Remington Core-Lokt Tipped Ammo: A Quick Review

Recently, I had the pleasure of checking out a load from Remington that I had never shot before. I’ve certainly shot Remington ammo on many occasions, just never this particular load. I came away impressed. Let’s take a look at what Remington’s .308 180-Grain Core-Lokt Tipped ammo brings to the table.

History of the .308 Winchester Cartridge

The .308 Winchester cartridge was introduced to the public in 1952 by Winchester. They paired it with their Winchester Model 70 and Model 88 rifles. In 1954, NATO adopted it as the 7.62x51mm, which would be chambered in the M-14 and FN FAL rifles.

The military had been looking for a new cartridge to replace the aging .30-06 Springfield round. They wanted something that would give similar performance and velocity, but that would fit into a shorter action. They found it in the 7.62x51mm round.

In the civilian world, hunters loved the .308 because it gave similar velocity to the older .30-06 and fit into shorter action rifles, which were lighter than longer actions. Accuracy was found to be quite good, as well. The new round was capable of taking much of the game animals that were found in America.

For match competitions and sniper use, there is .308/7.62x51mm factory-loaded match ammunition available. It’s extremely accurate ammo and allows great precision.

Remington 180-Grain Core-Lokt Tipped

The Elements

This ammunition is a game-changer, and I’m about to explain why. Up until this time, Remington’s Core-Lokt ammunition featured an exposed tip of lead. That exposed tip isn’t exactly as streamlined as it could be, which leads to imperfect resistance in flight. Despite that, this round has been doing very well since its introduction in 1939 (that’s not a typo; it’s been around that long). It’s super-popular and has always been very available. And, while it’s fairly accurate, it would be better with a more precise tip with which to cut the wind.

The polymer tipped round.
The new polymer tip accomplishes a few things – including improved aerodynamics and expansion. It’s an improvement over the older design that simply had exposed lead at the tip. Photo: Jim Davis.

Well, that tip has arrived. The new(ish) Core-Lokt Tipped ammunition has a green polymer tip, which is precise and sharp for cutting through the air on the way to the target. It’s far more precise than the exposed lead tip, so accuracy will be better. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a precision .308 rifle with which to wring out the most accuracy to see just how surgical it iwas I’ll get into the platform that we used in a bit, though.

The polymer tip also seems to facilitate smoother feeding in semi-auto platforms.

Suffice it to say, the accuracy on the steel targets that we were hitting was quite acceptable, given the iron-sighted battle rifle that we had on hand. As well, the accuracy seemed to be consistent, which is vital.

An expanded round.
This is a Remington Core-Lokt round that was recovered from game. As we can see, the expansion is outstanding. Photo courtesy of Vista Outdoors.

This 180-grain, polymer-tipped round is specifically designed for taking medium to large game, and I believe it fits that bill perfectly. Remington advertises it for deer, elk, and hogs. I’d not hesitate to use it on smaller bears, as well. The polymer tip will initiate expansion as the round hits flesh and bone, causing radical expansion. To be honest, I think it would make a stellar defensive round as well, given the ingredients that go into this bullet’s construction. A 180-grain projectile is potent medicine and hits with quite a bit of authority.

Remington .308 180 grain Core-Lokt Tipped ammo.
Remington redesigned and updated their Core-Lokt line of ammunition with their Tipped loads. It’s a hard-hitting round, seen here in 180-grain .308. Photo: Jim Davis.

The jacket is “Lokt” to the bullet’s core, so they’re designed to hold together when penetrating game, rather than fragmenting. Deep penetration with an expanding round equals great stopping power, which is what we’re after. I’ve heard several accounts that claim the round sometimes penetrates through animals, which is preferable to a wide, shallow wound channel. Apparently, it penetrates very well as it expands. What’s more, an entrance and exit create two wounds on game, which doubles the potential for blood loss.


The polymer tip’s better aerodynamics will allow faster velocity and will help to retain that velocity further down range, which extends the bullet’s effective range. In short, it flies better than the more blunt-nosed rounds.

Remington lists the velocity of their 180-grain .308 polymer-tipped rounds as 2,640 feet per second at the muzzle. Velocities at other ranges are as follows:

  • 100 yards: 2,457 feet per second.
  • 200 yards: 2,282 feet per second.
  • 300 yards: 2,113 feet per second.
  • 400 yards: 1,952 feet per second.
  • 500 yards: 1,799 feet per second.

The trajectory is as follows with a 200-yard zero.

  • Muzzle: –    1.5 inches.
  • 100 yards:   2.1 inches.
  • 200 yards:   0.0 inches.
  • 300 yards:  -8.8 inches
  • 400 yards:  -25.4 inches.
  • 500 yards:  -51.2 inches.

So we see that, with a 200-yard zero, it’s not difficult to shoot out to 300 yards, taking only a slight amount of hold-over at 300 yards. Even at 400 yards, the drop is not monumental. This is a heavier .308 round, so it’s going to drop at extended ranges more than lighter bullets. However, for realistic hunting ranges, the extra weight adds hitting power for larger game, which is desirable. What’s more, there will be less wind drift with this 180-grain load, as opposed to lighter loads.

The back of each box displays a ballistic table.
Remington includes a ballistic table, complete with bullet drop information, on the back of each box, which is a nice touch. Photo: Jim Davis.

The Platform

The rifle we used to test these loads is the Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad Rifle. It’s far from the perfect platform to wring out the most accuracy from any load, given its 18-inch barrel and iron sights.

On the other hand, I could see using this 180-grain Remington load through the Scout Squad Rifle, so it’s not a completely mismatched rifle and ammunition combination. I’d feel totally at ease using this combination against both aggressive attackers who are trying to kill me and game animals.

A bit about the Scout Squad Rifle…

As mentioned, it has an 18-inch barrel that’s topped with an ultra-effective muzzle brake that does an astounding job of taming recoil. This rifle exhibits very little recoil, allowing fast follow-up shots, and a good bit of that is attributed to the muzzle brake. The only downside of the muzzle brake is that it emits a terrific amount of muzzle blast that must be equaled by few other rifles on earth.

M1A Scout Squad Rifle.
Springfield’s M1A Scout Squad Rifle is a real work of art. The muzzle brake is amazing when it comes to taming the recoil, but causes a substantial muzzle blast. Photo: Jim Davis.

The fact that it’s semi-automatic and has a sizeable recoil spring doesn’t hurt, either. Another factor at play with the lack of recoil is that the rifle weighs around 9 pounds, 3 ounces, which soaks up some of that recoil. The fiberglass stock will trim some weight off, but I have the Walnut stock on the rifle, and it’s truly a thing of great beauty.

There is a forward-mounted Picatinny rail above the barrel to allow the mounting of a scout scope or red dot sight, but I have not ventured forth in mounting any optics yet. Perhaps one day, when I get some “extra” time, I will. Until then, this rifle has some of the best iron sights of any rifle in history.

The two-stage National Match trigger is also amazing and lends itself well to accuracy.

Overall, this rifle is fairly handy at 40.33 inches. The barrel being shorter than the standard M1A really helps in the maneuverability department.

All in all, the Scout Squad Rifle is a short(ish), handy rifle that’s meant for business and based on a well-vetted action.

Parting Shots

Remington’s new version of the Core-Lokt Tipped ammunition seems to have breathed new life into this round. The polymer tip helps aerodynamics, adding and retaining velocity, as well as helping expansion.

The rounds themselves are made from new, clean components and are bright and shiny. They’re consistent and perform well on the range, as well as when they hit game animals.

We really can’t ask for much more than this. Pick some up. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this ammo.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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