New 30-06: Which bullet weight?


Gun Geezer
November 4, 2007, 07:46 AM
Have a new 30-06. Nothing particularly fancy or exciting. It is a Rem Model 700 ADL, 1 in10 twist.

I am only shooting whitetails at <200 yards so just about any 30-06 bullet will do the job as long as I put it in the right place.

I need to sight it in and money is a tad tight. Thus, it would be best to begin with bullet weight most likely to produce and accurate shot. 1 moa would be wonderful!

All else being equal (and I know they are not) what .308 caliber bullet weight has the best chance of 1 moa out of a 30-06 with 1 in 10 twist?

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November 4, 2007, 08:48 AM
Too many variables for MOA but, I like to shoot 165 gr. out of my -06. You need to go to the range many times, using different bullet weights from as many manufacturers as you can afford to get the best accuracy from your rifle. MOA accuracy isn't that important for deer hunting at the ranges you state, just go with 165 or 180 gr.


First Shirt
November 4, 2007, 09:11 AM
Gotta second that one! The 165 gr bullet is just about perfect for anything elk-size or smaller.

November 4, 2007, 09:16 AM
With "money tight", if not reloading a guy needs and wants whats always easy to find, I would choose 150 grains. 150's and 180 grains should be easy but 165's are not going to be quite as common to find on every counter. But then my 700 in '06 shoots 150's great and I have killed dozens of critters up to elk with that combo, so maybe I am prejudicial toward that weight.
A well placed shot and they won't know the difference in 15 +or- grains anyway.

November 4, 2007, 09:22 AM
I'd go 180 if your gun will shoot them well. But I always lean towards heavier bullets

November 4, 2007, 09:46 AM
They are pretty inexpensive, plenty accurate and will be just fine to 200+ yards.

If you reload, I have to agree with the previous poster in recommending 165gr or so for a great all around load. Your wallet can pick the best flavor bullet from ultra economy to super pricey. Midway has/had lots of different "blem" bullets on sale for less than $10 a box of 100. They are not damaged goods however. Just some fingerprint tarnish is all I have found on 1500+ bullets I bought in 280, 44 and 45 cal's. With range '06 pickup brass my costs are at or less than $.30 a round or less than $6.00 a box for premium quality loads... To me that is pretty cheap.

Be safe and enjoy your new rifle...


November 4, 2007, 10:00 AM
Certainly all of the above comments have merit, and moa accuracy is a laudable persuit, for whitetail deer at < 200 yards it really is not necessary. One of the things that makes the 30-06 so attractive beside the power and accuracy is the fact that there is such an incredible array of ammunition available off the shelf just about anywhere. Pick the bullet weight that you are confident with for the game you are hunting. For me that is the 150 grain on whitetail. I used 180 grains for years, but find the 150 is quite adequate. Just about any good brand name ammunition sighted in with your Remington 700 (a fine hunting rifle, and what I use also) will give you adequate accuracy for a clean kill at < 200 yards. For me and where I hunt a 200 yard shot is possible, but the reality is that most of the deer I have taken have been at < 100 yards. Often quite a bit less.

November 4, 2007, 10:06 AM
My 700 ADL .30-06 likes plain jain 150 grain Remington Express Core Lokts just fine. I find the only thing I get out of the 180's is more felt recoil. Whitetails I've shot with the two loads haven't seemed to notice the difference between them. The Core Lokts are about 14.00 a box at wally world. I plan to start reloading for this caliber soon and will likely go with a premium bullet like the Nosler Accubond, but there's nothing wrong with Rem Corelokts.

November 4, 2007, 10:07 AM
For years I hunted with Winchester 150gr silver tips, practiced with their 150gr softpoints (which are supposed to be loaded identically), and my point of impact was plenty close enough to the same. Out of my Ruger M77 is was shooting 1 1/2in groups regularly (from a rest) and better than that on my best days. The Softpoints were a couple of $$ a box less so it is worth a try, but the only way to really know what will shoot well in your rifle is to try'em.

Gun Geezer
November 4, 2007, 10:12 AM
But, what I am looking for is the best starting place in regards to bullet weight.

I understand there are many variables. Too many. Plus, I do not reload and I want to NOT buy boxes and boxes of ammo from various makers with various bullets. Too much $$$. Plus 1 moa would be nice, but not required.

Allow me to re-state the question?

Given the 1 in 10 twist and barrel length of 22 inches, which bullet weight has the best chance of early success in achieving best accuracy, thus saving both time and money?

