun show tomorrow. Who knows, maybe I'll find some of the stuff I need there.

Thanks again,

Steve Smith
January 25, 2003, 08:47 PM
Troy, I'm with you on being a 44, but I'm the squatty type. Here's a little more coat advice. Being the short type, I don't like my "regular" length coat becuase its too long...well below my buttocks long, in fact. I could easily get by with a shorter coat. A shorter coat would be out of the way in sitting and the prones. You may want to think about a "regular" length rather than a "long" when the time comes. Try them both if you can, in both sitting and prone, with your "firing side" leg cocked up like you're shooting.

BTW, I'm back in Colorado (YAY!) and Jon is my roomate (housemate sounds better, doesn't it?) Living here is, well, all about shootin'. The visiting womenz figure out the gun thing pretty quick.

January 27, 2003, 09:18 AM
It's been a while since I've done any service rifle shooting. 69 gr Federal Gold Match is some pretty decent stuff, even on the 600 yard line if you do your job. Not what a High Master would use, but you can do at lot worse.

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