Finding the right load for a 30-06

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Edmon, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Edmon

    Edmon New Member

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    Powder, bullet or both?
    I reloaded some 30-06 rounds for a Browning X bolt looking for that load that would match the gun. I used both IMR 4064 and Ball C powder. I loaded 15 rounds from each with powder weight between 46.7 grains and 48.7 grains. The bullets I used were Speer Spitzer BT and Sierra Spitzer in 180 gr.

    Imr 4064 powder Speer Spitzer BT 180 Gr. bullet
    3 rounds 46.7 gr. avg. velocity 2481
    3 rounds 47.2 avg. velocity 2508
    3 rounds 47.7 avg. vel. 2529
    3 rounds 48.2 avg. vel. 2577
    3 rounds 48.7 avg. vel. 2665

    Ball C powder Speer Spitzer BT 180 gr. bullet
    3 rounds 46.5 avg. vel 2421
    3 rounds 47.0 avg. vel. 2465
    3 rounds 47.5 avg. vel. 2501
    3 rounds 48.0 avg. vel. 2512
    3 rounds 48.5 avg. vel. 2553

    Ball C powder Sierra spitzer 180 gr. bullet
    3 rounds 46.6 didn't record vel.
    3 rounds 47.0 avg. vel. 2463
    3 rounds 47.5 avg. vel. 2514
    3 rounds 48.0 avg. vel. 2565
    3 rounds 48.5 avg. vel. 2542

    Shot 1 round from load 1 then 1 from load 2 at different target then 1 from load 3 at different target ect. until all 15 loads were fired. waited between 2-3 minutes before each shot for barrel to cool. After 15 rounds cleaned barrel and went to next load. Cases were trimmed to 2.484 and COAL was 3.197. Did not get good groups on any load. At the end of day shot 3 factory loaded 165 grain core-loc and shot the best group. Want to load own because it is fun, cheaper and hopefully i can get better results.

    Sorry this thread is so long. My question is should I try different powder same bullets, different bullets same powder or find a totally new combination? Was thinking about trying 165 gr. bullets but I am not sure they are enough to put an elk down. Will not be shooting farther than 300 yards. Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Those aren't necessarily the bullet/powder choices I would've gone with. But, you should still be able to get decent results.

    Brass prep, concentricity, primers, etc all have a bearing as well.

    Just glancing at one reloading manual indicates that the acceptable range for IMR4064 with a 180gr Sierra SBT is from 43.0 to 49.0gr. So, I wonder if you tested a wide enough range.

    Do you know about how far off the lands you are with that COAL?
    It seems a little short. I often start my load development with about .010-.015" jump.

    -- richard
     

  3. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Also if its a factory rifle with a small barrel profile 2-3 min is not long enough between shots you need to do 10 min. And I hope your testing at a min distance of 200 yards.

    You need to post the ES and SD numbers you should see a spot in all the data where the ES and the SD are very low this is a good starting point.
     
  4. outofayr

    outofayr Well-Known Member

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    I'd either use a much slower powder with the 180s (my favorite is H4831, with H414/Win760 right behind) or use a much lighter bullet (150s) with those powders. I think you've picked some powders that are just too fast to do well with the heavy bullets. In my experience, this can work, but you usually need to be up near max charges to make it work. I think it's easier to go with a better burn speed powder for the bullet weight you've chosen.

    Have fun with it,

    Brian
     
  5. hypersonic

    hypersonic Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with other replys on this thread, there are a few variables to consider with primers brass prep and so on. For a 180 class bullet you should be looking at H or IMR 4350 H-4831 RL-19 or RL-22. Your rifle is going to dictate what powder and bullet it likes and what distance to the lands to give you the best accuracy. My current load in my one and only 30-06 is the 180 AB over 57.6 grains of H-4350 using older Winchester brass and CCI-200 primers out of a 24" barrel this load gives me 2740 fps average. Not a screaming load by todays standards but it puts 3 in to one hole at 100 yards day in and day out. Consistantly under one inch at 200 and has killed quite a few deer, moose and black bears. I will have to check my notes but IIRC my jump is .086 to the lands which gives me an oal of 3.39. You are going to have to do a bit of work to see what your rifle likes. If you plan on using the AB start off with the 180 ballistic tip and work up a load that is accurate. Then back down a couple of grains and work back up with the AB. This will save you some dollars in bullet cost and in my experience an accurate load with the balistic tip is so close to an accurate load with the AB it ain't funny. The good old 06 with a good 180 grain bullet has killed more elk than we could probably count and if you are limiting yourself to 300 yards or less you should not have a problem if you put the bullet where it needs to go.
     
