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I've never really looked at cost. It's about performance to me.

Seating depth and distance off the lands is the single most critical dimension in accuracy. Factory ammo is all the same in this. It's all SAMMI spec.

My tsx loads are 20 off the lands and they shoot one hole groups, I doubt I would ever get factory ammo close to that.
 

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I think its a tougher call these days than it use to be. There are so many factory choices these days loaded with premium bullits, or just about anything you want. There are even places that will work up a load for you if you want custom ammo. You don't want to know what they charge. For me...there will always be a place for a few machines on the bench downstairs, but I would really give it some thought if I just did a little big game hunting. Especially if its about saving money. We all want top accuracy. I buy a rifle, and if I can't get it to shoot 1 moa I put it back in the safe, and call it a loaner....or I get rid of it. That's kind of silly...Ask yourself what kind of accuracy you really need to shoot a deer, or elk at 300 yds if you don't plan on shooting it in the eye. Now if you do plan on shooting it in the eye, or your going to to shoot farther...Then the standards would have to be higher. This is just something else to think about if you plan on taking up reloading...The example is extreme...maybe even a touch sarcastic, but for a practicle hunter that has a limited amout of time and money reloading might not be that big of deal.
Throw in all the talk about ethicle distences, and situations, and ask yourself why you need a tack driver. The premium bullits are a must imo on big stuff, but super accuracy on a big game rifle is just a bonus. It makes ya feel better tho.....
 

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Well stated, I am often asked before my hunters arrive what I expect of them from accuracy, and shooting distance. My "canned" reply to them is very much like your post.

If I have to choose between

#1- a hunter that shoots bug holes at 200 yards, and MOA to 500 yards from the bench but needs 1 minute to set up his shots

OR

#2 - A guy that shoots a 2MOA groups and can get on target in seconds out to 150 yards with improvised rests, and shoot 12" groups freehand at 100 yards

I'll take guy number 2 everytime and we will harvest a lot of big game around the world!
 

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Obviously you don't need a rifle that shoots bug holes at 100 yards to take game animals. JJ's choice about the hunter that can keep em in the end of a beer can at 150 yard from his heels or whatever aide is handy is the way to go, for meat.
My last 4 deer have all been offhand, 1 shot kills from 60 to 90 yards. However, I still like to play with my own loads and shoot little bitty groups in paper at the range. It's not about saving money it's about doing something you enjoy.
My biggest annoyance is the price of good 22 ammo. It keeps climbing and I can burn up a lot of it just keeping the finger educated.
 
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