Who Make the Most Accurate Rifle Bullets?


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Welding Rod
April 22, 2011, 09:53 PM
As the title says, Who Make the Most Accurate Rifle Bullets?

I have started loading for many different cartridges, from .223 to .416, and don't have time to do a lot of load development experimentation for each.

Purpose is primarly paper targets and plinking small things at good distances, usually within 300 yards. Cost isn't a huge issue.

Is there a main line manufacturer who stands out as making all their bullets to a very high level of constistancy, above what the other common manufacturers produce?

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Lunie
April 22, 2011, 10:55 PM
I'm sure I won't be the only one to toss out the name "Sierra"...

They aren't the only ones out there, but they make some dandy stuff.

depoloni
April 22, 2011, 11:06 PM
Yep, sierra guy here too.

Not that I won't rain on your parade. Nosler bullets are very accurate generally, at least their ballistic tip and custom competitions. As are Berger target bullets. As are a LOT of others - all of which depends entirely on what your firearm prefers as an individual. Which flies in the face of your load development distastes but is nonetheless true.

Those three manufacturers are three that produce extremely accurate bullets, if it doesn't like any of them it doesn't shoot. Although I've got to admit, this is an endless-argument and circular question. ALL of the major manufacturers thanks to modern machining and technology make at least one or two lines of bullets capable of MOA accuracy out to 300 yards and well beyond.

Frankly if you don't care I'd pick a Sierra GameKing as-appropriate and call it a day. Or a Nosler Ballistic tip after that. If not their target counterparts, should reliable expansion provide you no benefits.

res45
April 22, 2011, 11:11 PM
Sierra,Nosler,Hornady have always worked fine for me. If you want to step up Berger and Lapua are some of the best bullet made but for anything 300 yds. or less any good match grade bullet should do. Just depends on your accuracy requirements.

murf
April 22, 2011, 11:25 PM
+1 for sierra

murf

adobewalls
April 23, 2011, 12:23 AM
For hunting: Sierra and Nosler.

I have found other manufacturers that have accurate products, but whenI want to be sure; I use either Sierra or Nosler.

wingman
April 23, 2011, 12:24 AM
Berger, Sierra, Hornady Vmax, in that order, all three work for me.

Liberty1776
April 23, 2011, 12:37 AM
I have reloaded since the early '70's and long ago settled for Sierra as my best choice. I have always gotten great results with them.

ArchAngelCD
April 23, 2011, 12:38 AM
I've found Sierra and Hornady "Match" bullets to be very accurate. Nosler has always made a good accurate bullet too. I buy all three when the price is right and don't worry about any of the 3 being inaccurate.

ranger335v
April 23, 2011, 12:52 AM
"don't have time to do a lot of load development experimentation for each."

Well, there you have it ... in only 9 posts. :)

Sediment
April 23, 2011, 12:56 AM
Barnes and Sierra for me.

gamestalker
April 23, 2011, 01:03 AM
I'm going to get a lot of grief from this statement, but my first choice is Speer for weight and olgive consistency. Unless stepping up to the $60 to $80 per 100 box match bullets, Speer is the only brand that meets my needs. I run my bullets as close to the lands as I can get, and Speer Hot Core is extremely consistent where it counts for me. If olgive consisteny wasn't so critical to me, I would probably go with Sierra.

BigN
April 23, 2011, 06:20 AM
Nosler Ballistic tips and Hornady A/V-Max are both tough to beat. In hollow points I'd lean toward the Sierra for accuracy.

jcwit
April 23, 2011, 07:23 AM
Who Make the Most Accurate Rifle Bullets?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As the title says, Who Make the Most Accurate Rifle Bullets?

I have started loading for many different cartridges, from .223 to .416, and don't have time to do a lot of load development experimentation for each.

Purpose is primarly paper targets and plinking small things at good distances, usually within 300 yards. Cost isn't a huge issue.

Is there a main line manufacturer who stands out as making all their bullets to a very high level of constistancy, above what the other common manufacturers produce?


What is your definition of "accurate"?

