I bought some Australian Outback .308 Winchester Sierra Matchking HPBT recently at my local gun store. Paid about $1.75 per round but boy does this stuff shoot straight. I was out at the 100 yard range Saturday and was consistently shooting 1" or better groups (which is good for me, a relatively new shooter). My best group was .317". I love this stuff! DSC_0031.jpg
Since I'm on a budget lately the Australian Outback Matchking stuff is out of my price range for a while (although I did find some for a short time at 70 cents a round and it shot a three shot one ragged hole group). I ordered some reloaded 178 grain Hornady A-Max from Freedom Munitions for about 75 cents a round and got real good groups (under .5") with it. Don't order the stuff that just says match grade. I wasn't happy with that stuff but I figured the A-Max bullet has a higher BC than the Sierra Matchkings so how bad could they be? They worked great. Only down side was the barrel heated up faster than usual and the groups opened up to just under an inch. Cool down the barrel and they seemed to tighten up a bit but not as tight as a clean barrel. Still, they were acceptable for the price being near the cheapest 308 ammo you can buy. BTW, if you don't reload and haven't found ammoseek.com, you're probably paying too much?
A little tip. After you shoot a few rounds on a cold barrel, feel the barrel and see where it seems hottest. If hot all the way to the muzzle, your choice of powder is too slow. Ideally the last third of the barrel should be noticeably cooler than the first two thirds. This indicates that you have a powder that burns completely within the barrel and pressure peaks have occurred BEFORE the bullet leaves the muzzle.
You can actually "see" this phenomena if you have one of those relatively inexpensive I/R Thermometers. Take readings every 6" on a barrel after you've shot 5-6 rounds from "Cold".
FWIW, the A-Max not only has a higher BC, they also tend to travel faster due to the shorter bearing surface (secant ogive gives longer bullet with shorter bearing surface). In fact the design has been "kicking Sierra's butt" enough that Sierra has now introduced their "Tipped Match King" (TMK) design. Still more expensive though.
I love this ammo. I just got back from a long range class here in FL where at 500yds I was keeping one hole groups until 300 then it only opened to 3.5inch out at 500. Too bad it is out of stock every where online I look. 10 shots through a chrono with my SPS tactical gave an average velocity of 2650 with a standard deviation of 8.3. That is pretty good.