Today I finally picked up my first batch of 7mm-08 ammunition loaded for me by HPS Target Rifles Ltd, with 140gr Nosler BTs, essentially a clone of the Federal Vital Shoks that I'd been using. If you have a look at the attached zeroing target, you may or may no come to the same conclusions as I did. To clarify:
- In the top left-hand corner, the aforementionned Federal Vital Shok 140gr Nosler BTs as a control group. It's a wider group than previously, perhaps because they were the first shots from a squeaky clean barrel, but probably just because of me.
- In the top right-hand corner, some Federal Fusion 140gr that The Deer Man from here gave me last year and that I'd never had a chance to test. It's a fine group, which has been the case with all Federal ammunition I've tried so far.
- In the middle, my first go with the HPS ammunition. The first group of three are all in the vertical line of four to the right. All I could deduce from that was that I needed to go a couple of clicks to the left. A further three shots proved nothing apart from that the barrel of my Steyr-Mannlicher stutzen was too hot. So I stopped for a while at this point.
- In the bottom-left target, my final attempt with the HPS rounds. From this group, I came to the conclusion that they are at least as good as the Federal ones they're supposed to be a clone of (top left), and that both are capable of shooting tighter groups than I am. In the case of any of the the corner targets (the ones not shot when the barrel was boiling hot), we have a dead deer at 100m.
So broadly, I'm happy enough with that. A bargain at 1/3rd of the price of the factory stuff, but all the Federal rounds I've used remain brilliant. Frankly, in terms of accuracy, I'd happily use any of them. No idea why the Fusions produced the best group this time, rather than the Vital Shoks, but it's not because of the gear...