Grumulkin
April 23, 2011, 07:28 AM
I have quite an assortment of bullets that I use in a variety of cartridges. My "go to" bullets include those made by Remington, Berger, Speer, Hornady and Barnes. Even if a bullet is good, it won't necessarily be the one a particular gun shoots best with.

As far as consistency goes, I doubt you'll do any better than the machine turned Barnes Banded Solid.

mc223
April 23, 2011, 07:41 AM
Mostly Berger, with a spattering of all the major mfrs. I have also used a few of the custum bullet makers like Barts, BiB, Bruno, Fowler.




o

bluetopper
April 23, 2011, 10:46 AM
What a question!

See which bullet and powder "your" particular rifle likes the best.

Bullets are all accurate in the right applications.

jem375
April 23, 2011, 11:11 AM
For me it is Hornady, I don't think it can be beat in 223 or 308 in my rifles or pistols... V-Max, A-Max, and even their BTHP are just accurate in my rifles.. I also use some Sierra but will stick to Hornady for serious work..

mokin
April 23, 2011, 11:25 AM
Upon reflection, I would have to say Sierra if I am just wanting to punch holes in paper. I seem to get much higher velocities without giving up a lot of accuracy with other brands. It really depends on the firearm. Some prefer Hornady and one pistol shot the best I've ever seen it with Berry's.

amlevin
April 23, 2011, 11:33 AM
I asked that question when I first started loading for my .308. The "old coot" behind the counter really pushed the Sierra's so I bought a few boxes. Worked up what I thought was a great load but when I needed more the Dealer was out of what I wanted in the Sierra's. I "settled" for some Nosler Custom Competition bullets in the same weight. Using the same powder load and cases the group sizes shrunk by 25%.

Found that the Nosler Ballistic Tips are also extremely accurate. I shoot out to 300 yards and have become a real fan of Nosler bullets.

They are less expensive too.

supercalvin56
April 23, 2011, 11:57 AM
Boutique bullets are consistently the most accurate and really do make a difference when talking about benchrest size groups. However, changing lots with any bullet will create differences. Hornady, Speer, Sierra and Nosler all make excellent and accurate bullets. As always, the ONE that works the best in YOUR rifle is the most accurate.

ranger335v
April 23, 2011, 12:16 PM
"Hornady, Speer, Sierra and Nosler all make excellent and accurate bullets. As always, the ONE that works the best in YOUR rifle is the most accurate."

And them are the conditions that prevail. There is no better answer of who makes the better shooting bullet; if that were not true we would all use the same brand.

Welding Rod
April 23, 2011, 02:45 PM
Thank you very much for the replies.

I know that the absolute best shooting bullet will depend on the gun.

I don't have to have the absolute best shooting bullet for each gun, I just don't have time to do that much testing. But I would like to work with a bullet line that I can count on to consistantly shoot very well in various rifle calibers (.224, .257, .277, .284, .308, .375, .416, and .458). I wouldn't want to buy a bullet that wasn't capable of my desired accuracy level out of a good high quality barrel for example.

I would be content to achieve sub 3/4 MOA for the heavy barrel .223s, and I would be pretty thrilled with sub MOA for the larger calibers. Although obviously I would be even happier if I could get down to say 1/2 and 3/4 MOA respectively with at least a few of the more accurate guns.

I figured some main line manufacturers must hold tighter tolerances on dimensions, weight variability, concentricity, and so on.

Sounds like Sierra should be a good bet.

I have another question: I seem to remember reading somewhere that flat based bullets tend to be more accurate than boat tails, as it is possible to build them with a higher level of consistancy. Is this true?

Since my shooting doens't normally excede 300 yards I don't suppose a super high BC is as important as it would be for long range shooters. Again, I am looking for accuracy and not shooting game. So should I be looking primarly at flat based bullets to maximize accuracy potential at these shorter ranges? Or would the generally heavier boattails be the way to go?

Thanks again.

