30-06 General Hunting Bullet Recommendation


Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2008
I am looking for a recommendation for a general hunting bullet for a 30-06.

This will be used for shots from 10 yards to probably only 300, even 200 would be a longer shot for this rifle's intended use.

I will be hunting PA whitetail, and black bear, black bear will weigh 250 or more, realistically, anywhere from 250-500, could be bigger, but we do not see them much bigger than that normally.

what would be a good bullet for my intended uses? I probably follow more the train of thought with Berger and massive damage, I just worry about them with a bear up close, particularly with bone, or a scapula or skull shot depending on the angle, any merit to that?

thanks in advance.
For the shots you listed BC is meaningless so it is all about what shoots well in your gun and terminal performance.

One of my personal favorite bullets for this type of hunting is the Hornady BTSP. They are accurate in most any gun, and they shed enough weight to cause damage but still hold enough to get good penetration. Plus they are very cheap compared to all of the premium bullets now days!

If you are going to go the berger route because of the terminal performance aspects, I would just make sure you go with some of the heavier for caliber bullets for bears. The 185 classic hunter or the 210-215 hybrids will be deadly on those bears. You could use the same bullets for deer if you want to keep it simple or drop down to the 165 grain range and be just fine.


Scot E.
thanks, and I completely agree with you on BC being meaningless and such.

the Hornady BTSP seems like a good choice, I will look into them, any weight ranges that seem to work better or worse?

also, this particular gun does not seem to like flat base bullets, I probably should have mentioned that.

thanks again.
The Bergers and BTSP's are both boat tails so that should help with your needs.

The BTSP's are available in 150,165, 180, and 190 grain. They would all work within the parameters you gave but the heavier bullets will give you a bit more insurance in case you hit bone or have a difficult angle and need the extra weight to get clear through the animal. I would pick the heaviest bullet that shoots well personally.

Scot E.
A tough all around bullet you might wanna consider is the accubond.....

The 180 Partition is pretty much the ultimate bullet in this situation. heavy bullet so great penetration but the front end of the bullet will open and act somewhat like a Berger and throw out some shrapnel but it will retain enough weight to penetrate deep.
I would like to use some Partitions, but, the gun does not like them. I have not played with them a lot, but I never had to play with other bullets much, groups were pretty bad in comparison with Partitions along with some other flat base bullets, so that is what I attributed it to. it was awhile ago, so I do not remember what they were.

My old favorites used to be Winchester 150 or 165 gr Silvertips. Worked well on Deer and Elk.
Since I have depleted my Silvertip stash my new favorites are handloaded Hornaday interlocks 165 gr. very accurate and thump whatever the hit. DRT
They shoot well in my remington 700 and in my Winchester 70.
It is tough to beat the Nosler Partion too,

The nice thing about the .06 is it will take such a wide range of bullets.
Since I have depleted my Silvertip stash my new favorites are handloaded Hornaday interlocks 165 gr.

If you like the interlock, you may like the SST. Cool thing about the SST is its a decent ballistic tip/interlock for medium game, and you can swap it out with the Interbond for a tough bonded bullet with no change in POI.

I try to find a good high quaility bullet , and a secondary cheaper bullet with the same BC . Shoot the $/100 and for hunting you can easily switch to a great bullet with no change in POI. I'm looking at 165 gr BT which should mimic the Nosler Partion or Accubond 180 gr. $/50. lightbulb

For me the 180gr TTSX is my go to bullet at +/- 2700 fps.
I live in South Africa and use my .30-06 with the Barnes 180gr TTSX for every thing up to Eland to 300m. I have yet to recover a bullet but have all 1 shot kills. I would consider the 168gr TTSX ones all my 180gr are finished.
Just my 2cents
this is a long range forum so your no doubt going to get answers with heavier bullets and premium bullets. For deer and bear all you need is a cup and core 150 in the o6. Ive shot well over a 100 deer with the 06 and in my experience the 150s put them down on the spot better then the heavys. Id certianly not fool with anything heavier then a 165 unless bigger game was on the table and even then it would be hard for me to justify buying premium or bonded bullets. A good 180 cup and core bullet like a speer hotcore or sierra prohunter with cleanly take any game animal under 800 lbs. Ive yet to put a cup and core 150 into any deer, pig or black bear that wasnt in the freezer the next day. Maybe in africa animals are a bit tougher. I dont know as ive never been there and probably wont ever be able to afford the trip but ive shot enough animals here to know the biggest gains to be found in premium bullets are to the stock holders of barnes and other companys that make them.
Nosler partition is hard to beat with a well known track record.
The 180gr with H 4350 have about all one would need for Elk size animals
and the 165gr for all others.....
+1 on the Hornady BTSP. I have used these in 180gr with excellent performance ,great expansion and energy transfer. I hunted with my friend this fall who used the 165gr out of a .308 Win to take an bull elk at 460 yards. Bullet penetrated through the upper chest and lower spine. Bullet recovered under the hide on the opposite side, weight retention was about 60%. They also have a reasonable BC and have been accurate out of the 2 guns I have shot them in... also a very good value.
Warning! This thread is more than 12 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.