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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Ruger M77 MKII in .270 Win. that I have used Federal loads with 150 grain Partitions in for the last two years but I am not satisfied with the groups I am getting with them. I use Federal ammo w/ Partitions in both my other deer rifles and have never had any complaints with them. I used two different boxes of ammo in the Ruger from two different stores so I know it wasn't a bad run.

I am going to pick up a box of 130 grain Nosler ballistic tip Federals to try out but I have never used them on deer before because I thought they were designed more for varmint hunting. Does anyone have any experience with these round in relation to whitetails and if so what are your thoguhts on them?

~Adam
 

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speckle-catcher said:
$5 says Gundoctor will chime in here and tell you exactly what to do.
I'll take that bet. LOL
 

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Up until last year when I bought a new .308, I had hunted with a .270 for the last 21 years. And I had always used 130 grain Federal Sierra-Gamekings with good results.

If you look at the ballistic charts. Here: http://www.federalcartridge.com/default.asp?menu=1&s1=1

You will see that the ballistics for the Sierra-Gamekings and Ballistic-Tips are almost identical. I do believe the Ballistic-Tips would probably be slightly more accurate. But IMO the Sierra-Gamekings would be a better choice for nocking down wild game.

150 Grain Nosler Partition


130 Grain Nosler Ballistic Tip


130 Grain Sierra GameKing BTSP
 

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Niko....my first question would be: Have you missed any deer because of the poor groups?. I've had great success with partitions and ballistic tips. Yes the ballistic tips are more accurate I feel but accuracy on a weapon is relative to the performance your looking for in a weapon/load/bullet. Are you hunting paper or meat, heart or head, 100 yards or 500 yards. All these things need to be addressed, then you can find what your looking for. I generally shoot 130 gr. ballistic tips on deer. I also handload so I can find the most accurate load in my weapon. I'll shoot 150 gr partitions when I go to the panhandle muley hunting(longer ranges). I always try to shoot off-hand at a paper plate at 100 paces in the field. I expect poor groups and generally average 3 inches. If you can hit the plate 100% of the time- you'll get a deer. Don't throw those partitions away, I've had lots of deer drop in their tracks from a partition and had to chase a few from the ballistic tips. Every hunt is different. The best deer gun in the world is not the most accurate also
 

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The barrel on your Ruger may be fouled. Take it to a gunsmith and have them scope the barrel. I suspect it's not the ammo but the barrel.
 

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Make sure the action screw is TIGHT, not hand tight but TIGHT. Also check the scope mounts..then clean the barrel.
 

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The ballistic tipr are great on deer...I actually reccomend them to most of my deer hunting customers. Some of the other bonded core bullets don't expand enough and punch holes in deer that later die but do not bleed externally so we have a hard time finding them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry for the lack of detailed information. I bought the Ruger new four years ago and have a Leupold VXIII 3.5-10x40mm mounted on it. Have also mounted a VX3 1.5-5x20 on it from my muzzleloader to rule out a faulty scope. The majority of my shots on game are from 100-200 yards and I sight-in at 100yds. I originally sighted in with Remington soft points and was getting 1.5" groups at 100 yards. The groups range from 4-5 inches on paper with the Partitions. I switched because I had heard nothing but good things about the Nosler bullets and know that certain guns like certain loads but I was not expecting that big of a difference. The barrel and action are clean and the scope is secure. I have no problem trying out the ballistic tips but I wanted to know if the 130 grain bullets would perform adequately on deer-sized game at 100-200 yards before I threw down $45 on a couple boxes of ammo that shot well on paper but wouldn't drop a deer.
~Adam
 

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After having two dudes in my federal ammo last year I will never buy them again. It's a shame considering the groups I use to get with the federal balistic tips. I 've since switched to remington swift scirroccos
 

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I wouldn't blame the ammo. Every gun has it's preferences. You just got to find what you gun likes or handload.

I don't have much time now, but as far as ballistic tips, they are accurate. Yes 130 gr NBT are plenty for Texas deer. Personally, I have seen more Texas deer lost with partitions than Ballistic tips. I currently shoot 180gr NBT in my 300 Win Mag, and have for about 7 years. However, I will say, if you shoot them you will witness some bizarre results over time. Especially at close ranges. Many times the entrance side damage will be much greater than exit. These bullets expand FAST!! I have had no problems with them. However, I am going to switch to the Scirrocos this year. It's basically a ballistic tip with a bonded base. I believe it will deliver more consistent results. They have worked well on Nilgai.
 

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If the 130 gr ballistic tips give acceptable accuracy in your rifle, I see no problem with using them. The first ballistic tips were made too soft and they didn't penetrate as well as they should, but that problem has been fixed.

Dunc, If its a wood stock and you tighten the action screws too tight, you will screw up the bedding. Wood will crush under too much strain. The action screws certainly don't need to be loose, but over tightening them can cause problems with wood stock bedding, I have also seen this happen with some synthetic stocks.
The stocks that are designed to have the action screws tightened down real tight, are the ones with metal pillows to keep the stock from crushing under the strain.
 

