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Thread: any one had any problems with federal ammo lately or is it just me?

  1. #1

    any one had any problems with federal ammo lately or is it just me?

    I am after some advice or perhaps to pass on some information, I have had the same .243 rifle for the past 5 years. As yet not a home loader I tested all the factory ammo to find out what it liked, and settled for federal 85 grain sub 1” at a 100y. So I was more than happy with it, other brands shooting from the side of a barn down to 2”.
    Any how the shoulder strap on my slip snapped and the rifle dropped to the ground it was not a crash or smashing drop but more of a thud. But to be on the safe side I went out to check zero.
    as federal ammo seams to be harder and harder to get around Aberdeen just now. I had settled for two boxes of federal 100 grain power-shock as I had good groups when testing in the past 1 ½”, it was all I could get. I had needed to put on a higher set of mounts and change out the fixed scope that I had on the rifle for a variable one, so I figured two birds one stone or should I say one box of ammo.
    So I checked the bases, screws re lock-tighten every thing, bore sighted it and off to the range. The first two at 50 yards with in 2” try some more down to 1” ok out to 100ys, a miss. Try for a different target 4” to the left and low adjust the scope and 4” to the right and high. A long story short I could not get a group, is it the scope, did I damage the rifle, was it me?
    I had another rifle with me that has in the past shot good groups again with in 1” so I put 4 round through it and bang on so that rules out me, this time.
    I went thought the 20 rounds and could only get a 4” inconstant group. I went back to the dealer and told him that I could not get a group and would like to try some thing different, his response was that “I had been using federal for years” neither of us could figure out why I could not get a group. last month i had to go back with a box as one of the necks was crimped down one side, and had rippled back the body, he had give me another box that time as well. this time He gave me a box of hornady 58 grain it was the only other brand that I had any success with in the past and told me if I could still not get a group try putting the old scope back on.
    first two rounds ½” at 50y second two 1” at 100y 3rd set and set at 1” high ½ 4th pair ½” at 150y 7/8” high and ½” . That will do for me.
    Now for my questions is there some thing wrong with my rifle? Could this be an indication that the barrel is starting to go? Did I happen to get a bad box of ammo? Has any one else found the federal ammo is not as constant as I used to be?

    Thanks for any advise charlie

  2. #2
    I shoot federal 85grn out of two .243's and they shoot well. In fact its the only stuff I use if possble. Have not noticed any differences of late.

  3. #3
    Charlie

    Some suggestions/questions:
    1 What is your barrel cleaning regime and have you changed it?
    2 Macleods in Tain recommended using RWS to check out whether or not a rifle would shoot.
    3 I used Sako 90gr a lot before I reloaded and found it very good.
    4 Are the action screws tight?
    5 I would have thought that an issue with the ammunition was highly unlikely.
    6 Give Calum Ferguson a call and see if he can shed any light on what is happening.
    7 Post a photo of the rifle/scope/bipod/mod all set up as you last fired it.
    8 Is the trigger pull still the same? About 3lb?

    It's really tricky to progress something like this on-line. I suggest pursuing point 6 and let us know what transpires.

    Good luck. JCS

  4. #4
    1) My cleaning regime is the same as always one bath every year at Christmas need it or not and as its still January. no as the rifle is shot in, I clean after every shot and have had good results till now.
    2) The only thing that I have changed about the rifle set up is the rings and scope.
    3) I have used federal for the past 5 years with this rifle and has always been good only this time I had to use 100 grain over my usual 85, in the past I have used them and able to shoot under 2”
    4) I have checked every thing screws, stock, bases bipod, moved positions on range, my gun smith checked over the rifle neither of us could find any thing out of place.
    5) I have not checked the trigger pull as I could not see it changing, but will tomorrow.

    Any more ideas?

    Again thanks for any help guys

  5. #5
    Charlie 1,

    Your rifle liked 85gr and then you went to 100gr and it didn't.


    Subtle hint

    Stan

  6. #6
    I have moved away from Federal ammo due to poor performance in 223 AND 308.

    The 223 ammo is now no use for reloading as the brass cannot take a small rifle primer any more. The new stuff is military spec according to some across the pond and the primers are smaller for use in automatic rifles.

    As for 243 it is not a military calibre but they are moving such a lot of ammo to IRAN/IRAQ that quality might have gone down the swanny.

    Try Sako.

  7. #7
    I also moved away from federal to Sako 123g for my .308 and have never looked back..

    There were too many times with the Federal that the bolt became jammed...

    Never happened once with the Sako rounds

    Terry
    Blessed be the sheeple for they shall inherit bugger all...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dieseldan View Post
    I have moved away from Federal ammo due to poor performance in 223 AND 308.

    The 223 ammo is now no use for reloading as the brass cannot take a small rifle primer any more. The new stuff is military spec according to some across the pond and the primers are smaller for use in automatic rifles.

    As for 243 it is not a military calibre but they are moving such a lot of ammo to IRAN/IRAQ that quality might have gone down the swanny.

    Try Sako.
    .223 Military ammo - crimped in primers perhaps ? If so you need to remove the crimp before attempting to reprime.

  9. #9
    They are not crimped primers or BERDEN primers, they are small pistol primers apparently. The small rifle primers are too big for the aperture.

    If I can find some I will try some pictures to see if someone who knows more can explain. All I know is a spent ages cleaning a load of brass and could not fit primers.

    That and the fact they accuracy was so poor compared to an older box in two different rifles sounded the death knell for me. We were getting 4" @ 100m and with home loads (25gn benchmark, 55gn Speer SP) 0.5"

    Like I say two different guns. 4" group is no use for foxes.
    Last edited by dieseldan; 21-01-2011 at 11:59.

  10. #10
    Dieseldan you say they are not boxer primers? You also say that they are small pistol primers?

    I think you are mistaken on both counts there. As far as I am aware Federal have always loaded using the boxer system and not the berdan system of priming, which quite frankly from a reloaders point of view isn't worth the effort. I doubt very much if Federal would use small pistol primers in place of small rifle primers as pistol primers are not designed to take the pressure. Incidentally small pistol and small rifle are the same size.

    You say it is military ammunition - what bullet is it? Is it a fmj and is the weight of the bullet compatible with the twist on your barrel?

    Give us the full details of the Federal ammunution and perhaps someone on the site can see what the problem is.

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