Optimun Bullet weight for 500 yards

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Jerry D, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Jerry D

    Jerry D Active Member

    Dec 28, 2008
    Alright guys - I'm shooting a .30-06 and I want to start shooting around 500 yards.

    Let me explain the dilemma

    I understand lighter bullets go faster initially but loose speed faster then a heavier bullet of the same design with a higher BC. Eventually the heavy one overcomes the light one... at what range would this happen approximately? I'm thinking 4-500 yards?

    I understand that heavier bullets of the same design have less wind drift at all ranges, even if the lighter one is shot faster.

    Lighter bullets have more drift but less drop, while heavier ones have less drift and more drop... at ranges under 4-500 yards...

    For 500 yards then, what is your optimum bullet weight and BC that your aiming for?

    I want to use bullets that are good for hunting and currently I am looking at the 168 grain nosler ballistic tip and perhaps the 165 grain accubond. I think about 165grain weight range is good for 500 or would I be a lot smarter to step it up again a notch to the 180 grain weight?

    Drop generally is a constant and with a known range you should be able to dial it in almost precisely... however wind is ever changing. Perhaps a heavy bullet would be best as it will allow more room for error in wind readings?

    Give me your advice on the matter please
  2. 3006savage

    3006savage Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    The bullets I would try are the:

    1. 150 grain Nosler ETip .469
    2. 168 grain Nosler BT .490
    3. 168-190 grain bergers .512-572
    4. 200 Grain Nosler Accubond .588

    If you are hunting elk the 200 Grain Accubond would be my choice. The 168 Berger at .512 BC would be a great deer round.

  3. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2007
    You did not say what animal you are hunting. It will make a difference what we recommend.

    500 yards is not much of a strech for the 30-06. You need to choose something that is accurate.

    With no other information I would suggest Berger, Sierra match, and Hornady A-max in that order, at 168 gr to 190 gr depending upon accuracy obtained. Good luck!!! Ken
  4. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    185 Berger VLD. Try IMR4064, any 4350, Varget (worked best for mine), 4895, or Re22 (for top velocity). AA2520 also works very well in the .06 with midrange bullet wts.

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    Derek is spot on with the 185g VLD. I use that bullet a lot the 180g AB would be an outstand choice as well.
  6. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    I would use the bullet my rifle shot the best and learn how to use that one regardless of how the BC is or isnt. Any decent bullet for a 3006 will have a BC reasonable enough to use at 500 yards. You cant always get your rifle to agree on the bullet that makes YOU the happiest. Let the rifle tell you what SHE wants to eat. And be happy about it. :)
  7. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    if elk are in the equation and we're only going 500, i'd say try the 168TTSX.
  8. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    One of my favorite bullets in my .06. I settled on Re19. Took this combo to BC this past spring and killed my 2nd black bear with this combo. I also took my 180 AB/Re19 combo as well as the 185 VLD/Varget combo. They all hit about the same to 200 yards.
  9. pretex

    pretex Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I have shot the 168 berger in my 30-06 out to 400 yards, and it does good damage out there. Mv 2830.

    I've started to load up some 155 bergers instead, aiming for 3000+, will get me a little further regarding expansion.

    For 500 yards berger accu or nosler are great

    Go with what you think is right and what your rifle shoots perfect.
  10. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    Try the Hornady 208 grain A-Max. It has a BC of .648.
  11. Seven Oaks

    Seven Oaks Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2009
    The most accurate bullet is not always the best choice..

    If the 150's shoot the tightest group but your going after Elk @ 500 yards

    you won't have enough energy to guarantee a killing shot.

  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I ran the numbers and this is what I came up with=

    These are "listed" max loads and velocities .

    3006 Springfield.

    !65 gr accubond @ 3000 ft/sec.

    500 yards= bullet path with 100 yrd zero= - 45.7" and 1602 ft/lbs of energy.
    600 yards= " " " " " " = - 74.4" " 1367 ft/lbs " .
    700 yards= " " " " " " = - 112.5" " 1161 ft/lbs " .
    1000 yrds= " " " " " " = - 301.2." " 701 ft/lbs " .

    180 gr accubond @ 2700 ft/sec.

    500 yrds = Bullet path with 100 yrd zero = - 57.5" and 1429 ft/lbs of energy.
    600 yrds = " " " " " " = - 93.0" " 1223 ft/lbs " " .
    700 yrds = " " " " " " = - 140.0" " 1044 ft/lbs " " .
    1000 yrds= " " " " " " = - 370.6" " 651 ft/lbs " " .

    So as you can see even at 1000 yards the 165 gr appears to be superior in
    trajectory and energy.

    And 700 yards appears to be about maximum range for ether bullet when
    hunting deer size game.

    There are bullets with better ballistic coefficients but these are hunting bullets
    and are the same (Accubonds) for better comparisons.

    I had though about switching to the 180 gr accubonds from the 160 gr ballistic tips
    but I will stay the 165s.

    Just some info to help.

  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    For the most part I agree with you, but I think it depends on the bullet/load/rifle combination and shot placement.

    If you were to shoot a 150 E-Tip with a BC of .469 @ 1000 elev, with an MV of 2900 fps, @ 500 yds down range the bullet would have a velocity of about 2000 and a momentum of 42 lbft, which "should" be plenty to penetrate and exit the boiler room with good expansion. E-Tips expand @ 1800 fps. Based on some shots on elk at LR some guys in here have taken, 40 lbft of momentum "seems" to be enough to penetrate an elk.

    With a 26 inch barrel and some good load development you could probably get an MV of close to 3000 or more and at an elevation of 5000' or higher where you are more likely to encounter elk the down range velocotiy and momentum increase to about 2180 and 46 lbft, which should be plenty to kill an elk with a well placed shot.

    Would I choose a 30.06 and a 150 gr bullet? @ 500 yds. No.

    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  14. Seven Oaks

    Seven Oaks Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2009
    I agree with that scenario Montana,

    A well placed shot and there is enough to do the job. I usually won't shoot unless I have a good 1800 Ft/Lbs. of energy.

    I'd give up some accuracy for more Energy and a Larger, better constructed pill.

    As I'm sure you know, Elk are some tough critters, a fair amount of difference between how far an "eatin' cow will go with one in the boiler room vs. a mature bull.