Grumulkin
April 23, 2011, 02:50 PM
http://www.orchardphoto.com/h5uz242.jpgFlat based bullets should work as well as boat tailed ones out to 300 yards. Since they're shorter than boat tailed bullets of the same weight, flat based bullets will stabilized in a slower twist barrel.

http://www.orchardphoto.com/h29zo107.jpg

http://www.orchardphoto.com/h29zo99.jpg

http://www.orchardphoto.com/h29zo102.jpg

788Ham
April 23, 2011, 02:58 PM
W/rod,

As you've seen by the replies on here, most well made bullets will get the job done. I've personally used Hornady's in my 35 years of reloading. As per your question concerning flat based bullets being more accurate than boat-tail, again, my personal experience has me choosing b/t over the flat based. Example: I use Horn. 52 gr. BTHP for my .223, a week ago shot .366 MOA @ 100 yds, YMMV, but this is why I choose these bullets, give them a try, also good out after P-dogs!

_N4Z_
April 23, 2011, 06:06 PM
Sierra and Honady for me. Really been wanting to try the Lapua D166 200gr., but they are so expensive..

jcwit
April 23, 2011, 06:39 PM
I asked that question when I first started loading for my .308. The "old coot" behind the counter really pushed the Sierra's so I bought a few boxes. Worked up what I thought was a great load but when I needed more the Dealer was out of what I wanted in the Sierra's. I "settled" for some Nosler Custom Competition bullets in the same weight. Using the same powder load and cases the group sizes shrunk by 25%.



If my "group" shrunk by 25% it would no longer be a "group". it'd be called a "hole". In fact alot are just holes if I do my part and the Wind Gods smile on me.

Regarding flat base versus boat tail, my one rifle likes flat base much better than boat tail, but some of the others are different. Just depends on the rifle.

918v
April 23, 2011, 06:59 PM
As the title says, Who Make the Most Accurate Rifle Bullets?



Johnson Precision Bullets

When you load them you will find the OAL will vary by only +/-.001". These bullets are as close to perfect as you can get. They are identical to one another because they are made on one die. Praise be to Johnson for he makes the best bullets.

Actually, any of the benchrest stuff is accurate. The key is having the bullets be identical to one another.

brickeyee
April 23, 2011, 07:30 PM
Berger and the other BR bullet makers.

The large commercial companies cannot even come close to them.

There was an article by a BR bullet maker trying to speed up production.

They could only go so fast since the lead would not flow uniformly in the shaping dies and the bullets would not be sized and shaped correctly after ejection from the forming die.
.

LightningMan
April 23, 2011, 11:28 PM
My thoughts only, as I'm not much of a rifle shooter, not for long range accuracy anyway. IMO I would think bullets turned on a lathe like Barnes banded solids would give the best general accuracy through most any high-power rifle in any given caliber. That doesn't mean another bullet might not be more accurate for a specific rifle but that same bullet may not be as good in another rifle. I have no data to support this, other than I work in a machine shop using a lathe and know how tight tolerance's can be held while machining metals. LM

bbuddtec
April 24, 2011, 02:47 AM
I believe more investigation will reveal Sierra as a "go-to" match Master.

But that is strictly competition, as far as training goes, K.I.S.S. and use one product.
Keep in mind that even lots of the same may vary.

The Bushmaster
April 24, 2011, 08:48 PM
Now THERE's a real good question. Humph!! That's like asking "Who makes the most accurate rifle for those most accurate bullets". Answer? Guess there is no answer. You'll just have to experiment until you find what works best for you...

wanderinwalker
April 24, 2011, 09:45 PM
My thoughts only, as I'm not much of a rifle shooter, not for long range accuracy anyway. IMO I would think bullets turned on a lathe like Barnes banded solids would give the best general accuracy through most any high-power rifle in any given caliber. That doesn't mean another bullet might not be more accurate for a specific rifle but that same bullet may not be as good in another rifle. I have no data to support this, other than I work in a machine shop using a lathe and know how tight tolerance's can be held while machining metals. LM

But I know of nobody in the long-range rifle game who shoots machine-turned bullets. I imagine the costs would be absolutely outrageous to make more than a few dozen.

To the OP, the answer to your question is "Sierra," with a caveat: I don't actually shoot many Sierras anymore, maybe a few dozen through my .30-30 in the course of a year.

