Some guidance so I don't blow myself up...

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by ronedog, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. ronedog

    ronedog Member

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    Hi, I'm looking for a bit of guidance from some experienced guys. I hope this is the right spot, but if not please direct me.

    I have a 30-06 and a 300WSM. the 300wsm was won last yr. , but I don't have the money to put the scope I want on the 300wsm yet, so it sits in my gun cabinet waiting for the future. I want to start piecing together the necessary equipment/setup and training necessary to hunt long distances (600-1000yds).

    The first step I took was to take up reloading, which I'm in the process of gathering the gear. I will start reloading with my 30-06 because I can shoot that gun as soon as get the equipment.

    I will likely shoot the 30-06 up to about 600yds, but will save the 300 for shots longer than that. What grain bullet do you recommend for shooing deer/elk? I've been shooting 150 and 165 for years out of a factory load. How many grains of powder is recommended and what type is best for these distances? A friend suggested I buy Berger VLD 168gn bullets and put them in the 30-06 load, but berger's website recomends only the .308 gun and 30-06 isn't listed, does that mean that I shouldn't shoot those in my 30-06?

    Also, the bullet size for the 30-06 is .308 and the bullet size for the 300wsm also says its .308, I presume I could buy the same bullets and load them into both the 30-06 and the 300wsm, correct?

    As you can see, I sort of know what I'm asking, but because I'm a newbie I'm a bit clueless...any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MN Hunter

    MN Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I suggest two things. Buy a reloading manual. There is a lot of information in the first few chapters. I would also search this web site and ready as many of the post related to reloading as you can find. There is a lot of good info. On this site.
    A third thing would be continue what you just did - do not be affraid to ask lots of questions.

    Good luck.
     

  3. MN Hunter

    MN Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I just noticed you're new to the site.
    Welcome
     
  4. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    also call burger bullets their tecs will have load recommendations. I have always called the manufacturers when I have questions concerning their products. They know their stuff the best and are usually very helpful. I sure they have data for the 30-06 it just may not be posted.
     
  5. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the addiction zone. Here you will find all the answers or at least most of the answers that you seek. My first suggestion is to purchase a good manual. My suggestion would be the Lee manual or the Lyman. Both offer good advice and instruction in the early pages. As with any loading you need to take great care in powder safety and handling. Make sure you always start your loads 1 to 2 grains below max to make sure that you work up to your rifles max in pressure. Pressure signs include, ejector marks, caved primers, and a sticky bolt lift.

    In truth, your 30-06 is a good rifle to get you out to 800yrds easy. Popular bullet to use for taking heavy game at long distance in your rifle would be 175 to 190 grain bullet. The best design for this type of shooting is a boat tail type bullet. Sierra, Berger, and Nosler all have excellent bullets for this application. Hornady offers the Boat Tail Hollow Point as well as the A-Max that will give you the ballistics necessary for long kills. The 06 has enough heft to get it to where you want it to go. As far as load is concerned, you have to start with something and go with it. Each rifle is different, and will allow different levels of pressure. One rifle might shoot a load of Hogdon's H4350 @55 grains of powder and another rifle may not. In theory you want to use a slower burning powder for the heavier bullets.

    Each rifle is different. I know some others here can give you powder charges for your 06. As far as the .308 nomenclature. That is the caliber diameter for 30 caliber rifles. It means the bullet should be .308" of an inch in diameter. A 6mm bullet is the same as a .243 Winchester because it is the same diameter.

    Other components to consider is primers. Each primer has a specific purpose. There is large rifle which is the CCBR2, CCI 200, Federal 210, Federal 210m <never find that one right now), Remington 7 1/2, and Winchester WLR, and Wolf Large Rifle. This is the primer size you will need to use for your 30-06. Some guys may offer a suggestion to use a magnum primer which can be used, just increases cases pressure. Believe it or not, you'll probably find that your 300WSM will shoot better using a large rifle primer instead of a magnum primer.

    When you get to loading the 300, than I can help with charges and bullet selection.

    Again Welcome,
    Tank
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  6. ronedog

    ronedog Member

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    Thanks for the replies and thanks for the welcome. I'll certainly go through as much of the other forum posts as I can or as much as the wife allows me to spend time on!

