I know this sounds like trouble in paradise, but here goes. I'm new to the Tikka world having moved over from Savage. My new Tikka t3 in .308 win shoots factory loaded Remington core lokts sps 150 grains with superb accuracy. It will plant three within an inch at 200 yds. – WOW! However, I can't afford to keep shooting factory ammo. The only like .308 deer rounds that readily available and affordable to me for reloading are Hornady Interlocks. However, my Tikka shoots these wild. I know there are lot of variables that can account for this, but the discrepancy is so marked that I was wondering if anybody else has experienced this OR if someone out there has a recommended load that either works with the Hornady interlock in .308. or another comparable deer round. Any input would be appreciated.
Not surprising that there is a difference in accuracy, and it can be extreme….different bullet, brass, primers and powder…
Great that the rifle likes the Core Lokts and shoots them accurately even at 200 though. If it doesn't like the Interlocks at 100yrds it will just get worse from there…don't even waste anymore time on it. Something you can't control.
My rifles are reverse from your situation…Both of my T3 308's (battue & CTR) shoot Hornady Whitetail 150gr. Interlocks pretty well out to 200…right around moa or slightly greater, its what I use as a backup to my reloads if I'm pushing bush with close shots (100yrds or less) and don't want to waste a good Accubond. But I can barely keep 3 on a 6″ target at 200 yards with Remington 150gr Corelokt's…they spray like buckshot patterns. Never know what the group will look like, very rare to get a decent group.
Barnes TTSX shoots really well in mine as well but expensive, so I do not buy anymore.
Try the New Winchester Deer XP if you want to try another factory round, surprising accuracy in my 308 and 300wsm. Reasonably priced ammo for the performance….but I'd only shoot broad side with this ammo, does not do well on any quartering away shot if you hit bone…shot placement was a concern when I shot this ammo, due to meat damage. But that being said, a good placed shot dumped deer like its designed to do…
Over the last few years I've tested pretty much everything factory ammo had to offer and wasn't happy with either the performance or cost so I took up reloading and have never looked back.
My bullets of choice for target shooting – Amax, Bergers or Lapua…varies on rifle / caliber Hunting bullet – there is only one for me…the Nosler Accubond. I use it in all my rifles, it provides pretty much match accuracy if you reload well and it has not let me done on any hunt. I know what to expect when I pull the trigger every time.
If you are stuck on Hornady bullets and going to reload, I'd lean toward the new 178gr ELDx…I've just started testing it myself and it should do everything you need it to do at short and long range over 45grs +/- of Varget in a T3 308 rifle… One bullet, one load to give you confidence for all shots at varying ranges, thats how I approach making a hunting round with the price and time that it takes to reload with premium products.