Many have suggested the 165 to 170 gr bullets and that may be the answer. I have already fired 150 gr Rem Cor-Locks in her. Not too good.

November 4, 2007, 10:18 AM
my most accurate .30 cal. loadings have used
nozzler 165gr. ballistic tip boattail bullets.
your gun may like something else and the only way to find out is try them.
any name brand loading from 150-180gr. should get you to minute of vital area of a deer. if money is really tight buy what you can afford now and pickup a box of different when you can and slowly find what your gun likes best. all of us want the best load to give us confidence in our rifle but most name brand ammo will get you hunting accuraccy off the shelf.

November 4, 2007, 10:18 AM
Don't let Rem CL's put you off on 150gr, from my experience guns either love the RCL or hate them nothing in between, try the Win's before you write off the 150's they seem to work much better in a wider variety of things.

November 4, 2007, 10:26 AM
1 in 10 in a 22" barrel should be fine for any of those weights at hunting distances.
Do you know how tight of a group you can shoot?
Proven scope? all your mounts snug? stock screws snug?
Perhaps as suggested another weight or brand?
I have bought a new rifle that wouldn't shoot a baseball sized group with several different loads and loadings. Thankfully only one, the manufacture corrected it, but it can happen.

November 4, 2007, 11:09 AM

I use 165 gr in my 30-06 for deer. If I were lucky enough to hunt elk I would probably go with 180 gr.

All things being equal - and they never are - I like the 165 gr in a boat tail if it shoots well in your rifle. I am attaching charts that show 150, 165, 180 and 220 gr rounds energy and velocity. I am a big believer in looking at energy coupled with velocity (call it smack power). High velocity and a good ballistic coefficient mean the round will have a flatter trajectory. Of course performance of the round on impact is also a big deal.

The military used 165 gr bullets in the original military 30-06. In the 30-06, this happens to generate about the best combination of energy and trajectory. It turns out the 180 gr boat tail also performs very well in the 30-06. It has almost exactly the same energy and trajectory as the 165 gr bullet. The 165 gr beats it in velocity, but only 85 fps at 100 yds.

I highly recommend the FREE ballistic calculator offered by FEDERAL at this site. See this link:

Just look for this download link: "Click Here to Download the Interactive Ballistics Catalog."

Enjoy your 30-06!

November 4, 2007, 11:42 AM
I don't usually see 165gr loadings near me, so I get 180gr bullets and although I am not sure what twist my gun has, probably 1 in 10", it shoots them a little less than an inch.

November 4, 2007, 02:51 PM
.30-06 and 165gr bullets make a nice team for Whitetail & Black Bear and is my choice of bullet weight in this cal..

November 4, 2007, 03:49 PM
I was using Federal Power Shok 150gr soft points to put 3 rnds at 100yrds in to under 1" with my new Mossberg ATR 30-06. Wally world sell this ammo for $9.99 a box.

November 5, 2007, 12:28 AM
If you have an academy near you, they sell 140 grainers, blue box Monarch, fo 8 bucks. they also sell monarch , brass, serb made in the black and tan box , for about 12 bucks, 150 and 170 grainers. The 165's will be more money, but they are proly your most accurate bet. But I would not mind 2 moa on a hunting rifle, if the ammo is only 8 bucks per box...

November 5, 2007, 01:00 AM
I have a neighbor that shot competitively all through high school (in a 30-06), and he said that each gun and barrel will find an ammo that, for its makeup, will provide the tightest groups.

He raved about Federal FUSION. I tried some 150 grains in my 30-06 and they were in fact quite tight. I don't know if I had the skill he has to be able to determine a difference with factory loads, BUT I do know that the 150 grain Fusion had AWESOME EXPANSION in the buck I shot this year, with the holes in the chest seen from the inside being almost the same size.

An advantage to this bullet is a great and consistent center of gravity, as well as it being a BONDED bullet to help ensure weight retention. These are cheap, but extremely high quality.

They come in 150-180 for the '06, and in other calibers too.

November 5, 2007, 01:07 AM
I shoot 180 grain remington core lokts outta my remington 7400 in 30-06. It's very accurate and in fact i took a deer with one just this morning.

November 5, 2007, 01:58 AM
One more vote for 165 grainer. I have had great results with Federal ammo,standard and gold in My Ruger 77. My son-in-law's 700 bdl likes win 150 silver tips the best. Try as many different loadings as you can afford. Ammo is the cheapest thing on a hunt.

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