    I got the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit as a birthday gift, it will be here sometime this week. It doesn't say in the description, but I would assume it comes with a manual. If it doesn't what reloading manuals would you recommend?


    liltank, What do you have for your 300wsm specs that you would recommend? Also, is it likely that I'll have a totally separate spec setup for the 30-06 and the 300wsm...in other words, will I save money being able to reuse the same components from your experience, or do most guns simply have their own personality and I simply need to figure out what it is and match it accordingly?

    What scopes do you guys prefer for reaching out to those distances and do you recommend using a turret?

    Thanks.
     
  7. MN Hunter

    MN Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Both my 338rum and 300win like h-1000 and CCI primers. The 338 shoots well with 225 grain accubonds - the 300 shoots well with 200 grain ballistic tips. My 30-06 likes h-4831, federal primers and 168gr sierra game kings. The 338 and the 30-06 wear leupold 3.5x10 VxIII scopes - the 300 wears a Zeis 4.5x14 conquest with rapid z-800 reticule.
     
  8. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I currently use 200 sierra matchkings with Reloader 17. This works well and I had a very good load with the same bullet and H1000. I have am going to revisit the 208 Hornady A-Max to see if I can get it to settle in with Reloader 17 and H1000. I did not have those powders when I was doing my initial load build ups. I'm hoping they will work with the new powder selections. I use Federal 210 primers.

    As far as components, your rifle should shoot what ever you want it to. You will just have to work with loading for it to figure it out what it likes. Loads people suggest may or may not work in your rifle. I have found that most loads suggested to me produce to much pressure. I have a tight bore, so my loads have to be loaded a little milder.

    My rifle is a rechambered Savage Mod 12 Low Profile. I use a Nikon Buckmaster target dot 6-18X40 with side focus. It is a nice set up and shoots well when I do my part in pulling the trigger and loading. I would really like to rebarrel it with a custom barrel. I am settling on a Lilja 3 groove in an 1:11 twist. Just need to save up the funds.

    Tank
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  9. ronedog

    ronedog Member

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    Guys, thanks for the replies and the help. This has given me a few more ideas while I wait for my reloading kit. I contacted Berger today, but no one was available to answer questions about the powder recommended.

    My 30-06 setup is, Ruger M77 Mark II, Simmons 2x10 with a 1:10 twist. I read up on some of the Reloader 17 stuff and according to their tables a 150gr should shoot faster than the competition's powder...from your experience, is this really the case? I'm considering buying a 1lb bottle of the Reloader 17 and a 1lb bottle of the hodgon 4350 and just start my trial and error testing period. I'd like to talk with Berger before I buy...and I wanted to see what this forum had to say about the two powders in this setup...naturally, I'd go with the powder that will push my bullet faster ....or at least that's my thinking...what r your thoughts?
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I started using RL17 in my 300 WSM. I was using H4350 and RL17 got me 200 fps more vleocity. Got a 25-06 (same as a 30-06 case) this summer and tried Retumbo, H1000 and RL17. Retumbo was the fastest powder listed by Nosler for 110 gr bulltes in the 25-06. RL17 beat it by 200 fps. 3500 fps vs 3300 fps and it shot very well. I even tried it with 180 E-Tips in the 300 RUM which is not what it was designed for. It matched Retumbo and H1000 at about 3400 fps and 86 gr of charge. I went with Retumbo because it came close to filling the case at 97.5 gr. RL17 will be my first choice in just about any cartridge unless it doesn't shoot well in that rifle or proves to be temp sensitive.

    Mark
     
  11. ronedog

    ronedog Member

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    Thanks for the info MontanaRifleman. For a newbie like myself, what determines if a rifle shoots well with a certain powder? At 100 yards, all things being equal, how tight should the groupings be? 1/2" diameter or less? In other words, what indications should I look for to determine if I should either switch powder, or change bullet grain, or type of bullet? And what do you mean "proves to be temp sensative"? Do you mean the gun or the powder? I usually hunt in temps around 45-65 degrees, but will go on an occasional hunt down in the teens.
     
  12. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    When I am testing powders I look for a few things. Case capacity, velocity, accuracy, and temperature sensitivity. These all being equal would in essence stop the need for any other powder manufacturer, but they are not equal.

