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.308 bulk ammo for target shooting

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by mdbourin, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. mdbourin

    mdbourin New Member

    Is the bulk .308 ammo that is available suitable for target shooting at 300 plus yards? I am not talking about re-loads, I mean the military surplus ammo. What type of bullet should I look for when buying ammo for accurate, medium to long range shooting?
  2. Dave R

    Dave R Well-Known Member

    My Rem700 shoots about 2MOA with surplus, vs. sub-MOA with reloads, but that's plenty good for plinking. There are a number of threads rating the various flavors ofr .308 suplus out there. One constant: DO NOT SHOOT THE INDIAN SURPLUS. In fact, the rule of thumb that seems to work very well is "don't shoot surplus ammo from countries where you can't drink the water.

    My rifle likes Portugese (FNM) and South African. Australian gets good reviews, but I haven't shot any yet.
  3. shooten

    shooten Well-Known Member

    I bought some excellent Argentine surplus at the last gun show in San Diego. It's clean and as accurate as I can shoot. The Australian surplus that was around last year is pretty good too.
  4. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    M117LR is the current sniper ammo and can be found here and there (175gr Sierra HPBTM)
    M117 is the older flavor (173gr FMJBT) which can't hold a candle to anything with a modern hollowpoint match bullet. It's slightly better than M80 ball accuracy wise (maybe not depending on which mfgr and lot# you are talking about), but it will fly flatter and buck the wind better at 600yds and out.
    M852 isn't made anymore, but it's good stuff (168gr Sierra HPBTM--any commercial 168gr match is an equivalent of this)

    Radway Green is Brit M80 ball that has a good reputation for approaching match accuracy. I'm not really familiar with the other various M80 mfrs to tell you what works better than others. I know a lot of expert class shooters that use surplus ball with pretty good results. It will shoot reasonably accurate to 600yds, but after 300yds it starts to get blown around a lot by the wind and it isn't competitive against any of the match grade bullets. But for beating up steel gongs and paper plates at 300yds and beyond, it should be more than adequate.

    Any match bullet (besides the military 173gr FMJBT which is touch-and-go) will be 1MoA accurate out to 600yds out of a tight rifle. The 168's are a good all-around match load, but the 175 has an edge at 600 and beyond.
  5. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Well-Known Member

    I just got some from www.ammoman.com. It's loose Lake City with the NATO cross, current (2003, 2004) headstamp. The brass is not bright and shiny, but not dinged, either. I don't know what the story is, haven't shot any yet, but it looks good.

    The Radway Green was good, but I think the supply dried up. Argentine is very good also, but berdan primed and not reloadable.
  6. Dave R

    Dave R Well-Known Member

    My understanding is the ONLY .308 surplus that is reloadable is Hirtenberger, and I haven't seen that in a long time. I can verify that Portugese (FNM) and South African are Berdan-primed and not reloadable (without specific gear.)
  7. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Well-Known Member

    eh? why wouldn't any boxer primed case be reloadable? Sure the primer pockets are crimped, but they can be reamed.
  8. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    I have had very good luck with Federal American Eagle 150 gr. FMJ-BT. It is $8-$9/box in bulk. This stuff is very consistent, and groups sub-MOA from my G-3. Most other inexpensive .308 is 2+ MOA in that gun.
  9. Eightball

    Eightball Well-Known Member

    I love these threads! I use surplus ammo for basically everything--and yes, it will travel 300 yards with no relative difficulty. I would suggest looking for FMJ rounds when looking for distance shooting. However, don't buy ammo from a country where you wouldn't drink the water, and you should be safe ;) . I use www.ammunitionstore.com for my purchases of bulk--delivered to your door, with (as I've found, at least) cheaper prices than ammoman. Only issue is that you have to phone in an order after registering with them, but that's a small hassle. Can't say enough good things about them--as long as you do your research and DON"T BUY INDIAN AMMO :what: :what: !!!!!! Or, just get Wolf :) .
  10. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Well-Known Member

    One would also be advised to avoid some of the Israeli ammo, specifically the TZ-80 lot. I have also seen problems with headstamps ranging from late 70's to mid 80's, but the TZ-80 seems to be the worst. In fact, I would recommend avoiding any of the TZ headstamped ammo that is packed loose, and not in the original box. Most of this ammo also looks "dirty", or like it's been tumbled to clean it up, so it's pretty easy to spot.

    This ammo has weak brass for some reason, and is known to suffer from case splits and case head separations. I have personally seen this ammo destroy a rifle, and it wasn't pretty. :eek:

    On the other hand, my friends and I haven't had any problems with the Portugese or South African ammo in the sealed battle packs.

    So, my personal recommendation is to avoid anything not in the original box. If it looks suspicious, pass on it. Your life and your rifle are worth more than the few cents you will save on ammo. Just my opinion.
  11. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    I've shot the Australian F4 ball surplus out of my AI-AWP with great success. It hits 10" plates out to 550 yards as well as my match loads do.. I just need 0.2mil more elevation.
  12. Dave R

    Dave R Well-Known Member

    You're right. Its just that Hirtenberger is the only boxer-primed surplus I have found. If there's any other boxer-primed surplus, lemme know! I need to get some more...
  13. elric

    elric Well-Known Member

    Some years of Aussie are boxer (91 or 92 onward, and one year in the late 80s, I think, would have to search to find exact years).

    Some of the Indian is too, but I wouldn't touch the Indian ammo with a 10 foot pole.

    The 90s linked Portugese that Sportsmans guide is currently selling is claimed to be boxer primed, but SG has been known to make mistakes in their ad copy sometimes. I may have to get a box or two to check it out.

    The CMP sells Lake City .308 ammo, which is of course boxer primed.

    Search around the ammo forum on the FalFiles for more than you could ever want to know about surplus .308. One of the stickies at the top has links to posts about all the surpluses.
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...suitable for target shooting..." Yes and no. Good for shooting for fun, but not the best ammo for match shooting. Surplus ammo is not loaded for supreme accuracy. It's supposed to be loaded for reliabilty. Even though not all of it is 100% reliable.

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