Importance of Choosing the Right Long Range Ammo
In the first part of this four-part Hellsgate Tactical Precision Rifle Clinic series, we looked at the rifle and optics. Now we’ll look at one of the most important parts of long range shooting.
One of the most important parts of precision shooting is the ammunition that you use. All ammunition is not created equal. There is a bewildering variety of available ammunition types, but it can be broken down into two main types. What I call field grade and match grade.
Field grade is massed produced and each round can vary from the next enough to cause a miss at long ranges. Match grade can also be mass produced but each round is as close to the next as possible to ensure consistency. Obviously during the zombie apocalypse or other cataclysm, you will have to shoot with whatever you can find. However, it is important to understand how these differences can affect your shot, and what types of rounds you should choose when selecting ammunition for your stock.
The two rounds that I have chosen as examples are the 150gr FMJ and 168gr A-MAX Ultra Match, both in .308 Winchester. Both of these are loaded by Beck Ammunition in Fort Worth Texas. I used their 168gr A-MAX round while shooting at Nathan Charlton’s class. Beck Ammunition provides ballistic data sheets for their ammunition and most manufactures put some of the basic data on the box the ammunition comes in. This data is a must have when using a ballistic calculator. The two most important bits of information from this data is the Ballistic Coefficient of the bullet and the Muzzle Velocity of the round. Examples of the data for the two rounds are shown below.
Data provided by Right To Bear Ammo
As you can see there is a significant difference between the two rounds at 500 yards, and for reference I’ve shown the data for the A-MAX round at 1000 yards. The differences in performance of the round will cause completely different shooting solutions for the same target at the same distance.
There is a lot of information available online and in lots of books, one of the best is Applied Ballistics For Long-Range Shooting by Bryan Litz, containing loads of information that will be helpful.
In part three, I discuss the basic principles for long range shooting.
Hellsgate Tactical Precision Rifle Clinic
Part 1: Choosing the Right Rifle and Scope that Fits Your Needs