    One powder may provide the best accuracy and case capacity, but not the velocity that you are looking for and temperatures might play with its ability to maintain accuracy. For example this powder (powder A) provides the best accuracy and case capacity in 40-60 degree weather. However when said powder is used at temps between 75-90 degrees (summer varmiting temps), pressure signs develop and accuracy falls off. In the reverse at temps from -10 to 20 degrees, pressures are reduced to much and again accuracy falls off because your velocities are slower. This is a theoretical powder, but it happens.

    You want a powder that will fill the casing to a point that it is either just lightly compressed or compressed by the bullet. This is the best case scenario because it promotes consistent powder burn. This will also allow your bullet velocities to have as little deviation in speed as possible. You want a powder that will be consistent in the temperature ranges that you plan on hunting.

    Case and point, I use RL17; at temps 40 to 60 degrees I need to increase my powder load. At temperatures of 68 to 80 I can load 61.5 grains under a 200grain matchking and expect a velocity of 2950 and good accuracy with a deviation in speed of 20fps average (slowest to fastest shot). The temperatures have cooled down and now my groups have opened up to an inch or so. Now I have to rework the load because my speed has dropped off, my pressures are lower, and my extreme spread in speed is now between 80 and 85 fps. This won't work for trying to hit something at long range. I want to stick with this powder because it is capable of giving me the speeds that I desire and have found that it will shoot accurately and consistently out of my rifle.

    Scenario two is like this. With H1000 I can hold a very tight group and my case capacity is where I would like it to be, but it shoots 150fps slower than I would like. It gives me an extreme spread of about 8 fps. The RL17 is not giving me the case capacity that I want or the desired extreme spread, but it is still working well enough for me to give me something to work with. I know that because of the cooler temps I can increase my powder charge and gain my speed back as well. Pressure will be okay as long as I stay within my temperature ranges that I am adjusting for. It is very important to keep records of what you load and all the above information so that you can repeat the performance that you want. Another tip: if you find a powder that works for your rifle, try and buy as much as you can afford in the same lot number. Different lot numbers can produce different results even though it is the same powder.

    Hope this answers your question.

    Tank
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  13. ronedog

    ronedog Member

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    Ahha, I had never even considered something like that. LilTank, thanks.

    In my mind I was going to simply figure out what my gun likes, then go make a bunch of rounds and store them for the future, but it sounds like getting my gun shooting right is relative to the conditions and changes..., I live in the Desert/Mountains and one season I might be hunting in 85 degree weather in the afternoon, and the next week it drops to below freezing, which is what happened this year. Or one day I might hunt in the highcountry of the mountain, then dropdown to the mesquite desert towards the latter part of the hunt.

    So, do good consistent shooters likely have multiple boxes set up for various conditions, or do most of them do their loads say a couple of weeks before they want to go shoot, so the temps are relatively stable to when they made the rounds? In other words, am I better off not stockpiling for a given situation of hunting and rather just load prior to a hunt/shooting session? How long can I store a load without any problems? A friend of mine shot some of his dads 30-06 shells that were 25 yrs old, this year. I didn't dare shoot them when he asked, his groups were all over the place, is it an old load, or do you think it was more a problem of "inconsistent load/powder" back 25 yrs ago?
     
  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    ronedog,

    Tank summed it up pretty well. I'll add that the two biggest things in LR shooting besides the obvious accuracy/consistancy, are BC and velocity. That's what gets you farther down range with more enrgy/momentum and bucks wind. But like Tank mentioned, sometimes there are tradeoffs. His report on RL17's temp sensitivity has me a little concerned. We get some extreme swings in temps here in MT which would have an effect on the bullet's performance at longer ranges. RL 22 and 25 usually produce good velocities but they are very temp sensitive. The Hodgdon Etreme powders are less temp sensitive.

    If you're looking for 1K shooting, you should be striving for sub .5 MOA accuracy. I am finding that my MOA accuracy gets slightly better at 300 and 400 yds than 100yds. You should be testing your accuracy at 300 yds and farther because bullets sometimes take a little while to "go to sleep" which referes to their pitch and yaw. You should be looking for 1" - 1 1/2" groups @ 300 yds and 1 1/2" - 2" groups @ 400 yds.

    Mark