I was just reading a thread in the rifle section about the 30-06 and someone mentioned getting beat up with recoil. I just purchased a Savage 30-06 and went through a box (20) of Remington 150 grain FMJ sighting it in at the range. It does leave a memorable impression. I bought 10 20-round boxes from Midway and plan to reload when they're gone. Are there popular light loads for the 30-06 for use at the range, what powder would be best, and what bullet / weight is recommended? Thanks for any advice you could give.
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February 7, 2007, 10:41 PM
If you want a "memorable impression", you should try my 2900fps 190gr bullet load.:D Buy yourself some 125gr TNT bullets (Speer makes them, I think), and get yourseld some IMR4895 powder.
February 8, 2007, 01:29 AM
125 gr and 20 gr Blue Dot will give 2034 fps and 21kpsi
125 gr and 30 gr Blue Dot will give 2596 fps and 43kpsi
Somewhere between the two you should be able to find a load you can shoot all day.
I know what you mean about the 30-06...
A day of shooting 165 gr hot loads in a 30-06 with no recoil pad from the prone position gets on my nerves and makes it hard to concentrate on the shot.
February 8, 2007, 08:57 AM
SR-4759 from IMR and XMP-5744 from Accurate are trhe two most commonly used powders for reduced velicity reloads. Check the manufacturers website or contact them for load data for the bullet weight and velocity of your choice.
I have used reduced loads of SR-4759 behind 150 gr. jacketed bullets in a Springfield 03-A3 for amny years. I have to set the sights to the 700 yard setting in order to hit the bullseye at 100 yards but they are soft on the shoulder.
February 8, 2007, 09:52 AM
I can't remember the exact grains, but what I used in my Savage was Speer 110 grain hollow points and IMR 3031. Also, you might want to look at a replacement or slip-on recoil pad. I was not impressed with the one on my Savage.
February 8, 2007, 10:38 AM
Try Speer's 130 gr. hp and IMR 4064.
February 8, 2007, 11:00 AM
Thank you very much everyone for the feedback. I appreciate all the points you brought up and the fact that I'm not the only one. I think that recoil pad will be first on my list.
February 8, 2007, 11:27 AM
How light do you want to get?
I was pretty comfortable with a 130 gr Speer JHP and the starting load of IMR 4895 when I was casually shooting .30-06.
Hodgdon has a section on their www about low recoil loads. Most involve light bullets for caliber and low end loads of H4895.
Norma loads what they call the .30-30-06 with .30-30 ballistics in '06 cases for hunting the smaller critters in Europe where handloading is not common. Ken Waters gave some recommendations for loading it with powder more common than N-200. I can look those up for you if you like.
February 8, 2007, 12:03 PM
I think there is another question that should be asked.
What are you shooting for? Is the purpose to get and stay familiar with your hunting rifle, or are you shooting for enjoyment?
If you're shooting for hunting purposes, you'll want a load that more or less mimics the flight of your hunting load. If your hunting load is a 180 gr sp, at 2700 fps, then a 125 gr round at 2800 fps will shoot within 1/2 inch at 200 and 300 yds, and within about 2 inches at 500 yds. The faster, lighter 125 will be much more comfortable to shoot and you can still work on drilling a 6 inch circle without readjusting your hunting scope.
On the other hand, if you're just shooting for fun and relaxation, slow down a 110 to 125 gr round that groups well and doesn't generate the barrel heat of a hunting load.
February 8, 2007, 02:29 PM
I shoot the 125gr TNT (in a .308) on top of IMR4895 and push it at 2430fps. The accuracy is superb out to 200yds (the wind starts to move it around a lot after that point). The recoil is virtually nil.
February 8, 2007, 03:32 PM
If you have it lying around, 20 to 25 grains of 2400 works just fine. I've used it with all sorts of bullets, mostly 169-grain lead gas checks and "stray" 150-grain jacketed stuff. Somewhere around 1900 to 2000 ft/sec mv.
For that matter, Phil Sharpe lists a load of a whole bunch of 2400 behind an 80-grain pistol bullet, for a muzzle velocity somewhere around 3,900 ft/sec. :D
February 8, 2007, 03:39 PM
This is to be used entirely for enjoyment. I'm not a hunter, but figured everybody should have a "go to" rifle should things go downhill some day. For the most part, 100 yards is the max available at the range I belong to.
Thanks again for your advise. I'm going to try a few of your light load suggestions, as well as check out the manufacturer sites. Thanks for the offer Jim, but I think I'll start with the IMR4895 (looks pretty popular) and let you know how that goes.
Again, much appreciated gentlemen.
February 8, 2007, 03:42 PM
Thanks, Art. Right now all I do are handguns and my powder supply consists of Bullseye and Unique. I'm gonna go slow since I don't even know what I don't know!
February 8, 2007, 03:57 PM
SR-4759 from IMR and XMP-5744 from Accurate are trhe two most commonly used powders for reduced velicity reloads.
Ditto! Good Stuff. Both of them.
February 8, 2007, 04:17 PM
I have tried both and 5744 has coarse granulation and does not meter well in my Uniflo. 4759 is worse. When I have plinked up the last on hand, I will load light with 2400.
February 8, 2007, 07:31 PM
A few years back my Dad broke his collar bone and the following deer season he asked me to load some 'light' 30-06 deer ammo. I used H 322 and 130gr varmint tips. That fall he dropped 2 deer in their tracks.
H322 is a very fast powder ment more for .223 ammo, so a reduced load of 38grains was used with GI .30-06 cases. I don't know the fps, but the recoil was way more manageable.....and the deer sure didn't know the difference.
February 8, 2007, 08:19 PM
Consider the large thick Limbsaver.
Don't grind to fit it with a belt sander, just let it look big [more area on the shoulder].
My 300 Win Mag hot loads deliver no pain with that pad.