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Mar 25th, 2012
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Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? #6915457
10/10/17 02:39 PM
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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.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915472
10/10/17 02:45 PM
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*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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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915474
10/10/17 02:46 PM
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For some reason my rifle prefers expensive ammo frown
better grouping
$40 a box...7mm SST....

Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915494
10/10/17 03:05 PM
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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.

Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915565
10/10/17 03:57 PM
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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 Ř. 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.


An unethical shot is one you take, that you know you shouldn't.
Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915608
10/10/17 04:54 PM
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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.

Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Palehorse] #6915612
10/10/17 05:00 PM
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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.


An unethical shot is one you take, that you know you shouldn't.
Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915666
10/10/17 05:48 PM
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Last edited by JJH; 10/10/17 06:57 PM.
Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915670
10/10/17 05:54 PM
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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.

Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915675
10/10/17 05:59 PM
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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.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915706
10/10/17 06:34 PM
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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


Originally Posted By: Robert A. Heinlein
A thousand reasoned opinions never equal to one case of diving in and finding out.
Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915722
10/10/17 06:56 PM
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Don't forget the discussion about price of reloading components too. I all goes back to the first response.


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Isaiah 61:3
Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915787
10/10/17 08:08 PM
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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.

Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915884
10/10/17 09:28 PM
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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.

Last edited by Jgraider; 10/10/17 09:29 PM.
Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915995
10/10/17 11:31 PM
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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.

Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Jgraider] #6916034
10/11/17 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted By: Jgraider
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.


there ya go, you don't HAVE to spend allot to kill game.

most people on here are all day suckers and jump on ALL the latest and greatest stuff. LOts of high dollar marketing spent by these companies cuz they know it


"I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"
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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6916081
10/11/17 01:00 AM
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The 2 most expensive parts of the ammo are the bullet and the brass. But you also have the powder and primer.

On the bullet, you go go with a basic lead bullet for about $.25 each. Jump up to a bonded bullet, like an Accubond or a Barnes TSX, and you are at $.5 to $.55 each. Even the Nosler Partitions run about $.60 each.

Brass wise, you can get middle of the road, like Win or Hornady brass. Go with a Nosler or Norma (which I prefer), and your cost per piece goes up by about $.30 to $.50 each over the Win or Hornady. The Norma/Nosler brass generally will get you more reloads. And the weight variation between case to case has much tighter tolerances.

Powder wise, Hodgdon or Alliant powders (which I use about 90% for my ammo), run about $.13 to $.20 each round. I could buy some cheap foreign made powder that burns dirty and is a very low end powder and save a few cents per case. But it's often a ball powder that is temp sensitive.

Primers, your Federal and CCI primers run about $.03 each. Your cheap Tula, Wolf and foreign made one's can save you $.01 to $.02 each also.

Add all these differences up, and you can easily double the cost.

For example, my 308 BULK ammo is $82-$85 per 100 rounds. It's on once-fired WCC brass, Hornady A-max bullet, commercial grade powder (large canister powder), and Win primers. I'm loading 500 rounds per hour with this ammo.

Now if I switch to match grade, and use brand new Lapua or Win brass (more cost) and a match grade Hodgdon powder (like Varget or H4350), then the cost goes up. I'm also loading these one at a time with the powder weighed out to within .02 grains. My cost for these in 308 is about $160 per 100. The cost doubles. The BULK ammo shoots pretty good, but the match grade ammo will be much more consistent and loaded to tighter tolerances.

Another big factor for factory ammo is marketing. What does that company do with the marketing of that particular ammo.



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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6916123
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Cheap foreign powders? As far as I know, most of Alliant, Accurate, Ramshot, and Hodgdon come from Europe and Australia. Last I heard IMR was coming out of Canada. I can name only a handful of powders I believe come out of St. Marks, and that would be the Winchester/Hodgdon sphericals powders.




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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6916131
10/11/17 01:49 AM
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The bullet is the cheapest part of the hunt for most hunters. Spend less on a bullet in a $40 box of ammo than a gallon of gas to get to the lease and could buy 3 bullets for a bag of corn.

Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6916144
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It makes NO sense to scrimp on bullets. It's okay if a cheap bullet WORKS---that's a good reason to buy it. The fact that it's cheap is NOT.

2cents




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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: RiverRider] #6916157
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Originally Posted By: RiverRider
Cheap foreign powders? As far as I know, most of Alliant, Accurate, Ramshot, and Hodgdon come from Europe and Australia. Last I heard IMR was coming out of Canada. I can name only a handful of powders I believe come out of St. Marks, and that would be the Winchester/Hodgdon sphericals powders.


I'm talking about the stuff from Russia, and some low end powders that are available for much less than the Hodgdon and Alliant powders. Yes, some of these powders are mfg in Australia and such, but they are quality powders. I'm talking about the low end powders that are cheap and dirty burning.



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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: RiverRider] #6916161
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Originally Posted By: RiverRider
It makes NO sense to scrimp on bullets. It's okay if a cheap bullet WORKS---that's a good reason to buy it. The fact that it's cheap is NOT.

2cents


Take a high end rifle (mass produced or custom), give it quality base and rings, put a high end scope on it, and give it crap ammo. Good chance the system WILL NOT shoot to its' potential.



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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6916172
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LOL. No argument here!

I was kinda comin from the other direction, though...there are plenty of very accurate bullets I'll walk right past to pick up a box of something that's gonna work for any shot I care to take.




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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: ChadTRG42] #6916177
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Originally Posted By: RiverRider
Cheap foreign powders? As far as I know, most of Alliant, Accurate, Ramshot, and Hodgdon come from Europe and Australia. Last I heard IMR was coming out of Canada. I can name only a handful of powders I believe come out of St. Marks, and that would be the Winchester/Hodgdon sphericals powders.


I'm talking about the stuff from Russia, and some low end powders that are available for much less than the Hodgdon and Alliant powders. Yes, some of these powders are mfg in Australia and such, but they are quality powders. I'm talking about the low end powders that are cheap and dirty burning.



Can you list some of those?

I can't say I've tried any Russian powder. I have tried an "obscure" foreign shotgun powder in handgun cartridges that seems to be okay---CSB-1. I think it's Brazilian, but maybe not. Supposedly they use it in Rio shotgun shells.




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Re: Why is a $40 box of bullets better than one that costs less than $20? [Re: Texas Dan] #6916178
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I never understood all the price angst/scrimping on ammo either. I mean, I wish it were all still $8.88/box too but it's still the cheapest part of the system. And it is kinda important.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


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