Reality Testing for Creedmoor Sports’ New Match Grade .30-06

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posted on June 10, 2015
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Got come-ups? They’re right there on the box, including competition ranges of 300 and 600 yards.
Creedmoor Sports, which has been providing competitors with shooting gear since 1979, is getting deeper into the ammunition side of the business. Known for offering such esoterics as 6mm XC and 6mm Hagar ammunition, the company last year quietly introduced loaded match grade .30-06 and has already provided Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) with a million rounds for “as-issued” competition. Creedmoor’s Match Grade .30-06 Springfield ammunition features the Lapua Scenar 167gr HPBT match bullet on Lapua brass. The advertised velocity is 2,720fps, putting it in roughly the same class as the original military M2 Ball’s 150gr FMJ bullet at 2,740fps.

Static Tests

Creedmoor Sports sent me a box of 50 cartridges to test drive for readers. Measuring 10 cartridges with dial calipers and a bullet comparator produced the following averages:

OAL to the bullet tip: 3.248”
Variation: 3.248-3.251” or +/- .003”
OAL to the ogive: 2.651”
Variation: 2.650-2.654” or +/- .004”
Using a Sinclair concentricity gauge, bullet runout of one cartridge measured .001”; the remaining nine were less than .001”.

For comparison, Greek military surplus M2 Ball from CMP measured as follows:
OAL to the bullet tip: 3.323”
Variation: 3.317-3.327” or +/- .010”
OAL to the ogive: 2.652”
Variation: 2.643-2.662” or +/- .019”
Bullet runout for three cartridges was less than .001”; the remaining seven varied from .001-.004”.

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One hundred yard groups fired at a competition pace measured 1 ¾ to 2 inches from a non-match grade M1903A4 with 2.5x scope.
Test Parameters
Because Creedmoor Sports is marketing the ammo specifically to shooters of M1 Garand, M1917 and M1903 rifles, I ran Creedmoor’s ammo through the M1903A4 I use for Vintage Military Sniper Rifle competition, which has a Criterion barrel and a Hi-Lux reproduction of the M73B1 2.5x scope. Tests were conducted at 100 yards from sandbags on a concrete shooting bench. I warmed the barrel with five rounds to simulate competition sighters and fired ten-shot strings, waiting 30 seconds between shots to simulate the shooting pace in competition. A six o’clock wind gusted 0-10mph. The ammo stayed in the shade at an ambient air temperature of 55°F.

Ten-shot groups ran a consistent 1 ¾ to 2 inches at 100 yards. By comparison, Greek military surplus M2 Ball holds about 3 MOA in this rifle. Expecting more from any match grade ammo in a non-match grade rifle is overly optimistic.

Results of a sample ten-shot string over a chronograph are:
Highest velocity: 2756fps
Lowest velocity: 2697fps
Average velocity: 2723fps
Extreme spread: 59.96fps
Standard deviation: 17.34

The low standard deviation tells the story of round-to-round consistency during manufacture. Coupled with its excellent concentricity and very consistent bullet seating depth, I expect Creedmoor’s ammunition would shoot MOA and better in a full-on match grade rifle.

CMP offers the Creedmoor ammo by the 100-round case for $130. Adding $10 for shipping makes the net price $1.40 per cartridge. Creedmoor Sports sells a 50-round box for $68 or two boxes for $130, plus shipping. For a bit more savings, Creedmoor has blemished or mixed lot ammo for $62.50 per 50 rounds. For more information, refer to both www.creedmoorsports.com and www.thecmp.org.

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