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gundoctor said:
I'll take that bet. LOL
Thought you would give him the advice on finding a box that works good and then go buy all you can with the same lot#. Good advice - at least I thought so.
 

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gundoctor said:
Dunc, If its a wood stock and you tighten the action screws too tight, you will screw up the bedding. Wood will crush under too much strain. The action screws certainly don't need to be loose, but over tightening them can cause problems with wood stock bedding, I have also seen this happen with some synthetic stocks.
The stocks that are designed to have the action screws tightened down real tight, are the ones with metal pillows to keep the stock from crushing under the strain.
Interesting, you're probably right, I know I had accuracy problems with a weatherby that had a loose action screw (aluminum bedding block) until they told me to tighten it to 65 inch pounds--that was TIGHT.
 

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Dunc said:
Interesting, you're probably right, I know I had accuracy problems with a weatherby that had a loose action screw (aluminum bedding block) until they told me to tighten it to 65 inch pounds--that was TIGHT.
With a aluminum bedding block, that is proper procedure. With just plan wood, it will cause you some grief. Even synthetic stocks won't put up with that much pressure without some metal to support them.

What SC is referring to is a post I made some time back about the variation between lots #s of factory ammo. This variation is caused by the use of commercial grade powder, which has a much wider tolerance for burning rate between lots than canister grade powder(reloaders use canister grade powder). Commercial grade powder comes only in batches of 10,000 pounds and is much cheaper than canister grade. Its also only sold to ammo manufactures with their own ballistic lab. The use of commercial grade powder is also why the factories will never tell what they load their ammo with.
Always pay attention to the lot # that is printed on the end flap of your ammo box. Every thing with that same lot # is very consistent, but if you change lot #s, it can be more of a change than if you changed brands of ammo.
My advice on buying factory ammo, is try one box of a certain lot # of ammo. If it is accurate and preforms the job you want. Then go back and buy all the rest of that lot # you can find until you have a 20 year supply of ammo. Don't worry about it going bad, the US military has tested ammo storage and determined that 20 years is optimum. I would recommend you store it away from heat and UV light. Those two things accelerate ammo going bad. If you find that a certain lot # of ammo doesn't shoot well in your rifle, then you know to not waste your money on any more of that lot #.
Some rifles are much more sensitive to changes in lot # than others.
 

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I agree GD

I agree GD. When I got my Vangaurd 300WBY Mag. about 10 years ago, I bought 6 boxes of factory Weatherby ammo, 150 grain. Those boxes lasted me until last year, because I dont use that gun much at all except take it to the range to clear the bench and hunt a little with it. Last year I bought 4 more boxes of identical factory WBY 150 grain ammo, and my gun threw those bullets from that lot of ammo about 2" high and right at 100 yards. I had to re-tune my scope. Next time I will buy 15 boxes and be done with it. The problem is the WBY factory ammo in 300WBY Mag. is about 39.00$ a box. Not cheap. And I dont think it would be practicle to load these rounds since I dont shoot it all that much anyways. Im saving brass though. lol!
 

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Nikonos said:
The majority of my shots on game are from 100-200 yards and I sight-in at 100yds. I originally sighted in with Remington soft points and was getting 1.5" groups at 100 yards. The groups range from 4-5 inches on paper with the Partitions. I switched because I had heard nothing but good things about the Nosler bullets and know that certain guns like certain loads but I was not expecting that big of a difference. The barrel and action are clean and the scope is secure. I have no problem trying out the ballistic tips but I wanted to know if the 130 grain bullets would perform adequately on deer-sized game at 100-200 yards before I threw down $45 on a couple boxes of ammo that shot well on paper but wouldn't drop a deer.
~Adam
Adam,
Your 1 1/2 inch groups are well within the average hunting rifle shooter combination. It translates into 3 inches at 200, which is better than most people shoot under hunting conditions. A well placed decent bullet will drop a critter. A premium bullet that hits it in rump won't do much. In your case I'd stick with the factory because they work well and you don't appear to be a target shooter.
Playing with factory ammo you may find a better load, but if you want the ultimate for your rifle you'll need to handload.
As someone else said try a couple of different boxes of different loads and select which shoots best and buy a bunch of them.
 

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I love the balistic tips. I shoot a 7MM-08 with 120 grain balistic tip hand loads. accuracy is 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards consistantly. I've taken a 175 to 195 pound buck each of the last 3 years. 2 of them droped in their tracks and 1 went 50 yards. My hunting budy shoots a 270 with 130 grain factory balistic tips. He shoots 1 inch groups and every deer he has shot we've found within 100 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea, I'm going to pick up a couple boxes of ammo so I can get this rifle dialed in with a load I feel confident with. I've just been too busy with work and trying to spend some time catfishing that I haven't gotten around to the local sporting goods mega-store to buy any but I will post up the results and pics if I remember to take them once I get to the range. I thank you all for your imput.
 
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