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#6915457 - 10/10/17 09:39 AM Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20?
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 12472
Just spend a few minutes looking at ammo shelf in any good sporting goods store and you're quickly reminded there's a lot of options for just about any caliber. Granted, the well known fact that bullet placement is paramount should never be challenged. Still, I suspect the average hunter like me has little idea what makes one bullet costs a lot more than another. And what difference in performance does that extra cost really buy you?

I'm sure there are others like me who would enjoy hearing answers from those who know bullets best.
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#6915472 - 10/10/17 09:45 AM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
FiremanJG Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 22046
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
*Bullet construction type.
*Bullet consistency.
*Alleged R & D associated with cartridge and load, almost guaranteed to shoot well.
*Reputation of the ammo.
*Alleged load consistency from the factory.
*Quality of brass.
*Quality of primer.
*Reliable powder ignition.
*Reliable powder burn rate in a large temperature span.
*Name.

That last one "name" has much to do with price. There are people that think Weatherby or Nosler, hung the moon and stars, and by paying more, they get more. But in reality, they paid 3X as much money, for not 3X the performace.

That's where hand loaders come in. In the rare case of the hand made widget out performs the mass produced widget, hand loaded ammo, is certainly the best example.
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#6915474 - 10/10/17 09:46 AM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
dashing dog Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Texas
For some reason my rifle prefers expensive ammo frown
better grouping
$40 a box...7mm SST....

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#6915494 - 10/10/17 10:05 AM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
kmon1 Offline
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 22395
Loc: Texas
Quantiles made also come into play with many rounds. Some that were cheap in the past now are only made in limited or very limited runs. Smaller runs higher cost per round. 375 Win, 350 Remington Mag, 218 Bee, 6.5mm Remington Mag, 6.5-284, 284 Win.... are examples there are many more.

FiremanJG dod a pretty good list and summation.

On the Weatherby I find it strange in several Weatherby rounds you can buy ammo loaded with pointed soft point bullets for about the same price as unprimed new brass for the same cartridge.

Bullets some cost more than others for the handloader or the ammo manufacture whih drivs price up. Brass quality can as well if loaded in Lapua or Norma/nosler brass it will be more expensive.
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#6915565 - 10/10/17 10:57 AM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
onlysmith&wesson Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 501
Loc: Lewisville/ Foard County
Anything that is conventionally machined will be more expensive as the tolerance band decreases. Add to that a tighter inspection criteria (AQL) and cost goes up. IMO opinion, these two things are the only objective measures of quality. Here's a test: Inspect 100 Hornady SST bullets. Measure OAL and major Ø. Then inspect anything that cost 1/2 the price. Your extreme spreads will vary much greater on the low cost stuff. Good names are usually earned. This is true of actions, barrels, etc.

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#6915608 - 10/10/17 11:54 AM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
Palehorse Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 4599
Loc: Surfside Beach, TX
You certainly get what you pay for. That said, do you really need a rifle to shoot sub MOA to kill an animal at a couple hundred yards? As long as the bullet selection is right for the animal hunted, then most of the time budget ammo is just fine. A lot of critters are dead thanks to some cheap Corelokts.
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#6915612 - 10/10/17 12:00 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Palehorse]
onlysmith&wesson Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 501
Loc: Lewisville/ Foard County
I agree. That said, I like every edge I can get. It's kinda' like me throwing a football 30 yards. Standing in my front yard with my son in law, we tag each other all day long. Make me do it in 2.5 seconds with 5 300 lb guys trying to bury me and I can't hit anything. Some hunting situations are like that. Less than ideal range conditions, sub MOA might make the difference.
Originally Posted By: Palehorse
You certainly get what you pay for. That said, do you really need a rifle to shoot sub MOA to kill an animal at a couple hundred yards? As long as the bullet selection is right for the animal hunted, then most of the time budget ammo is just fine. A lot of critters are dead thanks to some cheap Corelokts.

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#6915666 - 10/10/17 12:48 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
JJH Offline
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Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 3594
Loc: Katy
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Edited by JJH (10/10/17 01:57 PM)

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#6915670 - 10/10/17 12:54 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
DPirates80 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 1411
Hell I don't know...I've killed the last three deer I shot with Remington brand bullets...clean shots too. Buy what ammo you can afford son.

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#6915675 - 10/10/17 12:59 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 22872
Loc: Corsicana
I'm shocked you have been let slide with the "bullets" word so far.

It's a pretty common sense answer. Quality and/or brand name. FiremanJG broke them down in detail.
The same principle can be applied to just about every consumer good one can think of.
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#6915706 - 10/10/17 01:34 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
Wader Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 699
Loc: Krum, TX
Before I started loading my own, I killed a bunch of game with cheap Remington Core-lokt, Federal blue box, and Winchester Power Points. Usually whatever wally world had sitting on folding tables and marked down to nothing after deer season - yes, they really used to do that. In most cases and from a rifle that is not too extreme on either end of the velocity spectrum, they do great from point blank to 250-300 yards. That said, if you are shooting a really fast cartridge at short range or a rainbow lobber at distance then bullet construction really starts to make a difference on game. The list of bullets that do well across a wide range of velocities is fairly short, the bullets themselves are fairly expensive, and factory loaded cartridges even more expensive. Also if you are going after larger game or dangerous game, then there may be certain attributes of bullet construction that appeal to you - without getting into the "dump all the energy inside" vs "leave a big honkin exit wound" debate. The proven tough & dependable bullets also tend to be on $$ side. And like others have said above, names, logos, and glossy boxes tend to contribute to price regardless of performance.

-ww
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#6915722 - 10/10/17 01:56 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
oaktreeplanter Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 131
Loc: Spanish Fort
Don't forget the discussion about price of reloading components too. I all goes back to the first response.
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#6915787 - 10/10/17 03:08 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
JCB Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 23238
Loc: M.I.A.
I pay more for certain bullets. A Accubond or Partition will almost always do a better job when fired through the shoulders of a large Boar than a soft point. Both will do the job but with a soft point your shot angles need to be watched more closely. For deer a soft point is just as good as the more expensive options for the most part. There are exceptions to every rule of course.

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#6915884 - 10/10/17 04:28 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
Jgraider Offline
Tracker

Registered: 06/13/15
Posts: 653
Loc: West Texas
A guy could make this as complicated as you'd like to, and I do load my own almost exclusively nowadays.

IME, with the 7-08, 7mag, and 30-06, I've found the Federal Fusion to be the best combination of price, great bullet construction, reliability, and quality. They are a helluva good bullet that kills stuff consistently.


Edited by Jgraider (10/10/17 04:29 PM)

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#6915995 - 10/10/17 06:31 PM Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan]
Deerhunter61 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 7339
Loc: DFW
I also believe that if you buy your ammo your rifle has a lot to say about it because I've seen rifles that only seem to like the cheap stuff where other rifle seem to like the expensive stuff. Now I load my own so I can make sure that I load quality ammo that my rifles like. I honestly don't know what it costs me to load my own ammo but with the cost of all the components it's not cheap to load your own.

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