Many Highpower seasons ago I switched from Sierras to Nosler match bullets in my .223. They worked fine and and so much less expensive I've just stuck with them. And in pistol shooting I've decided the first thing to try to establish a pistol's accuracy is to load up some Hornady XTPs.

More to point, don't depend on one manufacturer for ALL of your needs. It's not necessary (unless you plan on buying enough you can get a drop-shipment on a pallet from the factory! :D ). It's more useful to ask for something for a specific cartridge/caliber/usage than anything else. I can give you half-a-dozen different .223 loads that should shoot, using different powders, bullets, primers and cases, depending on what you want. But I can also tell you if you are looking for an accurate bullet to shoot out of a .357 Magnum, go to the Hornady 140gr XTP.

Sooner1911
April 24, 2011, 10:55 PM
I would have to go with Sierras, particularly the MKs. I have used them in both of my target rifles 6PPC (70 grain) and .308 (168 grain) with amazing results. I think you can spend more money without appreciable differences, but at the end of the day, experimentation is likely going to be necessary to find the load and the bullet that will work in your rifles.

Ala Dan
April 24, 2011, 11:11 PM
Gott's to go with Hornady, Sierra, Speer, Nosler, and Berger; in NO particular order~!
I probably have used more Hornadys, Sierras, and Speers than anything else~? :scrutiny: ;) :D

Woolecox
August 5, 2011, 02:02 AM
Berger for hunting.

LTR shooter
August 5, 2011, 04:40 AM
Sierra and Berger have been the most accurate for me.

brickeyee
August 5, 2011, 06:07 PM
But I know of nobody in the long-range rifle game who shoots machine-turned bullets. I imagine the costs would be absolutely outrageous to make more than a few dozen.

Plenty of the solid copper bullets are machine turned.

A screw machine setup just spits them out.

All you have to do is keep feeding stock and empty the bucket.

mythree
August 5, 2011, 06:59 PM
Sierra - Berger


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- Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

SlamFire1
August 5, 2011, 09:29 PM
Today's match bullets are better than they have ever been.

The most consistent target bullet brand is Sierra. If you can’t win the National Highpower Championships with Sierra bullets, it won’t be because of the bullets. Lot to lot they shoot the same.

I have purchased Sierra bullets from estate sales, these are 40 year old 168's in 308. They shoot as well as the new ones. That is consistency.

I have had outstanding luck with Nosler target bullets, modern Hornady’s shoot fine.

My buds, some of whom are National Champs in their discipline, Bergers are popular. For the ballistic coefficient mostly.

At some point you have to shoot benchrest to get rid of the human element. Bench resters see things I don’t with my hand held rifles.

FROGO207
August 6, 2011, 09:33 PM
My answer is "They all are.". You will have to try the ones that others like here and see what YOUR firearm works the best with and that will cost some time and money if you do it well. If you settle for "good enough" then any of the major brands will be OK. I have had the best luck in some revolvers with the cheapest kind of lead bullets and the most expensive would not group at all. A different revolver and the opposite results were obtained. I wish you a fun, fast, journey to accuracy.:D

Lenny_D
August 6, 2011, 10:51 PM
There are just too many variables to answer your question. I find working up a good load extremely satisfying and love to sit at a bench pulling the trigger. Every bullet mentioned is capable of your sub moa requirement. I've just got to comment on the photos that Grumulkin posted of his loads. AMAZING! What I'm impressed buy most are the calibers. That is some fine shooting!

gamestalker
August 7, 2011, 02:53 AM
I had to rethunk my answer some. I stated Speer but in truth accuracy has pretty much been consistent with most of the top names, Sierra, Hornady, Barnes, and so on. My initial answer really didn't target the question and centered more about the olgive consistency. In most cases the bullets, powder, primers, brass, and rifle will shoot straighter than I can consistently.
The other day I shot 3 groups with Hornady 120 gr. V-max 7mm rem. mag. and got three 10 shot groups that were each one ragged hole in the paper of about 1/2". But the loading method's I've always used that seem to me to help tighten my groups is, seating up as close as possible to the lands, using slow burning powders, and necking my brass that was run through the rifle I'm loading for. In this respect I tend to get near identical groups with just about any bullet weight or make. So to sum up my thoughts on accurate bullets, I would have to say it's more about powder, seating depth, and sizing methods, than the bullet manufacturer. I'm also very particular about my brass being the same lengths too.

