We are delighted that Candice Horner, a long-range competition shooter and gun writer, described her day on the range shooting long-range Precision Match ammunition in this guest post. Check out her blog, “Live, Love and Shooting.”
There are a lot of terms thrown around in the firearms industry that tend to lose their meaning. The words Precision and Match definitely fall into that category. That being said, we’re here to help you better understand just what is Precision Match ammunition and how to put it to the test.
Barnes Bullets is well known for manufacturing top-of-the-line hunting projectiles and ammunition. However, ammo used for hunting is nowhere near the same as what is needed for precision shooting. For precision shooting, the results have to be repeatable. This means the ammo needs to group well at various distances. With the need for multiple, repeatable shots in mind, Barnes Bullets developed their line of Precision Match ammunition and introduced it to shooters last year. The calibers available are 5.56 NATO, .300 Winchester Magnum, .308 Winchester and .338 Lapua Magnum.
Recently, I was able to put Barnes Bullets’ Precision Match ammunition to the test to see if its performance mirrored its name, thanks to a media event hosted by Barnes in Utah where we shot Remington firearms. With a handful of gun writers, shooting various platforms, the Precision Match ammo consistently hit targets as far as a mile away. After I made a few hits on steel targets, I was happy – but was not completely convinced. Since the projectile has to land somewhere, hitting a small piece of steel can end up being dumb luck.
The repeatability of the Barnes Bullets Precision Match ammunition proved itself to me when I was able to hit steel at several distances time after time. I would shoot a rifle until the mirage from the barrel heat was too intense for me to get a clear view of the targets. Then, I would move onto the next rifle, chambered in a different caliber, and do the same thing. With each rifle, the Precision Match ammo definitely performed.
Of all the calibers offered by Barnes Bullets, my favorite 2 to shoot were the 5.56 NATO and the 338 Lapua Mag. The low recoil of an AR15 makes for a fun shooting experience, and that fun is doubled with good ammunition. I made hits on steel out to 1000 yards with the Barnes Bullets Precision Match 5.56 85gr ammo.
The .338 Lapua Mag is a different kind of beast. The recoil is undoubtedly there, but the characteristics of the caliber allow the shooter to hit targets farther out than with smaller calibers. A few of us tried for and hit the mile target, using the Barnes Precision Match ammo. Being able to make hits a mile away is pretty cool, and absolutely worth the recoil.
Not all ammunition is created equal. Choosing the correct ammo for the intended application can turn into a daunting task. Understanding what to expect from your ammo selection will make your shooting experiences not only successful, but also more enjoyable. Precision Match ammunition is perfect for being able to make repeatable hits from close ranges to very long ranges.
Tips on selecting the right ammo for your rifle