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Non toxic factory ammo


Well-known member
I am sure there are hunters who still have not decided which non toxic load to use so I thought I would just post our results with different factory loads and calibers.
First I shoot a 7 mm mag Winchester Model 70 more than any other rifle I own.
Best so far has been Federal Trophy Copper in 140 gr. 4 deer so far and no bullets recovered yet. Best 3 shot groups are around 1 MOA
2nd is Hornady GMX in 139 gr. 1.5 to 2 MOA
Worst in my gun has been anything from Barnes. 3 MOA on a good day sometimes much worse

Next for me is my Model 70 30-06.
Best is 150 GMX but it is 2 MOA on a great day and usually much worse.
Loads I have tried that were anywhere from 3-5 MOA include, Federal, Winchester, Barnes, Nosler. Bullet weights from 150 to 168 and I usually purchased at least 2 bullet weights for each brand if available.

7 mm 08 Browning A bolt
ANYTHING in 140 grain. Some are better than others but the Barnes are the best with 1 MOA or less. Hornady is great as are the Nosler E tips.
Hopefully some of you have a gun that will shoot anything. I got lucky on this one.

Other guys in our group.
Tikka 7 mm mag shoots almost everything my 7 mag won't. Is really good with the Barnes

Remington model 700 7 mag. Barnes and or Hornady. Both shoot really well.

Tikka 7 mm 08. Shoots anything just like my 7 08 does. Very accurate.

30-06 Ruger 77. Best is Hornady 150 grain but not great. Around 1.5 MOA. Not good at all with Barnes. And that gun is extremely accurate with almost any premium conventional lead core bullet. He has tried at least 8-9 different loads. I know I bought most of them to try in my 06 first.

Winchester Model 70 300 Win mag. 165 Barnes shoot well in this gun.

Remington 280 mountain rifle. Shoots Barnes really well and he hasn't tried much else, no reason to.

This is just to point out that you might have problems finding a factory load you like. Or you might be lucky and have a gun that shoots more than one brand well. I get asked all of the time what I recommend. I recommend you buy a couple of boxes of a well known brand and go shoot. I don't think anyone can tell you ahead of time what your gun might like. One observation is both of the Tikkas were easy, the Winchesters were a pain. I have been testing this stuff for a number of years because of the condor zone rules but recently had to change all of the rifles to non toxic so the last 2 years have been expensive.
One other tip, clean your barrel then clean it again and again. It does help. Copper builds up faster than you might think.


I get what is available for free from Ventana ammunition drawing. http://www.ventanaws.org/ammunition/
So far i have food for all my rifles for 20-100+ years, not a single penny paid, so, this is the best ammo, ballistics/characteristics for me, let the tree huggers pay for your joy.
Sorry for being a SA, but could not resist.



Well-known member
Thanks John for the informative and valuable post. I notice a big difference between what my European rifles like to shoot vs. my American made rifles. In general, my Brownings, Winchesters (FN) and Benelli's like heavier bullets in the "non-toxic" variety, while Ruger and Remington prefer mid-weight and light for caliber bullets. In general, Federal Trophy Copper shoots the best in all my rifles (.308, .30-06, .300 and .338wm). Barnes, not so much. GMX is mixed results depending on bullet weight. Unfortunately, as we all know, the lighter copper bullets are limited in bullet weight due to the physical size being larger than the equivalent weight in lead. That being said, 2019 will be somewhat of a challenge for us big game hunters. I know there are two sides of the fence on copper vs. lead performance, so I'm hoping statistically, the copper rifle ammo doesn't end up like being steel bird shot vs. lead bird shot. And with the added difficulty of mail ordering ammo to CA, we may have to take what we can get or stock up on what shoots best.


Well-known member
Just some added info. Since I have been shooting all non toxic for 3-4 years now I have not taken a big game animal at more than 225 yards. My last 400 plus yard buck was taken with Swift Scirocco loaded by Remington. I don't really know how well the non toxic will perform at long ranges but I do know that if I can't shoot them accurately I will never hit a deer at 400. That is the reason I carry the 7 mag the most, I shoot it well and the velocity should be enough to get decent expansion at longer ranges. Under 200 yards they should all work. If you follow the recommendations from some (2000+ FPS) on what it takes to get decent expansion even the 7-08 should be OK to around 400 yards. 7 mag is just enough faster to make me feel better once I get past 300 yards. I know way less than half my deer have been taken at ranges over 300 but you never know.

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