Opinions Please - Best Hunting .30-06 Round?


July 21, 2007, 11:33 PM
I have a Savage Model 110 in .30-06. In particular I am looking for advice on what people with this model rifle prefer for a hunting round ( manufacturer and bullet weight) in terms of accurracy. I do not reload so it needs to be "off the shelf". Ideally I would love to try many brands and bullet weights but it can get very time consuming and costly, so I am just trying to narrow my choices down a bit based on others experiences. Thanks for the input.

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July 21, 2007, 11:42 PM
What are you hunting? How far would your longest shot be? How good a shot are you (1 inch, 3 inches at 100 yards)?

July 22, 2007, 12:01 AM
I am a much better than average shot. I know this is a broad range but let's say that most shots would be between 100 and 250 yards. If the ammo and rifle (I know this is a bargain type hunting rifle) are capable, I can do my part and produce sub moa groups @ 100 yds. Hunting primarily deer and hogs but again looking more for accurracy rather than opinions of which round expands the best or carries the most velocity, etc. I understand this is a hunting round and as such may not be quite as accurate as match type ammo, but I am sure some brands and weights have performed better in this rifle than others.

July 22, 2007, 12:35 AM
hornady factory loads are good stuff if you're stuck shooting factory.

Smokey Joe
July 22, 2007, 12:37 AM
in each rifle is an individual thing, Mwpslp. Individual as in 2 rifles, same model, same everything, may have different preferences as to ammo.

IMHO, the 165 grain bullet is the best all-around bullet for accuracy in most .30-'06's, but even there, individual rifles have individual preferences.

There is some awfully nice off-the-shelf ammo available nowadays. Naturally, the better stuff costs more. My suggestion (tho' it would be spendy) would be to buy a box of as many different loadings of .30-'06 as you can find, and go shoot them for accuracy in your rifle. Your rifle will show a distinct preference for certain brands, bullet weights, and bullet types, I expect. Then you pick one that is to your standard of accuracy, in YOUR rifle (not mine, not anybody else's) which would be well adapted to your intended hunt quarry.

The other upside is that you get lots of practice with your rifle, and if it has any peculiarities of function you will become good at dealing with those. Besides, shooting is fun.

Bottom line: There is no "best ammo." What's good in my rifle may not work worth a durn in yours, and vice versa. You just have to experiment. Start with 165 grain bullets.

And as always, the journey is part of the destination.

July 22, 2007, 12:38 AM
It seems most of the bullet weights for the .30-06 are either 150, 165, or 180 grain. Obviously the rate of twist ( which I believe is 1:9 in this rifle ) comes into play with this rifle but is one weight more "stable" than the other in flight?

July 22, 2007, 12:41 AM
Thanks SmokeyJoe. I know what you mean about the cost, that is why I was just looking for a starting point. Also during a long range session and trying out different types of ammo, how is the heat and crud that builds up as the rounds start to click away going to affect my data?

July 22, 2007, 12:42 AM
Everyone around here and that I know hunt with the .30-06 uses a 165gr. bullet for everything from deer to elk. The actual manufacturer or handload is something that you will have to experiment with as every gun seems to be a little different in this department :D

July 22, 2007, 12:46 AM
Pretty hard to beat a 165 or a 180 gr Remington corelokt for cheap reliable factory ammo that will get the job done.

Hornandy 165 gr interlocks are a great bullet as well so is the 180gr interlock.

July 22, 2007, 01:44 AM
Remington plane Jane Core-lokts 150 grains have been killing deer, elk, and antelope for me for about 3 decades now. I reload em, but the bullet in the factory ammo is the same as far as I know. Is hell on earth for coyotes too.

July 22, 2007, 01:46 AM
I have been using Federal 150 & 165 grain vital shok with good success out of a Remington 700 CDL

July 22, 2007, 07:44 AM
I would suggest as everyone else here has, that 165 gr bullets are the place to start. The twist rate in your rifle is more than likely 1:10, which is going to spin the bullet rather quickly. The longer/heavier bullets will stabilize better at this twist rate IMHO.

My question is what are you hunting? Deer are not especially tough, 165's are probably more than enough.

July 22, 2007, 10:35 AM
I also hunt with a Savage 110 in .30-06, and I've had great success hunting deer using Remington's Managed Recoil ammunition. It's easy to shoot, accurate, and the 125-grain bullet has taken out deer up to about 160 pounds (which is big for a Texas deer).

For hunting pigs, I use heavier bullets--180 grain ultra-cheapie Bosnian soft-points ($7/20). My shots have been under 100 yards, so accuracy hasn't been a big issue; the bullets go where I want them to. I've been more concerned about having big knock-down power in case I come across a really big hog.

July 22, 2007, 12:30 PM
The answer to your question regarding what will stabilize better a lighter or heavier bullet? is that the 30 06 will reliably stabilze pretty much anything you buy off the shelf for it. As you go up in weight you may get less stability but I would be really surprised to see a bullet key hole from your 30 06 even at 180 or 200 grains.

Standard twist for an 06 is 1 in 10. If you have 1 in 9 then it will stabilze heavier bullets but that will have no real negative on lighter bullets.

Savage makes accurate barrels in my experience, some of them are downright outstanding but even generally they make a good accurate product.

You may have to buy and shoot a box or three of different ammo to see what it likes best. As noted above what works well in one fellows rifle may not work well at all in yours.

Art Eatman
July 22, 2007, 03:09 PM
My father exclusively used 150-grain bullets for deer hunting, for over 40 years. Lord only knows how many one shot kills he had. I've mostly used 150s; mostly DRT. That's bucks of field-dressed weights to around 225 (my father's; I should be so lucky.) Way over a hundred deer...

That said, the most accurate factory load I've run across are these Federal High-Energy Real Expensive Cartridges. They come with 165-grain Sierra HPBTs. I haven't had a shot at a deer with it, but there's a sadly ruined coyote who lost about a pound of chest to one.


July 23, 2007, 12:56 AM
I've had the best accuracy with 150 grain spitzers & they have worked very well on deer, elk, antelope, black bear, & the only moose I was ever drawn for.

Smokey Joe
July 23, 2007, 04:45 AM
Mwpslp--About heat: When yr bbl is too hot to hold your hand on, then it's TOO hot. You should pause in yr shooting before that point and let it cool.

If the bbl becomes too hot to hold, you have probably inflicted some damage on it. This may not be noticeable right away, but it is cumulative, and will eventually take a bbl out of the "most accurate" class if you do it a number of times.

About crud: It has become a problem when your accuracy begins to deteriorate--@ that point your bbl should have been cleaned. And you will need fouling shots after the cleaning to get the POI back to where it was. How many rounds between cleanings?? How many fouling shots?? [Rolls eyes, strokes chin, tries to look wise. Largely fails. /] Well, that varies. A lot. Like your rifle's preferences in ammo and loadings, it's very individual with the rifle, and you just have to discover it.

July 23, 2007, 04:56 PM
I have a Savage 110 in .270 and a J.C. Higgins in .30-06, I use Hornady Interlocks in both of them. 165 gr in the .30-06. The Savage 110 has a great reputation for accuracy, and my .270 will bench rest shoot under 1" groups at 100yds. The .30-06 is almost that good , at about 1" at 100 yds. In any case, experiment until you find out what that particular gun likes.

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