Flatbush Harry
August 7, 2011, 01:14 PM
For match bullets, I've had my best success with Sierra MatchKings in 69 gr .224, 100 gr .257 and 168gr and 175gr .308 in both my .30-06s and my .308s. I've also gotten fine results with Nosler Custom Competition and Hornady A-MAXs, but I mostly use Sierra.

Hunting is a different issue and I've had excellent results with Barnes TTSX and Nosler Partitions. I use 90gr and 100gr .257 Sierra GameKings to good effect in my .25-06.

IMHO, the best bullet is the one that shoots best in your rifle. My Rem 700 SPS SS in .308 seems to love 168gr A-MAXs and TTSXs, my Win 70 in .30-06 prefers Nosler Custom Competitions and Nosler Partitions and my Savage 116 in .30-06 seems to prefer SMKs and Barnes TTSXs. All are sub-MOA shooters with their preferred bullets (and all will do .35-45" at 100yds with my match loads which differ from rifle to rifle).

YMMV,

FH

Clark
August 7, 2011, 04:22 PM
A pet peeve of mine is internet talk about accuracy rituals that are inappropriate.

Some guy is shooting a 6" group with his uncle's 30-06 and asks how to make it more accurate.

Shooting Clinch River bullets, weighing the brass, turning the necks, true the action face, chase the action threads, blue print the action, true the bolt face, speed up the lock time, get a 1 ounce trigger, de burr the flash holes, weigh each powder charge, try different powders, lap the scope rings, recrown the muzzle, and glass bed the action.

All of that might have been good advise for someone trying to set a world record 0.05" group, but very poor advise for someone trying to improve a 6" group.

The problem should be stated, here is what I am getting, here is what I am doing, here is were I want to get to.

If you are getting 2" groups with a .223 and 55 gr FMJ bulk bullets, and you want 1" groups, switching to 40 gr Vmax alone may get you there... but likely it will take some other stuff too, like only shooting when there is no wind.

12BVSS
December 1, 2011, 04:45 PM
I see many posts recommend the Sierra bullets and I have to agree but I have been told and I see some posts mention it as well; that flat bullets perform better than boat tails from 100-300 yds (.223). Having said that, ALL of Sierra Match King bullets are HPBT's. Why don't they make just HP's?

Jim Watson
December 1, 2011, 04:51 PM
They do. But they call them Varminters.

12BVSS
December 1, 2011, 04:55 PM
Thanks Jim, but aren't Match King's made for target shooting?

Nick93
December 1, 2011, 05:23 PM
yep sierra match kings are target bullets ... GREAT target bullets

12BVSS
December 1, 2011, 05:39 PM
Hey Nick, why are all the Match Kings only boat tails?

Otto
December 1, 2011, 05:43 PM
Berger VLD

kludge
December 1, 2011, 05:47 PM
Sierra and Hornady for me. It used to be the price. Now I keep buying them because they shoot.

By all accounts Noslers shoot just as well. I just can't afford to pay twice as much.

howlnmad
December 1, 2011, 06:25 PM
ME. A good supply of lead, a good heat source, a quality moulde, gas checks, sizer and lube. If no time to make my own, I rely on Nosler BT. Rem Core-Lokt are my back-up back-ups.

jack44
December 1, 2011, 07:31 PM
hornady SST 165 for my 308

wingman
December 1, 2011, 07:56 PM
Sierra or Berger, in 223 the most consistent has been the sierra 52gr match king, if I can't get under .750 with that bullet it wont happen.

soloban
December 1, 2011, 09:36 PM
Sierra or Lapua in my .30 Caliber guns (M1 Garand and K31)

10-96
December 2, 2011, 03:55 AM
If you ever run across Winchester-Western Match bullets- those seem to be pretty consistent. I had some 30 cal 168gr and 173gr till I used them up a few years ago. Haven't seen them around in a while so you might have to look for them.

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