  6. baldhunter

    baldhunter Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the other loads posted,I've had good luck with Ramshot Big Game and Hunter powders.55.5grs of Big Game with 180gr bullets give me 2780fps.58.0grs of Hunter with a 180gr bullet give me 2740fps.These are ball powders and meter really well.
     
  7. Edmon

    Edmon New Member

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    Thank you all for the advice. I have some 4831 and I will try that powder. I will try the ladder test this time instead of the Optimal charge weight load development. I am somewhat of a novice at reloading so I am not familiar with the highlighted abbreviations below. Could someone explain what they refer to? Thanks again for all you responses.

    You need to post the ES and SD numbers you should see a spot in all the data where the ES and the SD are very low this is a good starting point.

    I will have to check my notes but IIRC my jump is .086 to the lands which gives me an oal of 3.39.

    If you plan on using the AB….
     
  8. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, when the .30-06 was "the" rifle for competitive high power shooting up to 600 yards with 165 to 180 grain bullets, IMR4064 consistantly gave the best accuracy in handloads. With 190 and 200 grain bullets, IMR4350 was the ticket to top scores. Ball powders were often tried, but none came close to what extruded powders produced for accuracy.

    The above aside, higher muzzle velocities can be had with slower powders, but typically with some sacrifice in accuracy.

    Shoot at least 15 shots per test group. Anything less is not significantly meaningful; 5 shot groups are only 50% reliable for what all shots fired with the load used will shoot.
     
  9. hypersonic

    hypersonic Well-Known Member

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    Sorry man IIRC means ( if I remember correctly) .086 is 86 thousands of an inch from the rifling meaning where the bullets taper from the nose back increases to full caliber .308 inches. So that means the bullet after it is fired travels 86 thousands of one inch before it comes in full contact with the barrel rifling. AB means Nosler Accubond. OAL is overall length which is the total length of the cartridge from the base of the case to the tip of the bullet.

    The best info I can offer you if you are just getting into reloading is to buy reloading manuals and read them from the start up to the loading information. In this respect they are all pretty much the same with the information and cautions of reloading your own ammo just worded a bit differently from each company to the next. Get a note book and write your own notes on how your loads perform in different conditions with all the information on powder type, powder weight, brass type, trimmed length of brass, primer mfg and so on. As you gain experience it will become easier to load the ammo you want with less head scratching and fuss.

    This site is also in my opinion the best one on the net for learning how to load ammo, build a rifle or get the rifle you have shooting the way you want it to. There are many members here that have so much experience in so many areas of shooting it just boggles my mind. In the seven years I have been here I have learned a lot and I load better ammo and continue to improve my shooting skills and make longer range kills each and every year.

    Stick with it and you will have smooth sailing ahead.
     
  10. sureshot300

    sureshot300 Member

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    I hear good things about RL-22 performing really well with 180 Nosler Ballistic Tips and or Nosler Accubond bullets.

    I have a Remington 700 BDL rifle I purchased in 1975. My current load is 59.0 H4350
    CCI-250 Mag, Primers, 165 Nosler Ballistic Tip. 2840 fps .442 groups from a 22" barrel. Haven't tried the Nosler Accubond 165 yet.

    I have played with Ramshot Hunter and got 2900 fps. Will re-visit that some more this Spring.

    Don
     
  11. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Is that what it shoots all the time? Sure sounds like that's what you're saying it does.

    Or is it the smallest group shot? If true, what's the largest group its shot?

    If it's the largest, then you've got something going.
     
  12. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Don't confuse me with the facts. :)
     
  13. sureshot300

    sureshot300 Member

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    Bart,
    I'm not implying it shoots like that all the time. I will say I spent a lot of range time developing that load. I have duplicated those results a few times depending on me, if I have a good range day. It has not shot larger than a 3/4" group. The gun and load are capable of those .442 results, the shooter must do the rest to make that happen.

    The load was developed for hunting purposes and performed very well on a Doe this past Fall. It's the best load this gun has shot and works for me.

    Don
     
  14. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    Ed- " powder bullet or both?" it is the barrel most likely . if your gun shot acceptable groups with factory core locts. it could be the load, maybe. BARTB is correct about I4064 being a great powder, I4895 too and varget for target out of match barrels. . for elk i would load h-4350 ( i would try varget second and I4064 third) and a 165 partition for bulls, and any 165 for cows. for elk at 300 your groups don't have to be 1/2 inch at 100 yards.